Monday, August 24, 2015

In Response to Elizabeth Esther

It's about American Christian culture as a WHOLE and OUR really messed up relationship with sexuality.  How wrong you are, E. E.  This is about our ENTIRE society and it's out-of-bounds relationship with free love.  Sexual freedom with no boundaries is the bottom line for liberals, the foundation of all they are.  Pornography, adultery, abortion, the hook-up culture, the constant striving for the destruction of innate modesty with which females are born, sex-trafficking, homosexual behaviour, HIV/AIDS, prostitution and divorce are evidence.  

This is about an American Christian culture that made insane promises like: "If you just wait until you're married to have sex, everything will be wonderful."  -  No, E. E., you are so off the mark, it's preposterous.  Actually this is about the Body of Christ teaching the precepts set forth in God's holy written Word.  It's about teaching the Truth which is Jesus.  If you wait until marriage to have sex, all facets of your being will be healthier!  Out of His great love for us, God has established a plan that is best for one and all.  He knows how broken one becomes when not following His plan for sexuality!  We live in a fallen world, populated by people whose hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  God's best IS for us to wait to have sex until united in the sacred bond of marriage, but neither His written Word nor His Word made flesh EVER promise that if you do wait, all will be wonderful. Utopia, in marriage or elsewhere, is NOT possible on our privileged planet, for it is NOT supposed to be.  Otherwise, there would be NO need for Jesus!  What is so egregious to you and your "tribe" about remaining chaste until marriage?  It's easy to grasp what is not wise about living in sexual freedom:  STDs, unplanned pregnancies, broken hearts, shattered dreams, abortions, mental illness, infertility, HIV/AIDS. 

This is about an American Christian culture that turned purity into profit; using a 21-year old kid named Josh Harris to promote the fantasy that if you just "kiss dating goodbye," you'll end up with a faithful, godly, loving spouse for the rest of your life.  Most folks enter marriage with the intention of staying married until death parts them.  Given the opportunity to stray from that righteous determination can cause any one of us to fall, and we must be aware - but for the grace of God there go I!  No, E. E., purity as taught in the Bible has not been turned into financial gain.  Exemplary Joshua Harris did NOT promote any such fantasy!  Realistically, it has profited many by helping them make responsible, healthy, wise, loving, unselfish choices about their sexuality or by helping them find healing and redemption in Jesus.  All marriages are composed of many trials, challenges, sufferings, pain, heartaches and selfishness - guaranteed due to our humanness!  But with Jesus at the core, they are also comprised of forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, healing and restoration.

This is about an ENTIRE culture of American Christianity that has wreaked havoc in the physical, emotional and spiritual lives of millions.  Do you truly stand behind this statement?  The havoc could not have been caused by the inhibition-free-for-all sexual permissiveness of our society at large?  All Christians are mere humans, E. E.  All fallible creatures.  All selfish.  All prone to rebellion against Jesus.  All prone to hurt one another.  There is only one answer to all the wrongs, hurts, slights, wounds, pain, suffering we cause each other - the Gospel of the Good News!  It affords the freedom, strength, forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, joy, peace, comfort, guidance - everything we need to live victoriously in, for and through Jesus.  His followers, when denying ourselves, taking up our cross and daily following Him, choosing His will and His way over our own, do not willingly wreak havoc in the lives of others.  That is not love.

This is about an ENTIRE culture that has traded an authentic relationship with God for the trappings of "good Christian living."  How wrong you are, E. E., as we commit to living in obedience to Him, right living flows abundantly.  Only as we live with our allegiance surrendered to Him can we be holy as He is holy.  He knows of what we are capable when we follow His precepts set forth for our good, when we live with His Holy Spirit in us, to guide us.  That's why He sets the bar so high!  The Bible is our treasure map to Jesus!

This is about an entire culture of Christianity that became so obsessed with 'looking like a good Christian' that it created an impossible standard of "purity" and made it completely unsafe to be a real, broken human being.  If you will, ponder these wise words from exemplary Eric Ludy of Ellerslie in Windsor, CO.  The GOSPEL has been reduced to a message merely about forgiveness while the idea of regeneration and transformation seems almost totally forgotten. GRACE has become simply a gigantic hug from God and is no longer the muscle of God brought to earth to aid the weakness of men and to give them strength. FAITH has morphed into this bizarre idea of "honest doubt" and has lost its essence of rock-solid unwavering confidence in the ability of God to perform that which He promises. HOLINESS has transformed into moralistic tyranny for the soul and something to be avoided at all costs. RIGHTEOUSNESS has been redefined to mean an unreachable standard of perfection. PURITY has become nothing more than a legalistic attempt to stay away from things and thoughts that God knows we won't be able to abstain from anyway. LOVE has become unconditional acceptance and tolerance of sin. ~from the BRAVEHEARTED GOSPEL

This is about a Christian culture that sets people up for failure.  What sets people up for failure is just what Eric Ludy said here:  
"When the Word of God in text is diminished, it leads to a diminishment of the Word of God made flesh." 

This isn't just about Josh Duggar, it's about our really sick, twisted relationship with sex, shame, self-loathing and perfectionism.  And the unearthly standards of perfection determined by the evil pornography industry could have nothing to do with your above statement, eh E. E.?  What is twisted, E. E., is how God's written Word and Word made flesh have been robbed of their glorious power by so-called progressives such as yourself.  You should be ashamed.  But people don't believe in shame or guilt.  Therein lies a huge part of the problem!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Christmas 2007

Jesus – The Reason for Every Season
by Ginny Bain Allen

I pray for you all a Mighty Christmas this year!
Cling to Jesus each moment for He's ever near.

What's up with folks proclaiming, "Happy Holidays?"
Inquiring minds query, "Which happy holy days?

What's the point of the holiday tree, season, vacation?
It's all about lifting Him up, it's His celebration.

Becoming flesh to dwell among His lambs lonely and lost,
In a stable born, displaying humbleness at great cost.

To a carpenter born, a carpenter He would become,
With each nail that He drove, did He reminisce of His home?

Taking our sins upon Himself – a prophecy fulfilled,
That I should such a life destroy, yet live by Him I killed!

Arms opened wide for us, love alone would have held Him there,
Needing no nails, scars of obedience He'll always wear.

Wise, humble men seek Him as their Good Shepherd,
Daily time spent with Him in reading His Word.

Being still before Him, peacefully listening, seeking,
Allowing His Spirit to help us bide in His keeping.

In adoration we bow as our hearts are stirred.
Devoted to pure living in thought, deed and word.

Empow'ring us to live with Him through His grace
We now must stand firm to the end of this race.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hannah Graham and Jesse Matthew in Charlottesville, VA, My Hometown.

No, Hannah Graham's disappearance was definitely NOT her fault.  That lies squarely on the depraved shoulders of an evil psychopath named Jesse Matthew.  However, many are not speaking realistically concerning how Hannah's comportment that night definitely played a significant part in her disappearance.  I do not mean she wanted to be raped.  I do not mean she was asking for it.  I do not mean she got what she deserved.  Far from it!  Face it folks.  Due to living in this depraved world, and not in utopia, one's behaviour is significant.  Consider the old adage - Actions speak louder than words.  My female body is not a detriment to me for it was beautifully created by God.  Hannah's beautiful, young, athletic body was not a detriment to her.  Had Hannah not been out alone late, in the dark, inebriated, dressed seductively, she would still be alive.  She would not have been targeted by Jesse Matthew for she would not have been on the downtown mall!  That's the truth.  Yes, females are targets of sexual predators no matter what.  Of course, such barbaric behaviour by males is NEVER excusable!  However, behaving safely, wisely, and healthily can serve to dramatically reduce the probability that a female will be abducted by a wicked predator, who cares nothing for her beautiful, unique, priceless life.  Many shout loudly that males are responsible for keeping their baser instincts in check.  Unequivocally so!  However, there are many males in this world who do NOT care a whit about reining themselves in.  Due to living in our narcissistic culture, we ALL know that to be unequivocally so!  We do not live in heaven!  We live in a world corrupted by sin, and if we don't wisely protect ourselves and our children, we live foolishly, dangerously, irresponsibly, unlovingly.  I will reiterate - the morally corrupt males who willfully choose to perpetrate violent crimes against females are alone responsible for their egregious acts, even in our culture that is responsible for breeding such psychopaths.  However, as females with 50% less brute strength, we must live wisely, safely and healthily as best we can to curtail much of the criminal activity directed at us. 

What resulted in Hannah Graham’s devastating disappearance was like the perfect gathering storm. How the seemingly insignificant parts to her story, while standing alone, all added together, in the end produced a fatal result. A fatal ending that reminds me of the disaster that occurred on Mount Everest in 1996, detailed in the book INTO THIN AIR. All the components that alone would have simply been an inconvenience, when strung together, caused the deaths of a number of expert mountain climbers.

The only real answer to all of our woes is Jesus!  We all pay the price when He is rejected.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future by Mark Regnerus

Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.
As mainline Protestant denominations increasingly accept the ordination of gay clergy and publicly affirm same-sex unions, the sociologist in me wishes to understand what this development means for people in those denominations. I’m not talking about subtle linguistic shifts. While the difference between speaking of marriage as a “civil contract between a woman and a man” and as “a unique commitment between two people” is obvious to those who pay attention to church documents, the impact of such changes on congregants’ attitudes and internalized paradigms—their hearts, I suppose—is seldom considered.
What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages? Some questions naturally arise. Does adultery mean the same thing for both same-sex and opposite-sex unions? Does it make sense to speak of premarital sex in such a context? Historically, the fear of pregnancy was enough to scare many love-struck Christians into taking things slow, but same-sex pregnancies are an accomplishment, not an accident, and most Christians use contraception now anyway.
Integrating homosexual relationships into Christian moral systems is not simple, and has ramifications for how heterosexual relationships are understood, too. What exactly do pro-same-sex-marriage Christians think about sex and relationships in general?
I’m not asking what perspectives on sexual behavior people ought to hold. Instead, I’m trying to discover what perspectives churchgoing Christians who disagree over same-sex marriage actually express.
To be sure, the sexual and relational standards of many Christians have already shifted. I’m not so na├»ve as to think that affirming same-sex marriage is the first significant change to take hold in their sexual and relational norms. More likely, the sexual morality of many churchgoing Christians shifted years ago, and the acceptance of same-sex marriage as licit Christian action follows significant change rather than prompts it. An ideal test would have been to have successfully interviewed congregants in “shifting” denominations (like the Presbyterian Church USA and the Episcopalians) over time, mapping what happens to their personal attitudes and opinions as social change occurred around them. So far as I’m aware, no one has done that. Indeed, it would have been difficult to do, involving the successful anticipation of future changes that were far from certain at the time.
What I do here is far more circumscribed. I assess a set of sexual and relational attitudes of Christians who support—and Christians who oppose—same-sex marriage.
Primarily, this exercise concerns the attitudes of all churchgoing Christians who express support for same-sex marriage. And since the LGBT population remains a small minority (and even smaller in organized religious communities), it’s reasonable to conclude that the sexual morality that “welcoming” congregations or individual Christians profess will have largely been fashioned—and maintained—by sympathetic heterosexuals. These are and will remain the majority (and hence, the norm) in all congregations, save for the Metropolitan Community Church and perhaps scattered congregations of the United Church of Christ.
The Relationships in America Survey
To do this, I rely on the Relationships in America survey, a data collection project I oversaw that interviewed 15,738 Americans, ages 18-60, in early 2014. It’s a population-based sample, meaning that its results are nationally representative. The survey asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with these seven statements:
1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.
2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.
3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.
4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.
5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.
6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.
7. I support abortion rights.
There is more to sexual and relationship morality than just these seven items, to be sure, but they do offer us a glimpse into how people perceive various practices and relationships. In order to ensure this is not just an exercise in documenting the attitudes of Christians “in name only,” I’ve restricted the analysis to churchgoing Christians—here defined as those who report they attend religious services at least three times a month and who self-identified with some sort of Christian affiliation. And I’ve restricted the analysis to those who report a position either for or against same-sex marriage. (I’ve excluded the one-in-four who reported they are undecided.)
For comparison purposes, however, I report the population average for each measure here, to use as a gauge of where the country is as a whole, as well as the attitudes professed by self-identified gays and lesbians who also report affiliation with a Christian tradition, and gays and lesbians that do not report a Christian affiliation. Because there is no attendance proviso attached to these two groups, the minority of gay and lesbian Christians that are regular churchgoers may also appear in one of the first two columns.
Regnerus GraphSo what do the numbers say? The table above displays the share of each group who either “agree” or “strongly agree” with the seven statements listed above. At a glance, there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is OK. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights. The closest the two come together is over the wisdom of a married couple staying together at all costs (except in cases of abuse).
Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage look very much like the country as a whole—the population average (visible in the third column). That answers my original question. What would a pro-SSM Christian sexual morality look like? The national average—the norm—that’s what.
While the divisions here are notable, we should maintain some perspective. No more than four in ten Christians who support same-sex marriage agreed with any of the statements above (except the question about children and divorce). The same cannot be said for American Christians who self-identify as gay or lesbian, as the fourth column demonstrates. And that group is clearly distinct from those gay and lesbian Americans who do not affiliate with a Christian tradition (e.g., nonreligious, Jews, spiritual-but-not-religious, Buddhists, etc.).
I’m not suggesting any “slippery slope” sort of argument here, implying that a shift in one attitude will prompt lock-step adjustments in others. In reality, our moral systems concerning sex and sexuality tend rather to resemble personalized “tool kits” reflecting distinctive visions of the purpose of sex and significant relationships (and their proper timing), the meaning of things like marriage and gender roles, and basic ideas about rights, goods, and privacy. Americans construct them in quite distinct combinations, often cafeteria-style. Instead, the results might be better interpreted as a simple story of social learning from quite different reference groups—those sets of people we use as a standard of comparison for ourselves, regardless of whether we identify as a member of that group. Indeed, attitude shifts in this domain are probably far more about reference groups than about any sort of individual “evolution” or rational construction of personal values. And it’s because of reference groups that both sets of Christians tend to perceive themselves as rather embattled, which is an inherently social sensation.
Christians Feel Embattled—Regardless of Their Views on Marriage
Churchgoers who oppose same-sex marriage sense that they are out of step with the rest of the nation about sex and relationships. (The numbers above reinforce that.) And Christians who favor legalizing same-sex marriage often remain embattled with those who oppose it, and yet sense that their own views on sexuality still lag behind those gay and lesbian Christians from whom they’ve have become convinced of the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. That, too, is true. Gay and lesbian Christians, in turn, have much in common with gay and lesbian non-Christians—their social circles often overlap. The sexual norms of the former are not as permissive as the latter, but are still well above the national average in permissiveness. The latter likely constitutes a reference group for gay and lesbian Christians (together with heterosexual Christians with whom they are in fellowship).
Given the rather massive divide in attitudes about sexual and romantic relationships evidenced in the table above, reference group theory—if employed here—would suggest that the current division between these groups of churchgoing Christians will remain far into the future. Even if a share of American Christians who presently oppose same-sex marriage track in more liberal directions—and it would be shrewd to presume that this will occur—those Christians who already support same-sex marriage are themselves still tracking in that same direction. And, from the looks of it, they have plenty of territory to cover yet.
Mark Regnerus is associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, research associate at its Population Research Center, and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Preach the Gospel and, Since It's Necessary, Use Words by Ed Stetzer

Monday, May 12, 2014

Matt Walsh - Christian Hating Liberal Fascists Have Once Again Demonstrated Their 'Tolerance'

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Written in 2005 With Public School Teachers in Mind

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 our own 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 these things.

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 our lives.  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 our lives 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 embrace.

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, seeking our own pleasure is not the measure of our lives.  We are called to be intolerant in love.