“There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.”
Ludwig von Mises
One must understand that corruption is first and foremost a heart issue that no form of legislation can address. To truly combat corruption, the heart must be targeted through continual prayer, bold witnessing, and Gospel studying, all while trusting that God will ultimately carry out His plan.
As a basic definition, however, corruption can be defined as, “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people” as well as, “a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct”. Political corruption, then, is exactly that: corruption within the political sphere.
Yet what is true “corruption”? The definition is objective, as all word definitions are, yet most would agree that real, tangible corruption is a deviation from basic morality (which we would see as defined by God) for the purpose of self-gain.
I did not realize just how terrible the world is until the past few weeks. Even then, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. This missionary kid of seventeen years need two semesters in politics to actually understand the stupidity of this world.
That fact is mildly embarrassing, to be honest. But this has been an embarrassing year with the amount of idiocy that has been exposed even in my personal life.
Have you ever gone through a time of such deep darkness that you forgot what the light looked like? I have. Anxiety, depression, black anger, hurt, frustration, and grief all accompany this tragic state. If you were ever a teenager, you likely can emphasize with this.
Teenage life is, after all, a trying time. We grow at a rapid rate between the ages of 13 and 20, often maturing so quickly (or slowly, at times) that we become different people almost overnight.
You know, I never really knew what I was getting into when I began Anatomy and Physiology. As a senior in high school, I have lost any preference for the classes I take, yet this particular course has proven interesting. While the topics have varied, the most recent topic is also the most awkward: sex.
There’s no other way around this topic, nor is there a better way to phrase it. It’s bound to come up in such a class, and sure enough, it did. Thankfully, my teacher is a Christian, and she combined both the science of sex with the Christianity we both believe.
While the discussion was elaborate, I believe the most important piece said was on the topic of pre-marital sex. In today’s culture, very few of us have a legitimate idea about the importance of wedding night sex. In fact, when polled, the number of Christians who claimed that casual sex between consenting adults is sometimes or always acceptable was well over fifty percent (Diamant 2020).
This is an incredible number. According to Jeff Diamante, 62% of Catholics and 56% of Protestants agree with the prior statement. Not only is this statistic alarming, it is deeply disturbing. For an unexplainable reason, today’s Christians continue to compromise their faith, syncretizing their so-called beliefs with the bells and trinkets of the world.
But couldn’t there be a good situation for casual, pre-marital sex to occur? Not at all! Biblically, we are specifically called to keep the marriage bed pure, reserving sexual interaction for marriage and marriage only. From the beginning, God’s clear-cut plan for marriage is simple: one man to one woman, going to each other on the marriage bed.
Genesis 2:24-25 says, ““Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.””
There is no difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The latter echoes the teachings of the former, stating in 1 Corinthians 7:2 that “because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” Could you ask for a clearer verse? This is not masked nor hidden. One man to one woman.
Homosexuality and adulteresses are prohibited in the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, the judgement for homosexuality was immediate removal from God’s people (banishment, see Leviticus 18). Adultery isn’t merely limited to the law, like homosexuality, but is also included in the Ten Commandments, causing some to argue that the sin of adultery is greater than the sin of homosexuality. I make no such statement but leave you to judge for yourselves. Both are condemned as sin and shall be treated as such.
Satan seeks to twist everything God created. As he actively works in the world, he seeks to corrupt the Godly and their beliefs. Men that once held fast to their faith instead exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25), exchanging the Creator (God and His truth) for the created (the world and its offerings). Anything from the world will be contrary to God’s word, and thus we can recognize it as from Satan. The pure marriage bed, once a norm, has been defiled, an action that has since become commonplace. Normal sexual interactions (again, within the marriage bed), are exchanged for same-sex interactions.
In fact, this goes further than sexual sin. Righteousness becomes unrighteousness, truth becomes lie, manhood becomes womanhood (men are becoming more passive), womanhood becomes manhood (women are becoming more aggressive), and much, much more.
This is the world, ladies and gentlemen. It seeks to corrupt everything we know, starting with our hearts and minds. It offers compromise, small at first, but growing larger by the day, and tempts us with its charms. If we do not hold fast to the truths of God and take them as they are written, we will fall together as the Church crashes around our ears.
Marriage is about oneness and offering one’s self to the other. In this mutual servanthood, born out of love, true intimacy is reached, an intimacy that cannot be found anywhere else. When this is torn apart, baggage is created, the same baggage that will be brought into the marriage bed should it be broken beforehand. For true, lasting intimacy, there must be no spiritual or physical baggage brought to your spouse. Yet there is hope for those who have already failed! Christ purifies you, just as He purifies the Church. He cleanses His bride, the harlot Church (or Israel) and makes her a beautiful thing.
Holding fast to the truths of God starts here, with the simple things that we are told to take for granted. The world tells us, “oh, that’s normal, accept it as such.” WAKE UP! Surprise: it’s not. Every Christian is called to hold the marriage bed in honor and purity, for it represents something far greater: the Marriage of the Church and of Christ.
This goes all the way back to the Garden and God’s plan for family and the church. Just as the family reflects the Church (man as the spiritual and literal head of the home), the Church reflects the greater Marriage. In both cases, we are called to keep to this representation and hold these items as pure. As time passes, these boundaries are crossed again and again, the most common examples being pre-marital sex and church divides. We cannot allow these compromises to take hold within the Church, especially if we are to withstand the subtle temptations of the World.
The previous statements have been confirmed again and again by saved friends of mine who, prior or occasionally after their salvation, acted precisely as I just described or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, actually managed to reach their wedding nights with their virginity intact, or without. If I could give you a single lesson, one given to me with excessive emphasis, it is this: the wait is worth it. Don’t give in to the world.
Many will be offended by what I have just said. This is not the goal. My only prayer is that, even through your offense, my words will call you to further conversation and thought on these matters. Please remember: as Christians, our opinions are to be built around God’s Word, not the pressure of the world. If you’d like to engage in healthy, open dialogue, feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts of your own.
Until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace.
There are two photos pinned to the wall just above my desk. One of them depicts a young man standing at a pulpit, his mouth split with a wide smile as he animates his discussion with open hands. His eyes seem fixed on a single spot in the crowd before him, perhaps seeing something visible only to himself. Four months ago, as I stood in front of that pulpit to deliver an impromptu speech, a camera captured the emotion most important to me over the past few months: joy.
They say that the best teachers are those that know you best. I believe this to be true. A teacher that can reach into your heart and find your deepest needs, gaps, and desires is a teacher that will always succeed. Moreover, a teacher willing to go to great lengths to ensure your complete understanding of a given topic is a teacher like no other. This man or woman will never be forgotten. They will implant their face upon the hearts and minds of our young generations for decades, changing the future for the better.
Greetings everyone. My name is Philip Soen and I am Elisha McFarland’s uncle. Presently, I live in Dallas, Texas, where I have been studying to become a university professor. This last July (2020) I had the privilege of vacationing in St. Albans, West Virginia. There Elisha’s family hosted my two daughters and me. Time with the McFarlands was wonderful, and I had the special privilege of connecting with Elisha and his younger brother Noah. All three of us slept in the same room and would often stay up late talking about the day’s events, entertainment, or theology. I very much enjoyed both Elisha and Noah and their flourishing interest in knowing the ultimate things about God and his word.
After I returned from my vacation, Elisha invited me to post an entry on his blog. The topic is power for courageous action. This particular topic interests me greatly because the world is full of danger, and without any power to conquer threatening forces, valiant action is impossible. As far as I’m concerned, courageous action is the only way forward in a world that seeks to destroy life, dishonor good people, and denigrate the triune God. Where, however, can one obtain power for such action?
This is a perplexing question. Courage may be a man’s greatest desire, but such a man could go his entire life without an ounce of such a quality. So, where can anyone get power for courageous action? I stumbled upon the answer when reading through Homer’s Iliad the other day. (Have you ever read The Iliad?! If you haven’t, you should). The answer? Achilles’ spear.
False teachers are everywhere. Everyone thinks that they’re the next John Piper, prepared to give controversial opinions with little care given to the legitimacy of their claims.
In an age of false news and quick, unresearched opinions, it can become almost impossible to properly research current events. Every smalltime blogger, podcaster, youtuber, and writer thinks that their take on current events is the most factual, needed piece of content on the web, and they’re usually wrong.
This extends beyond the news and into the Christian world. Thousands of “Christian bloggers” surround themselves with a small audience, then begin peddling false gospels and heresies, all while convinced of their own necessity and puffed up by their knowledge.
After over two years of silence, acclaimed rapper Lecrae has released his newest album, aptly titled “Restoration“. The album, containing tracks featuring popular artists John Legend and YK Osiris, has been met with wide success, garnering over 2 million YouTube views within mere days of being released.
What happened? What caused his music to take such an extraordinary shift?
Comparing Christianity is an easy discussion for a missionary kid formerly based in a continent dominated by Muslims. Having seen firsthand the similarities and differences between Christianity, Islam, non-belief, and the rest, I have looked forward to this discussion since beginning the Monday Q&As.
Because this is the last Q&A from Stoa Apologetics, I will be answering all 14 questions, regardless of relevancy and wordcount. As always, the answers are taken from as close a Biblical standpoint as possible, and constructive discussion is always welcome. You can find the entire Q&A worksheet here.
Our culture has completely lost what it means to be a man. What was once a proud and accomplished status now lies discarded in the dirt. Boys have taken over our country. They have normalized non-manhood, brought themselves and their immaturity into popularity, and they continue to reject the true calling to manhood.
This travesty has destroyed many pieces of our culture. Quality of relationship has decreased massively over the past fifty years, punctuated by increases in divorce and abortion.
What needs to be done? How can we, as Christians, aggressively attack and destroy what our culture portrays as “manhood”, and show the way to creating true, real men?
Worldview is a difficult topic to discuss, given the fact that the subject changes based on the person. Because everyone has a different worldview, it can become difficult to even speak on the subject, let alone have a decent discussion on the topic.
Christian worldview, on the other hand, is a unifying topic that needs to be discussed more often. Identifying weak worldview and working to grow stronger, Biblically-grounded worldview should be a lifelong goal for every Christian.
With that, we turn our attention on today’s Monday Q&A: Christian Worldview Application. As always, I will be choosing to answer 12 of the 14 questions presented in Stoa Apologetics’ worksheet, found here. Let’s dive in.
Traveling from a poor, third-world country back to the United States is arguably the quickest way to become grateful. Within mere moments of landing, you, the American, realize just blessed you are, and vow to never forget to thank God for what He has blessed you with.
Then, two weeks later, you find yourself back in the rhythm you left behind, quite willing to take life for granted. I’m no exception. It is so easy to get caught up in the flow of today’s world, and forget to thank God for the little things.
In our past three Q&A’s, we have discussed three highly important topics: the character of God, foundations of Christianity, and Scripture. Yet so far, none of these topics have been as important as the one to be discussed today.
God and man. Deus et Hominum. Theós kai ánthropos.
Over the summer, I have made it a point to increase my reading load. Mein Kampf, Pride and Prejudice, A Man Called Peter, Pontius Pilate, and many others have been the subject of my reading. Yet, standing apart from the rest, a single author has recaptured my attention, returning my reading to the world of novels.