Dissenters Briskly Removed!

It is one of the hallmark traits of liberal thinking when a view is stated and, in the stating of it, there is an automatic preclusion of any disagreement or dissenting idea by others . Examples are everywhere you look, particularly in the writings and conversation of millennials:

On Facebook: “Feel free to comment, but negative remarks will be briskly deleted.”

On Twitter: “No time for haters.”  (Of course, often a “hater” is a person who expresses disagreement with a premise or application of such.)

In a letter: “Those who are characterized by fragility will feel compelled to be defensive about this…” 

On the phone: “You just haven’t come to understand this issue yet and so we cannot have a dialog.” 

All of these, as you can see, are different ways to say “You cannot have input in this conversation because you do not agree with me.” Interestingly enough, the very view being expressed, with which folks are not allowed to disagree, is most often an espousal made in the name of “tolerance.”

Very often today, the people for whom there is not time or space for comment are those who are  in a different age group, particularly those who are older—who have lived a bit longer than millennials.

Don’t get me wrong. I think those in their twenties and thirties who are attempting to contribute to conversations about political, ethical, social, and spiritual issues are often bright and well-informed. I think ideas emerging are often fresh and innovative. I can learn a lot from them IF the perspective is one of honesty, humility and objectivity. It’s the preclusion—the foregone conclusion that one has arrived at truth and dissenters will be “removed and blocked”…therein lies the problem. 

I’ve thought about Titus 2 a lot lately when reading millennial writers. If older men are to teach younger men in the Lord’s body…if older women are to teach younger women ( and that’s the acceptable scenario to prevent blasphemy of the Word)….I say, if these commanded conversations about relationships and daily Christian living are going to occur, the younger heart has to be malleable, kind, gentle and inquiring. The “all dissenters will be deleted” prohibition is not in Titus 2. In fact it’s not in the description of what is good:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8).

I pray that Titus 2 scenarios can be plentiful and blessed in the kingdom today. I certainly do not have all the answers now, but I surely am thankful for some older women who helped me figure out some very important things when I was younger. In fact, I’m thankful for some sixty, seventy, and eighty-somethings who are still helping this fifty-something figure things out.  

That’s my view for today. All dissenters welcome!

Sister to Sister: Still Using a Little Dixie Cup?


Looking at all of this water as I sit here watching the waves roll in on this beautiful Alabama Gulf shoreline brings to mind my two-year-old grandson, Ezra. It was a painstaking task for such a little one who  loves splashing in a puddle even more than I love putting my toes in this deep and expansive one.  But he was determined to make his own puddle for splashing in my bathroom floor with a dixie cup and a tiny stream of water running in my bathroom sink. I saw him pour the meager ounce of water on the hardwood and I asked him “Ezra, why on earth are you pouring water in Mammy’s floor?” 

“I make a puddle. I can spwash.”

“Well, you may NOT make a puddle in the floor, but you are welcome to make one in the bathtub, if you like.”

He smiled broadly. That was even better! He would get to carry the water in his little Dixie cup, that with each fill held a little less of its shape and got a little more crumpled. Tirelessly, he went back and forth from the sink to the tub, pouring his little purple and yellow cup half-full of water into the big garden tub, barely even making a wet spot for jumping. In truth, he was spilling more on the floor en route than he was collecting in the tub. 

It occurred to me that we, finite little creatures in the workings of an awesome God, are a lot like Ezra. We keep doing the same futile things over and over again, trying to make our own “puddles”. We painstakingly try to collect the things that will make for happiness in the end. We often spill and make messes in the process and what we ultimately accomplish is  small and temporal. We fail to realize that we have a Helper, who could give us unbelievably effective and permanent results if only we would come to know His ways for our lives.

See, Ezra didn’t think about the fact that there was a big and powerful source of water in the spout of that tub. What would come out of that waterspout, if I but turned a lever for him, would fill up his tiny Dixie cup hundreds of times without the trip he was making back and forth. In fact, he would not even need the crumpling cup. There would never be a mess on the floor and the danger of him slipping in that mess would never threaten. Not only that, but there’s a stopper in the bottom of that tub. With the turn of a big knob, I could plug that reservoir up, so that none of the water would be wasted. None of that big stream of water would go down the drain where his little trickle of a puddle of water had been slowly disappearing. All of the resources were there for Ezra to not only jump in a “puddle” and have a splashing good time, but there was enough ingenuity there for his little Scuffy tugboat to sail or even for him to have a heated sauna swim, had he preferred, as I would have if I were his two-year-old size. 

Sometimes the blessings and opportunities are all around us, but we keep carrying the Dixie cup, spilling the contents along the way and processing through the same futile routines over and over again. We think we can work our way to desired goals only to find out in the end that our dreams are disappearing down the huge drain that only our God can plug. He has every resource we need to achieve what really will make us happy and fulfilled, but we fail to investigate His Will. We fail to ask for His wisdom. We fail to understand fully His resourcefulness. He controls all the levers and knobs and he freely offers His limitless capability for our ultimate progress and benefit. But often, like Ezra, we just go on about our vain tasks with impotent precision, expending life’s time and energy in fruitless pursuits. (In this case, it was profitable for me to allow Ezra to be “entertained” for a while before I showed him the “puddle” I could so easily make for him. See, I needed to dry my hair and put on my make-up. But God is never too busy to turn on the living water for those who are seeking it [John4:10].)

I know many people who have thrown away the Dixie cup and turned on the waterspout. Can I help you know His will for your life? You can stop living small and messy and start basking in His spiritual abundance!

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. (Ecc. 2:11)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc. 12:13)

Modesty: We Can Do Better

I was recently talking to a friend whose husband was one of the ministers in a large college church. She confided in me that at this congregation there were lists of men who had volunteered to serve the communion. She added that there was a separate list of guys who, while willing to serve communion, had specifically asked NOT to be asked to serve communion in the college section. Puzzled by this odd request I asked “Why do they not want to serve the college kids?”My friend responded “It’s the way the girls dress. They say they can’t focus on the cross and the Savior when there’s such an unavoidable visual distraction as they stand at the end of those pews full of college students.” Something is very wrong with that picture.My husband recently asked a large group of teen guys guys at a summer youth camp to identify their greatest challenge in being what God wanted them to be while at camp. The unanimous answer was “It’s the way the girls dress.”

My husband prodded them to be specific in explaining exactly what kinds of clothing made it difficult for them to be what they want to be for the Lord. “It’s very tight clothing. It’s those shirts that show some of their stomachs when they reach up to hit a volleyball or shoot a basket. It’s those times when they sit down in front of us on the bleachers and we see their backs and sometimes their underwear. It’s just really hard to focus on the devo when this is what is in front of us.” They went on to say that low-cut tops are a problem. “Maybe not so much if we are just standing around, but when we go into a Bible class and sit across the table from them and they lean over to write a note in their Bibles, little is left to our imaginations. We just wish they would help us out a little.”

The fact is… you can help them out a lot! When you choose to be discreet and modest, you not only help the guys in your circle of friends. You help the girls in your circle of friends. You help them to be modest without being excluded. You encourage them to be more aware of our calling to be holy. You help them to be able to sing “Purer in Heart O God, help me to be,’ without hypocrisy. You help them to stop being a stumbling block and start being this kind of example in their circles of friends. You make a difference in lives that you may not even know. There may be guys who are indirectly blessed by your modesty that you may never even meet. Someone may actually abstain from fornication or adultery of the heart as a result of your choice to be modest.

Best of all, you will know you mean it when you sing “O Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary..pure and holy, tried and true.” You will be a living sacrifice, not conformed to this world but transformed by a renewed mind. It’s really a small thing to do for such great rewards.

Sister to Sister: When My Godly Husband Falls (Part 2)

I will continue to be in the Word every day. Notice I used the word “continue”. I cannot continue something that I’ve never begun. If I have not already made it my habit to study daily, may I begin now, even while beginning this new study, to put the Word in my heart regularly. It will be enriching now, but it may be the source of your sanity if you face the devastation of a spouse gone astray. You do not want to follow after wickedness. Stay close to the Book and you will have a hard time following His lead into sin.                                                             

 They draw near who follow after wickedness;They are far from Your law” (Psa. 119:150).

I will seek wise counsel. As a Christian wife, with a once-Christian husband, you have looked to your husband as a spiritual leader, just as the Bible commands (Ephesians 5: 23, 24). It’s very difficult to stop looking to that man as your mentor… as your spiritual advisor. But sadly, if he has left the Lord, as Saul did, he can no longer be trusted to instruct your spiritual conduct. You may need guidance desperately. May I advise you to seek faithful people; elders who are in the Word or older women who fit the Titus 2:3-5 model. If you seek professional counseling, may I advise you to seek out a Christian counselor, or, at the very least, a counselor who advises in accordance with Biblical principles. I have seen many women follow the counsel of a trusted, but non-Christian counselor, right onto a path that will lead them to hell. 

I will work diligently to protect my kids from spiritual danger. Your children will not come out of a childhood in which they witnessed their father (or mother, for that matter) fall into sin without being hurt. They will not escape unscathed. But I have seen plenty of children rise above such a situation to live faithful lives as adults. However, in most cases, where kids end up spiritually successful, there was a faithful parent who remained faithful even when the going got tough. In cases where the husband’s sin has resulted in his abdication of parental responsibilities, it means you must parent to the point of exhaustion almost every day. It means being sacrificially involved in the lives of your children. It means giving attention to discipline, helping with homework and protecting, as much as possible from the insecurities that come with divided parents; whether divorced or spiritually divided. It may mean walking that fine line between, on the one hand, ignoring, thus normalizing sin and, on the other hand, making it clear to your innocent children that their father is living in sin. There will be tough calls to make, but your life must be filled with prayer, the Word, good counsel and discretion. You cannot allow your emotions to strangle the joy out of your children’s innocent years any more than is already necessitated by the sin. 

I will not even begin to compromise with the world. This world spews forth self-fulfillment as the philosophy that brings us through the tough times:

—“Isn’t it time you did something for YOU?”

__ “You deserve to have a little fun, too.”

__ “You can’t let him rob you of your happiness.”

Or the line that takes the Word out of our concept of His will:

—“I think God wants me to be happy.”

 Of course, all of the above is rubbish.God did not call us to be happy. He called us to be holy (I Peter 1:16). It is important to remember, when making the tough calls in the tough times, that you can do anything for a lifetime. I know it’s hard. I know it’s exhausting. I know, on some days, life seems hopeless and it’s a struggle to go on. But try to see this life as God sees it. It’s a vapor or a flower that appears for a short time and… poof!… it is gone as quickly as it came (James 4:13-17). It is so very temporary and yet, it is the battlefield that decides the eternal victory. Don’t let the devil get you so discouraged that you choose an instant pleasure that results in eternal damnation. You can do anything…for a lifetime. You can bear any burden for the short sojourn to heaven. 

Sister to Sister: When My Godly Husband Falls (Part One)

Just this week, I’ve been asked the question of a godly woman….””What do I do? My husband was a good leader. He was involved in the family and a great example in the church. But he has been consumed by temptation. Our lives are becoming distant from one another. Our home is suffering and I am becoming bitter.”

While most problems in our homes could have been avoided by having taken a good, hard look at the man before the marriage took place, there are some cases in which women marry good, honorable Christian men—who change.  Perhaps, as was the case with Saul, position or prestige changes a man. Perhaps disappointment in others or financial loss may alter a man’s devotion to God. Perhaps it is sexual temptation or involvement in addictive behavior. It is simply the case, that while there is no temptation so great that a man cannot resist it.(I Cor. 10:13), the devil is trying to get your husband to fall prey to his devices.

It is worth my time to consider ahead of time just what my “plan” would be if my godly husband falls. What if he is tempted by the devil and begins a downward spiritual spiral that causes him to sink deeper and deeper into sin? How will I react?

I must not fall with my husband. Notice here, we are not speaking of a good and faithful man who make mistakes. We are speaking of a husband who is living in sin. His conscience has been seared (I Tim. 4:2).                                                                                                            

In talking with women who suddenly find themselves married to sinful men, I often quickly realize that, although the sins of the wife may not be exactly the same ones as those of the husband, she is embittered and is quickly becoming less committed to doing right and more vulnerable to the devil, herself. A wife is tempted to lie to cover up the sinful behavior of her husband. A woman begins to date non-Christian men after having put away her husband for adultery. A woman begins missing worship services because she is embarrassed by her husband’s behavior. A woman stops praying because she feels as if God is not listening. A mother becomes overwhelmed by trying to be the only godly parent and begins to make compromises in the way she is raising her children. We could make a long list of various ways the devil is successful in weakening wives whose husbands become involved in sin. Let’s predetermine the course we will take if ever placed in such a sad position. May I remember that I am spiritually married to Jesus and that my bond with Him is even stronger than the one I have with my husband.

(Much of this post taken from Women Of Scandal: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Women-of-Scandal/p/65464960/category=3290197)

Thursday: Look for the practical part two. I surely do not have all the answers. But God does. Next up is my best shot at getting a grip on His will in this kind of difficult and challenging marriage.

Guest Writer: Caleb Colley on Norma McCorvey

 Today I hope you will read from Caleb Colley if you haven’t already read this. Caleb’s been an advocate for babies in the womb since he was about six years old when he stood in his first pro-life chain in Roanoke, Virginia. He started a collegiate chapter of National Right to Life on the campus of Freed Hardeman University while he was a student there in 2003.  This week, he writes about the death of Norma McCorvey. (you can subscribe to Caleb’s blog at http://www.calebcolley.com.)

In 1973, nine men in black robes made a decision that resulted in the legalization of elective abortion in the United States. Somewhere in that judicial picture, as that case began, there was one…just one little life hanging in the balance. That baby was born due to the extended period of time it took to complete the court case. But, as a result of Roe vs. Wade,  5o-plus million other little beating hearts have been stopped. There are many sad truths and lessons to be learned from the American massacre that continues today. But here are two important lessons for Christians from a look at Norma McCorvey, the mother who started it all back in 1971. Here’s Caleb:

Norma McCorvey, better known by the pseudonym “Roe” in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, passed away this week due to heart failure. She was 69 years old.1

McCorvey was the plaintiff in a case that challenged Texas’ anti-abortion laws in 1971. By the time the Supreme Court decided the case, it was too late for McCorvey to have an abortion, and she had given up her baby for adoption. But the Roe v. Wade decision legalized elective abortion in the United States, and has led to the murder of over 50 million innocent babies.

Ironically and thankfully, this very woman, whose pseudonym was used in the legalization of elective abortion, later learned that abortion is murder and does great harm to women. Norma McCorvey confessed Christ and publicly fought against abortion. She spent the last years of her life speaking out on behalf of the preborn, unprotected children of America, writing a book about her transformation and founding a nonprofit advocacy group called Roe No More. She even filed a motion in Dallas in 2003 to have Roe v. Wade overturned. (Unfortunately this motion was dismissed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004.)

Here are two important, biblical lessons we can learn from McCorvey’s fascinating story:

  1. Even those most opposed to the truth today may change tomorrow. If Norma McCorvey can make a 180-degree turn on an issue as fundamental as the sanctity of all human life, do you suppose that your neighbor or friend can make a 180-degree turn toward Christ? “The Lord is … patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The anti-Christian Saul of Tarsus can become the great apostle Paul (see Acts 22).

  2. We may be unable to fully reverse the impact of our choices tomorrow, so we must serve Christ today. While McCorvey’s change from pro-death advocate to pro-life advocate is laudable, we cannot help but be saddened by the fact that she could not change the outcome and many effects of the Roe decision in her lifetime. Undoubtedly the pro-death movement would have found another plaintiff to use in the fight for abortion rights if McCorvey had not been there, and yet she did play a role. Many effects of her influence were irreversible, and the effects of our sins today may not be reversible tomorrow. Recall that Judas threw the blood money back at the chief priests and elders, but could not reverse the betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 27:3-10).


  1. Details from this article taken from Eliza Collins, “Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade, is dead at 69,” USA Today (2017); Nicholas Frankovich, “What Motivated Norma McCorvey to Defend Unborn Children,” National Review, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445095/norma-mccorvey-dies-roe-v-wade-christian-catholic-conversion-abortion-prolife-dignity-human-person (2017).