Thoughts on sexuality during pride month.

When Christians try to speak on sexuality it most often goes one of two ways. One: “Here is proof the Bible means what it explicitly says.” Two: “Here is proof the Bible doesn’t mean what it explicitly says.”

The stronger each side gets the more dramatic and dogmatic they become towards each other…as the world watches.

It reminds me of bowling with my children. They begin to love the gutter guards so much they start throwing the balls into them.  They forget the whole point of bowling – hit the pins.

In this cultural moment, Christians have become so afraid of going into the ditch of being unloving or the ditch of disobeying the laws of God they are slamming their ideas into the other with ever increasing force…as the world watches.

They forget the point of it all. Literally, the very reason God left Christians on this planet. Read on…

Heterosexuality isn’t the answer to homosexuality, or any other sexuality.

Being existentially made whole is what humans need. Aphrodite can’t do that.

In this cultural moment, I think the first* thing people need to deal with is the false assumption that tying your identity to a sexual act (of any form) will lead to a heart made fully alive.**

I don’t think sex can make you complete.

If you had the ideal sexual experience I still think you would be left wanting.
Why do I believe this?
Because culturally accepted heterosexuality and heterosexual activity has already failed to be a worthy god.
Aphrodite can’t deliver what she promises.
The evidence is everywhere. Just look around.
Christians that stop and really think about their theology already know this.

Solomon, the famous (everyone knew him), admired (many wanted to be him), heterosexual (sexual orientation that was accepted), had 700 women he could have sex with anytime he wanted and we don’t find him reflecting on his life as a human made whole. Christians, when you exhaust your energy trying to convince people that heterosexuality is the answer to other types of sexuality you forget Ecclesiastes.

The rabbit hole goes even deeper. A compassionate Christian friend shared something like this the other day on social media. “I believe in Pride month because some young child believes suicide is better than embracing their sexual identity.”

This breaks my heart. Can you see what this statement is saying? Not the explicit but the implicit part, the unspoken assumption of what has the power to make one whole and complete? The statement is implying that their depression and anxiety will be resolved if people would just encourage and support their sexual wants. We know this doesn’t work, because it doesn’t work in heterosexual marriages that humanity has long been fully accepting. And let’s be honest. Mental health is incredibly complex. Posts like this look like a simple call for people to be nice but set up expectations that will cause even more doubt and confusion in the future.

C.S. Lewis, Blasé Pascal, Timothy Keller, and many many other scholars are right… There is an existential hunger in us that nothing in this world can satisfy.  We cannot tie our identity on to something that will pass away or grow passé. It’s true, our emotions and desires are important messengers but they are insatiable masters. Moreover, it is freeing when you realize what’s most true about you isn’t what you may feel about yourself at any given moment. What many initially feel as freedom when they pursue any desire they want, in time find themselves feeling enslaved to their ever increasing state of athirst. Meaning, you can’t get enough and you need even more extreme encounters to keep that rush. Every addict knows this.

No human can fill what your heart longs for most, only God can. You were made from Him and for His family. Using sex as the fuel for identity is like trying to put kerosene in a car engine. It won’t work well and things will start to fail.

Genitalia are not gods and to ask identity from them is asking what they can’t give. We must help people understand their starving existential appetites and teach them to feed what is really malnourished.

People need to have their existential questions answered. You were made by a loving God. The brokenness you feel is real and there is a reason and answer for it. You are no accident and you have immeasurable worth and eternal purpose.

To my friends that believe their prime wholeness is found in their sexuality…

I want to show you the place where all the beauty comes from. You are hungry for God and may not even know it. (Acts 17:22-31)

Don’t aim at the bumpers, aim for the pins. Jesus is greater than all forms of Aphrodite worship. If you get to the end of this and you think I haven’t taken a side, you may have missed the point completely. People come to the church I pastor wanting me to talk about Aphrodite in all her forms and I keep responding with, “Jesus is a better God.” Christians, show the world you are whole not because you are having heterosexual sex but because of what Jesus did on the Cross. This entry isn’t a conversation about forms of sexuality being good or bad. There are a thousand articles right now being drawn up contending on these fronts. This is about the idolization of sexuality in our culture. I contend that we are in Ancient Rome again and even some “Christians” are accidentally helping elevate Aphrodite by making their loudest mantra “… just don’t sleep with the men.” Or youth pastors that push movements like True Love Waits with such divine language it causes young people to beg God not to come back until they have had sex. Yes, there are youth groups that make sex look better than heaven. That’s Aphrodite. It’s not confusing why these young kids grow up being totally swept up in the sexual revolution.

But oh, how we falter, how we drift and we roam,
Lost in a world that feels empty, our souls yearn for a home.
In the whispers of the wind and the vastness of the sea,
We hear the incarnate name that can set us free.

For in the heart of our being, a truth does reside,
That only God’s love can truly fill us inside.
No earthly possession, sensual act or acclaim,
Can compare to the wholeness we feel when He calls our name.

*Like a prism there are so many shades to this. I obviously can’t address them all in a blog. I am merely proposing a preferred starting point for identity, purpose and worth, the passion of the Christ.

**To be clear, I am not a gnostic. (Go look it up if you don’t know what that is.) I do believe the body matters and what we do with it has eternal consequences. Augustine wrestled with this as did many early church writers. For a well thought out place to start building a Biblically sound theology of the body read Pope John Paul II lectures on the body. There is a lot more to be said about this at another time. I also believe that sex is a great God given gift, just not a god. At this time in history, this distinction is where we need to start. We find our purpose from God and bring His purpose to sex.

I’m spiritual but not religious = even the demons believe and tremble

“I am spiritual but not religious.”
Might be the same as…
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” -James 2:9.

Humans are masters at trying to rebuild spirituality over and over again in ways that keep themselves as the king.

Our modern world loves what I call “Twitter theology.” Simple one or two sentence statements that are catchy yet easy to misuse, misunderstand and misapply.

“I am spiritual but not religious.”

I too loved this one at first. It sounded like a battle cry against Pharisaism. However, the more I thought about it and the more I heard it used in the real world, something was amiss.
This wasn’t only a war against Pharisees. It is also war over what gets to compass our hearts. I think this simple axiom is accidentally making way for a new (it’s actually only new to us) type of spiritual pride.
Believe in and be amazed by God while refusing real humility.

When most people tell me they are spiritual but not religious they are acknowledging a higher power and are even emotionally moved by it. What they don’t want is to submit to anything but their own interpretation and preferred applications from their spiritual experiences. They want to be god of God. 

Humans are masters at trying to rebuild spirituality over and over again in ways that keep themselves as the king.

I wish “I’m spiritual but not religious” was simply a battle cry against Pharisaism but it’s not being used this way. It’s becoming a decree that acknowledges God while keeping a tight grasp on personal power. These people may not even see the pride in themselves because they are so emotionally moved by the power and presence of God.

Here is the clue.

The person that reads the Bible and says things like, “I don’t like the parts about sex but I was in awe of God during that worship set.”… is beginning to lean towards James 2:9. To believe in and be impressed by a spiritual power is not the same as submitting to it.  It appears that this type of spirituality is becoming the new witch and warlock. They are enamored by the power, but desire to master it rather than be mastered by it. Is this not very similar to Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8?  This new pride-centered spirituality is raising “believers” that have rejected the real intention of Scripture, Christian community, Christian history and ultimately the way we are supposed to come to Christ. Consider how different this is from the repeated metaphor the Apostle Paul uses, “Paul, a slave/servant (doulos) of Christ Jesus…” Romans 1:1

Humans are masters at trying to rebuild spirituality over and over again in ways that keep themselves as the king.

The way we are saved is not by admitting that God exists, or even being impressed by Him. The way we are saved is by making Jesus Christ King of our lives. Everything submits to Him and His kingdom. Even when people say “relationship over religion,” if there is a dethroning of Christ it isn’t Christianity. We don’t date Jesus. We bow before the king. We don’t make prenups in salvation, we give everything to Him.

We have so bought into this way of thinking, some now call any statements against our personal spiritual preferences “spiritual abuse.” Yes, some Christians misrepresent Christ. The truth is, all Christins misrepresent Christ. The problem is some misrepresent Him in detrimental ways. However, if someone absolutely butchers Für Elise we don’t blame Ludwig van Beethoven. We know when it is played rightly, it’s beautiful.  Let the original masterpiece master you. My heart breaks for people and spiritual abuse is real, but so is pride. It just happens to be that pride is popular. Don’t justify weaponizing personal pride. It will backfire. You are choosing yet another flawed king, yourself. The only way out of this mess is full submission to love itself, Christ. You let the masterpiece master you.

Every powerful denominational leader… submit to Christ.
Every pastor… submit to Christ.
Every elder… submit to Christ.
Every political leader… submit to Christ.
Every lay person… submit to Christ.
Every hurt person… let Jesus lift you up! 

My friends, humans are masters at trying to rebuild spirituality over and over again in ways that keep themselves as the king.

After hearing the way the phrase “I’m spiritual but not religious” has been used, I have changed my mind. I am an advocate for right religion. If by religion you mean Christ as King and His kingdom as the prime good that I submit to and joyfully work to display to the world, then I am religious.

What does real submission to love look like? Here is a great place to start:

I believe revival is here and I believe in the next generation. 

It is an awesome time in history to be a Christian. 
After dinner last night we pushed back from the table satisfied in stomach, yet still filling our hearts through conversation. The older kids and I talked about how God is moving in their generation. They would be the first to acknowledge the gap is growing rapidly between those that are spiritually hungry and those that are becoming “drones” as they would say. Meaning, their lives are fading as they grow ever lost in apps like TikTok. Hours and hours of merely looking at an endless stream of entertainment while they wiggle their finger across their glowing little screens. As one of my kids said, “The Zombie revolution is already here.”  
My kids see it. 
Continual exposure to ever increasing extreme entertainment causes emotional instability and identity confusion. Modern “medicine” and pop “psychology” merely feed the addictive behavior in one of two ways.  
1) They placate to the exacerbated appetites and equally participate by giving them new tools to embody the extreme behavior they are watching modeled before them. 
2) With drugs that alleviate just enough of the pain (that may actually be waking them up) to stay in the passive posture of an endless extreme consumer. 
Maybe my kids are right… 
The Zombie apocalypse is already here. 
Just keep your head down and scroll… scroll… scroll. 
So why am I optimistic? 
The above doesn’t sound very optimistic. 
One word. 
Something is happening. 
All over the country, all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of young adults are waking up. 
They see that humans are bad at fame. They don’t want it anymore. 
They understand that satisfying their appetites in ever increasing extreme ways actually leaves them hungrier and dissatisfied. 
They are waking up to the reality that they are being treated like products, not people. 
They see the continual stream of mass media’s manipulation. 
They are realizing it’s not really their wellbeing but money, power and attention that companies and governments desire. 
They are truly postmodern. 
They are tired of being constantly labeled a victim or a racist or an enabler of either side at every turn. They want to trade shame for real love. 
Not selfish hedonism but actual charity. 
They are finding it in Jesus, hundreds of thousands all around the world. 
Open your eyes. 
There is revival happening everywhere. 
I am excited. 
The future looks absolutely awesome. I can see God moving. This is a great time in history to be a Christian. 
We need to join them and wake up. 
God is moving in ways I have only read about until now. 
How do we participate? 
Lift up Jesus. Make His message, heart and promises as radiant as a swift clear eastern sunrise. He alone will outshine all this darkness. 
John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
So, what does the Bible mean when it talks about love? Click Here:

What my family experienced at the Asbury Revival.

I made a last minute call, cleared my schedule, and took my teenagers down to see the Asbury Revival. 

After a three hour drive we pulled into an overrun little Wilmore Kentucky. We noticed license plates on cars from all over the country, even one from Canada. 
There is no doubt people are spiritually hungry. 
After parking we jumped in line with what looked like a few hundred other people to wait for an opportunity to go into the hundred year old worship room. 

When we finally were seated it felt like a blend of incredibly unique and very familiar.
Let me touch on both. The familiar and the unique. 

What was familiar? 
The place and people were… normal.  
The music, the sanctuary, the staff. All similar quality you would find in almost any church. This was actually reassuring to me. You truly do not need an expensive stage, lights, famous pastor, killer sound system, signed worship leader,  or author seizing the emotional high to sell their latest “Secret Key to Discipleship” strategy book. 
It’s really clear to me now. None of this is necessary for the Holy Spirit to fall on a place. 
Maybe all this extra stuff even gets in the way? Maybe… 
Revival clearly doesn’t require wealth and fame. That’s not the key. 
It reminded me again that Jesus was born to a poor unknown country girl in a not so famous little stable. Jesus didn’t need fame and wealth then, he clearly doesn’t need it now. 
What does this mean? 
Revival could come to your church too. 
To the regular pastor… God can use you in supernatural ways. 
To the regular worship leader… God can use you in supernatural ways. 
To the regular church staff and volunteers… God can use you in supernatural ways. 
To those passionately pursuing talent and fame… If you have them great, but they aren’t necessary for spiritual revival. No one on K-LOVE was leading worship while I was there. God can use regular you. 

What was unique?
It was an amazing experience for my family. 
Old and young filled the room and altar. 
People were healed and people were accepting Jesus. 
On the way home I asked the kids what made the service so good. 
One of my kids simply said, “It was only about Jesus.”
“Wrap more words around that,” I responded. 
“Well dad, It feels like most churches are about Jesus and something else. Usually it’s good stuff…. But, you know, Jesus and a political thing or Jesus and a social justice thing… you know, Jesus and something else. It’s like the purpose of most services is Jesus and another thing. He’s sharing the stage in most churches.”
After a long pause he finished his thought, “Today we had church and it was just about Jesus.”
I think my kids are on to something… 
Somehow in our effort to make church “better” we surrounded the simple Gospel with a lot of other “good” things. Well, some of the extra isn’t so good… is it? 
What we discovered was actually really simple.* 
Thousands and thousands were coming from all over the country. Not because they are hungry for Jesus and politics, social justice issues, flashy lights, super star talent, or whatever extra thing we keep adding to old school simple church. I think I agree with my kids, people don’t need a busier Church and Church vision, they need  a clearer one. Maybe we all need to set our other “good” things aside and make church just about Jesus again. 

It was all so good. Praise Jesus! What a powerful experience. Our hearts are very full.

*I want to give space and grace for others who walked away with other insights. This is simply a glimpse into our family’s conversation on the way home.

So, the world is letting you down? Good.

There is a strange upside-down power in Christianity.

I just finished a long cool morning walk with my wife.
In these times we often talk about what we have been reading, thinking, and feeling. Today the conversation started with heavy awareness of the deep tensions in this world. Economic, civil, and even personal tensions seem to be increasing. She said she feels her heart rate rise and anxiety increase when she reads the news. Is there anyone else out there that feels like its becoming harder and harder to find your fit in this world? Have you ever wondered where are my people? Maybe you want to escape, buy a property, get off the grid and raise a family away from modern society.

GK Chesterton noted this: he said, “Jesus promised his disciples three things – that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.”

Anyone else not getting this? Too many of us Christians still feel afraid, discouraged, and in trouble. Ok, so we overlap with the last of Chesterton’s quote.

He is on to something though. C.S. Lewis paints an interesting picture in the book The Screwtape Letters. A Christian who works to find their comfortable fit in the world is actually experiencing the world finding its fit in them. Lewis believed that some of the most vulnerable Christians are the ones who are sitting comfortable. It’s true Satan doesn’t want us happy but he also doesn’t want us so unhappy that we are looking for a better world. What if being comfortable is the dangerous place? The place where we are most likely to turn from a heavenly focus and prioritize this temporary world. Think of it. Which Christians are most likely to quit attending church regularly, miss prayer and Bible reading, or let spiritually unhealthy habits seep in? The comfortable ones. The radically uncomfortable ones are often seeking a better world.

In Revelation 2:8-11 Jesus is sharing his heart with a church that feels very out of place in this world. The church of Smyrna feels crushed by the weight of a calloused, collapsing, angry, immoral culture. A funny thing begins to happen; the more they feel displaced the more it pushes them into their faith, while faith sinks deeper into their hearts. They long for heaven, they seek God in deeper prayer. They even prioritize gathering together and providing for each other.

And then it happens…

The more you believe and the deeper it goes into your heart, the less the world has power over you. 

So, you feel displaced? Good… it may just cause you to gaze even deeper into a better world. You might just gaze so deep into it that this world begins to lose its grasp on your heart. Then, you can start to drink of the seemingly incompatible combination of fearless, happy, and in trouble.

I dare you to taste how good it is to lose your place in this world and find your place in His.

“Was I born into this world that leads to death or was I born into this death that leads to life?” -St. Augustine 


  • Turn your gaze to Jesus. It’s your new first priority.
  • Go to Church. Find a pastor that believes the Bible is true. I do! Join us. I really believe in the power of Christ.
  • Join a Discipleship group.
  • Read your Bible.
  • Learn to pray.
  • Dream of heaven.

Honestly, I am hungry for people who really believe in Jesus, not people who are merely influenced by Christian ideals. I deeply want friendships and to worship with passionate seekers of the kingdom of God. I long for a better world. I know I am not alone…

*This is an excerpt from my personal journal.

The Problem with Love.

(The sermons are located at the bottom of the page.)

About 15 years ago I sat in my office across from a young mother who infrequently attended our church. Her eyes were swollen and face forlorn. It was the type of appearance you only see in someone who has been suffering for an extended period of time.

It takes many hard days and long nights to look this exhausted.

It’s the face you see in someone who has recently lost a spouse to cancer.

It’s the face you see in a parent when their child dies during deployment.

It’s also the face you see in someone who finds out their spouse has been cheating on them and officially chooses to abandon the family. It was this face that sat across the table from me.

“Pastor Mike, my husband said he fell in love with his secretary, and he is going to leave us.” (They had one elementary aged son.) “He said if I really loved him I would support his decision.”

What did she mean by “he fell in love?” What did the cheating spouse mean by, “If you love me, you will support me?”

A few years later I was sitting in my office with someone who was going through their fifth divorce. This lady was a highly educated professional counselor. I asked her why she came to see me rather than another therapist. I quickly realized it wasn’t for counsel. She said she knew exactly what she was doing in the divorce. She was “searching for love and working towards life fulfillment.” She needed to “step aside from anything toxic in her life.” So, I simply asked, “If it’s not for counsel, why are you here to see me?” She said something similar to this: “My son goes to the youth group; can you help him be okay with my pursuit of love and wholeness? Help him understand I’m leaving him and his dad because I need to find myself.”  

I have many more examples: A young girl running away with an older man who she “fell in love with.” Praise God they were caught before something tragic happened. She screamed at her parents for being hateful and “destroying love” when they prevented her from leaving with him. Or what about the doctor who is criticized for “fat shaming” when encouraging self-love and care through weight loss? Or the student who met with me via court mandate for marijuana use. He said something like this: “Pastor Mike, the judge said I need to beat this to be the best version of me. The me I want to be is smoking weed with my friends.” Or the wife and mother who was tired of “repressing her sexuality” and abandoned her family for another woman? She had “fallen in love” and demanded support from the family.

Can you imagine me kneeling down and looking her little boy in the eyes while saying, “I’m sorry your mom left you, but you need to support her as she follows her heart.”

So… what is love?

What is the loving thing to do?

From an inconsistent pop culture perspective, it feels more loving to encourage the dad not to pursue what his heart wants and stay with his family. Yet, somehow cheering on the mom to leave her family for the other woman would be celebrated? What about the heart desires of the families left behind?

So… what is love?

What is the loving thing to do?

I feel like echoing The Princes Bride when Inigo Montoya tells Vizzini, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

I feel like I’m stuck in George Orwell’s book, 1984 and the definition of a word is being purposefully confused and repurposed.

As best as I can tell, love defined by modern culture most often means permission. Usually, culture seems to think what’s most loving to me is most permissive for me. If you tell someone they are wrong or refuse to support them, it’s unloving or even abusive. This makes the fulfillment of individual desires (or appetites) the prime definer of what is right and good to them, and the implication is we all must support this.

Think of Jack Sparrow’s compass from Pirates of the Caribbean, the one that points to what you want. The only difference is everyone has this compass and if anyone else’s journey to fulfill their heart’s desire (compass) interferes with your journey, you can call them an abusive bigot.

Rationally we all know this is unrealistic. You can’t have billions of people living together with different desires all demanding their desires be fully supported. Moreover, it’s civilly impossible to do life with others when you make it okay to go to war against people who have desires that don’t align with yours. The natural nihilistic end is billions of proud little individual human “kings” declaring war on other little human kings because they have been “abused.” If love is practiced by giving open permission and abuse by practice is inhibiting another’s desire, every permission given (love) will eventually inhibit another person’s desire (abuse). Love by practice is abuse in modern culture. Love is abusive in this modern “Orwellian” world.  

The dad who falls in love with another woman sets his love free at the pain of the family he leaves behind. Who should we celebrate? Who should feel held back?

The mom who embraces a new sexuality causes deep pain to the child and husband she walks away from. Who should we celebrate? Who should feel held back?

The list of examples is endlessly long.

So, again… what is love?

Culture may not be able to answer what love is in a coherent way, but there is a clear objective Biblical definition. One I would encourage you to consider.

Biblical love (agape) is an objective anchor and has a very clear meaning in the Bible.

However, our understanding of what words mean is changing. Like learning a new language, we need to define again what the word “love” means as we read it in the Bible. When Jesus says “love” it means something very specific.

Join me as I work to unpack what the Biblical word “love” actually means…

Session One: The Problem with how we use the word “love”.

Session Two: Biblical love is patient and kind.

Session Three: Biblical love doesn’t envy or boast.

Session Four: Biblical love is not proud.

Session Five: Biblical love does not dishonor others.

Session Six: Biblical love puts others first.

Session Seven: Biblical love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.

Session Eight: Biblical love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.

Session Nine: Biblical love always protects and always trusts.

Session Nine: Biblical love hopes and perservers.

Session Ten: Final Thoughts on Biblical love.

Abortion: People don’t understand the Christian view…including some Christians.

Before I go too far into this, take a deep breath. 

We know objectively when you are in a state of heightened adrenaline (fight or flight) you cannot think as clearly as when you are calm. The research project turned into book, Crucial Conversations, made this clear. There is also good evidence (as I have written on before) that social media has shaped our mind to struggle with complex ideas and ideals that do not already align with our predetermined preferences. If people cannot immediately “swipe away” from a person, thought or place they don’t like, they have very real negative visceral reactions.

(For more on this read: You are being rewired by technology.)

This is why many people are not looking to connect and understand, they are looking for justification to their preexisting preferences.
If you speak on anything in our current geopolitical culture people will exaggerate and assume the worst in you, not because of what you said, but because of how they have been shaped to handle other opinions.
Don’t think, “That’s right, I know people that are that way.” Please think, “Uh oh… I am probably that way!”
If your pulse is already high, why don’t you pause and come back later.

I am going to try, big emphasis on try, to create understanding.

Here we go…
A few conversations on abortion I wish we could have without it erupting into straw-man arguments and exaggerated character attacks.

The first conversation. What is considered alive and what isn’t? 

Abortion, as I see it, is not primarily about women’s rights (deep breath), but about what a pregnancy actually is.
Is that unwanted fetus truly a person?
If we all actually believed it was (or was not) alive it would change the way society views much of this debate.

Think about it. 

What if a person desired to kill their ex-wife or husband, a five-year-old with Down’s Syndrome, a two-year-old autistic child, a 75-year-old who only has a few months to live, or even a homeless war veteran with PTSD living under the bridge…would we not call it murder?
Right now in the news a famous podcaster joked about killing the homeless who can’t “do any good” for society. The world erupted against him.
Do not all these examples make life more complicated for society and the families that have to take care of them? These examples create much complexity and stress. As far as I can tell the only difference is that we believe these people to actually be…alive.

I think the first discussion is about what constitutes life. 

Again, what if we believed that mass of tissue was (or was not) a living being that deserves dignity and rights? It would change much of this dialogue, maybe all of it.

This is a big deal and not the first time humans have tried to dehumanize a people group. I, along with many others, remember our messy human history and can’t pretend to turn our eye on what “might” (if you believe a fetus is a living person, a baby) be the greatest genocide humanity has ever participated in.
Can you see how this isn’t something to take lightly?
It may be a life.
Humans have made the awful mistake of dehumanizing before.
Only if you could absolutely prove that the baby in the womb was not a person would pro-life people consider the risk of being a part of yet another historical genocidal blunder.

The second conversation I would like to have: The unrealistic political and social problem of trying to save everyone.

If you don’t believe a fetus is a living person I would understand your desire to stop reading at this point. In this blog specifically it is not my intent to convince you of this. However, it may be good to understand better what Christians who do believe a fetus is a living person are thinking. To those who are pro-choice… this might explain a lot.

Let’s begin with the big picture and work my way in.
Christians think all life is sacred. If they don’t, they aren’t really Christian, independent of what their Facebook status says. 😉 Real Christianity believes all… including those who are rich, poor, minority or majority in culture are sacred. They also think the older person who can’t work, the homeless under the bridge and those who have disorders that prevent them from working in society… yep, all sacred to Christ. This includes the mother and baby. Christians want to do the seemingly impossible, help them all thrive.

I know living like all life is sacred poses a practical problem for society. Actually, many problems.

What do we do when the act of protecting one group causes another to suffer? 

This could be assigned to any of the people groups mentioned above, yet with abortion we must admit, there will be times when protecting that little helpless life (remember, people like me do believe it is a life) will cause other lives to become more complicated. 

As does living with your ex-spouse, the Down’s family member, the homeless war veteran, the list could go on.

This is where I think Christians are trying to do as Martin Luther King, Jr. did.

We press into the “ridiculous ideal” as best as we can.
Dr. King knew that continuing to free and give rights to black people (and other minorities) would make life and society more complex for other people. He still says this… “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive ‘selfishness.’” (Selfishness meaning: since I can’t protect everyone, I’ll protect me and my tribe only.)

As Christians we know our darkest days are when we set aside the altruism of Jesus and gave into social complexities as “unavoidable” evils (see the book Dominion by Tom Holland). Our history shows Christianity’s darkest moments are when she looked at a life and basically said, “Since it’s all so complicated, I’ve decided your life isn’t as valuable as that other person.” This is why we must lean into the “silly,” the seemingly unattainable ideal. We want to do our best to stand with all life. We are not (and have not been) blind to how this can complicate things. We knew it when we opened our homes and churches to the Underground Railroad, marched with Dr. King, and sent our best and brightest to disease ridden parts of the world to heal, help and even die with people that class led societies deemed as less than human. We know it even today when we still give away large portions of our income in a struggling economy to ministries that serve countless meals to the homeless, help immigrants naturalize, and rescue people from human trafficking. We are trying to show that all life matters. That’s what Jesus did and our brightest moments in history are when we leaned into this “silly, unrealistic” ideal.

Can you see it?

This ethic is far reaching. 

Real Christians even want non-Christians to be treated with dignity. We want you to do your best to treat your ex-spouse, annoying neighbor, elderly person who can’t work, criminal who should be detained, we even want you to treat yourself with dignity. On your worst days we want you to look in the mirror and say, “I am an eternal being immeasurably loved by God.” From that knowledge and acceptance we want all people to walk into the ways and ideals of Jesus, literally follow Jesus.

Can you see it? When our spiritual grandparents marched with Dr. King and other minorities they didn’t stop and ask who was Christian first. When Mother Teresa held the hands of people dying from AIDS she didn’t ignore those who weren’t Christian. All deserve dignity. That dignity is evangelistic to us. Jesus hung on a cross for us while we were still living in sin. This means that Christians will do what seems impossible to non-believers. C.S. Lewis, in The Abolition of Man, says that our morality won’t make sense to those that don’t live in it.

It will seem silly or unrealistic.
Yes, yes from a non-believer’s perspective it is.
Yet, sacrificing limited Human Resources to save an eternal soul makes total sense to an eternally minded Christian. To a Christian that homeless person who decides to follow Jesus will far outlast our country, the earth and even our solar system. We want all people to know and feel that level of worth and value.

To be really clear.
Here is what Christians believe…

We believe all people are unimaginably loved eternal beings whose worth is not in how talented they are, how smart they are or how strong they are. We believe all life deserves dignity and should be loved, even the lives of those who live in opposition to Biblical ethics. Humans are not our enemies, we see all people as needing rescued from the lies of the enemy (Ephesians 6:12).

This puts Christians in a place that society doesn’t want us, and young Christians who haven’t been catechized (taught clear Christian doctrine) struggle to understand. 

Following Jesus means a way of living that includes loving people without abandoning Christian morality. Grace and Truth. Real love practiced is not permission to indulge in human appetites but submission to Jesus as a way to find life to the full.
Can you see it?
We as professing Christians are bound to live by Biblical ethics all while loving and cherishing life, even the lives of non-believers.

To my Christian brothers and sisters:

Especially in this current climate we must go all out in helping mothers who are pregnant. We must be willing to open our homes and wallets to babies that are unwanted and mothers that feel stuck.
We cannot defend a Christian morality without it becoming an actual living and breathing ethic. The Christian life has always been marked by some level of asceticism, temperance and self denial to make resource space for those who are in need. God did not give you money to indulge, but infuse this world with the knowledge and love of God.

Be life, everywhere you go, be life. Set your own appetites aside to make space to help other lives. As the Mandalorian would say, “this is the way.” (There is the pop culture reference!)

What am I personally doing?
I have five children and Leslie (my wife) and I still talk about finding ways to do more for mothers who are pregnant and unwanted babies. This will absolutely mean creating more systems to help pregnant mothers in the ministries I oversee, but it also means opening my wallet personally and maybe even opening our home to adopt a child or sponsor a mother.
Whatever it takes…
I will try to protect all life. Moms, babies, immigrants, those with mental disorders, the elderly, the homeless, the poor, even non-Christians who don’t like me…all life.
I so desperately want to lean into the ridiculous ideal. I promise I won’t always get it right, I will need the very grace I want to offer others. I also promise Christians won’t get it right, but we have a living and breathing ideal. A ridiculous, eternally minded, value all life, ideal. We have Jesus to model after.

Rebuttals I often hear:

What about complex situations?

This is often followed by examples like this:
What about a mother in an emergency labor situation and the doctor has to choose between her life and the baby? Or…
What about a mom who has cancer and if she is treated the baby will die?

My friends. Please, we all know this isn’t what Christians are talking about. These are complex situations and often used as straw man arguments. We are talking about the vast majority of abortions that many Christians believe is taking place mostly for convenience. In the hard situations we just want medical professionals to try to save all life. We know this can’t always happen. Let the rare and extreme situations be rare and extreme. That’s not what we are talking about. To the pro-choice person, that’s why it may feel like these types of arguments go nowhere with Christians. They would probably simply say, “Yes, that’s complicated.”

Don’t you care about women’s rights?

The Christian would simply say, and does say, “Yes!” Women, along with all other life, should be valued and have rights.

What if it makes someone who has had an abortion feel bad?

There is correlation between accepting the weight of a situation and the weight of healing. It’s awful when people hurt deeply and all they get is a passive belittling of their pain. Deep healing needs deep confession. It was a life that died and God STILL loves you and so do we! It’s a big deal and so are you! Follow the ways and love of Jesus, it will change everything.

A few Scriptures to remember:

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV

“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:37-40 ESV

The greatest transfer of wealth in human history is starting to happen.

This might be the most controversial blog I write all year.

It impacts almost everything controversial…

  • Politics.
  • Education and the future of your children and grandchildren.
  • Abortion and adoption.
  • Churches abandoning Truth.  
  • The future of our country.
  • Who controls what is “true” by controlling social media and the news.

This blog is for those who are about 60 years old and older.

It’s to those that feel like they have little power or influence left.

Grandmas and Grandpas, you can shape the future in one very powerful way, and you may not realize it.

There is something on the economic horizon that many are beginning to bring attention to.

The greatest transfer of wealth in human history is beginning.

The wealthiest (and one of the largest) generations in human history is beginning to retire, age and pass away. Who this generation leaves their money to will determine who has the ability to shape the future. *

Some of you (those in the 60 plus age range) have great hearts.

You lived a lifetime trying to help make the world a better place, yet a lot of you will undo almost all of what you have lived supporting simply by giving all that God has entrusted to you into the hands of foolish children and wayward organizations, people who do not share your values.

I know this will make people mad, but someone who is Christian** needs to sound the alarm too.

  • Where you place your estate will have greater long-term impact on the future than the news channel you watch or leader you prefer.
  • Don’t just think of who you are giving and leaving your money to, think of what they will do with it.
  • You must be intentional with what God has entrusted to you all the way through the end of your life.

If the college you graduated from doesn’t hold your values anymore, pull your money today and invest it in people and places that do uphold your Christian values.

Can you see it?

Not picking someone to give your wealth to is a passive picking.

If your own children don’t hold your values, don’t give all your money to them. Intentionally invest in who does hold your values.

If the church movement you are a part of has walked away from sound Biblical doctrine, stop giving to them.

You will give all you have to the next generation. Double negative warning – you cannot “not participate.”

I mean that, you and your generation will pass away. Please, find young leaders, movements and ministries that are sound and intentionally fund them…for the future.

My older friends, think big picture. 

For your grandkids future, shaping the world they will be born into is vastly more important than just giving them money.

Some of you are wealthy and you are a heart attack away from being a substantial supporter of things you completely disagree with.

This may be painful, but it’s very possible your spiritual children will be more faithful than your biological ones.

It is very possible investing in your spiritual children will have a greater likelihood of building a world that will save your great grandchildren and their children to come over investing in your biological ones. It’s the same with universities and churches.

The greatest transfer of wealth is already beginning.

You can’t stop it and you will participate in giving to someone.

If you are not intentional with your legacy, your sin of omission (not doing what you know you should do) might become your greatest mistake. If the numbers economists are throwing around are correct, this sin of legacy omission might singlehandedly sink this country. You, as a generation, giving all you have to your sinful kids and wayward alma mater could literally sink the country.

Remember, you keep nothing after you die and all that you own is going to someone else.

Who gets your life’s work?

What ideas and ideals will get your life’s work?

What morality, ethic, and education will you invest in?

You also must pick someone young. Just passing money between older folks fixes nothing in the long run.

Pick organizations that are sound.

Pick young leaders you believe in.

You won’t get it 100% right, but you must try to be intentional.

I can hear it now…

“Pastor Mike, this is an outright money grab by a pastor.”

Well, yes and no. No, you don’t have to pick me or organizations I have started or currently run.  And… Yes, you can if you believe in them!

Please… Just be intentional!  

*This transfer of wealth is beginning to be talked about in so many places. Google it and pick whatever source you trust. Seriously, Ramsey, Fox News, CNN… whatever. They all see it coming. I have even heard it called “The Great Reset.”

**There are young social media influencers who are helping other young people position themselves to get their parents and grandparents money. They know they don’t have to fight you on your ethics…they literally just wait you out with the proper paperwork in place. You’ll die and your money will fund the ethics you disagree with. Imagine that; some of the most faithful sound friends of yours (older folks) will become great supports of agendas they currently disagree with.

You are being rewired to not have friends. (Or a romantic relationship.)

Is it really getting harder and harder to get along with other humans? Yes, it is.

“Pastor Mike, will you pray for me? I’m lonely. Every time I start to get close to someone it turns toxic.

I have heard versions of this many times over the last few years and the frequency of these types of comments is increasing. With 5 kids I decided to take some time to research this social loneliness. Here is what I found:

Your brain is wired to adapt, and the Internet is rewiring your brain.

Remember neuroplasticity from that undergrad psychology class? It’s the ability of the brain to change and adapt. When you are young your brain is amazing at this. Think of an immigrant family moving to the United States. In just a few years a child, without much intentional effort, can speak and sound just like anyone else who grew up here. With adults… not so much. After years of classes and effort you can still identify the parent who migrated here. Adult brains can’t adapt as quickly and fully as young ones. This isn’t good or bad. It just is. Either could be advantageous depending on the situation.

Your brain is being rewired to only give attention to things it likes most.

Take that young highly adaptable brain and give it a cell phone. As those young minds thumb through photos, YouTube videos, social media, and blogs they are being trained to leave a page, post, or video as soon as they aren’t interested and the more they do this the more they are fed exactly what they prefer. It’s basic digital marketing. Hours of doing this is wiring the brain of young children to lose the ability to coexist with things that aren’t exactly what they like. Ironically, those of us that didn’t get the Internet in our hands until we were adults are less affected precisely because our brains can’t adapt as easily. The now young adults? They were raised in the Wild West of the Internet Age. Their brains work differently.

The world of utopian digital pleasure produces dystopian realities.  

Think about it. Not only with our kids, but we also are being trained to leave as soon as we come across something we even mildly disagree with. These digitally perfected echo chambers of our ideal perspectives are shaping our brains, especially in our kids. We are losing the ability to live alongside people that aren’t EXACTLY what we prefer. It’s becoming true that kids can’t emotionally handle ideas that they don’t like, and therefore, environments and relationships that make them uncomfortable. They don’t practice coexisting with other ideas. They practice unfollowing, deleting, or swiping away from them. In the real world you can’t instantly exit a webpage or go to someone else’s post or unfollow someone nearly as easily.

Real humans are becoming too complex for us to handle.

This brings us to relationships today. You aren’t wrong. You do feel trapped and anxious when there is no way to easily exit or swipe away from something you dislike.  People are complex and you do feel like you can’t emotionally handle the differences. Your threshold for handling coexisting wills is decreasing. In other words, what feels toxic is increasing in every real-world experience. Friendships, dating relationships, even church. It’s much easier for you to look at porn than have a real complex relationship, to chat in digital rooms where you can bounce as soon as you are offended, to go to an online church where you only have to listen to the parts you like. The anxiety of the real and complex is becoming too much for you to handle. This is one of the reasons (there are others*) why you are lonely and you find everything and everyone toxic. Therefore, everything is becoming more polarized as we lose the ability to coexist and emotional fortitude to handle different people and ideas.

What do we do to restore the emotional fortitude required to have relationships with other actual humans?

Like working out an atrophied muscle, you must practice pushing into the discomfort of learning to hear other people and other ideas without constantly “swiping,” or running away. You must learn to be okay with someone who doesn’t see the world the same as you. You must learn to look people in the eye. Hold a hand. Have a debate. Compare ideas and work through them together. I am not asking you to join a gang or terrorist group, but commit to being in a group of people even when they think a little differently, and possibly even offend you. Resist the swipe. Join a chess club, get into a spin class, read a book with others, and debate it. Stop watching church online and show up. When someone says something that bothers you, don’t run away right away. Stick it out. Hear them out. Grow your ability to handle others. You might just find a best friend, maybe even your future spouse. If you marry them, you will need the ability to fight over the toilet seat being up or down. The effort and discomfort is worth the reward of real, committed relationship.

Lastly, please consider the two resources.

They are purposefully not academic and very accessible. If you want more, I have plenty of it. Or you could just Google it. 😉

  1. The Social Dilemma Documentary (What is happening.)
  2. The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher: (What to do.) This is a strong defense of the classic Christian way. It will trigger even some Christians. Read it, it’s good for you to be pushed. It’s not abuse to have someone not think exactly like you.

*There is a social upheaval that needs to be considered. This is a paper (more academic) I wrote awhile back pertaining to it. How did we get to cancel culture? A Christian Response to the Deconstruction of the West.

There is no such thing as “Financial Independence.”

There is no such thing as “Financial Independence”.

We dream of the day no boss can tell us what to do.
We want to reclaim our most valuable resource, our time.
We want the freedom to choose to do as we please when we would like to do it.
This is a modern myth as a Christian.
Even if God financially blesses you to the point you don’t need from people wealthier than you, you never break free from the requirement to help those who have less than you.
There is no financial independence as a Christian.
Looking at the text below it appears it may be eternally riskier to be wealthy.

Matthew 25:31–46.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 19:23-30 ESV

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.