The Homosexual Agenda vs. A Christian Worldview

January 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm (Christian news) (, , , , , )

(originally posted by Chuck Colson)

Chuck Colson

People often ask me why worldview is so important. Here’s a timely—and disturbing—example.

For years Catholic Charities has served the poor of Washington D.C. They run shelters for the homeless, feed the hungry, and care for foster children. The city pays Catholic Charities $20 million for the services, and Catholic Charities kicks in $10 million of its own money. It also provides a caring army of 3,000 volunteers.

But now all those ministries may come to an abrupt end, thanks to a clash in worldviews.

A few weeks ago the D.C. city council passed a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage,” and now Congress is reviewing it. If the law goes into effect, Catholic Charities will be in violation of it. Why? Because as a city contractor, Catholic Charities would be required to obey all city laws—including the same-sex “marriage” law.

That means that Catholic Charities would have to offer employment benefits to same-sex couples and place children with homosexual couples who want to adopt. In other words, it would be required to violate church teachings.

Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont, all of which have same-sex “marriage” laws, made exemptions for religious groups. D.C. could have, too, but its leaders chose not to. Why?

As Emily Esfahani Smith concludes in the Wall Street Journal, “In the conflict between gay rights and religious rights, the city favors gay rights.”

Or to put it another way, we are seeing a “clash of orthodoxies,” as Princeton scholar Robby George put it—a clash between the Judeo-Christian worldview, which honors God’s teachings about sexuality, marriage, and family, and a secular worldview, which does not. Nor will secular elites accept a “live and let live” policy; they are determined to force everyone, including Christians, to acknowledge the rightness of their views.

And we’re accused of trying to force our views on others?

Well, the Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, thank God, is a courageous fighter for righteousness and biblical truth. He’s refused to give in, because it would be tantamount to recognizing same-sex “marriage” as legitimate. So the church must either withdraw from its charities, or find some way to serve the poor that does not involve city funds. And Washingtonians will probably have to spend tens of millions of dollars more on programs for the poor than it currently does.

Battles like these are why we need to understand worldview. We need to understand our opponents’ views and be able to counter them—and defend our own positions. This is why I urge you to download a free Bible study about the Manhattan Declaration. Go to ColsonCenter.org and we’ll show you how.

The Manhattan Declaration defines worldview; it takes biblical truth and applies it to the three pressing moral issues of our day: Life, liberty, and marriage.

If you haven’t signed the Manhattan Declaration, I urge you to do so, and then download that Bible Study and get to work.

The battle lines are being drawn; we need to know how to defend biblical truth, and know the point at which we must resist. As we put it in the Manhattan Declaration, “We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

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Canadian Universal Healthcare Officials Want Baby Dead

January 25, 2010 at 9:17 am (Christian news) (, , , , , )

Isaiah James May

Isaiah James May

Isaiah James May was born a little after 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2009, and was scheduled to die this past week – on Wednesday, Jan. 20 – just short of his three-month birthday.

That was the day chosen by Canada’s publicly funded, government health service as the deadline for Isaiah to recover from his traumatic birth or be taken off life-support.

“There is no hope of recovery for Isaiah,” reads a letter from Alberta Health Services delivered to Isaiah’s parents and dated one week before the health care system intended to pull the plug on the baby it has determined irreparably brain damaged.

“Your treating physicians regretfully have come to the conclusion that withdrawal of active treatment is medically reasonable, ethically responsible and appropriate,” the letter states. “We must put the interests of your son foremost, and it is in his best interests to discontinue mechanical ventilation support.”

Parents Isaac and Rebecka May, however, immediately appealed to the courts for more time, encouraged by signs that their boy was growing and moving, pointing to instance after instance where Isaiah had already proven the doctors wrong.

“He is doing everything they said that he would not do. Every day he does something new. So that helps us to fight,” the baby’s 23-year-old mother told CBC News. “His eyes dilate. He opens his eyes. He moves his limbs. He’s growing. He’s gaining weight. He’s living. They told us he would never do any of that.”

Then, the day before the hospital planned to allow Isaiah to die, a judge granted Isaiah a few more days of life.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michelle Crighton gave Isaiah’s parents one week, until Jan. 27, to find an independent expert – to determine if or when the baby should be taken off life-support.

Isaiah was born after a difficult 40 hours of labor, but the umbilical cord had wrapped itself around the baby’s neck and deprived the newborn of oxygen. Isaiah was immediately taken by air ambulance to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, where he has survived with the help of a ventilator and feedings through an IV tube.

But through his three months of care, his doctors believe Isaiah has suffered irreversible brain damage and have offered his young parents no hope for the boy’s recovery.

After Isaac and Rebecka May received the letter informing them life-support would be terminated on their son, they turned to the courts, seeking a 90-day window for continued observation of the progress they believe their son is making in spite of the doctor’s predictions.

According to court documents reported by the Calgary Herald, the baby’s mother claims doctors said Isaiah wouldn’t live past three days, wouldn’t grow, wouldn’t be able to urinate or move. May says the doctors told her brain death would cause Isaiah’s head to shrink and his brain to turn to “mush.”

Instead, she says, not only has Isaiah’s head grown, but he has also gained more than three pounds, wets his diaper, moves his hands, feet and arms and opens his eyes every day, according to court documents.

“It’s pretty cool seeing little changes every day,” his 22-year-old father told the Herald. “Of course, it’s not easy, being there watching him on the bed like that, but we’re just doing everything we can right now to know we’ve done everything we can do.”

The couple’s attorney told Edmonton’s CTV News, “The family has asked for 90 days in order to see how the child will develop, if the child will grow, if there’s any improvement in the child’s condition.”

Brent Windwick, the lawyer representing Alberta Health Services and the Stollery Children’s Hospital, has asked the court to allow no more than 30 days before making its decision.

Alberta Health Services, in turn, released a statement: “The medical and ethical discussions for this family and care providers are the most difficult imaginable. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family. Our medical, nursing and allied health teams have and will continue to support this family in every way possible. It is appropriate to turn now to the courts for direction.”

The court, however, granted the family only seven days to find an independent expert to evaluate their son and determine a future course of action.

Reported friends of the family have established a Facebook page for prayers and support for the May family. The page includes photos and videos of Isaiah, telephone numbers for complaints registered to Alberta Health Services, a mailing address for the Mays, who are currently staying at an Edmonton Ronald McDonald House, and links for financial donations through PayPal.

Most of all, pray!  Pray for Isaiah that this world would come to its senses and see the value in each and every life.  Then pray that this type of universal healthcare would be blocked from coming to our country.

Otherwise, we will hear about more children, and even adults, having their very lives endangered “because it is in their best interests.”

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2010 at 9:33 am (Holiday) (, , , , )

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Truth, Love, and Endurance

Dr. King and Christian Activism

(Originally from Chuck Colson at Breakpoint)

As Americans observe Martin Luther King Day today, I am reminded of the rich Christian tradition of activism in this country. For millions of Christians who have gone before us, activism was considered fruit of the faith. Not only was the civil-rights movement led by evangelical Christians like Dr. King, so too were campaigns for abolition and women’s suffrage heavily influenced by Christians expressing their faith.

But for much of the 20th century, Christians—especially white evangelicals—shied away from activism. Part of the reason is that from about the 1920s to the 1970s, many evangelical Christians simply withdrew from the public square. Defeats in Prohibition and the discouraging results of the Scopes trial left many evangelicals disheartened. Soon the rich activist tradition was lost or divorced from true faith.

But in the African-American community, Christian principles and hopes prodded the rise of the civil-rights movement. It was not until the ’80s with the rise of the Moral Majority, that activism began to resurface among white evangelicals. Unfortunately, as Tim Stafford notes in his new book, Shaking the System, by then, “The very idea of Christians advocating for public causes created panic among secularists and dreams of utopia (a long-lost Christian America?) among true believers.”

This is why I like Stafford’s book so much: It draws from the rich history of Christian involvement to revive that lost knowledge of what it looks like to be a Christian activist.

True Christian activism, Stafford writes, always begins with the truth. “That means,” Stafford says, that “the true activist is a witness, anxious to pass on truth to others.” This is how the abolition movement began in the United States. About 30 years before the Civil War, the truth that slavery was a sin began to break through the consciousness of more and more Americans.

Soon all activists, however, learn that not everyone can handle truth. That is why a second thing that any Christian should know about engaging the world with a Christian worldview is to expect resistance. When truth collides with the status quo, Christian activists had better know where their ultimate hope lies.{quickaction box}

Christians must also have a strategy for shaking the system: from prayer to dialogue, from political involvement to pressure tactics such as boycotts and strikes.

But above all, like Dr. King, the activist must possess courage and an unyielding faith in the God of justice. Injustice does not loosen its grasp easily. We must be prepared for a long haul, drawing on the rich resources of community and that abiding hope and passion for truth. And we must avoid violence: in our rhetoric and our actions. As Martin Luther King reminded those who gathered at his home after it had been bombed, “Don’t get panicky. . . . I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.”

So if the life of an activist holds so much discouragement and risk, why get involved at all? Because a Christian understanding of the world compels us to combat injustice and promote truth. That is a thought worth reflecting on, especially on Martin Luther King Day—a man who exhibited those qualities.

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President Obama says, "Let's Target the Christians!"

January 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm (Christian news) (, , , , )

President Obama’s nominee to head the TSA and boss the naked body scanners now being installed at airports across the country says that white Christian “anti-government” types will be the primary target of suspicion for authorities.

Former FBI agent Erroll Southers has been under scrutiny following Republican efforts to block his confirmation after it emerged Southers had abused his power to run a database check on his ex-wife’s new boyfriend.

Back in October, Southers told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, both of whom voted on his confirmation, that he carried out the search because he was concerned for his wife and son. However, after the committees had approved him, Southers admitted that he had lied under oath by failing to reveal that he had personally conducted the search and had done so on more than one occasion, as well as sharing the information with the police so they could harass the target of the search.

Given that the potential future head of the TSA has abused his power in the past and then lied about it to Congress while under oath, how can we have any confidence that he will change the climate of corruption and thuggishness that pervades the TSA, as stories of innocent people being terrorized and harassed continue to appear on an almost daily basis?

In a video interview posted to YouTube yesterday, Southers states the the government and the TSA has to “pay attention” not to Muslim terrorists but to “anti-government, anti-abortion, survivalist types” who are “christian identity oriented,” before he links such individuals with neo-nazi white supremacists and people like Buford Furrow, a former Aryan Nations member who killed one and injured three during a shooting at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center in August 1999.

Southers subsequently throws in Ben Smith, a spree killer who targeted members of racial and ethnic minorities in random drive-by shootings in Illinois and Indiana in July 1999.

“Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and christian identity oriented,” added Southers.

The 2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment, by the Virginia Fusion Center, smeared anyone who is “anti-government,” “anti-abortion,” as potential terrorists, equated people who enjoy rifle shooting practice and hunting with terrorists, and demonized the use of the Internet and websites like YouTube, Fark and Slashdot as terrorist tools.  The use of “e-protests” is also talked about in the context of terrorism.

The document also discusses “special interest groups” who “incorporate a political message” in its section about domestic terrorists, which could be defined as any mildly political organization whatsoever.

These are just two of a plethora of similar police and federal government reports stretching back well over a decade that identify politically active Americans as domestic terrorists and a target of domestic authorities.

Unless Southers’ ambitions to head up the TSA are stopped, incidents of TSA thugs harassing libertarians and conservatives at airports, such as the case where a Ron Paul treasurer was interrogated for carrying cash and campaign information, will only become more prevalent.

You can view the YouTube video here:

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President Obama says, “Let’s Target the Christians!”

January 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm (Christian news) (, , , , )

President Obama’s nominee to head the TSA and boss the naked body scanners now being installed at airports across the country says that white Christian “anti-government” types will be the primary target of suspicion for authorities.

Former FBI agent Erroll Southers has been under scrutiny following Republican efforts to block his confirmation after it emerged Southers had abused his power to run a database check on his ex-wife’s new boyfriend.

Back in October, Southers told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, both of whom voted on his confirmation, that he carried out the search because he was concerned for his wife and son. However, after the committees had approved him, Southers admitted that he had lied under oath by failing to reveal that he had personally conducted the search and had done so on more than one occasion, as well as sharing the information with the police so they could harass the target of the search.

Given that the potential future head of the TSA has abused his power in the past and then lied about it to Congress while under oath, how can we have any confidence that he will change the climate of corruption and thuggishness that pervades the TSA, as stories of innocent people being terrorized and harassed continue to appear on an almost daily basis?

In a video interview posted to YouTube yesterday, Southers states the the government and the TSA has to “pay attention” not to Muslim terrorists but to “anti-government, anti-abortion, survivalist types” who are “christian identity oriented,” before he links such individuals with neo-nazi white supremacists and people like Buford Furrow, a former Aryan Nations member who killed one and injured three during a shooting at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center in August 1999.

Southers subsequently throws in Ben Smith, a spree killer who targeted members of racial and ethnic minorities in random drive-by shootings in Illinois and Indiana in July 1999.

“Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and christian identity oriented,” added Southers.

The 2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment, by the Virginia Fusion Center, smeared anyone who is “anti-government,” “anti-abortion,” as potential terrorists, equated people who enjoy rifle shooting practice and hunting with terrorists, and demonized the use of the Internet and websites like YouTube, Fark and Slashdot as terrorist tools.  The use of “e-protests” is also talked about in the context of terrorism.

The document also discusses “special interest groups” who “incorporate a political message” in its section about domestic terrorists, which could be defined as any mildly political organization whatsoever.

These are just two of a plethora of similar police and federal government reports stretching back well over a decade that identify politically active Americans as domestic terrorists and a target of domestic authorities.

Unless Southers’ ambitions to head up the TSA are stopped, incidents of TSA thugs harassing libertarians and conservatives at airports, such as the case where a Ron Paul treasurer was interrogated for carrying cash and campaign information, will only become more prevalent.

You can view the YouTube video here:

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For Women Considering An Abortion

January 6, 2010 at 10:52 am (Christian news) (, , , )

This is a beautiful pro-life video showing what we, the church, should do to help and not hurt women who are considering an abortion.  Watch this and then consider what you can do personally and what your church can do collectively to show the love of Christ to women who find themselves in this situation.  Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of this video and how it touched your heart.  Then share this with as many people as you can through e-mail and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  If this video helps just one woman, it is worth every moment you spend sharing it.  Thank you and God bless you.

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Unholy Trinity (By John MacArthur)

January 4, 2010 at 9:52 am (Christian news) (, , , , )

John MacArthur

John MacArthur

This is a repost of a blog written by John Macarthur.  I hope you enjoy it.

~~~~~~~~

I don’t watch much television, and when I do I generally avoid the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). For many years TBN has been dominated by faith-healers, full-time fund-raisers, and self-proclaimed prophets spewing heresy. I wrote about the false gospel they proclaim and the phony miracles they pretend to do almost two decades ago in Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. See especially chapter 12). I had my fill of charismatictelevangelism while researching that book, and I can hardly bear to watch it anymore.
Recently, however, while recovering from knee-replacement surgery, I decided to sample some of the current fare on TBN. From a therapeuticpoint of view it seemed a good choice: something more excruciating than the pain in my leg might distract me from the physical suffering of post-surgical trauma. And I suppose on that basis the strategy was effective.

But it left me outraged and frustrated – and eager to challenge the misperceptions in the minds of millions of unbelievers who see these false teachers masquerading as ministers of Christ on TBN.

I’m outraged at the brazen way so many false teachers twist the message of Scripture in Jesus’ name. And I’m frustrated because I’m certain that if these charlatans were not receiving a large proportion of their financial supportfrom sincere believers (and silent acquiescence from Christian leaders who surely know better), they would have no platform for their shenanigans. They would soon lose their core constituency and fade from the scene.

Instead, religious quacks are actually multiplying at a frightening pace. One thing I discovered to my immense displeasure is that TBN is by no means the only religious network broadcasting poisonous false doctrine around the clock. The channel lineup I receive includes at least seven other channels whose schedules are filled with false teachers and charlatans. There’s The Church Channel, Daystar, GodTV, World Harvest Television (LeSEA), Total Christian Television, and several others. Some of them feature blocs of family television programing and a few fairly sound teachers who provide moments of escape from the prosperity preachers. But all of them give prominence to enormous amounts of heresy and religious claptrap – enough to make them positively dangerous. And TBN is singularly responsible for kicking that door open so wide.

The continued growth and influence of TBN is baffling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the thick aura of lust, greed, and other kinds of moral impropriety that surrounds the whole enterprise. A long string of scandals involving notable charismatic televangelists between 1988 and 1992 should have been sufficient reason for even the most credulous viewers to scrutinize the entire industry with skepticism. First came the international spectacle of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s moral, marital, and financial collapse. That was followed closely by the revelation of Jimmy Swaggart’s repeated dalliances with prostitutes. Shortly afterward, an episode of ABC’s Primetime Live exposed clear examples of deliberate fraud on the part of three more leading charismatic televangelists. Those incidents were punctuated by a score of lesser scandals over several years’ time. It is clear (or should be) – based on empirical evidence alone – that preachers promising miracles in exchange for money are not to be trusted. And for anyone who simply bothers to compare Jesus’ teaching with the health-and-wealth message, it is clear that the message that currently dominates religious television is “a different gospel; which is really not another” (Galatians 1:6-7), but a damnable lie.

TBN is by far the leading perpetrator of that lie worldwide. Virtually all the network’s main celebrities tell listeners that God will give them healing, wealth, and other material blessings in return for their money. On program after program people are urged to “plant a seed” by sending “the largest bill you have or the biggest check you can write” with the promise that God will miraculously make them rich in return. That same message dominates all of TBN’s major fundraising drives. It’s known as the “seed faith” plan, so-called by Oral Roberts, who set the pattern for most of the charismatictelevangelists who have followed the trail he blazed. Paul Crouch, founder, chairman, and commander-in-chief of TBN, is one of the doctrine’s staunchest defenders.

The only people who actually get rich by this scheme, of course, are the televangelists. Their people who send money get little in return but phony promises – and as a result, many of them turn away from the truth completely.

If the scheme seems reminiscent of Tetzel, that’s because it is precisely the same doctrine. (Tetzel was a medieval monk whose high-pressure selling of indulgences – phony promises of forgiveness – outraged Martin Luther and touched off the Protestant Reformation.)

Like Tetzel, TBN preys on the poor and plies them with false promises. Yet what is happening daily on TBN is many times worse than the abuses that Luther decried because it is more widespread and more flagrant. The medium is more high-tech and the amounts bilked out of viewers’ pockets are astronomically higher. (By most estimates, TBN is worth more than a billion dollars and rakes in $200 million annually. Those are direct contributions to the network, not counting millions more in donations sent directly to TBN broadcasters.) Like Tetzel on steroids, the Crouches and virtually all the key broadcasters on TBN live in garish opulence, while constantly begging their needy viewers for more money. Elderly, poor, and working-class viewers constitute TBN’s primary demographic. And TBN’s fundraisers all know that. The most desperate people – “unemployed,” “even though I’m in between jobs,” “trying to make it; trying to survive,” “broke” – are baited with false promises to give what they do not even have. Jan Crouch addresses viewers as “you little people,” and suggests that they send their grocery money to TBN “to assure God’s blessing.”

Thus TBN devours the poor while making the charlatans rich. God cursed false prophets in the Old Testament for that very thing (Jeremiah 6:13-15). It’s also one of the main reasons the Pharisees incurred Jesus’ condemnation (Luke 20:46-47). It’s hard to think of any sin more evil. It not only hurts people materially; it deludes them with groundless hope, deceives them with a false gospel, and thereby places their souls in eternal peril. And yet those who do it pretend they are doing the work of God.

That’s not all. Almost no false prophecy, erroneous doctrine, rank superstition, or silly claim is too outlandish to receive airtime on TBN. Jan Crouch tearfully gives a fanciful account of how her pet chicken was miraculously raised from the dead. Benny Hinn trumps that claim with a bizarre prophecy that if TBN viewers will put their dead loved ones’ caskets in front of television set and touch the dead person’s hand to the screen, people will “be raised from the dead . . . by the thousands.”

Ironically, one doesn’t even need to be an orthodox Trinitarian in order to broadcast on the Trinity network. Bishop T. D. Jakes, well known for his rejection of the Nicene creed in favor of oneness Pentecostalism, is a staple on TBNBenny Hinn has repeatedly attempted to revise the doctrine of the Trinity in novel ways, notoriously teaching at one point that there are nine persons in the godhead.

And yet evangelical church leaders typically show a kind of benign tolerance toward the whole enterprise. Most would never endorse it, of course. They may joke about the gaudiness of the big hair and tawdry set decorations on TBN. Ask them, and they will most likely acknowledge that the prosperitygospel is no gospel at all. Press the issue, and you will probably get them to admit that it is a dangerous form of false doctrine, totally unbiblical, and essentially anti-Christian.

Why, then, is there no large-scale effort among Bible-believing evangelicals to expose, denounce, refute, and silence these false teachers? After all, that is what Scripture commands church leaders to do when we encounter purveyors of soul-destroying substitutes for the true gospel:

The overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain (Titus 1:7-11).

Those who remain silent in the face of such grotesque lies may in fact be partly responsible for turning people away from the truth. Consider the testimony of William Lobdell, religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who once considered himself a devout evangelical Christian, but after doing a series of investigative reports on the moral and doctrinal cesspool at TBN; then “finding that his investigative stories about faith healer Benny Hinn and televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch appear to make no difference on the reach of these ministries or the lives of their followers, he gave up on the beat and on religion generally.”

All those who truly love Christ and care about the truth have a solemn duty to defend the truth by exposing and opposing these lies that masquerade as truth. If we fail in that duty because of indifference, apathy, or a craving for the approval of men, we are no less guilty than those who actively spread the lies.

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2010 at 12:00 am (Holiday) (, )

From all of us, to all of you…

Happy New Year and God Bless You!

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