Movie Review: Babylon AD

Babylon AD is an interesting movie. It's not a bad movie, as far as action movies go, but Babylon goes deeper than that. It is an excellent commentary on the human condition.

It shows the decay of mankind into a society without government, where money and guns rule. The one place with order is the technologically advanced North America, centered in a modern day Babylon, New York City.

I don't know whether or not the movie is based off some sort of idea of a Biblically apocalyptic Earth, but the world described is how I would like to think the tribulation will be. The world is centered in one city. There is an incredibly powerful, false corporation/church called the No Lights; centered in NYC. A one world government is mentioned, but it is shown as only having influence in North America.

I won't give away too much of the plot (which isn't developed that well), but the hope of mankind ends up being focused on a virgin and her twin children. But it is not an Almighty being that offers this hope to mankind, but the invented technology of man. All mentions of god or organized religion are shown as being bad. The Messiah(s) are man's solution, not God's

I'm not the type to completely shun a form of entertainment because it has themes that are anti-biblical. I am the type to insist that every Christian be aware of what is being poured into their minds and evaluate it.

I recommend this movie, not necessarily because of plot, but because it shows what humanity will one day become.


Don't Worry; Be Happy

Well, its been nearly a week since we got a new President, and I have
yet to blog about it. Until now.

I'm glad that America has elected its first black President sooner,
rather than later. The year Barack Obama was elected, 2008, marked the
forty year anniversary of some of the greatest race riots in the history
of the United States. Its amazing what has happened in forty years, and
I'm glad to see it.

Most of my friends and family (and me) are conservative, and supported a
candidate other than Obama. They worry what he will do to our country.
They worry about the change that he will bring. They worry that
socialism will ruin our country.

But there is no need to worry. God chose Barack Obama to lead our
country. I don't know why, but it will be for the better. Socialism is
not the end of the world. Europe is much more socialist than we are and
the Euro is killing the Dollar. Don't worry. Trust God.


When Words Aren't Wise

This morning in chapel, I heard the last thing I want to blog about,
but I feel like I really need to. Dr. Bob Jones III, the chancellor and
former President of Bob Jones University (named after his grandfather,
the founder) spoke about Barack Obama's rise to the Presidency.

He had the audience turn to Matthew 24 and read verses 1-11,
but then went on to bring his personal political preferences into
the pulpit (little he said had anything to do with what we read).

He did say he was glad that we have an African-American president,
but that he was concerned about what Barack would bring. Dr. Bob said
that he wasn't comparing Obama to Hitler, but that is exactly what he
did. He talked about how Hitler and Obama both came to power with
incredible popularity in times of deep economic distress. And how Hitler
wasn't what people expected.

I see his point, that Obama shouldn't be who we put our hopes in,
but he went on to say that he would much rather have Condolleezza Rice
be our first African-American president than Barack Obama. He implied
that this country would be better off if the Republicans were in power.

Dr. Bob almost called Barack Obama the anti-Christ. He mentioned
Matthew 24:11 and how men put their hopes in false teachers, the
greatest of whom will be anti-Christ. He said "I wonder if…." and went
on to say how no man had ever risen so fast from nothing to the one that
this world looked to as its Savior. He said the word Savior. If he had
stopped there I would have said that he was calling Obama the

anti-Christ, but he said he wasn't saying that.

I think that the main point of his message was good, that we are to
put our hope in God, not any man. But we must remember that God was the
one who placed Obama in power, and because he did, it will be better for
the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven than if anyone else were our


The Temptation of Christ

<p>Most of the time, the temptation of Christ and his response is used to show why we need to memorize
the Bible. What I got from reading it tonight was a set of priorities that Christ had that we should have.
<p>When Christ was told to make the stones into bread, he was not tempted to do anything out rightly wrong. He would create food miraculously at other times in his ministry. He responded by saying that mankind doesn't live by food alone, but by God's word. I don't think he meant that we are to forsake food and simply study the Bible. Christ ate at other times. The point was that there is another aspect to our lives. Things that are amoral can affect our lives in moral ways. A food, music, or a person can all cause us to sin. We are to remember that we don't just live in this world, we live in a spiritual one too. Turning rocks into food wouldn't have just satiated Christ's hunger, it would have distracted him from fasting, what God had commanded.
<p>Christ was told to throw himself off a high building because angels would take care of him, and they would have, because Jesus is God. But we aren't to use God as a crutch. So many use Christianity because it benefits them. Others look at them highly. They think going to church will please God when they continue to live in sin. Tempting God is dangerous. We can't expect to think that we have any spiritual blessings when we do things out of duty, or just to get a blessing.
<p>He was also told he would be given control of all the world, if he would worship Satan. The devil could have given him that power. He was (and is) the prince and power of the air. But it is never a good idea to give up God for the things of this world. It is never worth it. Sin and all the pleasures that go with it are good for a season. But in the end, this world will pass away, but our treasures in heaven will never pass away.


A Look into the Heart of Stephen Jones

<p> Stephen Jones is one of those people that is always percieved as

perfect. He grew up in probably the most famous home in all of

Fundamentalism. He followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather,

and great-grandfather, as president of the largest fundamental college in

the world. But this morning when he preached in chapel, he allowed us into

his heart as he shared his past and his struggles with his relationship

with God. </p>
<p> His message wasn't fiery, but it was good. He shared his struggles with

assurance, how he never finally was sure he was born-again 'til he was in

seminary. He told us about how he struggled in high-school. How he had bad

friends and was so deep into sin that he couldn't bring himself to pray or

read his Bible. He told us about the facade he was forced to put up, living

in the glass house he was raised in. </p>
<p> He never went into detail about the sin that he struggled with, but he

did share how he got into serious trouble with the Academy. He got 100

demerits in one day. And he shared how God used that to finally break him

of his sin. </p>
<p> His message should show up on <a

href="http://www.sermonaudio.com/">sermonaudio.com</a> in about a week, and

if it does, I will post a link to it. It was an awesome reminder that the

people we think are perfect are not and that God won't use someone greatly

unless they have been humbled first.<p>


Would You Ever.....?

There is nothing like a theological gray area to promote good discussion. So here's one. If you were invited to

speak in front of Joel Osteen's church, would you do it? <br />

Is it right (or even just a good idea) for a preacher to go to a well known church and speak? I asked three pastors

who I know and respect. Two of them said no, that it would cause them to have a bad testimony. One said yes. <br />

Most of the verses in the Bible warning us about false teachers (Joel Osteen is one, that could be a whole other

post.) focuses on the warning Christians to beware of teachers who look and act good, but are really bringing false

gospel. Second John 9-11 appear to forbid speaking to those who do not believe the truth, but Matthew Henry writes

that those verses mean we are not to support, financially or verbally, false teachers. <br />

The one pastor who said he would speak at Lakewood if he was invited brought up the point of Paul. Paul preached

anywhere people would listen. One of his most famous sermons was delivered on Mars Hill in Athens, the center of

idol worship in the city. Paul never once changed his message, even though preaching the gospel in the synagogues

almost got him killed more than once. <br />

Christian hip-hop artist Group 1 Crew says in one of their songs they will <br /><center> "Fill up a secular venue

and get love from them too <br /> And not for a moment ever have to sacrifice the truth." </center><br />

Is that right? I don't know for sure, but I think I know what side I come down on. I would go to Joel Osteen's

church and preach repentance of sin for salvation. The way I look in the eyes of others wouldn't be the biggest

issue. Souls would be. I wouldn't compromise. I wouldn't accept, endorse, or support false teaching. But if I was

accepted by others, I believe God would be glorified.


Favorite Movies

There are few things in life better than a good movie. There are so many movies that have made me laugh, made me cry, or forced me to think about life in a different way. Some movies are better watched alone. Some are better watched with friends late at night.

I came up with a top ten list of my favorite movies. It was hard to come up with ten, so many movies are so good. But I think I got it down.

10. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
9. Over the Hedge
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
7. The Patriot
6. Remember the Titans
5. The Departed
4. The Last Samurai
3. Never Back Down
2. Sixth Sense
1. Gladiator



Faith is hard.

It is.

Its easy to talk about. Its easy to tell others to have it. Its easy when you don't have to trust God.

But when it comes down to just trusting God to do something that you can't do, when it comes to the rubber actually meeting the road, faith is hard.

I need money for college. I don't know where that money is gonna come from. The job I have won't cover it. The economy is bad, especially in Michigan. I don't know how I'm gonna pay for college, and this is just my second semester.

Faith is hard, but I need it; we all need it. I have no choice but to trust God to provide. He promised me that everything I need will be provided.

Psalm 37:25
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.


New Years Resolutions

You know you're in for a bad year when you don't come up with New Years resolutions 'til five days in. This year I'm going for the usual spectrum of things that I want but will never happen.

1. Pray more. Two-thousand eight was a bad year for my prayer life. I want to get God's attention; I want him to listen to the things I say.

2. Read through the Bible in a year. Even though this one is always on my list, I gave up on it partway through 2008 because of other reading that I had for school. This year I want to read through the whole thing despite all the Bible reading homework that I'm gonna have.

3. Get in shape. I think this is always on everyone's list, but its on mine for a reason. I wanna get in shape. I wanna be able to play soccer and actually be good at it. I don't want to be the person who always sucks at sports. This one's gonna be rough, but it'll be awesome if it gets done.

4. Become awesome at soccer. I want to start at forward for my society. I currently sit bench and totally suck. I want to play. I want to score.

I think that wraps it up for this year's resolutions. Its a pretty lame list, and its five days late, but oh well. This year can be different. Its still in front of me. I still have the power to change it.


Sunday Night Sermon

Sunday night I get the honor of preaching for seven(ish) minutes at my church. For the none of you who read my blog, I'm going to post the basic essence of it here a few days early.

I Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

We often hear about “full time Christian service,” which is when a person earns his or her living by serving God. He spends his “40 hours” in the ministry. Christian school teachers go to a school and teach. Pastors spend their time studying the Bible and counseling.

The logical alternative is “part time Christian service.” No one calls it that, but that is essentially what most of us are. We have a secular job and do what we can for God in our spare time. We may be in the bus ministry, teach a Sunday School class, or work in the nursery; but that is our service for God.

But the fact is that our service for God isn’t defined by time we spend doing things for him. A pastor is just as much a pastor when he is watching football as when he is counseling. It is who he is and not what he does. It is the same with us.

Our service as Christians is not something that we go out and do. It is how we live our lives day in and day out. We are told by Paul in I Corinthians to glorify God when we do mundane things like eating and drinking. Everyone Christian is called to 24/7 “full time Christian service.”

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t spend time in church ministries, most Christians need to spend more time. I’m saying that we don’t get time off from being a Christian. At your secular job, out with your friends, you are still a Christian and should live that out.