Returning home from a recent business trip, I flew over the city purported to have more churches per square mile than any other in America. As I gazed down sleepily at the numberless steeples checkering the landscape and dimly pondered their equivocal significance, I was suddenly startled awake by a strange transformation occurring before my incredulous eyes: The spires of the church buildings had morphed into so many cruciform chimneys belching skyward an almost palpable, smoke-like darkness.
Only the darkness wasn’t smoke. What I saw ascending to heaven from each sanctuary was praise—the grotesquely incongruous praise of Christians worshiping a God they fancied demanded no remorse and no repentance for doing precious little to stop the extermination of the most vulnerable of His children.
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If you’re as old as I am, you will recall: We swore we would never forget the German death camps. We swore we would never let them be rebuilt. We swore we would never let such a monstrously evil thing happen again. Not on our watch. No, not ever.
Yesterday marked the 41st anniversary of the infamous US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, which, in effect, legalized abortion-on-demand nationwide. The aftermath of this tragic ruling is the deaths of over 55 million innocent unborn babies. It is no hyperbole to say abortion-on-demand is America’s national holocaust. Think about it, every American citizen today, 41 years old or younger, has never known a country that respected and protected innocent human life in the womb.
Consider this, too: when Hitler’s Third Reich was at its zenith, the abortion rate in Germany was 40%. Guess what? The abortion rate in America today is right at 40%. In fact, statistically speaking, the most dangerous place to be in America is not in an automobile without wearing a seat belt, or on a commercial airliner with a potential terrorist on board, but in the womb of one’s mother.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson once headed America’s largest abortion clinic in New York City. He admitted superintending over the killing of 75,000 unborn babies. He later recanted his pro-abortion activity and wrote what may be the quintessential book defending an unborn child’s right to life, “Aborting America.” Dr. Nathanson said, “There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy.”
How often have we heard someone pontificate on what “the church” should do, or be… or what “the church” should not do or be? Perhaps we have even done it ourselves. Such words are similar to pronouncements, like “There ought to be a law”, of “Someone should do something about…” In each case, the speaker is telling us that he has a problem with something and somebody else should take the responsibility for fixing it.
There are times when this is actually the case, like when we believe that someone should have been looking out for the Americans in Benghazi. Most of us had no control over that situation. Other times, these are just the rantings of the armchair quarterbacks observing the political and economic games. However, in the case of “the church”, this is much less often the case.
This may become more clear if we look at what “the church” really is. Obviously, it is not the edifice. The denomination is not “the church”. Neither is the pastor or priest. All of these are important and serve a function, but they are not “the church”. So what is “the church”?
How? Simple. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, the “thousand words” told by a single picture of Emmett Till were shocking beyond belief. They couldn’t be ignored or dismissed.
You see, Emmett Till was murdered in an exceptionally brutal fashion. His grossly disfigured body spoke volumes about the evil committed against him. Emmett’s mother, against convention, against the urgings of others, chose for Emmett an open-casket funeral. By making people see Emmett, not just hear about him in the obituaries, she galvanized a population against the horrific crime of lynching.
One of the many reasons we were told that the government needed to take over the operation of our healthcare system was that the private sector was not doing a very good job. Only they weren’t really taking over the actual care, just the financial aspects of it.
Bureaucrats aren’t much help if you need your appendix or a cancerous tumor removed. They will decide if your insurance company will pay for your operation or if you are expendable to their world. This is what bureaucrats, and their employers, governments do. They produce nothing, the provide a few essential services, but primarily these days, they control. The control where resources taken from the taxpayers, and they control where they will be spent – who will benefit, and who gets left behind.
Exhibiting Barack Hussein Obama’s complete disdain for the private sector, he went his own way to construct a complex online web site to handle registration for he solution to ills of our nation using government agencies and crony deals with Moochelles class mates, etc.. This is the same private sector that developed sites like Amazon, eBay and Cheaper Than Dirt. Every one of them handles far more transactions featuring far more selections than the failed ObamaKare site would ever need to deal with. Yet in Obama’s fantasy world, the government could manage the construction of a system, admittedly with some private contractors, better than those who have a track record of building successful sites for years.
[Editors note: This article first appeared several years ago. However, in view of recent events, it should give us something to consider as we attempt to understand why things are the way they are. We shall dig a little deeper as we search for appropriate solutions to the issues presented.]
Newspapers, along with TV anchors and infobabes love to tell stories of dissension within the ranks of the Republican Party. They enjoy pouring fuel on any kind of sparks, trying to fan them into a blaze that negates the effectiveness of any non-Democrat politician. The problem is that there is some basis for the stories about factions within the Grand Old Party.
To those outside, the differences may appear to be simple personality conflicts or random loyalty fights. The fact is it goes much deeper than that. There are really two distinct groups within the party. When things are going well, it’s hard to tell one from the other. However the recent electoral failures have deepened these differences and peeled back the veneer of smiling faces.
The first type is the structural Republican. With these, it is a tradition and they may have been in the party all their lives. They feel a kind of proprietary interest in it. They would vote for anyone as long as they have an R by their name on the ballot and will continue to support them no matter how far they stray from party orthodoxy. Because of their party orientation, these are usually the people who show up at party functions and usually run for party offices.
“For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” That is what Hosea 8:7 tells us. And nowhere do we see evidence of this more grotesquely obvious than in our public school system. There are many fine, dedicated teachers trying to do a good job of educating our children, but they are not the one’s setting policies and promoting the lies of their progressive masters.
Just a few miles up the road from my home two girls, one 12 and one 14 bullied a 12 year old classmate to the point where she took a deadly dive off a tower at an abandoned concrete plant. The reports are that more than a dozen girls took part in the harassment that led Rebecca Sedwick to choose death over life.
Many of us who consider ourselves to be pro-life are concerned with helping women choose life for their unborn baby, but this poor girl could not even choose it for herself. Worse yet, the girls not only goaded her to a hopeless suicide, but gloated about it in the same social media they used to kill her.
Well, Obamacare is now in effect. The decision by Congress to pass Obamacare into law back in 2010 ranks among the most draconian, most egregious, most horrific actions ever taken by the central government in Washington, D.C. This bill rocks the principles of liberty and constitutional government to the core. It changes fundamental foundations; it repudiates historic values. The same flag may fly on our flagpoles, the same monuments may grace our landscape, and the same National Anthem may be sung during our public ceremonies, but it is not the same America. For all intents and purposes, our nation now more resembles the socialist countries of the old communist East Bloc than it does the constitutional republic of the old land of the free.
I was honored to have been invited to be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons recently in Denver. It was a very large gathering of physicians from all over the country. And I can tell you that the doctors I spoke with are all very, very concerned about the future of healthcare in the United States. Take a peek at the condition of healthcare in socialist countries throughout the world or take a peek at the condition of healthcare in our VA clinics and hospitals, and you will get a little feel for what healthcare is going to quickly look like in America.
On March 21, 2010, Congress passed, and on March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the dreaded national health care bill into law, and as such, these dates join a list of dates that have contributed to the destruction of a free America. Of course, there are several such dates, but, in my opinion, the following are the most draconian.
After then-Congressman Joe Scarborough convinced me to endorse the neocon Bob Dole for President back in 1996, I vowed to myself that I would never vote for “the lesser of two evils” again. I haven’t; and I won’t.
Almost anytime one hears someone talking about voting for the lesser of two evils, it always means voting for a Republican instead of a third party or independent candidate. The argument is always the same: he or she (the third party candidate) cannot win. Therefore, voting for someone you presume cannot win is “wasting” your vote. I used to believe that, too, but no more.
One could even make the argument that voting for an unprincipled neocon Republican is actually voting for the greater evil, not the lesser. It seems we lose far more liberties under Republican administrations than under Democrat ones. That does not mean that Democrat presidents care more for the Constitution and limited government than Republican presidents. It simply means when Republicans occupy the White House, rank and file conservatives and freedomists go fast asleep. I mean deep sleep. I mean extended hibernation. The two administrations of G.W. Bush are prime examples.
Whatever are we doing permitting the world to push us all into a politically correct vocabulary, fully understanding that words eventually lead to deeds. We have allowed the whole PC culture to set the verbiage and the agenda for far too long.
Dictionary.com explains why. It tells us that the noun “politically correct” means:
marked by or adhering to a typically progressive orthodoxy on issues involving especially race, gender, sexual affinity, or ecology.
You will note that even the dictionary site notes that it is language of the progressive left. Unless we have a worldview compatible with the godless philosophy that sees man as essentially helpless and misguided, in need of an ruling class to take care of them – we have no business falling into the trap of permitting the progressive left to control the terms of almost every conversation.
We use their terms, which are never favorable toward the true conditions in our land. We permit them to use the term pro-choice, when they only choice they believe in is the choice to end the life of an unborn infant. They don’t believe we should have choices about the food we eat, our environment, even our light bulbs. It’s time to put an end our acceptance of their terminology which is designed to sound good, and conceal their anti-life, anti-freedom agenda.
Many people are amazed at the number of self proclaimed Christians who either support the president of the United States or, at the very least, do not seem bothered by the direction his is taking our country. They support, or at least are not upset by the endorsement of the gay agenda or the promotion of Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, this is not a surprising result, given the major gaps in the preaching from many pulpits these days.
Most recently, we have seen the Supreme Court give a boost and an endorsement to homosexual marriage. Many Christians appear to have no problem with this, especially those with more libertarian leanings. They tell us that some people are just born that way, or that, if it is a personal choice, that is alright with them. As a political statement, it is something we work with in a free society.
However, supporting and encouraging such behavior, for someone who says they are a follower of Christ is another matter entirely. While we are each responsible for our own actions and knowledge, all too often this topic is never discussed inside church walls.
There is no higher calling of God upon the church and the individual believer than to proclaim the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission. Right?
There is a Greater Commission.
It is generally referred to as the Great Commandment, and it has two parts: To love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourself. When Jesus laid down these two “love commandments” He emphatically declared “there is none other commandment greater than these”.
Not even the Great Commission.
So why is it so many Christians, including first-rate scholars, bristle at the mere suggestion that there is something more important for the church than the Great Commission?
At some point, one has to wonder why America’s churches are the largest block of irrelevant, impotent, and insignificant institutions in the entire country. And make no mistake about it: when it comes to influencing societal conditions, culture, and the political philosophy of the nation, for all intents and purposes, they ARE irrelevant, impotent, and insignificant.
Think about it: according to the latest available statistics, over 75% of America’s adults classify themselves as Christians. That’s over 159 million people. Over 43% of America’s adults attend the more than 300,000 churches regularly. That’s over 90 million people. Yes, both of these statistics are WAY DOWN from just a few years ago, but those statistics still represent a HUGE block of the American population. So why do these Christians and churches have so very little influence in America’s society, culture, and politics? Asking it bluntly, why is America going to hell in a handbasket with all of these churches dotting the landscape?
There is no mistaking the fact that from before the American Revolution, after the American Revolution, throughout the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and through the first half of the Twentieth Century, the American Church was a major voice and influence in virtually every facet and sphere of American society. However, with the exception of a temporary resurgence in the 1980s, the influence of the Church in the last half of the Twentieth Century and continuing now into the Twenty First Century is nada. Zilch.
There are many calling for the Christian church in it’s many and varied manifestations to understand that times have changed and they need to get in step with today’s culture. This advice often comes from those who have nothing to do with the church and have no idea of what the basis for the Christian faith is all about. Worse, sometimes it comes from some within the church. They tell us we need to be relevant to today’s world – that old fashioned ideas of sin and redemption will not appeal to younger people. They say we should just talk about God’s love.
If we were talking about a service club like Rotary or Kiwanis, there may be some virtue to this thinking. Some organizations are facing diminishing membership and may benefit from updated thinking. However those telling Christians of the need to change their message show they have no understanding what the body of believers is and what it stands for.
If, as the Bible tells us, we are God’s representatives on earth, we need to consider that, while we have been given authority over the powers of darkness, we have not been given the authority to change the message. It is the height of audacity to believe it is acceptable for the church to change its preaching to make people feel warm and fuzzy.
To one CBS news reporter, all the candidates to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president appear to have little difference between their “conservative” philosophies and those of the Tea Party. She continues that the man selected will be more open to some “liberal” changes… as if the term denotes something good and desirable.
To many, this is just a slap in the face to the political enemies of the current administration. However, the thinking goes much deeper than political hostility. To the secular mind, all religions are pretty much the same and have about the same amount toxicity to our society. Please recall the fuss about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith prior to the recent presidential election. This did not come from anyone defending the “purity” of the Christian faith. It came from those uncomfortable with any kind of faith in any kind of deity that stood above man, and, primarily, government.
There’s an elephant in the living room. Only it isn’t an elephant, and it isn’t in the living room. It’s a golden calf, and it’s in our baptismal font and our pulpit and our sanctuary and our Sunday School class and our Bible study group and everywhere else we worship and serve God, because, truth be told, it’s in our hearts.
To put it bluntly: We, the church of Jesus Christ, have an idol.
It’s called ministry.
Yes, ministry: busying ourselves with the things of God. Granted, ministry seems very un-idol-like. But then, subtlety is the hallmark of seductive sins. It has been the devil’s most effective stratagem since the beginning of time: Get the sin to seem no sin. Better, get it to seem like service to God. Better still, get it to be service to God. Sins don’t get more subtle than that, nor does idolatry seem like idolatry when we’re busy doing things God instructed us to do. It seems like true Christianity, like pure and undefiled religion.
The lady who contributed credibility to the McCain campaign gave a stem winder of a speech at the recent NRA convention. As with all true conservatives, she proved to be multi-dimensional as she spoke of much more than Second Amendment issues. She went right to the core of who we are as Americans.
And who are we? Are we driven by emotional appeals of the left that result in turning over more control of our lives to those more interested in their own power than our well being? Will we be willing to recognize that hard cases make bad laws? If we haven’t learned that this doesn’t work from the past years, we just haven’t been paying attention.
So, give a listen to the wisdom of this lady who gives the controllers all the respect they deserve and provides us all with a fine example to emulate.
Now that I have your attention, permit me to explain.
There’s an ongoing debate in Reformed and Evangelical circles regarding the mission of the church. That’s good, because the Body of Christ needs to be clear on what the Head expects the hands and feet to be doing.
But the way one frames the question can greatly affect the answer. So we need to make sure we’re rightly framing the question.
The sixth chapter of the book of Daniel tells us the story of a man who was forbidden to pray to his God by his government… yet, he did it anyway. It is true that less than honorable men let their jealousy lead them to attempt to destroy this man whose good work and impeccable ethics gained him recognition of the king. But, whatever their motives, they used the legal power of the state to make his honorable practices illegal.
Daniel’s dedication to his Creator came in direct conflict with the laws of his monarch. It’s true that Romans 13 tells us to submit to earthly authorities whose job is to be the servants of God to watch out for the welfare of His people as His earthly surrogate. But, what happens when these earthly rulers go off in directions far from God and His righteousness?
Are they still acting as God’s surrogate, looking out for the people, rewarding good and punishing evil? Was denying this godly man his time of prayer working for the benefit of the people? Was issuing a decree that everyone, including God’s children, bow down before the image of a man, demanding that they break the very first commandment of having no other gods before the real God, following a leader’s mandate?
The wait to learn who the replacement for Pope Benedict is over. Catholics all over the world will be looking to the new Pope Francis for spiritual guidance. I wish him well in the monumental task that lies ahead of him. Not being a Roman Catholic, I had no preference, but respect the choice made yesterday in Vatican City.
What I have observed throughout the entire process was an almost universal lack of understanding by the secular press, and others, of what was going on as a successor was being chosen. To the secular mindset of the formerly mainstream media, the selection process was reduced to mere political wheeling and dealing. Conspiracy theorists spread tales of New World Order controlling the selection of the new pontiff.
If this corruption were true, we would be back in the days of the Borgias, but I prefer to believe in the goodness of our Catholic brothers. Of course, they are human and imperfect, as are we all. There are some in the Protestant camp that may not agree completely, but if they claim the blood of Jesus, I must regard them as brothers. I would also ask what their critics are doing to halt the slaughter of innocents in our country’s abortion mills… a place where the Catholic Church stands almost alone in their work to speak up for the least in our world.
blas-phem-y, n. An intentional and defiant dishonoring of the nature, name, or work of God by word or action. —Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
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Frank asseveration is long overdue: Pulpit silence on the abortion holocaust is nothing short of blasphemy.
I’m aware this is a serious charge. But the church’s decades-long tacit sanction of mass murder is a serious matter.
We need to stop mincing words. When heinous acts—even acts of omission, like silence in the face of evil—are deliberately committed in the name of God, there is no more fitting word to describe it. It is blasphemy: the intentional and defiant dishonoring of God. To fail to call it what it is minimizes, and effectively harbors and perpetuates, the abominable practice through euphemism’s power to anesthetize sensibilities. The sanction of this unspeakable evil must end immediately. And there is good reason to believe it can.
In March I outlined a “One-Minute Strategy for Ending Abortion ‘Overnight.” It met with overwhelmingly enthusiastic approval from a broad cross-section of lay Christians and Jews worldwide. But troublingly, it generated virtually no response from church leadership except among Catholics.
In-your-face liberalism was on full display in Charlotte last week. Democrats offered a truly radical vision of the future that would fundamentally remake American society and challenged Republicans to engage them on issues from abortion on demand to abolishing the biblical definition of marriage.
Anyone watching the Democratic National Convention would have thought that social conservatives run Washington and that we are a vote or two away from stopping this vision of the liberal ‘progress’ the country would make under President Obama.
The reality is Republicans have yet to offer a contrasting vision–and probably won’t.
As always, the GOP establishment, firm in its belief that the only way to win is to run a content-free campaign, and uncomfortable talking about matters, such as abortion, that rarely enter the conversation at the country club, appears prepared to once again cede the high ground in the culture wars to the Democrats.
The Democrats are beginning the congregation of all sorts of anti-Americans, including a large contingent of Muslims, in Charlotte, NC. For those who would question the terminology, I would suggest they look at the damage this group of miscreants has inflicted on our land and look into their plans for our future.
Their speakers no longer refer to God. The party platform no longer considers Jerusalem to be the capitol of Israel. They are systematically moving to place their government into the position of being the center point of all our lives.
Long ago, Eve was minding her own business as she strolled through the Garden of Eden. She knew what God had told her, but as she passed by the forbidden fruit, a serpent spoke to her with the advice that the fruit that was off limits would give her knowledge that she did not have. Knowledge is a good thing, but she did not understand that not all knowledge was beneficial. It sounded good to her and she fell for satan’s lie… and we all have been cursed with a sin nature.
There is often the temptation to take shortcuts to our worthy objectives. We often are so wrapped up in the pursuit of our godly goals that we don’t always look at the methods or the appropriateness of the path we choose. We don’t always remember that God looks at our heart and our efforts, that we are required to be obedient, and this does not mean we will always be successful… but in doing so, we will always be pleasing to our Creator.
Jesus gave us the example of how to deal with this kind of temptation. He knew that ultimately he would rule the nations, but the devil offered Him a shortcut. Matthew 4 records the conversation:
Cancer is a deadly disease because, as it grows, it spreads itself throughout the body, attacking the organs and cells until it kills everything. However, in most cases the patient feels no discomfort or pain until near the very end of their life. The way doctors cure cancer is through chemotherapy and yet, while undergoing this treatment, the patient is in tremendous discomfort, sometimes wishing they could die because they feel so terrible. However, before long, the patient is cured and is living a long, healthy life.
Knees can sometimes become very painful, making it difficult to walk, sit, or even lay down. The cure for this ailment is to undergo knee replacement but after surgery comes the pain of recovery and the pain of physical therapy. If the patient does not get up and start walking within days of the surgery, the knee will become stiff and be unable to bend. If that should happen, then the patient will eventually become confined to a wheelchair and unable to get around on their own. In this condition, they are forever worse off than before their surgery. However, the act of walking during the first weeks after surgery is far more excruciating than the pain the patient had before their knee replacement but the pain only lasts for a few short months and soon the patient is walking better than ever before.
These two examples illustrate the old adage that sometime the cure is worse than the pain, but the cure is still necessary. No doctor who honors their profession would ever let a cancer patient die because he wants to save them from the pain of chemotherapy and no doctor would amputate a patient’s legs when they could replace an aching knee with a new one.
Our country is sick. It is infected with all kinds of cancer that is rotting the body of our country from the inside. And, as time goes on, Read more of this article »
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… is the way the First Amendment restricts the national government from sticking it’s ever present proboscis into the business of religious organizations. The cause celebre in this case is the August 2011 mandate that requires health insurance plans to include contraception – including drugs that cause abortion – and sterilization as part of the coverage. This was a clear effort by the Obama regime to place it’s own socialist, humanist agenda above the beliefs and values of a large portion of the American citizens who are members of the Catholic Church.
Unlike the recent announcement catering to the homosexual community, the contraceptive intrusion is one that does not arouse the ire of too many outside this body, as the drugs… with the exception of the abortificients, are in common use in both the Protestant and pagan communities. They felt that Catholics were pretty much on their own on this one.
Thursday, May 3, 2012 was the National Day of Prayer. The Supreme Court has told us it this national remembrance is unconstitutional. Christians in the land know something different. Those attempting to drive religion from the public life cannot abide those of us who have allegiance to a higher power than our leaders and government. However, we are in good company.
George Washington told us, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Even some of our opponents would agree with this assertion as it is a different kind of “morality” they seek. Their morality is not the morality of the traditional work ethic and individuals helping their neighbors. They seek a “morality” with neither restraint or responsibility and see religion as an inhibiting influence on their desires.
Yet the religion Washington spoke of was not religion in the abstract sense. It was a particular religion that guided the founders in their quest to form a more perfect union. Patrick Henry was witness to all these events. In fact, it was through his passion for liberty and dedication to the Creator that gave it to us that many took place. He said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
Jackson, MS – The State of Mississippi advanced the health of women and the lives of the unborn this week, when Governor Phil Bryant signed into law regulations requiring clinic abortionists to be an obstetrician-gynecologist with admitting privileges at a local hospital.
“Governor Bryant and the Mississippi Legislature are champions for the cause of women’s health and the sanctity of life,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The lives of women will be saved because they stood courageously against Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion activists who operate under the pretext of women’s health but stand against this and other provisions that would advance women’s health.”
“No one leaves an abortion clinic uninjured – not the mother and certainly not the unborn child,” said Mat Staver. “This commonsense law would require that if those injuries require immediate hospital care, the mother can be treated immediately by her doctor in a nearby hospital.”
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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