Top 10 Movies Portraying Conversion

Many great movies involve a theme that is dear to the heart of all believers—that people CAN change. Biology is not destiny. We do not have to remain what we thought we were programmed to be by nature, nurture or circumstances. There is hope. We can be changed for good by a power that transcends whatever is keeping us stuck in our ruts. Below are my favorite conversion movies, in reverse order.

10. Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945 – Directed by Roy Rowland; starring Margaret O’Brian, Edward G. Robinson and Agnes Morehead). Selma, a little girl in small town Wisconsin, is given a newborn calf and names her Elizabeth. Her conversion from self-centeredness to sacrificial love transforms her community.



9. Shepherd of the Hills, The (1941 – Dir. Henry Hathaway; starring Johan Wayne). An Ozark Mountain moonshiner hates the father he never saw who deserted his mother and left her to die. His obsession contributes to the hatred rampant in the mountains. Then, a stranger begins to positively affect the mountain people, who learn to shed their hatred under his gentle influence.



8. Sergent York (1941 – Dir. Howard Hawks, with Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan and Joan Leslie). A genuine conversion to Christ changes the dynamics of Alvin York’s subsequent call into military service during World War One. Rather than making life simpler, his transformation introduces a difficult dilemma regarding to faith and war. The results are humble and heroic at the same time. Based on a true story.



7. End of the Spear (2005 – Dir. Jim Hanon). After five missionaries are speared to death in Ecuador, their wives and children move into the Wadani tribe to teach them about God. The story of Mincayani, a Waodani tribesman who took part in the killings, paints an incredible picture of the transformation through faith that transcends all cultural boundaries standing in the way.



6. Amazing Grace (2006 – Dir. Michael Apted). Based on a true story: William Wilberforce converted to evangelical Christianity over 200 years ago. Eventually he converted Great Britain’s political and economic environment from one that embraced the slave trade into one of the first nations to abolish it—leading to a global-wide devolution of slavery as a legal institution. Wilberforce fought long and hard in the political arena against public indifference and moneyed opposition to undermine the evils of slavery. And the British Parliament was not easy to convert!



5. Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1973 – Dir. Franco Zeffirelli, with Graham Faulkner, Judy Bowker and Alec Guiness). Disillusioned with war and exploitative materialism and in love with life and nature, Frances of Assissi surrenders all. Other characters follow suit, undergoing conversions from a worldly lifestyle to one that puts trusting God ahead of money, romance and power. You will never again think of poverty only in material terms.



4. Courageous (2011 – Dir. Alex Kendrick). When it became clear that “just good enough” is not good enough for fatherhood, some dads challenged each other regarding their faith and family priorities. They learn that love is not enough if it lacks the courage to tie that love to the life-changing conversion that real faith in God demands.



3. A Christmas Carol (1938 – Dir. Edwin L. Marin, starring Reginald Owen). The conversion of Scrooge (a miserly old man) is a Christmas classic. He was not one you would advise to “be who you are.” His moral conversion translates into a fresh freedom from his misery and a discovery of joy. I’ve seen many versions of tis Dickens tale so I can’t recall which one ended with a woman meeting Scrooge on a street in London and saying, “Scrooge, you’re not yourself!” He replied, “Yes! Isn’t it great!”



2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946 – Dir. Frank Capra, with James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore). An angel is assigned to “convert” George Baily from a floundering failure, a dejected dad and a hopeless husband into a confident friend, father and spouse who finally realizes how richly blessed he is. Under stress, we lose sight of the effect of our lives on others (for good or for ill). Baily was blinded by anxiety but converted through a glimpse at the bigger picture.



1. Fireproof (2008 – Dir. Alex Kendrick, with Kirk Cameron, Erin Bethea and Ken Bevel). A marriage in crisis is restored when a self-justifying, porn-poisoned, otherwise heroic firefighter delays the separation process for forty days to follow a procedure called “The Love Dare.” God is central to the heart changes that break down the pride and anger of each aggrieved partner, but the mentoring of their friends and parents is crucial as well. Conversion is not only a miracle from God but it also involves hard-fought humility, discipline and honesty, as well as enough wisdom to discern which influences in your life are godly or not. Step aside Love Story, love actually can apologize.



Honorable Mention (don’t you just hate it when you can’t get your “top ten’ list down under a dozen?)

The Mission (1986 – Dir. Roland Joffe’, with Robert DeNero, Liam Neeson and Jeramy Irons). An 18th century Spanish Jesuit priest enters the South American jungle to build a mission and convert a Guarani’ community to Christianity. Meanwhile, a mercenary slaver finds his fiancée and his brother in bed and kills the brother in a duel. He is acquitted but spirals into depression. The priest challenges him to undertake a journey of penance, totting a heavy bundle all the way. The ex-slaver is given a Bible and he takes the Jesuit vows becoming a priest himself. However, he is soon faced with a horrific alternative that lures him back to his sword. We may convert to faith and non-violence, but the reality of evil in the world does not necessarily change with us.

Tender Mercies (1983 – Dir. Bruce Beresford, starring Robert Duvall and Tess Harper). A West Texas widow who runs a motel and gas station allows a drunken drifter to work off his debt. She lays down some rules and he makes slow changes that help him to deal with besetting demons. His eventual conversion and baptism at the widow’s church is notably unemotional but it takes hold without him fully understanding how or why. He tells the widow (now his wife), “I don’t know why I wandered out to this part of Texas drunk, and you took me in and pitied me and helped me to straighten out, marry me. Why?” Well, why not? Redemption can come to those who let love, humility and faith steadily grow inside and around them.

Feel free to pick apart my picks with comments below.


The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.

“The Lord Took Over”

(In Loving Memory of Elsie Matus, c. 1910 – 2003)

I met Elsie Matus in the late seventies at the Arcadia Church of Christ in Southern California, where I served as a minister. She had over forty years on me and had been a widow for nearly three decades. When I led a Bible class that brought teens and senior saints together to build love and understanding across a large age gap, Elsie was always there loving our teens and supporting me. A priceless long-standing friendship was just beginning.

Elsie always made me feel like a prince. After moving to Connecticut and then Minnesota, I continued to see Elsie during my annual trips to California. The last time I saw her was in 2002. She served cookies and then we went out visiting other old friends together, wonderful friends like Jerry and Grace Kilmer. What a blast from the past we had together.

Another fond memory of one such visit was watching Elsie in her kitchen preparing a snack on my behalf. She had strategically placed stable step-stools in her kitchen but still needed help reaching objects on the upper shelves. She had a small frame but a HUGE soul! What a manly pleasure it was to be needed by Elsie to reach higher cupboards. Dunking a basketball is nothing compared to that (actually, I would need a step-stool myself to test that comparison). Seeing Elsie navigate her kitchen was almost as endearing as the conversation that followed. She raved over how much she enjoyed a class I taught long ago on the book of Isaiah. One compliment from Elsie trumps a hundred complaints from others. My ministry career has been kindly supported by too many saints to count, but no one did more to build my confidence than Elsie.

Elsie and her cat had an understanding. Her cat liked to rest in high places in the kitchen and Elsie knew where to stand to aid the cat’s descent. Elsie’s slumping shoulders became the half-way point for such descents. Sometimes, her cat would just remain at the half-way point and snuggle around Elsie’s neck during her kitchen duties. For this cat, only Elsie’s shoulders would do. When not taking care of her cat at home, Elsie was often reaching out and giving rides to elderly souls much younger than her.

Elsie shined with love for her church. No one and no thing could un-glue Elsie’s heart from her church family. She saw many changes over the years, but her love and support was one constant her church could not lose. Ministers and loved ones came and went, but Elsie remained. Worship styles changed but Elsie held firm. She knew the church of Jesus Christ was a precious gift of God and she loved her church and her Lord with all her heart. When her declining church decided to disband, Elsie was heartbroken. She held no blame or resentment for anyone and saw only the best of intentions in her fellow believers, but she did not know where to turn. She eventually found a home for her faithful heart at the Temple City Church of Christ and we who loved Elsie remain grateful to that family of faith.

Elsie was heartbroken again when her dear friend Terry Giboney passed away after a battle with colon cancer. I recall her saying in grief, “The Lord is closer than we think.” She was groping for something to hold on to at that moment of despair and she found that anchor in the closeness of the Lord.

Elsie Matus
(1910 – 2003)
Thanks to Mitch Harmon for finding this smile in a 1980 church directory
“What would I do without you?”

In one of my last conversations with Elsie, she recalled a time long ago when she was outside in her yard and a bush began to rustle. It frightened her and she went running back into the house to her husband of some twenty years and said, “What would I do without you?”

As it happened, he died soon after that day. I can only imagine her pain and shock over this loss. Here’s what she shared with me some fifty years later; “After my husband died, the Lord took over.” She reflected to me on how the Lord had helped her through all those years that followed his death in 1952. She earned her livelihood as a school teacher and thus had plenty of opportunities to live on in love.

Elsie was widowed and retired long before I met her. Yet her life was so far from over. Indeed, in the twenty-three years I knew her, her life filled me with so much hope and love. I thank God for Elsie’s unselfish ability to rise up from heartbreaks with grace. It was God who gave her that grace and she knew it. What a gift Elsie was to those of us who came to know her late. May Elsie’s life evoke one question in our hearts: “Where would any of us be without God?” That’s a very Elsie-like question.


The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.

Oh Holy Night (My Conversion Story)

My earliest memory of the Holy Spirit was on a summer night in 1963 when I soaked my pillow with tears. I was in my sleeping bag staring at the night sky, filled with the Milky Way galaxy, from my cabin window in the Angeles Crest Mountains of Southern California.

I was enjoying Bible camp. I loved the pancakes for breakfast, getting caught with my elbows on the table and beating all the girls in ping pong (a boy remembers such things). Then one night, my teenaged camp counselor chose (who knows why?) to read from Mark 3:20-30 for our evening devotional. I heard Jesus warn: “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

Innocently, I asked my counselor what “blaspheme” meant. He said, “cussing or cursing.” That did it! The lights went out and so did any semblance of peace with God in my nine-year-old heart. I was suddenly certain that I was bound for the fires of hell forever. I saw no way out. Long after the others fell asleep, I was seeing “hell” in my mind’s eye and weeping—all alone.

You see, I had a history with cussing. Perhaps it was mild compared to what we hear on TV today, but other boys did it so it had to be cool. It forever lost its “coolness” for me that night. I carried this “unforgivable” guilt in my heart until I got home and spilled my guts to my dad. He explained that my fears and tears were proof that I had not blasphemed the Holy Spirit and that all my sins could still be forgiven. I began to feel hope again. After six months and more talks with my dad, I was baptized.

In Mark 3, some scribes (ancient law teachers) were accusing Jesus of being possessed by Beelzebub! A word history of “Beelzebub” (literally, “Lord of the Flies”) would be interesting but by this time, it amounted to a reference to Satan (the accuser). They charged, “By the prince of demons he drives out demons” (vs. 22). The reality of Jesus’ power was undeniable, so the scribes slandered its source. Jesus replied, “If Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand.” (vs. 26). The charge was ridiculous.

Worse, it was profoundly offensive. In a parallel passage in Matthew, Jesus added, “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:28). Thus, they were not just slandering Jesus but also the Spirit of God working through him and the kingdom of God which stood as the cornerstone of his message. Big mistake! Jesus clarified that one could speak a word against the Son of Man and be forgiven, but not the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:32 and Luke 12:10).

From an earthly perspective, such accusations were serious. A charge of demonic sorcery was a capital offense in those days (Mishnah Sanhedrin 7:4) and Jesus himself was railroaded to execution on the pretense of a blasphemy charge. These accusations had life and death implications in the legal world of first century Israel. For Jesus, they had eternal life and death ramifications when the blasphemy was aimed at the Holy Spirit Himself. What the legalists missed was that Jesus was in an all-out war with Satan and it was pure spiritual treason to take up the other side, especially on such convoluted grounds. The false accusers were guilty of the very sin they condemned in Jesus. They knew better but were so invested in their opposition to Jesus that they could not admit what they knew. These scribes (“Pharisees” in Matthew) were not just mistaken, they were perverted to an irreparable extreme. In context (in Matthew), Jesus recognized the Pharisees as evil to the core, like trees incapable of bearing good fruit.

But how do you explain all this to a scared little boy? My dad assured me that the desire for forgiveness that drove me to tears was incompatible with whatever the heck blasphemy was. When the glorious work of the Spirit of God Himself looks demonic to you, the need to be forgiven is the farthest thing from your cold heart and closed mind. When you come to the point of caring nothing about your forgiveness, you have in effect become unforgivable. Above all, I hope you are not that cold.

On that lonely “holy” night in 1963, the Holy Spirit embedded in my sinful little heart a longing to be right with God that persists to this day.


The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.

We Are What We Celebrate… And How!

Every holiday offers its own reason for celebration, but the overall reason we need holidays is so we can know who we are. Holidays preserve our collective memory and provide us with a common identity. Without a memory, we can’t know who we are.

Holidays help us celebrate renewal (New Year’s Day), love (Valentine’s Day), our heroes (birthdays of great leaders), mom, dad, veterans, liberty (4th of July), Jesus’ first coming (Christmas), His going (Good Friday), His rising (Easter), and more. The Bible is full of holidays, celebrations and special feasts. People needed them then and we need them now, though many of our holidays are new and different.

A friend of mine reads “A Christmas Carol” (by Dickens) to his family every Christmas. It never gets old. This inspired me to compile a list (below) of suggested readings, poems, songs and classic films for enriching our holidays and special days. I will leave it to you to locate and select the readings, poems, tunes or movies you may want to use over the years to inspire your family, friends or church. Most can be found on line. Indeed, our families, friends, churches and our entire nation needs more inspiration these days. Use some selections below to build family holiday traditions and create ties that bind us to our heritage and to each other.

Holiday Recommendations

New Years Day – January 1

  • Isaiah 61 (“The year of the Lord’s favor”), Old Testament.
  • Jeremiah 29:4-14 (“Hope and a future”), Old Testament.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 (“New Creation”), the Apostle Pau, New Testament.
  • Philippians 3 (“Press forward”), by the Apostle Pau, New Testament.
  • “Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace,” by St. Francis of Assisi.
  • “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving (from his collection of 29 short stories and essays titled; “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.”, 1820).
  • “What Men Live By.” Short story by Leo Tolstoy.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday – January 15, 1929

  • “I Have a Dream,” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963.
  • “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963.
  • “Cooper Union Address,” Abraham Lincoln, New York, February 27, 1860.
  • Atlanta Exposition Speech by Booker T. Washington, September 18, 1895.
  • “To Kill a Mocking Bird“ (Movie; 1962 – Robert Mulligan).

Ronald Wilson Reagan’s Birthday – February 6, 1911

  • “A Time for Choosing,” Ronald Reagan, Republican National Convention, speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater, October 27, 1964.
  • First Inaugural Address, Ronald Wilson Reagan, January 20, 1981.
  • Farewell Address, Ronald Wilson Reagan, January 11, 1989.

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday — February 12, 1809

  • “A House Divided,” speech by Abraham Lincoln, State Republican Convention on June 16, 1858.
  • First Inaugural Address, by Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861.
  • Second Inaugural Address, by Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865

Valentine’s Day — February 14

  • Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), in the Old Testament.
  • 1 Corinthians 13, by the Apostle Paul. New Testament.
  • “The Greatest Thing in the World,” by Henry Van Dyke.
  • “Romeo and Juliet” (Movie; 1968 – Franco Zeffirelli).
  • “Love Affair“ (Movie; 1939 – Leo McCarey), starring Irene Dunne.
  • “Marty“ (Movie; 1955 – Delbert Mann), with Earnest Borgnine (recommended for singles).

President’s Day — third Monday in February

  • Inaugural Address, by George Washington, New York City, April 30, 1789.
  • “Have Faith in Massachusetts,” Calvin Coolidge speech, January 7, 1914.
  • “Have Faith in Massachusetts,” Calvin Coolidge speech, January 7, 1914.

George Washington’s Birthday — February 22, 1732

  • Rules of Civility,” from a notebook belonging to George Washington as a boy. (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, pg. 74).
  • Advice to His Nephew, by George Washington, 1783 (see “The Words We Live By,” Brian Burrell, p. 292).
  • “Farewell Address,” September 19, 1796, in Philadelphia.

St. Patrick’s Day— March 17

  • “The Quiet Man,” (Movie, 1951 – John Ford), with John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara.

Good Friday/Easter Sunday – Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon after the day of the vernal equinox; It can never occur before March 22 or after April 25

  • Matthew 21-28, New Testament.
  • Mark 11-16, New Testament.
  • Luke 19-24, New Testament.
  • John 12-21, New Testament
  • The NiceneCreed, Council of Nicea, A/D. 325).
  • The Apostle’s Creed, originated in the 7th century A.D
  • The Grand Inquisitor (from The Brothers Karamozov, by Fyodor Dostoyevski, book V, chapter 5. Recommended for a Good Friday reading.

Mother’s Day – second Sunday in May

  • “An Excellent Wife,” Proverbs 31, Old Testament.
  • “Mama’s Bank Account” by Kathryn Forbes. Or, view the movie, “I Remember Mama,” (1948), inspired by Forbes’ book
  • “The Widow and Her Son,” by Washington Irving (“The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.”, 1820; a collection of 29 short stories and essays).
  • “Not Without My Daughter” (Movie; 1991 – Brian Gilbert), with Sally Fields.

Armed Forces Day – third Saturday in May

  • “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863.
  • “The Red Badge of Courage” (Movie: 1951), starring Audie Murphey.
  • “Sergeant York“ (Movie; 1941 – Howard Hawks), true story about Alvin York’s life-changing conversion to Christianity and WW1 heroics.

Memorial Day – last Monday in May

  • “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863.
  • “Mrs. Miniver “ (Movie; 1942 – William Wyler). Depicts the war’s effects on family and life in London. Letter to Mrs. Bixby [Nov. 21, 1864], Abraham Lincoln (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, page 177).
  • • “Since You Went Away” (Movie; 1944 – John Cromwell). The opening frame reads: “This is a story of the unconquerable fortress: the American home, 1943 (war time portrayal of the home front).
  • “The White Cliffs of Dover” (Movie; 1944 – Clarence Brown). Irene Dunne stars as an American who marries a British soldier and faces both world wars, first as a wife, then as a mother.

D-Day – June 6, 1944

  • 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Ronald Reagan, speech in Pointe Du Hoc, Normandy, France, June 6, 1984.
  • “Saving Private Ryan”, Movie (1998 – Steven Spielberg) with Tom Hanks.

Flag Day – June 14

  • New York Times editorial, June 14, 1940 (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, page 724).
  • “The Star Spangled Banner” (lyrics), by Francis Scott Key, 1814.

Father’s Day – third Sunday in June

  • Sir Walter Raleigh’s Instructions to His Son, 1616 (see “The Words We Live By,” Brian Burrell, p. 290).
  • Ephesians 6:1-4, New Testament.
  • “I Know of a Lovely Garden,” Martin Luther, letter to his son Hans in 1530 (see “The Moral Compass,” edited by William J. Bennett, pg. 535).
  • “If,” great poem by Rudyard Kipling.
  • “Parenthood“ (Movie; 1989) with Steve Martin & Mary Steenburgen.

Independence Day – July 4

  • The Declaration of Independence, approved by congress, July 4, 1776.
  • 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, speech by Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th President, July 5, 1926, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • “Liberty or Death,” Speech by Patrick Henry to the Second Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775 (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, pg. 519).
  • “Paul Revere’s Ride,” poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  • “The New Colossus,” poem by Emma Lazarus (1883(, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
  • “The Bunker Hill Oration,” by Daniel Webster, 1825 (a bit long).
  • “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington“ (Movie; 1939 -Frank Capra), with James Stewart.
  • “Yankee Doodle Dandy“ (Movie; 1942 – Michael Curtiz) starring James Cagney,

Labor Day – first Monday in September

  • Proverbs 6: 6-11, Old Testament.
  • “The Village Blacksmith,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, pg. 397).
  • “Work,” poem by Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933).
  • “Success” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; from “The Ladder of Saint Augustine.” (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, pg. 422).

Patriot Day – September 11, 2001

  • 9.11 Address from the Oval Office by President George W. Bush.
  • “My Native Land,” poem by Sir Walter Scott. President’s Address to Congress, George W. Bush, Sept. 20, 2001.
  • “The Patriot“ (Movie; 2000 – Roland Emmerich), starring Mel Gibson.

Columbus Day – second Monday in October (celebrates the arrival of Columbus on October 12, 1492)

  • “Apologia,” by Christopher Columbus.

Reformation Day – October 31

  • “Luther” (Movie; 2003 – Eric Till), starring Joseph Fiennes as Luther.
  • “The Freedom of a Christian,” by Martin Luther.
  • “A Mighty Fortress,” Hymn by Martin Luther (1529).

Election Day – the Tuesday after the first Monday of November in even-numbered years

  • Federalist No. 57, by James Madison.

Veteran’s Day – November 11 (the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War 1)

  • “In Flanders Fields,” by Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 – 1918), Canadian physician, soldier and poet.
  • “The Battlefield,” (1839), poem by William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878).
  • “The Best Years of Our Lives” (Movie; 1946 – William Wyler), American classic of three veterans returning home after WW2, readjusting to civilian life.

Thanksgiving – fourth Thursday in November

  • The Mayflower Compact” (1620).
  • Edward Winslow, letter, Dec. 12, 1621.
  • William Bradford’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, November 29, 1623.
  • George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789.
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1863.
  • “Man Without a Country,” by Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909).
  • “Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers,” poem by Felicia Hemans (see “The Book of Virtues,” edited by William J. Bennett, page 790).

Pearl Harbor Day – in Remembrance of December 7, 1941

  • Day of Infamy” speech (Declaration of War), Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941.
  • “Wings of Eagles“ (Movie; 1957 – John Ford), with John Wayne.
  • “Pearl Harbor“ (Movie; 2001 – Michael Bay) starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore.

Christmas Day – December 25

  • Isaiah 9:1-7, New Testament.
  • Matthew 1:18 – 2:23, New Testament.
  • Luke 1-2, New Testament.
  • “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens.
  • “The Story of the Other Wise Man,” by Henry Van Dyke.
  • The Messiah, oratorio by George Frideric Handel, 1741.
  • “A Christmas Story” (Movie; 1983 – Bob Clark).

Happy Holidays!


The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.


Fire in a fireplace is good (especially on a cool evening with someone you love). Fire in your living room is not. Fire raging through your city is a national disaster. So it is with sex.

Before I terrify you with the truth about sexual chaos in America today, let us consider what God intended for us with regard to sex.

    1. Sex is sacred.The word sacred means “set apart.” As fire is best when set apart for the fireplace and not running wild–so it is with sex. Sex is far more valuable and better when regarded as intentionally special and practiced within the blessed boundaries of a loving lifelong commitment called marriage.
    2. Marriage is ordained by God and it pre-exists both government and church. Marriage is God’s first answer to the problem of loneliness (Genesis 2:18) and His intended vehicle for producing “godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). It’s definition is distinctive. Listen to Jesus:

    “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9, NIV)

The gender composition and number of partners in a marriage are clearly defined in Jesus’ response to a question about divorce in the passage above. Clearly, God intends for children to have a father and a mother to model marriage for them. Children need the distinctive qualities that a mother and father bring to the home. Polygamy, polyamory and same-sex alternatives to marriage are purposefully and gracefully excluded by Jesus. And finally, God is the author of marriage as an institution and, apparently, of each marriage in particular.

In spite of God’s best intentions for us, much of America today is in rebellion against nearly everything affirmed above. We live in a sex saturated society with no sign of collective sanity on the horizon. Since the free-loving ‘60s, we have taken a wrecking ball to sexual mores in our society. In one generation, the rate of babies born out-of-wedlock in the U.S. has quadrupled to 41%. This sort of moral sea-change on such a large scale in such a short time is unprecedented in human history. And no one is hurt more by sexual chaos than children. Divorce rates have exploded. Hollywood routinely glorifies prostitution, homosexuality and adultery. Pornography proliferates like never before. Sexual diseases run rampant, often incurable.

None of this is accidental. Wildfires of sexual chaos principles are sweeping through our through public schools, subjecting small children to radical homosexual indoctrination often with no recourse to parents. By law, California textbooks for public schools must include specific homosexual, bisexual and transsexual propaganda in the name of social studies. Educators are under a legal mandate to meet a quota for honoring alleged homosexuals in history. Secularist and homosexualist totalitarians (paid by public funds) are increasingly controlling what students can read and write. Our universities offer lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender courses and majors designed to deconstruct prevailing notions of morality and promote sexual confusion. Politicians follow suit. Glowing with hope, President Barack Obama recently said,

    “You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.” (October 10, 2009, in an address to the Human Rights Campaign where he also called on Congress to repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act).

Why should homosexuals get to redefine marriage but not polygamists or polyamorists? Does the President not think that relationships between three or more consenting adults are “just as real and admirable” as relationships between two? If not, why not? Is there any moral basis for the discrimination President Obama is showing against some groups and not others?

In a culture that values property and health, we admire firefighters. A culture that values marriage and children would also admire those who bravely fight the fires of sexual chaos.


The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.