The NRA, Eminem, & A Legacy of Hate

2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards - Show

On March 12th, during the iHeart Music Awards, Eminem gave a short freestyle on stage regarding his thoughts about guns and the National Rifle Association (NRA). One of the lines catching attention is:

They love their guns more than our children.”

You can read his whole freestyle here.

This isn’t an article defending the NRA, or any other political movement. But Eminem making a public declaration about how the NRA loves guns more than our children is laughable! And you do Slim? Do you love our children? I grew up with you blasting in my ears. I am intimately familiar with the seeds of bitterness, anger, and hatred you planted within our hearts, and the sinful thoughts you provoked us to think. You were an emotional lightening rod who sparked the raging fires settled deep within the crevices of our minds. It’s no wonder there weren’t more teenagers and children slain part and parcel to the murderous meditations you branded into the imaginations of our American youth. Even though your music stands as a legacy of lyrical genius, it was always mixed with the poisonously visceral venom that I and my peers inebriated ourselves with to the last drop. My heart now weeps over this legacy. I am supremely indebted to the sovereign grace of our LORD Jesus Christ for saving me from my sin. But since this is the constant product you’ve produced in your music, our country is now reaping what you (and many artists along with you) helped sow for generations into the hearts of millions.

When we were frustrated in our relationships, you encouraged fury.  When we were depressed, you provided no real hope. And when we were without fathers and role models, you marketed drug use, aggression, and suicidal ideations. So I ask this. What solution and love do you offer our children? Do you love children more than your music industry which preys on impressionable minds? I’m not saying this is all your fault. Or that our nation is in our current condition primarily because of the music we listen to. Because every evil action springs forth from the depths of the human heart, and music is simply another medium we use to express our hearts. But let’s be real. People are social beings. We can be easily influenced by music, media, and powerful people. So while you may pawn it off as just entertainment, speaking from a generation who soaked up your lyrical libations, we are now suffering the consequences of our depravity. And other than Jesus Christ (the only solution for our nation), who died to take God’s wrath on our behalf and save us from a sinful and destructive lifestyle, would the real Slim Shady please stand up and tell us what answers you have that would save our nation’s youth from murdering each other? What teaching, what law, what hope do you want our children to have that would essentially eradicate this problem? If it’s nothing other than Jesus Christ who can change our nature and save us from sin, death, and hell, than the real Slim Shady can take a seat.

-Until We Go Home



Michael Brown’s Dangerous Orthodoxy

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If you haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding Dr. Michael Brown and his association with heretical teachers, you may feel a bit out of the loop reading this. But, if you’ve ever encountered any preacher/Christian who seemed to lack the necessary discernment when considering who they approve of in ministry, then the conclusion I draw here will easily resonate with you. Since the dust has settled (somewhat), I would like to cast my widow’s mites into what I believe has been a long standing problem within Western Christendom. This issue with Dr. Brown is merely a symptom of the deeper problem that has been growing like a silent cancer right under our noses. It is concerning a brood of preachers that will indeed seem orthodox in creed, but nevertheless still dilute the pure wine of the gospel with the profane waters by who they approve of in ministry. I call them, “Troublers of Orthodoxy.”

I have met many of these troublers on the streets, in churches, and watched them grow on TV and podcasts. I call them troublers because, contrary to the many who might call them false teachers, they are not really false teachers by the historical, and even biblical, definition of the word. But they indeed can be just as dangerous! Not because of any heretical creed they profess or preach, but because of lack of discernment and unwillingness to examine those whom they labor with. Continue reading

No Children – Not Just a Burden for Women


“I’m spotting.” I had no idea how those simple words could pack such an emotional punch. Or how about this one – “It’s negative again.” Maybe you don’t know these words intimately. Maybe your bad news comes in the form of a sigh or disappointed grin as you ride the same nauseating roller coaster again, hoping that this next time is your last. But when you find out you’re not pregnant again, no matter what the package looks like, the contents are the same. And as much as you try to remain optimistic, hopeful, and thankful to God, your heart tends to migrate to the land of doubt, disbelief, and spiritual angst.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I am no stranger to the struggle of wanting children and not being given any. My wife and I have had a few diagnoses, and have accomplished corrective surgeries. We have a known condition that doesn’t make it impossible to have kids, but it does make it harder. We have been trying for 14 years now. We have experienced several miscarriages, including one ectopic pregnancy,  and one chemical pregnancy (that we know of). We have tried medical treatments and other strategies (never IVF though). And the more my wife and I endure doctor’s appointments and medications, the more my heart aches for her. But not only that, what was once something that burdened me vicariously through my wife has become mine to bear.

As a young believer, there were times I would cry out to God and ask why He hasn’t given us children. Was it my sin? Is this only supposed to last a few years? Should I expect to have children at a really old age like Sarah and Abraham? These questions came in waves. Now that I’m older, the tides have risen high enough in my soul where I now feel the depths of sorrow that my wife has probably felt all along. For some men, this kind of feeling may be foreign, or even short lived. But I know there are other men out there who may be facing this burden more immensely and are reluctant to share. I want to be the first to say, you’re not alone. I want everyone to know that, as men, we do deal with these kinds of emotions when it comes to children. It doesn’t mean we are less of a man if we do. And we should endeavor to seek the LORD and the prayers of our fellow man as we renew our minds through this kind of trial. We would be less of a [godly] man if we didn’t.

One thing that God has taught me in all this is to remain thankful for what He has given me, and not what He has not. I intend to write more details about some Scriptures and life lessons God has brought to my wife and I because of this prohibition to have children, but this initial blog is meant to bring out the fact that God has given me sooooooo much despite the one desire that feels like a throbbing, stubbed toe within my spirit. It might be painful, and it has the propensity to attract all of my attention when I’m not faithfully exercising thanksgiving unto God. However, it is also not the god of my life. It is a genuine desire, no doubt. And it has become an even greater desire as time passes. But when I look upon the gift(s) of my wonderful marriage, my occupation, my health, my finances, and above all, my eternal salvation, to not cry out “thank you!” to my God, who has taken me out of darkness and has adopted me as His child, would be more of curse to my soul than not having children.

This short blog may not sound encouraging, but I wanted the men out there who are struggling with the burden of not having any children to know that God has blessed you with so many things already. I know what it is like to want children. Bad! I share this burden with you. And whether you have been dealing with this burden for a few years or decades, I am placing my hand on your shoulder, asking you to pray and share with other men you trust your struggle. And while you do that, meditate upon the immeasurable riches of His kindness toward you (Ephesians 4:2-7), knowing that you deserved nothing good except hell, yet He gave the greatest He could give, Himself (Galatians 2:20). And He did so on your behalf so that you could receive something greater than children – fellowship with Him.

-Until we go home

The Rooster and the Jewel (Aesop’s Fables w/ Christian Applications #4)


A Rooster, while looking for food for himself and his hens, found a precious stone. He shouted, “Oh precious stone. If your owner had found you before I did, he would have joyously taken you, and set you in your rightful place. But indeed, I have found you for no reason. Because I would rather have one grain of corn than all the jewels in the world.”

Application 1: Truly this is the creed of the foolish at heart when he has found wisdom. His only concern is for his belly and to please those who are of his nature. If it were a righteous man to find wisdom, he would exalt it in its right place and use it to the glory of God. But since the foolish have no stomach for wisdom, they would forsake the grandest jewels that wisdom has to offer for one grain of sin (Prov 17:16).

Application 2: The sinful do not discern the value of the eternal gospel. Because their god is their belly, and their glory their shame (Phil 3:19), they are unable to perceive the immeasurable riches in Christ (Eph 2:7), who is our wisdom and righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30). Since their heart is not regenerated to spiritually discern the goodness of God, they treasure the pleasures of sin, over and beyond the treasures of heaven. And like this rooster, they may stumble upon The Precious Stone, but unless a miracle replaces the heart of flesh, they will reject His worth.

Annihilating Conditionalism


I had the privilege to appear on the Bible Thumping Wingnut show to discuss conditionalism/annihilationism. We went over the common mistake people make when dialoguing with conditionalists, the heretical associations Rethinking Hell has with theologies like Open Theism, Unitarianism, and Universalism, and finally Jude 7 regarding the Greek language and how it affirms the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah currently suffering eternal conscious torment now, even as we speak, in final punishment. We also talked about Chris Date and Rethinking Hell still refusing to have a real conversation with me about this topic. Tune in and share with friends.

The Study of Language by George Yule (Book Recommendation #1)


I know am way behind when it comes to writing articles regarding linguistics, but here is a good start. If you’re interested in an easy to read, understandable, and fun introduction into the world of linguistics, The Study of Language by George Yule is in my top 5. It’s already in it’s sixth edition, but you can download the fourth edition for free here.

I enjoyed Yule’s book because it breaks done prominent categories of linguistics simply for the average reader. Yes, there are some technical aspects (as there should be with higher learning), but nevertheless, he still reveals why linguistics is indeed an enjoyable science. From why human communication is unique among all of God’s creatures (he didn’t say that, I did) and how language in the brain functions, to my personal favorite, Discourse Analysis, you will gain a wealth of knowledge of how human language is fearfully and wonderfully crafted by the hand of our God and King, Jesus Christ. No, Yule is not a Christian. But there is much to glean from the scientific study of linguistics that will leave you in awe of God’s creativity and power and help you to appreciate the under appreciated the uniquely human ability of language.

-Until we go home

“The Mighty Weakness of John Knox”

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Last week at our church, we had a Reformation Conference and Douglas Bond was the teacher. The lectures were very informative and edifying, especially when he spoke about the French Reformers (like the Huguenots). I hope to have him (Lord willing) appear our podcast in the near future to discuss the French Reformers. Pray for that.

It was in the course of that evening that I came across The Mighty Weakness of John Knox written by Bond, edited by Steve Lawson. If there was ever a stack of small books that should encourage your soul concerning the common weakness we all face, and how God’s grace empowers us despite those weaknesses, this should be in the top 5! This book takes the overly divine view we tend to have about our heroes in the faith, specifically here John Knox, and humanizes him in order to highlight the God of John Knox. One of the statements made about John Knox was made by a fellow minister, Thomas Smeaton, who said: “I know not if God ever place a more godly and great spirit in a body so little and frail” (pg 24).  And even though some may portray Knox’s greatest moments in preaching against Roman Catholicism, the fact of the matter is, he was often scared, timid, and even left a room in tears when first called upon to preach. But yet, God inflamed such man to passionately love the glory of God, the salvation of souls, and hate idolatry more than seek to preserve his own life.

Although Knox was a zealous preacher and a thunderous figure, he had many struggles in his lifetime that squeezed the fruitful juices of God’s Spirit out of him. He was targeted by the Roman church, escaped several assassination attempts, lost his wife, was often without sleep, and constantly criticized for his zealous approach to name a few things. But yet, he was a loving shepherd to his people, a minister to the poor, humble prayer warrior, and a fearless preacher when the time came. In reading this book, it seemed obvious to me that many of us, who are often more ready to make excuses about why we can’t be faithful in the most common ways to God, who go on and on about our weakness, would resonate much with Knox. He was but a broken vessel in the hands of his Master.

I benefited tremendously reading about Knox’s weaknesses and how God loves to use men and women who are intimately familiar with their own failings. As Bond stated:

“Knox’s preaching ministry was a microcosm of the mysteries of God’s providence. God called a timid man who trembled in his boots at the thought of preaching and who ran from the room in tears when first called upon to do so. When a man feels in his own strength that he can do something, he tends to not cry out to God in prayer to enable him to do it. He believes he is already capable, so he sees no need to depend on God’s strength. but this was not Knox the preacher. Knox, who never completed seminary, knew that if he was to fulfill his calling as a preacher, he desperately needed God’s power. Weak in terms of physical strength, he turned from himself to find vigor that only comes from God” (pg 65-66) (italics mine)

This information should encourage every home-school mom, deacon, teacher, factory worker, professor, pastor, missionary, widow, single person, public school child, etc., to timidly but ferociously look to God for grace and strength when struggling against ourselves to be faithful witnesses in the world. And to fight our battles on our knees as Knox did, and to trust in the sovereign mercy of Christ to sustain and preserve us even when we are in the midst of what seems to be a losing battle. It is hard to feel in our own person the things that Knox personally faced since we are so far removed from that time frame in history. But the one thing that will always unite us all is that he, like us, needed God’s sustaining mercy in order to be faithful in his day. Who are we to think that God’s hand is too small to sustain such a weak man such as Knox, and yet not do the same for us?

Get your copy of The Mighty Weakness of John Knox and may God heartily encourage you, embolden you, and revive you as you celebrate the God of the Reformation.

-Until we go home

Rethinking Conditionalism (Part 8b) – Jude’s Eternal Fire & 2 Peter 2:6


Almost a year ago, Chris Date and I had several conversations about his position and about coming on our radio podcast. He first emailed us and asked us to come on the show to talk about conditionalism. Being familiar with his ministry at that point for almost three years, I desired to converse with him about some of the details of what he believed. The conversations didn’t go well. Partly because Chris felt as though I was being mean-spirited and rude. Mostly because he doesn’t know how to be critically questioned about his belief in conversation (more specifically by me) and can’t answer my follow up questions. And Jude’s eternal fire is definitely a golden calf that he and other conditionalists vehemently defend. But recently, Chris blocked me from Facebook so that I cannot see his interactions and posts. It’s a good strategy. But just like many of his followers who send him my articles and social media posts (who also aggressively swarm my brethren’s blogs and podcasts in almost militant fashion), by God’s providence, I have been give the privilege to see Chris’ recent post about Jude 7’s eternal fire. His thoughts about Jude were off back then when he shared them with me. The ones I received recently were just as fallacious. Continue reading

Rethinking Conditionalism (Part 8a) – Jude’s Eternal Fire


I’ve been waiting to write this article for a while. But I have been eager too. Jude 7 is a go-to verse for annihilationists who assert that since Jude 7 seemingly speaks of “eternal fire” that rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and that fire was not (and is not still) burning, therefore, the eternal fire in Matthew 25, or anything other semantical reference about hell’s fires burning forever, is false. And since also the parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:6 mentions Sodom being reduced to ashes, that pretty much seals the deal and destroys eternal conscious torment (pun intended). Not so fast though. There is a key linguistic feature in Jude that I have yet to hear being addressed in any of the articles or podcasts being written (even though I directly challenged Chris Date with this, and his answer was appalling). But before I reveal what that is, this will be a two part article. This first one is the easier-to-read-just-get-the-gist, kind of article that will be for those of us who do not fully understand linguistic terms. I will attempt to break it down so that almost anyone can understand. The next article will be more technical.

So what is this key? First, here is Jude verse 3 – 7 Continue reading

Rethinking Conditionalism (Part 7a) – Rethinking Hell’s Proponents


I keep saying over and over again that the annihilationism/conditionalism discussion would take on a different form if it wasn’t for all the heretics Rethinking Hell and others like them affirm, associate, and keep company with. As I pointed out in article 5a concerning the atonement, there are some very serious concerns that should be addressed, not just about the unsound biblical hermeneutics coming out of this camp, but also the corruptions these associations bring to the table. Saying this, have you ever taken a gander at Rethinking Hell’s list for “proponents” of conditionalism? I have. Seems overwhelming at first. It’s almost like so many orthodox scholars and preachers would adhere to this position. Well, I have watched videos and listened to podcasts where Chris Date touts some of these names when asked for scholars that believe in conditionalism. But are you aware of what some of these people believe about some of the essentials of the faith? Are you even aware of the names of the people that are being used in the Rethinking Hell articles, podcasts, books, and conferences? You should. Because some of these people stand out if you diligently seek to know those that labor among you (1 Thess 5:12). For some of these names, it didn’t take long before something damnably heretical turned up. For others, (some of which I was already aware of), I was surprised (but not really) that Rethinking Hell, which considers themselves within the bounds of orthodoxy, would list such heretics and not call them out as they are. But if you’ve read article 5a on the atonement and how Unitarians, Universalists, and those that deny penal substitution are on the approval list for even supposed gospel-centered Calvinist like Chris Date, then this article may not come as a shock to you. Let’s deal with a few of these men now.


1) Jeff Cook is listed as a modern  and Professor at University of Northern Colorado. In an online debate with Preston Sprinkle (who also is a conditionalist), he writes some pretty disturbing things. To cut to the chase, he affirms monogamous same sex marriage as not  immoral. He says: Continue reading