Even before I was a Christian, I wasn’t dense enough to think of the object in this photo to be anything other then a unborn human baby.  It’s not a parasite or a potential human.  It’s an actual living, capable of pain, human.  And it’s perfectly legal to destroy its life.

These last two weeks have really energized the pro-life crowd.  Between the three videos showing planned parenthood haggling over prices of harvested baby parts and the moral outrage shown against someone who killed a lion in africa, it’s made talking about the sanctity of life that much more common.  I’ve gotten in to it a few times on my facebook with pro-abortionists, including one who seemed to make the argument that I couldn’t be against baby slaughtering because I have my own flaws?  Someone else called him out on how illogical his argument was, and he stopped posting.  And that makes sense, because it’s completely illogical to support the mass murder of babies.  In retrospect though, it is also completely illogical to standby as your country commits genocide against the jewish population or enslaves those of a different skin color.  All things that we have let happen in the last 150 years.  The arguments used for abortion is eerily similar to the arguments for the holocaust and slavery.  “They aren’t human”, “It’s my life or theirs”, “The government says it’s okay”.

Maybe it’s because  I’m only 4 weeks away from being a dad to a beautiful baby girl that is reignited my love for the pro-life movement.  I know nothing magical happens in these next 4 weeks to magically transform Lily from a fetus into a baby.  Yet, if Lisa wanted, she could go kill our child and it would legally be okay and it would just be her exercising her right as a woman.  What about Lillian’s right to grow into a woman?  I’m so thankful and blessed that I married a wonderful woman who respects life from its earliest moments.  Lisa and I have talked about how baffling it is that a woman can carry her baby for 9 months, give birth, hold her crying baby in her arms and still reaffirm how it’s alright to kill the pre-born if that’s your choice.

Cecil the Lion gives us an opportunity to really sit back and see how messed up our culture is.  A dentist illegally kills a lion and it’s a national story and is forced to close his business and take his family into hiding.  Arguments against how immoral it is to kill a innocent life that was living in a habitat made to keep the lion safe.  Meanwhile Planned Parenthood  alone is slaughtering over 1,000 babies every single day.  And when you argue against that, you are a misogynistic extremist.

*Approximately 43.8 million babies are aborted every year worldwide.

I Love My church


The title pretty much says it all, I love my church.  I love the Church as a whole, but I particularly love my local body of church.  I am a member of Veritas West, a part of Veritas Community Church here in Columbus, Ohio.  I love my brothers and sisters in Christ here, I love my deacons, I love my elders, I even love our Bengals loving pastor (why do all the pastors in my life like the Bengals?!).   They are all fall from perfect, but I love them because God has put me here and under their discipline and discipleship.  Lisa and I started attending Refuge Church back in March and became members in June.  So we have only been attending here for a little less than a year. But I have no doubt that this is where God wants Lisa and I at this moment.

Same with our current living situation here.  Lisa and I have felt called to the Hilltop/Franklinton area for a while now, and this past November we finally found a place to rent here in the Hilltop.  It definitely has it challenges, but we are grateful for God placing us here right now.  We have met other people living in the Hilltop who also feeled called by God to this area, and shortly after our move here, our church relocated to half a mile up the road from our house.  I am excited when I hear of other families who want to move to this area as well to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Gospel

tmnt-2011-a-lA story as old as time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Alright, so maybe the turtles themselves only date back to the late 80’s, a time when shoulder pads, jelly shoes, wallet chains were all the rage.  It’s not too hard to see how a story based on genetically mutated reptiles who fought crime with martial arts that were taught to them by a giant rat could catch on during this time period.  But at its core, the story of the Ninja Turtles is a story as old as time.  Four brothers who do not fit in with the world around them, who feel destined for greatness, only to eventually face the truth that their existence is the result of a mere accident.

Splinter in a scene from Teenage Mutant Ninja ...

Splinter in a scene from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The origins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles varies in each incarnation of the series, but it stays similar; a certain chemical ooze gets spilled or accidentally spayed onto four baby turtles.  This “ooze” not only allows them to grow and resemble humanoid creatures, but also greatly heightens their intelligence and cognitive abilities.   They are then raised by a Rat (or Japanese martial artist turned rat, depending on the incarnation) who then teaches them the art of ninjitsu (obviously).  The four brothers are then raised in the sewers of New York City, going through adolescence and puberty while fighting petty crime in the city.

We all experience at least two thoughts during our teenage years, its universal.  1) We are unique, individual snowflakes who are unlike and completely individual from the masses around us, nobody really understands us.  2) We are destined for greatness and nothing can stop us.  Of course, neither of these two thoughts are really true.

Yes we are all individuals and slightly unique, but for the most part, humans are all basically the same.  We are all slaves to our own sin nature, and at the end of the day, everything we do serves ourselves.  Even our “good deeds” are an extension of our selfishness.  Look throughout history and see how similar we currently are to the ancient Romans and Greeks.  We are all sinful humans who, at our core, strive only to satisfy ourselves.  This is one aspect that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles actually hits on quite well.  The turtles are (for the most part) completely different individual from the rest of society.  And what is the thing that they strive for the most?  To be like everyone else and just be able to blend in.

The TMNT logo of the 1987 animated series.

The TMNT logo of the 1987 animated series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second universal teenage thought is that we are destined for greatness.  We put here by some cosmic force to accomplish something.  However, as the turtles learn, this is simply not the case.  Their entire existence is the result of a mere accident.  They have no great spiritual significance or destiny.  If a little boy hadn’t tripped and lost his pet turtles down a drain, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would not have even existed.  This is contrasted with our reality, where we have been uniquely created by the almighty God and have a distinct purpose and calling for our lives.  It may be something simple as suffering for the sake of Christ, or loving others as Christ loved us and spreading the Gospel through those means.  We have a great meaning in our lives, and we will accomplish it for the glory of God.

Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One other thing I would like to touch on in regards to Ninja Turtles and The Gospel is the turtles selfless protection they give to the people of New York.  The turtles are mocked, ridiculed, and persecuted by the people they are trying to save, nobody would blame them if stayed in the sewers and showed no emotion to the people who dwell among the streets.  But they spend their nights saving those who hate them and are scared of them.  They receive little to no recognition, and are often hunted by those who they help.  This is a great picture of what it means to spread the gospel of Christ through persecution.  Our love of people should empower us to go forth and spread the gospel, even if we are mocked, ridiculed or persecuted.  I pray that God gives me a heart similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Pub Theology


I’m wanting to start a Pub Theology group.  I read a little about them online and just can’t get the idea out of my head in the last couple of weeks.  If you are not familiar with it, it’s just a group that meets (usually at a pub or restaurant, obviously) to discuss different theological issues.  It’s not necessarily a “small group” in the traditional sense, though I suppose it could also be one.  Not everyone has to agree on different issues (though, all need to be gracious when discussing theology). Credobaptist vs Paedobaptist, Veneration of Mary, Limited vs Unlimited atonement, what is modesty, etc.  I whole heartily believe that discussing these things with other believers will sharpen us and help us grow in faith and grace.  I know that I personally grow when I am challenged by a different position then the one I hold.  I tend to get lazy and just accept my doctrinal stances without really flushing them out, and when confronted with an opposing view, I study more and look for more insight.

If you are in the Columbus or Grove City area, let me know if you would be interested in attending.  I’m thinking it will be a once a month thing, at least until it gets popular and if more people want to do it more often.

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The Great Commission Vacation

short term missionsIt seems to me that many short-term mission trips are problematic for a number of reasons. Let me give a few off the top of my head; 

1) Service missions are a waste of money that could have been used to hire local workers to do many of the jobs much better. I don’t understand why we spend thousands of dollars to send unskilled workers, often teenagers, when we could give jobs to local workers who actually know what they are doing for less money.

2) The false implicit assumption seems to be that missions and service need to be done somewhere other than within our own communities and to our own neighbors.

3) It reinforces the dynamic of impoverished people needing to be taken care of and saved by affluent, (typically white) Americans. Instead of empowering others and standing beside them as equals, a hierarchy develops even under the guise of service.

4) People gain an undue sense of their own goodness and the ‘impact’ or ‘difference’ that they made in other people’s lives. This also perpetuates the false belief that poverty is not an issue that should be addressed in the public sphere because charity is good enough to handle it.

5) While exposing people to poverty is a good thing, the lack of ongoing relationships does not actually improve people’s awareness of the reality of poverty. You often end up with affluent people who falsely think they understand the experience of poverty and the issues surrounding it.

6) The people being served are dehumanized as objects that we get to feel bad for, show compassion toward, feel love at, etc… They exist to make us feel like good Christians. How many people end up taking pictures of locals as if they are tourist attractions? Wouldn’t you find it weird if strangers went through your neighborhood and started taking pictures of you or your kids?

We’ve turned The Great Commission into something that is nothing more than an expensive vacation for church people.  If God has called you to missions, then do mission work.  But don’t do mission work for a week, come back to your home and share about how much you loved it and can’t wait to go back next year.  Just go do it.


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