I was first exposed to the realities of demon possession and spiritual warfare as a young teenager. My dad was a well-respected Southern Baptist minister who was gifted at expounding God’s Word and who had a huge heart to help hurting people. However, he had no idea the focal point of his career would end up being deliverance ministry . . . something he would eventually define as his life calling. It all started when a woman (who was part of a satanic coven) called my dad at midnight, saying someone had given her his phone number. She asked, "Is it true that since Satan is real, that God is real too?" This encounter began a long season of late night phone calls, emergent rushes out the door, threats on our family’s safety, and all night prayer vigils. And yet, my parents still welcomed this woman into our lives. She spent many nights sleeping in our guest room, even over Christmas. I watched my parents evolve as they tried to help this woman out of profound demonic bondage, all the while struggling to keep up with an unfamiliar learning curve. But their faith drove them forward, fueled by love for God and love for people . . .

I was taught from a young age that Jesus was the only way to God, and that if I accepted Him as my Savior then I would go to heaven. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. All I had to do was believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins, ask God’s forgiveness, and then accept His free gift of salvation. I believed what my parents told me . . . and what child wouldn’t do that in order to spend eternity in paradise instead of hell? With my child-like faith, I said the prayer and sealed the deal. However, I remember even then thinking how fortunate I was to be born into a Christian family. I wondered about people raised in other cultures or religions, and how a loving God could send them to hell. I mean what if my parents were Muslim or Jewish or Hindu and had a different understanding of “truth” – I am guessing I would have just followed their lead into a different faith . . . and with no less sincerity! So due to mere chance (or God’s "cruel" election), I would have gone to hell for believing the wrong thing. But I know for certain that God is good, so something does not . . .

Over the past decade, I have watched several of my Christian friends walk away from their faith. And these were no laissez-fair Christians either – they were passionate Jesus lovers who ran after God and seized every opportunity to share His love with others. But now, some of these same friends deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and have embraced a form of religious pluralism instead (the belief that there are many ways to God and we will all end up in heaven). So what happened - how did they get derailed? And what can we do to . . .

“Can you take my kids to school for me,” my friend asks, “I woke up late.” I had invited my friend and her kids to spend the weekend at my house because I enjoyed hanging out with her. It was now Monday morning and she needed a favor . . . but she seemed to expect me to solve her problem. I had gotten up early because I wanted to spend some time with the Lord before I went to work, and if I helped her out I would not have time for that or a shower. I did not want to do it, but I wondered if I was being selfish. Doesn’t the Bible say we are to put others first? When someone asks, aren’t we supposed to go the extra mile, to give others the shirt off our back? Doesn’t Scripture admonish us to pick up our cross and die daily? So, I reluctantly agreed to bring her kids to school . . . in attempt to “do the right thing.” Normally doing the right thing felt good – but doing this favor made me feel lousy inside . . . 

We are finally past the election, but my sigh of relief has morphed into the forlorn realization that each party remains married to their offenses. I have always hated politics, so I intentionally avoided conversations and Facebook posts on the topic. But even now, after the people have voted, the heated discussions continue. Many are feeling despondent, fearful about the future of our nation, and apprehensive about how this new leadership will affect them personally.

This messy, and often volatile, exchange between people on both “sides” of the argument has left me pondering where the church fits in. For what issues should we take a stand . . . 

There are many viewpoints within churches that have divided congregations over the centuries, and continue to do so. Churches have separated over issues such as predestination, the current role of the Holy Spirit, the proper way to repent, and how we should take communion or get baptized. However, today Christians are wrestling with issues such as gay marriage, and questioning their perception of truth and morality in the process. The postmodern mindset of our day is growing, meaning many now believe that truth is relative. This philosophy, that everyone can define his or her own version of truth, has infiltrated even . . .