Ashley Madison, Sin, and Judgment

The Greek philosopher Plato once told a story about an ancient and magical artifact known as the Ring of Gyges. This ring possessed the power to grant invisibility to the one who wore it. Such an invisible person was given near limitless anonymity and could–it is supposed–do almost anything they wanted to without the fear of getting caught. The story is intended to be a thought-experiment. The question at issue is whether or not the invisible person would use their power for good or bad. How would you use it? If you had the guarantee that you’d never be caught, what would you do?

Apparently for some, such anonymity was used to create profiles on the social website, Ashley Madison whose tag line is: “Life is short. Have an affair.” This Proverbs 7 website exists for the explicit purpose of encouraging and cultivating an atmosphere where people can secretly break their marital vows and engage in adultery–and all under the guise of near-invisibility. It boasts of over 39-million anonymous users. It promises 100% discreet services. It has even received trusted security awards. But, as it has now become apparent, Ashley Madison has overpromised and underdelivered. As almost everyone has probably read […]

Browse Worthy: The Evidence Continues to Mount

Today we are visiting dear friends who are expecting another child any day now.  The contrast between a loving, Christian home with a father and mother eagerly awaiting their gift from God, with young siblings anticipating excitedly the arrival, and the callous disregard of the unborn that our culture exhibits could not be more stark.

The sixth and seventh videos of the Center for Medical Progress may be the most chilling yet, but not for what they show visually. Rather, Holly McDonnell, who unsuspectingly took a position as a “procurement technician” for a fetal tissue company, tells of one of her experiences.   No adjective is strong enough to describe the atrocities she recounts here.

For a commentary on what these videos are telling us about us, see Douglas Wilson’s article Not What Scissors Are For. Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse Holly and us.



A Long Time Dream Has Come True

Yesterday I received news that my transfer request to Pensacola, Florida was approved. It came in the form of a call from my Postmaster declaring, “You got Pensacola!” Immediately after that conversation, I called my wife and shed tears of joy, crying like a baby in a parking lot off of south 3rd street.

That moment easily ranks as one of the best moments of my life. It’s been a long time dream of this mailman to make it down to Florida.

There were a couple months of extreme disappointment as it looked like any and all transfers would be declined. There was also much waiting and uncertainty. At one point, I was offered a transfer to northern Indianapolis (a very good offer too) and had to make a very quick decision. I pleaded with the Lord to give me some kind of sign that Florida would work out, as that was what I really wanted. I couldn’t see how I could turn down the offer to Indy though. But when I came home and tried to call the Postmaster to accept the position, the phone was busy. Like three times in a row. As I sat waiting, I decided to check […]

The Local Pastor’s Special Joys

Perhaps it is the more reflective days that summer brings.  Could be seeing old friends or at least hearing news from them. Or maybe I could chalk it up as a form of “holy coveting.” On the other hand, it could be caused by hearing one too many pastors cyber-whining about their workload.  Whatever the cause, I have been reflecting on what I miss about being a pastor of a local congregation.

I write not to lament, for I am joyfully serving in the new position the Lord brought me to over two years ago now. Rather, I have just been noting some of the aspects of local pastoral work that I do miss being a part of my life now. Perhaps sharing these five joys I no longer experience in the same way will help a preacher out there find fresh appreciation for his work, or some congregants be more thankful for their pastor’s ministry.

Regularly Preaching to the Same Flock. Though I have opportunities to preach in my new role, and enjoy those times, there is nothing like preaching to people you have really come to know after years spent with them.  The man who has the duty of weekly bringing God’s Word to the flock he […]

Stop the Conversation Stoppers!

As Bible-believing Christians continue to speak out against sinful, seismic social changes and against atrocities enacted in the name of health care, they are met with predictable charges of hypocrisy.  “You have no right to protest when people of your faith fail so miserably to tangibly care for the people you claim to champion.”  Despite the civilization shaking significance of the evil these Christians decry, some people are far more interested in decrying (sometimes without specific example) the evil of Christian hypocrisy.  The mere existence of Christian hypocrisy apparently invalidates all public Christian protests.   We could expect such thinking and accusations from opponents of Christianity.   What’s unnerving is that these predictable accusations and the imbalanced moral outrage they represent are coming more and more from Bible-believing Christians.      

Ashes to Ashes

Does a little sin in my life matter? What harm can it really do, especially if it is invisible to others? God sometimes places powerful illustrations before us that we cannot miss to help teach us about the enormous impact of little forces.

Presently, dead ash trees loom over tree lines of the Midwestern United States. The hulking brown carcasses speak of death against the backdrop of the lush green life of the other well-watered trees and vegetation. Every time I look out the window from my desk, I see the tree pictured above reminding me of destruction. The impact can be measured in millions and probably billions of dollars, and it can be measured in the sorrow of individual owners. One neighbor had twenty-six ash trees on her lot – and no other trees. All were lost. Understandably, she broke down in tears as each trunk faced the bite of the roaring chainsaw.

Why are they all dead? The cause of death is now well known; it is the emerald ash borer. The larvae of this invasive green beetle from Asia bore through the outer bark of even the stateliest ash trees and then invisibly feed on the phloem and cambium […]

3GTing (Part 2)

Another endorsement has just rolled in for 3GT!

The most important commendation I could receive has come from the pen of my wife, Bekah. It is flattering to say the least. And I’m very thankful for it.  But perhaps I should add another wee little touch of truth at the end…

“After twenty years of marriage, my husband still often surprises me with an unusual perspective or unique insight. He shares his opinions with enthusiasm that is contagious. He is also creative, and funny, and transparent. These are some of the reasons why I love him… on the other hand, that quirkiness, passion, sense of humor, and candor also made me a little nervous about what he might say when recording 3GT. But I worried for nothing! Each man brings his own unique personality and perspective. They agree enough to make it encouraging, but disagree enough to make it interesting.

Listening to 3GT reminds me of sitting with good friends at a fellowship meal. What a blessing to have the ability to bring such thought-provoking and godly conversation with me wherever and whenever I want. Many of the stories are about everyday life, and the topics are sometimes pretty […]

The Joys of a Multi-Author Blog

Before I begin to give what the title suggests, one clarification must be given.  This post should not be interpreted as a slam on single-author blogs or be read as if there is a sense of superiority seeking to seep through these words. After all, almost all of my favorite blogs are written by one person, and I marvel at their creativity and productivity. And the best of these, if you really think about it, have a multi-author quality to them anyway as they link to other sites, interact with fellow bloggers, or invite guest columnists.  Like a single rose or a bouquet, both types of blogs can have their own beauty.

Here then are seven joys I experience as part of being on this blog with others.

Standing together.  Though each of the guys here is his own man, with a unique personality and approach to ministry, on the big, confessional matters we stand shoulder-to-shoulder.  How strengthening it is to share the same convictions with brothers in the Lord as we address the various issues of the day.

Relieving the pressure.  I realized long ago that my well, unlike others who are more disciplined and creative, could not fill up fast enough to be a […]

Browse Worthy: The Drumbeat Continues Against PP

Now the fifth video by the Center for Medical Progress has come out, and it just adds to the incriminating case against Planned Parenthood as whole body fetus sales are coldly discussed (Note: YouTube has added a content warning to this video.)

Planned Parenthood: 4 Ways to Respond – Tim Challies discusses these videos and offers what the title states.  He also re-posted the following slideshow that will help you learn to make what is known as the SLED pro-life argument, a simple way to use comparative analogies to show the illogical ethics of abortion supporters.

Abortion: Making the Case from timchallies

Pro-Lifers Are Today’s Abolitionists – This article at The Federalist reminds us of the history of William Wilberforce’s long-term battle to end the institution of slavery in Great Britain and its similarities with the fight against the abortion industry today.

Planned Parenthood: Our Wilberforce Moment – In light of the videos, Joel Howerton offers ten reasons to support the above comparison.  The best line from this article are these words:

Abortion is the evil reverse-image of the gospel. Instead of “I’ll die for you“, it says, “You die for me.”

Weighing in on Planned Parenthood – Over at 3GT, Austin, Kyle, and I discuss the question, “Are […]