Monday, December 15, 2014

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

As it is for most kids, Christmas time was my favorite time of the year growing up. Everything changes. There are lights, Christmas songs, making gingerbread houses, fun Christmas movies, and best of all, lots of new toys!

I was always the first one up Christmas morning, and always dazzled by the sight of our family-room filled with beautifully-wrapped presents, all filled with new and exciting things just waiting to be discovered. Yes, Christmas was the best time of the year.

I never thought much about why we had Christmas, or what all of the traditions and practices meant. Everyone celebrated Christmas…or so I thought. 

Once while visiting a great Christian family, I was horrified to discover that they did not celebrate Christmas! WHAT? WHY? How sad their children don’t get presents Christmas morning! My parents explained later that they believe we should treat every day the same, and consider every day as holy, and seek to celebrate God every moment.

Okay, that makes sense, I thought, but why not treat every day the same…but also get presents?

As I grew older, Christmas slowly began to lose its luster for me. More and more things began to bother me about the holiday, such as the hustle and bustle, the stress the season seemed to bring, and the over-commercialization.

Since then, I have also learned more sinister things about the origins of Christmas. Indeed, there are some Christians who believe we should not participate at all in the celebration due to its pagan origins.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wife, Please Go See If That's A Murderer

Feminism’s crusade against Chivalry and all things gender specific has been overwhelmingly successful. At one point in time, for better or worse, there were clear gender distinctions. The husband was the provider, and the wife managed the home. The husband was the protector, and the wife was the nurturer. If there was a potential murderer/stalker person parked outside your house, the husband would investigate, not the wife.

 Not anymore.

After a day of moving and unpacking, the sun had set. No street lights left the road in blackness. The moving truck was parked in front of our driveway, and I sat in front of it in our car. As I was waiting for the truck to move so I could pull our car into our drive, the neighbors began to come down their driveway in their car. Their drive met our street between where I was parked and the moving truck. Before the neighbors could reach the road, they stopped.

The light inside their vehicle turned on, and I saw a man and a woman talking, I’m guessing they were husband and wife. After a few seconds, the wife got out and began to walk toward me. As she approached, I lowered my window.

“Hello!” I said.
“Are you with the people moving in?” she asked. I replied in the affirmative. “Okay, just making sure,” she said, then walked back to their car and they drove away. So apparently they were worried I was some kind of stalker or thief staking out their house or something, and yet the wife went to investigate instead of the husband?

This is very small example, but I think this situation represents the cultural confusion we have today surrounding how men are supposed to treat women. The Feminist ideology steeping our culture has imposed upon women the lie that they do not have choices to make; that they can “have it all” and not have to face the consequences. Not too long ago, a man never would have had his wife go investigate the mysterious car parked in front of their house. He would have investigated himself, partly because men are typically better equipped than women to handle potentially violent situations. More importantly, because it is the husband’s job to love and protect his wife, not because of anything she has or hasn’t done, or can or cannot do, but out of respect for the mere fact that she is a woman, and his wife.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why Feminists Will Never Be Happy

Hello readers!

I wrote a guest post for Generation Cedar. Make sure to check it out!

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Feminism has failed. More and more people are starting to realize this fact, but the beast just won’t die! While all of society is worse off for the advance of Feminism, the sad irony is that those who lose out the most are the Feminist women themselves.

I’m not talking about the first wave of Feminism which campaigned for suffrage and the end of abortion (though this wave was not without flaws). Yes, the first Feminists were staunchly pro-life because they understood how harmful abortion was for women (not to mention it is murder). It is the second and third waves of feminism which have failed us as a society, and failed women most of all.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I Have No Home

When my family moved, I went with them to help unpack, and then promptly flew back to Ohio to finish recording my music album. Album completed, I started the long, two-day drive back to my family, leaving behind the state where I was born and raised. I took a couple final pictures of our old house and then said goodbye to the streets, sights, and routines that had been constants in my life for the past 15 years.

On my own, with nothing but music and “The Future Of The Mind,” by Michio Kaku to keep me company, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t have a home anymore. Sure I was going to a new home, but it didn’t feel like home yet. That’s when I remembered that this Earth isn’t actually our real home anyway.

I think this fact can be easy to forget. It can be easy to despair when we see the way our country is progressing. As we watch society turn further away from God, and more and more freedoms taken away or infringed upon. It can easily feel like some intruder is barging into our home eating our food and leaving muddy footprints all over the carpet.

But America is not our home. This Earth is not our home. This life is not our home. We don’t have a home—yet—and that’s okay.

As Paul reminded the Philippians, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;” – Philippians 3:20. This concept can sound rather disconcerting at first, but actually, it’s a very positive and encouraging reality.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Woo! 21, Time To Drink!

Wooo! I am 21 now, and in America, that means I am the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol! If you are German, that probably seems incredibly odd, since the legal age in your country is 16. Regardless, 21 is the magical age here!

Lately, however, I have come across a number of people and articles making the case that alcohol is sinful, or at the very least, shouldn’t be consumed by Christians. Growing up, for the longest time, I didn’t even realize there were Christians who thought drinking alcohol was wrong. Labeling alcohol as sinful just  didn’t make any sense to me. After all, the Bible speaks very positively of alcohol.

Amos 9:14 offers a great promise, the restoration of Israel. Drinking wine is included, “I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.”

Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”

The Psalms also speak favorably of wine:  “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” – Psalm 104:14-15

Paul even instructs Timothy to drink wine for his health: “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” – 1 Timothy 5:23

If the Bible speaks favorably of wine, why then do some Christians think it is wrong to drink it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Most Embarrassing Moment

I have always hated embarrassment. For most of my life, if faced with the option of getting hit in the face with a brick, and getting massively embarrassed…I probably would have taken the brick. I’d like to think that now I don’t take myself so seriously…but I don’t know, I still might take that brick.

Because of this fear, I’ve always been careful to avoid situations in which I could potentially be embarrassed. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t stop from getting embarrassed on occasion. The time I am about to tell you about was especially bad.

I was in 7th grade, so 13-years-old. I went part time to the local middle school, and was a member of the school basketball team. Practice had just finished up, and I was waiting outside in the cold dark night. In front of the school was a large asphalt loop which allowed busses to easily drive up, drop kids off, and then drive off. This time, the parents of my teammates waited to pick-up their kids.

I was normally picked up by my dad, but this night, he couldn’t make it. My grandma was picking me up, and she drove a gold SUV. So when a gold SUV drove up, I walked toward it and opened the passenger-side door.

The problem is a lot of people drive gold SUVs, and at night, you can’t see who is in the vehicle. It turns out the driver was not my grandma, and the vehicle was not hers.

Yeah…

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gays Do Have A Right To Get Married

Gays do have the right to get married in America. There is no discrimination. Everyone is held to the same standards.

What? If this is the case then why all of the hullabaloo about marriage equality? This is because the LGBTQ community have no desire to participate in marriage: they want to destroy it.

Gays actually do have the right to get married in America. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life. Sure, homosexuals aren’t able to marry someone of the same sex, but neither am I. No one is. We are all treated equally under the law. Therefore, we are all equal already. We are all free to choose to enter into marriage or not. No one is trying to prevent homosexuals from being together. They can be together if they want to in America, that just isn’t marriage.

What’s the big deal?

Why can’t we just change the definition of marriage to include any two adults who love each other? Well, if you don’t respect or believe in the opinion of God, there really is no reason not to…if you are willing to accept the consequences.

We have already changed the definition of marriage once, and it has led to widespread destruction in our culture. Marriage went from being between one man and one woman for life, to one man and one woman for as long as they feel like it.

A little over 40 years ago, “no fault divorce” became recognized. Now anyone can divorce for any reason, or no reason, when previously one could only sue for divorce if there was abuse, abandonment, or adultery. The result? Divorce skyrocketed, fathers abandoned their children, crime spiked, and society has been severely harmed.

Rather than turning back to what marriage is supposed to be, we are pressing on in the wrong direction, which will ultimately lead to the abolition of marriage.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pizza Tastes Best In Your Parents' Basement: Why I Haven't Moved Out Yet

I will turn 21 pretty soon, and yet, I still live at home with my family. According to cultural expectations, I should have moved out three years ago. The punishment for not following the crowd and obligatorily moving out after completing 18 revolutions around the sun is you get labeled a “man-child” and it is generally assumed you do nothing but eat pizza in your parents’ basement. Failure to move out by a certain age automatically means “failure to launch” into mature adulthood.

Is this stereotype accurate? 
  
To some extent, I would say yes. As Emporweringparents.com says, “Are you one of the millions of frustrated, exhausted parents whose adult child is still living at home with you? Like many in this situation, you might be feeling resentful that your adult son seems to think he’s entitled to meals, laundry and gas money when he does nothing but sleep and party.”

If sleeping and partying is all you’re doing at home, then yes, there may be a problem here. In my case, I sleep, party, and write blog posts, so I clearly do not fit into that category.

Just kidding. I only party. All day and all night. But you probably already guessed that

There certainly is a dearth of mature young adults. Adolescence is perpetuating well into the late 20s for many individuals today; yet, this immaturity tends to take place on college campuses, or other venues away from parents. We are surely missing maturity today among young adults, but simply moving out rarely leads to miraculously discovering maturity and responsibility. Merely living at home with your parents into your 20s isn’t necessarily an indicator of immaturity. In fact, it may be just the opposite.

7 Problems with obligatory moving out:

The cultural expectation that you must move out upon your 18th or 19th birthday is so strong, that I have felt the need to leave and the guilt of staying even though my parents have never taught that I have to leave upon becoming an adult. Certainly, I don’t plan on staying under my parents’ roof indefinitely. I am working toward one day being able to support a family of my own, but I’m not there yet.

Could I move out if I wanted to? Sure. I could move out, but that would be very foolish of me. If you are a young adult like me and struggling with the idea that you should move out just for the sake of moving out, don’t be. If you think moving out will help you to “grow up,” think again.

I can’t speak for everyone’s situation. For many, moving out, or going away to college would be the best option; but for me, that is not the case. Here are 7 reasons why I haven’t moved out yet.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Your Soul Mate Doesn't Exist

I have bad news for you: your soul-mate doesn’t exist.

There isn’t one person "out there" ideally suited to perfectly fit or complete you in every way. None. However, there are likely several different people whom you would be compatible with in marriage. 

This truth is made more obvious when you contemplate the horrible mess we would have if simply ONE person married the wrong “one”.  That would mean each of these two people’s real “ones” will end up marrying the wrong “ones” as well. Therefore, one person marrying the wrong "one" will lead to a devastating domino effect of broken dreams and spoiled potential.  


So either we are doomed to marry the wrong “one,” or else there are multiple people out there who could be potential marriage partners. 

Isn’t this the most romantic thing you’ve ever heard? 

Another problem with the idea that there is someone out there who will perfectly fit your needs and make you happy, is that it is incredibly self-centered and out of touch with reality.

We seem to have gotten the idea that marriage is about making us happy: it’s not.

Certainly, companionship and mutual help and support are major parts of marriage (Genesis 2:18), but marriage isn’t an end in and of itself. It isn’t supposed to be the answer to all our problems, or the key to making us happy and fulfilled. Marriage is a means. It’s intended to support the raising of godly children, promote the sanctification of the husband and wife, and also to display the beautiful picture of how Christ relates to His church. Happiness and fulfillment definitely can be side-effects of a godly marriage, but lacking happiness at any given point in a marriage is not an indicator that you married the wrong person.

Also, we are all flawed. From what I've observed, read, and been told…there is a good chance you aren’t always going to get along perfectly with your spouse. Your spouse may do some things you don’t like. Not only that, but you’ll probably do some things they don’t like. Why? Because we are still being sanctified and still have flaws. This shouldn’t be surprising. Experiencing bumps in the road doesn’t mean you married the wrong person.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

This debate seems to come up every year, and some seem to be very passionate about it. Should Christians participate in Halloween?

Abolitionists cite Halloween’s pagan origins, and its preoccupation with witchcraft as reasons why Christians should not participate.

Advocates of the holiday claim that whatever Halloween's origins were, they are irrelevant (or aren’t as bad as people say). How could a kid dressing up as Superman and receiving candy be wrong? What is so satanic about a child putting on a costume and receiving a Baby Ruth candy bar, or perhaps some Starbursts, or maybe—if you’re lucky—one of those coconut-filled Almond Joy bars which make your mouth want shrivel up and die the moment you take a bite? This is all just innocent fun.

Personally, I have never liked Halloween. I have never been a fan of dressing up. I remember in public school, we would have a Halloween party/parade where we would all walk around the school in our costumes for all of the parents to see us. In fourth grade, I had made up my mind not to go Trick-Or-Treating, and so had no costume. 

It was rather awkward walking around, single-file, the only non-costumed-kid among a crowd of princesses and Grim Reapers. Peer pressure working it's unholy magic, I was beginning to doubt whether or not I had made the right choice when one of my classmates asked me if my costume was meant to be the “Kid-Next-Door”. “Yeah, that’s what it is,” I agreed, feeling a bit better about my decision not to wear a costume. People will just think I’m the kid next door! Whatever that means…

Speaking of awkward, I can only think of few more awkward things I've experienced than being an Elementary school kid and having to hand-out candy to high schoolers. They were always the loudest ones coming up to the door, traveling in their packs, but they would always get quiet for some reason when I handed them the candy. Perhaps they sensed the awkwardness too.

I don’t know what it was. The whole Halloween thing always seemed bizarre to me, even from a young age. 

Asking strangers for candy? I thought taking candy from strangers was bad? But it's not if you have a costume on? On top of that, I wasn’t a candy-obsessed kid. Halloween seemed like too much of a hassle for my introverted self just to get some candy that may or may not be any good. Plus, we always had candy left over from what we handed out, and it was always better than any of the candy I got from strangers. Why not just sit at home and munch on the good stuff while everyone else runs around in silly costumes just to end up with disgusting Almond Joys? My young peers thought I was missing out when I thought I was capitalizing. 

But that was just me. Perhaps you have fond memories of Halloween (or maybe you still Trick-Or-Treat?). My younger siblings don’t seem to share my outlook on Halloween.

Every year, I propose we start a new tradition. I have come up with several very good ideas (in my opinion) but I’m always outvoted.   I think my best proposal was a tradition which started with the placing of an empty bowl out on the front step, along with a sign that says, “take one.” 

Perhaps this was my emotionally scarred Halloween childhood coming out. I remember several times trudging up to a house as a boy, carrying the weight of my costume and Almond-Joy-laden, pumpkin-shaped bucket of candy, only to find an empty candy bowl with a sign stating “take one.” Obviously, somebody had taken more than one. At that age, it was hard for me to imagine such fiends existed. What kind of kid would take all the candy when the sign clearly said take one? ONE!

Well, in my proposal, this new generation was going to have to pay for the sins of their older siblings.

But, this is Halloween after all. What is more frightening to a kid on Halloween than an empty bowl of candy? Don’t judge me. I think I was being very loyal to the Halloween theme with my proposal.  

In addition to this empty bowl with a sign politely instructing to only take one piece, we would turn all of the lights off in our house, and play hide-and-seek in the dark, with flashlights. To the outside world, they would just see a dark house with spooky beams of light flashing this way and that way. Very festive I thought.

Alas, it seems SOME people (whom I love) are stuck in their ways and prefer to stick to tradition. We never got to try out my amendment to the Halloween holiday.

My sentiments aside, is Halloween something Christians should participate in?