Showing posts from July, 2016

Counting Conversions Correctly

One time I was with a fellow missionary at a park in Tampa, Florida where groups of people prayed with us. It was a challenge keeping a correct count of salvations because some kids followed us around and prayed again. Still, I made sure I didn’t write down two salvations for each person praying twice. It grieves me when I see ministers inflate their numbers to where their praise reports aren’t truthful. During another outreach I took part in, nine of us led 46 people to the Lord. On our way back to the church, one woman mentioned praying with 21 people five days before. Later that night, one of the other laborers posted this on Facebook: “We gained 67 new brothers and sisters in Christ tonight ." One man who filmed various Christian events with audiences in the hundreds noticed the evangelist claimed “thousands attended.” There were other events where thousands showed up but was later reported as “tens of thousands.” This practice has been jokingly called “evangelisti

Why I'm Republican and Voting for Trump

As a kid, I didn’t follow politics too closely but for some reason identified with the Republican Party. In 1972 I saw a TV ad about that year’s election between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. When the announcer said the word “Democrat”, I had a negative impression even though I was too young to understand what each political party represented. The 1984 presidential election was the first I was old enough to participate in. Originally I planned to vote for Walter Mondale simply because he was from my home state of Minnesota. That changed after I heard on the news Mondale supported gay rights. At that time I became increasingly aware (and troubled) about homosexuality gaining acceptance in society. So on Election Day, I voted for Ronald Reagan. Back then I wasn’t totally fond of The Gipper but now appreciate how his presidency helped end the Cold War. Since committing my life to Jesus in 1991, I’ve always voted Republican. That party’s candidates usually have policies clo

Minnesota Not-So-Nice

In the state where I’ve lived most of my life, you sometimes hear the phrase “Minnesota nice.” Wikipedia defines it as “…the stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered.” That certainly wasn’t the case last weekend in the capital city of St. Paul. A protest on Interstate 94 turned violent resulting in 102 people being arrested and 21 police officers injured. What triggered the protest was a police shooting the previous Wednesday in a St. Paul suburb. A black man named Philando Castile got pulled over for a busted taillight. Accordingly to fiancĂ©e Diamond Reynolds (who rode in the passenger seat), Philando was reaching for his wallet when a Latino officer fired four shots at him. Diamond then used her cell phone to live-stream the aftermath on Facebook. A ten minute video of Philando bleeding to death and Diamond’s subsequent arrest quickly went viral. Claims of police targeting African-Americans resulted in the f

Making God a Liar

Once I had a discussion with a young man who said he didn’t believe in God. He even claimed God was a liar! This man tried proving his point by referring to Genesis 2:17, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Because Adam didn’t physically die the same day he partook of the forbidden fruit, this supposedly makes God a liar. People who don’t want to believe the Bible often select verses taken out of context in attempts to prove there are contradictions. Jesus said in Matthew 18:17, “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”  Before we address the accusation that God lied in Genesis 2:17, let’s look at these verses… “God is not a man, that He should lie…” - Numbers 23:19 “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.” - 1 Samuel 15:29 “ He who has received His testimony has certified that God is t