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Posts Tagged ‘community’

bride & groom at altarDefenders of marriage at the Family Research Council recently posted a blog entitled “Why Marriage Should Be Privileged in Public Policy.”  What follows is a brief excerpt.

Marriage is the most important social act, one that involves much more than just the married couple. To begin with, extended families are merged and renewed through a wedding. It is also through marriage that the community and the nation are renewed. A new home is formed when a couple marries, one open to the creation of new life. These children are the future. Marriage also has beneficial social and health effects for both adults and children, and these gifts benefit the community and the whole society. Conversely, it is through the breakdown of marriage that society is gravely harmed. The future of the nation depends on the creation of good marriages and good homes for children.

Among marriage’s many benefits to society is an increased respect for and protection of human life, since married women are less likely to abort their children than are unmarried women. Married-parent families contribute to safer and better communities with less substance abuse and crime among young people, as well as less poverty and welfare dependency. Also, married parents help prevent young people from engaging in premarital sex and having out-of-wedlock births; they are also likely to produce young adults who view marriage positively and maintain life-long marriages. Marriage brings many health and economic benefits to society and helps citizens to be more involved in communities.

Because marriage serves a public purpose–namely, procreation and the benefit of children and society–government can legitimately privilege marriage and seek to strengthen it in its policies. Other relationships such as cohabitation and homosexuality do not benefit children and society, and, therefore, should not be supported by government. There is no evidence showing that these relationships have the same positive effects as marriage. In fact, there is considerable evidence that they have detrimental effects on both children and adults.

Please read the entire post on FRC’s blog.  There are a great many reasons for the government to guard marriage.  All of them have to do with the health, welfare and defense of our nation and civilization as a whole.

(Thanks, Bob, for being part of the FRC team!)

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A man once asked Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  This man, who spent his days studying the Law, was testing Jesus.  Jesus answered, “What is written in the Law?  How do you read it?”  The man responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus said, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live” (Luke 10:25-29).

But, then the man asked another question.  “Who is my neighbor?”  Was the man implying that some people might not be his neighbor?  Do we think that some people might not be our neighbors?

The Greek root of the word neighbor means “nearby, close.”  It means “whoever happens to be nearby or close at hand” (The Lutheran Study Bible, commentary on Luke 10:29).  But, do we too often fail to see a stranger as our neighbor because we are prejudiced?  Threatened?  Inconvenienced?  Selfish?  Lacking compassion?

To help the man recognize his neighbor, Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  A priest and a Levite passed by a fallen, injured man.  Only the Samaritan risked his own life and showed mercy to his fallen “neighbor.”  It is one thing to speak of doing the right thing.  It is another to actually do the right thing.  As Christians, we are challenged to put right thinking into right practice.

Who is my neighbor?  Is it someone in prison?  Is it someone of a different culture or color?  Is it a pregnant teen?  Is it an unborn child?  Is it someone with AIDS?  Is it someone who enters my life at an inconvenient time?  Is it someone whose worldview differs from mine?  What difference would be made in my community if I saw — if we all saw — everyone as “my neighbor”?  If I — we — served everyone as “my neighbor”?

Jesus told the man to be like the Good Samaritan, but this reminded the man of how far he was from being what God wanted him to be.  The same is true for me.  For all of us.  For this reason, I turn to the Cross on Good Friday to remember what Jesus did for me — for the whole world.  Jesus saw my desperate situation — how far I am from being what God wants me to be — and became the Good Samaritan.  He laid down His life for me.  For the world.

He laid down His life for me.  He paid the only sacrifice needed.  Now He asks that I have mercy on my neighbor… all of them.

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May 5, 2011, is National Day of Prayer.   Many people of many faiths will be praying for many things.

I won’t be praying that God make this a Christian nation.  But, I will be praying that followers of Jesus Christ:

  • Turn their heads away from deceptive philosophy and deceit (Colossians 2:8)
  • Encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Train for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7-10)
  • Set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity (1 Thessalonias 4:12)
  • Build our houses on the Rock (Matthew 7:24-27)
  • Bring little children to Jesus (Mark 10:14)
  • Love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31)

If we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ ask Him to help us live in ways that bring Him the glory, this country will be a better place.  A safer place.  Institutions of marriage and family, health, law, education, church, and government will be influenced for “the people’s good.”   

Generations will know the mercies of God.

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God gave humans great potential.  From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, God had plans for His creation.  People were to have a perfect and loving relationship with God.  This would allow them to experience harmonious relationships with all other human beings.  But, sin destroyed perfection.

When Satan tempted Eve, he raised a question.  “Did God really say . . .” (Genesis 3:1).  He subtly turned Eve’s thinking, causing her to think that, perhaps, God was holding something back from her.  Adam and Eve rebelled against God, elevating themselves and their desires to compete with God.  Left to themselves, man and woman would have been forever alienated from God because of sin.  But, God didn’t give up on His beloved creation.  He provided the way back to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.

Today, satan speaks through many disguises.

  • Satan hisses, “Did God really say that He created us in our mother’s womb?”  But, God assures us (Psalm 139:13-16).
  • Satan taunts, “Did God really say that He knew us even before we were born?”  But, God assures us (Jeremiah 1:5).
  • Satan tempts, “Did God really say that taking your child’s life is murder?”  But, God assures us (Deuteronomy 5:17).
  • Satan dares, “Did God really say that a woman doesn’t have a right to make decisions concerning her own body?”  But, God assures us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
  • Satan sneers, “Isn’t your God a compassionate God?  Did He really say you should bear the burden of a child for the rest of your life because of one night’s passion?”  But, God assures us (Philippians 4:13)

Satan tempted the first man and woman to sin, but he wasn’t alone in bearing the responsibility for that sin.  Still today, he actively tries to seduce and persuade us with his temptation and accusation, but we can’t honestly pass our decisions off onto him.  Within each of us is a conflict of desires.  Galatians 5:15-21 explains the results of living by the desires of our sinful flesh.

Rev. Ed Fehskens, a trusted friend and pastor, writes, “A compassionate church will speak clearly and without compromise against the sin of abortion, cutting through the rationalizations that people use to convince themselves it was the right — and only — thing to do, considering the circumstances.  For the love of souls, we must also say that beyond the emotional and physical damage, abortion, like any sin, causes grievous spiritual harm.  Unrepentant sin places us in danger of losing our salvation — the greatest tragedy of all.”

Here’s the Good News!  Trusting in Christ and looking to His Word for life, we are moved to thoughts and actions that serve and honor God.  And, after repenting of our sin — no matter what that sin might be — we are received into the arms of our Father God because of what Jesus has already done for us on the Cross.  We are forgiven!  We are new!  We can start over!  (Psalm 32:3-5; John 8:10-11; Peter 1:3; 1 John 1:9)

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