The Chosen: Watch and Discuss

Christian cinema is not always top notch. At least in the money given towards it, the special effects, the actors and actresses, or the storylines. Wow, I guess I could’ve just left that last line and off! We understand, though. The big money of Hollywood and the corruption that comes with it is not backing it. So it usually looks a little different. But for the most part, the content and the message in Christian movies is clean, God-honoring, and hopefully Biblical. That’s why we tolerate some of the low budgets. However, it is getting better as of late. One show in particular that seems to be doing a really good job is The Chosen. If you haven’t watched it, I recommend it. You can find the show on Netflix, VidAngel, or just download the Chosen App to watch all the shows. 

Now I do with this show as I do with any show that has any teaching of Jesus or any Christian leanings. I critique it to my wife and daughter (who roll their eyes) and to anyone who will listen. I’m always taking new applications for people who wish to hear me too! What I do like about this show is they take a little bit of a fresh, different approach that others haven’t done in the past with the story of Jesus. They follow the gospels telling of what happened, while also filling in a little of the background of many of the characters. I have no problem with this. It makes it interesting to watch and it helps you to picture it in real life. All in all, I feel like they have done a very good job of sticking to the truth, without changing the true meaning. 

I just watched the last episode a few nights ago. The way the episodes come out is, while they receive donor money coming in, they are actively filming more episodes. Currently they just wrapped up season 2. The goal is to have 7 seasons. So in the most recent episode (SPOILER ALERT!!), they led up to Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Hopefully this isn’t a spoiler alert, because I’m guessing you’ve probably read the real thing. If you haven’t read any of the Bible, let me just give a big spoiler. God wins! He’s always been the winner with no doubt ever conceived! And you should turn to Him in faith! Now back to the episode. I wasn’t a big fan of how they made Him seem like a famous Evangelist or Pastor getting ready for this big, publicized crusade. Sometimes they take some creative liberties, but as I said, for the most part, it’s a great show. 

Here’s my advice for how to use this for church or Bible study: watch it with people and comment after, using the Bible to confirm, ask questions, or talk. We’ve done this and it’s a great tool to get people to possibly see things in a new way that maybe they didn’t notice in just reading. It also helps me use those things I don’t necessarily agree with and start a discussion on it, while drawing everything back to the Bible. It helps people learn to read the Bible, develop critical, Biblical thinking skills, and just learn the truth. And…it’s a pretty good show.

Pray for Students Starting School Soon

From Randall University’s webpage: “Our fall semester is officially kicking off beginning on August 12!

Students: if you are not enrolled, you need to get with your advisor to get prepared for the fall semester! We look forward to welcoming you to our campus, again or for the first time! More information will be given regarding moving in and on-campus activities leading up to August.

Supporters, Friends, and Family: join us in prayer for the students who will begin classes in the fall here at RU. Pray that God will move on our campus, and that the hearts of the students and staff will grow closer to Him!

We have big things planned for this next school year, and are confident that God has great things in store for us as well.”

Randall’s New Chair and Director of Christian Ministry

“Randall University is proud to announce Dr. Stephen Ashby as our new Chair and Director of Christian Ministry! We are looking forward to all Dr. Ashby will bring to Randall this Fall!

President Robert G. Thompson is proud to announce that Dr. Stephen Ashby will serve as the Chair and Director of Christian Ministry at Randall University beginning Fall 2021.

Dr. Ashby is well known and respected for his theological scholarship and contributions to the Free Will Baptist denomination as pastor and scholar, including articulating the Reformed Arminian Position on Eternal Security. Said President Thompson, “We have missed Dr. Ashby’s active presence on campus. We are blessed to have him here.”

Dr. Ashby gained his PH.D. from Bowling Green State University. He also gained a Bachelor’s degree from Free Will Baptist College as well as a Masters of Religious Education and a Masters of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. He also got a Masters of Education degree from Lynchburg College.

Dr. Ashby can be reached at 405-692-5416

His wife, Patti, of 43 years serves as registrar at Randall University and his son Serogia works at Hobby Lobby.”

Modest Is Hottest

I remember being in a class at Hillsdale (now Randall) back in the 90’s. Side note: I can now relate with the generation before in school who said, “It’s Oklahoma Bible College, not Hillsdale!” I now say, “It’s Hillsdale, not Randall!” Anyway, at…Hillsdale a professor said to someone who didn’t have their work done, “It looks like you’re SOL.” We caught him and said, “What?! Do you know what that means?” He thought it meant “sorry out of luck.” We told him what it most usually means. I don’t think he said it again.

There was a song recently put out by Matthew West (popular Christian musician) around Father’s Day to his daughters. It was called Modest Is Hottest. If you’ve been in church for a while, you might have heard this phrase used before. It’s meant to be humorous, while still referring to the goal of being modest in dress style. His song was not received well at all by progressives and exvangelicals. In fact, some labeled him and all who agree with him as misogynistic and abusive. Here are the lyrics:

Dear daughter, it’s me your father
I think it’s time we had a talk
The boys are coming round ’cause you’re beautiful
And it’s all your mother’s fault
And I’ve been trying hard to raise you up right
No drinking, no smoking, no swearing
But your old man’s got a little more advice
When it comes to the clothes that you’re wearing, listen

Modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend
Is a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian
What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad

If I catching you doing dances on the TikTok
In a crop top, so help me God
You’ll be grounded till the world stops
I’m just kidding, no I’m not

‘Cause modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend
Is a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian
What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad

All the parents be saying their prayers
That all their girls, they’ll be wearing more layers
Moms and dads round the world, yeah, they’re on their knees
Lord make them more like Jesus and less like Cardi B

No offense to Cardi B
I’m sure she’s a really nice girl and Jesus loves her but I just think…

Modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend
Is a little more Amish and a little less Kardashian
What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad
What the boys really love is a one piece with a raincoat over that
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad
Trust me, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad

I’m sure you all feel the outrage that I do. “How dare he care about what his daughters wear! The nerve! The abuse just spews through his words.” That’ll probably make someone mad. It’s not my intent to only stir up issues. What we should do is use opportunities like this to dialogue. Some of the backstory of many who are hurt by this song and from those in conservative Christianity, is that they have come from abusive christianity, churches, or homes. If you remember the Purity Culture movement from the 90’s (maybe it’s still going on?), then you’re familiar with what many call a trauma they endured.

There is no doubt that countless people have gone through religious trauma and abuse in church, or by their pastors, parents, or family. The problem I am seeing now is that in opposition to that wrong behavior, oftentimes people go too far in the opposite direction. I fully understand that some who use this issue are not really those who have been hurt by religious trauma, but those who are opposed to a more evangelical, conservative lean. They look for anything they can use to discredit Christianity. Nevertheless, how should we respond and address modesty in our twenty-first century time?

Our Goal Should Be To Please The Lord

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

In coming to know and follow Jesus, it’s important to understand what He did. He paid our debt by going to the cross. So in essence, we are not our own, autonomous beings. We are God’s. By the way, this is a far better place to be in than on our own! So because of this fact, that He has rescued us from hell and judgment, we should follow and obey God. The greatest commandment is to love God with everything we are and have. So our thoughts, our actions, our belongings, and our body should be devoted to Him and for what He wants.

Our Actions Should Reflect Love And Humility To Bring Others To Jesus

So we have a freedom when we come to Jesus. He has set us free from sin and it’s death grip on us. But then comes in the responsibility part that God calls us to put ourselves last. Consider these passages:

Romans 14:13, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Read this whole chapter for instruction on how we should interact with each other)

1 Corinthians 8:9, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”

1 Corinthians 10:23-24, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

1 Corinthians 10:31-33, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

The two greatest commandments are to Love God and love others. When we love God, we will want to please Him, which means we want to do His will and follow His commands. Part of His will is to love others. Part of His will is that we tell others about Him and teach them to follow Him. And part of doing that includes humbling ourselves for the greater good of others and being an example. Everything we do as Christians should be intentional and with the purpose of pleasing God and bringing others to an understanding of Him and to holiness. I believe if that is truly our approach, then the abuse and religious trauma will be eradicated. If this is our goal, then the modesty subject probably will not even be an issue. But that’s just my thoughts.

Beautiful Update from the Simmons

“Testimonies heard today: “Before I gave my life to Jesus, I was angry & beat my kids for the smallest reasons; I don’t do that anymore.” “I put the Word of God & church as first priority. If an animal gets lost on a church/discipleship day, I don’t go looking for it—I go to study the Word of God! Often, when I get home, the lost animal will be there waiting on me.”
“The Word of God has changed me.” (Spoken by many!❤️) Before I knew about Jesus, I felt like I was walking in the dark. I didn’t know where to go.” “I didn’t even know what prayer was—now I RUN to Jesus with everything!” “I used to talk bad about everyone & hate everyone. Now I love people!” “I wasn’t a part of the group, but then I saw how the lives of the women were different after they learned the Word of God. I wanted that, too!! So I began coming. My life has changed!”
WOW WOW WOW! Thank you, Lord for Your love and transforming power in the lives of these ladies!! What a joy!!
(See the new beads they gave me?! What a touching gift, that they would sacrifice to pitch in together to buy me the latest Samburu women’s fashion. ❤️❤️)”

Follow the Simmons on Facebook! They are great about communicating needs and praises on their page!

Truth Matters

“The cross simultaneously shows us that God loves us and that sin is truly deserving of punishment.

It’s that second part that makes the first part make sense.

If we fall for the crowd pleasing “gospel” of “God loves you and sin isn’t a big deal” then we have rejected the cross and replaced it with a self-supplied pat on the back.

If we change the gospel so more people will accept it then we have merely affirmed people who are actually rejecting the gospel and simply told them that the true gospel of Christ was wrong all along.

Not only is this a betrayal of the one who loved us and gave Himself for us, it has the effect of supplying ear plugs to those who need to wake from their sleep and turn to Christ.” – Mike Winger

Kids and Parents Baptism Resource

“On July 18 Randall House will release Baptism: For Kids and Parents, a new resource for parents and anyone who works with children. This easy to read booklet is the perfect resource to help children better understand what baptism is all about. Baptism: For Kids and Parents is a very affordable resource every pastor, children’s pastor, and parent will want to use as they help children learn about faith and following Christ.” – David Womack