Friday, February 25, 2005

Bumper Stickers Can Be Dangerous!

Saw another hilarious bumper sticker:

"The Village called ...
the Idiot is missing."


I was laughing so hard I nearly got into an accident.

Good times.

I Love the Trinity

"I love the Trinity," wrote James White, beginning his book The Forgotten Trinity. I first read TFT 4 years ago. This was the first sound presentation of the Trinity I had encountered. Up to that point I had always believed that there was only one God, and that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all God, yet somehow distinct. It wasn't until I read this work that I could clearly communicate the Trinity.

Saturday night at Kat's Corner I was hot and sweaty (like always when dancing) so I migrated over to a fan. I sat down next to another regular named Dan (and that rhymes, scary). We shook hands and began chatting. Somewhere in the conversation he made a comment about church the next morning. So of course I asked him if he was a Christian? He said, "Weeeeeell, sort of." I'm thinking, that's a strange answer. I then asked, "What church do you attend?" "It's kind of an independent church, kind of not. Kind of a charismatic church, but kind of not," he said. Okay, now THAT is a strange answer. I figured I should ask him some basic theological questions to see where he stood. "Are you a Trinitarian?" I asked. "Oh no, not at all," he said, "We believe in the oneness of God."

Naturally, the conversation then focused on the being of God. It was a rather quick exchange, as we both wanted to get back out on the dance floor. But I discovered that he believes in Oneness theology (that God is unipersonal), and also has some common misconceptions about the Trinity. I offered to meet with him sometime and discuss the Trinity. He agreed.

To prepare for the discussion, I placed two books on order: The Oneness of God by David Bernard, and A Definitive Look at Oneness Theology: Defending the Tri-Unity of God by Edward Dalcour. Bernard's book is the only reputable book defending Oneness theology. Dalcour's book is the only scholarly response to Oneness theology and defense of the Trinity. Eddie Dalcour is a friend of mine btw, and heads up The Department of Christian Defense. We usually run into each other at the Mormon Easter pageant in Mesa and on AOMin's cruises.

Last night I finished re-reading TFT, and have begun reading the sections on the Trinity in Berkhof's and Reymond's Systematic Theologies. After all this, if there is enough time, I hope to read the articles AOMin has on the subject.

You might be thinking, "Wow Case, why go to all this trouble just to have one conversation?" Good question. I've been meaning to have an in-depth study on the Trinity for quite some time, and this is my perfect opportunity. Furthermore, I want to adequately be prepared to explain, discuss and defend this great truth. I want to know where Dan is coming from. Knowing his position ahead of time, and preparing to refute it, will greatly benefit our time of discussion/debate.

Btw, here is a brief definition of the Trinity: "Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally, three co-equal and co-eternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." There are three foundations I must be able to defend Biblically to prove the doctrine of the Trinity: (1) Monotheism, there is only one true God (2) 3 personal distinctions that share God's being, and (3) the three persons are co-equal and co-eternal.

Like James White, I love the Trinity. I really do. Putting aside the upcoming discussion with my friend, I study the Trinity because this is studying the God whom I serve and love. The more I study God's triunity, the more I realize how glorious His plan of salvation: The Father chooses an elect people to save, the Son redeems His people, the Holy Spirit seals His people. How glorious is the work of God in salvation! You see, the gospel is Trinitiarian! This is why I am so passionate about this truth, central to Christian faith.

One last thing, if you have not read The Forgotten Trinity, I urge you to take some time and read this book. Your love and understanding of the majesty of God will only inscrease. You can purchase this book at

I'd appreciate your prayers as I continue to study for my meeting with Dan.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Are Your Feet Happy?

Many of you are aware that Lindy Hop is something I am passionate about. I've been doing Lindy for about four months now. I have improved a great deal since I began back in November. I owe it all to Jonathan and Trisha. Here they are:

Time for some shameless advertising, mwua ha ha.

They have Lindy classes Saturday mornings. 10-11am is beginning Lindy. 11-12 is advanced Lindy. $10 for a single class, or $15 for both. I regularly attend both, and love it.

Jonathan and Trisha are amazing instructors. I mean, come on folks - they're managing to teach me Lindy =). That alone is a testimony to their teaching ability. If you are interested in learning Lindy, this is the place to be.

If you're serious about learning, I'd strongly recommend private lessons as well. And yes, Jonathan offers private lessons. Contact me if you're interested in taking lessons from the man himself.

Both Jonathan and Trisha are accomplished dancers, yet are humble about just how incredible they are. You have to see them to believe it.

Another good shot:

Chris, I mean, Casey ... whatever =)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A Shout Out to Two Friends

Eli and I have a coded language to refer to a series of events a couple years ago. "The Tragedy" or "The Event" is our way of reminiscing back to the days when Hyper-Preterism seemed to be running rampant amongst our circle of friends. For months, this damnable heresy was spreading like gangrene. It was ruining lives; ruining friendships. In the process I lost my best friend, Scotty, and 6 other close friends. This was the most difficult trial the Lord has brought into my life. Thankfully, I had many close friends to support me.

Two friends from our old circle stuck with me through it all: Eli and Adam.

Eli and I met at Stapley Bucks 3 or 4 years ago? I don't recall exactly how we met. We probably noticed each other's Bible and striked up a conversation. Eli was there at the beginning of our group's formation. We'd sit and talk about theology all the time. All the time. What I appreciated about Eli was his passion for the Scriptures. Every day after work, he would read his Bible at Bucks for hours on end. Like Apollos, Eli is "mighty in the Scriptures." He is also passionate about evangelism, and of course, theology =) - which is why we got along so well. Our friendship always felt natural. I still remember two key passages that he would regularly cite: (1) Ephesians 1:13, that every believer has been baptized by the Holy Spirit (compare this with 1 Corinthians 12:13), and (2) Romans 10:9. I learned a lot from him.

When Hyper-Preterism began destroying lives and our apologetics ministry, Eli and I had the same view of how to handle the situation. We contacted the elders of East Valley Bible Church to warn them that two of their regular attendees (both serving in our ministry) were spreading this damnable heresy. Eli and I resigned from that ministry at the same time. I honestly do not think I could have faced these specific trials on my own. God was gracious to give Eli the same convictions He gave me. And I didn't have to face that terrible time alone. He defended the truth before East Valley's elders. He defended my reputation, when articles, books, and other forms of slander were being distributed about me. Most importantly, he remained a constant source of encouragement to me.

For the past 6 months, I have been blessed by hanging out with Eli, and his wife Heather, once again. Our friendship has only grown stronger. Eli and I have a perspective of these trials that no one else has: a first person perspective. We know the whole story of what happened. Nearly everyone else has second hand information. I believe it is because we faced these trials together that our friendship has increased.

But there is more than the bad times. In good times, Eli has been a faithful friend to me. He loves the Lord. He is a God-fearing man, who loves his wife and kids. He is an example to me. I can honestly say that I look forward to years of friendship with Eli.

Who might the other fellow be? Adam Prather =).

It was a week before I resigned from our apologetics ministry that I pulled Adam aside one night while we were at Bucks. I took a chance by opening up to him and explained the situation to him. I informed him about my plans to resign from the ministry and call a meeting with East Valley's elders. Adam responded with more support and encouragement than I expected. Since that night he has proven that he is trustworthy. He has become one of my confidants.

Adam was also a part of our old circle of friends. When we began splitting up because I wouldn't tolerate heresy, Adam was there to back me up. The next few months involved dozens of encounters with our old friends, who had become Hyper-Prets. This caused in us a renewed passion and zeal for the return of Jesus Christ. We were excited for the resurrection, for the final day of judgement, and for the new heavens and earth. We spent hours trying to persuade friends to repent, as well as defend orthodoxy.

In case you were wondering, I also met Adam in Starbucks - at almost the exact table I first met Eli! (weird). The first night we met, we must have appeared to be polar opposites. He was in a suit, I was in shorts and a t-shirt. He had the KJV, I had an NIV. Right off the bat we began talking about Calvinism. Eventually, Adam embraced the Doctrines of Grace, ptL.

Since that time, he has demonstrated a constant desire to know God's Word, and handle it aright. I have seen him mature in his walk with the Lord, and it has been a blessing to witness. Adam is the kind of guy I can talk to about anything, and he listens well. He has a gentle spirit about him. He is a good friend.

The test of time has proven the worth of my friendships with Eli and Adam. They are godly men with whom I can trust. Through the good and the rough times, they have stuck with me, and supported me. I can only say thank you to them, and hope I can return the love they give to me. I could not have made it without you guys.

To two of my best friends, God bless you.

Your Brother in the Saving Faith,

Friday, February 18, 2005

"I owe it all to my girl's ex-broyfriend"

Janet's in town! The Janet from Maryland. Btw, Adam and I are going to MD over Spring Break, w00t.

The other nite Adam and I were chillin at Janet's house. After less than an hour I managed to screw up Janet's internet connection. I have learned to never ever ever mess with network settings ever again. Apparently I don't know what I'm doing =).

Yes, this entry's title is a line from Relient K's new cd. Janet, Sussy, Jessica, Kyle, Adam and myself went to their concert last night. They were suweet. Definitely put on a good show. We got a little rowdy. When I got pushed, I pushed back. It was a blast. Too bad skanking appears to have died out.

More Pics/Vids


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Who Says Bumper Stickers aren't Funny?

K, so I saw the funniest bumper sticker on my way to work. It had one of those Darwin fishes turned on its back, then reads: "Fish don't walk ... and Jesus still lives"

LOL, w00t!

I can picture the frustration and rage this must bring to staunch evolutionists and Darwinists. aaaahahahahahaha! Why does this bring me such joy? *laughs some more*

Good times,

Friday, February 11, 2005

I don't like the idea that everyone is a sinner

Last week my Cultural Di ver sity (as I like to pronounce it) class watched a video about ... cultural diversity - shocking, I know. The video featured a dozen high school students each from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. There was a black kid, a white kid, a Jewish kid ... you get the idea. Most of the movie was alright. Extremely boring, liberal and anti-Christian, but alright. Then it happened. Out of nowhere a homosexual guy was interviewed. "It's rough being a white, middle class, Christian, gay, high school guy. Being persecuted for being true to yourself isn't right. Growing up, I was very religious. I attended church on a regular basis. But my church didn't have room for those of us with different sexual preferences," he said.

Yeeaaa. Interesting movie.

Later on that evening I visited our class message board online. One of my classmates began a new thread titled: "What did homosexuality had to do in this video?" The grammar and spelling gets worse believe me =). His post reads:

After class, I was talking with a classmate about the video and it content. I was telling this person how I had really enjoyed watching the video. Then this person asked me something that really through me off. This person asked, "What did homosexuality had to do in this video?" I could not believe this person was asking this. Then again, this question represents the opinion of many our population's taboos. My response to this question was, which is one that has always gotten me into arguments with other friends and relatives, that it should not matter whether someone is heterosexual, homosexual or bi-sexual because in the end the world is made up of humans. My idea behind this comment has to do with my motto in life: "To respect the ideas of others, it does not constitute that I agree with his/her philosophy of the world." With this comment, I would like to close my respond.

I decided to respond. Here's what I said:

I was surprised that the video included the issue of homosexuality. The film seemed to flow naturally until the end, when that issue was raised. It is my belief that homosexuality is actually an unnatural sexual preference. To understand where I am coming from, I am a conservative Christian and hold to strong Biblical convictions. I believe that sexuality is defined for us by God ... that God created us heterosexuals (Ephesians 5:20-33, Matthew 19:3-6, Romans 1:26-27 - from the Bible).

Please don't misinterpret my thoughts as hatred for gays/lesbians. I disagree with their lifestyle, but they are human beings just as I am. And from God's point of view, we are all sinners who break God's law.

As you might imagine, this resulted in the entire class getting involved. There are currently 18 posts on this thread!

The reponse I've received has been less than thoughtful. For example:

I understand how you feel because I too WAS a christian but I did not like the idea that every one is a sinner. It really does not matter that there are homosexuals in the world because we only live one life. I believe that we should live our life to the fullest and not regret what we have done in the past.

He "was" a Christian? No, he never was a Christian. He may have made a profession of faith, but he has obviously fallen from the faith. This comment is a glowing example of total depravity: "I did not like the idea that everyone is a sinner." Wow. Complete rejection of his condition before our holy God. This kind of attitude is common in our nation; certainly in this class.

You would be shocked to hear how many of my classmates claim Christ and then deny Him by defending homosexuality.

Eventually someone responded to my post:

okay setting aside your beliefs about homosexuality, can you at least agree that it is a culture? and it is a culture that is misunderstood and misrepresented in many ways. that is why it was included in the video. culture is not something that is limited to ones ethnicity. take for example pop culture, hip-hop culture, and even the blind feel they are part of a unique culture. as time passes more and more cultures will begin to pop up, and it will be our job as educators to help our children to understand and respect these groups as they begin to emerge in our society.

I responded:

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate your question.

Well, I wouldn’t need to set aside my beliefs about homosexuality to recognize that one’s “sexual preference” is a part of what makes up an individual =). I agree that homosexuality is sometimes misunderstood and misrepresented. I’d also like to add that homosexuals are oftentimes mistreated, and that is wrong.

Nevertheless, I found it peculiar that the video included issues of ethnicity and sexuality, when they should probably be placed in two different categories. Respecting one’s ethnicity is different than respecting one’s sexual lifestyle. We are born into ethnic groups, but we are not born into sexual lifestyles. Our ethnicity is not a choice, but sexuality is a choice.

I do not believe respect is the issue when it comes to homosexuality. After all, how can I be asked to respect the sexual choices of another with whom I disagree?

Or do we simply mean that rather than respecting the choices of others, we ought to love our fellow man? That we ought to see others as equals? If so, I definitely agree with that.

Hope my clarification was beneficial for you.


No one else has directly responded to me. I have gotten a kick out of watching my peers try to disagree with me without telling me I am wrong, lol.

Here's another peculiar comment:

I think the point of homosexuality in this video was to touch the topic of discrimination. Not only did the movie incorporate people of different race, but of sixual preference, age, gender, and many other things. At almost every job out there they say "we will not discriminate against race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference, and many other things." I was suprised when they brought this topic up as well. I thought it was brilliant myself. I have a few gay friends. I was raised as a christian. I stopped attending church because I feel like the church contradicts much of what they say. One minute they tell us that we are sinners if we do this and that, for example being gay, and yet in the same sentence they say God will forgive us all. I am proud of who I am and what I represent and don't feel that people who are gay are sinners, nor am I a sinner for being close to those who are gay, or like to look at men even though I am married, or have sex for reasons other than reproduction. This is my personal conflict and would not expect or want anyone to take this perspective on, but this is how I feel. To sum it up, I liked the mix of gender, race, religion, and sexuality that was incorporated into the movie.

I feel sorry for this guy. He also grew up going to church but left due to conflicts with Biblical teaching.

There has only been one other comment I felt deserved a response:

I agree with what you have said. I am of a Christian faith. My religion believes against homosexuality as most Christian religions believe. Do I believe in homosexuality, No. That is my belief, but I do NOT persecute those who do practice homosexuality. I respect them for who they are and what they endure because of what they believe. I have friends and know people who are homosexual. They do not push homosexuality on me and respect my beliefs and in the same way, I do not push my religion on them and what I believe. We understand each other and respect each other for what we believe. That is the way it should be. We need to respect others and treat them like anyone else no matter how different they are or of what they believe.

I responded:

I agree with you on a number of points. First, I also would not persecute homosexuals. Second, I think we ought to treat them as we want to be treated. Third, having a correct understanding of a different position is important (in this case, homosexuality). Lastly, homosexuals are our equals in humanity – for as I believe, all men are created in the image of God, and all have sinned by breaking God’s law.

Where we may disagree is to what extent we respect the beliefs of others. For example, I believe that homosexuality is an unnatural and a sinful way to live. How then can I be asked to respect homosexuality, which is something that I believe is morally wrong? And to be fair, how can a homosexual respect my beliefs, that their lifestyle is condemned by God?

I do respect the right of another to choose how they live. But I do not respect many ways people choose to live their life. I should add that how someone lives their life will not affect how I treat them, or how I interact with them as an individual. Though I would consider it an honor and privilege to discuss with them how they can turn from that lifestyle and know my God, as I know Him. But from my worldview, it is God that makes men to differ. So how can I be hateful towards someone else?

Anywho, just food for thought =)


Can you sense the overall attitude of my peers? Not only are we to respect homosexuals as our equals, but we are to respect their beliefs as well. Do you see the subtle difference? Christians must respect homosexuality, but homosexuals do not have to respect the Christian belief that homosexuality is sinful. This double standard is troubling, yet it is what is expected. What's worse is that these unbelievers do not see the double standard. Their hatred for God and for His law has blinded their eyes to rational thinking. Homosexuals don't want equal rights, they want super rights. Meanwhile, a Christian's rights and freedoms are mocked and ridiculed as "barbaric" and "traditional."

Yesterday I came across a passage in John that speaks to this very subject. "18"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master ' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21"But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22"If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23"He who hates Me hates My Father also" (John 15:18-23).

As a Christian, I feel alone in this class. Never before have I felt so out of place. But I know that in complete darkness light is more apparent. And believe me, people around me are noticing. My prayer is that I will honor God with my actions and give a good testimony of my faith. I look forward to sharing the good news about Christ with these men and women who so need a Savior.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Step Up

The Lord blessed me by having my parents raise me in a conservative, godly environment. Our family attended traditional churches growing up, in which the men and women wore nice clothing to the gathered assembly. By nice, I mean that it was more than casual. Like most kids, my parents dressed me until I was in the latter part of elementary school. This meant that each Sunday I showed up in slacks and a button down shirt. The older I got, the more I dressed down. I had to fit in with the "cool" crowd, after all. By junior high, nearly the entire youth group wore to church what we wore the rest of the week (jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes). I have dressed casual to church ever since. It was a running joke that the only times I dressed up for church was when I would attend an LDS meeting before our services. You knew I had met with Mormon elders (aka missionaries) if I was wearing a pressed, white, button-down shirt, black slacks, dress shoes and a tie to match.

We had been attending Grace Community Church (Tempe, AZ) since I was in elementary school. By the time I reached college the church had a massive overhaul. We transitioned from the conservative style of the church's founder, Guy Davidson, into a Seeker Sensitive church. More and more folks dressed casual to church, which was already the dominant dress style in youth/college ministries. Often from the pulpit we would hear the call to "come just as you are." Many of us applied this to our appearance. But some resisted the change. There were those who persisted in wearing suits, ties, slacks; for the ladies: dresses, nice pants, blouses. I couldn't understand why one would go to all the effort of dressing up when God clearly stated in His Word: "...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). I argued that because God only cares about the condition of our hearts that we should not bother with dressing up for church.

My position was more legalistic than you might think. I frowned upon those who dressed up. I saw them as arrogant people. How else could I explain their attire? They must be old-fashioned. Do they not realize that this style of dress may turn away unbelievers visiting the church? Or so I thought to myself, deeply affected by the seeker sensitive movement. I was proud to dress casually. This demonstrated how much more spiritually mature I was than those held back by old traditions. Ha! These were the same people who wanted hymns instead of praise/chorus songs! It would be best if these people would simply leave and form a new church... that wouldn't draw in new members anyways. 50 years from now we won't even see boring churches like the ones they want.

I was clearly carrying around a lot of baggage. I hope you now have a better idea of where I was coming from up to this point.

In July 2003, I resigned my membership from GCC. The Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church was the first church I visited and later became a member. There are quite a few visible differences between GCC and PRBC. First, I recognized that most of the congregation wore semi-formal attire to the services. I stood out like a sore thumb in my khaki shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes. One might expect that I received judgment and condemnation. But rather, they were welcoming and inviting towards me.

A year and a half have passed since I began attending PRBC, and you are now probably aware that I am reconsidering how I ought to dress to church. I would like to share with you a few of my experiences that have caused me to rethink my position. Here goes nuthin...

(1) One of the first Sundays at PRBC, I was sitting in the pew behind the Whites (James, Kelli, Josh, Summer), when Elder James made a joking remark about me wearing shorts. You have to understand that James and I had become friends over the past year, so I took his comment as he intended it to be: a joke. But I suspected that some of James' convictions in this area were coming out a bit. I knew he held the conviction that if you would dress up for someone you respect (he used the President of the United States as his example), why would you not then dress up to worship the Lord? I kept these thoughts in the back of my mind.

(2) The next critical event took place about three weeks ago while listening to Dennis Prager's radio talk show. For those of you unfamiliar with Dennis Prager, he is a Jewish, conservative man, who talks about politics and practical life issues. On this particular show Dennis was talking about a bad experience he had at the theater to watch a play. He described the audience as sloppy and in grubby clothing. He argued that the atmosphere that evening was drastically affected. Later in the program, a caller made a passing comment that "it doesn't matter how we dress to church." Dennis abruptly interrupted the man and countered with saying, "I firmly disagree with your statement. How you dress to church demonstrates how much respect you have for your place of worship." What amazed me about Dennis' remarks was that this was coming from an unbeliever. How could an unregenerate man believe so strongly about this? It was this segment of the show that got the wheels turning upstairs *points to his head* to examine how I dress to church.

(3) Following the Sunday morning worship service, we have our Lindy Hop private lesson. When I arrived at the dance studio, Simon and Kelli had already finished changing into dance clothes. I, on the other hand, had no need to change from my jeans and button down American Eagle shirt. Simon then began poking fun that I will wear to church what I dance in. Again, the Dark Knight (aka Simon) was intending to kid around with me, and meant no harm. Immediately I knew something was wrong when I will wear the same outfit to church that I will get all sweaty in as a result of dancing.

(4) Last Wednesday evening was our annual congregational meeting. Near the end of the meeting, Pastor Fry asked Jim Broyles and his wife to exit the room so we might talk about them behind their back =). You see, Jim was being considered for the Diaconate (being appointed as a Deacon), and the pastor examined Jim with us by asking for any concerns we have about his character. Our pastor was going through the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3, and focused upon how a Deacon ought to be a man of dignity. Jim is certainly that kind of man. He is not addicted to wine (or addicted to other substances). He manages his family well. He already is a man serving the church (which is what the term, Deacon means). Jim carries an honorable and dignified quality with his appearance in the church. ... Yes, you guessed it. My mind began processing all this information once more.

(5) During my entire time at PRBC it is clear how my elders view the office of elder. They take their position in the church very seriously. Elder James has mentioned on more than one occasion how much awe he should have to preach from the pulpit. As Reformed Baptists, we believe it is the highest honor to bring God's Word to the people of God. It is a great responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly. I know that this is one reason why both of my elders (James White and Don Fry) dress nicely. More than this, they dress up because it is the house of the Lord.

The result of all this is felt conviction towards my nonchalant attitude about how I dress to church. Each of the above situations that the Lord brought into my life contain valid points.

Elder James was correct that I would dress up for the President of the United States. I would even dress up for a date! Why would I not want to dress up for the God who saved me from sin and death?

Dennis Prager is correct that how one dresses is a reflection of how important the event may be to him. In the case of the gathered church, I know that one may worship the Lord in casual clothes - but isn't this being inconsistent then to dress up for other special occasions but not for the Lord?

Simon was right to point out that it is not proper to wear the same clothes to church that I will go dancing in and get drenched in sweat!

Pastor Fry is correct that we, as the people of God, should be dignified in our appearance. How we dress can communicate how we feel about worshipping the Lord our God.

Finally, considering the honor it is to hear God's Word proclaimed, to hear the whole counsel of God, to sing to the Lord hymns of praise, to lift up our voices in prayer, and to fellowship with the Saints, I believe out of respect for these things we should dress appropriately.

A couple verses to consider:

Romans 12:1, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."

How we live and how we appear matters to God.

The apologist in me well knows what some are thinking: Wow. I had no idea Casey was going to take a turn into legalism. Whoa boy. How do I respond? For starters, I believe that one has the right to dress however they want to church. However, I believe it is disrespectful towards God to wear casual clothing to come into His house, to hear His Word preached, to pray to Him, to fellowship with His saints, and then to dress up for other events and occasions. It is inconsistent to be so irreverent towards worshipping God, and then to show reverence for lesser things. Why I also believe I have not crossed over into the dangerous realm of legalism is because I don't look down on those who dress casually. Maybe folks have never thought about this before? Maybe they can't afford nice clothing?

The point I have attempted to make is this: if we are willing to dress up for important men and activities, why would we not want to dress up for our worship of the Creator? If God has blessed you with nice clothing, wouldn't you want to dress your best for the Lord?

These are some of my thoughts. I hope you can tell I have thought long and hard about this. I want nothing more than to honor my King in all things - my motivation for having this discussion. And yes, I will be dressing more than casual on the Lord's Day.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Egalitarianism, when dealing with issues of church government usually refers to the idea of men and women being eligible for eldership. I found myself in a discussion defending the position that only men are called by God for the office of elder/bishop/overseer. I will attempt to make my case by looking at 1 Timothy 2:9-15:

"9Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint."

The text is clearly describing the roles of men and women in the church. Verses 9-10 ought to be interpreted as Paul literally meant it, that is, that women ought not to wear the dress of prostitutes. To clarify, I believe that today it is okay for a woman to braid her hair, or wear jewelry and nice clothing. However, a woman in our day and age should not wear scandalous clothing comparable to prostitutes we have today.

Verse 11 should be connected with verse 12. Paul's command that a woman remain submissive in the church and receive instruction is expanded upon by saying that a woman is not permitted to teach or exercise authority over a man. Should one argue that this likewise is a cultural argument being made, I would point to the Apostle's substatiation for his argument in verses 13-15.

Notice how verse 13 begins, "For..." It is clear that verses 13-15 is the continuation of the argument in 11-12. A woman should remain submissive in the church, and shall not be permitted to have authority over a man FOR ... (verse 13) Adam was created first, and then Eve ... (verse 14) Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived. Using Adam and Eve as his example, Paul's argument transcend time and culture. Thus, Paul's argument applied in the days of Adam and Eve, in his own day, and in our present age.

Verse 15 may be alluding to a woman's special role to spend time with her children in the time that the husband/father is away providing for the family.

I believe that if one is fair to the text of Scripture one will conclude that men are called to the office of elder. Only the traditions of men will blind one to the plain teaching of Scripture.

See if my attempt at exegesis follows Paul's argument later in this epistle:

"An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)" (1 Timothy 3:2-5).

*wipes the sweat from his brow* That wasn't so bad =)

I Stand Corrected

Until this semester, I have avoided taking Cultural Diversity like the plague. Cultural Di ver sity, give me a break. How boring can a subject be! I mean come on, is there anything else to learn about this stuff that our public education system hasn't already pounded into my head? Turns out I was wrong.

The first two weeks have been the typical: "Acceptance. Tolerance. Diversity. Understanding. Love and embrace all cultural backgrounds: race, nationality, religion, sexual preference" ... blah blah blah. You've heard it before.

Our class today was discussing a scholarly article about racism titled "White on White." When I first skimmed the article I thought to myself that the article didn't have much application for me. I was taught (from public ed) that to end racism, one must avoid race altogether. To sort of pretend like race did not exist.

My professor made the most peculiar comment today that forced me to re-think my position: "When I was younger a white friend said to me, 'You sure don't seem black.' What the heak (explitive removed) did he mean that I don't 'seem' black? How could I be anything but black?!"

That's when it hit me. I don't need to avoid race by denying it exists. I should acknowledge race, but acknowledge it appropriately. Obviously this means I wouldn't hate someone of another race. I think it might also mean that preferential treatment shouldn't be given to others of a different race.

One way I plan to implement what I've learned is no longer fearing to verbally refer to someone's race.

Hope this doesn't sound like a buncha postmodern nonsense. But I thought I would share this with ya'll. At least this class hasn't been a complete waste of my time =)