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Why the Term Patriarchy Needs a Vacation

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-bandaged-bearded-sad-man-shrugs-his-hands-confusion-image41966882By Jesse Jost

God gave us the role of ambassadors of his heavenly kingdom to our earthly nations. We are to communicate His message of love and reconciliation in a way others will understand. When an ambassador travels to a foreign country, he must learn the native tongue. He can’t just speak his own language and feel like he has done his duty. He must also seek to understand the baggage that words or concepts may have accrued. 

The spirit of Christ-like love compels us to put the needs of those around us ahead of our own. I think the way this applies to communication is that when we speak, we don’t just focus on being articulate and polishing our words; our goal is to make sure the person we are speaking to accurately receives the message we are sending. We need to ask the other person to repeat what we said in their own choice of words to see if what they received matches up with what we meant.

Your backstory is showing

To achieve clear communication, we need to be sensitive to be people’s backstory – how their past shaped the way they feel about certain words. People often hear a term, and shut their brain off after assuming what you mean by it. We can’t merely attack or defend a term; we need to be aware of how our audience is using the term, because that is what they will hear you attacking or defending. For instance, I talk to people about avoiding sexualized dating, and occasionally call my alternative “courtship.” A person in my audience may have experienced “courtship” as fathers controlling adult children, and that you are worthless if you have dated or have had premarital sex. This is not at all what I meant when I said “courtship,” but that person’s past associations caused them to assume I was teaching those other things as well. We could get into a sharp debate about “courtship,” but until we take the time to listen to how we are each using the term, we will never reach an understanding.

Homeschool Abuse

In the homeschool community right now, many cases of abuse are coming to light. Abuse of authority, abuse of scripture, abuse of family roles, and even sexual abuse. These are terrible and it is our mission in advancing Christ’s kingdom to deal with these abuses and defend the oppressed. Continue reading…

  • Heather

    Thank you for saying this. Our definitions of words can really hinder us when we have a different understanding of the words being used.

  • Ben Bush Jr

    Part of the problem with “patriarchy” was the idea that the Puritans were wholly biblical in their worldview. That in itself should be a warning to us. This brand of Calvinism is nothing more than Catholicism lite.

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When Archie Bunker Met Patriarchy

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-angry-mature-man-holding-belt-posing-isolated-white-background-image31994314By Jesse Jost

There are some very bad fathers out there, and the world is hurting because of it! Daughters are being controlled or ignored. Wives are being abused or neglected. Sons are following in the footsteps of their arrogant, bigoted, narrow-minded fathers. And it is happening in a movement known as “Patriarchy.” It is also happening in the movements known as Feminism, Green Peace, Gay Pride, Liberalism, and any of the Civil Rights movements.

You don’t have to look very far to find a dad who has failed his family. Fathers were given the monumental responsibility of lovingly protecting and providing for their families. When the father is removed, or chooses to abandon these obligations, the family is left vulnerable and suffers greatly. Because fatherhood is vital to a healthy family, and thereby a healthy world, Satan hates fatherhood!

I want to warn you about some ways that Satan sabotages fathers, but I also want issue a challenge to support the men who are fighting for biblical fatherhood. Continue reading…

  • Ann

    I was so blessed to read this and find someone who is finally addressing what the real problem is – it is not the Bible or trying to do things God’s way, etc. It is always the heart; and it doesn’t matter if your are homeschooled or public schooled (and it happens out there!), sin is sin no matter where it happens. The world is full of it – look at sex-trafficking, drug abuse, people abuse, gossip in the office (or the church), etc – it goes on and on and on. The world is full of sin and pain and sorrow. Christian leaders outside the homeschool circle have fallen – Tom White of VOM fell. What a grief! It has nothing to do with homeschooling. It is also not helpful that we tend to blame many of our sinful attitudes on the food we eat, or our hormones or our birth order – sin is sin. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and we need to be abiding in Christ – He will change us as we do that. Col 3 says to have our thoughts on things above – not on things of the earth. As much as we are able, we ought to be keeping our thoughts on Him, studying Him, loving Him, following Him, etc. It may be true that our hormones are out of balance – perhaps because we don’t eat right or maybe it is because we are an angry person or anxious – these things affect our hormones (I realize there may be other causes). We need to repent and eat right. And we aren”t stuck with the hopelessness of our birth order – whatever it might be. He promises to always be there to help us – when we are tempted to be angry or if we are tired or whatever – we can call on Him in our time of need. We can ask for strength for the day. We can confess anger and ask Him to cleanse it away, etc. He is our help and our hope alone.

  • Garrison Thomas

    Very much appreciate your words of honesty, Jessie. We NEED this. I’m a firm believer in getting to the root. That concept can and needs to be applied to everything we look at. It amazes me how people, myself included more often than not, are willing to address the evidence of a deeper problem. Getting to the root is hard work; it’s like trying to dig up a tree. Leaders, especially men leaders, are DESPERATELY needed. I hope your blog can reach the rest of us in need of an awakening to let God utterly strip away our pride and selfishness and rely on Him for… well, everything. “Fierce dependence”. Two of my most favorite words. God bless your blog. I draw a lot of encouragement from your work.

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The Modesty Talk for Men

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-surprised-young-man-shocked-facial-expression-image15787159By Jesse Jost

I have held my tongue long enough. Of course, I hold my tongue like a toddler holds a 25 lb. barbell. As women shed their winter fur (coats) along with most of whatever else they used to wear, the modesty debate rises to the surface, trying to take the place of the discarded clothing. I read almost every modesty article, pro and anti, that shows up in my various news feeds. I believe quite strongly in the merits of modest dressing as I wrote here. However, while women have been scrutinized, harped on, measured, and discouraged, I see a serious problem that modesty culture has obviously not done enough to address.

Modesty is often held up as The Way to help men overcome their lust problem. The consequences of this idea are lethal: Guys feel helpless or justified in succumbing to the lustful glance whenever they see a girl who is “immodest” by their standard. Girls get discouraged and then angry when they feel like they are unfairly carrying the burden of men’s purity. Because they react to this bad reason for modesty, they often can’t see the more valid and godly reasons for modesty and throw clothing restraint to the wind.

I want to be clear upfront: modesty will not solve the problem of lust! I am ashamed that we Christian men have let this problem get so far. We need be more ruthless in attacking lust and take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. It is ridiculous to blame the Christian girl in your circle for your lustful thoughts. If you lusted after her, she is not the problem. If she was completely covered up you could still find a way to lust, if not over her then over some other girl, and in our sexually charged culture, you wouldn’t have to look very far, in fact, perhaps no farther than your next thought. Continue reading…

  • A sister in Christ

    And just to clarify, sir, what your wife is doing aggravates me greatly. Not only because of how it affects you as her husband, but also because it greatly affects your children and may easily skew their ideas of marriage and family and ultimately God. That is the worst part. I am sick of seeing so many messed up families.

  • Still Learning

    Anonoymous, I’m glad you read the book 5 Love Languages. When I was still only dating my wife I overheard someone with an awesome marriage talking with a coworker about how he finds it redicuouls that people study english and math and history for over a decade of their life in school but when it comes to how to have a successful relationship with a spouse we will spend the rest of our lives with most people resign themselves to a few counseling sessions the months leading up to marriage if they are even willing to do that. I’ve taken it to heart and been blessed enough to have a mentor in my life that has had a long and successful marriage guide me in my perpetual growth in this area. If you have are still willing to study there are a few other books that have helped me a great deal. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggeriches and His Needs Her Needs by Willard E. Harley have been incredibily insightful and definitely opened my eyes to a whole new way of communicating in ‘her’ language and vice versa. (I had to read and take action first and she because interested in where I learned to connect better so that she decided to read it herself.) A solid rule to live by in every aspect of life but seems to apply specifically here in this circumstance: Be the example. As men we may not be nearly as attractive as a women but we can’t be hypocrites. And don’t expect a 1 to 1 ratio in returns. Just as a basic leadership principle the bad example we show tends to get duplicated twice as much. The good example we live out only tends to be duplicated half as much. In other words put in twice as much effort as you wish your wife would put in. If you want to understand women better so that you can reach your wife better and engage in more emotional and heartfelt communication a fantastic book to read is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge. A book that really lays out the role of the man better than any other I have read thus far is Maximized Manhood by Edwin Louis Cole. John and Lisa Bevere have also written some amazingly insightful and challenging books that have forced me to confront areas of my live I was dropping the ball and didn’t even realize it. They have a marriage devotional called the The Story of Marriage that engages both spouses. John wrote one that may help renew your spirit called The Bait of Satan.
    These are a few that I’ve found incredibly helpful and recommend as often as I can and I even have copies in my car of several of these so that I can loan them out when needed. The only other advice that I have is to find someone that has a great marriage and become a protege. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor.10:13) Also, Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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A Plea for Intellectual Humility

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-hands-clasped-prayer-around-holy-bible-focus-image31705898By Jesse Jost

There is a universal human condition known as “naïve realism.” It is the tendency to believe that what we perceive is reality. Our brain prides itself on its ability to see things clearly. Our sight is reliable, isn’t it? Our ability to observe and make sense of what we perceive is remarkable. But life is far more complex than we can comprehend. There is way too much going on for our minds to be able to take it all in. We miss details – in fact, it is impossible to not miss them.

In the center of your eye there is a blind spot that cannot receive information. We are walking around with a hole in our vision but we never know it because the brain says, “No problem, I’ll just guess at what should fill in that blank.” The brain then makes up information to complete the picture. It does an amazing job of guessing correctly most of the time, and we get along fine, until someone asks us to get something for them from the cupboard!

What our brain does with our physical blind spot is exactly what it does with our metaphorical blind spots. We have huge knowledge gaps about the world around us, but the brain makes up information to complete the picture and we smugly think we see it all. Naïve realism. Not a big deal, right? It’s a system that seems to be working well. You’ve probably heard it said that the devil is in the details. I would like to argue that the devil is in the details that get missed. Our faulty perception is the devil’s playground. I believe our enemy is very eager to help fill in the blind spots with erroneous information that is designed to deceive and destroy the body of Christ. Continue reading…

  • Jamie

    Speaking the Truth in love….very important. Truth being the prominent object, love the vehicle. My one question would be, if in doctrinal issues other than the gospel, we are to see ourselves as fallible, and be open to the idea that our friend, with whom we may disagree, may be correct…. to be consistent, shouldn’t we also use that same principle in our understanding of the gospel itself? ” Perhaps our atheist friend is correct? Maybe I am wrong and need to change my opinion?” LOTS of good thoughts in your blog that we can all benefit from, but I am confused at how you differentiate our ability to discern some Truth from other Truth. (i.e. – we can wholly trust our view of what the gospel is, but distrust our understanding of say…Grace and Works, male and female roles, end times, etc., etc.) Shouldn’t our fallibility drive us to 2 Tim 2:15..study, study, study, accurately handling the Word of Truth. And speak the truth in love as accurately as we know how. Not to be ‘right’, but simple because God has graciously given us His Truth. Lots of it. And yes, another believer may have more Scriptural knowledge than we do, which should be humbly considered. Polemics used to be a core seminary subject, but has been routed out by the PC police. Just don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • Jesse Jost

    Jamie, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I have been wrestling with this issue since I posted this and I have written a postscript to clarify my position. God bless!

  • jamie

    Great postscript. You are a good thinker and writer. I look forward to reading your blog.

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Brain Tricks: Simple Ways to Exploit Your Human

By Wormwood, Ph. D.

(Intercepted by Jesse Jost)

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-brain-wash-artist-wipes-human-brain-eraser-eps-image31595399The human brain is a disgustingly powerful little tool. But there are certain design flaws (others would call them “efficiencies”) that we demons can capitalize on to maximize human misery. I want to share some strategies I’ve honed over the centuries that take full advantage of the brain’s natural weaknesses.

These strategies work because humans place way too much trust in their powers of perception. When a human looks at the world, he believes that what he sees is the way things really are. When he remembers, he trusts that his vivid memories are accurate, and when he imagines the future, he assumes he is seeing clearly. Obviously we know that there is far too much going on in the world for any human mind to fully grasp it all, so the brain is selective in what it records and what it ignores. When the brain records what is going on around it, it chooses what sensory details to remember and what to leave out. If a person did not have this ability to tune things out, he would go crazy.

Most humans are aware of the fact that they miss certain details and they are okay with that, yet they are also confident that they have an accurate view of what is going on. But when they pull up their memories, there is a process going on they seem to be blissfully unaware of. You see, they think their memory is like a video recorder and that the memory files are stored just like they are recorded. But if everything was actually recorded that way, these files would be way too big for the brain to handle. In reality, the brain only selects a few key details and stores them in a compressed file. When the brain recalls a memory, it pulls up those details. However, in order to recreate the memory, the few details are not enough, and this is where it gets fun for us.   Continue reading…

  • Don Frantz

    Excellent, Jesse. So much accurate recognition of our weakness, via the mouth of one who wants to do us harm. So glad you intercepted and shared the letter!

  • Lori

    Amen and amen. Thank you so much for sharing, Jesse. I have found these principles true in my own life and I praise Jesus for the over riding power of His Spirit to turn evil experiences into something beautiful.

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Confessions of a Purity Advocate

By Jesse Jost


PENTAX ImageI struggle with lust. I have found myself doing things that if I knew others were watching me, I would nearly die of shame. I know what it is like to feel that I am no longer in control, shocked at where I am headed. When I hear of another Christian leader falling prey to sexual scandal, I cannot judge them; I can only shudder at our mutual frailty. I have been terrified to look back and find that I was under some kind of spell, hungry for something that I normally would abhor.

Fighting when you don’t want to win

In most battles, the combatants want to win. What makes the battle against temptation so difficult is that when the battle is the fiercest, you no longer want to win. Fighting for a victory that you want to lose takes more willpower than most of us have. So I fall. Then I prayerfully knock off the dust and get up and keep fighting. Why? Is the battle for purity really that important?

In the middle of the struggle, our hideous enemy uses some kind of potent chemical warfare that causes us to forget the reasons this fight is important. I want to record why I fight for holiness. But first, I want to clarify what this purity struggle isn’t. Continue reading…

  • Tys

    Jesse, great style of writing and well organized, you have a very compelling and engaging style of literature. It stems from the topics that you’re very passionate about, and I love how it translates a level of dedication to your work and life, simply through your words. Always great to read about you buddy

  • Jesse Jost

    Thanks, Tyson. That means a lot!

  • annonymous wife

    You are not alone in your fight. You are rare to admit it openly. It is needed to be talked about. The fight is far more common than any will admit. It is a fight that both my husband and I have. It took us years to confess to each other these struggles and talk openly. We have had to deal with a lot of pain from emotional/virtual infidelity. Some may not think that’s a big deal but truth be told it cuts just as deep. Jesus said if you lust after a woman in your heart you have already committed adultery with her. And it feels the same as flesh adultery in the marriage. It’s so agonizing, you think you have it beat and next thing you know you are down that road again. The Lord is good and does leave us a way out but am still always disgusted that we started down the path in the first place. And though I rarely hear of it, it is a struggle for us women too. It is an evil work that destroys trust in a marriage. I can’t even count the hours of agony I have spent alone mourning and nursing my wounded heart and pride from my husbands infidelity, then to be reminded my thoughts are no better, I just kept them inside and did not act on them. It is even embarrassing writing this little note about it. I am afraid someone might read it and recognize me. More so I am afraid they might get tripped up seeing a Christian fighting this. So thank you for being bold enough to take the first step. I pray it blesses others to admit the problems, and fight the devil and his cruel tactics. Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

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A Poisonous Reason for Emotional Purity (and an Antidote)

 hearthaloBy Jesse Jost

In an effort to keep young people from entering a damaging series of physical and emotional romantic entanglements followed by painful break ups, a number of writers have appealed, “save your heart for your future spouse!” They claimed that every time you had your heart broken, it became lessened in some way, and was now less special because you had an emotional attachment to someone other than the one you would marry. You had given away a piece of your heart and no longer had your whole heart to give. The pure un-bruised and unbroken heart was more valuable to your spouse and would make your love deeper and more fulfilling. It was an idea that sounded good on the surface, and appealed to parents and young people alike. But I believe presenting the message in these terms has put a fatal twist on the truth and is creating devastating consequences.

The side effects:

Lost vision

In a world of deceptive hearts longing for love, it is just a matter of time before someone breaks yours. The only way to avoid having your heart broken is to never love and never hope. People who choose to love will give parts of their heart away and will be hurt. For the vast majority of young people who have loved and been hurt, it’s a discouraging thought that their chances of a quality marriage are tied to whether or not their heart has been broken. Continue reading…

  • LM

    No matter how one tries to ‘guard one’s heart’, if there is a moment when one decided to take the plunge and believe in love, there is also vulnerability. Trust can always be broken, ever after tying the knot. Eventually, we have to trust in God and the nudges He is giving us. We can believe in His goodness, but that does not eradicate the risk of being rejected and let down, at some point… There is no sure guarantee from heartache, before we safely enter the Gates of Heaven!

  • Lydia

    Thank you SO much for this article! It was exactly what I needed to hear for what I’m going through as a young 20 something single.

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Breakdown: A Demon’s Guide to Communication

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-young-nerd-hacker-virus-hacking-thoughts-green-background-image35193479 A demon’s guide to using communication effectively.

By Dr. Wormwood PhD

(Message intercepted by Jesse Jost)

Communication breakdown is an excellent way to destroy relationships. Historically this has been one of our greatest and most effective tools. I always marvel at how easy it is to use and how much damage it can cause. One of my favorite books is Jack Hornfield’s inspirational “Human Soup for the Demon’s Soul.”  In it he includes story after touching story of countless marriages crumbling under the skillful use of communication breakdown. In this article, I will explore some tactics I have found very effective after   centuries of seeking new means to bring down these loathsome creatures. I will show you the pitfalls to avoid and how to ensure that the lines of communication stay down. I know you will be inspired to use these simple tricks to bring ruin to your own subjects. Continue reading…

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Choosing Life

by Jesse Jost

Recently a young father in our community was suddenly taken from this life when his sprayer made contact with an over head power line. He left behind a beautiful wife and two small boys and a whole community searching for answers. How could God let this happen? How dare he break up a young couple like that? Those are tough questions. Losing your life partner ranks near the top of the list of the most painful things that can happen to a human. When God allows a spouse to die, emotions are shattered and God’s goodness is called into question. But this tragedy raised a different troubling issue for me. This same community that is in shock that God would allow a death in a marriage has seen the death of many other marriages. These other marriages were not involuntarily broken apart, rather the death was willingly chosen. No, it wasn’t murder that broke the sacred bonds of matrimony, it was divorce. 

Continue reading…

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What do they hear?

The Importance of Listening in Evangelism

Good communication is a challenge at the best of times. With a myriad of differences in the way each person thinks, processes, and uses words, the seemingly simple procedure of sending and receiving information can become as difficult as rain-making. Continue reading…

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