Ministries to Support During This Turmoil

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold,” our LORD Jesus told us. “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Matthew 24:12-13)

We see the folly of lacking principle, the roots of the world’s strife, and our souls may well be vexed and our hearts closed and apathetic because it is just too exhausting to be an advocate for righteousness. Whom can we trust on the ground to deliver what the lost and persecuted need?

These are the tried-and-true ministries to whom I choose to tithe. They are smaller, more personal ministries with whom I generally have a personal connection.

PPF CompassionPersecution Project Foundation

I interviewed PPF founder Brad Phillips in 2011 (“Genocide in Sudan: An interview with Brad Phillips,” August 12, 2011, The Washington Times Communities) after being put in contact with him by friends of ours who are also involved in PPF, Matt and Jennie Chancey. These Christians are unique in their understanding of how the persecuted’s enemies abroad are our enemies, and our individuals and families reaching out as a community to impart compassion and self-sufficiency is more effective than any bureaucratized institution or government policy. Your gifts do not spoil in store rooms, nor arm our enemies.

Glory of ZionGlory of Zion International Ministries

Glory of Zion is one ministry especially committed to not quenching the Spirit or despising prophetic utterances, and is not afraid to bring the Word with authority to areas others might fear to tread in a time of war. You can choose to have your donation go specifically to the cause of Israel, where members of the GOZ family are living to minister to people there.

Smyrna MinistriesSmyrna Ministries

Like that church in Revelation 2:8-10, Smyrna Ministries holds to the hope that God knows their tribulation. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. An old friend of mine works for this organization, among the small staff that is very quietly, modestly in the background of their work to aid Christians in surviving Islamic persecution.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 11.16.12 AMRescue Christians (Walid Shoebat Ministries, Forum For Middle East Understanding)

I am acquainted with the Shoebats, who work to deliver and provide asylum to Christians persecuted by Islamic governments as well as aid in helping American citizens and media understand what is really going on in the Arab world.

Church for SkepticsChurch for Skeptics

Dan Arsenault is a friend and Biblical scholar based in Alabama who gives insights on Scripture, history, and philosophy in his weekly television program Church for Skeptics. Dan also travels abroad to preach the word and engage with unbelievers, particularly in secular Europe.

Watch some Church for Skeptics episodes here:

Sasha’s Hope

Sasha's HopeThe Tauntons are friends who have done timeless apologetic work in Alabama and abroad, and after adopting Sasha from the Ukraine have founded a ministry to protect (particularly Eastern European) orphans from sex trafficking.

Read my review of Larry Taunton’s book about Sasha’s adoption, The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief (“Debate meets reality in ‘The Grace Effect,'” January 7, 2012, The Washington Times Communities).

“The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.”
- Proverbs 11:25


The Power of Narrative

Our languishing culture is made up of individuals, not a collective mass audience. Most of them are blasé, complacent individuals. To simply confront them with holier-than-thou accusations or rah-rah chants is fruitless. Moral outrage doesn’t make sense to them anymore, and misplaced skepticism is profuse. How do you cure a patient who refuses to believe they are ill?

This is an age-old problem with an age-old solution. Do not merely inform them. Show them.

Imagine the thoughts that must have gone through the prophet’s mind as he walked to the residence of the King of Israel. Nathan was approaching David, the legendary musician and warrior who was – as God Himself said – a man after God’s own heart.

But David had just committed adultery with Bathsheba, and after learning she was pregnant by him he deliberately had her husband put on the front line of the fiercest battle so that he would be killed. After Bathsheba mourned her husband’s death, David took her as his wife. David had disgraced himself in front of YAHWEH, but he had grown so full of himself that he hadn’t even realized it.

How did the prophet break the news to the complacent king? With a parable.

Despite its subtlety, the story was powerful enough that David empathized with the story’s protagonist who was done wrong. He was so outraged by its heartless antagonist, in fact, that he said, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die” (II Samuel 12:5).

Then Nathan exclaimed, “YOU are the man!”

The realization brought David to his knees. He felt conviction because he had witnessed his own actions analogized in a story he had never heard before – a story from which he was otherwise personally detached. He was thus caught vulnerable, with no witty excuse prepared in order to plead his innocence. David was truly guilty.

The American people need to be told stories about themselves that they haven’t heard before – stories that suddenly reveal that the sort of character we despised is what we ourselves have become.

That’s why Matthew Perdie and I (likely to be joined by my siblings and some friends) are planning a venture into narrative film. He’s doing all the groundwork in New York City while I’m doing the screenwriting out here in Ohatchee, Alabama. I experimented with screenwriting a few years ago, and as I have just three classes left before graduating from college, I look forward to trying my hand at it again. Historical drama and epic are my passion, but modern themes will likely be explored first.

Our goal will be to use narrative film to awaken people’s consciences to seek the truth.

A “Kernel of Historicity” vs. the Faith of a Mustard Seed

(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

I’m not sure why that title came to my mind.  I suppose it’s just another one of my tributes to the downright stiff-necked mankind’s attempts at knowledge continuing to pale in contrast to the Bible.  Not everybody realizes that faith can be reasonable and sometimes “reason” is really blind faith. I still have yet to see any archaeological or paleontological evidence of macroevolution that hasn’t been revealed to be a hoax.

First they “discovered” that the Hebrews spoke Hebrew before they were captives in Babylon (imagine that).  Now they’re surprised that Israel might have been powerful enough during the reign of Solomon to build impressive fortifications.  Though I’m surprised these things were still publicly in question, I give archaeologists credit for admitting the evidence, and Yahoo credit for letting it make the homepage news.

“JERUSALEM – An Israeli archaeologist said Monday that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era.

If the age of the wall is correct, the finding would be an indication that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C.  That’s a key point of dispute among scholars, because it would match the Bible’s account that the Hebrew kings David and Solomon ruled from Jerusalem around that time.

While some Holy Land archaeologists support that version of history — including the archaeologist behind the dig, Eilat Mazar — others posit that David’s monarchy was largely mythical and that there was no strong government to speak of in that era…”

Click here to continue.

Some unabashedly think that “David’s monarchy was largely mythical”?  Are they related to the people who thought that Piltdown man wasn’t mythical?  Now for my favorite quote:

“‘There’s a kernel of historicity in the story of the kingdom of David,’ [Aren Maeir] said.”

As Brad Scott says to researchers, keep on looking.  Keep on studying.  All that is there to be found is more evidence for the existence of YAHWEH (the God of the Bible, in case you don’t know Him).  Before long they will be staring Him in the face.  Maybe in response you will try to be all smart-alecky and say that the accuracy of the Bible doesn’t directly correlate to the existence of the God of the Bible.  Keep on dreaming, people! If you argue like that, I’ll write an article that will make you cry.