Nothing says Christmas like a water buffalo. For a poor family in Asia, getting a water buffalo is like getting a farm tractor to pull a plow, or getting a milk truck full of delicious milk, or getting a stand at the market to sell cheese. A water buffalo opens the door for work, food, and income. More importantly, it opens the door to talk about Jesus.
And nothing says Christmas better than that. This is Robbie Dilmore from The Christian Car Guy and Kingdom Pursuit, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build a kingdom. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.
Enjoy it and share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. What Christ calls us to do. Dr. Chris Hughes cuts through the fog of our culture and news cycle with truth and compassion, pointing you to God's word and a Christian perspective. I will never be ashamed to be an American.
We don't have to be ashamed to love a country that was founded on biblical principles. The Christian perspective with Chris Hughes, Saturday afternoons at three on the Truth Triad. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective.
This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for. A coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about.
Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate and author.
Here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes. Welcome to the Christian perspective where we look in God's word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. Paul Horrocks has a unique gift in showing how Christians have led the way in promoting justice and human flourishing for more than 2000 years. And those of you that listen to the show know that I love history and I found a guest today who loves history too. Paul and his podcast and blogs brings inspirational stories of incredible courage of Christians around the world, not only from times past, but he finds people today who are displaying courage as they take a stand for Jesus and the culture around the world. So Paul Horrocks, welcome to the Christian perspective. Thanks so much for having me on, Chris. Paul, I'm excited. You know, we recently got connected by a mutual friend and I've looked at your website and I can't wait to get a copy of your book. I'm just excited about what you're doing and the difference that you're making around the world and kind of your ministry.
You're really focusing on something that nobody else is talking about is the courage of Christians that are taking a stand around the country. But I want to ask, because you have an incredible testimony that I think many of our listeners can relate to. If you can kind of share your story of how you grew up in the church and went away and why you came back, I'd love for you to share your testimony with our audience today.
Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up in a Christian home. My dad's a pastor.
I always joke that I must have been a difficult kid because when he baptized me, he held me under just a little too long. And so everything was good except when I went off to college, I decided I was done with Christianity. I wanted to do things my way. I wanted to chase the things of the world.
And basically from the time I was 18 till about 30, that's what I did. I chased the things of the world and I found that they were just incredibly empty. That when you're chasing money and fame and power and women and so forth, there's just nothing that ever satisfies you. And I used to ask friends in my 20s, what happens if I accomplish my goals?
What happens if I have success in business or I make a lot of money or whatever it is? And they never had an answer. They would always sort of look at me funny, like, well, what do you mean? I said, well, what happens next?
And there's just nothing that will ever satisfy you. So in my early 30s, I started to re-explore Christianity by reading apologetic books and going back to church and basically just re-exploring what does it mean to be a Christian as an adult. And kind of a three-year process came to the view that, hey, this is real, that there really was a Jesus and he really did come down in the form of a man and died on a cross, and that is the path to salvation, and that that story is true. And what was interesting, though, about that process is that when I grew up in the church, the men and the women in the church, when the culture and the Bible came into conflict, they tended to go with the Bible. However, when I came back to the church, I came back in New York City, and the churches that I was attending, what I found surprising is that the folks that attended church, that when the culture and the Bible came into conflict, they tended to go with the culture. And so it felt like something had changed while I was away from Christianity, and all of a sudden, hey, more and more people are saying, I'm going to choose the culture over the Bible when it's difficult. Well, I'm sorry if I can interrupt you.
I really want to dive into that part that you just mentioned. But before I do, you talk about how you took a break, basically, when you went away to college and you left the church. And Paul, that's a real problem in our culture today. A lot of surveys show that a lot of kids that grew up in the church left, and many never come back.
In your research, do you have a theory of why that's happening? And then was there something that triggered you that made you want to come back to the Lord at some point later on? Yeah, I mean, I think there's a lot of reasons that kids walk away. In my case, I was very involved in church, and my parents did a great job, and they have four kids, and I tell them they went three for four. The other three never walked away.
I did. I was a black sheep. But what I see with a lot of kids is that while they're growing up, they're attending churches where no one is explaining to them what we believe in the Bible in these difficult areas, where the culture and the Bible come into conflict. And so when they go off to college, my observation is, very often, that's the only voice they're hearing. The only truth they're hearing is what the culture is telling them, and colleges and universities tend to be liberal and tend to have a worldview that's more secular humanist and anti-Christian. And so that's my thought on why so many are walking away, because no one has prepared them to have that conversation. No one's prepared them to say, look, this is what we believe and why we believe and why it's truth. And so when you get challenged on it, here's how you can respond to it. And, Paul, I think you hit the nail on the head there, because so many, I believe at least, that so many pastors and youth pastors believe that you just have to spoon feed almost baby food to young people.
And that's not the case. I think with the generation, we have a very intelligent generation of young people out there right now, and they want to know the truth. They want to dig into issues and learn more. And if the church doesn't give it to them, just like you said, they're going to take it from their liberal university or wherever they are, because they're hungry for knowledge and they're just not getting it in the church today. And I just challenge the pastors listening and the youth pastors and Sunday school teachers, dig into the Bible and teach young people what God's word has to say so they're prepared when they go out into the world. Well, as you were sharing your testimony, you said you came back and you found that the church was choosing culture over the Bible.
Why do you think that happened? Well, there is this seeker friendly movement that a lot of churches said, hey, we want to get people in the door. We want to emphasize the popular parts of the Bible. And the theory, I think, was we'll get people in and then over time, they'll really come to understand the Bible. But my observation is that what ended up happening is that a lot of these churches, rather than trying to explain to people how to conform their lives to the Bible, they ended up trying to conform the Bible to the culture and saying, hey, I'm going to emphasize these popular parts.
I'm going to show you how you can continue to live the way you're living but still believe in what the Bible has to say. And so the part about discipleship kind of got skipped. And I know when I would talk to different pastors at some of the different churches I attend and really challenge them, you know, why aren't we talking about these tougher issues?
Why aren't we going for discipleship? I just got a series of excuses as to why they weren't doing it. And they weren't good excuses.
They were really excuses, quite frankly. And so that was just my observation is that there's this push to be seeker friendly. And on top of that, of course, if you talk about tough things, a lot of times people will leave your church. They don't necessarily want to hear it. And so a lot of pastors don't know how to deal with that, how to deal with the risk that, hey, people are going to leave my church.
And I think that's a real fear. And I think a lot of pastors are going to have to answer to God one day because he calls us as men and women of God to boldly proclaim the word of God and not be afraid of losing people or losing ties or whatever the case may be. And because of that, I think we've in many ways turned our culture over to a non-Christian society today, and we're going to be held accountable for that one day before the Lord.
So what do you think we can do? I know I'm with an organization called Citizens for America Foundation, and we travel around and have luncheons for pastors across the country. And we encourage pastors to preach the whole word of God and not to avoid those subjects.
But many of our listeners are going to churches where pastors are not addressing these issues. And you said in your testimony that you began to read apologetics, books on apologetics. And so those of you listening, that's kind of a churchy word. But basically, apologetics is a way to defend your faith. You learn answers to questions to defend your faith.
So, Paul, are there some good books that you read that you might recommend to our listeners who want to learn more about these issues and learn how to defend their faith? Well, when I was coming back, I was reading books that were really basic and just, hey, was Christianity truth? And so a great example of that would be The Case for Christ. And that is a great book. And it just explains, it was written by an author who was going through the process of really figuring out, was Christianity true?
He was a court reporter and came at it from really a lawyer perspective. And his wife had become a Christian, and he was trying to literally disprove that Christianity was true. But in the process, of course, ended up convincing himself that Christianity was true. And so that's a great book because it really just digs into the basics of here's why we believe Christianity is true. In terms of some of the tougher issues, I would say start with the Bible.
One of the things I observed is that there's not a push at a lot of churches to get people to read the Bible on a regular basis. And we really have to start with that foundation. This show is brought to you by Generous Joes, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for. A coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. And so challenge yourself to read through the Bible in a year. I know a lot of people think that sounds intimidating, but you can actually read through the Bible in about 70 hours. It's a little bit more than an hour a week.
It's not actually that much time, maybe 15 minutes a day. You can get through the whole thing. And there are apps where you can listen to the Bible on your phone.
And so it's really simple to do that. So that's honestly where I would tell people to start. And then if they want to graduate to some of these more intense books, there's lots of other things out there they can read as well.
Yeah, I think that's great advice, Paul. You know, a lot of people today turn to other books, but you can't forego reading the Bible. How can you defend the Bible if you don't even really know what it says? And you shouldn't be trusting an author. You should, as you say, dig into the word of God yourself. And I've heard people say, well, I read it years ago. But you know, what I find is no matter how many times you read it, God shows you something new every time you do read it.
So I would encourage people to get there on the online. There are a ton of programs out there that they can show you. You can read a little bit of the New Testament, a little bit of the Old Testament every day. Or, you know, you can even read it in three months if you read about 13 or 14 chapters a day.
So it can be done. But like you recommended, you can get these apps where, you know, some great voices like James Earl Jones, you know, Darth Vader is reading the Bible to you. But there are great programs out there when you're driving, you know, just turn it on and listen to it while you're driving. So I thank you for that recommendation, because we really do need to understand our faith. Another good book is and you mentioned the case for Christ. That's Lee Strobel, who wrote that. He's written a series of other books and he has really got in gotten into apologetics.
I think it might be Canyon University. There's some university now that's opened a school of apologetics named after Lee Strobel. He's got some great work. There are other authors. There's another real good book. Chuck Colson is now dead, but he's got a book, How Now Shall We Live, that covers a lot of issues as well.
But your recommendation is spot on. We need to read the Bible first and and then go from there. So you've kind of now I think through the ministry of your father and so forth, you really decided to focus in on the courage of men in the Bible, men around the world.
How did that happen and how did that lead to the book that you wrote? Yeah. So my experience coming back to church is that there was this focus on it's really easy to be a Christian, that this secret friendly mentality is, hey, anyone can be a Christian. It's really easy.
And I would sit there and think, no, it's not. It's actually quite hard to be a Christian if you really live out the commands of the Bible, because there's constant pressure from the culture not to do that. And so I wanted to start highlighting that, saying, wait a minute, we're giving people the wrong message. And I think, quite frankly, with men in particular, they don't respond to that message. When you tell a man that, hey, it's really easy to do this, they might think to themselves, well, why do I want to do it then?
Who cares? But if you tell a man, hey, it's really hard to do this, they're much more interested and much more willing to explore it. And one of the things I used to joke about when I came back to the church is I said, look, I grew up with it and I really had a foundation in this and I understood it. But if I had not grown up with it and I came to this secret friendly church and everyone said, hey, it's really easy to be a Christian, and I looked around and most of the people were not doing it so well, I would say, well, if it's so easy, why are you all so terrible at it?
So I think it just sends the wrong message and it seems very hypocritical. So that's what really inspired me to want to get involved in this and to say, we need to start highlighting how hard it is to be a Christian, but why it's also worth it to be a Christian. Well, your book is called Tough Guys of the Bible, is that correct?
Yes. So when you were writing the book, you know, we all know about David and Goliath and, excuse me, some of the more common stories. Did you find characters in the Bible that maybe some people don't know about that had a story of courage that you share in your book? Yeah, so the book is really the stories of courage of these men in the Bible and their incredible characteristics, as well as more recent men, including some men from my dad's ministry. And there's some men in the Bible, when you think about them, you may not think about them in terms of courage.
And one I always like to point out is Stephen. So when we think of Stephen, we think of him as the first martyr, and I think we think of him really as a victim, especially in today's culture where being a victim is a really big thing. But Stephen had incredible courage. For him to go out and proclaim the Bible, it was because he was proclaiming it so aggressively that this group of Jews really put him in front of the Sanhedrin Council. But then once he was in front of the Sanhedrin Council, he didn't shrink from this challenge that was laid in front of him. What he did is he basically gave these members of the Sanhedrin Council a history lesson.
He talked about the history of the Jewish race and how they rejected all these prophets and ultimately rejected Jesus. And that's really what led to them getting so angry that they stoned him. And so I think when we think about Stephen, he was incredibly courageous. And of course, no one wants that end.
It would not be fun to be stoned. But when you think about him, just think about what courage it took to stand in front of that group of experts and just read them the riot act and tell them what God had laid on his heart. So that's one great example of somebody who had incredible courage, who you might not think of as somebody who had courage in the Bible. Yeah, and you're right. I've never really thought about that side of him.
I mean, it was courageous for him to take a stand, but we do look at him as a victim. So God really gave you some good insights then when you were studying these characters for your book. Does the book have a... I think you have a companion Bible study book or a group study book that goes with your book?
Yes, we do. So we have a Bible study. You can go to biblicalcourage.com and you can request the Bible study and it's basically following these eight characters.
And we're basically doing an eight-week study showing you how different men in the Bible had courage and how we can respond to it. It's designed for men. Certainly women can use it, but it is really designed for a men's Bible study. Have you thought about doing like a companion book of women at some point? Yes, I mentioned that in our introduction that, look, there's incredible women in the Bible who are so courageous, but that's just not the purpose of this particular book and what I say is stay tuned and that's the type of thing that I would probably write with my wife and bring her perspective into it. But yeah, there's incredible women. When you think about Mary's courage, when you think about Esther's courage, there's all these women who you would want to highlight.
So that's certainly something that we've thought about for the future. Yeah, there are so many great people in the Bible. One of my favorite characters is a guy named Shamgar that most people have never heard of. He's only mentioned in two verses in the Bible and he was a farmer and wicked people were taking over the area and he just used an instrument that he used to kind of herd cows and work with cows and God used him in a mighty way to defeat the enemy and kind of save the nation of Israel. So there are a lot of great stories in the Bible.
And again, we don't know them if we don't jump into the Bible and read God's word. Well, I'm excited about the book. Are you getting a lot of traction with the Bible study portion of it?
Yeah, people are signing up and they're interested and we're getting really positive feedback from people who've gone through it. And so we hope that it's an encouragement. And quite frankly, our hope, both with the book and with the Bible study, is that as you read through these studies and through this book, that it will cause you to go and read those passages in the Bible. In the book itself, we heavily footnoted it, footnoted it to an extreme measure that my editor thought I was going overboard. We did it on purpose because we really wanted to make it really simple for you to read a story and say, hey, I'm going to go back and read the full passage in the Bible and really understand these characters in a deeper way.
That's great. And folks, if you're listening, the website is biblicalcourage.com. That's biblicalcourage.com. And you have a podcast as well. Is that on the same website?
It is. So you can get to the podcast there. And the podcast is really just an extension of the book where we're highlighting more recent people who have incredible biblical courage, people who are taking risks to serve Jesus in different ways. Some of them might be missionaries. Some of them might be people who just took risks in their job.
Some of them might be people who started different ministries. And so, in fact, we interviewed you recently. We're going to have you in an upcoming podcast and really love what you're doing with your ministry. And it's something that is so needed and, quite frankly, something that is going to bring you some grief from people.
And we talked a little bit on the podcast about some of the heat you've already taken in your life from people who don't like your message. But that's the type of story that we want to highlight. Well, are there some other examples or is there somebody that really jumps out as someone who is taking a stand in the culture today and is paying a price for it, but they're displaying courage anyway? Yes, I'll tell you some people from the book that I love.
And these are really people from my dad's ministry who you wouldn't necessarily know their names because they're not people who are well-known, but did incredible things and courageous things in their life. And one is in the book with a guy named Chris. And so Chris has a job. He's a salesperson. And the boss comes in and announces to the sales team, look, we are going to start deceptively billing our clients.
We're going to start adding extra hours and bills onto what we're doing. And so Chris is a single income household. His wife doesn't work. He's got five kids.
He's the only provider. And he goes home and says, what am I going to do here? He's been talking about his faith at work.
All of a sudden, people are looking at him saying, hey, is your faith real or is it something that you just talk about, but when it's going to cost you something, you walk away from? So the next day, Chris goes into work and what he does is he says to the boss, look, I love your company. I wanted to work here, but I cannot participate in this deceptive billing practice. And so I have to resign. And what his boss did was say, you know what?
I'm not going to do that. And he threw out this plan to deceptively bill the clients. And so a couple of things happened there. Number one, Chris took the risk. He was willing to walk away from his job, even though he didn't have another one lined up. But God arranged it so that he would not have to lose his income.
God could have addressed that some other way if the boss had told him to go ahead and he accepted his resignation. But the other thing that Chris did is he had an incredible testimony at work where his faith really showed up in his actions. And on top of that, he blessed all these other salespeople because they were going to have to make the same choice.
Do I stay there and do I participate in this deceptive billing practice or do I leave? Because he spoke up, because he took the risk, the rest of them didn't have to deal with that choice. And so he blessed all the other salespeople in the organization as a result of his testimony and his willingness to take risk. Boy, that's an incredible testimony. And there are stories like that probably all over the world today of Christians who are taking a stand. And, you know, Paul, I know you know with what's going on not only in our country, but around the world. This is really becoming a time of persecution for Christians. A lot of people don't believe it, but it's just going to get more and more difficult. And if you read the Bible, you know, it's not a surprise. The Bible tells us that this time is going to come.
And if we don't do something as men and women of God, if we don't take a stand in the culture today, we're going to lose the right and the privilege we have to share Jesus Christ. So it really is a trying time. So that's really exciting. So your podcast, does it come out on a regular schedule if somebody wants to find it? Yeah, so we try to release one every week. We try to release them on Wednesday.
I can't say that I've been perfect in that, but that's the goal. And if they want to come, they can go to biblicalcourage.com, or they can certainly go to Spotify or Apple or Google or wherever else podcasts are heard, and typically we have it on there. And it's, again, more recent stories of people who've taken risk. The first podcast we did was actually an interesting story of a man named Joel DeHart, and Joel was a missionary, or really, I shouldn't say missionary, a Christian aid worker in Afghanistan. And this is in the early 90s.
This is long before anyone knew where Afghanistan was or we went to war with them. But he's over there and he's on an animal health project where they are vaccinating animals to basically save them. And he's there with a veterinarian and they're training people how to take care of their animals. And a warlord kidnaps him. And the warlord basically is trying to hold him for ransom, he's trying to hold the veterinarian for ransom. And so the story is really, he's held prisoner for six months, but he never doubts God. And he continues to pray, he continues to bless his captors by teaching them English, by doing chores for them, by trying to tell them about Jesus. And so all through this, he just maintains his faith, even though he's very disappointed every day when he wakes up and he's not released. But over a six month period, he is ultimately released.
He doesn't know why, he doesn't know how that came about. But it's just an incredible story of somebody who maintained his faith in a really difficult circumstance and continued to serve God. And God has used him, has used that story, and just continues to use him in a powerful way. What an amazing testimony.
You know, we think about what we would do in situations like that, but we really don't know until the time comes. And it's easy to not be a man of courage, as you talk about in your podcast, in your book, and to go along and take the easy route out and try to avoid the pain and persecution that would come. And so we need examples of this, like this man in our life where we can look and see, you know, how to take a stand and to be a witness. You know, what a great story, where not only is he telling him about Jesus, but he's serving him doing chores. I got to be honest, Paul, I don't know if I would be like that, but God knows what he can see us through. And I pray that I have the courage and others will as well. So, guys, if you're listening, I just want to ask you to visit biblicalcourage.com. That's biblicalcourage.com.
And every Wednesday you should get a new release of a podcast. We need inspirational stories. We hear about other people, but we very rarely hear stories today and even in the church of people who are taking a stand in the culture for Jesus Christ and displaying that courage. And then if you want to read a great book, you can go to his website and get it.
It's probably on Amazon and other sites as well. It's called Tough Guys of the Bible. That's tough guys of the Bible.
And then you can also get his study guide, which I would recommend if you have a home study group or Sunday school class or maybe a Wednesday or Sunday night Bible study to check out. This would be a great, great Bible study for you to go through. Paul, I know you're tired. We called you in the middle of night and you're on a trip in California, but I thank you so much for being here with us today. And thank you for all you're doing to impact the culture. Really appreciate the opportunity to tell my story, Chris. Well, thank you and thank you for joining me today.
I'm Chris Hughes. This is The Christian Perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast and share it with your friends on social media. Now, let's go change the culture for Jesus. This show is brought to you by Generous Joes, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for. A coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at ShopGenerousJoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. In our modern culture, it's easy to find yourself thinking like the world, but this is not what Christ calls us to do. Dr. Chris Hughes cuts through the fog of our culture and news cycle with truth and compassion pointing you to God's word and a Christian perspective. I will never be ashamed to be an American. We don't have to be ashamed to love a country that was founded on biblical principles. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes, Saturday afternoons at three on the Truth Triad. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-08 07:31:48 / 2023-07-08 07:44:04 / 12