Nope. The God of the Universe does not owe you a Detailed Explanation for Every Little Thing- Period

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, as in a foreign land- Hebrews 11:8-9a NASB

I have observed a rather troubling trend in Church world. 

Let’s say Joe or Jane Christian does not understand a doctrine—or they don’t grasp all the motivations and/or reasons for an instruction given by God. Even just a few years ago Joe or Jane Christian would have said to themselves: “well God is God and I’m not. I will obey anyway”. Times have changed. These days Joe Christian will most likely ignore anything he or she does not completely understand. Sometimes Joe or Jane will even blame God for their disobedience because He didn’t do an adequate job explaining the reasons for the command or doctrine in the Bible. 

This is not good Joe and Jane. 

Far too many Christians have determined it is perfectly okay to completely ignore God if they “don’t get it”. I belong to a couple of online apologetics groups. The members are (for the most part) Christians who routinely study God’s word and have desire to help other people understand the Bible. All-in-all I would say the vast majority of these people take their faith a bit more seriously than the average church-goer. However, even in these groups there are Christians who have decided that if they don’t understand all the ins-and-outs of a particular doctrine (the trinity, tithing, sexual ethics, etc.) they can just throw that issue out the window and do their own thing regardless of whether or not Scripture supports their belief (Judges 21:25).

This is real. 

Creationism is a prime example. Because we live in a culture where Darwinism has been more-or-less accepted as fact by the masses many Christians have niggling questions about creationism. Rather than accept what God says as fact or do some digging into the subject. Some have simply decided because God did not do an adequate job (in their opinion) of clarifying how He created the world they are going to go ahead and accept the evolutionist viewpoint. 


Pretty much all the commands concerning sexuality are another area where Christians tend to question God’s judgement. We live in a world where the rallying cry of the masses is “love is love” and “you can’t judge me”.  Many Christians do not understand why God would take such a hard line on homosexuality, sex before marriage and adultery. Some reason because God does not explain His “no” well enough in the Bible it is perfectly okay to throw out the biblical standards because those standards do not line up with popular culture or their feelings. 

Again, what? 


In Luke 18:8 Jesus asks a question:  

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” 

I cannot help but wonder if this is at least part of what Jesus was talking about. The insistence we have to understand everything about God before we obey God is without question a serious sin of our age. It is already impacting our power to evangelize. The results of obedience to God’s commands always bring blessing and (usually) a more successful outcome. When non-Christians see Christianity working it makes them curious about God. If Christians only obey the itty-bit they understand non-Christians see very little obedience and have zero curiosity about Jesus.

So, a couple of things: 

First of all, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20-26) One of the “works” every single Christian is called to is to obey God in faith without completely understanding all the reasons why we are supposed to obey (1st Samuel 15:22, Deuteronomy 5:33, John 14:23-24, 2nd John 1:6) . It’s faith that pleases God—not picture-perfect understanding of every issue under the sun (Hebrews 11:6). 


Second, no human, this side of heaven will ever have a complete understanding of God’s commands. We are simply not on the same level as God (Isaiah 55:8). Even being made in God’s image humans differ from God in significant ways (Genesis 1:27). Our understanding of God, His logic and His choices is probably on about the same level as a dog’s understanding of a human’s logic and choices. It would be insane for me to be okay with my dog peeing wherever he wants just because he doesn’t understand why I don’t want him to pee on my curtains. I have rules and boundaries around my dog’s pee-pee routines because I understand the chaos (and stench) it will create if I allow him to pee willy-nilly. My dog’s understanding is irrelevant and so is ours. Faith dictates we accept as fact the hard reality God knows more than we do about everything. Period. 

And finally, 

The more a person chooses to disobey God (whatever the reason why) the less they care about obeying Him. Every. Single. Time. When we willfully disregard God on any issue we make it harder on ourselves to hear His voice or care the things He cares about (Romans 1:18-23, Hebrews 5:11-14). Rebellion always hardens our hearts and makes us obstinate, willful and spiritually dull (Ephesians 4:17-24, Hebrews 3:7-15, Hebrews 4:7). No one who knows Jesus wants that. So, it just makes sense to remember God doesn’t owe us an explanation for every little thing and just obey already. 

What do the “Harsh” Passages in the Bible Teach us about Dealing with Hurt and Pain?

Let me not be put to shame, Lord, for I call upon You; Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. Let the lying lips be speechless. Which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt- Psalm 31:17-18 NASB

About eighteen months ago I went through a situation that was ugly and unjust by any human standard.


 I will not be spilling the tea on all the details, suffice it to say it was a terrible deal that created a lot of unpleasant ripples in my life.  In the immediate aftermath I found myself completely shell-shocked and heartbroken by a situation I had zero control over.  


I did something I have only done twice in my Christian life and only under the direst of emotional and spiritual circumstances: I cried out to the Lord and asked Him to give me comfort from His word. Then I opened my Bible fully expecting it to open to exactly what I needed in that moment. 

For the record, this is not a method I recommend.  It is certainly not the greatest way to discern God’s will, obtain answers to life’s greatest questions or even get comfort from Gods word. There’s a lot that could go wrong with this technique. The devil could certainly produce all kinds of mayhem with this sort of spiritual practice. Discernment is critical; therefore, this is NOT a spiritual practice I support as standard part of one’s devotional routine. 

All that being said:

 God is good and He deals graciously with His people where they are at in the moment. In that moment I felt overwhelmed, crushed in spirit and in desperate need of comfort. I needed to know God saw me and understood my situation. I wanted more than anything in the world to believe He was on my side. The Bible fell open to Psalm 35. Psalm 35 is a part of a collection of psalms known as the imprecatory or cursing psalms.  Following are the first eight verses: 

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up as my help.Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life;
Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
With the angel of the Lord driving them on.Let their way be dark and slippery,
With the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
For they hid their net for me without cause;
Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.

Let destruction come upon him when he is unaware,
And let the net which he hid catch him;
Let him fall into that very destruction.

I will not lie.

That psalm was a salve to my weary, confused and broken soul. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was seen, understood and loved by the God of the universe. At that moment I felt like God got me and He truly cared about the details of my situation. 


It also raised a few questions in my mind. I had read the imprecatory psalms before but never really thought much about what those psalms mean for Christians. Like most Christians I have been taught to forgive, forget, let go of hurt and pain and trust God to deal with things in His way and timing (Romans 12:10, Matthew 6:12, Matthew 18:21-22, Luke 6:37). The whole notion God would be okay with me asking Him to fight for me and bring humiliation on my enemies was a bit appalling even in the state I was in. 

There are a total of twenty imprecatory psalms. The primary purpose of these psalms is to make a an appeal to God for judgment or to call down curses on one’s enemies. The New Testament assumes Christians will have have enemies (Matthew 5:43-44, Luke 19:43). Therefore, imprecatory passages are not unique to the book of Psalms or even the Old Testament. Jesus even quoted two precatory psalms (John 2:17, John 15:25).  Matthew 11:2-24, Matthew 23:33, Matthew 26:24, 1st Corinthians 16:22, Galatians 1:8-9, James 5:1-6 and Revelation 6:10 are all New Testament examples of imprecatory New Testament passages. 

So. Why would the Bible call down curses on people?

These passages have a greater purpose that just calling down curses on the jerks who hurt us. These passages are gift to us. They prove beyond a shadow of a doubt God sees our suffering and painThere are times when it can feel as if God is AWOL in the most critical of situations. When we are cheated, slandered or hurt by someone and nothing awful happens to the people who harmed us it FEELS as if God is ignoring our situation. The imprecatory passages remind us God SEES everything. There is no act of injustice, unfairness or inequality that is overlooked or ignored by God. The existence of these psalms serve as a much-needed reminder cares about our pain. God cares so much about our pain that He records the tears of the righteous on a scroll and stores their tears in bottles (Psalm 56:8, Isaiah 25:8, Psalm 116:7-9). 

There is a lot of comfort in that knowledge.

Each imprecatory passage reminds us God is not sitting idly by, twiddling His thumbs while terrible people do terrible things. Justice delayed does not mean justice denied. God is the author of justice. When the timing is perfect God will right every wrong and avenge every misdeed (Revelation 20:11-15, Jude 5-7, 2nd Peter 2:4-10). David authored many of imprecatory psalms as he was running from Saul and living as an outlaw. Each one stands as a reminder that God has a way of turning hopeless, painful, awful situations around in His timing. 

Ultimately, I believe the imprecatory passages to give Christians a healthy place to vent our pain to the one who understands it most and is most horrified by it. It’s critical to note, each one of the imprecatory psalms reaches a turning point in the lament where the author moves from cursing his enemies to expressing peace with the situation and faith God will deal with evil-doers appropriately. When read with faith the imprecatory psalms take us to the same place. 

How Does a Christian Make a Difference in a “Day of Evil”?

 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is- Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV

How should a Christian live? 

 It’s a critical question serious Christians have been asking themselves and each other since the dawn of the Christian age. It’s also a question I have found myself pondering more frequently and with a greater sense of urgency. Anytime I pray about the times we live in and where we are headed two words come immediately to mind. Every. Single. Time.

Short and evil. 

My gut and all indications point to the reality that the time left maybe short and the days we live in are becoming progressively more evil. I don’t know if Jesus is coming back tomorrow, two decades from now or in a century. I do know we are closer now to Jesus’ return than we have ever been (2nd Timothy 3:1-5, 2nd Peter 3:2-3, Matthew 24). It’s simply a fact that the times we live in are more evil and much stranger than they have been since Jesus left the earth (Acts 1:3-9).    

War in the Middle East, economic turmoil, increased barbarity, sexual chaos,  gender lunacy, ceaseless social skirmishes and political machinations all point to a world in rapid and possibly irretrievable decline. Every square inch of our planet is crying out for the redemption Jesus will bring when He returns and restores all things to their pre-fall condition (Romans 8:18-25). 

Until then we are in a war for the hearts, minds and souls of people (Ephesians 6:12-13). I am convinced in the coming days the church will see a great harvest of souls in the midst of growing evil and increasing social chaos. People will come to know Jesus, lives will be changed and destinies will be rewritten. How we choose to conduct ourselves now and in the coming years will greatly impact our level of usefulness to the Lord (Acts 2:16-18). Because we live in such critical times we have a real opportunity to make our lives matter in a significant way for eternity. But, in order to do that we must wake up every day and choose to:

Live as called people-

The Greek word for church is ekklesia. Ekklesia is a compound word with a prefix and a root. The prefix is ek, meaning “out of”.  The root is a form of the word kaleo meaning “to call”. The word church literally means “called out ones”. Christians are called people. We are called by Jesus out of our old way of life into a new life in Christ where our primary function is to tell the world about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (1st Corinthians 5:17, Romans 11:29, Ephesians 4:1, 2nd Thessalonians 1:10-12). The exact particulars of how we fulfill our calling depends on our giftings and the opportunities God gives us (Romans 12:3-8) Our success or failure in the area of calling depends primarily on how we see ourselves and the purpose of our lives. Are we here to gratify our own desires and to live for our own glory? Or are we called out for the purpose of glorifying God and proclaiming His truth? 

Be ready to give an answer- 

The world is growing darker and scarier all the time. Individuals who have never thought much about God find themselves experiencing anxiety over world events and never-ending social upheaval. Many of these individuals are seeking answers from people they never have before. Christians should be ready to use discussions about current events as a jumping off place to talk about Jesus, where all this is headed, faith in Jesus and what will happen to those who refuse to put their faith in Jesus (1st Peter 4:5, 1st Peter 3:15).  God is opening doors for spiritual conversation. It is up to us to make the most of these opportunities (Colossians 4:5-7)

Leave behind pride and selfishness-

Over the course of the last few years a spirit of competitiveness and kingdom building has taken root in the hearts of Christians and Christian leaders. A spirit of unity is missing in churches. This is simply unacceptable (Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 3:13-14). There is simply no place for pride, jealously or selfishness in these times (Galatians 5:13-26). There is too much at stake to waste time on such short-term thinking. 

Live filled with the Holy Spirit-

The Greek word Jesus used for the Holy Spirit in the book of John is parakletos. It means “advocate”, “helper”, “intercessor”, “counselor” and “comforter”.  The Holy Spirit is a gift given at salvation. Its purpose is to teach, help, comfort and guide God’s people as they do His will in this world (John 14:26, 1st Peter 1:12, 1st Thessalonians 1:5). Sadly, many Christians ignore or minimize the importance of the Holy Spirit out of fear of “being weird”. Being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t weird, it’s biblical (Ephesians 5:8-20). All we have to do is ask and God will give us fresh inpouring of the Spirit (Acts 4:23-31, Acts 13:8-10, Ephesians 3:14-19). Being filled with the Spirit daily gives us invaluable access to God’s wisdom, power, knowledge and insight. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live holy lives and do God’s will in our sphere of influence.

And finally, 

Be available. Our availability is what God wants most from His people right now. Be ready and willing to pray for a friend, hold a hand, answer a spiritual question, fill a need and God will use you for His glory.

Getting Free from the Grip of a Spiritual Stronghold-

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness- Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

One definition of a stronghold is: fortress. A fortress is defined as a place of safety, shelter and protection. A spiritual stronghold is a place of safety (a fortress) in our lives where sin has shelter to grow and flourish. If left unchecked a spiritual stronghold will eventually control much of our lives, destroy our spiritual effectiveness and steal the joy of our salvation (Psalm 51:1-12).  Just about any sin can become a spiritual stronghold. Some of the more common strongholds are unforgiveness, lust, jealously, dishonesty, pride, greed, covetousness, insecurity, control and sexually immorality. 

 Christians are susceptible to spiritual strongholds because Christians live life in a place of tension. We are saved (redeemed by Jesus) but also at the same time still very much in the process of being saved. Jesus is our Lord, heaven is our home and the Holy Spirit lives in us. Nonetheless, all Christians still possess a sin nature and are therefore capable of becoming entangled in all sorts of sin (Hebrews 12:1). 

Prior to salvation people are literally powerless over the impulse to sin (Romans 7:21-24). The Bible calls our sinful compulsions “being a slave to sin”. Once a person puts their faith in Jesus they are no longer slaves to sin and do not have to sin (Romans 6:6, Romans 7:25, Romans 8:1-2). Nonetheless, because our sin nature is still a part of our operating system Satan is able to set up shop in particular areas of our life and run the show. The Bible calls this “giving the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27). 

Sometimes a person is very cognizant of the spiritual strongholds in their lives. Other times they are almost entirely clueless to their existence.  For example: a Christian who is addicted to pornography is likely very aware they have a stronghold of lust impacting their life in a significant way. However, a person who has a problem with control, fear, pride or insecurity might not even see these spiritual strongholds as problems. We can be so deceived by sin we actually begin to believe our sinful stronghold is somehow a healthy and beneficial part of our personality. Many a control freak has convinced themselves their efforts to control others are “helpful” rather than sinful and harmful to themselves and others. Those who have sinful strongholds of insecurity, covetousness or fear can easily deceive themselves into believing they are watchful, cautious or wise rather than fearful, greedy or jealous. 


The roots of the strongholds can run deep, often going back to our childhood or early adult years.  Sometimes strongholds take root because we were sinned against in some way. Abusive or neglectful parents can sow the seeds in a child’s life for strongholds of insecurity, mistrust, control and fear. Exposure to pornography and sexually abuse often help form a stronghold of lust. Being sexually abused, neglected or exposed to pornography is not a sin—we are not responsible before God for the evil or stupid choices other people make. However, most people rarely turn to God to deal with hurt or trauma. Instead we turn to sin in an effort to numb our pain and help us cope with life without God. We are very much responsible for those choices.

Strongholds can also be a consequence of sinful choices we make all on our own. A person can have an idyllic childhood and still have a myriad of sinful strongholds in their life. Anytime we willfully chose to do wrong instead of right we harden our hearts, give the devil a foothold and make space for Satan to construct a stronghold in our lives. 

Any stronghold can be broken. 

Christians are never condemned to live a life of sin. John 8:36 is clear: those who the son sets free are free indeed. This verse means no one who knows Jesus as Lord has to be a slave to sin. 

That being said.

 It is critical we understand Satan’s number one goal for all people is to keep them from entering a relationship with Jesus Christ. If he cannot meet that goal, he will do his best to keep Christians bound up in sinful behaviors that limit their effectiveness and steal their joy. Once Satan has been given space to build a stronghold he does not give up that ground easily. All that to say: it is never easy to break a stronghold but it is one-hundred-percent possible (Matthew 19:36). 

In order to get free from a stronghold we must first acknowledge strongholds for what they are. We cannot make excuses for our sinful behaviors or attitudes by saying or thinking things like:

 “I was born this way” 

“This is just a part of my personality” 

“All abuse victims do this”

 “Everyone in my family acts like this”

Instead we must confess our sin as sin. It does not matter how our stronghold got its start. All that matters is what we do now. Once a sin is confessed to God we must invite God into our struggles through prayer.  We should pray first thing and throughout the day the Holy Spirit gives us the power needed to overcome our strongholds.  Inviting the God of the universe into our battle against sin deepens our relationship with Him and gives us the super natural power to overcome our struggles with sin. 

And finally, if we really want to break a stronghold, we must make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:12-14). Instead we must do whatever needs to be done to obey God in everything (John 3:36, Romans 6:16), then freedom will be ours. 

How Does God use Persecution Suffering and Trouble for Good?

We celebrate in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope- Romans 5:2b-4 NASB

Suffering is ubiquitous in this life (John 16:33, 1st Peter 4:12).   Every human irrespective of race, socio-economic status or religious affiliation will suffer in some way


The Bible tells us humans suffer because we live in a world that was broken by sin, rebellion and evil. When Adam and Eve chose to blow off God, go their own way and do their own thing they did way more than become free moral agents, they opened the door wide for sin, evil and suffering to enter the world (Genesis 3:1-24). Misery, pain and difficulty have been hard-baked into the human condition ever since. For people who don’t know Jesus suffering just sucks. This life is a whole lot of pain with no real promise of hope or gain. In a good many cases life just sucks and then you die (Ecclesiastes 2:17).  Christians have hope beyond the hardness of this life. God does not cause suffering but He will (if we let Him) use it as a force for good in our lives (Romans 8:28, Romans 8:38-39).  

Here’s how it works:

God uses suffering to take us from one place to another- 

Oftentimes God uses suffering, persecution and trouble to take His people out of a less-than-productive but comfortable spiritual situation into a far less comfortable but much-more-productive spiritual situation.   Such was the case with the early church. The early days of Christianity were in many ways idyllic. The early Christians love for Jesus and each other enabled them to create a beautiful little faith community where everyone was loved and cared for (Acts 2:42-47). Nonetheless, early Christians did little (like no) evangelizing outside of the Jewish community (Acts 2-7).  If it hadn’t been for some really nasty persecution Christianity would likely have remained a small sect of Judaism. It would have likely died out by the end of the first century. The stoning of Stephan and the persecution that followed changed the trajectory of Christianity forever. That awful event forced Christians out of their idyllic existence (Acts 8:1) and as a direct result of their suffering the gospel spread all over the world. If you are a gentile Christian you have directly benefitted from their hardship. God does the same thing today. Oftentimes, persecution, personal tragedy or job loss is a catalyst for change that brings about a whole new level of spiritual usefulness in our lives.

God uses sinful behavior to reveal spiritual truth to the sinner-

 God does not make anyone treat anyone else badly. However, the way people behave reveals a lot about who they really are and what they’re all about. Such was the case with Saul. Saul was rejected by God as King (1st Samuel 15), then over the course of the next ten to fifteen years Saul caused David to suffer horribly by treating him very badly. When it was all said and done everyone (including Saul) knew he one-hundred-percent deserved to be rejected as King.  God uses bad behavior as mirror to help individuals see their sin. What they do with that knowledge is entirely up to them. All we are responsible for in these situations is our own response. We can respond like David did and allow difficult situations to refine us and prepare us for the next big blessing or we can become just like the jerks who hurt us (Ephesians 4:26, Hebrews 12:15, Ephesians 4:30-31). 

Suffering produces wisdom-

Suffering and hardship cuts through the noise of life and makes us aware of all the things that really matter in life.  Suffering, pain and hardship cause us to cry out to God for help and wisdom in a way we just don’t in times of prosperity and ease. Anytime we ask God for wisdom two things happen: He gives it in abundance without finding fault and we grow closer to Him (Psalm 57:1-3, James 1:5, Proverbs 2:3-6)

Our suffering has the power to make us like Jesus- 

Suffering is hard. There is literally nothing fun about it. That being said, suffering is what makes us more like Jesus. In fact, suffering even made Jesus better (Hebrews 2:9-10, Hebrews 2:18, Hebrews 5:7-9) Suffering made Jesus more obedient, more able to sympathize with the pain of others, and more able to comfort the hurting (2ndCorinthians 1:5). Ultimately, it was Jesus’ suffering that gave Him glory in His resurrection (Luke 24:25-26, Romans 8:17) If we let it suffering does the same things for us that it did for Jesus. Suffering makes us better, kinder, more sympathetic and it gives us a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35-38, Philippians 3:10-11, Revelation 20:6). 

We control how we respond to suffering.

We can shake our fists at God. We can let our personal pain transform us into harsh, angry, haters. Or we can allow God to take our suffering and transform us into something beautiful and precious. Faith is the key to becoming something beautiful in the midst of hardship. Hebrews eleven tells of those who lived by faith. All suffered. All were confused by their circumstances. Some were flogged and tortured. Some were imprisoned. Some even died for their faith. 

In spite of their circumstances the heroes of Hebrews eleven held tenaciously to the belief God is good. God’s assessment of these people is that they were so good and pure and beautiful this world was  literally not worthy of their presence. They trusted God with their suffering and He transformed them into spiritual gold. 

God is still in the business of doing beautiful things with hard situations.

Is it Stupid and Selfish to have Kids in such a Messed-up World?

You have set your glory in the heavens.Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger- Psalm 8:1b-2 NIV

In recent weeks I have come across a plethora of articles all with a shared theme. Each one features women and/or men who have either: 

  1. Chosen not to have children. These folks universally feel really awesome about their decision and think everyone should do the same.


  • Chosen to have children and wish they hadn’t.

These articles are not a once in a blue moon kind of a thing. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t see a testimonial from someone who either wishes they had never had children or someone who is thrilled beyond words to be childless. Statistics prove this trend is not a figment of my imagination. In 2021 the birthrate fell by five percentage points to the lowest in a century. The birthrate continued to drop in 2022. The 2023 birthrate appears to be on track for another drop.

There are a couple of things that trouble me about this development.  First of all, our willingness as a society to allow these articles to be published reveals a disquieting approval of both callous and narcissistic behavior.  I, for one, cannot imagine the deep personal trauma I would have experienced if I had just happened to find an article written by my mother all about how giving birth to me was her supreme regret in life. I do not think I am extraordinarily sensitive to feel this way. In a culture obsessed with personal trauma, one would think there would be an understanding that these feelings (as real and valid as they may be) should never be made public or spoken of within earshot of the child. Period. 

Furthermore, parenthood is an onramp to adulthood that causes human beings to think deeply about issues outside themselves. When a young person becomes a parent, all of a sudden they begin to care a great deal about how their beliefs, political views, relational interactions and spending habits will affect future generations. I cannot help but wonder: if a majority are no longer having children will most of society stay stuck in a state of perpetual adolescence? Will enough people be capable of thinking about future generations to keep society from spiraling out of control? Seriously. This is real stuff we should think about. 

There are some practical reasons for this trend. 

The economy sucks. Life is far more expensive than at any point in my lifetime. Many large corporations have become greedy (James 5:4, Malachi 3:5). They are cutting back on employees and expecting the remaining employees to work harder and smarter for less money and fewer benefits. Inflation has made it nearly impossible for a family to survive on one income. The cost of housing in many areas makes it difficult to survive on even a “decent” salary. 

Those issues combined with higher societal expectations about what constitutes “being comfortable” and “financial stability” has made childlessness more attractive to many people. Others have delayed marriage to focus on educational and career goals, or because they have struggled to find a suitable partner. There is without question an expiration date on female fertility. Postponing childbearing will mean childlessness for some people. Additionally, people have become much more self-focused. Taking care of the needs of others and acting selflessly are thought to be at best, a bit silly, and at worst a sign of mental illness. Self-care, me-time and cutting toxic people out of our lives are believed to be the apex of good emotional health. Unfortunately, kids (especially young kids) are naturally kind of toxic (Proverbs 24:15, Proverbs 29:15). Furthermore, me-time is in short supply in the early years of childhood. In a civilization where selfishness is thought to be a virtue a falling birthrate is almost inevitable. 

 There is a spiritual reason as well. 

Christianity teaches every human life is sacred. Humans, regardless of age, social status or physical health are to be cherished and cared for because human beings are made in the image of God. Without the imago deo life is only sacred if we want it to be sacred.  Without the imago deo all of a sudden “being human” is a terrible thing. After all, humans are draining, they use resources and sometimes they just kind of suck. This reality makes procreation a selfish act rather than obedience to the command to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28). As a result, the earth becomes more important than the people on it. One of the weirder consequences of this belief system is the insistence humans do dehumanizing things in order to atone for their humanness. This is one reason why there is a demand for people to live in smaller, less comfortable conditions and eat bugs. Many believe humans are bad. Therefore, humans should be punished for being human.  Humans should live in cramped apartments, never experience the joy of parenthood, feast on creepy-crawlies and be happy about it.

Unfortunately, the anti-kid movement will only worsen the condition of our world. It will make people more selfish, less future focused and increase depression. Christians can help change this trend by celebrating children, making family a priority and flat refusing to jump on the “kids are bad” bandwagon. As we choose to live obediently to Scripture the world will see a quality of life in Christianity that will make them thirst for “The Living Water” (John 4:1-24) and giver of life.

Andy Stanley Strikes Again-

They do not know nor do they understand; They walk around in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken- Psalm 82:5 NASB

We live in an age of crumbling foundations (Psalm 11:3-4). 

Beliefs and doctrinal views once thought to be foundational to Christianity and one-hundred-percent settled in evangelical circles are now “up for debate”.  Once trusted sources of truth are leading the way in questioning previously settled issues of the faith.  Thanks to these blind guides many Christians are asking themselves the question: “did God really say that?” about a myriad of different topics (Matthew 15:14). 

 Andy Stanley, the lead Pastor at Northpoint Community Church in suburban Atlanta is an evangelical leader who bills himself as a conservative while actively attacking foundational truths of the faith. In past statements, interviews, books and sermons he has poked at the foundation of biblical inerrancy. In my opinion he has displayed a lack of respect for the Bible, even recommending Christians minimize the use of Scripture in witnessing and church services in the name of making Christianity “more accessible” to non-Christians.

As if. 

As a general rule, I make a point of criticizing ideas rather than people. It is not my intention to pile on anyone. My aim here is to report the news and clear up any misconceptions about what the Bible has to say concerning issues. You the reader get to decide what you think about said issues.  

So here goes:

Andy Stanley’s church is sponsoring a conference billed as the premier event for Christian parents with LGBTQ children. The marketing material for the conference encourages Christians to “stop taking sides” and find a quieter “middle space” on the issues of homosexuality and gender identity. The speakers chosen for the event include two men who are married to other men and a “theologian” who has “deconstructed” his views on homosexuality and come out the other side convinced the Bible is A-Okay with homosexuality as long as the relationships are “committed and loving”. 

Here’s the thing:

There is no such thing as a “middle space” when it comes to homosexuality and the Bible.  Nor is there an honest middle space or a path to neutrality concerning gender identity. The Bible is unequivocal about a number of different topics: homosexuality and gender are two of them (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 23:17-18, Romans 1:26, 1st Corinthians 6:9, 1st Timothy 1:9-10). 


In recent years it has become popular to insist: a) the Bible does not really say what it appears to say about homosexuality. b) The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality. c) The Biblical text was changed by overzealous scholars sometime around 1800 to make it more condemning of homosexuality. d) Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Therefore, it is okay under the New Covenant as long as the relationships are consensual, loving and committed.  

None of those views hold up to scrutiny. 

The sin of Sodom was a combination of sexual sin (homosexuality) coupled with a general disregard for the well-being of people (Genesis 19). Leviticus has always been condemning of all sorts of sexual behavior including homosexuality. No one has rewritten the New Testament or misinterpreted any of the Greek words. The Bible says what it says when it comes to sexual sin (not just homosexuality). It is true, Jesus is silent on the issue of homosexuality. However, to Jews homosexuality was a settled issue. Homosexuality was forbidden and the Jews universally agreed it was a sin. There was little point in discussing a settled issue the Jewish people had right. Jesus did tackle divorce, remarriage, the sabbath and myriad of other issues the Jewish people had gotten wrong.  Paul was not silent on homosexuality. This makes sense, he was the apostle to the gentiles. Many gentiles routinely practiced homosexuality. Homosexuality was far from a settled issue in Rome, Greece or Asia Minor.  For more information on these topics I highly recommend The Gay Gospel? By Joe Dallas and What does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung. Both authors treat the subject biblically while showing compassion for strugglers. 

All that being said: 

I have no idea what the unpardonable sin is. However, I do know it’s NOT homosexuality (Isaiah 1:18, 1stCorinthians 6:9-11, 2nd Corinthians 5:17, 1st John 3:2-4). God does not classify sinners. As far as He is concerned an unsaved person is an unsaved person and a repentant sinner is a repentant sinner. Christians should not treat homosexuality differently than they treat any other sin. All sinners looking for a relationship with Jesus and seeking a lifestyle of repentance should be welcomed into the family of God and loved as if they were Jesus Himself (Mark 9:41, Matthew 25:31-45). 

All that being said:

The church should never embrace an activity God forbids just because its socially expedient to do so. That just might be the working definition of giving the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). 

And finally:

 There are few people in the church today who feel more isolated or who are more in need of love and support more than Christian parents of LGBTQ kids. I know this because I volunteer a good chunk of my time with two different organizations who offer support groups for parents with LGBTQ kids. If you are a parent with an LGBTQ child or know someone who is. I suggest you skip Andy Stanley’s conference and look up Portland Fellowship instead ( Portland Fellowship offers excellent in-person and on-line Bible-based support for parents. All support is designed to help parents love their children well without affirming ungodly choices because that is the path Christians are called to.

What Happens Behind the Scenes While we Wait on God?

  Maintain kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually- Hosea 12:6b NASB


It’s literally the worst.


Just hearing the word can make otherwise rational, mature people cantankerous, anxious and irritable. 


  Waiting is terrible. However, some things are easier to wait for than others. It may not be pleasant to wait for the barista to finish your latte. However, unless you have a childlike absence of self-control waiting for coffee will not present any real challenges to your faith.  Waiting on God can be another matter altogether.  There is nothing worse than being stuck in a bad situation that is one-hundred-percent outside your control and waiting for God to do what only He can do. 

Waiting on God is always bewildering and frustrating. However, if the situation is dire enough or goes on long enough, a protracted waiting period can and often does present some very real challenges to our faith. The story of Hannah in 1st Samuel 1:1-2:11 provides valuable insight into what goes on behind the scenes as we wait on the Lord. 

Hannah was married to Elkanah. Hannah and Elkanah loved each other.  The only real sticking point in the relationship was Hannah’s infertility. The text strongly implies (but does not say outright) Elkanah chose to take a second wife (Peninnah) in order to build a family. This plot twist is appalling to our modern sensibilities. However, Elkanah’s actions were culturally appropriate and even expected at the time. Having children (especially sons) was critically important to ancient people and they would go to great lengths to make it happen. 

That being said. 

 Humans were not made to flourish in polyamorous relationships (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:7-9), as a result this arrangement generated trauma for both women. Peninnah appears to have effortlessly conceived children. However, she was devastated by Elkanah’s lack of affection and care for her. She responded by cruelly taunting Hannah for her barrenness (ouch) and poor Hannah had nowhere to run from her problem. It literally confronted her at the dinner table every night.  Year after year Hannah pleaded with God to change her situation and year after year she got nothing but crickets from the Almighty (1st Samuel 1:1-8).  First Samuel reveals God may have been silent in the face of Hannah’s pain but He was far from absent in her situation.  Anytime we are stuck in a holding pattern God is actively doing at least one of the following four things. 

Teaching us to live by faith rather than by sight- 

There are times in this life when we just don’t get what we want or need when we want or need it. When this happens, we are left with one of two options. We can get mad at God, take matters into our own hands and see where that lands us. Or we can choose to believe God is good and He still loves us in spite of the fact life is hard and we are not getting what we want or need. When we choose the latter our favor with God increases exponentially because nothing in this world pleases God more than faith in the face of impossible situations (Hebrews 10:38, Hebrews 11, James 2:23)

Preparing us for the next thing-

God eventually answered Hannah’s prayer in a big way. She ultimately gave birth to three sons and two daughters (1st Samuel 2:21). Her first child was Samuel, a little boy who would grow up to be a Prophet, Priest and the final and most important Judge of Israel. Samuel led the Israelites faithfully, anointed the first two kings of Israel and mentored David, the man who would be called a man after God’s own heart and the great-great-great-grandfather of Jesus. In order for Samuel to become the man God needed in that moment of time, it was mission-critical he receive in-depth instruction from an early age. Hannah took Samuel to the tabernacle when he was about five-years-old to be trained under the Priest Eli. Hannah’s years of waiting, praying and trusting God for a miracle made her strong and prepared her to do what needed to be done so Samuel could become the man God needed in the moment.

Breaking strongholds-

A spiritual stronghold is an area of our lives where our flesh (humanness) or Satan has more control over our actions and attitudes than God. Even Christians have spiritual strongholds in their lives. God wants to free us from our strongholds so that we can become more like Jesus and more spiritually productive in every way (2nd Corinthians 10:3-5, Matthew 28:18-20). Periods of waiting have a way of creating stress that reveal our strongholds. Sometimes God makes us wait so we will see the things in our lives that need to be transformed (Romans 12:2, 2nd Corinthians 3:18)

Working on the people in our sphere of influence- 

There are times when our pain isn’t all about us. Sometimes the way we handle our struggles has a huge impact on the people in our circle of influence. Such was the case with Hannah. Through her faithfulness, persistence and trust in God Hannah taught Eli (the priest) what it really looks like to seek the Lord in the midst of a trial (1st Samuel 1:12-17). By following through on her vow, she also showed Eli what real obedience looks like (1st Samuel 1:9-24I. it was a lesson he needed to learn (1st Samuel 2:12-17)

If you are in a period of waiting I want to encourage you to make every effort not to give into despair during your trial (Psalm 31:24, John 16:33. 1st Peter 1:3-7).  Instead, do what Hannah did and seek God until you have peace or see transformation in your circumstances. Above all, trust God is doing something in you or through you cannot see or understand just yet.

Because that’s what He does in a period of waiting.

Satan’s Diary- Fall Quarter 2023

In the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation”- 2nd Peter 3:3-4 NIV

Dearest Diary,

As the kids like to say: “it’s been a minute” since I updated you of my progress, but to be perfectly honest, I haven’t been this busy in two millennia.


Life has never been more productive for me on this silly, stupid, little planet. Most of the human race has lost their moral compass and their minds, in that order. I, for one, could not be more pleased. 

My mission is to lead people as far from God and abundant life as possible. I do this by assisting humans in creating a hell for themselves through their own stupid, sinful choices. Then I find fun and creative ways to turn them away from God so they will never be forgiven and spend eternity in actual hell.

 Business is booming! BOOMING!

Thanks to parents who refuse to correct their children or tell them “no” the whole planet is swarming with creatures’ psychologists have dubbed narcissists.  Narcissists are my kind of people. Narcissist is really just a fancy-Nancy word for a person who loves themselves with wild abandon. A narcissist will place their own ambitions and pleasures above everyone and everything. Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they all have in common is they worship themselves as an idol. 

It’s lovely really. 

It has become fashionable among humans to be entirely self-focused and proud of their selfishness. Psychologists are quick to assure folks that selfishness is good for one’s mental health!  One rather beautiful way this plays itself out is in an obsession with the toxicity of others. If one of those stupid little demi-gods feels someone is toxic then they are OUT. It does not matter who it is. It could be a life-long friend, a parent, an acquaintance, or even their own child. If a person is categorized as toxic, for any reason, they are gone. I have never seen anything like it. It’s beautiful. The thing I love most is “toxicity” is one-hundred-percent subjective. A person can be labeled “toxic” for literally any reason. Disagree over politics: toxic! Invite an adult child to one too many family events: toxic! Argue with me over anything, no matter how stupid or trivial: toxic! Try too hard to be helpful: toxic! Behave in a way I decide is controlling: toxic! Don’t ask my opinion about something: toxic! Tell me “no”: TOXIC! Choose a bad restaurant: toxic! Dislike my favorite stuff: toxic! Do something culturally inappropriate, even accidentally: toxic! Don’t do exactly what I tell you to do: toxic! Make a judgment about sexuality or any other moral issue: toxic! 


This crazy emphasis on toxicity has caused people to ditch anyone who does not affirm every single choice they make or anyone who does not make them happy all the time. After all, when you are your own little idol you shouldn’t have to put up with anything or anyone you do not really love.  This obsession with cutting people out effectively prevents individuals from growing emotionally. Because they never participate in relationships that stretch them or require them to give more than they take. 

Adults remain emotional children indefinitely! 

They never have to work anything out or compromise in any way. So BEAUTIFUL! They just go “low contact” or “no contact” and that’s the end of that relationship! Even Christians do this! It’s not at all unusual for “Christians” to cut their parents or friends or pastor out of their lives simply for not doing or saying exactly what they want. It’s like these “Christians” have completely forgotten the Bible tells them to: 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.



Personal-autonomy run amok has led to the most senseless public policies imaginable. Governments allow very young children to undergo barbaric medical procedures that mutilate their sex organs and destroy their fertility because the little tikes believe they may be the opposite gender. Imagine that!  Kids some no older than four or five being allowed to mutilate their perfectly healthy bodies over something as fleeting as a feeling? It’s beautiful. I suspect transgenderism will be the gift that keeps on giving for me. Those kids will either grow up entirely without hope and turn to drugs or alcohol to cope or they will grow up angry at the idiots who allowed their fertility to be stolen from them. Maybe both? Who knows! 

There’s more!

Everyone is encouraged to do what feels good and judgment has become the unpardonable sin. As a result, drugs have infested the planet.  I simply adore drug use. It’s just so dang degrading. The addicts live out their lives like miserable little zombies. They spend their time getting high, until they overdose, then someone comes along and revives them with Narcan. Then the whole wretched process starts all over again. Like the movie Groundhog Day with degradation and near-death experiences!  


The worship of self is the most spiritually dangerous thing in the world and it’s the most prevalent form of religious expression today! 


Christians could help by choosing to model Christ-like selflessness (insert gagging sounds here). Though, I have observed a good many of them of them are just as caught up in self-absorption as their unsaved counterparts. Adult Christians cut their parents out of their lives almost as often as unsaved adult children. Friendships end over trivial matters all the time. Thankfully, many pastors have become more like influencers than spiritual leaders or moral guides. Many go out of their way to avoid being offense. It’s beautiful! After all, the gospel is inherently offensive. The one prerequisite of salvation is sinners must admit their sin and their own inherent goodness. It’s why those losers need Jesus.  

Any-hoo I digress. 

Time is short. I must be going.  There are some humans I simply must get focused on themselves and their feelings. Little do those fools know: anytime they worship themselves they give ME glory! 



The Gateway Sin that Ruins Even the Best People-

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy- Romans 13:13 NIV 

Recently, I had coffee with a good friend. After some initial chit-chat I asked how things were going at her church. Tears immediately sprang to her eyes as she told me about a situation she’s encountered over the course of the last few months.  

Her church has a new pastor she likes very much. His sermons are excellent and all-in-all she feels he is taking the church in a solid direction. The problem is with his wife. She acts as the co-pastor of the church. My friend has zero problem with her role and initially really liked the woman, she’s bright, funny and my friend said she appears to really love Jesus. 

The problem started a couple of months back. My friend, who has been involved in a leadership capacity at the church for years was suddenly removed from groups and boards she had previously led. This was done without so much as a word to her or an explanation as to why. Furthermore, the pastor’s wife had made some public comments that were subtly demeaning and even blatantly rude to and about my friend. My friend has refused to discuss the issue with anyone at her church but she said that people were starting to ask what was going on.   


My friend is content with taking a lesser role at her church. She understands sometimes new leaders take ministries in a different direction. However, she didn’t expect to be completely dismissed in such a hurtful manner. As her story unfolded it became clear, my friend is likely the victim of a behavior as old as humanity that has become all-too common in church, especially in church leadership: jealousy.   

It has not escaped my observation that most Christians tend to see certain sins as more ethically acceptable than others. Such is the case with jealousy.  Christians see jealousy as a problem, but not in the same way homicide or slander or lying are a problem. Christians typically place jealousy in the same category as telling someone their hair looks nice when it doesn’t. It’s seen as more of a personal shortcoming than a sin.  

The New Testament does not treat jealousy as a personal fault or a spiritual misdemeanor. The apostle Paul saw fit to place jealousy in the same class as witchcraft, hatred, selfish ambition, sexual immorality and debauchery (Romans 13:12-13, Galatians 5:19-21).  At best, the New Testament presents jealousy as an obvious indication of worldliness and spiritual immaturity (1st Corinthians 13:3, James 4:1-3). At worst it’s presented as a fast track to spiritual ruin. 


Jealousy is a gateway sin. It naturally opens the door to feeling more comfortable with other, much bigger, much more serious sins. If jealousy is allowed to run wild it can (and usually does) lead to even worse sins like slander, lying and even homicide (Genesis 4:1-7, Genesis 37:1-36, 1st Kings 21:1-14, 1st Samuel 18:1-16, Acts 5:12-18, Acts 17:4-6).

 Jealousy manifests itself in two ways. Sometimes jealousy is the result of wanting something a person feels they lack (a talent, characteristic, possession, opportunity, platform or relationship). Other times it’s the result of desiring to be the only really important person in a friend group, organization or church. At the root of jealousy there is always a spirit of self-promotion, craving for more of something (greed) and covetousness. The writer of Proverbs tells us that anger and rage are intimidating but jealousy is the real destroyer of people and relationships (Proverbs 24:7).  

In an age of social media, self-promotion, celebrity Christians and “Christian influencers” believers, especially believers in leadership positions (paid or volunteer) must be on guard against jealousy. Even good, godly people can become inflamed with jealousy. It is not unusual for jealousy to make its way into the church through a spirit of competition that disguises itself as a desire to reach the lost, mentor people or disciple others.  Jealousy is the ugly offspring of pride. It often begins with the belief that “I’m irreplaceable” or “no one can do X as well as me”. It ultimately manifests itself in a poverty mindset that leads to territorial thinking about things Christians should never be territorial about like ministry opportunities, leadership roles and mentoring opportunities. At the root of jealousy is the sin of unbelief. Jealous people do not believe there is ever enough of anything to go around.

 Spiritually speaking, we live in the grimmest of times (2nd Timothy 3:1-5, Matthew 24). People are deconstructing their faith in droves, violence is the new normal and out-and-out evil is thought to be virtuous in our culture.  

There is no room for jealousy among Christians in such times. 

 It is up to us to deal with jealousy aggressively. Jealousy never goes away on its own. We strangle feelings of jealousy with gratitude and thankfulness (Colossians 3:15, Colossians 4:2, Ephesians 5:3-5, Hebrews 12:28). The more intentional we are about being grateful for what we have the less likely we are to become envious of what other people have or are doing. Community kills jealousy.  It is much harder to be jealous when you know someone’s story and are in community with them. Praying regularly for people we feel jealous of is another way to chase away feelings of jealously or greed.   

And finally.  

There are some who have defended jealousy because God describes Himself as a jealous God (Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 4:24, Nahum 1:2). The difference between human jealousy and God’s jealousy is that God’ jealousy is never selfishly motivated. It’s never about Him. He is jealous out of concern for our well-being. Whereas human jealously wants what it wants only for its own glorification.  

My heart still breaks for my sweet friend. Seeing the hurt and pain caused by a jealous spirit is painful. However, the person I worry about most is the one who’s doing the hurting.