Articles & Position Papers
Alpha Christians have a rational and biblically informed worldview. Here are some articles and position papers  to help keep you informed and thinking biblically about today's issues. 
 
Written with MEN in mind, to toughen us up and strengthen our resolve as ALPHA CHRISTIANS.
THE DAY THE LOGIC DIED
That's crazy! That's insane! That makes no sense at all!
 
Bill Giovannetti offers a biblical explanation for why our culture is so contradictory, inconsistent, illogical, and hypocritical right now.
 
Societal insanity turns out to be just one lightning bolt in God's arsenal of divine judgment on a nation...
Keep Going
FAMILIES UNDER ATTACK
The nuclear family is a western, racist construct! You've heard the charge, but is it true? 
 
Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Porter discusses today's attack on the nuclear family. 
 
Discover why to oppose the nuclear family is to actually oppose God.
Keep Going
CAN CHRISTIANS SAY WE WILL NOT COMPLY?
Good Christians submit. They obey. They respect the government. But is there a time to push back? Is there a time to say WE WILL NOT COMPLY? 
 
Doug Porter, MFT, tells the story of three young men who faced an ancient version of self-proclaimed god, like political operatives of today. 
 
Keep Going
WHAT MARRIAGE PROVIDES
It's just a piece of paper, right? Even though we've never been "married," we believe we're married in the eyes of God. 
 
Bill Giovannetti argues why traditional marriage is indispensable, not only to society, but to the emotional health of men. 
 
Alpha Christians want to Make Marriage Great Again!
Keep Going
QUALITIES OF A MASCULINE SOUL
What makes a man? Are men and women different? 
 
Bill Giovannetti describes four qualities of a masculine soul, along with perversions of the qualities when we're dominated by the Flesh. 
 
As Alpha Christians, we want to Make Men Men Again. A video version of this article is on our Resources page. 
Keep Going
HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR
Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear..." but so many refuse to hear. 
 
In this article, Doug Porter, MFT, tells a story of a city in grave peril, but unwilling to see it. Unwilling to admit it. 
 
Alpha Christians are committed to sounding the warning. But what if no one listens? 
Keep Going
MARRIAGE & DIVORCE & CHILDREN
God loves everybody, but hates divorce. Anyone who's gone through it hates divorce too. 
 
Doug Porter, MFT, brings decades of experience as a therapist to describe the impact of divorce on kids, without condemning anyone for their experiences. 
 
Grace is there for all. 
Keep Going
THE CASE FOR PATRIOTISM
Can Christians be PATRIOTIC while still being loyal to Jesus? 
 
As a patriotic, unapologetic, flag-waving American, Bill Giovannetti lays a biblical case for patriotism
 
We have a generation raised on globalism. It's time to reconstruct patriotism and love of country as God's plan for the world. 
Keep Going
WHO PAYS FOR COMPASSION
We are routinely called heartless bullies for resisting government programs for variously needy people. 
 
Bill Giovannetti points out that compassion is never in play when politicians spend other people's money.
 
No one can claim "compassion points" without personal sacrifice. 
Keep Going
HOW BUREAUCRATS ENABLE TYRANNY
American lawmakers have increasingly abdicated their roles. They are delegating ever more law making powers to unelected bureaucrats.
 
In this article, Bill Giovannetti, argues why this is the foundation of tyranny. 
 
It isn't just the dictator who oppresses us. It's that lifelong appointee in the permit office.
Keep Going
FIFTY SHADES OF NO WAY
Like never before, we see the mainstreaming of pornography in all its forms. 
 
In this 2015 article, Bill Giovannetti responds to the responds to the runaway success of Fifty Shades of Grey. 
 
The damage done by pornography is incalculable. Always protect your heart. 
Keep Going
LESSONS MY DAD TAUGHT ME
Fathers matter. They matter far more than we think.  
 
In this article, first published the day after his father died, Bill Giovannetti reflects on lessons from his dad. 
 
If a gruff, rugged old Italian who rarely went to church made a difference in his son's life, you can too. Read and find out more. 
Keep Going
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
THE DAY THE LOGIC DIED
That's crazy! That's insane! That makes no sense at all!
How many times have you heard yourself saying that today's society is absolutely nuts? There is a reason for this, and it is biblical, and it is more messed up, more devious, and more diabolical than meets the eye.
Societal insanity turns out to be just one lightning bolt in God's arsenal of divine judgment on a nation.
When our collective brains break down, the devil swoops in, so says Scripture.

Welcome to the collapse of the USA... unless...

In Romans chapter one — one of the Bible's most infamous and wonderfully offensive chapters — Saint Paul describes four phases in God's blistering judgment of a nation.
He starts with the ominous promise that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).
Clued-in historians might someday etch "they suppressed the truth" on the tombstone of America.
Paul then spells out how this wrath plays out in four phases.

Phase One
In phase one, the nation turns God into a thing.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:22,23).
An idol, a non-entity, a handy pocket edition, a force, the Force, an elevated human, nothing-but-love, the Heavenly Grandfather— anything but the infinite, personal, fiercely holy, transcendent Creator God.
The recipe is clear. Stir in heaping amounts of Darwin, Freud, and Marx. Sprinkle on liberal helpings of Kinsey, Nietzsche and postmodernism. Marinate in critical race theory and intersectionality. Bake in a hot oven, and God is dead.
Actually, God died a long time ago in the American consciousness. The church griped about it, then played nice with crazy people, then baptized that craziness in crap theology, begging for the smack down of phase two.

Phase Two
In phase two, the nation devolves into rampant sexual sin.
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen" (Romans 1:24,25).
We might call this Sexual Revolution 1.0, such as happened in the 1960s through 1980s in America. By every metric Christianity and the nation not only broke God's moral laws, we shattered them. Alpha Christians put up a fight, but we proved no match for a hostile takeover of every major institution in our country by perverts. By the time Sexual Revolution 1.0 reigned supreme, fornication was expected, public schools gleefully guided kids as they slipped condoms onto bananas, cohabitation was normalized, abortion because late-term birth control, and every conceivable form of porn was only as far away as your cell phone.
Alpha Christians noticed, but, well, let's just say "frog in the kettle."
This is our societal guilt, and we are "without excuse." When the family unit is disrupted, children are traumatized, and that trauma makes them frantic in the "sex, drugs, rock and roll" department... thus forming our collective slide into even greater judgment from God.

Phase Three
In phase three, the nation moves from a sexual revolution to a homosexual revolution.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26,27)
"God gave them up." Wake up!
We are currently slogging through the river of scat that is Sexual Revolution 2.0.
All of us are both victims and perps of this mess.
We are victims because our families largely suck, and we were reared like baboons (with apologies to primates everywhere). The consequence is a broken heart, and what the New Testament calls pleonexia (Romans 1:29). Commonly translated as greed or covetousness, the word indicates a frantic search for happiness.
Spousal bonding is largely broken through Satan's war on marriage. Parental bonding is broken through Satan's war on parenting. Children's hearts are broken by weak or non-existent bonds with dad, over-bonding (or revulsion) with mom, and a sexual inversion that has men sexualizing the masculine quest and women sexualizing the feminine quest, and, voila, a homosexual revolution is upon us.
We are victims of this, meaning that our parents gave us a shove in a certain direction. That shove was mostly dysfunctional — aided and abetted by whatever demons were in the vicinity. None of this is our fault.
It becomes our fault, however, when we embrace for ourselves that demon-inspired parental shove. In that moment, a person moves from victim to perp. And the devil shows off his victory dance.
Instead of doing the heart work of healing, we capitulate to the dark side, and coalesce with the Big Lie. Out pops bisexuality, homosexuality, bestiality, bondage, trans-this, and trans-that, new pronouns, a million genders, the normalizing of pedophilia (it's coming), and fifty shades of no way. All of this is rationalized as normal by the power elites, while Alpha Christians scratch their head and pray for a rebirth of common sense.
This is impossible because of phase four, which is precisely the day the logic died.

Phase Four
In phase four, all logic breaks down.
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind" (Romans 1:28).
"God gave them over." We collectively reap what we collectively sow.
In phase four, God's lightning bolts fry the circuits of normal societal mentality. A debased mind. A reprobate mind. The Greek word, adokimos, indicates a product that will not pass quality control standards. A defective, disqualified, under-performing mind. God gave them over to a malfunctioning mind.
The willingness of the American populace to put up with stupidity is a sign of God's judgment. The proof is that most people don't even know that stupid is stupid.
How much is two plus two? You'll actually get into a fight over this in some quarters today. How stupid can we be?

What is the age of consent in the State of California? It's fourteen, provided the sex partner is within ten years of age of the "consenter." So a 24 year old predator can seduce and sleep with your eighth grade daughter, and you have no legal recourse. How stupid can we be?
How do we protect the environment? The smoke from California's Dixie Fire has created haze in Tennessee and made the air unbreathable for the northern part of the state for months. Why? Because every time responsible loggers try to manage western forests, environmental terrorists — colluding with irrational governmental bureaucrats — tie up those attempts in court, just to "save the spotted owl." I'm looking at you Sierra Club and Audubon society. Congratulations. You've not only destroyed millions of acres of habitat, you've also released epic tons of pollution into the atmosphere, in the name of saving the environment. How stupid can we be?

How do we support free speech? When giant tech corporations censor a sitting US president, silence senators, deplatform conservatives, and demonetize political activists... when PayPal and Stripe shut down the accounts of political dissenters and most people yawn... when governments force child vaccinations against the objections of parents, and mandate adult vaccinations against the choice of employees... when sincere and legitimate questions over masks and vaccines are silenced and censored from the public square... when so-called professors use free speech to rail against free speech... when the Department of Homeland Security indicts opponents to vaccines as domestic terrorists and 75 million Americans who believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen as terrorists too... when debate over conservative COVID treatments like Hydrochloroquine and Ivermectin are stifled by the threat of pulling licenses... when Christian therapists are forbidden from counseling LGBT+ people toward freedom with the same threat... when a majority of Americans actually fear expressing their views on these things... when all of this is overwhelmingly lopsided against one side (libertarian leaning conservatives and Christians)... and when the American progressivists cheer it on... How stupid can they be?

Stupidity is the hallmark of God's judgment on a nation.

Only calling it stupid is an insult to "stupid."
It's evil. Call it evil.
Remember, irrationality is the devil's excrement.
A debased mind.
Paul later amplifies this as "the vanity of their mind," using a word that means vacuum (Ephesians 4:17). The vain and empty mind creates high powered suction for the doctrines of demons, which are as stupefying as can be.
But wait, it gets worse.
As the final evidence of a society begging for God to smack them down, "God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie..." (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Strong delusion: seminaries teaching Wicca.
Strong delusion: dousing the flames of hell.
Strong delusion: postmodernism.
Strong delusion: making "post-truth" the "Word of the Year"
Strong delusion: critical race theory.
Strong delusion: crony capitalism.
Strong delusion: sexual deviancy.
Strong delusion: socialism, communism, collectivism.
Strong delusion: the corporate-government industrial complex.
Strong delusion: cancel culture.
Strong delusion: the administrative state.
Strong delusion: social media.
Strong delusion: divorcing gender (psychology) from sex (biology).
Strong delusion: normalizing pedophilia.
Strong delusion: deficit spending.
Strong delusion: the death of free speech.
Strong delusion: the all seeing eye of the Internet gods abetted by Saint Google, Mother Facebook, and the Holy Smartphone.

Basically the whole worldview of modern American culture is a massive web of lies, illogic, illusions, and delusions — a gift from the pit of hell by the invitation of a society married to Satan and the permissive will of God, by which he gives a society what they collectively ask for.
If you're spitting mad at this whole analysis, then you're the problem. Next time you look in a mirror, write "Strong Delusion" across your face. Use your son's lipstick to do it.
They aimed for Utopia, but undershot. Satan always undershoots.
Welcome to Dystopia, the day the logic died, which is the day nihilism became inevitable.
That.
Is.
Not.
Just.
Stupid.
It's.
Evil.

Is There Any Hope?
Welcome to the collapse of the USA... unless...
Unless... Revival.
This article is already long, so let's just urge all Alpha Christians get on our knees, repent, and pray for revival.
And while we're at it, let's open our Bibles and renew our minds by the singular source of all sanity in this deceived and deceiving world.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Doug Porter, MFT
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
FAMILIES UNDER ATTACK
In James chapter 4 We are told that to maintain a friendship with the world is open hostility toward God. We are told friendship with the world is like cheating on your spouse, a practice greatly frowned upon in biblical circles.
 
At this point in our history, we should have no difficulty identifying the almost unimaginable predicament of the modern era.
 
Evangelicals and devout Catholics have been identified by the National Security Administration as potentially being domestic terrorists, and numerous Hollywood icons have told the American people that Christians are America's Taliban.
 
For over two centuries of American history, there has been a nearly universally accepted belief in the sanctity and foundational nature of the nuclear family as the basic building block of American society. This belief transcended political or economic concerns; nobody thought to be of sound mind would have challenged this concept in the arena of public debate.
 
Butoday organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa openly state that their goal is to undermine or tear down the nuclear family.
They never articulate in a meaningful way what this vacuum will be filled with, let alone what the results would be... except to suggest that children will be wards of the State.
 
It is left open to be defined by the progressive movement to replace the nuclear family with an alternative that produces a more desirable outcome. We are to take on faith that the progressives of today have some special knowledge unavailable to societies great thinkers of the past 4,000 years. We are, on faith, to accept that the ancient Mesopotamian culture, Persian, Greek, and Roman cultures–hardly bastions of White Western Racism–were in great error in encouraging the sanctity of the nuclear family, to only mention a few. The pride and arrogance represented by this claim is absolutely astounding and, like a cancer, will destroy its host if not removed with great prejudice.

It is time to stand up and say NO to the insanity that has gripped a small and angry and often violent minority that has silenced the patriotic family-focused core of our nation for too long.
 
Tolerance should be in large supply, but agreement and cowardly endorsement need to end. Like all power-hungry bullying mobs, the progressive movement depends on slamming shut the door to free speech and debate and demands compliance with all of its tenets or its full wrath will be rained down on anyone who dares resist.
 
What I'm here to say is they've poked a bear one too many times and they're going to get a response they can't contend with.
 
The sleeping giant has had enough of their obscene behavior and childish demands. They don't get to be easily offended and violent when an opposing opinion is offered.
 
Alpha Christians are going to fight you on every front we can within the legal and constitutional boundaries our wise forefathers enshrined in our grand American institutions. America is a work in progress, but we are the grandest and noblest experiment in human history. We can withstand and even embrace good and opposing ideas, but we will not allow a small, angry, loud-mouthed, often-violent, anti-American minority to destroy our republic or our families.
 
To quote the lyrics of a Jonathan Edward song, "He can't even run his own life / I'll be damned if he'll run mine."
 
We will submit only to the Lord and to Him alone.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Doug Porter, MFT
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
WE WILL NOT COMPLY
On June 9, 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci declared," a lot of what you're seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science."
 
By making this association with science as being personified by him he hoped to marginalize and silence his opponents.
 
He has a serious problem.
 
Fauci's "scientific" pronouncements have changed direction every time the wind blew in a new direction.

No human being in history, apart from one, has been able to legitimately claim they actually personified any noble concept.
 
The fact is, we all fall far short of the absolute purity necessary to make these kinds of claims, and when someone does it always results in tyranny. Whether it's mortal kings deciding they are gods or modern bureaucrats assuming absolute authority, the fact that their claims are false requires them to use draconian measures to enforce their claims.
 
In contrast, Jesus was able to stand in front of crowds of monotheistic Jewish adults and claim he was '"The Way the Truth and the Light," without a trace of hypocrisy or pride.

We are told in the Gospels that God is Love.
 
Paul affirms in Colossians 2:9 that "in Christ, all the fullness of God lives in bodily form."
 
John states, "Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because, God is love."
 
This love is not friendship or romantic love; it is profoundly unconditional and without boundaries. It reaches down into the depths of our guilt and shame and draws us into a forever relationship with God.
 
This is accomplished through God himself taking on full humanity while living out a blameless and perfect life in which no charge could be brought against Him, and then offering himself to the angry religious mob to be absolutely shredded for our offenses.
 
In that shed Blood of the innocent offered freely for our offenses, I find the love I will find nowhere else in the universe.
 
As Alpha Christians, some may struggle with an inclination to fight fire with fire, to strap on our weapons, and confront the hostility directed at us with righteous anger, but we can't do this, and we won't. We have a problem in the person of Christ. He never defended himself, never returned evil with evil, and never took revenge on those that took advantage of him.
 
He stated the truth, offered hope, confronted evil practices, and took the response in stride.
 
Alpha Christians are going to stand for the Truth, point to the Way, and shine into a dark world to the Light.
 
We will take whatever comes with it.
 
When three young Alpha believers were presented with a horrible dilemma in ancient Babylon, we were given a powerful example of how to deal with social and political evil.
 
Daniel describes three devout Jewish men–committed to the one true God–thrust into conflict with a megalomaniac politician who demanded they worship and acknowledge him as god. They were warned the consequence of not going along to get along will be death by fire.
 
What should we do when a self-proclaimed "God of Science" issues his lawless decrees? 
 
The three young heroes responded directly to the self-proclaimed god of their generation by saying NO. They declared their God is capable of delivering them, but even if He does not they will not obey the command.
 
Shadrach, Meschech, and Abednego had no idea what would happen when the guards bound them and hurled them in the furnace.
 
They were willing even to die if He didn't intervene.
 
Like them, we must stand up to the tyranny and insanity of our time with courage and faith. We must declare WE WILL NOT COMPLY.
Nothing will change until a mass of Americans are willing  to suffer for the sake of the one true King.
 
May God grant that Alpha Christians will be that mass of patriotic, God-loving Americans.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
WHAT MARRIAGE PROVIDES
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. (Romans 7:21)

The only ball and chain in a man's life is the sin in his own heart.
 
He shackles himself. If he is too arrogant or fragile to admit it, he points to his wife and labels her the ball and chain. This blaming immediately evaporates his man-card, destroys his Christian testimony, and turns his masculinity toxic.
 
The truth is there's no one to blame for the bondage in his life but himself.

Second only to the redeeming work of Christ, marriage is the most important part of God's plan to restore the sovereign free-will Self to the throne of an Alpha Christian's life.

Salvation restores our dominion as a theological fact.

Marriage hammers that dominion deep inside as a psychological reality.

Somehow, our restored dominion must become a psychological reality. This is the fight that defines every Alpha Christian.

In marriage God gave us an ally in this fight unlike any other.

Alphas understand we live in a fallen world and our experience of marriage can be far from ideal. Some have been divorced. Some are on their second or third marriage or more. Some are living together without ever having been married. Some are widowed. Others have been abandoned. Yet others feel trapped in a marriage to the wrong woman. For many men the idea of marriage conjures nothing but anger and pain.

Granting these difficult experiences, as Alpha Christians we still stand up for marriage. And we still hope to experience a glimpse of God's ideal for it.

The War on Marriage
 
Satan's war on marriage began in the garden of Eden and has never stopped. Alpha Christians gear up to stand up for marriage both in society and in their own lives.

The "marriage tax" is part of Satan's war on marriage.

Sitcoms that normalize cohabitation...
Coming of age stories that glorify pre-marital sex...

Public school sex education that arouses curiosity and erases morality..
.
A hyper-sexualized entertainment industry...
The frantic pace of life today...

Schools that house children from pre-k through high school, feeding them breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and excusing parents from their god-given responsibilities...

Insane work loads for school children...

Worn out parents working too hard for money leaving little energy for each other...

Jim Brooks surveys 6 ways that Satan makes war on marriage:
1. Unnatural marriages (Gen 6:1-4)
2. Interreligious marriages (Deut 32:16, 2 Cor 6:14, etc. )
3. Unholy marriages (Acts 5:1-11)
4. Celibate marriages (1 Cor. 7:1-5)
5. Forbidding of marriage (1 Tim 4:1-3)
6. Christian marriages under satanic attack (Eph 5:22,23)

Why does the devil hate marriage so much?

Marriage is Healing

Alphas believe that God gave them their wives for their healing. The specific woman — with her specific personality, history, and even imperfections and weaknesses — is intentionally designed by God to set us free.

Here's how.

A wife has a mystical ability to put her finger on an area in a man's life where he is emotionally enslaved to immaturity and sin.
He finds this annoying.
God intends this for healing.
A mature Alpha will express more appreciation for this than anger.
 
Marriage protects free will by shoving the theology of redemption deep inside the male psychology.
Alpha Christians know they need this. They know they were imprisoned by sin until Jesus blew open the doors. Jesus set them free, it's true, but they're stuck in an unlocked cell until they get over their addiction to porn, alcohol, avarice, self-pity, victimhood, laziness, hypocrisy, narcissism or a thousand other handcuffs shackling their heart within their immature boy-breast.
 
It Takes A Woman 

It takes a woman to complete a man's soul by knocking grace into the broken areas of his heart.

She will insist. She wants to be proud of her man. She wants a quality man to husband her. She wants a noble man to father her children.
 
So she constantly mirrors his unredeemed character flaws. It's the only way he can address them and truly be free. No one else can do this. No one else knows his secrets. It's tough love, but only then can he wield the scepter and wear the crown of true dominion and free will.
It doesn't take a village. It just takes a marriage.

What Marriage Provides

1. Marriage drives a stake through the heart of narcissism. It is not by avoiding this commitment, but by embracing it with a whole and honest heart, that a man finds freedom from his own self-centered, commitment-phobic programming. The quality of our lives depends not on the commitments we avoid, but on the quality of the commitments we make an honorably keep. Marriage and parenting are foremost among them.

2. Marriage civilizes males. As a couple navigates life together, a woman insists upon good manners, thoughtfulness, hard work, selflessness, exclusivity, patience, and virtue in her man.

3. Marriage provides a safe place to let down our masks. It allows us to know and to be known.
 
4. Marriage is the fastest, deepest way to create empathy in a man. The wounds he inflicts, even inadvertently, are mirrored back to him by his wife through the pain in her eyes. This happens in a nanosecond. She will not let him get away with the slightest act of bullying. She has a thousand ways to confront him. He must confess his harshness and soften his approach or he will jeopardize his marriage.

5. Marriage is the fastest, deepest way to bring logic into balance with emotion. Unless Alpha Christians develop tenderness in marriage, their toughness will turn toxic and destructive.
 
6. Marriage provides the only healthy context for sexual activity. Alphas accept God's three-fold purpose in creating sex: 1) recreation, 2) procreation, and 3) bond-creation. All of these purposes bring maximum satisfaction only inside a deepening marital relationship that spans decades. Alpha Christians affirm that all sexual energies must be channeled within their marriage, rather than dissipated by soul-deadening unchastity with a seductress, porn, or fantasy (Proverbs 5:16).

7. Marriage creates the ideal healthy context for rearing happy, well-adjusted children. Alphas will do anything rather than harm vulnerable children. Every bit of research supports the fact that children thrive best with a loving and mature father in the home. Thank God for his grace when we blow it!

8. Marriage creates a mutual defense pact. My wife has my back and I have hers. No matter who turns against them, Alphas know they have at least one ally they can always rely on. The same holds true for our wives.

9. Marriage brings order to our lives. Alphas are always clear on the order of their mission priorities: Christ and his gospel first, then marriage, family, and patriotism.

10. Marriage creates order in society. Every institution in society must support, defend, and nurture the primacy of marriage and family, or that societal institution should be dismantled.
 
Marriage is more than a piece of paper.
 
It is a sacred commitment between one man and one woman for one lifetime before God and a cloud of witnesses. It is also a public commitment recorded by civil authorities for the ordering of finances, properties, and estates, and for the prevention of incest and the harm it causes.
Any man unwilling to make that commitment is unworthy of a woman and should not be trusted with either sex or with children.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
QUALITIES OF A MASCULINE SOUL
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14)

St. Paul here issues five rapid-fire commands. Our focus is on the third one: "be brave." Different translations say basically the same thing.
NIV: be men of courage
NLT: be courageous
But the most literal translation of all the Bibles on this verb is the New American Standard Bible.
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." (1 Corinthians 16:13, 14, NAS95)

Act like men. That's a good translation. The original Greek here is only one word: andrizomai. We have no exact English equivalent word for this. You take the word for man, turn it into a verb, and then issue it as a command. Be men! Be manly!
 
Literally, it means Man up!

The manliest man of all time is Jesus. Looking at his life, you can distill the biblical portrait of manliness into four key qualities.
Four qualities to teach your sons to be and to teach your daughters to wait for. So I want to talk about these four qualities:
1. The King
2. The Warrior
3. The Lover
4. The Guide

I want to talk about each one, define it a little bit.
I also want to talk about the Darkside of the human soul. This is the part of us that can bite and devour one another, as we saw in scripture.
 
The Bible calls this dangerous collection of desires, dysfunction, and selfishness, by a single name. That name is the Flesh.
This is not the body, not the skin, not the physical drives, not simply sexuality.
The flesh is the combination of all the bad stuff inside of us, if I say the word Gollum, you probably get a picture.

Your flesh is your inner thug, your inner bully, your inner whiner, your inner brat, your inner pervert, and your inner coward all rolled into one.

So when I talk about these qualities of a masculine soul, I also want to talk about what happens to each quality when the flesh is dominating your life.
Here we go.

Four Qualities of a Masculine Soul

1. The King

The Noble King
God has called every man to be a King. A servant-king.

The King is the part of the masculine soul meant to construct environments in which those you serve can thrive, while at the same time you pursue your own God-given wants.

God gave you dominion. Kings use their dominion to create an environment for blessing. As a father or a future father, that is your job.
Create an environment in which women and men and children can flourish and thrive, and grow, and feel safe, and feel that their world is full of possibility.

This does not mean you erase your desires or your selfhood or your wants. You should be in touch with those things. But it's okay if you don't always get what you want.

The acid test of true manliness is what happens when somebody tells a man no.

When you will give your life for the blessing of your family; and for the blessing of your church, and for the cause of the gospel; for the blessing of our country . . . then you will receive the greatest loyalty and respect you can ever imagine.

You don't have to be rich, and you don't have to be good-looking, and you don't have to be muscular, and you don't have to have hair on your head.
 
The Carnal King
Now, when a man fails to live up to this calling, his FLESH takes over. His flesh will twist his God-given kingly energy and distort it in two directions. One is aggressive and the other is passive.

Aggressive.
The aggressive perversion of the king is the TYRANT: violent, unpredictable, childish, overly risk-taking, aggressive.

Men, these are signs of immaturity. These are signs of weakness, not of strength. These are signs of living by the flesh instead of by the Spirit. When you are a tyrant, you assume that your wants are the only wants that matter. You forget that if you are married you have a co-equal Queen at your side.

"The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life." (Proverbs 20:2)

Passive.
The passive perversion of the king is the WEAKLING: either the unwillingness to state what you want in respectful terms or the laziness to pursue it.

That's a weakling. Weaklings don't act; they react, and it drives their wives crazy. It renders their children out of control. All the weakling king wants is a comfortable life with a minimum of hassles. But if you don't have hassles, you don't have accomplishments. We see countless examples where the man's king energy is weak, or absent, or too busy, or distracted, or self-absorbed, or abusive . . . then disorder and chaos rule the hearts of children, and even of spouses.

"The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing." (Proverbs 20:4)

Jesus is the greatest King of all. His crown was a crown of thorns, his throne was a cross, and his tribe thrives in an environment of grace.
He is unparalleled in all of history and religions of the world. Even the angels are amazed. And all of this was in perfect alignment with his own heart's deepest desires and wants. Jesus is the greatest king of all.

2. The Warrior

The Noble Warrior

This one is controversial, and it presses a lot of buttons, I know. But God has put a natural and holy warrior energy in the hearts of men. God did this.

The Warrior is the part of the masculine soul meant to enforce God-given boundaries through the appropriate sacrifice of yourself and, if in command, of others.

Every man needs to have some RIGHTEOUS FIGHT in him.
"Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle." Psalms 144:1, NKJV.
God does that.

In fact, the Bible explicitly says that when the Jews went into the Promised Land and began to settle it, God did not drive out all their enemies on purpose. He wanted his people to be warriors! God left these enemies behind, the Bible says, "so that . . . the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war..." (Judges 3:1, 2)

Our society has tried to suppress the idea of a warrior in boys and men, and we think that the answer to violence is to suppress all expression of it.

When you suppress this drive-in boys, all it does is build up and turn toxic in men. What we need is for the warrior in every man to be nurtured and respected and CHANNELED and trained. It needs to be brought under the mastery of Christ.
We enjoy our freedoms today because of warriors who fought and sacrificed for our freedom.

It took Warriors to bring the Word of God, from the other side of the world to America.

It took Warriors who stood up for the gospel and who stood up for the Word to bring the gospel into our place today.

That wasn't accomplished by a bunch of nice guys who were afraid of offending anybody.
We are free today because people shed blood for the Word of God that we might stand up in America and talk about Jesus Christ and what it means to know him. Thank God for the Warriors.

The Carnal Warrior
Aggressive.
The aggressive perversion of the Warrior is a BULLY: An insecurity-based drive to dominate and exploit others.
The bully is afraid of any power greater than his own, and therefore he will find weaker people, and surround himself with weaker people, and keep them in submission through different forms of violence. Physical violence, verbal violence, emotional violence.
I don't care how you spin it, being a bully is not God's call on your life. It's a sin.
"But the wicked will be cut off from the land And the treacherous will be uprooted from it." (Proverbs 2:22, NAS95)

Your Warrior energy is intended to create SAFETY for others, not danger.

Passive.
The passive perversion of the Warrior is the COWARD: A fear-based avoidance of needful conflict, discomfort, or pain.

They work overtime to avoid conflict, stress, and danger. They smooth out everything. They never take a stand. Always about compromise. Always about distraction from real issues.
Yes, it's good to be a peacemaker, but NOT WITH EVIL. You can never be at peace with evil. The coward always has an excuse for not going forward into difficulty.
"The slothful man says, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets." (Proverbs 26:13, KJV)

Which means, Honey, can you take out the garbage? I can't take out the garbage, there might be a spider out there.

Real men are warriors and thank God for it. It's why Jesus made a whip and tipped over tables in the Temple.

Jesus was the Ultimate Ultimate Fighting Champion.
 
On that cross...
He fought against sin, and he won.
He fought against the Devil, and the devil's attempts to keep you away from God, and he won.
He fought against death, and he won.
Jesus is Christus Victor, Christ the Warrior. He can conquer your sin, your addiction, your heartache, your loneliness, and your need for God today.

3. The Lover
The Noble Lover
The Lover is the part of the masculine soul meant to create life-giving connections with God, family, self, and others, offering joyful self-sacrifice to meet another's needs.
 
Jesus taught,
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (John 13:34)
Real men are lovers, and their wives and children and family and friends know it. Their spouse feels appreciated. More than that, she feels desired. He has focused his energies on her...

You have probably heard of love languages. It's a great concept and can be really helpful. But I'm going to encourage you to flip the idea on its head.

My mom and dad had a difficult marriage and eventually divorced. And then, years later, they remarried. My dad's love language was generosity and giving. My mom's love language was affection and talking. It seemed to me that each one was waiting for the other one to learn to speak their language.

What I suggest to you is that each one understand the other one's love language, and be content with it. Accept it. Don't make them learn a new language. My dad was never going to be affectionate, cuddly, and talkative with my mother. But he was going to be a faithful provider. If he could have accepted her love language and she could have accepted his, they might have stayed together.

Accept one another's expressions of LOVE as LOVE without insisting that they have to learn your language.

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" (Ephesians 5:25, KJV)
"Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." (Colossians 3:19, KJV)

The Carnal Lover
Aggressive.
The aggressive perversion of the lover is the PLAYER: with endless needs to make himself feel good by using others as things, not people.
 
The motto of a Player is "Make me feel good."
For Player, the purpose of relationships is so that other people can fill his voids.
When the flesh is in control, this man has a sexual appetite that can never be fulfilled.
He has separated physical sex from emotional intimacy in marriage, so he quickly loses interest.
There's a law of diminishing returns. He stops feeling. He becomes numb to life. He demands to need stronger and stranger stimulation to even feel anything.
But it's not just sexual. This appetite to be soothed will surface everywhere: career, money, food... everything is about him.
This man will manipulate. He'll lie. He'll complain. He'll point the finger of blame.
Every bit of self-sacrificial love will actually be announced... with a sigh, a whine, a complaint, with a frown, or a tantrum... because it's all part of the con.

Passive.
The passive perversion of the lover is the DREAMER: who always wishes but never acts.
 
The commitment-phobic dreamer. Also known as the Mama's Boy.
Here's the man who WISHES but doesn't ACT. That which he loves he does not pursue. He is content to think about it., write poetry about it, philosophize about it, strum his guitar and sing songs about it.
But he won't commit. A lot of men think, "If I want a good life I have to avoid commitments."
The quality of your life depends on your faithfulness to the commitments to which you OBLIGATE YOURSELF UNDER THE POWER OF GOD.
God has woven it into the heart of every man to be a LOVER. And again, Jesus, as the greatest MAN who ever lived, shines as the greatest LOVER who ever lived too.
There is nothing greater a man can do for himself, for his family, or his friends than to declare his faith in and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. The Guide
The Noble Guide
The Guide is that part of the masculine soul meant to collect wisdom, marshal resources, and motivate yourself and others for the journey ahead.

In the pioneer days of America, wagon trains snaked their way across the landscape as settlers were heading west. The frontier was a perilous place. Without a good trail guide, these settlers were doomed. The trail guides had ridden the trails before. The guide knew where the dangers lay. He knew where to find water. He knew where to make camp. He knew where to obtain food. He knew where to find safe passage through difficult terrain. The trail guide would also scout ahead and warn of dangers to come.

As guides, real men are resourceful. You have the capacity to see options no matter how bleak the situation seems. When the Jews stood before the Red Sea and had nowhere to go, and the armies of Egypt were on their tail ready to destroy them, the last thing they needed was for Moses to stand there, and scratch his head, and say, "I don't know."

Never let "I don't know" be the final word unless you're under 13.

Real men are wise. They are full of the Word of God in profound ways, coupled with the ability to use it. This does not mean smart. This is not about human IQ. What you want is WISDOM. "A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;" Proverbs 24:5, NKJV.
Real men are also natural teachers. Whether it's teaching your kid how to throw or catch a ball, or leading your family into new depths in the Word.

The Carnal Guide
Aggressive.
The aggressive perversion of this is the KNOW IT ALL: always eager to correct others and to prove he's got nothing to learn.

Suppress this incredible urge to correct everybody. Let your kid throw the bowling ball into the gutter a few times. That's okay. He's having a good time. Some men are always making helpful suggestions. The problem is that suggestions after a while sound like criticisms.
 
"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." (Proverbs 3:7, KJV)

"Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:21)

Passive.
The passive perversion of the guide is the DUMMY: who avoids responsibility by playing or being dumb and always saying, "I can't."

This is the "I know nothing" "Don't blame me" kind of guy. Dummy is a technical biblical category, also known as the FOOL.

The Dummy becomes a professional victim. "I don't know. Things just happen to me." Yeah, YOU happened to you.
He thrives on problems and shies away from solutions. He's slippery and elusive, never willing to step up to a responsible position of making choices and actually risking failure.
"A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart." Proverbs 18:2, NKJV.
 
The Bible teaches that Jesus was our guide. Hebrews 6:20 calls him our "forerunner". The Greek word there is TRAILBLAZER. Jesus is our Advance Scout, our trailblazer. He wants to lead you to the ultimate frontier: heaven itself.
 
Conclusion
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, ACT LIKE MEN, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:13, 14. Act like men, the Bible says here. Act like Kings. Act like Warriors. Act like Lovers. Act like Guides.
 
Let me finish with two reminders.
Remember that God himself will make you everything he calls you to be.
 
Regardless of your past. Regardless of how dysfunctional your upbringing was. GOD will transform you into a real man IF you will first be saved, and second, grow up spiritually to Christian maturity.
This is our Grace Pathway... and on it, your manliness will become God's responsibility and God's power.
 
Remember that God himself fills in the gaps we leave as imperfect parents.

The Bible promises that God is a "father to the fatherless" (Ps 68:5). God makes himself personally available to fill in the gaps that we leave as imperfect dads. You are not alone in your parenting.

We live in a crazy, dangerous world. We need real men to rise up to their true calling like never before. Men, be men! May God raise up a battalion of ALPHA CHRISTIANS, a grace-filled army of mighty men of God, Fathers of the Faith, for generations to come.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Doug Porter, MFT
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR
I am not someone who has vivid or remembered dreams often, so when one sticks with me in crystal clear detail I pay attention.
 
Not long ago after a particularly difficult week of marriage counseling sessions, I had a dream.
 
Weeks before I had visited Leavenworth, Washington for a family vacation. For those who have never visited, it is a fascinating little town settled in between towering mountains. It has a style intentionally modeled to replicate a Bavarian village in the alps.
 
I had that odd experience that you have of awakening in some novel location while still sleeping.
 
When I woke in this dream I was standing on a busy street with motion and activity all around me. I began to meander through the town taking in the sights and smells of the place all of which were pleasant and comfortingly familiar. It was a crisp winter day and the mountains that seemed to grow immediately from the edge of the village were magnificent, and heavy with a blanket of snow.

The citizens of this place were busy with their individual interests. There were bakers and shopkeepers, taverns and churches, and children playing in the side streets and parks. In every way you could imagine it was a safe and peaceful little town going about life without a care in the world.
 
Mothers were herding their little ones old enough to walk and carrying infants in their arms. People were sitting in the crisp outdoor air cafes reading and carrying on conversations with friends over cups of coffee and tea. Here and there young couples sat on benches or strolled down park lanes hand in hand.

It was into this idealistic scene that I began to feel a sense of horrible dread.
 
At first, I couldn't identify the source of the fear it seemed so out of place in this ideal hamlet. Then I began to notice that there was a faint rumbling in the air and an almost nervous quivering at my feet. The sound seemed to come from above. When I looked up I could make out a slight movement at the summits of the mountains surrounding the town on all sides. The heavy loads of snow were becoming unsettled and starting to shift. The implication was horrifying. The town would be buried under a massive avalanche of snow from every direction.

I decided in a moment it was my duty, or my mission, to warn the residents of this coming disaster, to give them some chance of escaping.
 
As I looked at the town with a new sense of urgency I noticed there was only one narrow path of escape. I began to implore, to beg, to attempt to shake awareness of the situation into the citizens of the village.
 
I was met with a wide array of responses from bewilderment, to apathy, to rage. Most people appeared to be incapable of grasping what was happening as if I spoke a different language.
 
One young man told me his family had lived in the village for generations and there had never been an avalanche.
 
Another growled curses at me for attempting to disrupt the peace of this place. Another older woman seemed empathetic to my concerns but would not even look to the mountains to verify my claims.
 
I was suddenly struck by the story of Noah and the statement that the people of his time were just as oblivious to their danger. 
 
"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall also be the days of the Son of Man. They were eating they were drinking and they were marrying, and they were being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26,27).

I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that what was coming was so clear, so obvious, and that the villagers seemed both blind and deaf to its reality.
 
All I could do was run through the streets and yell my warning to a population unwilling to embrace the reality of the situation. When I reached the narrow exit at the end of the village I feared they would all perish but was greatly surprised to find a small handful of men, women,  and children who had heeded the warning and had followed me to safety.

Our culture is teetering on a precipice and marriages and families are the casualties of the situation. The culture itself is collapsing.
 
If Marriages and Families fail, the nation and much of the free world, will be swept away into a dystopian disaster.
 
In the heart of everyone who represents the Alpha Christian movement is the hope that men and women will realize that Jesus is the narrow way that leads to salvation from an evil and perverse generation, and will escape the consequences of ignoring His warnings.
 
We would be honored to point you to the only hope of surviving the avalanche that is coming and to help equip you for the struggle that is waiting for those who embrace the Light in a dark and hostile world.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Doug Porter, MFT
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE AND CHILDREN
Solomon reaches down through more than 30 centuries with some wise insight for today:
 
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
 
The three-stranded rope is, according to Jewish tradition, a representation of a healthy relationship between a man his wife, and his God.
 
God is devoted to offering strength endurance and resilience to those that are committed to Him.

Children who are blessed with healthy parents who provide consistency and love form secure attachments and are better equipped to embrace intimacy and take reasonable risks.
 
If the adults in a child's life have chaotic and conflicted lifestyles that preoccupy them, their Children are likely to form reactive attachments that will haunt them into their adult lives.
 
This separates the Child from healthy potential connections and makes it easier for the Enemy to take them down.
 
Shame and guilt and feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy rob them of the very thing they need to feel safe and loved. Far too many of these children grow up to spend their adult lives seeking reassurances that they are ok but never feeling safe.

Divorce rates have grown over the past four decades to the point that the majority of American kids are raised in divorced homes.
 
Divorce does not necessarily lead to the type of woundedness that we are discussing, but it is the soil it grows in most effectively.
 
This is one of the primary reasons, in my decades of experience as a therapist, that we are told that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
 
Before we move on let's make sure we understand God is declaring he hates the practice of divorce and the effects of divorce, not divorcees.
 
Marriage was God's plan from the very beginning, it was the Enemy who came up with divorce.
 
Jesus clearly states in Mathew 19 that it was allowed only because of the hardness of men's hearts.
 
As a marriage counselor for more than a quarter of a century I will attest to the vast amount of destruction divorce can deposit into the life of a child, not to mention the adults.

As Alpha Christians we are not only to be overcomers, we are also to let our yes be yes and our no be no.
 
We are to recognize that our marriage is an earthly and tangible representation of our Lord's relationship with us, and He will never leave us or forsake us.
 
He will stand by us and advocate for us when we fall short, when we sin against Him, and when we cheat on Him with idols of wealth, power, lust, or pride.
 
He will leave the 99 faithful to actively chase after the wayward child. he is faithful to strengthen us and equip us if we abide in Him.
 
We can find in Him and Him alone the power to more than overcome our selfish inclinations.
 
He is the vine we are the branches, we can produce little of significance apart from staying connected.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
THE CASE FOR PATRIOTISM
It's time to name, and identify, and derive from Scripture and teach our children the biblical foundations of human society.

The Truths
Of these foundational truths, the one ring to rule them all, so to speak, is this: 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

The beginning of all thought about anything is this: the insistence that there is a transcendent truth that is prior to and independent of human opinion.
 
This truth comes from the character and mind of God. 
In God, we have truth that is absolute.
In God, we have truth that stays true.
Postmodernism has done everything it can to hammer absolute truth out of existence. This is because Satan hates God, hates humans, and he can't handle the truth. We'll come back to this.

Once we can settle on the idea that God's truth is the source of all truth, then we can move on to human beings. God has revealed our origins, and our creation, and he tells us humans alone were made in his image... which makes human life sacred in ways that no other life is sacred.
It also tells us that God gave us dominion. That means the right to rule our own lives. Freedom. Liberty. Individuality.

What's your favorite color?
What's your favorite dessert? Your favorite meal?
What foods do you love? What foods do you hate?
How would you describe your clothing style? Your home decorating style?
Who's your favorite band right now?
Where do you want to live?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
God is not after a bland uniformity among humans. We are not designed to be wearing the same uniform, thinking the same thoughts, and marching lockstep.

God wants all the colors of the spectrum in all of life.

You be you. I'll be me. Choose your adventure. Choose your life. Be free.
Freedom. That's the ideal.
This is what we call our first divine institution.

The second is marriage, and the third is family.
 
Marriage and family are instituted by God to protect freedom. They are the building blocks of society. Because nobody wants what's best for a man more than his wife, or what's best for a woman more than her husband, or what's best for children more than their parents. Mama bear and papa bear will fight fiercely for their children, even to death. The state won't do that. It takes a marriage, and it takes a family, and that is God's ideal for society.

So divine institution two: marriage protects dominion and the individuated free will self.
 
And divine institution three: Family protects dominion and the individuated free will self.
 
Nations
The fourth divine institution is the Nation-State (Nations). Like all divine institutions, the Nation is designed to protect human liberty (dominion).
 
Nations protect family, which protects marriage, which protects dominion and the individuated free will self. Nations are designed by God to serve the HOME, not to wreck it.

Patriotism
I am writing these articles because I believe our country, and the church today, has lost sight of its Biblical foundations. We have all but forgotten the institutions that gave us our blessings. We're turning out back on freedom, on marriage, on family, and on nationalism... patriotism, actually... and our kids will pay a horrible price.

It is absolutely essential to reconstruct these truths. We have to start from zero, and show that these are biblical. That's why this series.

Because the world is in trouble. We are losing our nations. We are losing our families. We are losing the sacredness of marriage. And we are, therefore, losing our liberty.

There is a reason why it's hard tofind the United States in Bible prophecy. It is because nations rise and fall.
 
But ours doesn't have to fall on our watch.
So, why nations? And why is healthy patriotism a good thing?

The Barbecue Place
Not too long ago, Pastor Tim and I were in Nashville with a couple thousand other pastors in our denomination.
Tim and I and three other pastors went for lunch at a nearby barbecue joint. Great restaurant, packed, great food. Line out the door. Noisy. Alive. Awesome.
So the five us are eating ribs and pulled pork and all that, when a voice comes over the loudspeaker.
Ladies and gentlemen, will you please join us as we do every day here at noon, by rising and singing the national anthem.

The music started. Everybody stood. And we sang the national anthem at full voice.

I had tears streaming down my face. There were veterans holding their caps over their hearts with tears running down their face.

It was a really beautiful moment. We're really messed up, but I love our country. I love our flag. Yes, we have a long way to go to realize our ideals, but our ideals are unparalleled.
So we sing the anthem. We all sit down. The noise comes back.

And one of the pastors—a younger one—looks across the table at me, and chides me. "How is that not Christian nationalism?"
I'm wiping tears from my eyes, and I just look at him and say "It's patriotism."

But this is the problem we face. We have a generation raised without a love of country.
I am a Christian first, and above all. And I am an American second. And I consider myself thankful and blessed to be both. Not superior. Not arrogant about it. And not making an idol of my country. Christ first and above all.

But thank God for America, where at least I know I'm free... for now.

So where does the Bible establish nations, and why does God organize society that way?
 
We'll start with the tabernacle.
 
THE PRIESTLY NATION: The tabernacle defined Israel as one nation, under God, separate from all other nations around them.
This tabernacle was the heart of the nation. When they travelled, the tabernacle took the lead. When they made camp, the tabernacle was in the middle.
They weren't just a tribe, they were a nation, with a government, and laws, and a national identity.

'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." (Exodus 19:6)

This was God's message and God's plan.
Humans naturally organize themselves by families, tribes, and nations.
God called out a special nation from among them, and constituted the Jews.
This was God's plan. And it was very important that they not simply to melt into the other nations around them.

"For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth." (Exodus 33:16)

And even though the nation was imperfect, God still loved Israel.
 
C.S. Lewis talks about patriotism, and he points out that Jesus Himself wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34, in The Four Loves).

Lewis said that Healthy patriotism makes it harder for rulers to do evil. Demonic patriotism makes it easier for rulers to do evil.
And what makes the difference is uncritical support of unbiblical dictates of human government.

Moses was saying that the thing that made Israel distinctive was the presence of God.
I am not suggesting that America can say that today. Far from it.

I am suggesting that God himself in the Bible established Israel as a nation.

And not just Israel, but he established MANY NATIONS.
 
Even in earth's earliest history, the Bible gives a roster of nations in Genesis 10 and 11.

When God created Adam and Eve, he told them to "fill the earth." The idea is that humans would spread out rather than clump together (Gen 1:28).

This instruction was repeated after the Great Flood and humans came off of Noah's ark and God instructed them to "Fill the earth." (Gen 9:1)
 
The roster of nations indicates that this is exactly what earth's population did. They spread out in different nations and filled the earth.

From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. (Genesis 10:5)

This account goes on to delineate all the nations of the prehistoric world. Nations are God's plan. The fourth divine institution.

God recognized these nations. God's goal is to create maximum protection for dominion, marriage, and family through nations and their laws.

THE ENEMY OF NATIONS
Satan hates you and wants to devour your freedom and make you captive to his diabolical will.

The Dark Lord Satan hates God's goal. He hates you being saved. He hates you going to heaven. He hates the gospel. He hates the truth. He hates free will. He hates marriage. He hates family. He hates nations.
 
The devil is on the attack, because he wants to be your Dark Lord.

He attacks marriage and family and patriotism SO THAT he can attack human dominion and freedom.
But he is sneaky, and he is subtle, and he appears as an angel of light.

The devil works through a satanic philosophy, and through powerful world rulers who have bought into his philosophy.

Satan stole dominion from Adam and Eve.
And he wants to steal yours.
Satan desires dominion over all this world, even to the end of the age.
His unwitting minions are making it happen. They teaching his message, and preach his message, and enforce his message with violence.

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19)

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)

Our culture is being groomed.

We're being brainwashed, and don't know it's happening.
We're locked in a matrix of satanic lies and doctrines of demons.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8, NAS95)

Now, how does the devil wage his infernal war against the nation state?

He does it through Globalism.
 
THE ENFORCER OF NATIONS: When the nations of earth decided to merge into one at the Tower of Babel, God came down and split them up.

This was the whole world (Gen 11:1). At this time they all spoke the same language (Gen 11:1). They came together in one place, in Babylon (Gen 11:2). And they made a plan against God's plan.

God told them to scatter.

They said,
And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city-[state], and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4)

Total defiance of God. Total, in your face, defiance of God's will for the world.

God wanted nations, plural. They wanted one world government, singular.

The spirit of Babylon is the spirit of anti-Christ.

They built a city which was basically a giant snub against God. Their culture, their values, their beliefs, their achievements, were all pointed away from God.

They build a civilization based on the false premise that humankind can achieve its potential by declaring independence from God.

So, they built a city.
And they also built a tower... the kind of tower used for astrology and the worship of false gods, called a ziggurat.

The tower of Babel is the birth of humanism and humanism is the birth of globalism.

We will not fill the earth.
We will not separate into nations.
We will all gather together under one world government.
We will all gather together under one world religion.

So God came down and split them up.
"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. (Genesis 11:7, 8)
A remarkable moment in earth's history.
Why? Why would God do this? Isn't unity a good thing?

No. And here's why.

THE DANGER OF GLOBALISM: A united humanity makes us all vulnerable to Satan's relentless takeover plot.

A powerful group of internationalists is bent on bringing every aspect of our world society under a one world government.

Some know it, some do not, but they are playing into the devil's endgame.

There is a war on Christians, because Christians make God, not the State, absolute. When Christians are gone, the state can be all in all.
There is a war on family, because family will fight for the best for their children... and Satan wants your kids.

There is a war on marriage, because when marriage is good, the family is strong, and the nation stands up for what is right.

And there is a war against national sovereignty, because Satan still longs to play God, and to be like him, and to displace him.

A one world government is the shortest step to bring the whole world under dominion of Satan, through the Antichrist, and that is the end of free will human dominion forever.

The trick is He doesn't present himself as a false god. He presents himself as a beautiful philosophy.

Because he wants to be like, not unlike God.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' (Isaiah 14:14)

And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

It seems so good. Everybody together. Everybody united. All are one. It's a trap. (Col 2:8). It's a deadly trap.

It's absolutely dangerous. It is the recipe for tyranny, and the recipe for the destruction of all that is sacred inside the human heart.

So God comes down and breaks up the new world order party. And this is an act of love and grace.

The best comparison I have is a submarine. A sub is divided into compartments. These compartments have water-tight doors — bulkheads. If one compartment floods, the whole ship doesn't go down.

That's why God split up humans. Nations, tribes, language groups. If one nation goes down, the whole ship doesn't have to go down.
Without nations, sin has no limits.
Without nations, evil bumps into no serious boundaries.

Without nations, Satan has nothing to stop him.
Because when that ship of humankind goes down, it will fall headlong into the twisted, neurotic, and horrific embrace of the cruelest possible Master, the Dark Lord Satan.
Globalism is one of the most appealing and alluring doctrines of demons ever spewed across our land.

So God made nations:

When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:8)

"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, (Acts 17:26)
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1, 2)

The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. (Psalms 113:4)

Patriotism is one of the last bulwarks against a globalism that will assimilate us all into the hive mind of an anti-God collective.
 
God bless America.
God have mercy on us. 

THE EXCEPTIONALISM OF AMERICA: There are two distinctives that make America exceptional and unique on the world stage... and therefore worth fighting for in the world today.

1. America as a gospel preaching, missionary sending nation.

According to a report, for the last 200 years, most Christian missionaries com from America.
"At a church on the New England coast 200 years ago, five young men became ordained as Congregational missionaries and set off on cargo ships to India as the first organized group of American missionaries to travel overseas.
"Their departure signaled the start of the U.S. missionary movement, and today the United States sends more Christian missionaries abroad than any other country, experts say.
"The United States sent out 127,000 of the world's estimated 400,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, according to Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

"In distant second place is Brazil, which sent 34,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, he said." (Report from US News).

As long as we have freedom to preach the gospel, to proclaim an old rugged Cross as the world's only Savior from sin, we will be a missionary nation at home, in our own neighborhoods, and abroad to the world.

We are by an order of magnitude the most generous and the most missionary nation the world has ever seen.

Is this a cause for superiority or smugness? No. It is a cause for gratitude. For humility. For thankfulness to generations before us who have paid the price for liberty so the gospel can freely flow.

This missionary impulse is one distinctive that makes American worth fighting for, and it is why I am an unapologetic, patriotic American.

2. America as a nation founded on the ideals of liberty and God-given unalienable rights.

Search the world over, and you will never find a nation founded on these ideals.

To their extraordinary credit, the Founders looked into human nature, and into Scripture, and developed a vision of how humans should relate to each other. They came up with a plan for government that would limit government, and maximize individual liberty and dominion.

The founders of our nation believed in freedom and God-given unalienable rights from the Bible. The enshrined these as the law of the land, and most of them paid with their lives—as imperfect as they might have been, they chose liberty over tyranny.

That is a truth worth reconstructing.

They insisted God gave us our rights. They insisted Government cannot take them away. They insisted God through Scripture and natural revelation is over government.

No one else has this. No the nation has ideals such as these.
Have we always lived up to our ideals?
No. Of course not. No nation does, and no person does either.
Have all Americans equally experienced these ideals?
No. But that doesn't mean we jettison them... instead we work to make all freedom and opportunity the experience of all...

Do we worship our country or government? No. America is not an idol, and we have no king but Jesus.

When I stood in that restaurant and sang Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light...
I realized again how blessed I am to live in this land, and to be able to say, God, bless America, and to be able to stand here and pray, America, bless God.
 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
WHO PAYS FOR COMPASSION
"Give me your money, so I can show compassion with it."

Absurd, right? Especially at the point of a gun.

By definition, governments and their agencies, cannot show compassion. That's because they fund their activities — benevolent or not — through the threat of force. If you don't pay your taxes, terrible things happen to you, such as having to wait on hold, stand in line, talk to IRS agents, and go to jail.

If I take YOUR money by force, and give it to the next guy, who's showing compassion? Answer: NO ONE. Sorry, Robin Hood.

Compassion cannot be coerced.

Compassion cannot be legislated.

Compassion cannot be charged to someone else's credit card.

Please notice I have NOT said that our government should get out of the business of doing good for people. Of course not. Our federal government exists, in part, "to promote the general welfare..." So, please don't leave a comment about how I want to throw impoverished children onto the streets. I am simply arguing that NOBODY gets "compassion points" for anything governments do.

Nor am I suggesting that all individuals employed by our federal government are heartless bureaucrats. Some are. Most aren't. When I processed the 501(c)3 application (tax-exempt recognition) for my Chicago church at the U.S. Post Office in downtown Chicago, I met with a most wonderful, kind-hearted, compassionate, federal government minion. Yes, they're out there.

But, as personable and compassionate as she was individually, she still followed the letter of the government's laws.

The "passion" part of the word refers to emotion, and governance mixes with emotion as well as Kanye West with Taylor Swift. The government does NOT feel your pain, presidential claims to the contrary notwithstanding. In "Men in Black" Tommy Lee Jones deadpans the camera and says, "We're the federal government, ma'am. We have no sense of humor." Right. And no compassion either.

Can the current health care debate be about compassion as long as it is about government, too?

Can we delegate compassion to a soulless bureaucracy?

You can't shift the burden your compassion to the government. Nor can you pat yourself on the back for voting for a candidate because his/her policies are "more compassionate." THEY'RE SPENDING SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY ACQUIRED THROUGH TAXATION! IT'S NOT COMPASSION! Never has been, never will be.

"Compassionate conservatism?" No such thing; not unless compassion is a marketable commodity. "Compassionate liberalism?" No such thing; not unless feelings of mercy can be coerced by government regulation. A "compassionate" government is inevitably dysfunctional; governments run by laws, not feelings, and no amount of legislation can codify compassion. Good governance is dispassionate.

Can institutions weave compassion into their core values? Yes. They can and should. But that compassion ceases the instant the institution's funding becomes coercive. Samaritan's Purse, Bongolo Hospital, most churches, and other eleemosynary organizations... compassionate institutions all. Yes, compassion can be institutionalized, but NOT by government or any other coercive agency.

But mostly, it's personal.

Compassion is one man taking off his shoes and handing them to a neighbor who has none. Compassion is a woman pounding nails for Habitat for Humanity. Compassion is kids pulling money out of their piggy-banks for medical missions or literacy or to give a Happy Meal to a family on the streets. It is putting your arm around a hurting friend and stumbling through a prayer. It is cooking meals for new moms, and stopping to put on a spare for a senior citizen. It is the tenderness of heart that results in joyful self-sacrifice to meet another's needs. It is person to person and neighbor to neighbor.

It doesn't kick the cost down the road to our neighbors or their children.

It isn't funded by someone else's dime.

Jesus volunteered for the Cross. He didn't shift the burden. He didn't agitate the Roman government to create a compassionate society. He accepted the full weight of God's love for our needy race. He cared. He came. He gave. He paid.

That's compassion.

 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
HOW BUREAUCRACY ENABLES TYRANNY
[This article was first published on January 10, 2010.]
 
Bureaucracy is the foundation of tyranny.
 
What made old style Soviet Communism so onerous was having to wait in line for everything. Even worse, once you crushed your way to the front (when I was in Yugoslavia, they really didn't take turns–they crushed forward and waved their hands until they were called on)... you weren't assured "permission" to build, buy, or operate what you waited in line for. The "permission giver" — let's call him or her the bureaucrat — operated by whim, old-boy networking, mood, bribery, or lust.
 
You had no rights, except the right to try to persuade the bureaucrat to see things your way.
 
Tyrants do not work in a vacuum. They cannot sit a thousand miles away, issue a decree, and expect serfs in their fiefdom to fall in line. The dictates of tyranny require a vast, unseemly administrative architecture. Enter, the bureaucrat.
 
Lenin could not have enslaved millions without bureaucrats regulating every facet of Soviet life. Hitler could not have dominated the masses so completely without acquiescent clerks: "Show me your papers!"
 
The administrative architecture does not see itself as aiding and abetting a Tyrant. The bureaucrat rarely sees him- or herself as a cog in a dictatorial machine. No. "I'm just doing my job — my hands are tied... Permission denied."
 
Bureaucrats see themselves as protectors of the public good (God save us from those who would protect us). They are "reasonable people" saddled with Herculean demands from nameless clouds of functionaries above them. Disembodied "aeons" who connect to higher ups who connect to higher ups who connect to higher ups... all they way to the Big Guy.

They administer the beneficence of their protection through regulations so convoluted no two reasonable people could possibly agree on their interpretation.

Ask to see a a superior even once and you're screwed forever. The scowl on the functionary's face tells you so. Unelected. Serving for life. Gatekeepers of the blessings of power and permission. You will make this person your friend, or your trash will never be collected again.

Yes, bureaucracy is the foundation of tyranny.

Everyday life devolves from the happy exercise of liberty into the monotonous pursuit of permission. Permission from a person who knew somebody who knew somebody and got a job — the primary skill of which is knowing how to ink a stamp pad — and is thus qualified to have a say in your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

It's not the Tyrant per se that alienates your inalienable rights. It's the bureaucrat that won't let you (or will charge you prohibitive "fees" to): fell a tree, build a deck, pave a driveway, dig a well, light a fireplace, obtain a license, expand a business, add a drive-through, build a warehouse, sing a Christmas carol, or preach the gospel. In vast stretches of modern, so-called civilization you must obtain a "license" to preach Jesus. In China you must obtain a license to conceive a second child.

The Tyrant is so far removed from the scene, we may not notice his or her tyranny. We may deem the Tyrant a Very Nice Person. The Tyrant never stamped "Denied" across our papers. We do not yet feel the need to throw off his or her shackles. It's that damn clerk down at the permit office that drives us nuts. Remember, Haiti called its dictators "Papa."

In their review of FA Hayek's classic, The Road to Serfdom (1944), the Mises Institute writes: 

What F.A. Hayek saw, and what most all his contemporaries missed, was that every step away from the free market and toward government planning represented a compromise of human freedom generally and a step toward a form of dictatorship–and this is true in all times and places. He demonstrated this against every claim that government control was really only a means of increasing social well-being. Hayek said that government planning would make society less liveable, more brutal, more despotic. Socialism in all its forms is contrary to freedom.

Nazism, he wrote, is not different in kind from Communism. Further, he showed that the very forms of government that England and America were supposedly fighting abroad were being enacted at home, if under a different guise. Further steps down this road, he said, can only end in the abolition of effective liberty for everyone.

Capitalism, he wrote, is the only system of economics compatible with human dignity, prosperity, and liberty. To the extent we move away from that system, we empower the worst people in society to manage what they do not understand.*

The tyranny of bureaucracy comes on like the frog in the kettle. We lose our freedoms almost imperceptibly. By the time we realize it, it's too late.

Fauci is the epitome of bureaucrats. Unelected, unaccountable, un-auditable, untouchable for life. The Alphabet Soup of Federal Agencies, State Agencies, along with all those little Czar's down at the county office, will either bankrupt you or drive you to suicide while trying to keep you safe. 

You will stand in line and you will learn to love it.

"Drop 'em and bend over." 

Welcome to the New World Order.

 

[*Full review here.]

 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
FIFTY SHADES OF NO WAY
[This article was first published February, 2015]
 
The movie version of runaway best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey will soon hit the big screen. The movie, like the book, treads where only fallen angels dare to go: themes of sexual bondage, domination, and sado-masochism (BDSM). The Fifty Shades book series sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 52 languages. The writing is generally considered marginal to poor, so there must be some other draw.
 
I wonder what that might be.
 
I have not read the books, I will not see the movie, and I urge you to spend your entertainment dollars elsewhere. This is not about picketing, boycotting, or trampling freedom of expression.

It's about protecting your own soul from harm.

By playing fast and loose with sexuality, our culture has trapped itself in a bondage it never saw coming: a weakened ability to form lasting bonds of affection.

God designed you for bonding — to form emotional/spiritual attachments that bring a sense of love, acceptance, knowing, camaraderie, and support into your life. Dogs are world-champion bonders. They bond through touch, play, sight, sound, proximity, smell. What self-respecting canine wouldn't jump at the chance to sleep on his best-friend's dirty socks? Every time you walk in the door, there's your mutt, beside himself with joy, renewing the bond, and ensuring your friendship stays tight.

Anyone who's lost a dog knows the pain of that broken bond.

Bonds that form slowly go deepest. The Bible says, "But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection [spiritual maturity]" (Colossians 3:14, NKJV). This well-bonded love comes last. It's the capstone of all other virtues. A mature bond forms last, at the end of a long process, and it holds the tightest. Those old married couples who still hold hands show the power of a lifetime bond. They've been through everything. They've argued their arguments. They've fought over money and kids and open toilet seats. Their bond has prevailed, for better or worse. To see a well-bonded couple like this is to see humanity's finest hour. The bond has aged to ripe perfection. Slowly. Over time.

I am a grace-guy. I'm all for personal liberty under the wide open skies of amazing grace. I'm a do-what-you-want, follow your heart, walk with God and be free kind of guy. I continually fight my urge to judge others. So I'm not writing to judge or damn anybody here. I'm writing to encourage you — and the people I pastor — to deeper dimensions of grace, especially in this arena of sexual bonding.

Movies and books like Fifty Shades of Grey will not only damage your bond, they will damage your ABILITY to bond.

Every time you make and then break a bond, it's harder to bond the next time. Like repeatedly attaching, and then ripping off, a bandage, sooner or later, the thing stops sticking. The trauma of repeatedly tearing apart bonds can result in attachment disorders, isolation, intimacy problems, and all kinds of heart-breaking patterns. You cross legitimate boundaries, feel the pain of it, excuse yourself, and ultimately become numb to it. You need ever-increasing stimulation for ever-diminishing returns. It takes more effort to achieve less satisfaction. Once you tear down the boundaries that protect your bond, you become vulnerable. You open yourself to wounds. You invite pain.

Protect your heart.

Protect your spouse's heart. If you're single, protect your own heart, and that of the person you or the other might someday marry.

You've been given this precious machinery of bonding. You possess this miraculous engine of attachment. Don't break it. Don't numb it.

The acts related to physical intimacy produce life's fastest bonds. In God's design, you bond mentally and emotionally first, then get to the chapel and get married, and then consummate your bond physically.

Why that order? Because God loves you too much to let you run down paths that will break your heart. Physical bonding works best in an atmosphere of exclusivity and lifetime commitment. Anything else leads to needless drama and lots of tears.

Fifty Shades of Grey is porn. Plus, it associates pain with pleasure — so it's a double whammy. It will introduce images into your mind you won't be able to erase. It will stimulate desires your spouse may not be interested in. It will cause comparisons that will only make you and your spouse feel inferior. It will judge you and your "lame" sex life as bland. It will damage your bond. It will damage your ability to maintain your bond. It will throw a wrench into that finely tuned engine of bonding that is the human spirit. It will bring other people into your marital bed through images you'll find hard to erase. It will dilute your exclusive bond with your spouse — or, to use another word — it will adulterate your bond. To adulterate wine is to water it down. To adulterate a marital bond is to water it down by bringing in any other partner, even in the imagination (Matthew 5:28).

Strong bonds require focus. Ask your dog.

The more partners you have — whether physically or mentally — the harder it's going to be to erase the others and focus on "the one."

Broken bonds haunt you.

Even imaginary ones. Some things just can't be unseen, even with God's grace. To see this movie, or to read this book, is to turn your back to grace. You lose.

Can there be healing? Yes. Without doubt. Can there be forgiveness, restoration, and rehab? Yes. God's grace is never out of reach. God's redemptive grace goes clear down to your sexuality (John 8:11). But the emotional pain of distorted sexuality is still pain. Why choose it on purpose?

Grace provides supernatural power to resist temptation. Calvary-Love offers you a better way of life. Grace offers a satisfaction the world's counterfeits can't touch.

I think the question Christians need to ask themselves is simple: Is the grace of God enough? Can I find happiness and love and all that my heart cries out for by laying hold of God's grace or not? Scripture paints a beautiful picture of a husband and wife as, "heirs together of the grace of life" (1 Peter 3:7). Heirs together — like millionaires without a care in the world. The grace of life — the most satisfying life with the most wonderful person you can imagine, as a by-product of God's amazing grace.

Fifty Shades of Grey will deface that picture with a bucket of pain disguised as guilty pleasure.

Go out to a fancy dinner instead, order a nice wine, and actually talk about things you both care about.

Or just take the dog for a nice, long walk.

 Back to Articles Index
Join the GRACE LINEUP Bible Study 
Sign the ALPHA CHRISTIANS Manifesto
Pick up the BOOK and MERCHANDISE
By Bill Giovannetti
 
 
 
Share this Article
 Back to Articles Index
LESSONS MY DAD TAUGHT ME
[This article was first published February 17, 2011]
 
Last night I received the sad news that my father, Roy Giovannetti, passed away. His downhill slide was extremely fast and his death was sudden. In fact, the news came one hour after I'd finished booking flights to Florida for the next day. His sudden passing was a blessing to him, in that he no longer suffers the ravages of cancer. It was however sad to me, because I didn't get to say good bye. I don't know if loved ones in heaven can see what goes on here on earth — in fact, I doubt it. I think they're preoccupied with Christ and a thousand better things. But just in case, here's to you, Dad.
 
1. Thanks for teaching me how to play baseball.
 
I loved those days when you'd come home from work and told Bob and me, "Go get your mitts." We'd stand on the sidewalk and play catch. You taught us to always catch with two hands. That way, if we bobbled the ball, the other hand was already there to save it. I still catch with two hands. Of course, your time as a Triple-A player for a Cubs farm team helped a lot. These last few years, I've held out the pathetic hopes that the Cubs would win a World Series for you. Sorry they didn't. I always loved calling you in Florida and talking baseball. Those memories are precious. Thanks for them.
 
2. Thanks for serving our country in the military.
 
I'm not sure how the story goes, but if I boil down the various versions over the years, you served as a gunner on naval fighter planes. You enlisted young, lying about your age to get in. I am so proud of you as a veteran. You fought for your family before you had a family. You didn't hesitate when duty called. You moved into the thick of the fray instead of moving against it. You didn't talk much about higher-order values, but you didn't have to. You modeled them, did your duty, came back, and lived a life. You didn't whine, didn't feel sorry for yourself, never bragged, and never saw the need to trumpet your achievements. I am proud to bear your name.
 

3. Thank you for laughing at yourself.

Dad, the older I got, the more I have admired your sense of humor. You are a damn funny guy. Remember the time in my twenties when a group of friend drove from Chicago to Florida to hang out on beaches and visit Disneyworld? You and mom squeezed us into your home in Englewood, FL. I'll never forget that dinner the day before we were to visit Disney's Epcot Center. You kept calling it EPCOCK. Every time you said it, my friends and I smiled, and then laughed, and then cracked up. Epcock, Epcock, Epcock. Finally, you got that something was wrong. "What? What's so funny," you said. "Dad, it's EpcoT," I said. "Yeah, why, what am I saying?" you said. "You're saying EpcoCK...." We all busted out laughing, and you laughed the loudest. A couple years ago, when we brought the kids to Florida... we told them that Grampa was an elf. That you were a cute elf. My son said, "What, like Dopey?" You got such a kick out of that, and let us call you Dopey. You never took yourself so seriously that we couldn't laugh at you. You were so REAL. You never put on airs. You had this easygoing way about you. You put people at ease. You could talk with anybody. Years as a bartender made you a natural. You never pretended to be someone you weren't. Thank you.

4. Thank you for making me go to Sunday School.

I know it wasn't your thing. I know you'd drop Bob and me off at Grace Gospel Church (Elston and Bryn Mawr Aves in Chicago)... and then go buy yourself a paper, coffee, and donut, and sit in the car till we were done. But you made me go, and for that I'm grateful. I especially remember the time in high school when Bob and I stayed out late for some reason — a reason you didn't buy into — on a Saturday night. We intended to sleep in; you intended otherwise. You barged into our bedroom at 7:00, woke us up and said, "Get dressed. You're going to to church." You made sure I had biblical values instilled from childhood. Thanks for that.

5. Thank you for the courage to get baptized at age 82.

You've never been a religious guy, but you were always a man of truth. And when, at age 82, you said you wanted to come to Chicago and get baptized, I was blown away. It was one of the high points of my life as a pastor, and my great privilege, to baptize you. I now know you were doing this for us, your family. You knew your time was short, and you didn't want us to worry. Dad, you gave us an amazing gift of hope. The older I get, the more your manly humility means to me. I know you're in heaven, not because you were a good man — which you were — but because you had received a good Savior, Jesus.

6. Thanks for teaching me how to play poker.

I loved that big stack of poker chips in the caddy. Blue chips worth a quarter, red chips worth a dime, white chips worth a penny. Poker, Five card stud, Seven card stud, Blackjack. I'm not a gambler, never have been, but I'm glad I know how to play, and we had so much fun together doing that stuff. You taught us how to fish. You taught us how to put a worm on a hook. You let us taste beer and try your cigarettes. You taught us how to drive and didn't freak out like mom did (hahaha). You didn't want your church-going sons to go through life so pristine that we couldn't sit down and enjoy a few worldly pastimes. Thanks for teaching me to shuffle, deal, and hold my cards close to the vest.

7. Thank you for never complaining.

I can't remember any time you complained about the hardships of life. In these last many decades, when you struggled through 5 different cancers, countless surgeries, unimaginable pain, and the rapid loss of dignity... you never lost your DIGNITY. You never complained. You never felt sorry for yourself. You kept your humor, and pressed through huge trials. Again, you are a giant of a man to me, and I can only hope to walk in your steps as a man.

8. Thanks for making me think we were rich.

You worked two jobs to put food on the table. As a truck driver for the Enameled Steel and Sign Company (used to be on Addison, near Kimball), you braved Chicago winters and got the job done. I loved those times you brought the truck home and let us climb into the cab. I was so proud that my Daddy could drive this massive truck. Your second job was as a bartender. Actually you scheduled all the bartenders for the banquets at the Sheraton O'Hare. So after 8 hours driving a truck, you'd come home, join us for dinner at the table, get dressed, and go back to bartend on weekends. You always put bread on the table, shoes on our feet, clothes on our backs, and a miraculous pile of presents under the tree. I never once felt deprived; never once thought we were poor; never once imagined the price you paid to put bread on the table — again without complaint. Thanks for being an example. Dad, you're my role model.

9. Thanks for moving that fridge.

I remember the time you had to move a refrigerator, and you just did it. Alone. No help. I was in awe, because my dad was strong enough to move a refrigerator all by himself.

10. Thanks for sticking up for us when that neighbor accused us of smashing his Christmas lights.

I'm not saying we did or we didn't, but you told him, "I gotta stick with my sons." I never felt more secure than at that moment. Thanks for sticking with your sons and defending us from an adult making charges against us.

11. Thanks for putting family first.

Not just our immediate family, but grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, everyone. I watched as all our family members came to you for help, and you never failed them. Money, loaning a car, painting a room, opening our home... anything anyone needed they could get from you. You blew me away with your generosity and kindness. I want to be a man like you.

12. Thanks for worrying about my eye.

One last story... when I was maybe 8 years old, I was playing pirate. I got hold of the first aide stuff, and wrapped a patch over my eye. It looked like a real injury. You came home from work and saw me. I'll never forget the look on your face. It was immediate — a look of panic. You rushed to me, took hold of me, and with fear written across your face asked what happened. Your relief was as great as your fear. In that moment, i I felt massively cared for and protected. I knew you treasured me. I knew you valued me above all else. Yes, you worried a lot. But it was because you loved a lot.

Your quiet courage during these years of battling cancer stands as a testament to your greatness. You kept your grace and your humor through it all. You never once felt sorry for yourself. You accepted your lot in life with a magnificent heart. Wow, Dad, you amaze me.

I'm sure time will expand this list. I'm already thinking of stuff I've missed. But today, on the morning after your passing, I wanted to start saying my good bye. I wanted the world to know what kind of dad I had. I wish you could have held out another couple of days. But that wish is selfish. Your examples of selflessness, generosity, humor, courage and love will be with me forever.

The world got bigger and scarier and a little less secure for me yesterday. But I'll be okay. You showed me how.

I love you Dad. I always have.

But you have always loved me more.

I'm proud to be your son. You were a great dad, a faithful husband, and a true, honest, courageous man. A great example. And my original example of an Alpha Christian. 

I miss you so much already. Have fun in heaven.

See you soon.

 Back to Articles Index