User Posts: Jack Dodgen
Why Christians Fight Each Other

Why Christians Fight Each Other

Christian in-fighting has become a common sight online. Here's why we do it and what we need to be doing instead.

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Church-Approved Transgenderism

Church-Approved Transgenderism

Your church has a big transgender problem and you probably don't even know it.

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Quit Picking On Jeremiah 29:11

Quit Picking On Jeremiah 29:11

A better response to those who post this verse around graduation.

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Early Christian Retirement: Its Causes and Why It’s a Serious Problem in the Church

Early Christian Retirement: Its Causes and Why It’s a Serious Problem in the Church

Christians these days seem to be retiring earlier and earlier. Here's why that's caused, why it's a problem and how to fix it.

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Jesus Doesn’t Need Our Gimmicks

Jesus Doesn’t Need Our Gimmicks

Jack writes about the dangers of being preoccupied with spectacle in our churches.

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Lies Pornography Addicts Tell Themselves

Lies Pornography Addicts Tell Themselves

Lying and pornography go hand in hand, and the lies porn addicts tell themselves are the worst.

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PODCAST: #MiloYiannopoulos and Being Careful What You Say Online

PODCAST: #MiloYiannopoulos and Being Careful What You Say Online

Milo Yiannopoulos was trending this week for saying some things online a year ago that came back to haunt him. Whether you are okay with what he said or not, his story shows us ...

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PODCAST: Core Issues – Abuse

PODCAST: Core Issues – Abuse

What role does abuse play into developing a pornography habit? Quite a lot actually. Today we begin a series of podcasts looking at issues that lead to pornography addiction and ...

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Why I’m Scared about the Future of the Church

Why I’m Scared about the Future of the Church

The church has a lot to be optimistic about, but there are a few things we need to get a handle on quickly.

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PODCAST: Chasing Eternity – The Superbowl

PODCAST: Chasing Eternity – The Superbowl

Today, Strong Church unveils a new podcast from Chris Krotz and Adam Oldham titled Chasing Eternity.  Each episode will discuss various cultural topics in light of the eternal ...

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PODCAST: #MuslimBan and a Discussion about the Refugee Crisis

PODCAST: #MuslimBan and a Discussion about the Refugee Crisis

The Trend returns! On this episode, Spencer and Jack talk about the controversy surrounding Trump's executive order on refugees and how Christians need to respond. As always, ...

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4 Steps to a Better Bible Class

4 Steps to a Better Bible Class

Want a better Bible class this Sunday? Start here.

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Browsing All Comments By: Jack Dodgen
  1. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 26, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Welcome to the site! Glad you enjoyed the article (and sorry for any hair loss you might have experienced). Thanks for sticking through to the end of the post and commenting!

  2. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Yep, that’s the app! Should be accompanied by an image of a circle with an arrow pointing upwards. I’ve found this app to be super helpful in my day to day prayer life. Glad you enjoyed the article!

  3. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 12, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    We’ll be studying four books throughout the year. James was the first of those, Colossians here is the second, next week is Philippians and then 1 John will finish out the introductions.

    Each month we’ll release the next article for our book. In other words, between now and next February you have the opportunity to study four books in depth. The next James post won’t be out until next month.

    We were wanting to give people multiple study options at one time. Hope that all makes sense.

    Our schedule will look like this for the most part:
    1st Thursday of the month – James
    2nd Thursday of the month – Colossians
    3rd Thursday of the month – Philippians
    4th Thursday of the month – 1 John

    (in the event that a month has 5 Thursdays we’ll bump the articles up a week)

  4. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 2, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Hello Carol,

    I’d like to address your comment because I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood my article and what I was hoping to do with it. I’ll reply point by point.

    “It was not meant to be as sterile as you have presented”

    I know it’s not, but that’s a privilege of knowing that I have having had grown up in the church. Those that didn’t grow up in the church see a chart for what it is, and this chart appears to paint the picture that we save ourselves.

    “It is a shame to disparage faithful Bible teachers, who taught you how to become a Christian. What is your purpose here Jack?”

    I am not seeking to disparage anyone, and I’m sorry if you felt that way after reading my article. The original steps of salvation are not the same as we have on our chart today. Walter Scott created the original chart during the Restoration Movement and, while it was similar, it was not the same. That means that someone along the way took what Walter Scott created and tried to improve upon it. Were they disparaging Walter Scott or any other preacher of old? Absolutely not! They were merely trying to take the same Bible truths and present them in a way that was relevant to the culture and time that they were in. The same is true of what I, and other young preachers, are trying to do.

    “Attacking a good illustration does not build up the body of Christ.”

    That’s the thing. I don’t believe that this is a good illustration, and I listed my reasons why in the article. As for the building up of the body of Christ, that’s what the last two paragraphs are all about. We need to rethink our methods and presentations of things to fit the newer culture we’re in. Not a changing of truth, but a changing of how it’s given (something that every generation does). I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know that as we go to reach the lost in our culture today and “build up the church” we have to stop presenting them with the same old things we’ve always done. The truth is above attack, but illustrations, methods, and traditions NEED to be evaluated constantly or the church will become stagnant. That’s what my last paragraph states and that’s the purpose of this article.

    Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m sorry the article upset you, and I hope this comment helped to clear things up. I don’t hate the church. I love the church and I want to see it grow. That is why I work to create and innovate and rethink all of our practices.

  5. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 26, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Good advice and thanks for the post! We’ll be sure to check out that link and talk about it soon!

  6. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 8, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Just using the terminology I see my typical audience using, but you’re absolutely right there are more than two candidates running. Here’s hoping the third party is more prominent in the next election.

  7. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 4, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    I understand the viewpoint this is conveying, and I think it’s very reasonable. From what I can tell, Pence seems like a genuinely solid guy on the religious front and from the standpoint of being pro-life. I also understand the urgency this election holds due to the Supreme Court vacancies.

    That being said, I disagree with the sentence “…if candidates are not voted on that also see the importance and sanctity of life then the millennial viewpoint on abortion is a moot one.” I think this sentence greatly overstates the power of elected officials and greatly understates the power that individuals have within a community. I’ve watched a considerable number of Christians (not saying you, but others I’ve seen) outright state that whoever is in office will be the one to turn things around. That’s simply not true. Can a president help, sure (and I believe that’s what you’re saying), but to say that one president undermines the effect of many generations (by which I mean that growing group of people becoming more opposed to abortion, which includes more than just millenials), is just something I can’t get on board with.

  8. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    There is merit to that question I believe (and it’s one I’ve pondered myself recently). The trouble is that 1) we can’t separate our nature as Christians from our actions, therefore any action a Christian takes will have Christ at the root. 2) Government is a topic of discussion in Scripture. Jesus told others to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Mt. 22:21), both Paul and Peter wrote about submitting to the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17), and Daniel wrote about how God sets up kingdoms and authorities (Dan. 2:21).

    Absent from all of these discussions of government is the idea of voting. This is expected in Daniel since they were both foreigners in the land of Babylon, and Babylon was a monarchy ruled by a succession of kings. As a republic, though, voting was present in Rome. Roman citizens would have been able to participate in those things, and yet voting is not discussed whatsoever in Scripture. I don’t know what the reasoning for that is, but I do know that voting was not mentioned even though voting was present in that culture.

    Here’s what I do know, Christians are repeatedly commanded to submit to the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17), endure the wrongdoing of a bad people (government included) (1 Pet. 3:13-17, 4:12-17), and to pray for governing officials (1 Tim. 2:1-6). There is no charge to urge that better people are voted, though there’s nothing wrong with wanting godly people in office. We are simply commanded as Christians to submit to our leaders and constantly be in prayer for them.

    In all of the things laid out for Christians to do in response to government, voting is not one of them. I’m not saying it’s wrong to want a godly person in office, or that it’s wrong to vote. I am suggesting though that it’s also not wrong to abstain from voting.

  9. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 3, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    There may be some who need a squeaky clean person in order to vote (though I am not one of those people). My concern is this, I have not heard a single one of my Christian friends say that this election isn’t a choice between the lesser of two evils. If you feel like you have to vote, I understand voting for Trump over Hillary, I really do. My question is, why do Christians feel like we have to vote, and have no choice but to do so? Voting is an American privilege, not a Christian commandment.

  10. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for the kind words! I’ll be joining you in those prayers for our country for sure.

  11. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 3, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I notice nothing was said of the sexism that was pointed out. Let’s push racism off the table, and say that it’s just liberal lies. There are plenty of people who don’t want to have “I voted a sexist adulterer” on their Judgment ledger. I think that’s understandable. What I don’t understand is the fear that so many Christians have. God worked through much worse governments than what the Amercian government is, or will become anytime soon. Shouldn’t that trust in God outweigh the fear of “what happens if a liberal is in power”? Quite frankly, we shouldn’t be surprised that Christians are becoming more and more hated, and that evil people want power. Jesus told us to expect hate (Mt. 10:16-25) and told us to respond in faith, not fear (Mt. 10:26-33).

    On the topic of voting, I’ll add this. Someone can choose not to vote for president and still vote for all the other levels of government. Are they still strengthening “Satan’s cause” by not voting for the president? On that note, I have to wonder why so many older Christians believe that the person in office as president is the one that will further, or stop Satan’s cause. It’s historically noted that many of the Roman Emperors who reigned through the infancy of the church held themselves up as gods and practiced homosexuality (in many cases). They also fed Christians to lions in the colosseums, wrapped Christians in meat and tied them to a tree so that they’d be eaten by bears, and boiled them in oil among other horrible actions. Even through all of that the church grew. My point with that is this, you can have a government as bad as you are saying we will have and still accomplish God’s will. The church grew by leaps and bounds under this time of persecution, and that same thing will be true of us (even though I’m pretty sure that level of Christian hate is not in our near future).

    Voting is not the only way, or even the greatest way, Christians can affect the society they live in. It’s what we do in our actions, our speech, and our thoughts that determine what impact we have on a society. It’s not that voting can’t accomplish something (I understand those that say we must vote), but it’s not the greatest way or only way to do something.

    This post was written not to shame voters or to tell others not to vote, but to provide the perspective that many Christians have: that is the perspective of not voting for either of the two major candidates because of the things they support. Because I thought the view had validity I wrote about it.

  12. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Are the consequences really that dire? Can’t God work through a liberal Supreme Court? God worked through the, far more corrupt I must add, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Roman governments to bring about His glory. Can He not do the same for America through a liberal Supreme Court?

    As to the “evil men prevail when good men do nothing” quote, I have to ask: would I be doing nothing by not voting? Are evangelism and charitable acts nothing? The early church lived under an oppressive Roman government that literally murdered them in horrible ways just because they believed Jesus was Lord, and the church grew because of their commitment, evangelism, and charity. It seems to me that it’s quite a stretch to say that someone would be doing nothing by not voting.

    None of this is meant to be accusatory and, though this subject is inflammatory by nature, it’s not meant to incite anger. I’m just asking questions for the purposes of growth, because I don’t know everything (this is not me passive-aggressively suggesting you do btw). I’m honestly interested in why so many Christians have, what seems to be, a religious obligation to vote as if God commanded it. It’s a privilege, and no matter what happens I know this: God never promised to change a nation by who is voted in, but He has promised to change nations through prayer, humility, and the teaching of His gospel.

  13. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 3, 2016 at 11:46 am

    My problem with this line of reasoning is that it seems (not accusing) to put trust in God only if we elect the right person. God can work through any person or situation to bring about His good. The early church thrived under a Roman Empire that was full of abortion, homosexuality, and fornication.

    For whatever reason, Christians today feel like we have to have a government “on our side” in order to do what God has asked of us. We don’t. In fact, it could be argued that one of the greatest downfalls of Christianity is having a government that’s on our side.

    I’m digressing a little, but my point is this: God can work in whatever situation is presented. Knowing that, many people cannot sign their name and give approval to any candidate presented before us. Many people would rather not sign their name to someone who supports the murder of children (Hillary) and someone as sexist and racist as Trump. I think that’s justifiable.

  14. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you for the comment! This sounds like an awesome way to help keep people faithful!

  15. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    There may not be an America for next time you’re right, but God still reigns if America goes under and His kingdom (the nation we are a part of) will still be standing. The fact of the matter is that neither of the candidates project an America that many want to even be a part of.

  16. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I wouldn’t say it’s misleading, but I understand where you’re coming from. Yes to “not vote” is a vote for no one. I wouldn’t say that it’s passive though. By not voting I’m actively saying “these candidates aren’t good enough, do better picking next time.” I understand it may not be seen that way, but I think there’s validity in that view. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  17. Reply
    Jack Dodgen August 31, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Scheduling issues have prevented the articles from coming out like they were before, but yes one day this series will be continued and completed.

  18. Reply
    Jack Dodgen August 26, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I think you’re absolutely right about that! Leading and teaching our men is something we need to be doing on a regular basis as well. Thanks for the comment!

  19. Reply
    Jack Dodgen August 25, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I think a big part of it comes down to establishing a love of God in the membership. If people don’t love God they aren’t going to come to worship to worship Him, but to be entertained. They also won’t come to serve, but to be served in some way. Part of this is the fault of our membership, but part of it is the fault of ministers/leaders in the church. We need to stop catering to the people who just want to eat bread and start catering to those who want to know what the bread represents (to borrow an analogy from Christ).

  20. Reply
    Jack Dodgen August 25, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Great, great insight and comment! I’ve heard the same comments in the past, but I believe you’re right in saying that we need to encourage those God wants to lead to lead, not try to use our wisdom and fill the gap of leadership as we choose.

  21. Reply
    Jack Dodgen August 24, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Hello Matthew, I accepted your comment on here as your comment beautifully illustrates the point of this article which is that people think Christians are homophobic bigots. Obviously you view me that way and, while I don’t think this reply will in any way change your perception of me, I still think it necessary to reply to the points you made.

    You asked “who are you to condemn homosexuality” and later said “you are not god so therefore you have no right to judge”. I am no one to condemn and I did not condemn homosexuals at any point in this article. I also never claimed to be God. I did reference to what God has said on the matter (1 Corinthians 6:1-11, 1 Timothy 1:3-11 and Romans 1:18-32). God condemned homosexuality not me. As a follower of His I merely follow what He has written. He’s condemned it just like he’s condemned my former life of bad language and pornography use. I’m not perfect, far from it in fact, but that’s what all Christians are: broken people who are being fixed by God. That’s what I want for all people, and as far as God is concerned homosexuality is a brokenness (sin) that He needs to fix.

    You also stated that I “can’t force gays to change because there’s no such thing as a gay person not being gay anymore”. You’re right that I can’t force gays to change. I’ve never tried to force a gay person to change. I’ve pointed out scripture and showed them what God has said on the matter and what God wants them to do, but I’ve never given a gay person a become-straight-or-die ultimatum. You’re wrong that “there’s no such thing as a gay person not being gay anymore”. In fact, this man (http://www.christianpost.com/news/ex-gay-gospel-singer-donnie-mcclurkin-under-fire-after-speaking-out-against-same-sex-marriage-ruling-141014/) fits exactly that description.

    I’m sorry you have had dealings with Christians in the past who have made you so jaded against them. I’m sorry you find what God has to say so offensive. Know this, I don’t know you, but I hope I get to see you in heaven one day. I hope one day you’ll put aside the anger you feel towards Christians and Christ, read His words, and become a child of His. I sincerely mean that. I can’t make you change, but I hope you do.

    Also, I’m perfectly fine continuing a dialogue with you here (as long as you keep it civil, watch the language please) or personally at jack@strongchurch.org. Thanks for the comment.

  22. Reply
    Jack Dodgen July 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

    That also needs to be addressed as well for sure. Every sin needs to be dealt with patiently and carefully.

  23. Reply
    Jack Dodgen July 14, 2016 at 11:18 am

    You’re exactly right about that. Church attendance is absolutely necessary, but it in and of itself will not create a faithful child. It’s gotta be lived in the home.

  24. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I don’t disagree. I didn’t delve into what the hostility was, but assumed that, whether it was real hostility or not, he felt hostility. That being said, I made sure not to get mad at the church for something I didn’t have the full details. Anyway, I did give this other congregation a heads-up and told him that I did so he wouldn’t feel like it was fake welcoming.

  25. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The first verse that came to my mind when you said that was 1 Cor. 5:9-10 which says “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the sexually immoral of the world…” We don’t associate with sinful people who have become Christians and are choosing to turn their back on God, but we are never told not to associate with sinful people in the world. You wouldn’t be able to evangelize if that were the case.

  26. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. We miss you as well!

  27. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I don’t know what area you’re referring to specifically where I stated that we were right and everyone else is wrong. No I don’t believe the Church of Christ is a denomination but I spoke nothing of who’s right and wrong. You also need to understand the audience that I’m writing to. My audience is mostly Church of Christ and so I’m writing from that perspective and to that perspective. There are many who believe we’ve got everything right and everyone else has everything wrong. I have to write to that audience and get them to see that that isn’t the case.

    I will say this, obviously I think the beliefs I hold are correct (though I’m not so arrogant as to think that my beliefs are infallible), I’m sure you’re the same way. If I believe the views I hold are correct then those who don’t hold those views would be “wrong” at least in my eyes on that particular point. That shouldn’t be taken as a slight against anyone. I’m not slighted that there are things you think are correct that I disagree with. We can disagree and still have an open-minded dialogue. I’m willing to concede in any of my beliefs that I might be wrong. I’m hoping others will read this and think the same. Simply put, if I believe something to be true and that’s something you’re not doing then yes I need to “convert” you to that idea, at the same time though I’m open to being converted myself, knowing that a position I hold may be wrong too.

    I just think stuff got lost in translation here. I wasn’t trying to say “everybody’s wrong and we’re right” in fact I made several statements to the opposite effect. Sorry if my writing did not make that clear.

  28. Reply
    Jack Dodgen April 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Your comment is much appreciated brother!

  29. Reply
    Jack Dodgen March 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I don’t know that I’d describe myself in the same way, but I suppose you know me better than I myself anonymous internet commenter. Here is a more recent article I wrote using multiple reputable sources documenting what porn does to your body. Good additional information to add to this article.

  30. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Certainly there are other reasons than fear why change is resisted. I never indicated otherwise. This article was merely addressing the fact that we should not be afraid to change (as many are). The article should be seen as commentary directed toward those afraid of change and to that audience alone. I was not trying to oversimplify an issue or overlook some points. I was writing a specific article to a specific people. Thanks for reading and commenting. Appreciate your thoughts (which I agree with by the way).

  31. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 17, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    We definitely need to do a better job connecting older and younger Christians together. That would help solve a lot of issues I think.

  32. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    There are always bad and good people in every generation. It is true though that the Millennials will be the dominant demographic here soon and we have to be prepared to reach them regardless of whether they fit this positive stereotype or not.

  33. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I have received it and am responding now. Thank you for wanting to continue the dialogue brother.

  34. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    First, I want to thank you for your kind response. Second, I want to address the last sentence you wrote. I am in no way trying to make light of those who have gone before us. I am trying to get us to see that our methodology of doing things needs to change. This step to salvation chart was at one point new. When it was created those who created were not making light of the work those had done before them, they were simply exploring new ways to make the gospel message more accessible. I am attempting to do the same. I know my writing can be a bit harsh sometimes, but at the heart of it all I’m trying to get us to see that it’s okay to question methodology and necessary to change and adapt how we present things over time to different cultures. I think the five steps as they are presented in most charts does more harm than good because it fails to teach some very important points of the gospel (the continual nature of confession, belief, and repentance; grace). This method has been used for awhile by many ministers (and I think it’s still great to use with young kids), but it is not infallible and not above being examined. Knowing what I know about the culture, I wrote an article addressing many of the perceived weaknesses in the “steps” chart. I am not attempting to tear down the work so many have done in the past, I’m attempting to build a better future for the church.

  35. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you very much!

  36. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    If used as an outline I think the chart is fine, but I’ve seen it used and posted (on Facebook among other places) as the “here’s how you’re saved” without any accompanying description. I would hope that experienced teachers wouldn’t just show the chart, but I’ve seen it happen enough that I thought the post was warranted.

  37. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Haha that was really weird how that happened. Glad it did though. If I had written this a week later I would’ve had to trash it.

  38. Reply
    Jack Dodgen December 3, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Gotcha on both counts. This article is probably best read through the lens of “ask these questions, but note the culture you’re living in”. I still think all three of these questions are good ones to ask, but (at least the last two) need to be viewed in the eyes of the culture you’re living in. Good thoughts.

  39. Reply
    Jack Dodgen December 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Not sure I agree that points two and three would condemn Christ. Alcohol today is more alcoholic than the wine then, in all likelihood. Whether or not this alcohol is prohibited today I do not know, but the question of wisdom ought to be asked. Our alcohol today is much more potent making the question of wisdom perhaps more relevant today than it was then when Jesus made wine.

    As far as 3 is concerned there didn’t seem to be too much of a controversy on drinking in Jesus’ day like there is today (though it appears that something in Rome may have been causing drinking to be controversial). I doubt that Jesus would have let kingdom work go hindered to discuss alcohol, that is what I believe Paul’s point was. Jesus is not condemned in either situation.

  40. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 12, 2015 at 9:57 am

    This subject is a difficult one indeed. One that, as you said, requires the use of “good guiding principle(s).” Thanks for adding this point to the discussion.

  41. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 12, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Your comment caused me to study further into the word porneia and I ran across an article (linked in the edit I just added). Thank you for bringing up that point. I shouldn’t have missed it like I did. I added in a few thoughts towards the bottom of that section in the article.

  42. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I appreciate you adding that in. Good thoughts.

  43. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 28, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Apology accepted and I apologize for not making that point more clear originally. Appreciate your comments and readership!

  44. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 28, 2015 at 9:27 am

    HI Lance. Thank you for reading and commenting. I understand where you’re coming from and should have provided more context for what it was that I wrote. I wrote that knowing that those who read my articles are primarily church of Christ goers. Last week, I wrote the first post of this series and one Church of Christ goer said he could ignore what was said because these “Christians” being referred to where probably non Church of Christ goers. I wanted to preempt any comments or thoughts about that this time around and so I wrote that sentence. I believe Christianity as a whole is seen as homophobic and bigoted. My intention was not to “bad mouth non-CoC churches” but to avoid having CoC members ignore this message because they think the “Christians” the lady quoted is talking about are not CoC members. Sorry for not making that more clear. My intention was not to harm, but to reach my largest audience (those who are CoC).

  45. Reply
    Jack Dodgen October 7, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Hi Connie! Thanks for the comment. I have a problem with the whole “authority” part of this discussion (not from you specifically, but from the other things I have read). Who gets to define what that “authority” is? Whose “authority” am I required to confess before? Who gets to decide the “authority” I must speak up in front of? From what I read I must confess God before men (Mt. 10:32-33) regardless of their supposed authority. Based on that I’d have to say that yes it’d be wrong to deny one-on-one and I’m not sure to the group answer. I don’t know that Scripture justifies that group silence, but I would have trouble at this point in my study to say that Scripture condemns it.

    To your point about the opportunity to teach/preach to others, I understand where you’re coming from, and I know that many believers of the silence idea are coming from this same place. I respect the thought behind that. I myself have tons of things I’d like to do as far as ministry is concerned that I’d be unable to do if I were dead. That being said, I’d hope that my life, preaching, writing that I’ve already done still speaks to people long after I’m gone. Those that died for their faith still serve as tremendous examples for us today (see Heb. 11:32-38). While we’re living we must spread the gospel, and confess Christ before men. We also must have faith that God is going to work through any bad situation that comes up, even our death. It is as an old preacher friend of mine has said “sometimes God delivers his people from death, other times he delivers them through it.”

    Thanks again for reading and commenting! Have a wonderful day.

  46. Reply
    Jack Dodgen September 30, 2015 at 11:26 am

    There are definitely more ways than what I wrote here. I want to thank you for adding to the list with this comment. As a preacher I appreciate hearing the thoughts and concerns of others. It saddens me that even during some sermons we can push some away, like you, to skip out on Sundays because the message hurts. I want to encourage you to keep pushing through and know that they’re not doing those things on purpose to make you feel second class. I’m sure they’d love to hear feedback from you as well about how they can improve in reaching to singles (and others who feel second class). Thanks again for commenting Kathryn!

  47. Reply
    Jack Dodgen September 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I know I already answered this on Facebook, but for continuity’s sake I’ll answer here too. I hope I would go to them where they are and display that love and I’d like to think that if they came to me, I’d show them that love too.

  48. Reply
    Jack Dodgen August 5, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Right. It’s unfortunate that people’s perception of the word “religion” is so off. We equate it to something that isn’t the gospel, whereas the Bible writers used the word to describe something that was gospel. To us you’re either religious, or a follower of Christ. To the Bible writers follower of Christ = religious = spiritual = gospel believer. I won’t be using the word “religion” to describe myself because of its negative connotation, but I will educate others on the biblical meaning of religion when I have opportunity.

    I’ll check that video out. Ironically, quote I cited from Twitter was written by Tim Keller. It was his wrong usage of the word “religion” that was the impetus for this post.

  49. Reply
    Jack Dodgen July 8, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for commenting David! This summer we’ve been conducting a “How to Study the Bible” class series with our youth and family group here. The parents and children seem to be loving it and it’s great to watch them grow in their knowledge of God.

  50. Reply
    Jack Dodgen July 8, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Great point! If kids are taught that the teachings of Scripture are just a bunch of fables, they’ll grow up with a weak, wavering faith.

  51. Reply
    Jack Dodgen July 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the response! I agree with what you’re saying here for the most part. I still wouldn’t place all the blame on the companies that produce this stuff (if there weren’t consumers they wouldn’t produce and as it stands, many of those who claim the name “Christian” are part of the consuming audience). That being said, I didn’t mean to place the entire blame on Christians either. I was more or less trying to convey that our silence/lack of light shining in this area has allowed the sin to thrive. That being said it’s not any one persons fault, and I’m sorry that my rhetoric pointed toward any one group as being at fault.

  52. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I don’t pretend to know everything, I’ve fully admitted that I’m new to this topic. I’ll say however that accusing me of riding this topic just to get hits is a ridiculous. I wrote the first article because Christians haven’t been talking about transgenderism, and we really ought to. This article was written because it was asked of me to write it. I’m not seeking out hot topics to write on, I’m just trying to find an answer from Scripture on topics relevant to our culture.

    I figured there would be those that would read this article that would disagree with the conclusions I drew, and I’m fine with that. If everyone agreed with each other about everything this would be a very boring life. I’m sorry that I’m not transgender and homosexual as you are (I’m assuming you are since you’re talking about these subjects and you told me I can’t because I haven’t in that position before in my life).

    As for “evidence” I provided a link to a doctor from John Hopkins (second to last paragraph under “Why is Transgenderism Sinful?”. Click the link that says “science confirms this”). I also provided a link to a video of a converted transgender man who went back to living as a man after he converted (under “What Repetance Looks Like” second to last paragraph click on “possible to do so”.) No, I haven’t been there personally, that’s why I included links from people who have studied this and have been there. They seem to agree with the conclusions I drew from Scripture.

    As for the answer to the question you want asked. I’d be happy to continue a dialogue with you at jack@strongchurch.org. That is, barring you’ll quit talking about my character and promise to simply look at the issue. I’ll happily provide more Scripture, and more links from scientists and converted transgenders and would even more happily read any proof you have confirming what you’re saying (outside of your own words of course).

    Thank you for reading and commenting and know that I’m not writing these things to capitalize on some hot topic. I’m writing on this subject because this issue of transgenderism is only going to keep getting bigger and bigger. I don’t want the church to be unprepared to handle it and I don’t want to run the risk of losing those struggling with gender dysphoria to Hell because the church doesn’t know how to handle it. My purpose on earth is to help people to heaven, I’m not perfect at that purpose, but I’m trying hard to get better each day. God bless, and hope to continue the dialogue with you soon at jack@strongchurch.org

  53. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 25, 2015 at 9:40 am

    My point was not that surgery in and of itself is wrong. My point was that surgery in in order to attempt to change your gender is wrong (and impossible). As far as cleft pallets, etc. See my above reply to commenter “Red” who asked me about conjoined twins and hermaphrodites. Thanks for reading!

  54. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 24, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Honestly, I don’t know. As far as surgeries go I would think this is a different scenario. Someone who is transgender has the qualities of one gender and wants to change to another. A hermaphrodite seemingly has the characteristics of both genders (though I’ll admit I haven’t looked into the science of that very much) and is seeking to choose one.

    I agree that this is a mental illness and that’s more or less what I was trying to convey. There are corruptions in the gene pool as a result of sinful, and while we don’t bear the guilt of those sinful things, we sometimes have to deal with the consequences. Someone born transgender mentally feels that they’re in the wrong gender, someone classified as a hermaphrodite was born with both (again, haven’t studied that much myself). From what I understand there is typically only one useful organ for the hermaphrodite though they’re born with both. Regardless, the conjoined twin and hermaphrodite are born with an abnormality (due to a sin thing if you ask me, though you may not agree) and are seeking to correct that to reflect God’s creation and natural science. Transgenderism is seeking to go against both and, for lack of a better term, create an abnormality.

  55. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 9, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I appreciate you telling me the tone of your reply since it is so very hard to get it across in writing. If you don’t mind me quoting your comment here in the article I’d be happy to write about why I think the transgender lifestyle is sinful. The only reason for the quote would be to prove that I’m writing the article because I was asked, not because I’m wanting to bash transgenderism (which I’m sure will be said by a few commenters anyway).

    I don’t know where you stand, whether you are in support or opposition to transgenderism, or even whether you are transgender yourself. Regardless, I appreciate you asking for my side and asking to hear my reasoning on why I believe this issue is a sin. Thanks for reading and commenting! I’ll get to work on something and plan on getting something up in the next few weeks.

  56. Reply
    Jack Dodgen June 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Hello “Really?”,

    I want to thank you for leaving a comment on this and I felt that I needed to give you a reply because I want to apologize to you. You’re absolutely right about us needing to interact with people. I would never be opposed to having someone homosexual, transgender, etc. in my home. That’s exactly what Jesus did and I should have addressed that more so. I had that in mind in my second point on what Christians can do when I mentioned Jesus and his showing others the grace of God, but I did not specifically say or even allude to Jesus being in their home and for that I apologize. That is definitely something Christians can and should be doing.

    I want to address some of the other points you made as well. You say that this article is merely an attempt to elevate myself above those who are transgender. I actually went out of my way to do the opposite. Yes I still said “I believe it’s a sin” because I didn’t want to leave the impression that there wasn’t anything wrong with that lifestyle. I spent a significant amount of time addressing the fact that Christians need to own up to their mistakes as well and walk with others to Christ, not point at others telling them they’ll never be there because they’re “sinful”.

    As for why I think it’s sinful, the only reasoning I gave was that transgenderism “glorifies the physical and perverts God’s creation”. I’m fully aware that this needs more explaining, but my article was not about why transgenders are sinners, but that Christ died for the transgender and that Christians need to be more proactive in praying for the transgender and illuminating their own personal sins when talking to someone who is transgender. I’m sorry if that point was not made clear enough for you.

    Also, I did not say that we wouldn’t deal with this issue, I said that we would most likely not ever deal with this “directly” in the sense of a relative or friend telling us they’re transgender. I go on to say however that transgenderism is part of the next wave of things the church will need to deal with, and that hateful conversation about transgenders will cause society to look at us at hateful (directly affecting the church, but not directly affecting the individual in the church). Again, I’m sorry if I did not make those points all that clear to you.

    I thank you for commenting in spite of the fact that we obviously do not share the same ideals. Rest assured, if we were ever to come into contact face to face you’d be welcome in my home as a guest, and there I would show you the love of Christ, and I hope others would do the same. Thanks for reading.

  57. Reply
    Jack Dodgen May 28, 2015 at 10:53 am

    That’s a great one to add to the list. Our first inclination with trials is often to complain, not pray. Thanks for the great reminder!

  58. Reply
    Jack Dodgen May 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I really appreciate that!

  59. Reply
    Jack Dodgen May 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

    That’s a great one to add to the list! Thanks for the comment.

  60. Reply
    Jack Dodgen May 13, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Your totally right. I wrote weekly to give those who aren’t doing anything a more attainable goal. Daily is definitely something to work up to though. Thank you for your input!

  61. Reply
    Jack Dodgen May 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    You’re absolutely right about the Bible verses! I meant to include that in there. Thanks for the reminder!

  62. Reply
    Jack Dodgen April 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    These are phrases that I’ve heard said or seen written, mostly online and with people around my age (20ish).

  63. Reply
    Jack Dodgen April 15, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Hi Kevin! You made a great point there. I wanted to get into stuff like that, but I’m trying to cut down on my longwindedness a bit. I touched on that subject a few months ago in this article however: http://start2finish.org/basis-christian-unity/ . I’d be interested to hear what you think.

  64. Reply
    Jack Dodgen March 19, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Hi Jessica! I wasn’t suggesting that we don’t put maps on our websites at all, but that we don’t make them the main focus. Certainly we ought to put our address and things like that on the site so the few people within traveling distance who read our websites can find us.

    As for the slick graphics and multimedia presentations, we still ought to use them. Just because someone used them improperly, doesn’t mean they’re always bad. Great content with great visuals is what we need. If you have beautiful graphics with no content, people leave empty. If you have great content with terrible graphics, your content is ignored because the graphic that says “come read this” is outdated. There is a balance between both. Thanks for commenting!

  65. Reply
    Jack Dodgen March 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Thank you for commenting. I never said that we shouldn’t have maps and such on there, they just shouldn’t be the most prominent thing on our website. As you’ve written in this comment you disagree with me on that. That’s fine. It sounds like you disagree with me because, in your words, “If they can’t find you, contact you, or learn about you before they get there – they’re not going to come.”

    The fact is, a very small amount of your web traffic is going to be from those who are within visiting/traveling distance to your congregation. A large majority of those who view your website are going to be those who are too far to travel to your congregation. This is why teaching ought to be the most prominent thing. Calendars, and directions are worthless to those so far out, but teaching is beneficial to everyone.

    Again, maps and such can be there, but the greatest emphasis needs to be placed on teaching content.

  66. Reply
    Jack Dodgen March 4, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for the feedback. I try to balance out the sarcasm from post to post. Working on another one about how to make the greatest impact with our church websites. Will be much less sarcastic and far more practical. Hope that one can get a share from you!

  67. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed the article.

  68. Reply
    Jack Dodgen February 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Sorry we’re so late on the reply, but we will definitely be covering this at some point in the future.

  69. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I’ll reply in this way. What does the Bible say about salvation? It says to believe (Mark 16:16), to repent (2 Pet. 3:9), and to be baptized (1 Pet. 3:21; Matthew 28:19-20). When does the Bible say we’re joined with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection? When we’re baptized (Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:12). When do we receive our new life in Christ? After baptism (Rom. 6:1-4).

    I’m not condemning everyone whose ever believed on their deathbed, however, Scripture seems to teach that baptism isn’t just some nice thing to do, but something you must do if you wish to be saved by Christ.

    Does the person who believes on Christ in his deathbed have a chance to be saved? Yes, he/she does just like anyone else, and just like anyone else they need to be a repentant, baptized believer.

  70. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 16, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    I believe that’s what the Bible teaches yes.

  71. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 16, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I believe that the Bible teaches that, yes.

  72. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 19, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Hi there Mark! Not a Church of Christer, just a Christian. I hope that my reply here is received well, as my attitude behind this is not to be antagonistic, but to learn.

    I see where you’re coming from, and I agree, salvation is a process. I’m not so sure though about the “once one’s heart has turned to Him, he is saved at that point” statement. I know you followed that with “as long as one doesn’t turn their back on the importance of baptism…”, but carrying that to it’s end all you have to do is believe in God and believe that baptism is important and you’ll be saved without ever having to be baptized. If that’s not the case then what’s the appropriate time frame from belief to baptism without losing salvation? Is there a time frame? I think this thought process only leads to more struggles.

    As far as it not being the absolute point at which one is saved. I agree that it wouldn’t be if you hadn’t believed, or repented God. In that scenario you’ve only done part of what the New Testament says. However, baptism typically results after you’ve confessed, believed, and began the process of repentance which is why so many would call that the point one is saved, since it’s often the last thing done. It is worth noting that baptism is the point at which you’re joined in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 6). Belief can’t accomplish that leading me to believe that you must have belief, repentance, confession, and baptism all together to be saved. Merely believing that those things are important aren’t enough. Grace is for the saved person, not the person close to salvation.

  73. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Publish away! Glad you found it useful.

  74. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I absolutely agree with you! God would not keep someone out of heaven if they were saved, the problem I see in your speech here however is that you’re saying salvation can come without baptism. There are plenty of verses, listed in the article and others, that speak of baptism being necessary for salvation. In other words, you can’t be saved without it, so even if one person believes, they are not saved until they have belief and baptism.

    In the case of the thief on the cross, he was not under God’s command to be baptized. That was under the New Testament and that New Testament (or covenant) did not come into effect until Jesus’ death. Jesus had the power on earth to forgive sins (as quoted above), but He commands baptism now for those wishing to be Christians.

  75. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I appreciate your both your comment and the attitude behind your comment Wes. My comment to you is free from any malice as well. I appreciate as well your decision to discuss the topic as opposed to arguing about it, a decision many do not make. I’m afraid my answer will be somewhat lengthy. I hope you’ll bear with me as I write it.

    It seems to me that your message was submitted in two parts: 1) the quotation of Jesus pertaining to after his death, and 2) the hypothetical question. I’ll address these two issues, as best I can, in the order presented:

    1a. There are two things (listed as 1a and 1b) I want us to observe here concerning Christ the first of which being his commandment to baptize at the end of the gospels. Luke leaves off baptism at the close of his gospel, but he doesn’t mention belief either. His intent is to lead into the ascension of Christ and actions of the apostles (Luke wrote the book of Acts). John ends his gospel in a much different way, which a discussion between Jesus and the apostles, then again John’s gospel is written very differently all throughout. We already know how Mark’s gospel ends, with Jesus giving the disciples the command to “go into all the world” (Mk. 16:16; both belief and baptism are mentioned here). Matthews gospel ends similarly with Jesus giving the Great Commission to his disciples. Here too Jesus says “go into all the world” (Matt. 28:19-20). Their purpose for going into all the world? To “make disciples” (this is a command from Jesus to the disciples). How are these disciples made? We have no need to guess as Jesus follows the imperative “make disciples” with two participles “baptizing” and “teaching”. If one were to leave off teaching and only baptize, you wouldn’t have a disciple. The same would be true if you had someone who was taught about Christ, but not baptized. These are Jesus’ words, not mine. There is no doubt, based on these and other passages that Jesus believed baptism to be essential.

    1b. Your concern however was not “did Jesus say it was essential” but that it seemed contradictory for me to use a verse of Jesus to teach about a doctrine that would take place after his death. Here’s something we need to remember though, Jesus had already died when he said this statement. When Jesus makes the statements in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:16 he has risen from the dead. He hadn’t yet ascended to the Father (Acts 1), but he had died and rose again at this point. Jesus was here giving his last commands, if you will, to the disciples before he let the Holy Spirit lead the way (Acts 2; John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7).

    2. As to your hypothetical, if you pressed me on “is that man saved or not?” I would have to say that I don’t believe he is based on the Scriptures concerning baptism. That being said, I am not God. In other words, I do not know what God does in a situation like that where a guy believes and is on his way to be baptized and then dies. I do know however that the Bible says baptism is essential (as is belief, repentance, and confession) to salvation.

    I hope this reply is suitable. If I need to clarify or if you have more questions you wish to ask please do so. Again, I appreciate your humble, seeking attitude and I pray that the same attitude is reflected in my response. God bless.

  76. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 15, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Others have replied to you already, but seeing as you did address me, quite nicely as “sir” I might add, I’ll provide some thoughts on that.

    First, I would submit to you that, though this argument is weak, it’s still valid. The thief on the cross could have been baptized. He very well could have been one who went out to go get baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:5-6). Truth be told, we don’t know either way which is why this point is weak, but still valid to be considered.

    Second, I would submit to you that baptism is a New Testament (which means covenant) command. The New Testament didn’t come into effect until after Jesus’ death and so the thief on the cross would not be bound to the command of baptism such as we are today. Galatians 3:23-29, Hebrews 9:15-18, and Romans 7:1-6 are all good places to fact check on that statement.

    Finally, I would direct you to the words of Christ in Mark 2:9-11 where he lets us and the world at that time know that “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Jesus could forgive whoever he well pleased. The thief showed tremendous faith on the cross and was forgiven/saved by God. The commandment we’re under today, as said by God, requires baptism (Matt. 28:19-20).

    You can read those thoughts in a little more detail here: http://start2finish.org/the-thief-on-the-cross/

  77. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

    We absolutely agree with you! We weren’t suggesting that you didn’t need to believe to be saved, we were trying to show the ridiculousness of people who suggest that you need to believe, but you don’t need to be baptized, even though the same emphasis is placed on both things in Scripture. Thanks for reading!

  78. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    You’re absolutely right! We try to stress that God has the power to handle any sin, even porn addiction. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians, though they may believe that, don’t share that message with others. It’s quite a shame. Thank you for commenting!

  79. Reply
    Jack Dodgen January 13, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    The things we “like” and share have always been weird to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with sharing funny posts or jokes, but we shouldn’t stop sharing religious/spiritual things just because we’re at home. It’s almost like we’ve divorced Christianity from our daily life and kept it for Sunday only. Thanks for the comment!

  80. Reply
    Jack Dodgen December 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Glad you enjoyed the article. I agree with what you’re saying on both accounts. We should view each other as people that are trying to grow. Again, as you said, there is a difference between the guy who is growing and the guy who thinks he can do what he wants because God will cover it. One is growing, the other is regressing from God at worst, stagnant at best. This second guy should be called to repentance, the first guy should be taught.

  81. Reply
    Jack Dodgen December 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Appreciate your comment and absolutely agree. The more things we add to our list of unity the tighter the circle gets and the more difficult discussion becomes. You’re right too about needing to have a reverence and respect for the Bible as God’s authority. There’s a big difference between the guy who says “let’s see what God wants us to do” and the guy who says “God doesn’t really care what we do so long as we do it for Him.” The first is trying to be like God, and the second is seeking to be the god he’s created.

  82. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Just left the sources on the other comment.

  83. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

    He sent me these in no particular order.

    Sources:

    Flavius Josephus, Antiquties of the Jews 20.200
    Antiquities 18.63-64

    Babylonian Talmud
    Sanhedrin 43a

    Gaius Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars
    Claudius 25.4
    Nero 16.2

    Cornelius Tacitus, Annals
    Annals 15.44

    Pliny the Younger, Letters to Trajan
    Letters 10.96
    Letters 10.97

    Origen Against Celsus 2.33

    Suetonius, Life of Claudius 24.4

    Lucian, The Death of Peregrine 11-13

    Eusebius, History of the church 4.9

    Mara Bar-Serapion- British Museum Sryiac MS. Addition 14,648 The date of the manuscriput is in the seventh century but the letter iself is from the second or 3rd.

  84. Reply
    Jack Dodgen November 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I’ll talk with the author and see if he can provide those for you.

  85. Reply
    jack October 3, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us Patty. We appreciate your insight into this issue.

  86. jack May 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Good thoughts Jess! I think what we discuss with others comes down to judgment. There are some who are like what I mentioned in this article they “mask” their emotions. Others swing to the other side of the spectrum and tell you absolutely everything going on in their life taking away your joy and your time. The key, as always, is balance. What is the perfect balance? I’ll let you know when I find it. The biggest point I wanted to stress in this article is that we should feel comfortable enough with our church family that we don’t feel the need to hide our emotions. Our assemblies should be a family that experiences aches and pains along with the joys. All too often we turn our assemblies into social gatherings where heartache and hurt is looked down on and swept under the rug. We’ve gotta make sure that we are balanced. If we are hurting, let’s ask for help and if we’re feeling good, let’s be the one who gives help! This kind of attitude will help the church grow strong and work properly as God intended (Eph. 4:10-16).

  87. Reply
    jack April 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed reading this post and I appreciate the encouragement to keep writing!

  88. Reply
    jack April 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I’m sorry it took so long for me to reply to this. If you still wish to use this post please do! Jack Dodgen is the name. Thanks for pointing that out! I’ll fix it.