I Can Yell Louder: Five Ways To Argue “Like A Christian”

You might be right about something, but it doesn’t mean you’re right.

Let’s set some ground rules and etiquette for “online arguments” when our passions collide.

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Question: Problems with Passion 2013

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philskiiiii asked you:

What’s your opinion on blogs speaking on the “Problems at Passion 2013”? Would love to gain some insight from you.


I haven’t read those blogs — and I won’t waste my time on them. 

I’m aware you’re asking me out of curiosity so this is not to get at you, but please allow me the grace to go on a (pointless) rant here.

On a long enough timeline, anyone can complain about anything for any reason.

Maybe some of these blogs have legitimate concerns, but a conference like Passion is the very last thing that anyone should complain about, ever.

Should we have discernment about certain events like these?  Sure.  Should we understand what Christian conferences can and cannot do?  Yes.  Should we be careful about our doctrine and guard ourselves against emotionalism and big stages?  Of course.

But good folks like Louie Giglio have poured out their heart and sweat and blood to reach a younger generation with the Gospel — and I can guarantee that he and everyone else involved has contributed more for Jesus than any of these “Christian bloggers” will do in a lifetime.

I think we can afford a little grace for some secondary disagreements.

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How Jefferson Bethke Showed Me I Was A Jerk

About a year ago, I blasted a dude named Jefferson Bethke who made a video called “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus,” which currently has over 23 million views and attracted all kinds of criticism and praise — and I was one of the guys who hated on him.

I left a mean comment on YouTube, went wild about it on my blog, and accused him of “thin doctrine” and a “poor choice of words” about the Christian faith.

Only a couple weeks later, I came to my senses and snapped out of it with a semi-apology.

I don’t know Mr. Bethke or anything about his faith and life — but in my arrogant selfishness and a subconscious attempt to piggyback off his success, I called him out on stupid secondary nitpicks that only made me look like an insecure moron.

Plainly speaking, I looked like an ass.

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The Top Twelve Posts of 2012

From porn to evolution to flirting to neo-feminism, here are the Top Twelve Posts on this blog for the year.

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Question: Why Is Jesus Right And Others Wrong?

tiedtoskies asked:

Hi, I’m a growing Christian and I’ve recently been doing research and gathering info to clarify my faith. I was wondering if you could answer some questions. 1) What is the basis of your faith? 2) How do you support the historical legitimacy of the Bible & New Testament as the true and sacred word of God? 3) How are other religions founded on false doctrine? Thank you so much!


Great questions, but please forgive me if I reply with unorthodox answers.  Also, I’m well aware that a “secular” or “liberal” worldview will have plenty of counter-ammo for anything I say here — the Bible itself says Christianity will look like foolishness to the untransformed heart — but apart from writing a monster-sized textbook, these are some basic strands to consider.


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Why I’m No Longer Self-Identifying As A “Reformed Calvinist”

I love my Reformed Calvinist brothers and sisters, but I can no longer claim to be a “Reformed Calvinist.”  I have removed it from my About section.

I have been attacked by only three groups of people: militant atheists, a handful of fanatics from Steven Furtick’s church, and Reformed Calvinists.  So basically non-Christians, false Christians, and Super Christians.  And the worst of these attacks were from — you guessed it — Reformed Calvinists.

I can take persecution from the frontlines.  I’d gladly take a bullet or be tortured to death for Jesus or for my fellow friend.  I can handle discouragement and perversity in the world.  But what I cannot understand is when those who claim to love Jesus destroy others who love Jesus.

This is not a theology issue, but rather a love issue.  The ivory tower of Neo-Calvinism has reached so high, I’m not sure what the point is anymore.  Calvinist bloggers only stimulate other Calvinist bloggers.  Neo-Calvinism has become the ghetto of the ghetto of the Christian subculture.

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Question: Walking On Spiritual Eggshells

Anonymous asked:
Thanks for posting that “You Are Loved” post. I listen to a lot of Reformed Theology (which I like) and theologians are always talking about God’s perfectness, his holy wrath, our total depravity, etc… (all of which I agree with). That I very often forget he loves me. In my spiritual walk I tend to walk on eggshells and not try to do anything that will provoke God’s righteous wrath on me. He feels very distant and unapproachable sometimes. I always have to remind myself “God loves me.”

Thank you for your kind message.  You’re referring to this (or this).

May I stretch you a bit here? If you’re always listening to teaching that’s unbalancing your view of God — and God never wants you to be on eggshells like that — then it’s possible that 1) you’re seeking self-punishment or self-loathing, which says a lot about your mindframe, or 2) you could consider expanding what you hear about God. 

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Five Signs You’re Probably In One Of Those Cults

I love you guys, and I mean that. Part of my job is to protect you, and part of that job is to expose falsehood.

Here are some warning signs to know if you’re in a cult. Please know that most people in a cult don’t even know they’re in a cult, which is how they got there in the first place. But examine carefully. Everything from the voodoo pagan witch palace to the tiny little thatch-roof church around the corner can suck you in.

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Question: When Does Doctrine Become Idolatry?

Anonymous asked:

Do you think it is possible for good theology to become an idol? And if so, what is the balance between loving good theology and doctrine and “idolizing” it?

Not only is this possible, but it happens all the time. 

With the Reformed Calvinist movement taking off with Gospel-Centered Idolatry — oops, I mean “Centrality” — and pragmatic cold-hearted preachers who care more about theology than people, it’s no wonder that people outside the church hate on the church.  There’s a ridiculous amount of inhouse fighting and 95% of it is straight up stupid.  It’s over secondary, tertiary, barely-important matters. 

You’ve noticed a new quickness with accusations of heresy and blasphemy, when most of the blogosphere has no idea what that means.  Most of that is just self-promotion and trolling.  I’ve been called a lying witch abortionist by a so-called Christian (over this post on my other blog).  Like my good friend Unka Glen says, if you’ve pissed off a “religious” dude then you’re probably doing something right.

A major consequence of this whole flag-raising garbage is becoming a Gatekeeper of Theology, where you think you get it and no one else does.  That’s categorizing into an elitist caste system, which the Gospel came to utterly destroy. 

I say this without apology: guys like Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries plus a handful of bloggers at The Gospel Coalition are almost certainly going to hell.  I’m not kidding, and I say that with absolute grief and sickness in my stomach. It doesn’t matter how many “good things” they do or how well they raise their family, because it’s so obvious they’re dividing the church — and no good works can make up for that.  Jesus loves them and so do I, but they have to stop the nonsense. 

Here’s a test. Question: Is Jesus coming back to rapture the saints before or after the tribulation of the saints? Answer: Jesus is going to come back, so how about shut your mouth and stop splitting your church over this and just obey the IT IS WRITTEN.

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“The Idolatry of Youth Culture in Worship”



An article and video from The Gospel Coalition about a backwards “Perpetual Youth” seeping into ministry.

I absolutely agree here. Every facet of American culture is choked by this need to be young and fresh and new. We can’t teach the youth if we’re trying to be just like the youth. Old dude leading worship with gauge earrings and frosted hair and fake orange tan — stop it. You’re creepy.

That’s why so much of the youth have become egotistical narcissists — because the culture worships them. Every ad features young people partying, megachurches tout young demographics (megachurches are only 1% of the total churches in America), all the rich old men are divorcing their wives and going for a younger wife, and every movie and novel and song is about what the young people are doing.

Youth is not forever. Enjoy it, sure, but in the end everyone will be a broken down bag of skin. That’s if God lets you live long enough. Part of growing up is growing up.

If I sound old-fashioned, I’ll freely admit that as a young-ish person, I’m still mostly a moron living by the grace of God. When older pastors look at how “young” I am with those coveting eyes, I feel pretty gross inside. I prefer the wisdom of older experienced people, and definitely not some older person obsessed with youth.

Only God makes all things new in such a way that it’s not a perverse celebration of immaturity, but rather real growth in mature renewal.

I love you young people, but you need to get over yourselves. And us older people need to help with that.

Also check out Tim Elmore’s sermon on Artificial Maturity.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
— 1 Corinthians 13:11



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Question: So About Rob Bell

Anonymous asked:
What’s your opinion on Rob Bell, or more specifically, his opinions/ideaologies? Do you see him veering on the lines of Universalist or do you think he’s got some unique yet very real arguments full of substance? I’m dying to hear your entire opinion.

I was actually interviewed by the local news about Rob Bell since I had podcasted about him.

To be fair, I haven’t read his book.  I read several reviews and also Francis Chan’s Erasing Hell, all of which painted more or less fair criticisms of Rob Bell’s views.

I do think there’s been a lot of unfairness towards Pastor Rob about Love Wins.  It seems his book was more about critical thinking on a major issue of the Bible instead of an entirely Universalist approach.  Bell himself has admitted he believes in hell.  If anything, we could criticize him for some of his weirder teaching on the Trinity, resurrection, Scripture, or his strange use of illustrations like a real goat (which pooped on stage).  A lot of the critics were just grabbing a quick nod for fame with sensational news tactics. No surprise.

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I Want To Read My Bible — But How?

You cracked open your journal, busted out your favorite pen, and finally opened your Bible.

Five sentences later, you have no idea what you just read.

Confusion, frustration, resignation: But the pastor made it so easy. It was better when he told it.

And the final excuse: At least I tried.

It’s happened to all of us, from rookies to veterans, when we catch the excitement of digging into Scripture and come out cold. Most of us will conclude the Bible is too hard, that we’re not mature enough, that we need to be spoon-fed, that something’s wrong with me, that we’ll try it again later. And with each pass at reading, we grow more bewildered.

Every pastor with the best of intentions is yelling at you to read your Bible, but they forget to tell you how.

Of course the simplest way would be to turn to Genesis and just rip right through it. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little help in reading Scripture. If you genuinely want to read the Bible but have had some false starts, here are some ways to dig into the Greatest Truth in the universe.

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“The Bible Is Not Self-Help”

An article by Dr. David Wells from the Resurgence site .

Excerpt:

“If you are like me, this may not be the thing that is on your front burner. You may be thinking of your hurts, emptiness, feelings of being disconnected, broken relationships, and disappointments. These are real. But the point of studying Scripture is not therapy. Bible study is not self-help. We are not there to listen to our own voice that is crying from within. We are there to hear his voice that comes from outside our experience. And his Word is not one of many. It is the only Word that has been there from all eternity because it comes from the eternal God. God, then, is not there for our use when we need him; we are here on earth for his use. He is not there for our benefit as if he were a product; we are here for his service.”

Continue Reading at Resurgence



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– The Beneficial God: Modern Christianity and Its Ubiquitous Psychological Slope
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– Us Vs. Them: A Church of Religious Superiority
– Tough Love Is A Grace That Cuts Deep