Category Archives: link

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

josgolev-1

The movie Don Jon, which was written, directed, and starred in by Gordon-Levitt, features a good looking macho man who has no trouble with the ladies. However, he finds that regardless of all the beautiful women that he meets, and then after getting into a relationship with his dream girl, he realizes he is severely addicted to internet porn and openly admits that real women/real sex can never compare to porn.

In an interview talking about his character in the movie and the message of the film, Gordon-Levitt said:

“Everything in Jon’s life is sort of a one-way street. He is not connecting or engaging with anyone. That goes for the women in his life… It’s an item on a checklist. He doesn’t listen; he just takes. At the beginning of the movie, he is finding that dissatisfying because there’s the sequence where he brings a young lady home from the bar and he is comparing her to this checklist that he has gotten off of what he likes to see in a pornography video. Obviously, a real human being is not going to map onto that because there is a fundamental difference between a human being and an image on a screen.”

Since the movie, Gordon-Levitt has been open about his feeling about how the media and pornography depicts people and relationships. What a boss.

Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug

Who

We’re a group of passionate and innovative problem-solvers who want to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of pornography through creative mediums.

Story

Pornography used to be a matter of personal opinion. Some people felt it was natural, normal, and even expected it to be consumed. Others felt it was “bad” or “wrong” due to their own religious beliefs or political views. However, few people, if any, seemed to have concrete evidence to support their points of view.

As young college students not too long ago, we came across the recent science of how porn affects the brain and we were shocked! After further study we began to find that porn not only had negative effects on the individual, but that pornography’s influence was causing huge problems in relationships, tearing apart families and that production of pornography was often inseparably connected to the world of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. The research was clear that pornography has negative neurological effects, is damaging to relationships, and is impacting our society as a whole. Most of all, we couldn’t believe that all this was happening and nobody was talking about it! We quickly became passionate about educating the world (specifically teens) and raising awareness on the issue. In 2009, we officially became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and began this campaign.

We are the first generation in the history of the world to face the issue of pornography to this intensity and scale. We’re also the first generation with a scientific, fact-based understanding of the harm pornography can do. With that knowledge, we feel the responsibility to share with others that porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and affects society as a whole. Our movement uses nothing but science, research, and personal accounts to bring this issue out into the open and get people talking about something that has previously been considered taboo.

By choosing to Fight pornography, FTND followers can help shape their own lives for the better. By spreading this message to others however, they hold the power to shape history. From that simple idea, Fight the New Drug and the ‘Porn Kills Love’ movement was born.

WE ARE THE FIRST GENERATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD TO FACE THE ISSUE OF PORNOGRAPHY TO THIS INTENSITY AND SCALE. WE’RE ALSO THE FIRST GENERATION WITH A SCIENTIFIC, FACT-BASED UNDERSTANDING OF THE HARM PORNOGRAPHY CAN DO.

Mission

Fight the New Drug exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.

With an all-inclusive approach, we carry our anti-pornography message across borders of religious beliefs, political agenda, and social backgrounds by presenting it as a public health issue, rather than as a moral, political or religious argument.

As a nonprofit organization, we at Fight the New Drug give live presentations on the harmful effects of pornography in schools (public and private) and universities throughout North America. In just five years, we have toured the country and presented our message to over 300 schools reaching hundreds of thousands of teens. We are also delivering our message through social media and have gathered a massive following that has created a powerful social movement online. In addition to spreading awareness, we also assist young people who are already struggling with porn addiction through our unique online program: the Fortify Program. As we present our message, not only do we educate teens on the harmful effects of pornography to allow them to make an informed decision but we also give them a place to turn for help, as so many are silently struggling and are too ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for help.

 

Mormonism in a Nutshell

mattslick4Matt Slick is the founder and president of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.  He wrote the following article: Mormonism in a Nutshell.

Mormonism in a Nutshell.

Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another world, and that he became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on his home world.  He brought his wife to this world, a woman he had married on the other world.  She is essentially a goddess.

In his present god-state, he rules our world.  He has a body of flesh and bones.  Since god and his wife are both exalted persons, they each possess physical bodies.  In their exalted states as deities, they produce spirit children that grow and mature in the spiritual realm.  The first spirit born was Jesus.  Afterwards, Lucifer was born along with the rest of us.  So, Mormonism teaches that we all pre-existed in the spirit realm–having been produced from the union of god and his goddess wife.  Therefore, we all existed in spirit form before coming down and entering the bodies of human babies that are being born on earth.  During this ‘compression’ into the infant state, the memories of our pre-existence is ‘veiled.’

According to Mormonism, this god’s name is Elohim

God the father, who is called Elohim, was concerned for the future salvation of the people on earth. In the heavenly realm, the Father had a plan for the salvation of the world.  Jesus endorsed the Father’s plan.  Lucifer did not.  Lucifer became jealous and rebelled.  In his rebellion, he convinced a large portion of the spirits existing in heaven to side with him and oppose god.  God, being more powerful then they, cursed these rebellious spirits to become demons.  They can never be born in human bodies.

The remaining spirits sided with God.  Since they chose the better way, when it comes time for them to live on earth, they have the privilege of being born in races and locations that are relative to their condition and choice made in the spirit realm.1

The Plan of Salvation

In the Mormon plan of salvation there needed to be a savior: Jesus.  But Jesus was a spirit in heaven.  For him to be born on earth, Brigham Young, the second prophet of the Mormon church, said that instead of letting any other man do it, God the Father did it with Mary.  He said that the birth of our savior was as natural as the birth of our parents.  Essentially, what this means is that Brigham Young taught that god the father came down and had relations with Mary, his spirit daughter, to produce the body of Jesus.  Though many Mormons will not entertain such incestuous thoughts about God and Mary, this is what Brigham Young taught; and as far as we know, this has not been denied by the Mormon church.

Nevertheless, Jesus was born, got married, and had children.2 He died on the cross and paid for sins–but not on the cross only.  According to Mormonism, the atonement of Christ was not only on the cross.  It began in the Garden of Gethsemane before he went to the cross.

BYOG (Be Your Own God)

In Mormonism, men and women have the potential of becoming gods.  President Lorenzo Snow said, “As god once was, man is. As God is, man may become.”  In order to reach this exalted state of godhood, a person must first become a good Mormon, pay a full ten percent tithe to the Mormon church, follow various laws and ordinances of the church, and be found worthy.  At this point, they receive a temple recommend, whereupon the Mormon is allowed to enter the sacred temples in order to go through a set of secret rituals: baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, and various oaths of secrecy and commitment.  Additionally, four secret handshakes are taught so the believing Mormon, upon entering the third level of Mormon heaven, can shake hands with god in a certain pattern.  This celestial ritual is for the purpose of permitting entrance into the highest level of heaven.3  For those who achieve this highest of heavens, exaltation to godhood awaits them.  Then he or she will be permitted to have his or her own planet and be the god of his own world, and the Mormon system will be expanded to other planets.

Please see Mormon Beliefs, are they Christian? for further documentation of Mormon beliefs.

What else did God create?

The fifth question in the New City Catechism asks:  What Else did God Create?

God created all things by his powerful Word, and all his creation was very good; everything flourished under his loving rule.

The Bible on: What Else did God Create?

Genesis 1:31

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Commentary on: What Else did God Create?

God did by his power create of nothing heaven, earth, and the sea; which he did immediately adorn and enrich with all kinds of good things. And into this world…it pleased him to bring man, to whom he did put all things in subjection….

How great our God is; how great the power of God is; how good, rich, and liberal to man, who never deserved any such thing at his hand, our God is, who hath created so great riches, so exquisite delights, and such furniture as cannot be sufficiently praised, for man alone, and hath made them all subject, and will have them all to obey man as their lord and master…. But here by the way, in the creation of the world, we have to consider the preservation and government of the whole by the same God. For neither doth the world stand and endure by any power of its own; neither do those things move and stir of their own accord….

It is a most absurd thing to say, that God hath created all things, but that he hath no care of the things which he hath made; and that his creature, as a boat destitute of a steersman, is with contrary winds tossed to and fro, and knocked and cracked upon shelves and rocks…. God…doth care for and regard the state of mortal men and of all the things that he hath made for the use of mortal men….

Therefore God hath not only created the world and all things that are in the world; but doth also govern and preserve them at this day, and shall govern and preserve them even till the end.

Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575). A Swiss reformer, and the successor of Zwingli as head of the Zurich church, Bullinger wrote both theological and historical works comprising some 127 titles. There exist about 12,000 letters from and to Bullinger, the most extended correspondence preserved from Reformation times. He corresponded with Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Elizabeth I of England, Christian II of Denmark, and Frederick III Elector Palatine among others.

From “That God is the Creator of All Things: The Fourth Sermon” in “The Other Eight Sermons of the Fourth Decade” in Decades of Henry Bullinger, translated by H.I., Volume 4 (Cambridge: University Press, 1851), 177–179.

R. Kent Hughes on:  What Else did God Create?

Prayer on:  What Else did God Create?

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who wast and art to come; eternal, without beginning or end; immense, without all bounds or measure; the infinite Spirit, Father, Word, and Holy Ghost. The infinite Life, Understanding, and Will, infinitely powerful, wise, and good.

Of thee, and through thee, and to thee, are all things. To thee be glory for evermore. All thy works declare thy glory, for thy glorious perfections appear on all; and for thy glory, and the pleasure of thy holy will, didst thou create them. The heavens, and all the hosts thereof; the sun, and all the glorious stars; the fire, with its motion, light, and heat; the earth, and all that dwell thereon, with all its sweet and beauteous ornaments; the air, and all the meteors; the great deeps, and all that swim therein: all are the preachers of thy praise, and show forth the great Creator’s glory.

How great is that power which made so great a world of nothing; which, with wonderful swiftness, moveth those great and glorious luminaries which in a moment send forth the influences of their motion, light and heat, through all the air, to sea and earth.

Thy powerful life giveth life to all; and preserveth this frame of nature, which thou hast made. How glorious is that wisdom which ordereth all things, and assigneth to all their place and office, and by its perfect laws maintaineth the beauty and harmony of all! How glorious is that goodness and love which made all good, and very good! We praise and glorify thee, our Lord and Owner; for we, and all things, are thine own.

Richard Baxter (1615–1691). An English Puritan, Baxter served as a chaplain in the army of Oliver Cromwell and as a pastor in Kidderminster. When James II was overthrown, he was persecuted and imprisoned for 18 months. He continued to preach, writing at the time that: “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” As well as his theological works he was a poet and hymn-writer. He also wrote his own Family Catechism.

From “A Shorter Form of Praise and Prayer for the Lord’s Day” in “The Poor Man’s Family Book” in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, Volume 19 (London: Paternoster, 1830), 635–636.

How Pastors Counsel

A short reflection from Ed Welch: How Pastors Counsel

He is a pastor who schedules two full days of counseling each week, and he has done this for years.

“How do you structure those days?” That was my first question. I was wondering how many people he scheduled, how often, and if he does it alone or with other church leaders in the room. My question wasn’t that important. I was actually more interested in my next question about what he was learning as a result of those two days a week.

“I make appointments every hour and a half, and I speak with each person or couple for a little less than an hour.” That made sense. Counselors often write down notes after a meeting, or get a cup of tea, or check email.

Then he said, as if it were obvious, “I use that half hour to pray for the next counseling time.”

I had no more questions. I learned from him everything I needed to know.


Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D. is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written many books and articles on biblical counseling, including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression; Running Scared; Shame Interrupted; and Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love. He and his wife, Sheri, have two married daughters and eight grandchildren. In his spare time, Ed enjoys spending time with his wife and extended family and playing his guitar.

How Pastors Counsel

7 Cups

7 Cups of Tea

7 cups“We all need emotional support from time to time. Our vision is that one day, every single person will have their own listener. With the help of technology, 7 Cups of Tea is bringing together caring people who want to help others with those who just need to talk to someone. Help us spread the word. Give peace of mind to people in need of a kind ear, heartfelt compassion and real understanding.”

Down with the Sickness

I called in sick the other day.  I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather for a few weeks now.  Initially, I thought it was the flu.  And as such took one day off work last week.  But for the rest of the week felt up to going, if not 100%.

Less than altogether better, I could have easily called off Friday nights engagement.  As it was, I cancelled my Saturday appointment and have contributed to the revenue of producers and sellers of cold and flu medication.

Following a weekend of singing, I went to work with sandpaper voice/throat.  After not sleeping well Monday night, I decided to take Tuesday off.

Therefore, while I capitalised upon the opportunity to get some more sleep and keep warm, social media distraction got the better of me.  And so, scrolling Facebook, I came upon a post from a friend who works in mental health.

Time Online

Admittedly, I spend a lot of time online.  This has been the case since I bought my first computer half a lifetime ago.  I have wondered, in light of my aspirations, whether there was a forum for really helping people online.  Sure, there has been generic and unintentional chat rooms and other social media platforms.  But before this week, I didn’t know there was a place intent on bringing people together.  In terms of my counselling training, we talk about seekers and helpers.

Introducing 7 Cups of Tea.

According to the ever trustworthy Wikipedia:

“7 Cups (formerly called 7 Cups of Tea) is a website (also an app) which provides free support to people experiencing emotional distress by connecting them with trained listeners.  The listener, trained in active listening, interacts with the person seeking help via anonymous and confidential chat.”

So I signed up, did some basic training, and effectively took my first caller.  It has been a  great opportunity for me to put into practice some of my training, while at the same time, providing some real, compassion driven help to those seeking it.

This service is pretty much free, confidential, and anonymous for those seeking emotional support.  Upon login, listeners are presented with a list of members wanting someone to talk to.  Both members and listeners are identified and protected by a screen name.  Sharing of personal identifiers is strongly discouraged.

A conversation looks much like the typical chat room.  The listener introduces themselves, and the function that 7 cups exists to serve. A listener’s role is self-explanatory: to listen to members sharing their struggles, whatever those struggles might be.

So far I have had a dozen or so conversations and am finding it both challenging and rewarding.

Prolifers Want to Oppress Women

In a recent Facebook status, former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson defends the notion that prolifers want to oppress women.

Abby Says:

I hear abortion proponents (particularly women) say that prolifers want to “oppress” women.

Hmm. Let’s looks at some facts.

It was actually MEN on the Supreme Court who decided Roe v. Wade. It was two MEN who created NARAL. It was men who insisted that women were certainly not capable enough to be a mother and have a career…or to be a mother and get an education. The majority of abortion providers in this country are MEN.

Abortion is a design of the patriarchy. It says that women are less than. It says that being a mother makes a woman weak. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The prolife movement believes that women are strong enough to achieve their goals while being a mother. We believe that women are strong enough to handle whatever challenges they are faced with. We believe that the answer to a difficult situation is never to take the life of an innocent human being. We believe in women. Period.

Life empowers women.

About Abby JohnsonProlifers Want to Oppress Women

Abby Johnson has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement. During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose in the organization’s ranks and became a clinic director. She was increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity that they fought to decrease. Still, Abby loved the women that entered her clinic and her fellow workers. Despite a growing unrest within her, she stayed on and strove to serve women in crisis.

The Day the Music Changed

All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion.

She watched in horror as a 13 week baby fought, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist.

At that moment, the full realization of what abortion was and what she had dedicated her life to washed over Abby and a dramatic transformation took place. Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.

Planned Parenthood did not take Abby’s exodus sitting down. They are fully aware that the workers who leave are their greatest threat. Instantly, they took action to silence Abby with a gag order and took her to court. The lawsuit was quickly seen as the sham it was and thrown out of court.

The media was, and continues to be, intensely interested in Abby’s story as well as her continued efforts to advocate for the unborn and help clinic workers escape the abortion industry. She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows and the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.

She Started Singing

Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 150 workers leave the abortion industry. Abby lives in Texas with her husband and five precious children.

 

Practical Tips for Porn Free Living (1)

Practical resources to help protect your life, marriage, and family from the harms of pornography.

Focus on the Family NZ

Not only does pornography present a totally distorted view of human sexuality, but we now know that it harms individuals, marriages, and families. It is a major contributor to marital and family breakdown, it fuels the sex-trafficking industry and other sexual crime, and its negative effects on the human brain (especially in adolescence) can lead to sexual dysfunction and major addiction.

As if that weren’t bad enough, it is also now making its negative presence felt in the workplace where time and resources are regularly lost to the viewing and downloading of pornographic content.

Pervasive

Pornography is now so pervasive that young people are first exposed to sexually explicit content online well before adolescence, and most of the time this exposure was not deliberately sought out by children, but instead happens by accident.

To paraphrase a great Christian theologian: ‘The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the human person, the problem is that it doesn’t show enough.’

Pornography promotes the lie that human persons can be reduced to nothing more than bodies, to be used and disposed of as mere objects for the gratification of others, without any regard for the profound dignity of the human person who is made in the image and likeness of God.

Because of its serious harms to the human person, to marriages and to families, Focus on the Family NZ has made it a special priority to respond to this issue with the following practical resources aimed at helping individuals, couples and families respond to the problem of pornography with the best tools available.

Practical Tips for Porn Free Living.

One resource that Focus on the Family NZ are producing is a series of videos called: Practical Tips for Porn Free Living.

To quote:

In April 2016 we launched our brand new online video series; Practical Tips for Porn-Free Living.

As the name suggests, Practical Tips for Porn-Free Living isn’t merely another resource that highlights the problems associated with pornography. Instead it offers practical advice and concrete strategies that anyone struggling with pornography can implement in their personal life in order to start making forward momentum.

A brand new episode of Practical Tips for Porn-Free Living is posted on our YouTube channel, Facebook page and website every month.

There are now four episodes that I intend to post over the next five days.  If you can’t wait, or want to access this resource directly, the playlist is embedded.