Join us this week as Pastor Christian discusses love, kindness, and envy!
This week I joined a gym. My wife and Elder Will joined with me as well, and we have been faithfully working out. Every morning at 5am we have hit the gym to get into shape, have more energy, and just be fit overall. As I was working out the Lord gave me some parallels to apply toward spiritual fitness that I wanted to share, alongside applicable scripture… I always find the biblical correlation between physical health and spiritual health fascinating!
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8
What happened to me could happen [to] any girl in my industry.
The definition of human sex trafficking varies from person to person and organization to organization. At Chains Interrupted our definition of human sex trafficking goes something like this “Forcing, tricking, or manipulating a person into have sex with someone else (especially when done so for financial gain and/or on a repeated basis)” [Our official definition is the federal definition as stated in the TVPA of 2000 (22 USC s7102)]. Under this definition almost all porn would be considered sex trafficking, as women are tricked, lied to, and manipulated to convince them to have sex for money while being filmed. Woman are told that doing porn is empowering, and that it frees them in their sexuality. They are told it will give them self-worth and that it will make them fabulously wealthy. But in reality, pornographers don’t care about the self-worth of the actors they employ, they just care about the money. When someone else is profiting off of your sex life, that should be a red flag!
Earlier this month I tweeted a quote I found inspiring and interesting. Here is the tweet:
I thought that was a fairly harmless and non-confrontational tweet. But much to my surprise it attracted the attention of a couple of twitter users who have apparently made it their lives’ goal to defend the porn industry.
“Why do the nations rage, when the King is on His throne? Now and forever He will reign.”
Let’s be honest family, last night was an emotional one for most of us. A quick look at social media shows a polarized church, some shouting for joy, others lamenting and weeping. I know that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are now feeling the same way I felt at the end of the primarys :”How could it get like this? How could this happen? My nation has let me down!” and yet others are feeling that God has preformed a huge miracle, and are celebrating with jubilee. How do we reconcile conflicting political opinion in the church? We could argue, we could be frustrated about what the other side is tweeting, we could be bewildered that so-and-so would post THAT to their Facebook… or we can remember that God is on the throne, and always has been.
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Psalms 2:1-4 ESV
I love politics, I don’t know why but I just enjoy it. And I have to admit, I struggled this election about what to do, there were two candidates that I did not feel worthy of my vote. Both sides pestered me proclaiming “If you don’t vote for party-A then you are voting for party-B” and “if you don’t vote you don’t have a right to complain”. The decision was keeping me up at night, what if I do the wrong thing, what if the wrong person get’s elected and it was people like me who caused it to happen? How could I answer God if I vote for this person, how do I answer God if I don’t vote for that person? Then the lord revealed Psalm 2 to me like I had never seen it before. “Why do the nations rage…He who sits in the heavens laughs!” It is as if God was looking at my worry, my anxiety, my stress, and He is just chuckling to Himself “Oh Christian, don’t you know that I am in control? Do you really think so highly of yourself that you think you control this election. Who you vote for is not as big of a deal as you think. Who wins is not as big of a deal as you think. I have called you to preach the Gospel, you can do that no matter who is president, no matter how bad you think this country might get“. Sometimes my toddler Ezra tantrums over the STUPIDEST things, yesterday he tantrumed full force because he could not figure out how to put his sock on his hand! I looked at him, and his tears and screaming, and I chuckled to myself “Oh little dude, it’s just a sock, here let me help you”, so it is I think with how the Lord looks at my political tantrums “Oh little Christian, it is just an election…”
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed… Psalms 2:2 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV
The truth is, we do not fight against flesh and blood. We do not fight against republicans or democrats. We fight against principalities. Against evil. Against the Devil and his minions. And folks let me tell you, the Devil is not a registered Republican or Democrat… no he is not constrained to one party, he and his minions are working hard in both parties. Both parties have Christians in them, but both are also full of evil, both have set themselves against the church of God, both have come against the Lord at one time or another, even now. So then, should we fear politicians? Certainly not! Perfect love cast out all fear, and coincidentally Perfect Love is on the throne!
This election does not determine how many people you preach the Gospel to, how many people you love, how many people you help… the only one that can ever determine that is you! To my brothers and sisters in Christ who wanted Hillary to win and Trump to lose: I understand your hurt, but God reigns, you will get through this, God is still good, He still loves you. Don’t forget that Republicans went through similar feelings for the past 8 years and survived to tell the tale. Even if Trump turns out to be the worst president ever, it does not change your calling and mission here on earth “Go therefore and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all [Jesus] has commanded you”.
To my brothers and sisters in Christ who wanted Trump to win: you need to chill out. Gloating will get you nowhere. I understand you are excited, I know you want to praise God for what you perceive to be a miracle (and half the country perceives to be tragedy), but remember “Pride comes before a fall, and a haughty Spirit before destruction”. Even if Trump turns out to be the best president we have ever had, it too does not change your calling and mission: “Go therefore and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all [Jesus] has commanded you”.
I believe this final tidbit summarizes how the victors in American politics ought to feel, and it is especially true for Christ’s church in America: At the surrender of the American Civil War, the Union troops began to cheer but Grant silenced them immediately stating”The Confederates are now our countrymen, and we do not want to exult over their downfall.” Republicans, there are people who voted democrat who love Jesus, they are your countrymen, they are your family, treat them with love and respect, do not exult over their downfall. Democrats, there are people who voted Republican who love Jesus, they are your countrymen, they are your family, treat them with love and respect. Guys, the election is over, we need to move on as one Body in Christ to fulfill the great mission Christ has given us.
-In deep love and respect,
Pastor Christian Shields
What does the Bible say about every sin being the same? That’s a great question, and the answer is clear: every sin is not the same. Every sin is not equal. Sins are different and have different levels of severity! “How can that be? So many people say all sins are the same!” I hear you protest, so let me start by explaining why Christian’s insist on telling us all that all sins are the same.
The question of “What is biblical discipleship?” is one that I think should be better examined in the Christian church. The term disciple is used in the bible, often times referring to groups of people following Jesus, and especially to the original twelve men that Jesus called and whom followed him faithfully (well sort of faithfully) until His resurrection. Continue reading →