Welcome to my monthly readable links post for the month of June. There’s less than the previous posts, but still a lot. Hope you find it helpful!
Life, the Universe and Nothing: You should come to this. Yes, you. Dr William Lane Craig and Prof Lawrence Krauss are debating science vs God. It promises to be interesting!
- Confessions of a Former Worship Leader. This blogger is theologically questionable, but I like his conclusions.
- Feasting by faith: Do you let your grocery trolley make you feel bad?
- The God who is here. “We seek him here, we seek him there, we seek him everywhere … Have we sold out? Have even we Protestant Christians joined the mad search—the search that is dishonouring to God and unworthy of his people — the search that smells more like the bad breath of natural religion than the spirit of the New Testament?”
- House of the Wise. “If you work outside the home, you usually work with other people who hold you accountable and give encouragement. This is not the case for the housewife, who labors alone throughout the day until her husband comes home. While her family’s praise should be enough, often women long for others to acknowledge their work. Too often, housewives do not feel as if their work is as important or fulfilling as more flashy jobs outside the home. Despite those feelings, however, their work is a worthy calling from God in which He expects just as much diligence, forethought, and commitment as He would in any other job.”
- Is it OK for a Christian to drop OMG’s? “If you are carelessly using God’s name as a throw-away word when you get upset or stub your toe, then you need to stop. And not just stop, but start regarding it and him as holy and uncommon. This is the place and posture of a true “Oh, my God!” (Ps. 25:2; 40:17).
- The joy of not sinning. “The Bible is indispensable in sanctification. Literally. You cannot and will not grow in holiness without reading God’s Word, without submitting yourself to God’s Word, without applying its truths to your life. And yet the Bible does not zap away sin any more than my salvation does. I have discovered in my own life that there are not a lot of texts in the Bible that instantly obliterate a particular sin. Rarely do I hear a text preached and see an instant, substantial advance against a sin. Never do I read a text and see my sin immediately and irreversibly melt away.”
- Little evils, little sins. “The Spirit constantly challenges me to deal with little sins. As with so many other believers, I often tend to feel that I’m a pretty good guy. I have never committed any of the really “bad” sins. I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never committed adultery and I’ve never stolen anything big enough for anyone to notice that it’s missing. I pay my taxes, stick near the speed limit, and try not to hate people. But while I have not committed those big sins, I’ve come to realize just how open I have become to the little sins. To use our military metaphor, while the mainland has not yet been conquered, I can see how I’ve gleefully allowed island after island to fall to Satan. Surely concentrated attacks on the mainland cannot be far behind. Surely big sins will follow these little ones.”
- Satisfied with utter destruction: Tim Challies shows how the devil will only be satisfied with our utter desecration.
- What’s in “The Look”? “This is the time of year when we see the articles on modesty. Well and good. Summer is here, the sun is shining, the jeans and sweatshirts have been replaced by shorts and t-shirts. It is as good a time as any to consider what you’re wearing and why. Modesty is a good and always-urgent topic because what a person wears has a way of shining a spotlight straight into the heart.”
- 7 marks of a false teacher. This list is not conclusive, but helpful nonetheless.
- Crucifixion historicity: There are people who claim that Jesus wasn’t crucified. These people are wrong.
- The history of Christianity in 25 objects: Francis Xavier’s forearm. Francis Xavier founded the order of the Jesuits in the wake of the Reformation. It’s interesting to learn the origin of this order, seeing as Pope Francis follows that tradition.
- The history of Christianity in 25 objects: The Tyndale New Testament. “After Tyndale completed his New Testament translation, he began to translate the Old Testament from Hebrew, completing the first five books along with Jonah. In 1534 Henry VIII led the Church of England in its split with Rome and at this point Tyndale moved to Antwerp and began to exercise less caution. A friend soon betrayed him and he was arrested. After spending more than a year in prison, Tyndale was charged with heresy and treason. On October 6, 1536, he was strangled to death and then burned at the stake. His final words were a prayer: “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.” This prayer would soon be answered, for just three years later Henry would publish his “Great Bible,” based substantially on Tyndale’s work. At the cost of his life, William Tyndale set God’s Word free in the English language, and once set free, it would prove itself living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It would make an indelible imprint upon the souls of countless individuals and the lives of entire nations.”
- Hymn stories: Stand up, stand up for Jesus. I love this hymn. The origin is interesting.
- Counsel to a young church planter on marriage. I don’t fully agree with Dr Don Carson’s conclusions, but it’s helpful nonetheless.
- How I know my wife married the wrong person. This young man wrote this on his second anniversary. It’s excellent.
- The power of prayer.
- Teaching my children to hate me. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters … he cannot be My disciple”.
- Why wasn’t there a eulogy? “There was no eulogy at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. Some would say there was no good word to be spoken about her, but that was not the reason. Rather it was the funeral of a woman, not the celebration of her life. And a funeral is not a celebration.”
Sex and pornography
- Christian Marriage Advice: 5 ways porn will hurt your marriage. I was linked to something called “Christian porn” not long ago. I’m not linking it here as I don’t want to cause any of my addicted friends to stumble but for those who don’t understand: Christian porn is an oxymoron. No matter how “married” the actors may be, it’s the thoughts that the watcher has that’s the issue. Not only that, it creates a false benchmark for the watcher’s spouse, which is proven to break marriages.
Frankly, as a Christian woman who’s addiction to this disgusting stuff, it makes me so angry to see these so called “Christians” marketing this stuff. Porn is deadly. It hurts relationships, it hurts children, it hurts women, it hurts men and it hurts the actors. There is nothing good at all about it.
- Cure For Porn Addiction: Don’t Move to Iceland. “Perhaps you’ve heard the news. Iceland is gearing up to ban Internet pornography. It won’t only be a crime, it would be straight-up impossible to look at porn with government filters in place. Soon, your first step to freedom could be to move to Iceland. I’ve priced tickets. Your flight will be less than $1000. Here’s the question, though: does banning something actually help? Answer: no.”
- I was a married woman tempted by porn… “I was the quiet girl growing up who desperately tried to blend into the crowd. My dad was a teacher in the same school district I attended, and the first day of school each year was pretty much the same. My name would be called, and the teacher would tell me that he or she knew my dad. When I was young, it seemed as if everyone knew him. This, along with my reserved personality, caused me to constantly be on my best behavior when I was in public. All of this unwanted attention further solidified the importance of not doing anything to disappoint anyone or stand out in the crowd. I never knew that the state of my heart was just as important as who I appeared to be on the outside.”
- Jason’s Personal Purity Battle Plan. This is an extreme battle plan, but it’s the type of thing that we should be doing to combat sin.
- Pornography Harms: How can people not see the links between porn and child porn?? One doesn’t stay satisfied with the same images for long and “teen porn” is the most popular of porn now. Users want younger and younger looking girls. NO WONDER DEMAND for CHILD PORN is on the rise now.
Here’s a quote from one popular porn performer about her start in the industry when she was just 18:
“Those first couple of years, I was in demand—a new face, fresh, hot, and most importantly, young. Because, as I quickly learned, when you work in the porn industry, “barely legal” is synonymous with “VIP.” Directors lavished attention upon me. Producers clamored to get me into their films. I was put in movies with titles like Naughty Little Nymphos and Trained Teens. I quickly adjusted to playing the part of nymph. They dressed me in school-girl uniforms and tied my blonde hair into pigtails — anything to make me look every bit as young as I was…”
“ANYTHING TO MAKE ME LOOK EVERY BIT AS YOUNG AS I WAS…” why do porn users want to see little girls?”
- Pornography Harms: THERE ARE MANY LINKS BETWEEN PORNOGRAPHY AND SEX TRAFFICKING.
- Pornography fuels the global sex trade by driving demand into the mainstream of society.
- Pornography is used as a “tool” to train young children and women so that they will “know” what to do in performing sex acts.
- Often, the forced sexual acts between the prostituted woman/child and the John will be filmed and photographed and then shared elsewhere.
- Studies show that pornography users often seek to act out what they have viewed in porn. Often their partners will not engage in such acts, so they seek it elsewhere – increasing the demand for trafficked women and children to be prostituted.
- Pimps are operating more and more online as it becomes easier to connect with potential buyers and to remain anonymous. Popular websites like http://www.Craigslist.com and http://www.Facebook.com have become “virtual brothels” where one can quickly find prostituted women and children to engage in sex acts.
- As addictions to pornography increase, users seek harder and harder material. There is a recent boom in the availability of “live” porn as trafficked children and women are forced to perform “on-demand” sex acts in front of web cameras as “Johns” or porn users watch.
- Porn users do not and cannot distinguish between trafficked women, prostitutes, and porn stars.
- Ray Comfort: On February 24, 2005, a nine-year-old girl was reported missing from her home in Homosassa, Florida. Three weeks later, police discovered that she had been kidnapped, brutally raped, and then buried alive. Little Jessica Lunsford was found tied up, in a kneeling position, clutching a stuffed toy.
How do you feel toward the man who murdered that helpless little girl in such an unspeakably cruel way? Are you angered? I hope so. I hope you are outraged. If you were completely indifferent to her fate, it would reveal something horrible about your character.
Do you think that God is indifferent to such acts of evil? You can bet your precious soul He is not. He is outraged by them. The fury of Almighty God against evil is evidence of His goodness. If He wasn’t angered, He wouldn’t be good. We cannot separate God’s goodness from His anger. Again, if God is good by nature, He must be unspeakably angry at wickedness. But His goodness is so great that His anger isn’t confined to the evils of rape and murder. Nothing is hidden from His pure and holy eyes. He is outraged by torture, terrorism, abortion, theft, lying, adultery, fornication, pedophilia, homosexuality, and blasphemy. He also sees our thought-life, and He will judge us for the hidden sins of the heart: for lust, hatred, rebellion, greed, unclean imaginations, ingratitude, selfishness, jealousy, pride, envy, deceit, etc. Jesus warned, “But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”.
Are You a good person? Test Yourself.
- 3 reasons porn sucks. “The word pornography comes from pornos, prostitute, and grapho, to depict or write, meaning “depicting prostitutes.” We seem to be waking up to the possibility that the word’s etymology may very well be a description of reality. Pornography is fundamentally an experience of bought sex.”
- All’s Fair In Food & Same Sex Marriage. This is a rant as opposed to a reasoned argument, but it’s still helpful.
- A letter to Charlie Pickering on the exodus of Exodus. “But I had some issues with last night’s show (Friday June 21). I loved the segment on Refugees – and Walk Together – a good initiative from a Christian pastor, Brad Chilcott, I enjoyed most of the program, but I was a bit surprised with the segment on Exodus International’s Alan Chambers recent apology to the gay community. I understand it’s a story – but I didn’t think this was the quality of some of your better advocacy work. I appreciate that the panel has pretty strong views on the nature of same sex attraction. That people are born gay, or don’t choose to be gay. That it’s immutable. And while as a Bible believing Christian I’m happy to agree with the first – that people don’t generally have a choice when it comes to their sexual orientation – I’m puzzled about the idea that any aspect of any human will is something that individual does not have a right to attempt to change. As an exercise of their humanity.”
- Prop 8, Doma and the Christian response. I love this reaction to the recent ruling in the USA. I think it’s spot on.
- Tough questions: “You gonna put on those shoes again?” Once again, the media has ignored the opinion of most of their readers.
- Valid apologetics or Anglican syncretism? The Telegraph in the UK is misrepresenting the CoE. Surprised? I’m not.
- Kazakh pastor held on charge of harming health. “A pastor in Kazakhstan has been detained on a charge of “inflicting serious harm to health” after a woman who attended his church was said to “lose her mind”.”
- Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity. “When a Christian foundation interviewed college nonbelievers about how and why they left religion, surprising themes emerged.”
- NBN stats: Australia’s broadband future and why the Coalition’s alternative ‘won’t work’. This is an in-depth article on why the Coalition’s alternative to to the NBN is not up scratch.
- Online porn: animals have more rights than women, campaigners say. Animals and corpses have more rights than girls to protection from being used for internet pornography, a coalition of women’s groups warns.
- Parents’ fear of vaccinations nearly killed their son.
- Severe adverse maternal outcomes among low risk women with planned home versus hospital births in the Netherlands: nationwide cohort study. Conclusion: Low risk women in primary care at the onset of labour with planned home birth had lower rates of severe acute maternal morbidity, postpartum haemorrhage, and manual removal of placenta than those with planned hospital birth. For parous women these differences were statistically significant. Absolute risks were small in both groups. There was no evidence that planned home birth among low risk women leads to an increased risk of severe adverse maternal outcomes in a maternity care system with well trained midwives and a good referral and transportation system.
- “Science-fact: “One study conducted by David Merrill exposed mice to heavy metal 24 hours a day. The band chosen was Anthrax. The purpose of the study was to see how the heavy metal would affect their ability to learn new things.
Shockingly, the experiment could not be finished because instead of completing the Maze, the heavy metal mice all killed each other.
In further experiments, Merrill exposed the mice to heavy metal for only 10 hours a day. Even though the mice did not become homicidal in this experiment, they were much worse at solving the maze than when they had first encountered it.