Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are to ordinances that are practiced across denominational lines and are considered among the most important practices of Christians.

Some basic beliefs about Baptism:

  • Christians are baptized as a sign that they have repented of their sins, died to sin, and have chosen to follow Christ in how they live.
  • Baptism is practiced through two means, immersion (going underwater) and sprinkling.
  • Some denominations baptize infants. This is typically done as a statement that the parents and the church will work to raise the children to come to believe in God and know God personally.
  • Some denominations refrain from baptizing infants and instead have a dedication process for commiting to raise the child in the church.
  • Baptism does not save someone from sin, but is intended to be a symbol of what God has done in a person’s heart.

Some basic beliefs about The Lord’ Supper:

  •  The Lord’s Supper is a time to reflect on the atonement of Christ.
  • It is only to be taken by Christians.
  • It reminds believers that we are all equal in Christ.
  • It is practiced based on 1 Corinthians 11.
  • Some denominations believe that the Lord is spiritually present in the elements, some believe that the elements are merely symbolic, and others believe that the elements are changed into the body and blood of Christ. I personally believe that the elements are symbolic, but the act of partaking in the Lord’s Supper is a spiritual act and as such the Lord is present and works in the hearts of believers as they share the meal.


“If you tell anyone you will be in just as much trouble as I am”–I was 13, he was 50

In recent posts we have discussed what the Bible has to say about abuse. In this post we will be looking at what the Bible says about rape.

According to the department of justice statistics for 2013, 15% of women in America have experienced rape. Rape has declined 60% since 1993, however, it still remains a large problem. In over 50% of rape cases, the perpetrator is either a friend, acquaintance, or family member.

“This is why we have under age drinking laws! This is your fault! If you hadn’t been drinking, this wouldn’t have happened to you!” — St. Petersburg Police when I tried to press charges.

What does the Bible say about rape?

Deuteronomy 22:25-27 states, “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.”

So the rapist is convicted but the woman in this passage has committed no wrong.
Psalm 82:3 states, “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”

God desires to see justice done for those who are afflicted. This would include those who have been victimized.

“There is no way you are a virgin. You have done this before”–Tennis Coach, 48 years old, I was 15 years old and I was a virgin. My tears meant nothing to him.

Some words for those who have been rape:

  • It is not your fault.
  • You are not guilty of doing anything wrong.
  • Letting it happen does not mean consent. 
  • There is no circumstance that justifies being raped.
  • Healing physically and emotionally takes time.
  • Find someone to talk too, preferably a Christian counselor.
  • Know that you are still a valuable human being.
  • Your worth is not wrapped up in what happened, but in who you are.
  • You are still worthy of love.
  • God still loves you, and he grieves with you.
  • You still have something to give to the world.

What can Christians do to help victims of rape?

First, Christians need to make sure that they are caring and supportive of rape victims regardless of the circumstances surrounding the rape. It does not matter if the person was drunk, it does not matter how the person was dressed, no rape is justifiable. It does not even matter if the perpetrator was a spouse. After showing care and support for the victim, Christians can help the person find a counselor for the victim to speak with, and connect the victim with a church so that the individual can get help getting back on his or her feet. Yes, men can be raped too. We also need to raise awareness to the problems of sexual abuse in our churches and help our communities to know that the church is a place where victims can come to find relief and hope.

Project Unbreakable

The pictures above come from Project Unbreakable. This project was started in 2011 by a photographer named Grace Brown. The project aims to empower survivors of rape by turning things said by their perpetrators into words of hope. The project is also aimed at raising awareness of sexual assault, Check out the site here: Watch Grace’s story below.

Today there have been over 2,000 rape survivors who have taken pictures for project unbreakable.


In the comic book world, sexism is also rampant and a new movement that has been gaining momentum is the Cosplay is not Consent Movement. Cosplay is the act of dressing like comic book characters. This movement reminds people that dressing like a comic character is not an open invitation for sexual harassment.

Anytime it is not consensual, it is not appropriate. I think this movement can be adapted to any area of society. Someone’s dress, personality, looks, status, ethnicity, or gender do not make it appropriate to harass someone.

No Means No.

Let’s do what we can to raise awareness of these issues and make a conscious effort to make a difference in how we treat others. Let’s raise the standard in the culture around us.

For more information visit the following sites:

Rape and Sexual Abuse Information:

Project Unbreakable:

Cosplay Consent:


A very happy alien.

What do Christians believe about aliens?

Most probably believe that there are not any such things as aliens. But what if there are aliens? How would that effect Christianity?

This is somewhat philosophical, but I don’t believe that alien life pose any kind of threat to the faith. If God did create life on other planets (and there are enough out there for it to be possible), he could have easily revealed himself to that life and they could easily worship him just as we do.

One thing is for sure. The universe is vast and other inhabitable planets are very far away. If there is life out there, evidence of our own progress suggests that we are a long way from being able to actually communicate with it.

Example of a corrupted alien in need of salvation.

The next question we must ask concerning aliens, is how would they be saved? It stands to reason that they would need to be saved, because when Adam sinned in the Garden, Scripture teaches us that his choice introduced corruption into all of creation. The return of Christ will signal in the renewal of all of creation. Therefore, if aliens do exist, they would need to believe in Jesus.

Perhaps this idea sounds pretty far fetched, but let’s look at Star Wars for a second. The Force is a spiritual element that transcends planetary context. The Jedi are known on many worlds. Why would it be unreasonable to think that God revealed what occurred on this planet to life on other worlds? I know that sounds somewhat ego-centric, but I am not suggesting that earth is at the center of the universe. I am, however, suggesting that Christ is at the center, and why wouldn’t he be–he is the God man.

What does the Bible say about aliens?

1 Peter 2:11-12 suggests that Christians are like aliens in the world, because we are to glorify God in how we live as opposed to living in accordance with the standards of the world around us. However, the Bible does not have much to say about life on other planets. It does speak of heavenly beings or angels being in Heaven and in the spiritual realm, but that is it.

As Christians, should we believe aliens exist or not?

I think that we should be open to the idea, but skeptical of claims that they have already found us or landed here. If it is one day proved that life exists elsewhere, it poses no threat to our faith. If life is never discovered on other planets this should not bother us either, because we know that all life comes from God and that he chose to create it here on this planet.

Notice that God chose to create humans with only two eyes.

Abstinance and the Bible

What is Abstinence?

Abstinence is practice of restraining from something. One can abstain from alcohol or from caffeine. One can also abstain from sex outside of marriage. In Christianity, when the term abstinence is used, it is typically in relation to saving sex for marriage. The Bible teaches that Christian couples are not to have sex until they are married.

In today’s society there are a number of issues that surround this topic.  In Public Schools condemns are handed out in sexual education classes.  In Texas, they want to give young girls shots to protect them from certain sexually transmitted diseases.  Some organizations teach that sex is sinful and evil.  Others teach that sex is to be for procreation only, minus the enjoyment.

According to the Christian Bible, sex was created by God as something to be enjoyed by two humans as an act of passionate intimacy.  It is the closest that two individuals can come to being one, when they are emotionally and physically connected.  The Bible also teaches that outside of marriage that this gift is not to be enjoyed.  The question is, is this teaching outdated?  Does it still apply in our society?

To be quite blunt, yes, it does still apply.  Sexual intimacy should be reserved for one’s husband or wife.  These people should also be faithful and committed to one another.  Sex is not evil, but it is not to be encouraged.  I believe that the current teachings on many different fences concerning this issue are flawed and a result of the absence of morality among so many people in our culture.

What does the Bible say about sex?

Hebrews 13:4 states, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”


1 Corinthians 6:18 states, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

I do not think that sex should be regarded as a “bad word” and I do not think that discussion about sex should be avoided, especially not in the home.  Instead, I think that young people should be taught about sex as the beautiful act that it is.  But they should be taught about the issue, with their hearts turned towards virtue.

There are a number of teenagers out there between the ages of 11 and 16 that lose their virginity everyday.  Many of these young people are really not ready for this mentally or physically.  But if you know a teenager out there who has lost his or her virginity at a young age, that does not mean the person needs to be condemned and cast away from your midst.  The person may need someone to talk with, may need to be educated about what he or she has done and the possible implications of it, and more than this, may need love.

I want to encourage any young lady who reads this to protect your body and not to give yourself away.  Your body is very special, and so is your heart.  You are all precious and if any guy you meet is not as interested in who you are as he is in how you look and feel, then he is not worth your time.  If you have already given yourself away and you are struggling, know that God still loves you and so do true followers of Jesus Christ.  You do not need to live with guilt, and you do not need to hate yourself.  You are still special, and you can still start over again.

I want to encourage any young teenage boys who read this to know that you do not have to have sex by the time you turn fifteen.  You do not need to feel like you are less of a man if you have never gotten a girl in bed with you.  Instead of trying to get a girl to give away her purity to you, I hope you will encourage her to hold onto it until the Lord brings her to the right stage in her life.  For now, just get to know her and love her for who she is, a beautiful creation.

How should Christians react to people who do not practice abstinence?

If someone who is not a Christian chooses not to save sex for marriage, that is their choice. We cannot hold non-Christians to that standard. However, there are health benefits to saving sex.

Why should Christians defend abstinence?

The Bible is our standard of truth, our authoritative book, as Christians, we must submit to the teachings presented in it.

What if I have already lost my virginity?

Romans 8:1 teaches that there is no condemnation for those in Christ. If you have lost your virginity, but you now desire to be obedient to God in this regard, know that your past is in the past. God does not continue to hold your sin against you and that you can move on in good conscience.

The Holy Spirit

Now that we have looked at the basic beliefs about God the Father, the Trinity, and Jesus Christ, it is time to focus our attention on the the Holy Spirit. Here are some basic beliefs about the person and the work of the Holy Spirit.

A few things about the Person of the Holy Spirit:

  1. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 14:16).
  2. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a thing (John 16:18, Ephesians 4:30).
  3. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity (Matthew 28:19).
  4. The Holy Spirit speaks (Romans 8:26).
  5. The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4).
  6. The Holy Spirit is omnipotent (1 Corinthians 12:11).
  7. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10).
A few things about the work of the Holy Spirit:
  1. The Holy Spirit was present in creation (Genesis 1:1-2).
  2. Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35).
  3. The Holy Spirit was present at the Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16).
  4. The Holy Spirit prepared Christ for his work of atonement (Matthew 4:1).
  5. The Holy Spirit was present at the Crucifixion of Jesus (Luke 23:46).
  6. The Holy Spirit was involved in the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 8:11)
  7. The Holy Spirit restrains sin (Genesis 6:3).
  8. He gives life (Psalm 104:30 and Job 34:14-15).
  9. He gives us our new birth (John 3:3-7).
  10. He gives us our spiritual resurrection (Ephesians 2:5).
  11. The Holy Spirit has a role in making us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  12. He gives power (Numbers 27:18).
  13. He purifies (1 Corinthians 6:11).
  14. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).
  15. The Holy Spirit reveals.
    • He gave revelation to the Prophets and the Apostles (Ephesians 3:4-6).
    • He gives evidence of God’s presence (Romans 8:16).
    • He guides and directs God’s people (Romans 8:14).
    • He provides a godlike atmosphere when he manifests his presence (Romans 15:13-14., Ephesians 2:19-22).
    • He gives us assurance (Romans 8:16).
    • He teaches and illumines.
  16. He unifies (Philippians 2:1-2).
  17. He gives stronger and weaker evidence of the presence and blessing of God in our lives according to our response to him in or present situations (1 Peter 4:14 and Judges 13:25 and 16:20).
  18. He gives spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11).
  19. The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of the Bible with the messages to write (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21).
  20. The Holy Spirit lives in our hearts (John 14:16-17).
  21. The Holy Spirit is with you when you suffer for the Gospel (Romans 8:26).

Dating Abuse


(Image from

In the United States, 1 in 3 adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner. 1 in 10 high school students has been purposely slapped or hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend. This issue was brought more into the public light a few years ago on the MTV show Teen Mom. In the show, Amber was filmed slapping and hitting her boyfriend Gary. She later was arrested on the charges of physical assault.  Estimates show that nearly 25% of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse and 70% of college students have been sexually coerced. 

Girls between the ages of 16 and 24 face the highest rate of intimate partner violence.

People involved in abusive dating relationships are at a higher risk for eating disorders and drug abuse.  Being abused makes teenage girls six times more likely to become pregnant or contract an STI. Nearly 50% of people who have been victims of dating violence and rape attempt suicide. 

Perhaps the scariest statistic is that 81% of parents do not think teen dating violence is an issue for their children or they are not aware of it.

 (An example of Teen Dating Violence.)

We have already looked at what the Bible has to say about verbal and physical abuse. It is not acceptable for any person to abuse another. 

If you are being abused and you are dating or are a teenager…TELL SOMEBODY. 

If you are a PARENT, make sure you know the people your children are friends with and the people they are dating. Take time to talk with your children and to make sure they know they can talk with you if they are experiencing any abuse from boyfriends or girlfriends. Pray for your children and for them to make wise decisions about who to date.

(The above video is from the show “What Would You Do?”)
It is not as graphic as the pic here make it out to be.

If you you see abuse happening, do something!! It is time we stand up in this country for human right…namely the right for all people to be treated equally. There is no place for abuse in our society and no excuse for idly letting it happen. Christians see humans as being created in the image of God. As such, all humans are intrinsically valuable and we cannot let these abuses continue.

For more information, visit:


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What is gluttony?

Gluttony is defined as excessive eating or the over-indulgence in food. When one consumes far more food than is necessary the person is considered a glutton. In America, most of us can stand to lose a few pounds, but our weight or the amount of calories we consume does not necessarily make someone us gluttons. Athletes need far more calories than those who work in a desk for 8 hours a day. Some people are naturally bigger based on metabolism and other factors, even when they do not over-eat. So a person’s size is not necessarily the deciding factor for determining whether or not someone is a glutton.

To understand better what gluttony is and why it is a sin, we need to look to Scripture.

What does the Bible say about gluttony?
Paul speaks of enemies of the cross in Philippians 3, and in verse 19 he states: “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” When Paul makes this statement, he is reminding his readers that those who are enemies of the Gospel make their own desires out to be their gods. These people live for pleasures and look for satisfaction in earthly things.

Proverbs 23:21 states that gluttons will come to poverty, but the idea here is that the person is eating himself out of house and home.

More significantly the scriptures teach that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we are to take care of our bodies (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Romans 13:14 states: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

The idea behind this last verse is that we are to love God more than we love the things we desire. We are to put God ahead of things. It seems that the real issue with gluttony is that people are not to love food more than they love God. They are not to make food an idol.

The enemies of God in the first passage have placed idols above God and the real heart of the matter is loving God above all.

How should Christians respond to someone who is a glutton?
I think this depends somewhat on who the person is. If the person is not a believer, then Christians need to share Christ with that person recognizing that God loves the person just where they are. If the person is a Christian but appears to love food more than he or she loves God, then the person needs to be reminded of God’s love and the position God needs to have in the person’s heart. But the person who loves food more than God may not be overweight and the person who is overweight may love God more than food, so wisdom and love need to be foundational to approaching someone as a glutton.

What if I struggle with gluttony?

If you struggle with making food an idol, you are not alone. Food appeals to our senses and it is easy to make food an idol. It provides instant gratification. If you do struggle with this, spend some time in prayer asking God to help you love him more than you love food. Ask him to help yo control your eating. Look at visiting a health clinic to determine how much you should be eating based on your size and lifestyle. Then make a plan to get healthy. Find some accountability in the process. It is always easier when you are on a team. Tell yourself that you are doing this to present your body to God as his temple and that you are doing it to honor God by taking care of yourself.

Other Kinds of Gluttons

Now for the real kicker. While gluttony typically refers to food, we often over-indulge in things that take our focus off of God. We make idols out of things that give us pleasure. In this sense, we are gluttons regarding things other than food.

What do you need to re-prioritize in your life in order to put God first?

Jesus Part 2

In the last post we discussed the person of Christ, including his deity and his humanity. This post will focus on the basic Christian beliefs about the work of Christ.

A few things about the past work of Christ:

  • Christ was the creator of all (John 1:3).
  • He was active in the creation of the world (1 Corinthians 8:6).
  • Christ was active in the creation of humanity (Colossians 1:16).
  • Jesus sustains the universe (Colossians 1:16-17).
  • Christ announced the coming of the Kingdom of God during his earthly ministry (Luke 12:32).
  • His ultimate mission was to die for sin (Matthew 20:28).
  • On the cross, Christ both satisfied the wrath of God against sin and offered forgiveness and mercy to those who believe (1 John 2:2).
  • Christ died in our place as a substitute for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • Christ reconciled us back into fellowship with God through his death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:18).
  • Christ was resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). The resurrection of Christ shows us that God the Father accepted his sacrifice on the cross, it also gives us hope that we too will be resurrected from the dead.
  • Christ ascended into heaven (Luke 24:50-53).

A few things about the present work of Christ:

  • Christ is Lord over creation; he is King (1 Peter 3:22).
  • Christ intercedes for us in prayer, he is Priest (Romans 8:34).
  • Christ reveals the truth of God, he is prophet (John 8:28).

A few things about the atonement of Christ:

  • The atonement is the what Christ did on the cross.
  • Christ was our ransom, he paid the penalty for our sin. This penalty was not paid to anyone, it is figurative language to express the costly nature of what he did. He tasted spiritual death so that we would not have to (Matthew 20:28).
  • Christ satisfied the wrath of God on the cross.
  • Christ brought all of creation back under his authority and he is now preparing to renew all of creation (Revelation 21).
  • Christ’s death compels us to live moral lives in honor to him because of what he did for us.
  • Christ conquered the devil on the cross. The devil was the one who introduced sin into the world.
  • In his death and resurrection, Christ has provided to us the gift of salvation. Salvation brings believers into fellowship with God and keeps them from facing spiritual death.

In our next doctrinal post we will look at the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Jewelry and Fancy Dress

Today we often talk about dressing up to go to church, but in the early church some taught that Christians should not wear expensive clothes. Tertullian believed that women should not wear jewelry or dyed clothing. He believed that such adornments were unnatural and that anything unnatural originated with the devil. It was not so much that Tertullian had a problem with the expensive dyed clothing, but rather, he was concerned with holiness and being pure. All Christians should desire to live pure lives before the Lord.

What does the Bible say about how Christians are to dress?
1 Timothy 2:9-10 reads, “Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”
At first glance this verse appears to suggest that it is wrong for women to braid their hair or wear jewelry, but on deeper analysis, we see in this context that Paul is comparing women who are modest and self-controlled to those who are not. He is encouraging them to do good works.
Peter elaborates on this is 1 Peter 3:3-4 where he states, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Here Peter suggests that it is more important to focus on inner beauty than outer beauty. In other words, there is nothing wrong with wearing jewelry or braided hair unless it is a substitute for inner beauty.
Jesus tells the Pharisees that they are like white-washed tombs. By this he means that they look pure on the outside but their hearts are corrupt. Paul and Peter desire for believers to have pure hearts regardless of how nice they look on the outside.
It is worth noting here that Paul does mention being respectable. Christians (men and women) should not wear clothing that is overly revealing and would reflect negatively on the church or the cause of Christ. They should also not wear jewelry that glorifies god’s of other faiths (such as a Bindi). There is nothing inherently wrong with wearing jewelry or nice clothes.

Child Abuse

In America, 4-7 children die every day as a result of domestic abuse. Each year over 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States that involve over 6 million children. 70% of the children who die from abuse are under age 4. The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States in 2008 was $124 billion dollars. 30% of children who are abused will end up abusing their own children someday.

In 2012, 80% of abused children were victims of neglect, 18% were victims of physical abuse, 9% were victims of sexual abuse, 8% were victims of psychological abuse, 2% were victims of medical neglect, and 10% were abused in other ways. This list also reveals that abused children were frequently victims of more than one kind of abuse.

What does the Bible say about Child Abuse?

The Bible is clear that children are to honor/respect their parents and obey them.

Colossians 3:20 reads, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

Parents are to teach their children how to make good choices and to become responsible citizens. To this end, parents are to discipline their children, but that discipline should be founded in love.

Psalm 127:3 teaches that children are a heritage from the Lord.

Proverbs 22:15 states, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” In verse 6 of this same chapter, Solomon provides general wisdom stating that when a child is trained in how to live, when he is older he will continue on that path.

Proverbs 13:24 reminds us that involved parents who love their children will discipline them. It states, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

In Proverbs 29:15 parents are reminded that when children are not disciplined but allowed to do whatever they want, then the children bring shame to their families.

This being said, Ephesians 6:4 reminds parents that they are not to be so strict that they actually lead their children towards rebellion. The verse reads, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

This same phrase occurs in Colossians 3:21 where Paul writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

The Bible expects parents to act responsibly while raising their children. They should not neglect them or physically harm them. They should lovingly teach them how to be responsible human beings.

Parents should seek what is best for their children and not seek their destruction.

Proverbs 19:18 states, “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.”

What can you do about it?

If you are a childcare provider or parent, regain control before disciplining a child. If you suspect child abuse, report it to your local Child Protective Services Agency. If you struggle with abusing children, seek help through mental health facilities, community centers, or local churches.

For More information on Child Abuse, view the following: