What the World Vision debate was really about.

The saying that “A week is a long time in Politics” can now be surpassed with “two days is a long time in Evangelicalism.” Two days ago, you could not be gay and work for World Vision, yesterday you could and now today you can’t again.

Much of the discussion centered around the children that would possibly lose out if people decided to remove their support for World Vision. Both Fundamental Evangelicals and Progressive Christians feared that donors would pull out from support because of the initial decision and that it seemed, was where any agreement ended.

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Oversimplifying sin. Or why sin is not what you think.

A couple of days I wrote a blog that kind of went crazy. In it I questioned the manner that John Piper spoke about porn in a sermon.

Needless to say I got a lot of flack from some people. Yet I also received a lot of comments from people who had been hurt by similar styles of talking about sin in Church. I didn’t write it for John Piper fans. I wrote it for those very people whose voice has been lost because the church has piled on more and more shame.

Reading and responding to the comments it became quickly apparent that this had become something bigger than just about a view of porn addiction. Continue reading

Why John Piper is wrong about Porn

Several years ago I read an article by a Pastor I had never heard of but which transformed the way I thought about sin and addiction and their consequences. I had been a porn addict for a few years already and John Piper’s words filled me with hope and peace and strength. I still come back to this article even now and if you are struggling with porn or any sin for that matter I really, really can’t recommend it enough. Continue reading

Why Giving Up is the Only way to beat addiction. Part 2.

If you strip it down to its core essence, essentially all addiction is about worshiping an idol.

Now I realize that the term idol has a lot of religious connotations which will put off many people, but I think that the word idol fits well here. Especially if we rethink what it means.

So let me come up with a definition of an idol that hopefully will resonate with anyone struggling with an addiction, regardless of belief. Here goes. Continue reading

Suffering and Sin. Why I Believe In An Unconditionally Loving God.

The way that the world works means that most of us don’t get anything for free. We go to work and we receive payment. We have to go to the gym to get fitter. We study for an exam and pass the test.
There is an effort required for each of those things. Work hard and you get your rewards.

This is the American dream. Continue reading

What you don’t know about Addiction

Addiction is a focused and malevolent disease.

It’s not impartial. Impartiality suggests some kind of outside mediator working for peace, but it doesn’t do that. It doesn’t even hate. Hate suggests some sort of emotion exists; some sort of reason to hate. But nothing has caused addiction to hate. It doesn’t hate you. It is emotionless and void of any respectable trait.

At least hate can arise from anger and anger can be righteous.

Not addiction.

But hate is actually the thing that can help us defeat addiction. Hate may be ugly but it’s real; it is human.

Addiction doesn’t make you feel bad; it uses yourself to make you feel bad. Since addiction has no human characteristics or feelings it isn’t put off when things are going well. Addiction can’t be human itself so it makes you less human. When you are about to act out, the thought of your wife or your kids or family and friends won’t stop addiction in it’s pursuit to destroy you. Forget logic because logic is not in addiction’s vocabulary. You can be addicted and rich, poor, young, old, male, female, angry, generally happy, a Pastor or a teacher. You can feel strong and ready in the morning and depressed and defeated in the afternoon.

But it can be defeated.

By reminding ourselves what being alive feels like. By hating all the ways our life is being ripped apart. By taking steps to connect with people who have won and are winning and to let them show us how. By being open even when it is painful, because at least pain means you are alive.

With every repeated day of sobriety, addiction loses its sting. With every single day that you understand what being alive really feels like, the less addiction can stop you. It won’t give up though, it’s steadfast in its goal, but more and more you will be able to put up the walls necessary to win.

You will forget and you will need people to remind you.
You will give up and you will need people to fight for you.
You will hate yourself and you will need people to love you.

Because hating addiction is only there to set the foundation for the real force that will make you stronger.

Love.

You hate addiction because you know that there is something deeper and elusive.

The love of yourself. The love of others and the love of others for you.

For today at least that’s all we’ve got.

But it’s enough.

What I learned from my first hate mail.

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I wrote a post on my blog a few days ago that got quite a bit of coverage. It was retweeted so many times that I lost count. I went from receiving a few hits a day if I was lucky to literally thousands. Now I’m not used to writing posts that get so much exposure and so two things went through my head when I saw how well it was doing. Continue reading