Hanging up my hat.

After five years, one week, four days, and 2,567 posts, I have decided that it’s time to finally hang up my blogging hat.

Each of our lives are filled with chapters, and this chapter in my life is coming to a close.

Blogging has taken far too much of my time away from my family and has been the source of countless contentious disagreements in the blogosphere; many unnecessarily so. (Also, the two separate stalkers and the occasional threats of lawsuits by professing Christians didn’t exactly make blogging life a walk in the park either.)

There were several occasions over the years where I considered throwing in the towel but every time I pondered doing so I would receive a timely e-mail of thanks and encouragement from a reader for the work being done on DefCon, and that would always be enough to persuade me to remain on the front lines.

I am now, however, beyond weary with battle fatigue and in need of a hiatus (even while on vacation from work for the past half decade I was never on vacation from the blog).

The amount of time needed daily to approve or reject incoming comments, to answer questions, to reply to comments, to respond to complaints, to find and post important articles, to write and publish new material, and the overall maintenance of the blog itself, has taken its toll.

Although arduous and laborious, it certainly hasn’t been all bad. Many great things have come from this labor of love including the friends that have been made and even support for missions work in Liberia, West Africa which has come from faithful readers like you.

I even grew a lot over the years; learning that not every hill was worth dying on and that there’s much value in being gracious and kind to everyone, even those who disagree with me.

I will surely miss blogging, but I am certain that one day–if the Lord affords me time on a deathbed–I will experience greater regret having missed precious time with my family and raising my children in the Lord, than the fact that I missed out on one more debate on the Internet.

So, at this point,  you’re probably asking yourself what will become of DefCon. Have no fear, it will still be here, but with a new captain at the helm. It is with great honor that I announce that the new pilot of DefCon will be my dear friend, faithful brother, and fellow writer, Chris Hohnholz.

I am certain that he will do a great job with the blog (in whatever direction it goes) and all for the glory of God.

Saying goodbye is not easy. The idea of walking away from what I’ve poured so much time, energy, and effort into for half a decade is very bittersweet, but I take comfort in knowing that the torch will be passed into good hands.

I’d like to conclude by saying thank you to all DefCon’s faithful readers and commenters who have been an encouragement to me in this endeavor, as well as to all DefCon’s writers who–like me–have sacrificed their time over the years contributing to this work. I have learned a lot from all of you and I hope that you have learned a few things from me as well.

Please continue to keep me and the writers of this blog in your prayers. You will all be greatly missed.

Stay the course and never compromise.

– Pilgrim

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”   Jude 24-25

How to stagnate the church: A dictator’s manual.

Dear atheistic, communistic dictator: Having trouble with that dastardly underground church spreading like wild fire?

No matter how much you seize, imprison, torture, and execute those Christians, the church still keeps flourishing?

Christians getting in the way of your nation’s “progressive” progress?

Looking for a way to stamp out the spread of Christianity in your Orwellian utopia?

Well look no further than this blog post. That’s right. In this post I will show you in just two easy steps how to limit the spread of the church in your country in one generation so you can continue to build your effervescent dystopian society unhindered.

But, dear dictator, it is essential that you first understand two things before we proceed: 

Firstly, up to this point you’ve been doing it all wrong.  The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church and history has proven that persecution only grows the church. 

Secondly, God’s ultimate sovereign will and His predetermined plans will never be thwarted by any man, including you . . . with all due respect of course, dearest comrade.

If you can resign yourself to the fact that your current approach has been ineffective, and that you will never completely stamp out Christianity, then you’re ready to follow the two easy steps outlined below to begin stagnating the spread of the church in your country.

Let’s begin.


You must legalize freedom of religion. I know, I know, this sounds counter intuitive, but trust me on this.

Combined with step two, legalizing freedom of religion will ensure that the tares will greatly increase among the wheat since there’s no longer a sacrifice associated with “becoming a Christian.” Once the tares begin to outnumber the wheat, you will know that success (achieved without a single shot fired) is just around the corner.


In conjunction with step one, open up Christian bookstores in every city and flood the market with two waves of books. In the first wave push books by the likes of Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and Beth Moore to skew their concept of what Christianity is. Simultaneously make available to them such television channels as TBN to tell them that God’s greatest desire for them is to be healthy and wealthy and that anything less means they are lacking in faith.

After the masses have consumed and adapted to a positive, self-help version of the gospel, then hit them with the second wave of book by the likes of Rob Bell, Dallas Willard, Doug Pagitt, Jay Bakker, and similar Emergents to encourage them to doubt everything the Bible says (or at least doubt what the Bible says about the sins they like to continue engaging in).

Allow Christian radio stations to function uninhibited. Encourage stations to fill the airwaves with their sugary, Jesus-is-my-boyfriend, contemporary, Christian pop music along with all the “positive and encouraging” Bible verses to boot (avoiding verses like Psalm 5:5, Psalm 11:5, Matthew 7:21-23, and Hebrews 10:31), offering contests to win theme park tickets, movie theater tickets, concert tickets, backstage passes, autographed CDs, day spa visits, and cruises, cruises, cruises.

All of this will drive these Christians to seek after increased comfort and greater self-preservation over and above everything else. This “laying down of one’s cross” to seek after comfort, security, and prosperity, of course, is the very opposite of what the Christian should be doing and is the antithesis of a “revolutionary.” A revolutionary, need I remind you, is one who would be willing to sacrifice everything to overthrow an oppressive government such as yours. The less revolutionaries there are, the greater your chance of retaining your power becomes.

Remember, your goal is not to make these people irreligious, because that simply doesn’t work (which is, after all, why you’re reading this). No, your goal is to inoculate them to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, the only religious faith that truly poses an ideological threat to your fragile utopia.

If you properly followed the above steps, then your subjects will not only have moved from the true gospel to a false one, but they’ll even reject the true gospel and not even be able to recognize it when it’s presented to them. This biblical ignorance will certainly spread like a cancer and be passed on to the next generation, ensuring your safety and security from an uprising or revolution for many years to come. 

Left to human nature, men will inevitably take the path of least resistance. No dying to self and carrying a cross for them, only happiness, security, prosperity, and ease. And once on the hook, they will then follow whoever promises to continue to provide those comforts, even if they follow that leader to the gallows he has prepared for them.

Do you still doubt that my two-step plan will work? Do you still desire proof of its effectiveness? Then I need only to direct you to where this two-step process has been implemented already as proof that this works every time it’s tried: Look no further than the churches in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The two hardest words for a Christian to say.

Anyone who’s been around the church for any length of time will no doubt be able to recall a time when they were hurt by a fellow Christian. It’s not something that we ever expect to happen among those that are called to love even their enemies, but when we’re dealing with fallen human beings it is inevitable.

But what’s more troubling is that there seems to be a vital component in human relationships today that is utterly lost, and sadly, it’s even missing from those relationships within the Body of Christ. What I am speaking of is our inability and unwillingness to say the two hardest words in the human language: “I’m sorry.”

It’s amazing when you think of it. “I’m sorry” struggles violently to be liberated from our mouths while almost anything and everything else we say flows off our tongues without any restraint whatsoever (and is often the impetus behind many of our reasons we need to say sorry).

We are quick to displace blame, justify our actions, or simply ignore the hurt that we’ve caused another, but consider how much progress could be made in our relationships if we would simply bring ourselves to sincerely utter those two humbling words. And oh, how the gospel of Jesus Christ would be beautifully displayed.

The refusal to admit wrong is a burden that both parties have to bear. The wrongdoer for their wrong that has gone unconfessed, and the one wronged who now struggles to remain forgiving toward the wrongdoer and fights vigilantly to prevent animosity and bitterness from taking root in their hearts against the wrongdoer for not only the wrong, but also for the wrongdoer’s refusal to simply say that they’re sorry.

The wrongdoer may be able to sear their conscience enough to move on after the incident as if nothing happened, but the one wronged has to not only forgive the one who wronged them, but will spend a lot of time guarding themselves from the bitterness and resentment that will be ever-creeping at the door of their heart because the one at fault simply will not say, “I’m sorry.”

Ingrid Schlueter wrote a poignant piece on this very subject entitled I’m Sorry. Here’s an excerpt from her blog article (which I highly recommend):

“The words ‘I’m sorry’ when said honestly are the most healing in the human language. It seems sometimes like I spend an inordinate amount of time having to use those words for one reason or another. But I’m not sorry about that. Relations among professing Christians are in a shameful state because so few can bring themselves to say it and mean it. So unresolved issues lie there like rotting corpses, bringing a spiritual stumbling block to the offended, and a hindrance between God and the unrepentant offender.”

Is there someone you have offended or hurt (it does not matter whether they are a fellow believer or not) that you still have not told that you’re sorry or asked forgiveness of? If so, before you do anything else, humble yourself and do what needs to be done.

If you don’t know of anyone you need to ask forgiveness from, then seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you if there is someone that you’ve hurt and didn’t realize it, then go and make it right.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

Atheist hypocrisy (Part 2)

I frequently hear anti-theists lament the hypocrisy they see in the lives of professing Christians, oftentimes citing such hypocrisies as part of their reason for rejecting Christianity. But there is a glaring hypocrisy that frequently comes from the anti-theist camp that seems to escape their own notice. Although this hypocrisy is abundantly present in many of the anti-theist rants against Christianity, I have yet to see anyone bring attention to it. So allow me to point it out.

Anti-theists spend an inordinate amount of time devoted to expressing a hatred toward, and the mocking of a God they claim doesn’t exist (chew on the rationality of that for a while). They also spend a lot of time mocking Christians who actually live according to the principles set forth in Scripture; those Christians who strive to follow the commands of Christ.

So many times when an atheist sees a Christian being obedient to the commands of Christ (i.e. practice what they preach), they get mocked as “fuddy duddies,” “prudes,” and “fundies” by pretentious anti-theists.

Now the hypocrisy comes:

As soon as some anti-theists observe legitimate (or perceived) hypocrisy in the lives of pseudo-Christians, they wail that this somehow not only “proves” that God doesn’t exist, but that the behavior of these professing Christians justifies these anti-theists’ continued willful enmity toward God and Christianity.

“You Christians are hypocrites; you don’t practice what you preach, and that’ just another reason why I reject the existence of your God.”

So which is it, dear atheist? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t on the one hand accuse Christians of hypocrisy for not practicing what they preach, and then, on the other hand, mock them when they do.

To be consistent, if the professing Christian not practicing what the Bible teaches is one reason to reject Christianity, then wouldn’t the Christian practicing what the Bible teaches be one reason to embrace Christianity?

So I ask you this day, which would you rather see, Christians following their Lord’s commands, or those shallow, Sunday-only Christians who claim to follow Christ but who live just like you?

Choose this day who you’ll mock . . . then remain consistent.

See: Atheist Hypocrisy (Part 1) here.

An open letter to Rosie O’Donnell.

Dear Rosie:

After watching the exchange between you and the street preacher in the brief video clip below, I felt compelled to respond.

I am not privy to the conversation between you and the men before the video began rolling so I do not know what was said, but honestly, what took place beforehand is irrelevant and does not justify what was said to you by the one with the microphone. How you were treated was appalling, despicable, and reprehensible.

It is obvious that the man insulting you and calling you names was speaking from a position of prideful arrogance and as one who does not fully understand the pit from which God saved him from (although his behavior would lead me to seriously question if he truly has been saved from anything).

On behalf of Christians, I want to publicly apologize for how you were treated. This man does not speak for, nor did his actions represent genuine, biblical Christianity. Instead, he displayed a sinfully self-righteous attitude reminiscent of that of the Pharisees.

I see very little difference between his behavior and that of the clan from the Westboro “Baptist Church.” Both come from a position of I’m superior to you because you’re a sinner, instead of coming from a position of I am a sinner saved by God’s undeserved grace and was facing God’s justly deserved wrath until He saved me for His glory.

God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). The man insulting you showed absolutely no humbleness nor concern for your soul, but instead displayed an abundantly self-righteous attitude revealing that the impetus behind his behavior was nothing but sheer pride. His harsh and demeaning words to you exposed not only his utter lack of understanding of  God’s grace and God’s mercy, but it also revealed what was in his heart (Luke 6:45) as well as his astounding ignorance of the very gospel of Jesus Christ that he claims to represent.

I seriously have to question the salvation of any professing Christian who revels and delights in the prospect of someone facing Hell–ridiculing and insulting them–instead of grieving for that perishing soul. For not even God takes pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefers for the sinner to turn from their ways (Ezekiel 18:23).

Continue reading

The Great Exchange.

Life is filled with unanswered questions. The most troubling of which are questions surrounding the afterlife. For example: What happens to us after we die? Who will find themselves in Hell? How does someone get to Heaven?

We hear many opinions about these mysteries from family, friends, co-workers, churches, religious leaders, psychics, and even television talk show hosts. But the one issue that needs to be dealt with before we die is the one problem that people rarely—if ever—mention. It’s the dilemma they cannot account for, remedy or fix, yet it is the one thing that will determine where each and every one of us will spend eternity. This problem that I am speaking of is sin.

We all do it.

Every person who has ever lived or is living now has sinned (Romans 3:9, 3:23), and as long as we live we continue to indulge in sin (Genesis 6:5). None of us are free of sin (1 John 1:8), and God will judge us for every one of our sins, including the secret ones we thought were hidden (1 Samuel 16:7, Ecclesiastes 12:14, Romans 2:16, Romans 8:27).

Sin results in two deaths.

The sin that we inherited from Adam and the sin we willingly commit every day will result in our physical death (Romans 5:12-17, 6:23), but of greater peril than our physical death is that our sin will result in what’s called the “second death” (Revelation 21:8). This “second death” is better known as Hell, a very real and horrifying place consisting of eternal punishment, darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth, and an unquenchable fire (Matthew 8:12, Luke 3:17, Jude 7).

Our common denial.

We are all guilty before God, condemned by a lifetime of accumulated sin, but some people aren’t convinced that they’re sinners until they face these four questions:

– 1) Have you ever told a lie, even a little white lie? (Proverbs 6:16-17, Revelation 21:8)

– 2) Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you? (Leviticus 19:11)

– 3) Have you ever lusted after someone? (Matthew 5:27-28)

– 4) Have you ever used God’s name in vain? (Exodus 20:7)

If you answered “Yes” to these four questions then you’ve admitted to being a lying, thieving, adulterous blasphemer. On the great and dreadful day of God’s final judgment, will you be found guilty or innocent? Based on God’s standards (not ours), the answer is obvious: you, like the rest of mankind, will stand condemned.

We’re already under God’s judgment.

Contrary to popular opinion, we do not have to wait until the day of God’s judgment to find out whether or not we’re in right standing with God. It’s not a question of if upon your death you’ll be condemned to God’s eternal, fierce, and terrifying judgment; it’s already your current condition. Because we’ve all sinned, we are already under His judgment and consigned to His wrath (John 3:18, 3:36).

Our obedience and good works are useless.

If you try to pay your sin-debt to God and earn His favor by being a good person and following the Law, then you must follow all of God’s Laws perfectly your entire life without ever failing in one area or you’ll be charged with breaking all of His Laws (Galatians 3:10, James 2:10). If you’ve already sinned in your life—even once—then perfect obedience to the Law for salvation is not even an option for you.

Not only are you under a curse if you sin in just one area of the Law, but you’re incapable of completely obeying the Law even if you wanted to (Romans 8:6-8). And—as if it couldn’t get any worse—the Bible tells us that those who try to earn their salvation by following the Law have fallen from grace and are cut off from Christ (Galatians 5:4).

God expects absolute moral perfection.

Not only does God require us to be holy (Leviticus 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16), but Jesus said that our righteousness must surpasses that of the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20) and we must be perfect just as God is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

God cannot forgive you and still remain holy.

God cannot simply forgive us of our sin without becoming an abomination unto Himself (Proverbs 17:15, 18:5, 24:24). It would be unjust and corrupt of Him to merely overlook our sin-debt just as it would be for an earthly judge to overlook the transgressions of a criminal in his courtroom. We shouldn’t expect God to forgive our offense to Him any more than we should expect an earthly judge to simply forgive the man who was guilty of murder. If the court judge let the criminal go free because he’s a tolerant, forgiving, and loving judge, then that judge would be as wicked as the murderer who committed the crime. Such a pardon would be the epitome of corruption and injustice, yet this is exactly what most people expect God will do for them when they stand before Him on Judgment Day.

God cannot simply ignore your sin and still remain a righteous and just Judge because justice demands that punishment be carried out. Based on the moral standard required of our holy, perfect, and righteous final Judge, you and I must be eternally punished under God’s relentless, unmitigated wrath because we have sinned against an eternal and infinitely holy God.

What hope is there?

So, what hope is there? How can we be forgiven for our multitude of sins that require punishment? How can God justify the sinner and still remain just (Romans 3:26)?

But God . . .

But God, our Judge, being merciful and because of His great love toward us (even while we were still sinners and dead in our transgressions), provided the means of salvation by brutally sacrificing His own Son so that we may be forgiven and reconciled to Him (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4).

Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22). The only way for us to be forgiven of our transgressions is for someone to die in our place (a propitiatory substitute) in order to bear the wrath of God that our sins justly deserve. Only a sinless sacrifice could redeem us and bridge the gap between a holy and righteous God and a depraved and sinful people. The sacrifice had to be fully human and fully God in order to qualify to be an adequate mediator to reconcile us to God.

God crushed His own Son (Isaiah 53:10) as He placed our sins upon Him (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus bore our sins on the cross (Psalm 22:16, Isaiah 53:12, 1 Peter 2:24), and He redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).The Father placed the wretched, filthy, and vile sins of His people upon His beloved, sinless Son so that Jesus would become sin on our behalf (our substitute) while simultaneously giving (imputing) Christ’s righteousness to us (Romans 4:22-24, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9). Jesus Christ not only paid our insurmountable debt of sin with His own life (a debt we could never pay), but He also credited His own perfect righteousness to our account—the very righteousness that God requires of us but that we could never obtain on our own. This judicial transfer or great exchange meets the requirements of God’s Law and satisfies the demands of God’s justice.

Jesus Christ is the one and only means God provided to reconcile us to Himself. The Son is the only way to the Father (John 14:6), and salvation is found in no one but Jesus (Acts 4:12). No matter how “good” we think we are or how hard we strive to follow God’s Laws, no one (not even you or me) is justified by the Law (Galatians 2:16, 3:11) but by faith in Christ alone because, if righteousness could be obtained by following the Law, then Jesus Christ died needlessly (Galatians 2:21).

Once upon a cross . . .

Either Jesus paid for your sins and absorbed God’s wrath for you by His substitutionary death on the cross, and conversely His righteousness has been merited to you, or you will pay for your own sins and endure God’s unrelenting wrath for eternity in Hell. God declares that we should repent because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world (Acts 17:30-31). It will be a terrifying­­­­ day for you (Proverbs 21:15, Hebrews 10:31) if you haven’t repented (Luke 13:3) and believed/trusted (Mark 1:15) in Christ alone as your perfect sacrificial substitute, Savior, and Lord.

Atheist hypocrisy (Part 1)

I often hear the lament from anti-theists about Christian hypocrisy as the impetus behind their rejection of God, but rarely is atheist hypocrisy ever mentioned. So let’s look at two glaring hypocrisies of atheism, part one today, and part two coming soon.


I recall a time a few years ago when I posted a gospel tract on the community bulletin board of a local coffee shop.

Shortly thereafter, as I sat sipping my hot beverage, a woman in her thirties entered the shop and made her way over to the bulletin board. Upon seeing the tract, she quickly removed it and promptly found a table where she sat and thumbed through the little booklet. Her behavior led me to speculate that she was familiar with what she held in her hands, and I watched from a distance. 

Then this woman took out a pen and began to write on the tract (both the front and rear covers). This greatly piqued my interest of course, and I continued to observe.

A short while later another woman entered the establishment and approached the table where the first woman sat. The second woman greeted the first and the first woman gleefully showed the second woman the cover of the tract. The second woman gave a smirk while the first had a grin ear to ear. She then promptly returned the tract to the bulletin board.

My party and I left at the same time as the two women did but my curiosity got the best of me so I returned to the bulletin board inside the business and retrieved the tract. And there I read what the woman in all her giddy-like-a-school-girl excitement had written on the tract.

On the front:

“There is no God!”

On the back:

“Shame on God!”

There you have it . . . classic anti-theist hypocrisy: “Shame on the very thing I believe doesn’t exist.”

How can someone say on one hand, “There is no God!” then on the other hand say, “Shame on God!”? That is either blatant hypocrisy or a mild case of schizophrenia.

You can’t claim that someone or something doesn’t exist, then offer an opinion on that someone or something. Let me offer an example.

If I said that the Loch Ness Monster does not exist, but then warned you that you should be careful while swimming in Loch Ness because the Monster might get you, would you not be justified in questioning the truthfulness of my original claim that Nessie doesn’t exist?

So I came to the realization that most self-proclaimed atheists aren’t atheists because they disbelieve the existence of God, but it’s simply because they hate Him. They don’t want to be limited or prohibited in their lifestyle choices, nor be confronted with their sin, so they self-inflict a seared conscience upon themselves.

I would prefer if these professing atheists would be upfront and honest about their beliefs and come to terms with the fact that they simply hate God and His laws, instead of hiding behind a pretentious facade of pseudo-intellectualism in their declaration that the very thing they hate does not exist.

A little honesty and candor is all I’m seeking. Is that too much to ask for?

DefCon reaches 2 million visits.

On December 31, 2011, at approximately 10:00 pm (EST), DefCon received its two-millionth hit.

In the four years and four months that this blog has been active, we’ve published 3,768 posts (counting this one) and accumulated 22,220 comments.

I wanted to thank our writers as well as our many loyal readers, some of whom have been with us for years and some of which are newcomers. I am truly grateful for all that the writers and commenters have contributed to this work, and I am thankful that God has allowed us to do this for so long.

Thank you all, and Happy New year.


Angry Arminians.

For the past several weeks I’ve been addressing my concerns about behavioral and interpersonal interaction among Christians and the inevitable negative affects this ungracious conduct breeds.

I’ve addressed issues such as the hypocrisy of Christians (found here), caustic Calvinists (found here), and the cannibalism of “elite” Christian bloggers devouring their perceived lower class counterparts (found here).

This week I am addressing one more issue: Angry Arminians. And what better way to tackle this issue than to reprint an e-mail (verbatim and in its entirety) that I recently received in the DefCon reader mailbag?

I have read your blog for 2 years. I don’t know why. Every time I read a post, I feel physically sick. My soul weeps at how you blaspheme the nature of God. Your arrogance thinly veiled in self-righteousness. Your hate for your fellow man.

WE GET IT…God doesn’t love everyone, but he loves you. God didn’t send Jesus to die for everyone, just a select (including you). Because he chose you. Congratulations. If God is as you view him, I would rather spend eternity in hell. There is something wrong with all of you. I take the way you ruin the name of God very seriously, and so do many others. The god you purport to serve is NOTHING. you serve a tyrannical psychopathic egotistical monster of your own creation. because he isn’t real. this makes you weak and pathetic and masochistic. you are disgusting.

This is obviously not the way that most Arminians engage in a debate on the subject of God’s sovereignty; many remain gracious and kind in their debates but we must be honest, too many Arminians tend to get very hot under the collar whenever the Doctrines of Grace are proclaimed.

The vast majority of those who oppose what is commonly referred to as “Calvinism” do not disembowel their opponents with vitriolic diatribes like seen above, but many of them do get extremely angry.

The idea that God is actually sovereign over all His creation (including His human creations), and that He retains the right to wield that sovereignty over His creation as He sees fit (humans included) is oftentimes enough to send some Arminians into a rabid tizzy.

What the angry Arminian fails to comprehend, however, is that their loathsome disgust of the Doctrine’s of Grace is not actually toward those who hold to these doctrines, but instead, their disdain is ultimately with the Scriptures themselves and the God who inspired them. Arminians are simply kicking against the goads, for the Doctrines of Grace are biblical and have been taught throughout all of Scripture and church history (long before John Calvin was ever born).

There’s absolutely no need to be demeaning or to get enraged with one another when debating these issues. Neither caustic Calvinists nor Angry Arminians advance the gospel or glorify God when we’re engaged in bloody battles and vitriolic tirades with one another. We tend to show more patience with those in cults and false religions than we do with our own brethren. Absolutely no one is drawn to the gospel when they see displays like this . . .

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Colossians 4:6

Pharisees, leprous Samaritans, and other bloggers.

This post may not win me friends, and it may only make the sport of loathing me (and this blog) all the more attractive, but I am compelled to address a problem within the Christian internet community; a problem that doesn’t appear to show signs of ending anytime soon.

The problem I am speaking of is the increasing (and unnecessary) condescension and personal attacks from upper class Christians of the blogging world directed toward their lower class brothers and sisters.

This unsightly pock mark on the face of the Christian blogging world has risen to an alarming level and ignoring it –or hoping that it will soon run its course—simply won’t alleviate the problem. In this post I will be brutally honest (risking possible verbal retaliation and smears) but I hope and pray my words will be received in the spirit in which they are intended and will not actually contribute to the already inflamed derision among the caste system of Christian bloggers.

If anyone is offended by what may appear as an overly harsh rebuke or admonition (or some tongue-in-cheek), I apologize in advance, as my intent is not to offend, but the situation has boiled to such a level that pulling punches will serve no good in my appeal to see an end to this disadvantageous behavior.

I am also not deluded into believing my words will persuade all parties involved, but I do pray that it will cause at least a few of the combatants to pause and reflect on just how poorly attitudes and behaviors have gotten lately. I also pray that those involved will repent for the damage already done and then join me in calling a truce in this war among brethren.

To be fair.

I must begin by conceding that there are in fact some very angry, argumentative, and combative Christian bloggers out there who really need to reconsider the reason they blog. These bloggers (which comprise a very small minority) would do the cause of Christ and the gospel a service if they would consider taking a sabbatical to reevaluate their current spiritual state. (I have already addressed this issue in my previous post Caustic Calvinists.)

The fact is, these acidic bloggers are not representative of every Christian blogger out there who happens to find themselves outside the gates of the upper echelons of the blogging food chain, and I reject the efforts by some to lump all lower class apologist bloggers together as part of the seething minority.

But this post is not about them. This post is about the elitists who paint all inferior bloggers in cyberspace with the same broad brush as the few caustic bloggers.

My observations.

In my estimation most Christian bloggers fall into two main categories:

1). The hierarchical internet popes who see themselves as the only class of bloggers that are worthy, able, and enlightened enough to defend the faith and address the problems within the church.

To be analogous, I liken this growing elitist mentality to the Pharisees–not in the malicious way that critics apply the term as a way to stifle their opponents in a debate–but in the sense that, like the Pharisees, these bloggers strongly present themselves as the only ones worthy to deal with religious matters. All other bloggers are just not at the spiritual, educational, and intellectual level necessary to blog as the elites are, and thus, all other Christian bloggers would do best to leave the temple grounds and take their laptops with them.

2). The rest of the Christian aplogetics blogging world falls into the other category. These low-level mavens of the blogging world are what I analogously (and affectionately) refer to as the dreaded leprous Samaritans, those unclean pariahs not even worthy to blog alongside their premier blogging counterparts.

These oftentimes sincere and faithful bloggers are commonly referred to by their elitist superiors by the pejorative terms “watchbloggers” and “ODMs” (online discernment ministries), names strategically employed to marginalize them and their worthless contributions. The professionals view these gentile bloggers with utter contempt and–given the opportunity–would likely have those unkempt, vile dogs of cyberspace censured (if not tarred, feathered, flogged, and burned at the stake).

Friendly fire.

It’s true that not every menial blogger has been to seminary; it’s true that not every blogging serf has a master’s degree; it’s true that not every lower class blogger has had a book published; it’s true that not every peasant blogger has the greatest of depth in theological understanding; it’s true that not every amateur blogger has the following year booked up with speaking engagements around the nation, but does this mean that these grunts in the trenches of the battlefield have no right to exercise their freedom of speech as they write about the gospel, the faith, and their convictions, simply because they don’t say it exactly in the manner that the upper crust in the blogging world would?

Do these amateur bloggers really deserve all the loathing, condescension, and rancid vitriol that they’ve been increasingly receiving from these elites?

If we’re all truly in Christ then we’re all in this truth war together, but when the generals begin turning their cannons on the ground troops, the cause of Christ is sullied.

When the world gazes upon the bloody and battered mass of wounded warriors (many of which eventually succumb to the injuries inflicted on them by their comrades), the unbelieving snicker at us as they slip deeper into their self-assurance that all this friendly fire is simply more “proof” of the utter failure and futility of Christianity. Because, after all, Jesus said that the world would know that we are His disciples by the love we have for one another. Unfortunately the world sees anything but this type of evidence when they visit some Christian blogs.

Ironically, oftentimes the subpar bloggers that the elite loathe the most are the ones who are linking to their sites, recommending their books, and posting their sermons.

The common goals of those in the truth war.

Aren’t we all unified under the same Lord with the same shared purpose of  glorifying God, spreading the gospel, and defending the faith from those who have crept in unnoticed?

All Christians are undeniably in this truth war (even if most professing Christians prefer to avoid controversies). And in spite of the seemingly vast chasm affixed between the upper-crust bloggers and their inferiorly-viewed lower-crust bloggers, they share much in common. Here, for your consideration, are just some of the commonalities that these two tiers of bloggers share:

– Both camps believe in the essentials of the Christian faith.

– Both camps believe in defending these essentials from the wolves who seek to subvert them.

– Both camps have a righteous indignation for false teachers that lead the sheep astray.

– Both camps have a passion to share the gospel of Jesus Christ (the only means of salvation) to a lost and dying world.

– Both camps adhere to the God-glorifying Doctrines of Grace.

– Both camps rejoice, take comfort in, and proclaim the sovereignty of God over His creation.

– Both camps believe in the perspicuity and divine origin of the Scriptures.

– Both camps believe the Bible doesn’t contain the Word of God but is the Word of God.

– Both camps proclaim the Solas of the Reformation.

– Both camps have placed their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as the propitiation for their sins.

In other words, both camps are comprised of actual, literal brothers and sisters in the Lord, members of Christ’s body, fellow Christians. And each of these bottom dwelling Christian bloggers that are loathed, smeared, dragged through the mud, and demeaned by other Christian bloggers are dear souls that have been redeemed by the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Forget not that those you deride are the Lord’s beloved bride, and will be sharing a seat at the table of the Lord’s marriage feast with you.

Enough is enough.

To the ostentatious bloggers of grandiose superiority, I am calling for a stop to this madness of public ridicule of fellow Christians who are in the same war fighting the same battles. Quit viewing them as too unsophisticated and unworthy to blog because their polemic is not to the same degree of eloquence or level of loftiness that you possess. I urge the generals to bear this in mind before their next public evisceration of a foot soldier on their theological bayonets of contempt.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are quietly opening new Kingdom Halls, Rome is quietly baptizing new converts, Mormons are quietly gaining more approval and legitimacy in the arena of public opinion, Emergents and liberals are quietly subverting the gospel, the anti-theists are quietly publishing more books questioning the existence of God, and Muslims are quietly planning their next mass-casualty attack in the name of Allah. And all of this is happening while the ones who hold the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ—the very gospel these souls trapped in their growing false religions so desperately need to hear—are  preoccupied in a pretentious battle of who’s allowed to blog or not.

Oh, how this is all to our shame!

The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.

Proverbs 17:14

Caustic Calvinists.

In the recent past I’ve attempted to address some of the concerns I’ve had with those who use defending the faith as a conduit to unleash a torrent of scathing attacks in harsh-toned debates and disagreements with those whom they’re in disagreement with.  I posted two such admonitions this past year: One was a sermon on combative Calvinists and the other was a short video on pride and defensiveness.

One of the biggest challenges for those engaging in online discussions and debates while defending the Christian faith (and the Doctrines of Grace) is the temptation to be harsh and snarky, and how easy it is to fall into that mindset without even trying.

Thankfully, this detriment-to-the-gospel type of blogging is the exception and not the norm, but even so, it still needs to be addressed.  

I am publishing this post as a check for all of us who engage in online apologetics, and pray that this will help to refocus us on the purpose of our blogging.

It would also be of great benefit if we ask others to critically review what we’re writing in posts and in comment threads, and be willing to take their opinions and criticisms with an open and graceful heart.

I seriously want you to take a moment to reflect on whether or not you are one of these venomous bloggers. We must all examine ourselves, our spirit, and our motivations, and the following questions may be a good start:

– Is the vast majority of what you are producing coming from a negative attitude, inciting unnecessary argumentative debates when kinder words would have sufficed and been more effective?

– Is your writing known more for its condescending tone than its content?

– Are your words bitter and acidic, or are they kind and salted with grace?

– Is your response to people who disagree with you snarky and vitriolic, or graceful and from a heart of love?

– Do you write for the sole purpose of seeking out someone who doesn’t hold to your views so you can have an opportunity to publicly disembowel them with your superior intellect, or do you put material out there to educate, encourage, help, and edify others while simultaneously contending for the faith?

– Do you look at those deceived by false doctrine with contempt, or do you grieve for them and seek to lovingly correct them lest they should eternally perish?

If you are taking pleasure in your abrasive monologues and predictably harsh dialogues, I beg you to check your spirit and reevaluate why you do what you’re doing.

For those of you who are not sure of what I am talking about, I offer the following samples from the blogging world, including the unnecessary practice of name calling (e.g. referring to Arminians as “Armidiots”):

“Took this illiterate Armidiot flunky a full week to devise this moronic non sequitur of a ‘comeback.’ . . . ‘a 2-ton jumping, screaming elephant in a tool shed is all but invisible to an Armidiot like yourself . . .’. God help me, I really, truly DISLIKE Armidiots, and would hate to think they are bound for the same Heaven as are Bible-believers. Let them simmer evermore in their infernal ‘Freewill Paradise.'”


“Not sure what, if anything, he is ‘smoking,’ but Roger Olson is a loose, slutty whore (spiritually speaking).”


“. . . your obstinate BLINDNESS to the most BASIC and ESSENTIAL facts is nothing short of wicked perversion. And it’s exactly what one expects from today’s Armidiot. I’m curious to know, ol’ scholar, which ‘strong Calvinist Bible College’ you slept through, and how in HELL you managed to pilfer a diploma from the stack before your expulsion.”

There truly is no place for name calling in our defense of the faith. As far as I’m concerned this is completely unacceptable behavior and has gone far beyond the scope of how a Christian apologist should be corresponding with believers and unbelievers alike.

This type of exchange is in no way beneficial or instructive to the target of these angry words nor is it edifying to anyone else who happens to read it. This kind of discourse in the name of Christ and sound theology is grieving and should rightly be condemned.

I appeal to the coarse and caustic Calvinistic Christians to quit bringing reproach on the gospel with such inflammatory and pungent speech.

I recently wrote about how Christians’ behavior breeds atheism, but is your caustic Calvinism breeding Arminianism? Is it repelling people from ever considering the Doctrines of Grace?  

The atheist makers.

Are you an atheist factory?

An atheist factory is known by many different titles: Lukewarm Christian, nominal Christian, professing Christian, Laodicean, hypocrite, etc.

Atheist factories are easy to spot. The gospel transforms what they do on Sunday mornings, who they vote for in November, and what kind of bumper stickers they put on their cars, but that’s as far as the gospel reaches, as it is prohibited from going any further in their lives: It doesn’t transform their compassion for those in abject poverty, their choices of entertainment, their speech, their dress, their marriage, their child rearing, or what they do on a Friday night. After all, they say, that’s “legalism!”

To them, God is just a moralistic, therapeutic, vending machine in the sky summoned upon like a genie to “get us through” whatever bumps we encounter on the road of life like a cosmic Dr. Phil. Yet, when it comes to dealing with their sin and depravity, or with matters such as obedience, holiness, and sanctification, then it’s quickly time to put God back on the shelf.

They only want Him to come out of His lantern when they’ve been made uncomfortable by life, but they want nothing to do with His commands. So there He remains on the shelf until life’s next tragedy or trial (or wedding or funeral), and all the while they drown out the Holy Spirit with copious doses of intoxicatingly happy, chipper, positive, and encouraging sermons, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and K-Love.

I recall an encounter I had a couple years ago while eating at a sub shop with my family one day after church. We were dressed nicely, we prayed over our meal, and the kids were behaving well. A woman approached us and queried of us–not if we were Christians–but if we were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It is to our shame that when a family’s appearance and behavior leads people to conclude that they must be Jehovah’s Witnesses (or because my wife and I have more than the accepted standard in Christendom of 2.5 kids, people assume we must be Mormons). The American church has not only adopted the philosophies of the culture around them when it comes to life, but they’ve also been so successful in their efforts to look and act like the world–for the supposed purpose of attracting the world–that now the world can’t even tell a difference between us and them (and most times there isn’t any difference).

One of the greatest causes of atheism today is the lives of Christians who honor God with their lips but their hearts (and observable lifestyles) are far from Him.

I, just like the atheist (and any other reasonable person), am repulsed by the shallow, mile-wide, inch-deep lifestyles of most professing Christians in the West. But where the atheist sees the average American Christian and uses their hypocrisy as a justification to reject God, I see the same open and blatant hypocrisy of professing Christians as a confirmation of what Jesus warned us about.

These cultural Christians do not fool God, nor should they fool you. As long as there have been wheat, there have been tares. As long as there have been sheep there have been goats. The Bible acknowledges the existence of the tares and goats, but their mere existence does not “prove” God does not exist (no matter how much the atheist tries to make that conclusion). These pseudo-Christians are spoken of by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:13-14,

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

and Matthew 7:21-23,

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Jesus even tells us how we can spot these false professors by how they respond to Jesus words (see Matthew 7:24-27).

Dear beloved, are you an atheist factory?

When your life draws near to the end and you reflect on how you’ve lived, will your life been an example of God’s grace, with a myriad of people who were drawn to Christ because your lifestyle matched the gospel that you claimed to believe, or will you be guilty of creating a plethora of anti-theists borne out of their contacts and experiences with you? Do not be fooled, you are leaving an impression on those around you, but what impression is it?

The great lie: Arbeit Macht Frei.

The sign that greeted the doomed souls who entered the Auschwitz prison camp in Poland during WWII read: Arbeit Macht Frei. Translated into English it simply said, “Work Brings Freedom.”

It was a lie.

The “work” that was done by the prisoners in the infamous Nazi concentration camp only led to death. There was never a legitimate expectation of freedom even though many of them probably clung to the hope of liberation thanks to the sign that told them so. In reality, the only fate the multitudes who entered the camp faced–passing under the sign that whispered the lie–was abuse, torture, starvation, and death . . . anything but freedom.

Just as this lie preceded the physical death of thousands of Adolf Hitler’s victims, this same lie precedes the spiritual death of billions of Romanism’s victims, Joseph Smith’s victims, Charles Taze Russell’s victims, Buddha’s victims, Mary Bakker Eddy’s victims, Ellen G. White’s victims, Mohammed’s victims (and the list goes on and on).

The lie Arbeit Macht Frei was not only found displayed on a metal sign above the entrance to the death camp, this lie is also found in the pages of religious books and on the tongues of religious leaders who bid you come as they crowd the entrance to the broad path that leads to Hell.

Most people on this earth trust their eternal destiny to a religion that could rightly post this same sign above the door where they worship. Just as Work Brings Freedom was a lie to those entering Auschwitz, so it is also a lie to those entering countless churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues around the world. Just as this lie assisted in facilitating the Nazi prisoners’ temporal extermination on earth, this same lie results in man’s eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire.

And this is what sets biblical Christianity apart from all other faiths in the world that are vying for your affections, all of which promise you something they can never deliver.

What they claim you can achieve by your diligence to codes, laws, and much hard work in their respective religious systems, Jesus Christ offers as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9)!

In fact, Christianity is the only faith in the world that promises forgiveness of sins and right standing before God based solely on what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross for us (1 Peter 2:24) and not what we have done for Him (Isaiah 64:6).

And Christianity is not neutral about those who try to work for their righteousness. The Bible makes it very clear that if you try to earn your salvation and God’s forgiveness by your work (following the law and performing good deeds), then you don’t have God’s grace, you are under a curse, and you are cut off from Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 5:4) who is the only One who can save you (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

If you’re going to attempt to earn your salvation then you must first believe that Christ’s sacrifice was insufficient to fully and completely save you without your contribution; otherwise you would be resting solely in His accomplished work, not His work and yours. To believe that you can become righteous, by working toward your liberation from sin and the wrath to come, is to suggest that Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21).

It’s as if there was a man in the death camp offering a key to the gate to any of the prisoners, yet they ignored him, electing to instead work harder and harder for their own freedom (as the sign suggested). In the end the man with the key was their only hope, but they chose to attempt liberation on their own, foregoing their only means of escaping the horror to come.

There is another sign that could be hung over the doorway of Hell that would greet all those entering its abyss from the various paths of false religion: Vernichtung Durch Arbeit. In English it simply means “Destruction Through Work.”

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4

Happy birthday DefCon.

Defending Contending turns four years old today.

This blog began on August 10, 2007 as Reformation Nation. It then had a name change a year later on August 15, 2008 and officially became Defending Contenting. It was at this time that DefCon also welcomed contributing writers.

In honor of the event I’ve changed the current banner to one of the original DefCon banners (long time readers will remember it). I also wanted to say thank you to our contributors for all their sacrifices and hard work over the years, as well as a big thank you to our faithful readers.

Here are some stats that you may be interested in.

As of today we have . . .

3,620 Posts


1,723,000 Views (hits)

Again, thank you to all of you for your contributions to the discussions and your faithful readership over the past four years.

Shame on Challies.

I have never been what you could call a “big fan” of Tim Challies but I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly why . . . that was until now, when I was recently made aware of a review he wrote concerning the film Divided.

Inaccurate. Distorted. Inflammatory. These are some of the words that come to mind that describe Challies’ review of the film.

I wouldn’t necessarily expect a favorable endorsement of Divided by a man who sends his own kids to the Canadian government schools to be educated, but his full frontal assault of the film was a little over the top. To say that Challies has a beef with the family-integrated model of church worship is a grave understatement.

Youth ministry proponents may disagree with the concept of families worshipping together during church services, and they may be oblivious (willfully or otherwise) to the evidence (statistically, empirically, or experientially) of the destructive nature of youth ministry, but please, I implore you to be reasonable about your arguments and refrain from resorting to less than accurate, wildly imaginative fabrications designed to persuade others away from a practice that was the norm for the church for almost 2,000 years.

If you think I’m being a little too sensitive about Challies’ hit-piece of the film (a conduit to advance his dislike of Family Integrated Churches), don’t miss the fact that even some of Challies’ own readers have disagreed with his scathing assessment of the film. On the comment thread for Challies’ review of Divided, a commenter named Matt said:

Wow. Tim, I will have to say, this review is uncharacteristically harsh, and even mean. The tone that you are stirring up here is not in any sense the tone that the movie has.

I’m flatly shocked and disappointed in such a brutal and uncharitable word from a brother that we’ve all known to have a real eloquence and gentleness even toward those with whom he differs.I really want to say this plainly. After having watched the film, your review could not be less accurate or more one-sided. I am so sad that you’ve chosen to behave publicly in ways that you have condemned when others participate in the same sort of activity.

Shame on you, Tim.

What makes Challies’ review even more disturbing is when you contrast his brass-knuckled review of Divided with his reviews of two culturally popular demonically inspired, and utterly anti-Christian works that have received acclaim from the world.

Berean Wife has astutely compared Challies’ reviews of The Shack and Twilight with that of Divided in her post simply titled Destructive in which she quotes Challies:

Divided The Movie

It’s a destructive message wrapped in a poorly-made documentary. The church would do well to ignore it.

The Shack

All this is not to say there is nothing of value in the book. However, it is undeniable to the reader who will look to the Bible, that there is a great deal of error within The Shack. There is too much error.


My suggestion to parents would be to leave this book on the shelf instead of handing it to your teenage girl (and especially your young teenage girl). At the very least, read it yourself and see if your conscience is clear before you hand it to her.

Finding something of value in a book rife with doctrines of demons and blasphemes against God, and suggesting parents first read a lust-laden book (written by a Mormon) about teenage vampires in order to see if their consciences are clear before handing the book to their daughters, while conversely labeling a Christian film like Divided “destructive” and urging Christians to avoid it, renders the objectiveness of Challies’ reviews very suspect.

And while Challies encourages Christians to broaden their horizons by reading non-Christian, mainstream works because . . . 

Common grace tells us that Christians do not have the market cornered when it comes to what is true and what is wise.


To read widely is to engage with people who think differently and who approach very similar issues from a radically different worldview.


If you want to understand the people around you, why they are the way they are, what influences them, why they make the decisions they do, you will do well to read the books they read.

. . . he then tells the church that they’d be better off ignoring Divided. Is it just me or does this reveal not only a glaring hypocrisy, but also proves that Challies is operating with an obvious agenda?

I highly recommend Fred Wolfe’s retort Response to Tim Challies’ Review of Divided Movie (HT: Theonomy Resources) as well as Berean Wife’s response to Challies’ in her article Reviewing a Review.

I also urge you to personally watch the film Divided in order to judge it for yourself. You can either purchase the DVD or watch it for free online (until September) here.

I conclude by offering some familiar advice to my readers: Regarding Challies’ review of Divided: “The church would do well to ignore it.”


Is a collapse coming?

I consider the subject of economics to be as fascinating as watching paint dry or watching a round of golf, but recently I’ve taken notice of an economic storm brewing on the horizon of our nation that is getting very little attention and very few seem to be talking about, even though it will affect every single American and the way we live.

You simply cannot pay off trillions of dollars in debt by printing more money without drastic ramifications, and these ramifications could very well be the collapse of the American dollar resulting in this nation plummeting into Third-world status overnight.

Here are just a few of the headlines I’ve taken from the Drudge Report over the past month; headlines that are often glossed over because we’ve  been distracted with the Casey Anthony murder trial, the war in Iraq, American Idol, and our sports:

Dollar losing global reserve status

China: USA’s Already Defaulting

China Warns on Risks of Dollar Holdings...

PAPER: Global order fractures as US power declines...

Carville: 2012 could be 'very rough'; Civil unrest 'imminently possible'...

PAPER: USA has record $61.6 TRILLION in unfunded obligations; $534,000 per household...

Daily economic briefings disappear from Obama's White House schedule...

REPORT: Gold headed for $5K an ounce...

Housing Crisis Now Worse Than Great Depression...

IMF cuts U.S. growth forecast, warns of crisis...

Trades reveal China shift from dollar

There’s no doubt that we are on the brink of total economic collapse, but this collapse can be brought on even faster if China or OPEC stops accepting the American dollar as the global reserve, or if we suffer another terrorist attack like 9/11, or if a devastating earthquake hits a major metropolitan area like Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. When the dollar finally loses its status in the global market we will see the end of our American way of life virtually overnight.

As Christians, our hope and trust is not in politics, economics, money, might, armies, presidents, or kings, but with our nation facing inevitable financial collapse it may be wise and prudent for us to prepare to be able to take care of our families, friends, neighbors, and even strangers if/when this event takes place. If a foreign entity moves in after our collapse, will we be ready to face the possible outlawing of Christianity and the fierce persecution that could come with it?

We need to be prepared to boldly proclaim the gospel to a mass of people who will be dumbfounded at what just took place; a nation of people who never thought they’d see empty grocery store shelves and never imagined that clean drinking water would ever stop flowing from their taps.

An event such as the total collapse of the U.S. economy will cause many to turn away from the false idols that have consumed their lives for so long, but will you and I be ready to point them to the One who can reconcile them to God, or will we be too preoccupied with finding food and water?

We must not keep our head in the sand and expect that our way of life will continue, it simply can’t. Democracies have a shelf-life, and God will not allow us to continue as a nation in our current ways forever. 

Here are just a few videos (there are many more out there) to help you better understand what is likely about to happen. You can do more research for yourself via the internet, and I encourage you to do so.

A dramatization of what could happen very soon in this nation:

How quickly we can run out of food:

More information on our precarious economy in light of Japan’s economic status:

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8

They just don’t get it.

For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:2-4

They just don’t get it.

The false religions and cults simply cannot grasp the simplicity of the gospel message. This is evidenced anytime you have a conversation with one of them about sin, grace, faith, and justification.

You can go round and round in debate with a member of one of these organizations and you often walk away with a headache because they can’t see the forest for the trees.

They have been so indoctrinated to believe their respective organization’s interpretations of biblical texts that when someone presents them with the proper interpretation of biblical texts (using Scripture to interpret Scripture) they simply reject it.

It is so sad to watch the deceived continue in their deception, especially when they are leading others down the same broad path.

It’s like trying to convince a fish that it’s wet; the fish has known nothing but wet, so it cannot even fathom what dry is.

Recently the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by my home and dropped off an advertisement with my wife for an upcoming event. They won’t stay to talk (our house has been flagged for almost five years now) but they will occasionally still drop off literature . . . and run.

In their latest dump-and-run literature drop they gave my wife a flier for their upcoming commemoration of the anniversary of Jesus’ death. Here’s the opening line from that advertisement:

“John the Baptizer stated that Jesus ‘takes away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) This drew attention to Jesus’ role in saving obedient mankind.”

Jesus saved the obedient? 

See how subtle their deception is?

The obedient don’t need a Savior. Jesus Himself said He came for the sinner, not the righteous (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17).

This declaration by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is predicated on the erroneous assumption that our obedience is a prerequisite for Christ to be able save us. This is classic Watchtower Organization rhetoric and is essentially the doctrine of all cults and false religions: Believing you must do your part and cooperate with God to help Him or enable Him to save you.

They just don’t get it.

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe obedience is required as a means or requirement of salvation (which anyone who knows Watchtower doctrine can attest that this is indeed their position) then they better be obedient to all the Law without ever sinning once from cradle to grave, otherwise they will be found guilty of breaking all the Law (James 2:10):

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

But what’s even more damning to those seeking salvation via the conduit of obedience is the fact that they are under a curse for doing the very thing they think will save them (Galatians 3:10):

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.”

What Jehovah’s Witnesses (and Mormons, and Roman Catholics, and Muslims, etc.) fail to understand is that regeneration comes before obedience, not the other way around. Romans 8:6-8 makes our inability very clear:

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

It’s a classic case of putting of the cart before the horse.

They just don’t get it.

It’s only after we’ve been saved, regenerated, made alive in Christ, been born again, that our works and obedience are pleasing and acceptable to God 

Our obedience is borne out of a love and desire to please the One who purchased us with His own blood, not out of us trying to appease Him and merit His favor like the pagans try do for their idols.

Our obedience, and the good works we do after being saved, come from God and are prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). This is why our behavior should reflect our conversion (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20, Ephesians 4:1) and why the absence of which should cause us to question whether or not we’ve been genuinely converted.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?  2 Corinthians 13:5

Simply put, regeneration precedes obedience (John 14:15, John 14:21-24, 1 John 3:24).

What obedience did Abraham offer to become righteous before God (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3)? What obedience did John the Baptist declare to those coming to be baptized (Matthew 3:2)? What obedience did Christ declare upon the start of His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:17) or later in His ministry (Luke 13:5)? What obedience did the thief on the cross exhibit to be with Jesus that very day in paradise (Luke 23:39-43)? What obedience did Paul tell the Philippian jailer he needed to perform to be saved (Acts 16:30-31)?

The false faiths that dot the landscape of Christianity like pock marks all invalidate the word of God for the sake of their traditions (Matthew 15:6), and their works-righteousness gospel is in complete contradiction to Jesus’ teaching of the means of the free gift of God’s grace and mercy as cited in His example of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. You cannot read those words of our Lord and still believe that your obedience (or anything for that matter) merits you any favor in God’s eyes. If you still believe otherwise, then you make Christ’s brutal, bloody, and barbaric sacrifice null and void because it was all done in vain. 

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. Galatians 2:21

See also: Why Don’t They Get it?