Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. ~ Galatians 6:7-8
There have been some disturbing things going on in our country in the past few years. I’ve tried to ignore it, but nearly every day for the past couple of weeks, I’ve come across another report in the news of people rejecting God’s decree and indulging their pride and arrogance to the detriment of the Church and her believers, and I cannot remain silent about it anymore. Cannot and will not.
Oh, there were many times I went along to get along. For a while, I accepted the argument that this is the way things are now and God approves of them. I bought into the hype. I went to the big conferences and gatherings, waved the colorful flags, bawled my eyes out. But I was deceived. God does not approve of this arrangement. Scripture says so. And the reports I’ve been hearing are proof that this heretical doctrine is endangering Christ’s Church.
I’m speaking, of course, about the controlling system of church authority. Continue reading
Art on the Charleston shooting by Madeleine Schimming, age 7
When I was in college, I took a public speaking class. One of the last assignments of the semester was to make a 10-minute persuasive speech on a self-selected topic. While most other students chose to do their speeches on abortion and capital punishment, I chose the topic of “oppositional culture” in the African American community. For those of you who don’t know what that is, oppositional culture refers to the way in which black people resist conformity to many aspects of the dominant (i.e., white) culture to avoid being seen as “acting white” by their peers. It is a very controversial theory that has too often been used to overgeneralize the experience of black Americans and blame them for low social and economic achievement.
I delivered this speech to a mixed group of peers at a major urban university. It was probably the dumbest and most frightening thing I’ve ever done. On my list of life regrets, it’s probably in the top five, despite two black classmates thanking me afterward. The problem was, I had the wrong frame of context for truly understanding such a complex topic. At the time, I didn’t know about racial profiling or wage discrimination or redlining or “white flight” or the Tuskegee experiment or urban lead poisoning or historic attacks on black churches. If I had, it would have been a very different speech.
But as scary and offensive as it was, that speech was a major first step in my attempt to understand racism and race relations in America. I now believe that I had to stand up in front of my peers and let my ignorant words dribble out of my ignorant mouth so that the truth could find room to register in my brain. I had to rile people who would get in my face and say, “You don’t get it” in order for me to ‘get it.’ And to be honest, I’m still in the process of “getting it.”
What is our purpose as Christians? It is a question often asked in Church, and the answers are varied. Some say it is to worship and bring glory to God. Others say it is to tell the world about Jesus and lead people to Christ. Still others say that we have a purpose unique to each of us that God expects us to fulfill.
While I think those answers are technically accurate, they’re terribly vague and unsatisfying. What does it mean to bring glory to God? How does one effectively lead others to Christ? And if we each have a unique purpose, how do we discover it and know we are living it out?
These are questions that I struggled with for years. I didn’t just need doctrinally correct words; to really answer these questions, I had to capture the spirit of Christ’s message. To be a Christian, to be a part of the Church, means to embody Christ. So what is his mind? His will? His posture? Continue reading
**Content Note: If you are a survivor of child sex abuse, particularly involving incest, and you haven’t begun or completed your healing process, please take extra care when reading this post. Detailed discussion of abuse and its effects.**
Today, I read about Jill and Jessa Duggar’s recent interview on Fox News, where they talked about their abuse experience and how they’ve forgiven their brother Josh for molesting them. According to the articles I’ve read, the young women minimized what was done to them, saying that Josh was merely “sexually curious” and that the abuse wasn’t that bad.
Honestly, this does not surprise me at all. Had a TV reporter sat down with me at age 24, I would have said pretty much the same thing.
Here is my story:
Insanely on-point meme found at Expert Textperts
Modest is hottest. It’s a phrase that was coined a few years ago to convince Christian women that dressing modestly is sexy and attractive. Because that’s what women care about, right? The male gaze. Knowing that they’re considered pretty and desirable despite ankle-length pants and neck-high collars.
I hate this phrase and everything it communicates. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
It’s not because I like to walk around in short dresses and cleavage-baring shirts. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a skirt in my closet, let alone one that falls above the knee. I love pants, and I’d rather not spend my day constantly adjusting a low-cut shirt to ensure that my “girls” are properly concealed. But every time someone says, “Modest is hottest,” my shoulders go up around my ears. A friend said it on Facebook last summer, and I responded with, “True. I wore jeans outside the other day and nearly had a heat stroke.” (Perhaps not my finest moment.)
“Modest is hottest” is a phrase that needs to disappear. Immediately. It needs to be completely erased from the Christian lexicon—because it plays right into the secular objectification and hyper-sexualization of women.
Let me explain.