The Shallowness of ‘Progressive’ Christianity and Risking Harm From Well-Intentioned Parents and Doctors – Points of Interest for Oct. 24, 2022

Ian Harber writes about his deconstruction journey…

‘Progressive’ Christianity: Even Shallower Than the Evangelical Faith I Left

“My petition to pastors, then, is twofold:

1. As Jude says, “Have mercy on those who doubt” (1:22). Don’t meet doubts or questions or concerns with harshness, dismissiveness, or shallow answers. Be patient with hard questions, and work with your people for comprehensive, nuanced answers.

2. Teach the richness of the Christian tradition. Don’t settle for feel-good MTD platitudes as guidance for a better life. Give complicated answers to complicated questions. Show how Jesus, the most brilliant person to ever live, speaks to every aspect of life and society with compassion, love, and grace.”

“We need more theology, nuance, grace, compassion, and understanding in our churches, not less. But these things are made possible by orthodox doctrine, not in spite of it. Doubt and questions need not catalyze a pendulum swing from belief to unbelief. If worked out in healthy, thoughtful Christian community—and with an abiding connection to Christ, our true vine (John 15)—they can actually deepen faith and strengthen roots, producing a life where we bear fruit and withstand the fierce winds of a secular age.”

Please heed these words and warnings by a medical doctor from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute:

Gender dysphoria in children: Risking harm from well-intentioned parents and doctors

“Despite the absence of supportive evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently suggested that aggressive and clearly harmful medical and surgical interventions might be appropriate for many children who express reservations about their biological sex (Szilagyi 2022; Rafferty et al. 2018).”

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

New Music: Let My Soul Say It Is Well

Today I have a new song to share with you. Back in the day (let’s call it “pre-parenting” times) songwriting was my constant passion. Over those now 20+ years I have continued to write but not as much as I once did. Every once in a while I write something worth sharing.

Listen below via Spotify or head over to my Bandcamp site to listen to this song and more of my music. You should find it on all the major streaming platforms if not now, then very soon.

That’s my daughter Sophia singing with me. She definitely sweetens the mix! Below are the lyrics and a chord sheet in case you’d like to play and sing along.

Let My Soul Say It Is Well

When all my peace has long been gone
When steady faith is memory past
Then to your mercy I will cling
And know your peace will come at last

When tempter’s snare is at my feet
When sin is crouching at my door
When my weak heart is giving way
Then I will trust your strength is more

CHORUS
When wisdom lacks and faith is weak
When sin destroys the good I seek
Then let my lips not fail to tell
And let my soul say, “It is well.”
And let my soul say, “It is well.”

When my poor heart is broken still
When sleep escapes me in the night
Then I will trust your steady Word
And make your promise my delight

And when my hope is lost at sea
When wind and waters overwhelm
Then to the Anchor I will hold
And preach this thought: that all is well

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Steve Jobs: Triumph and Tragedy in the Life of the Ultimate American Dreamer

I was neither an Apple fanboy nor a hater when I obtained my first MacBook 13 years ago. I was a Mac skeptic: It couldn’t possibly be as good as the hype, I thought. But it was, and soon I was no longer a skeptic.

Having taken an interest in Apple products, I decided to read a lengthy biography of Steve Jobs, written by Walter Isaacson. I had never read a book that size (656 pages) in so short a time. It was fascinating, particularly in providing the backstory to the personal computing revolution.

Strange and Wonderful
Steve Jobs was a strange and wonderful man. As I read his story I oscillated between admiration and repulsion. One minute I wanted to be him; the next to make sure I would never be like him! He is admirable; he is detestable. His creations are indispensable works of genius; they are also conduits of much harm.

He was decisive, no doubt. He was unflinchingly driven and accomplished much. He drove his coworkers and employees hard and often got more out of them than even they imagined they could deliver.

People who worked for him almost unanimously agree that while his style could be demoralizing, it was also oddly inspiring. Inspiring, you might say, in an almost cultish way. As one employee put it, “He would shout at a meeting, ‘You @##%^&%, you never do anything right,’ It was like an hourly occurrence. Yet I consider myself the absolute luckiest person in the world to have worked with him.”

Jobs insisted on working only with “A players,” which meant people who were technically capable, intellectually superior, able to tolerate his abusive tirades and, even better for him, be motivated by them. He unabashedly labelled anyone who wasn’t an “A player” a “bozo,” and dispensed with them at the earliest opportunity.

Mixed Messages
In the final pages of the book, Jobs speaks about the driving force in his life: “I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us,” he said.

“I didn’t invent the language or mathematics that I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on.

And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how… We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what’s driven me.”

Steve Jobs

I think you’ll agree that his ambitions sound both philosophical and noble. But did he contribute something worthwhile to humanity? The jury is still out.

Steve Jobs’ chief strengths—the ones that enabled him to achieve so much—were his ability to fine-tune his focus to a very narrow point and to eliminate distractions. You would think that someone driven by such noble ambitions would seek to create something that would similarly enable others to experience the same benefits he valued so highly.

So the irony—and part of the tragedy—is that his chief accomplishments, his great creations, drive their users in the opposite direction on both accounts. They broaden our focus and introduce innumerable and persistent distractions.

Jobs’ most successful creations betrayed his own stated values in that they helped to form a nation of users with an inability to attain his strengths: narrow focus and the elimination of distraction. Our iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches constantly distract us and prompt us to respond to every distraction, to pay immediate attention to our own self-constructed world. And this strikes me as a manifestation of Steve Jobs’ ultimate self-centeredness.

Triumph and Tragedy
Was Steve Jobs successful? Yes, by any worldly standard he succeeded wildly. He built a corporate empire. He joined the elite ranks of the uber-wealthy. In the eyes of the world, his life is the very definition of the American Dream. But from what we know of the story, he fell short of one very important standard that ultimately matters most.

By what standard are we to judge someone’s contributions to humanity? The life of Jesus is a good place to start. Like many people, Jobs admired the life of Jesus as he understood it but was critical of the church. In his own words, Jobs believed that “The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it.”

Sadly, there is precious little evidence that Jobs lived any more like Jesus than those he criticized. He rarely did anything for the benefit of others, and even when he did there often appeared to be an ulterior motive. He didn’t treat people well and was rarely kind. His reactions to people and their ideas were always extremely positive or brutally negative, depending on what he was trying to extract from them.

Love, servanthood, self-sacrifice, God-centeredness, others-centeredness—these are all things that Jesus lived and invited others to live, but by all accounts, they were almost completely absent from the life of Steve Jobs.

Self as Centre
Jobs lived a life of self-centeredness, which is likely the main reason for his success. He managed to live a fantasy that most of us secretly (or openly) desire to live but never will.

He spoke his mind—all the time, regardless of who was decimated by it.

He always said exactly what he was thinking – and when it came to crucial decisions he was right most of the time.

He made enormous sums of money.

He had a clear vision and successfully executed it without compromise.

He revolutionized or created several entire industries in his lifetime.

He succeeded, wildly, and more than once.

And yet, I can’t say that I would trade my life for his. He had very few healthy personal relationships. He treated most people around him like garbage. He didn’t spend much time with his kids. He was widely and intensely admired by those who should have mattered least to him and left a collection of heartaches for those who should have mattered most.

Steve Jobs, possibly more than any other human being before him, gained the whole world, but it’s quite possible that he lost his own soul in the process.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Photo by AB on Unsplash

Complete Perfection

Paul writes to the Philippian church, reminding them that God had begun a good work in them: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)

The beginning of that good work was the moment when God’s call resulted in repentance and faith, and Paul assures them that God’s work of redemption will continue in their lives, eventually reaching a point of completion on the day that Jesus returns.

No Half-Done Projects
The same is true for us. God has started a work in us that he is going to finish. He’s not like us with so many of our half-finished home renovation projects. We start with excitement but then run out of energy, interest and supplies and leave the work undone. God sets us on the path of reconciliation and redemption and promises that we will be fully reconciled and fully redeemed.

We need not worry; we don’t have to wonder: “Will God get the job done? Will he finish what he started? Or will he leave me hanging?” If you have experienced the new birth you are on a journey from spiritual death (your starting point) to complete perfection in the full and permanent presence of God ( your eternal destiny). That journey is called sanctification.

There are only two possible points where the progress of your sanctification comes to a stop. Either at your death or at the return of Christ. At every other moment, God is working in you to bring his work to completion. That means it’s happening RIGHT now!

God at Work
It doesn’t always feel like it though, does it? If God is at all times at work in my life, why do I sometimes feel so sad and alone and anxious? Well, keep in mind that he is at WORK. To create a statue many chunks of marble must be chipped off. To make a sturdy table, a lot of cutting and sanding takes place. Constructing a beautiful building involves numerous noisy and dirty processes. But when that work is done we look at the finished product and marvel at its perfection.

That day of marvellous perfection is coming for all who belong to him. And when that day comes we’ll get to see the blueprints and we’ll understand what those unpleasant phases of construction were all about.

But until that time, we trust this promise, that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.”

Paul is confident that their faith will stand and that they will persevere until the end because of the work of God’s sovereign saving grace among them. He is confident that their future prospects are good.

And he doesn’t derive this confidence from their solid qualities as human beings, but from his trust in God’s ability to bring about that which he has promised to accomplish.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Points of Interest: “A Mum’s Voyage Through Transtopia”

Today for Points of Interest I’m posting excerpts from just one article. It’s a very long but very important piece of testimonial writing. Similar, and in many cases almost identical, stories are surfacing at a rate too quick to keep up with. These are heartbreaking pieces of raw experience and painful parenting. So please read not just these excerpts but the entire article which can be found here.

Many of these stories are written not by religious people who might be thought to be “overreacting”, but by people who are politically and socially liberal – often with no steady religious beliefs undergirding their objections.

Please read, take note, and consider…

The Journey

“Jessie still had her phone 24/7. I ‘trusted’ her, despite knowing that many of her friends were online half the night. I knew some of them self-harmed, or starved themselves, or posted half-naked pictures online. I know now that it isn’t about trust. No one ever thinks their child is doing that stuff. Social media cliques are like a spiral, ever more insular and self-serving. They are more than the sum of the parts of their users. The internet can be a great source of support, but whole online communities have grown up to normalise disturbing behaviours…

“If my bright, happy child was vulnerable, anybody’s child can be vulnerable. You can’t ‘trust’ your child not to get drawn into a cult, any more than you can trust them not to get run over by a truck.”

“She seemed much happier after telling me and then went to bed, a million miles away, in her room next to mine. I went to bed too, and the darkness screamed at me. I got up again, and spent the night googling ‘transgender’ and crying. I tried to be open-minded. I wanted to support Jessie more than anything; to do the best thing to help her, but I was sure transition wasn’t the answer she needed. I told myself I was open-minded, but was I really? Was I in denial? I slept very little over the following weeks.”

“A link on that site led to the children’s trans support group, ‘Mermaids’. which is run by parents who believe their children are born in the wrong bodies. Their advice to confused teens, in the section ‘I think I’m trans, what do I do?’ is ‘you can speak to your GP without your parents being able to know if you are not comfortable with coming out to them yet.’”

“Everywhere I looked, the internet seemed eager to affirm that transition was a simple and marvellous thing, the one and only solution to all the problems of physical and social dysphoria. If you don’t support your child’s transition, parents are warned over and over again, they will probably try to kill themselves.”

“I learned that if you don’t believe a man can become a woman; if you are gender critical, you will be called a TERF, transphobic and told to ‘educate yourself’ at best; ‘die in a fire’ at worst. I became familiar with the term ‘die cis scum’ (‘cis’ are non-trans people). I learned that if you are a lesbian who doesn’t want to give fellatio, you are transphobic. You may be called a cisbian and you are responsible for the ‘cotton ceiling’. Men get pregnant and you should say ‘chestfeeding’ not ‘breastfeeding’. Vulva cupcakes are violent. Women who menstruate should be called ‘menstruators’ so as not to trigger transwomen who cannot menstruate, or transmen who don’t wish to be reminded that they do. The term ‘female genital mutilation’ is ‘cis sexist’…”

“Often, middle-aged people with names like Misty or Crystal will be the ones helpfully explaining this to confused ‘non-binary’ youngsters. If your child thinks they’re trans, there are a host of interested adults out there. They’ll help you select underwear, they’ll advise you to start transition as early as you can. Some will advise you to keep your feelings from your parents because they may become ‘crazy, hateful people’ if you come out to them. Worried siblings are told to keep quiet if they don’t want suicide on their hands. A few clicks will get you tips on how to get a binder without your parents knowing; some sites will even post you a second-hand binder for free. Tips on how to get hold of hormones illegally online and how to get ‘top surgery’ quicker by lying to a therapist are just a few clicks away.”

“I did try to find Jessie a therapist who would help her reconcile with being female. The only openly gender critical therapist a Google search threw up lived in Texas. No use to us, then. I was put in touch with several people by email, but I could find no-one who worked in our area. Those I did communicate with were wonderfully supportive but asked me not to name them, not to give out their email address or talk about them. The message was clear – publicly questioning Transtopia could be professional suicide.”

“I tried to give her support and let her know that I would always love her, but I never wavered for a minute from the idea that a woman cannot ‘become’ a man. Jessie and I went out for walks, to the cinema; out to lunch. I watched her and thought how clever she was, how compassionate, how thoughtful, how beautiful. I couldn’t bear the thought that she might mutilate herself in pursuit of something she could never really have. I wore sunglasses far too often that summer, but it helped to hide my eyes.”

The Turnaround

“Jessie wrote a respectful but trans-critical post on her Tumblr account, and two of her ‘transboy’ followers messaged her saying they had also been feeling that way for some time and asked her to tell them more. She is currently messaging with several young people who are experiencing gender confusion. I hope she can help them, as her friend Hazel and I helped her, to realise that your potential should not be governed by your genitals; that the problem is gender and the solution is to try to change the system, not yourself.”

After turning back from the journey, the daughter had this to say:

“Although at the time I didn’t appreciate it, the constant repetition of “you can’t be a boy” did me good. A lot of good. I had been spending too much time on the internet and I had got it into my head that somehow, biological girls could really be boys, if they “identified” as such (& vice versa).

As someone who’s always had a mostly realistic grip on the world, for some reason I had been pulled into a world where boys could become girls and girls could become boys. I felt that because I said I was a boy, I was a boy.

At the time, I felt that my mum not immediately calling me Jake and using male pronouns was horrible and transphobic. But in the long run, without her resistance, I probably wouldn’t be as happy as I am today, as I would still be thinking I was a boy and trying to “pass” as a boy (which I would never be able to do without body-altering hormones.)

I think that if I had changed my pronouns in September, and registered at my college as a boy I would be a lot more unhappy as I would constantly be trying to “pass” and I wouldn’t be making the friends I wanted to, as I would be trying to fit in with the “male crowd”. When I arrived at my college, making friends wasn’t my primary motive, however the friends I have made are almost all female, and I don’t think I would have those friends if I had been trying to fit in as a boy.

Most of all, understanding gender as a social construct has taken me a long way in my personal life, and in my ideas about feminism and the way women and men are treated, especially women by the trans movement.

I’m glad that I realised before it was too late, as I am now happier in my own body and identity. I think that as a whole, many girls who wouldn’t’ve identified as transgender 10/20 years ago are now thinking they are which is dangerous and harmful to them, and that talking to them maturely and explaining gender as a social construct could really help them.”

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

A Peek Behind the Curtain of Pastoral Ministry

I’m far enough now in my pastoring journey to tell you from experience that the long hard years of struggle are worth it. Not everyone is called to this, and not everyone should desire to be called. But to this, I am called. And there’s nothing I’d rather do.

If you’ve never had an opportunity to peek behind the curtain of pastoral ministry, you’re likely unaware of some of the darker experiences of this vocation. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, and pastors who stay in one place long enough inevitably experience seasons of discouragement, fatigue, turmoil, and attack.
 
During these times it is easy to look elsewhere for love and affirmation. Another church calls, for example, and asks you to be a guest preacher in their worship service or at a special event. There’s nothing wrong with accepting, of course, and as long as your motives are pure it can be a refreshing adventure.
 
When you step onto a stage and face a group of people who have invited you, this one time, to speak to them about something, you know there’s probably a lot of affirmation in store for you afterwards. But this can (and often does) quickly turn into a kind of spiritual adultery. Not to stretch the marriage metaphor too far, but you might see an attractiveness in them; they might see the same in you. It’s like flirting, and it’s just as dangerous: you imagine possibilities you shouldn’t; you entertain thoughts better left unexplored.

Those who’ve invited you to speak don’t know much about you. They’ve probably heard some good things and want to check you out for themselves – possibly without an additional motive, possibly not. They might just be looking for a good guest preacher, but it’s also possible that there’s a vacant pastoral position at their church.
 
All you really know is that they thought well enough of you to invite you to speak and now here you are speaking, and there they are in front of you, attentively listening to your words.
 
The Clean Slate Illusion
Unlike when you look out at your own congregation, you have no idea who’s struggling with bitterness, battling substance abuse, thinking of leaving their spouse or addicted to pornography. Maybe none of these people are struggling with those things, but most likely some of them are. If you lack the insight and experience to know that this is true, it can make this new group of people an appealing avenue of potential escape from your current troubles.
 
At the same time, they look at you and see someone with a clean slate and tremendous potential. They don’t know about the things you struggle with as a human being and a pastor. They don’t yet see your annoying habits or your character faults.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

It seems like a match made in heaven, but as long as it’s based only on what we’ve presented to each other as our best selves, it’s probably doomed to failure.
 
Other Opportunities
And there are other opportunities to make an exit from a painful situation. There’s the lure of publishing and subsequent speaking opportunities on the conference circuit. No doubt some are called to this form of itinerant ministry but some pursue it as an escape from the rigours and limits of local church leadership.
 
The truth is, with all this affirmation from people who don’t know you as well as your own congregation does, it’s quite easy to succumb to the temptation to be impressed with yourself too! And when you’re a pastor and it’s been a rough week (or month… or year!) it’s quite easy to start thinking about these other things you do on the side that seem to have a considerable upside and virtually no downside.

But in the end, this is an illusion. Being a best-selling author and travelling speaker has an appeal, but the truth is I would miss the daily strains and pressures of pastoring. I would miss the discipline that it builds into my life and the time and opportunities it affords me to take long looks at God’s word on a regular basis.
 
I’m far enough now in my pastoring journey to tell you from experience that the long hard years of struggle are worth it. Not everyone is called to this, and not everyone should desire to be called. But to this, I am called. And there’s nothing I’d rather do.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)


 

Hormone Replacement Therapy, Pastors Aren’t the Brand, and A Uniquely Stupid Period – Points of Interest for Sept. 27, 2022

The Medical Leash of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Please carefully read these words by someone who had undergone this process.

“I am permanently leashed to a medical provider. My only freedom is that I can pick who holds the leash. The children who are being transitioned are being needlessly put onto this leash. They typically start the process with healthy bodies, but then so-called medical professionals assist these children in deliberately—permanently—damaging them. Why? For aesthetics.”

“It should never be considered normal or preferable to treat problems like autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, traumas, depression, or other social disorders by placing children on puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones. It is not a treatment path. It is a collar and a chain.”

(PLEASE!) Continue reading…

Pastors Aren’t the Brand

These are good and helpful words by my friend Darryl Dash

“Work at building ministry around Jesus, not around you. Guard against the pastor being the main face of the church. Focus on servanthood. Look for ways to not meet the unhealthy expectations of leadership that put too much emphasis on the leader. Make Sundays less about the pastor and his gifts. Shift the focus to Christ.”

“Churches: look for pastors who are interchangeable in the best sense of the word. When they’re done, another faithful pastor can take their place. Look for someone who is committed to working with other leaders and serving in private, not just in public.”

Continue reading…

Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid

Take a look at this long but fascinating article that helps to make some sense of the societal disorder we’ve seen since the advent of social media.

“A democracy cannot survive if its public squares are places where people fear speaking up and where no stable consensus can be reached. Social media’s empowerment of the far left, the far right, domestic trolls, and foreign agents is creating a system that looks less like democracy and more like rule by the most aggressive.”

Continue reading…

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

When Temptation Leads to Slaughter

In a scene in Proverbs 7:22-23, a young man is in thrall to an adulterous woman and we read that “All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.

In the preceding verses (10-21), we see a taxonomy of scheming temptations. The woman has been pleading with him to succumb to her earnest appeals. And then “all at once” he follows her. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t tempted until this point, but that he feigned unwillingness – but it was all part of the dance. And now this persistent chipping away has exposed the wide fault lines of his weak dam of resistance.

This seemingly sudden surrender was sealed long before the temptations were applied. The young man had earlier ensured his fate by moving toward temptation instead of away from it. The narrator explains: “I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.” (v7-9)

We almost always lose our battles with temptation long before any physical action occurs. Temptations abound; if we don’t recognize and identify them, we will be gently led astray. And if we do, in fact, recognize them but walk toward them anyway, we should not fool ourselves and think that we too will not “all at once” be overcome by them.

Lust, gossip, slander, greed, or some other pernicious sin is at this moment “crouching at your door” (Gen. 4:7), preparing to invite you to abandon the path of righteousness and enter its false haven of pleasure, of finely covered couches and fragrantly perfumed beds.

Recognize this reality early and daily and walk in the other direction. Remain on the path of righteousness by doing as Paul instructs in Galatians 5:16: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Don’t Share Your Pronouns, Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend, and Preaching to Children – Points of Interest for Sept. 12, 2022

When Asked ‘What Are Your Pronouns,’ Don’t Answer

Here’s a take on the pronouns debate from a non-religious evolutionary biologist.

“Coercing people into publicly stating their pronouns in the name of ‘inclusion’ is a Trojan horse that empowers gender ideology and expands its reach. It is the thin end of the gender activists’ wedge designed to normalize their worldview. Participating in pronoun rituals makes you complicit in gender ideology’s regressive belief system, thereby legitimizing it. Far from an innocuous act signaling support for inclusion, it serves as an implicit endorsement of gender ideology and all of its radical tenets.”

continue reading

How Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend Helps Explain Transgenderism

I’m not into football (or whatever sport this is about) but this is a sadly fascinating story nonetheless.

“Most young adults today have grown up in a world where they’re known mostly by how they “present” themselves online. They take for granted that a certain distance between their real self and their online self is normal. In some ways, the many possibilities of a digital self have become more compelling than the boring old embodied self in all its limitations.”

“For adolescents especially, struggling through awkward bodily development, embracing a disembodied identity online can feel like a reprieve.”

Preacher, Don’t Forget to Speak to the Children

“Preacher, you should speak to the children in your sermons. It’s a fun and endearing task. I’m not always successful, but I try in every sermon to make a specific application to children. This helps them to perk up and listen. It helps them to know that their pastor cares about them. But most importantly, it communicates that the preached Word is for them, too.”

“Churches tend to prioritize what their pastors prioritize. So I’ve noticed that my applications to children have pushed the church as a whole to build intergenerational relationships.”

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Discord is a Groomer’s Paradise: A Warning to Parents

What I’m about to share is not fear-mongering and the dangerous truth about what you’ll read below is well-known by people who would know: police, principals, and psychotherapists. I’ve received direct personal confirmation from at least one of each that they know Discord is a problem among teens. 

Discord says this about itself: “IMAGINE A PLACE…where you can belong to a school club, a gaming group, or a worldwide art community. Where just you and a handful of friends can spend time together. A place that makes it easy to talk every day and hang out more often.”

Don’t believe the hype. Instead, this is the reality: Discord is a groomer’s paradise. 

A groomer is “someone who builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.” Discord is filled with such people.

In the News

This CNN story captures the reality well:

“CNN Business spoke to nearly a dozen parents who shared stories about their teenagers being exposed to self-harm chats, sexually explicit content and sexual predators on the platform, including users they believed were older men seeking inappropriate pictures and videos.”

“A father outside Boston, who initially didn’t think much of his 13-year-old daughter downloading Discord last summer ‘because she’s a gamer,’ later discovered she had been talking with a man in his 30s who was looking for photos of her and wanted to engage in ‘naughty cam’ activities, in messages reviewed by CNN Business.”

“Discord ranked among the top five apps or platforms for content flagged by its algorithms for severe violence, bullying, sexual content and suicidal ideation.”

“Exploitative content… an umbrella category which encompasses sexually explicit material… went from around 130,000 removals in the second half of 2020 to 238,000 in the first half of 2021, and the removal of exploitative content servers – which Discord defines as non-consensual pornography and sexual content related to minors – nearly doubled to more than 11,000.”

Are Your Kids on Discord? 

Have you taken a close look at what they’re into and accessing? It could be that they are only connecting with gamer friends, but many parents have learned too late that there was much more going on. 

Discord is not an innocuous place for “gamer kids” to gather. It’s a candy store located in the red-light district. It’s a G-rated movie playing on a double bill with an adult film. It’s a breeding ground for predators and a slaughterhouse for many impressionable kids. 

You might be afraid to take a look and find out, but you should do it anyway – the sooner the better.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at www.michaelkrahn.com or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)