How we spend our time shapes who we are, and how
we assemble the persons we are is cause for social concern. At all
times, we must ask ourselves whether or not what we are doing is loving
or wise. Simply having the freedom to do a thing doesn't justify doing
it. Just because it might be legal (such as pornography or immodest
dress) doesn't make it right. Liberty is the freedom to do that which
is right. Being able to discipline oneself for the benefit of others is
the very essence of maturity. What examples are adults, entrusted with
the awesome responsibility for their care, to the rapidly maturing next
generation who will impact our society
positively or negatively depending on to what we expose them. One of
the biggest problems with today's society is that we have almost
forgotten the concept of civic and social duty. We have rebelled
against that responsibility, and are forced to live in the pit that
we've helped to dig as a result. Albert Einstein once said, "The world
is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don't do anything about it." We're
apathetic, indifferent, sluggish, and retreating when what we need to be
is alarmed, outraged, vigilant, and ever on the attack. We have
experienced the natural progression of an unguarded nation towards
neglect, corruption and the loss of idealism. Shantideva said, "All the
joy the world contains, Has come through wishing happiness for others.
All the misery the world contains, Has come through wanting pleasure
for oneself (at the expense of others)." To cultivate compassion,
experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end of your own
behaviour. When awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the Dalai Lama
said in his lecture, "…For if we each selfishly pursue only what we
believe to be in ourown interest, without caring about the needs of others, we end up harming not only others but also ourselves…"
Troubling to me it is when our impressionable children are required to read books as objectionable as The Great Gatsby in our
public high schools. Certainly there are books depicting social class
that are more edifying and wholesome? So what if it is considered to be
a classic? We all need to think for ourselves, and not just do what is
considered cool or popular, do we not? Transcendentalism and literary
trends should not simply be accepted as "art" but should be evaluated in
the light of student edification. Reading about affairs, murder, booze
and shallow conversation is not laying a good foundation for young
people, is it? It does not seem responsible or caring to me. There is
so much we do not have control over in life that is difficult. Why
require our young people to read such sad, depressing, meaningless garbage? True to the fallen human condition it may be, but for our children to have to fill their minds with such writing is inappropriate. Why not fill our
children's heads instead with inspirational, character-building
literature. A good dose of beautiful poetry or other imaginative
literature can be just the right prescription to make one's spirit
soar. Books on truth, beauty, purity, goodness, justice, courage,
faith, joy and humility are my suggestions for our
awakening daughters and sons. Unfortunately, in public schools,
students are rarely introduced to men and women of courage, honor,
inspiration, or traditional principles. No, schools, instead, are
issuing forth drastic, narrow-minded beliefs. Innocence seems to be out
while indoctrination is in. In ninth grade, my daughter was required
to read I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joann Greenberg. That is
an exceedingly dark, descriptively graphic tale depicting the
frightening life of a teenage schizophrenic. For days after finishing
the book, she was mysteriously sad. We have our entire lives
to read, develop and learn. We do not have to read about such hard
subject matter as mere teens (or ever)! These days, children grow up
way too fast! It would be a good idea to slow that process down rather
than continuing to accelerate it. What do you think? Why not live as
Philippians 4:8 instructs us to: Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are
pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on
Also quite concerning to me is The Grapes of Wrath for it pokes
fun at Christianity. In the public schools, why is it that other
worldviews (such as living the homosexual lifestyle, Islam or evolution)
cannot be read about in such a light, but it is okay for students to
read about the Christian worldview in such a negative light??? Why does
our school system wish to brainwash our
next generation against the truth which is Jesus Christ??? Of what is
it so afraid??? Unfortunately, many students who are not strong in
their faith will succumb to unhealthy, liberal propaganda they are fed
in public school. As Michael Savage proclaims, "We've gone from the
three "R's" to the three "D's": degeneracy, disorientation, and
deconstruction." Radicals are striving to control minds using tactics
such as: drugs, textbooks revised to present history from the biased,
manipulative, untrue worldview of liberals, tolerance, socialist
indoctrination, deconstruction of patriotism, censorship of Christian
and conservative ideas, etc. Ponder this, if you will. With no moral
framework or baseline of truth to follow, and without historically
accurate facts, how can teachers teach students to be honorable,
responsible and caring citizens? One does not have far to look to
witness the chaos and devastation caused in our society due to our turning away as a nation from our Judeo-Christian roots. The narcissism practiced by most is the basic problem in our
world. If we would all simply put God and others above ourselves, what
a peaceful, kind, gentle, loving, caring world we would live in.
Having much wisdom, William Jennings Bryan made statements such as, " We
do not ask that the teachers in the public schools, colleges and
universities become exponents of orthodox Christianity … but Christians
have a right to protest against teaching that weakens faith in God,
undermines belief in the Bible and reduces Christ to the stature of a
man." He suggested that since Christians build their own
schools when they want to teach their doctrines, evolutionists should
do the same for promulgating theirs. Bryan, who was a member of the
American Society for the Advancement of Science said, "it is not the
facts that do harm"; rather it is the "forced conclusions unsupported by
fact." "All truth is of God," Bryan argued in the August, 1923, issue
of Popular Science Monthly, "whether found in the book of nature or in
the Book of Books; but guesses are not science; hypotheses such as the
hypothesis of evolution are not truths." Surely parents have a right to
guard the religious welfare of their children. The evolutionary
hypothesis is a challenge to the authority of God - the foundation for
the Bible, Christianity, and ultimately all of civilization. All
through the ages, societies have based their laws on the "Ten
Commandments." Imagine that!
Catcher in the Rye along with Streetcar Named Desire are two
other examples of books that are a waste of valuable time to read. In
them there is absolutely nothing of redeeming value for ourlives. Of course, the books I've mentioned are just a smattering of the inappropriate literature we are forcing our children to read in our public schools across the nation.
Our culture is rotting. Just listen to
the lyrics of popular songs, pick up a book or magazine, view a movie or
television show. Look around at the immodest way females dress. The
dress code in most public schools is appalling! How can male students
possibly be expected to focus on the reason they are there, which is to
learn? How can male teachers be expected to keep their eyes pure? It
is absolute insanity!!! Be attuned to how many unborn babies are
slaughtered and their precious body parts sold for profit by the
factories of death. Pay attention to the violence permeating our
communities, the rampant availability of pornography penetrating every
home with a computer or television., the disrespect and lack of courtesy
displayed by all, judicial tyranny, and the neglect of and abuse
directed at women. (Could this be a direct result of pornography?
Duh!) Then consider that perhaps we are allowing the wrong input in ourlives and the lives of those who have been entrusted to our care. After all, we are raising our
next generation of leaders!!! Words like diversity, pluralism and
tolerance have anesthetized us to the reality of good and evil.
Tolerance is the cultivation of an attitude of indifference to things we
see happening around us. In the name of peace, we tolerate evil. In
the name of tolerance, we accept sin and call it freedom of speech or
freedom of sexual persuasion. We dare not stand up for what we believe
for fear of being labeled intolerant. Tolerance sees your sin and
embraces it. Grace sees your sin and hands you over to Christ's healing
Debate is good, is it not? Being able to disagree is one of the
cherished freedoms upon which this country was founded. Change would
never come about if well-meaning folks did not speak up. "The humblest
citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is
stronger than all the hosts of Error," - William Jennings Bryan.
Entrusted with the awesome responsibility of my children's care, I am
concerned about how their generation is being raised, to what they are
being exposed, and the examples they have in their lives.
Are they being enriched in mind, spirit and character? They all need
highly esteemed mentors to guide them along the path to liberty. They
need to be taught how to, and be encouraged to, think for themselves.
Sadly, too often conformity and control is the name of the game in our schools as well as in society.
Lastly, bear in mind……..if we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything. Hopefully, seekingourownpleasure is not the measure of ourlives. We are called to be intolerant in love.
Watching a particular scene, in the recently released movie Grace Unplugged, has prompted within me the desire to pour out my thoughts and feelings concerning it. Referring to his wayward eighteen year old daughter, Grace's father says, as he looks heavenward, "She's yours now, Lord."
Yes, how necessary it is for all parents, who have surrendered their allegiance to Jesus, to surrender total parenting control to Him as well. Of course, no matter what, He is in control whether or not we humans turn over our supposed control to Him. Thankfully, He works in our lives and in the lives of our children no matter how much control we do or do not relinquish to Him. God the Father, as the only perfect parent, loves our children even more than we do, and what He has planned for them is best. His ways are higher than our ways, and there will always be much we are unable to understand about His ways. As we spend time wrestling in prayer with Him, seeking His guidance, He will afford us His wisdom, knowledge and right thinking on how to parent our children. Our children are unmitigated blessings from Him, and to be blessed by Him with children is an awesome responsibility, one never to be taken lightly. With each passing year, as our children grow older, we afford them realistic opportunities to make more decisions for themselves. As they make poor decisions, they can choose to learn from them or not. This is all part of striving for independence that begins the very day of our birth.
Many these days have made a practice of accusing disciples of Jesus of brainwashing our children, by simply teaching them to seek God and His will through prayer and obedience to the precepts set forth in His Holy Word. They would prefer for us to offer our children up as sacrifices to the state, as if the state is not in the business of indoctrination. How convoluted and destructive this type of thinking is. How irresponsible and unloving it would be to keep from our children knowledge of the only way to truth, the only way to holy and righteous living, the only way to life eternal, the only way to peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable and full of glory. We are all born knowing God, with a conscience that divides right from wrong. The world begins it's seduction as soon as we are born into it, and if responsible parents remove their God-given, authoritative, loving teaching and correction from our children, how much sooner will the sad fall from truth inevitably occur. All of God's children have rebelled against Him, except for His only perfect child, so we can count on our imperfect children rebelling. Contrary to what some believe about themselves, human parents are also imperfect. How easy it is for folks to have all of the answers when they have been faced with none of the problems personally. This seems particularly true when it comes to parenting.
Yes, we are called to relinquish our parental control to God's ultimate authority, while at the same time, we are called by God to do our part in guiding our children along the narrow way to eternal life. We are partners in conjunction with God as we raise our children to know Him and to make Him known. We will all make many heartbreaking mistakes in raising our children, and many variables come into play as we do so. There are those among us who feel things much more deeply than do others, for we allow ourselves to. Some children linger long in the nest while others fly to independence much earlier. Some live close by, while others live at a great distance. Myriad varying influences come into children's lives, for good and for bad. Some families are exceedingly blessed by being able to remain in their home areas, where their ancestral roots are firm and deep, while others lose their close systems of loving support as they move away from such vital, life-giving and enhancing familiar connections. There are families whose members are intimately connected, and families that are much more loosely joined. There are children whose lives are always open books unto their parents, while children in other families have many chapters that remain ever closed to their parents. How exceedingly easy it is for those among us who have not yet become parents, especially parents of rebellious teens, to offer up advice to those of us who are in the midst of unimaginable suffering and heartbreak, due to the rebellion of our teens. There are many who would rather point the finger of condemnation, even relishing in the pain that we are suffering, because they believe that the suffering is deserved. Instead of helping to bear our burden by lovingly coming alongside to offer comfort, encouragement, inspiration and love, or simply a shoulder to cry on, they prefer to say, "I told you so." It's as if they want us to wallow in our disappointment and pain, as they withhold loving support. Another hurtful reaction to our pain is when others are not willing to grieve with us, as they unthinkingly tell us we should move past our pain. How can we move past it when it's an ongoing condition? We're living in the midst of it on a daily basis, wondering what antics our rebellious teens will act out next. What hurtful words will they sling and why? Will they come home tonight or not? If not, where are they, with whom and what are they doing? Is it illegal, safe, healthy? Whom are they harming besides themselves and their concerned family? Will they end up in jail or possibly dead? We will not be able to move past the torment until our prodigals return to their first love - Jesus, who is the truth. Sadly, many are unwilling to listen as we seek healing and comfort through talking about it. Until someone has walked in another's shoes, quite often we are sorely unequipped to extend the mercy, compassion and discernment needed in order to display the love of Jesus to another. WHY IS THAT? The reality of it is, as long as our child is a prodigal, our hearts will remain broken, that is, if we are responsibly engaged with our children. Of course, the Bible instructs us to be content whatever state we are in, and as hurting parents, we can achieve a state of contentment. It's necessary for us to be able to function in our daily lives. However, it is wise of us to remember that there will be days where we will be utterly depleted due to fighting the ongoing battle for our souls, and we will be unable to quench the grievous weeping over our children from deep within. It's healthier to allow ourselves to feel the deep well of profound pain, for then we are also able to feel the deep well of profound joy that is also a significant part of our lives, as we abide in Jesus. To attempt to stifle the devastating pain is unrealistic and crippling. Out of our painful experiences comes the ability to reach out to others in their suffering. It enables us to make a difference for good in this life as well as into eternity. It's part of the refinement process as we become more like Jesus, if we allow it. Out of our deep pain, we become warriors for Him, soldiers of the Cross, as we determine to keep our branches in His vine.
Check out my daughter's first pro-life pregnancy center banquet keynote address, September 19, 2013. You'll be exceedingly blessed! It just happened to be my mother's 82nd birthday, and she was able to join our entire family there! It was definitely a Jesus occasion! :) I felt God smiling as my humble daughter wrapped up her compelling speech and received a standing ovation!
There is something that I simply must share with you this month. It concerns the moral collapse we are experiencing as a nation. It has many dimensions, but the aspect that troubles me most is the assault on Christianity and religious liberty, orchestrated by the Obama Administration and its associates on the Far Left. Our Founding Fathers would not have believed a day would come when American citizens would elect a government that is openly hostile to the Cause of Christ. It is true. Traditional standards of morality and righteousness are fading away like smoke on a windy afternoon.
Rather than trying to explain what is happening to religious liberty in America, it will become clear by reading an editorial written by Congressman Tim Huelskamp, from the First District of Kansas. He focuses specifically on what the Commander-in-Chief and his senior officers are doing to the U.S. military, as follows:
If Army chaplain Emil Kapaun served in Afghanistan today rather than Korea six decades ago, President Obama would probably give the Catholic priest discharge papers instead of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In Obama's Army, the Pentagon brass is ordained in the priesthood of political correctness, while devout Christians such as Medal of Honor recipient Emil Kapaun are shunned and ostracized. At all times between the presidential terms of George Washington and George W. Bush, the open practice of Christianity in the ranks was widespread and the open practice of homosexuality was deemed incompatible with military service. In the Obama era, the reverse is true.
President Obama is a wartime Commander-in-Chief. No, I don't mean the obvious (Iraq or Afghanistan). I'm talking about his preference for waging a race war, a gender war, class warfare, generational warfare, and – with escalating aggression and mounting casualties – a culture war. With the exceptions of free enterprise and traditional marriage, no institution has been more "radically transformed" by the Obama regime than our Armed Forces. Given President Obama's notorious contempt for Americans who "cling to their Bibles" and "guns," perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by his Administration's hostility to service members who espouse traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.
The persecution of Christians and conservatives has become increasingly brazen and pervasive since the President took office four and one half years ago. To "protect patients" from proselytizing or prayer, Walter Reed Army Medical Center banned wounded warriors' family members from "bringing or using Bibles" during visits. The Department of Veterans Affairs barred Christian prayers at a National Cemetery. The President signed the law that repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Attorney General refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, and the Department of Defense authorized unholy "matrimony" ceremonies at military installations even before the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA.
A war games scenario at Ft. Leavenworth identified evangelical Christian groups as a national security threat.
A field grade officer listed the American Family Association and Family Research Council as "domestic hate groups" and directed his subordinate officers to monitor soldiers who might be supporters. Evangelist Franklin Graham was un-invited from the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer service. A training exercise funded by the Department of Homeland Security portrayed home-schooling families as domestic terrorists.
Last year, I introduced the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. The bill requires the military to accommodate service members' moral principles and religious beliefs so long as they don't "threaten good order and discipline," forbids the military from using an individual's beliefs as the basis for an adverse personnel action, and forbids the military from forcing chaplains to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies. My bill's language was included in the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last December.
When President Obama signed it into law, he claimed the conscience protections I authored were "unnecessary and ill-advised." But recent events confirm the new law was necessary, well-advised, and prophetic. These episodes exemplify the new military culture, one that rebukes those who practice Christianity and rewards those who worship at the altar of political correctness.
Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers' superiors told him to remove the conservative, Republican, and scripture-quoting bumper stickers from his personal vehicle. He was told he must avoid being seen reading books authored by Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, or David Limbaugh while in uniform. He was investigated for serving Chick-fil-A food at his promotion party to express his support for traditional marriage. In retribution, the Army is pursuing trumped up disciplinary charges against him.
The Utah Air National Guard cancelled the six-year re-enlistment contract of Tech Sergeant Layne Wilson because he told a chaplain he thought the chapel at West Point shouldn't be used for a homosexual wedding. An Air Force officer was required to hide from view the Bible he once kept on top of his desk. An Air Force chaplain's video tribute to sergeants was banned for fear it would offend an "agnostic, atheist, or Muslim." The chaplain's video narration said: "On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, 'I need someone who will take care of the Airmen.' So God created a First Sergeant."
Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer audience that Christian service members are being told to hide their faith and religious liberty is being threatened by Pentagon lawyers. Army Reserve training materials listed Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism as extremist religious groups alongside Al-Qaeda and Hamas. This is especially outrageous since the Obama Administration continues to classify the mass shooting at Ft. Hood (in which 13 people were killed by Army Major Nidal Hasan) as "workplace violence" rather than admit it was a terrorist attack carried out by a radicalized Muslim.
In April, several Generals consulted Mikey Weinstein – the anti-Christian zealot dedicated to attacking men and women of any faith – to solicit his help writing Air Force policies concerning "religious tolerance." If there's one person whose advice the Pentagon brass shouldn't solicit, it is that of Mr. Weinstein, a man who says the military ranks are full of "Christian fundamentalist monsters" whose evangelizing constitutes "spiritual rape," "a national security threat," and "sedition and treason." After Weinstein telephoned the Pentagon to complain about a painting displayed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, it was removed less than one hour later. The painting bore the word "Integrity" and the citation "Matthew 5:9" (the verse says:"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God").
Mr. Weinstein bragged to The Washington Post that the Defense Department expressed its willingness to ban proselytizing (i.e., evangelizing, sharing one's faith, or spreading the Gospel) and added, "We need half a dozen court-martials real quick." Days later, the Pentagon issued a statement to the news media that announced: "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense." After reading about this alarming situation on my Facebook page, a Sergeant First Class posted the following comment: "This is why I am retiring. ... The liberals are destroying our values." One wonders how long before the radical Weinstein and his Pentagon pals find and punish this Sergeant.
These revelations highlight the fact that Obama's war on God-fearing servicemen is not only morally repugnant, but also threatens the long-term soundness of our voluntary military. Who wants to join an organization that increasingly caters to homosexuals and atheists, meanwhile denigrating Christians and traditional marriage? If you care nothing at all about the constitutional free exercise rights of our servicemen, surely you can at least see the dangers to military readiness posed by such harassment and persecution.
In April, I attended the White House ceremony at which President Obama presented Ray Kapaun with the Congressional Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to his uncle, Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kaupan. A farm boy from my congressional district in Kansas, the "Patriot Priest of the Korean Conflict," saved countless lives of fellow soldiers on the battlefield, along the death march to the Pyoktong Prisoner of War camp, and during the seven months of captivity that preceded his murder by communist Chinese guards in May 1951.
I can only imagine what Mr. Weinstein would say about the "how to witness Christianity" proselytizing clinic that Fr. Kapaun put on in the POW camp or this report of repatriated American soldiers: "He was their hero – their admired and beloved 'padre.' He kept up the G.I.'s morale, and most of all [caused] a lot of men to become good Catholics."
It speaks volumes that Fr. Kapaun had Protestants, Jews, and atheists saying the Rosary, singing the Lord's Prayer, and praying together at the Easter sunrise service he led, all in defiance of the communist camp guards who ridiculed his devotion to faith and punished him for it. In a detailed account of the priest's life, Arthur Tonne wrote: "He has transmitted to every one of us a new appreciation of America, and a keener, more realistic understanding of our country's greatest enemy – godlessness."
When Fr. Kapaun was being carried to the "Death House" (i.e., isolation without food or water), the Muslim POWs from Turkey stood at attention to honor him. According to witnesses, Fr. Kapaun blessed the very guards who were murdering him by saying, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." President Obama should be earnestly and prayerfully seeking more such men, not forging a military where they are not welcome, or where the very actions that once earned them the Medal of Honor are now forbidden by the Commander-in-Chief.
Only in America ... actually, only in Barack Obama's and Mikey Weinstein's America ...1
Huelskamp's analysis of hostility to people of faith in the military is shocking. It will weaken us as a nation and demoralize those who are fighting to defend our freedoms. A similar article could be written about other dimensions of the religious war. One of them concerns children and what the pagan culture is doing to their understanding of biblical truth. They are being taught that God is irrelevant, discriminatory and unconstitutional. It has profound implications for their young minds.
Most adult Christians are grounded in their faith and are not likely to be shaken off the limb. However, our children and teens are at much greater risk. They lack the spiritual foundation to reject the distortions they are being told, or to resist the propaganda that invades their lives. They can be twisted and warped by a society that glorifies wickedness.
Shame on the schools and churches that are teaching the young that sexual immorality is not an offense against the Almighty, whether it is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual. Sin is sin, and our leaders used to call it by that name. Now children hear regularly that perversity is a civil right protected by the Constitution. But biblical truth has not changed. The wages of sin is still death, as it has always been.
The Prophet Micah said, "Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds!" Micah 2:1
Isaiah issued the same warning: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20
Family Talk exists, in part, to help defend righteousness in the culture. We are also attempting to help parents protect their children from those who would undermine their beliefs and values. The best way to do that is to maintain the connectedness between parents and kids. Mothers and fathers can't afford to become so busy and distracted that they miss the most important purpose in living, which is to introduce their children to Jesus Christ and teach them a Christian worldview from early in life.
This is our mission, and we are working tirelessly on it. It is why we are preparing a new eight-DVD series called, Building A Family Legacy, and why I am writing a book for parents on the same theme.
If you agree with this objective and can assist us financially here at the end of a very lean summer, we would certainly appreciate your support. Thank you so much for getting us through these past couple of months. The attack on religious liberty is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Anything you can do to oppose it in the public square would be wise. We will join you in that cause.
I surrendered my allegiance to Jesus in a stone Catholic chapel while a college student. My four children are my magnum opus: twin sons Joseph Linden and Adam Edward, Hannah Rose and Laurel Emmaline.
My dear dad, eldest of ten, strove for and achieved excellence at whatever he did: surrendering his allegiance to Jesus and serving Him his entire life, most proficient sharpshooter during his stint in the Marines; scouted not once, but twice, to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers; struck Willie Mays out; valedictorian in his high school class, junior college and at UVA. While a Marine, he appointed himself as THE man to ensure his mates came safely back to the ship after carousing on land. He was never drunk in his entire life, was sexually intimate with one woman his entire life, and that after they were married. He had a strong work ethic, believing that he who doesn't work doesn't eat. He provided financially for his family.