What We Learned From Hacksaw Ridge

Army men sunset Hacksaw Ridge soldiers military

Hacksaw Ridge is the most brutal, gory, bloody, and redemptive movie I have seen in my entire life. Rated R for “intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images,” the film is quite possibly the most gory movie to be made, and yet it does justice to the story it was based on.

If you have had the opportunity to watch the movie, I congratulate you. You survived a long, harrowing 139 minutes, and you lived to tell the tale, unlike 90% of the soldiers shown in the movie. After reading the critic reviews on the story, and hearing the full descriptions of the movie’s blood and gore, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the movie at all.

Then, I learned that Andrew Garfield stars as the main character. Immediately, I was sold. Who cares about “a little blood and gore” when someone as magnificent as Andrew Garfield stars?

I would both regret and appreciate this decision.

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Hope: The Defining Line Between Salvation and Disbelief

Hope man in tunnel light

Hope. The defining factor between Christianity and Secularism. As I wrote about in my previous post, defining hope within Christ, we understand hope as being grounded on the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and truth of the Gospel, complete contentment within Christ and His plan, having released our sorrows and stress to Him, which allows us to look forward to the future “with eager expectation.”

In times like this, it can be difficult to have hope. Terror, with its contagious cold, takes ahold of even the bravest of men. Despair, with its fingers of dread, creeps in like a thief at night. One by one, we succumb to terror, and in our terror, we are moved to despair.

And yet God is a God of hope! These words seem to be the most difficult to utter, but they remain true. In the middle of the storm, God is there. He has all power, He has a plan, and it is good. And, through this plan, we have received faith and rejoice in our hope. He sent His son into a world far worse then one inhabited with the coronavirus, malaria, or even ebola. He sent his son into a world inhabited with sin, with the purpose of defeating that sin and ultimately eradicating it from humanity.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1, New International Version
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God’s Fulfillment Through Man’s Insufficiency

Praying christian hands

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7

One of the most fulfilling experiences as a Christian is to discover the full measure of Christ’s grace. Not only does His grace encompass all sin, death, and hatred, but it also covers our weakness. After all, it is within our weakness that our true hearts are revealed.

Christ shows His perfection through our imperfection. In times of pain and trial, he is the one most glorified through us, His servants. And even though he brings trials for a reason, he does take a measure of that pain and anger and sorrow upon himself.

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How To Be Strong In a Country Ruled By Fear

Man on shore coronavirus blog post

Today, one word dominates the news- Coronavirus. As I write this, my little brother and best friend Noah is on a plane back to the USA for a family wedding. Already, he has told me that over 70% of all passengers, workers, pilots, stewardesses, and all other people found in an airport are wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Racism, in ways we could never have foreseen, is on the rise. Asians are commonly being prejudiced against simply because of their race, along with the fact that the virus originated in (and has stayed focused on) China.

The Coronavirus has brought more than a deadly disease- it has brought fear. From Buddhists to Atheists, Christians to Mormons, every single religion has harbingers and doomsdayers writing dozens of posts or articles declaring the end of time. Fear has entered the heart of almost every person within a four-hundred mile radius of the disease and its carriers.

People are terrified of this virus. In some ways, the terror has spread even further than the horror inspired by Ebola. Ebola, at least, was curable (and would eventually receive a cure). Being a virus, the coronavirus can’t be cured. . . it can only be immunized against. At this point, the only thing that can cure it would be to constantly quarantine those hit and hope that a vaccine is developed soon.

The fear caused by this virus has taken ahold of the United States. People are buying food in bulk, the Chinese stock market is crashing, airline prices are dirt cheap, flights are being canceled altogether, and face masks to guard against germs have long since been bought from Amazon.

We, as Christians, are called to be peacemakers in a time of crisis. While others hide in their homes, we are called to be brave and fearless, protected by the Lord and thus spreading His name. Believers, let’s rise and be strong witnesses in this time of darkness. There’s no need to be afraid! Christ is in control (see Romans 8:28), He has a plan, and it is good.

Christ is in control (see Romans 8:28), He has a plan, and it is good.

Finally, we are also called to pray. Pray for Asia, that the terrible virus rampaging through it would be destroyed. Pray for the United States, that they will have wisdom in dealing with the recent outbreaks. And pray for the rest of the world, that God’s hand of protection will be on His people, and that this disease would be vanquished at least. God bless you.

Alright, that’s all for today. This was a (rare) short post, but I hope you enjoyed it, and I thank you for reading it. If you did enjoy it, be sure to click that Follow button below (or to the side). That way, when I release a new post, you’ll get notified. Thanks again, and I hope you have a fantastic day!

Shoutout to Brianna Clay for requesting this post. Bri, you’re an awesome friend and a better reader. Thanks a ton.

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The Scary Truth About Christianity and Modern-Day Movies

Movie projector Film

Movies have come a long way since the 1940s. Where there used to be small screens, playing black-and-white pictures with no sound, there are now massive screens, playing high-definition images with quality surround-sound, all for the enjoyment of the average Joe.

Looking past the outward changes, we’ve also seen a lot of differences within the movie-making industry. In several ways, the industry has seemed to devolve, allowing itself to be controlled by the culture around it. In other ways, we have seen major improvements, namely in the Christian movement industry. But what changes do we see in secular movies?

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The Art of (Christian)Dating

Couple Christian Dating relationship

Last week, we learned about dating and courtship. We learned what true dating and courtship are, and we also defined the two terms. Then, we set the bare minimum standard for dating, reiterating what I published a few months ago in my post “5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Date Until You’re 19”. This post specifically laid out guidelines on deciding when to actually start dating. These included, but are not limited to, financial stability, a knowledge of proper manners, emotional stability, spiritual maturity, and discipleship by men/women in the Church.

Moving on past when to date, we also learned when not to date. High school was discussed in detail, and it was eventually decided that, as a general rule, high school dating is neither necessary nor reasonable, based on the reasoning found in this article, published by the Circe Institute.

After all of that, we are still left with one major question- what does real, Christian dating look like? This is, quite unfortunately, a question that few ask and even fewer would care to answer. Most Christians date whenever and however they wish, leaving younger, more inquisitive minds with a warped image of both themselves and their relationships. Somehow, we have almost deluded our younger generation into believing that young teenagers are within their rights to date before the age of fifteen.

This is a travesty. Nobody seems to know what real, Christian dating is. Some, such as Joshua Harris, seemed to have a clear picture, only to fall to the world’s pressures and recant. Others claim to have a clear picture but they deceive both themselves and others, all under the guise of a Christ-like performance. Truly, a sad thing has happened to the Christian community.

Dating must begin first and foremost with the Bible. I, personally, believe in the Bible as the full and inspired Word of God, flawless and infallible, as the final source on any matter regarding Christianity. So, with that, let’s take a look at two key verses that speak into this matter.

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To Date or Not to Date?

Dating relationship high school christian dating

The last time I wrote on this subject, we learned the differences between two terms: “dating” and “courting”. At the end, I concluded two things- that the term doesn’t matter, and that they still need to focus on one thing- marriage.

It is now, several months later, that I realize the term does matter. The differences between dating and courting heavily seperate the two terms, and yet it is something many of us, including myself, do not fully understand.

Dating has become corrupted. Even the great Joshua Harris, glorified guru of the Christian dating industry, mis-defined dating. Actually, he didn’t define it at all. He simply said to “stop dating, start courting”. Yet again I find myself disagreeing with Mr. Harris, despite the fact that these words were uttered well over two decades ago.

Before we continue, let us define these terms in a more reasonable manner.

Dating: building a romantic relationship with a member of the opposite sex, operating under the cover of parents/parental figures and working towards the possibility of courtship.

Courting: building a romantic relationship with a member of the opposite sex, having already dated for a reasonable period of time, remaining under the covering of parents but including members of the church, and working towards the possibility of marriage.

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Three Takeaways From Truett McKeehan’s Death

Truett McKeehan and Toby Mac

On October 23, 2019, Truett McKeehan, better known by stage name “Tru”, died of an accidental drug overdose in a Nashville home. The son of famous Christian singer TobyMac, Tru had achieved moderate success in his music career, collaborating with his father on several songs, including the hit “Backseat Driver”, feat. Hollyn. His death shook the Christian community, moving many to grief.

But you probably already know all of this. This was an event that took place nearly 4 months ago, predating the deaths of Juice Wrld and Kobe Bryant. Why is it important?

Tru’s death was the first of two events within recent memory to make me cry. While I do not, like some men, keep myself from crying as a show of strength, I simply do not cry easily. However, the deaths of both Tru and Kobe pushed me over the edge, and I mourned deeply for both of them. My post on Kobe’s life and death, found by clicking here, showed the emotion that I found within his death. Indeed, it seemed as if a piece of me had vanished, leaving just a hole in my heart.

Tru’s death, on the other hand, was something different. While I admired Kobe as an athlete and father, Tru had a much larger influence on me through his influence, testimony, family background, and personality. His death not only grieved me, but it shook me. As I mourned, I remained acutely aware of one fact- this could be anybody, including me.

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Throwback Saturday: Spirituality In Hollywood

Hollywood and Spirituality

Uganda is home to thousands of witch-doctors. In fact, one of these used to live across the road from my ministry. Although long gone, his memory presents an important reality- witchcraft is alive and well in Uganda.

When New Hope first started, a local witchdoctor approached the leaders and claimed that the Ministry wouldn’t last long. Basically, he gave the Ugandan equivalent of “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.”

Now, in the present-day, I live five minutes from a small town named Kiwoko. Kiwoko, according to some, is the “witchcraft center” for the entire district. This makes it a hub for witchdoctors and their patients. The hospital, Kiwoko Hospital, treats thousands of patients a week. Because of this influx of sick and needy people, witchdoctors often attempt to lure people away from the hospital and into their homes, where they can offer darker practices for a cheaper price.

Because of witchcraft’s deep hold in Uganda, we even see examples of it here, in New Hope. The first time that I, in recent memory, can remember being exposed to works of witchcraft was when I was about seven years old. It was a Friday night and, as per our tradition, my family was eating pizza and watching a movie. Coincidentally, the movie we watched was Bednobs and Broomsticks, a 1971 Fantasy/Comedy about witchcraft.


The movie, starring Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson, was filmed by the creators of Mary Poppins and actually resembled its sister movie in many ways. However, one piece of the movie remains apart from this comparison- witchcraft. The entire plotline revolves around three children that, during the London Blitz, go to live with a witch. She is a member of a witchcraft correspondence school, capable of flying on brooms and casting spells. The movie would basically state that witchcraft was not only normal, but it was also good.

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What The Holiness of God Taught Us About Speech

Holiness of God Christianity

In R.C Sproul’s book The Holiness of God, God’s Holiness is described in detail. We learn of holy fear, holy love, and holy anger, all attributes that are found either within him or us, as creatures made in his image. However, holiness is not something that can be literally defined. While the Greek word for holy can be translated to “set apart”, even this does not describe the word effectively. Holiness is a term that can’t be described nor fully understood, comparable to eternity- we partially understand it, and know enough to define it, but we can’t really wrap our minds around its concept. The reason for this is found within the Fall; when Adam sinned, he created within us Original Sin, a doctrinal belief that all children are born with sin. This doctrine is one of the few that is rarely contested by Bible scholars or evolutionists alike. Original Sin creates within us a fully natural sinful state. We, as humans, do not know what it means to not sin, since we can’t imagine a world without sin. Sin’s evil has so fully penetrated us and, through us, the world, it has become a part of humanity.

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What Super Bowl LIV Taught Us About Passing the Football

Super Bowl Chiefs

Today, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to watch the fifty-fourth Super Bowl. The winner would be the champion of the NFL’s 100th season, and the loser would go home reeling, probably wondering what on earth happened. The winner would win by an 11 point deficit, propelled by its quarterback and staunch defense. The loser would choke at the end, throwing interceptions and losing costly time.

In case you’re wondering, this is exactly what happened. Spoilers ahead.

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Throwback Saturday: Parenting

Parenting Christianity Africa boy

With the abortion movement as large as it is, some may think this post to be unnecessary. After all, over 30 million abortions have been performed this year alone. Despite this mass murder of babies, hundreds of millions of babies are born each year, creating a large number of parents.

As Christians, the response to parenting varies. I, personally, am not a parent (although, with my five siblings, I might as well be), but I have seen many different responses to the option of childbearing.

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An Interview With Joshua Swanson

Interview Africa Boy

I was recently given the opportunity to talk to my blogging friend Joshua Swanson. Having been familiar with his work for a long time, I was very comfortable asking him questions and having the same directed at me. Needless to say, we had some fun with it in both our question creation and answers.

Joshua is a fantastic blogger, one who puts a lot of passion and heart into his work. Guys, if you aren’t subscribed to his blog, be sure to do so- he’s only a few behind me and I’d like him to catch up (kidding). You can find his blog here.

Alright, without any further ado, let’s dive right in.

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Throwback Saturday: Christ’s Coffee

Christs Coffee Africa Boy

Yep, you knew it was coming. Coffee is, after all, one of the Africa Boy pillars. It’s what keeps me (and probably you) sane. So, if you aren’t a coffee fan, dry your eyes and click that back button, because this post isn’t for you.

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3 Fantastic Books That Changed My Life in 2019

Good books Africa Boy

Last year was the biggest of my life. I experienced large amounts of growth in certain areas and witnessed several massive changes. I began the hardest school year of my life, was elected as captain of my basketball team, and began this blog. Three massive responsibilities on a sixteen-year-old back. And I wonder why I have back problems.

I’ll admit, it was hard. In fact, 2019 was the hardest year of my life. I struggled with feelings of depression, doubt, anger, and anxiety. And yet, through it all, God was (and is) good. With that, I owe a few thanks to the people that stood by me in 2019.

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