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Posts Tagged ‘consequences’

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Nobody will get hurt.  That’s what they said when sex education was brought into schools and churches.  “We are sexual from birth, so let’s get comfortable with it!”  Five decades later, communities are brimming with “nobodies” who were denied their childhood; who know a lot about sex but very little about manhood and womanhood; who are cohabitating, pregnant but unwed, fearful, depressed, relationally dysfunctional, discontent, insecure, and paranoid about “sexual identity.”

Nobody will get hurt.  That’s what they said when abortion was legalized.  Today, mothers, fathers, and grandparents grieve lost relationships with 56 million “nobodies.”  Our nation is poorer economically because 56 million “nobodies” do not pay taxes, buy products, or invest in communities.

Nobody will get hurt.  That’s what they said when girls were told that “equal means being the same.”  In the effort to equalize the “playing field”—in sports, the workplace, and the bedroom—girls were taught that the two genders, male and female, are interchangeable.  Today, three generations of “nobodies” are at odds with their own bodies and minds.

Nobody will get hurt.  That’s what they said when gay and lesbian advocates began to circulate the schools.  That’s what they said when same-sex “marriage” was legalized.   That’s what they said when restrooms were changed from “men” and “women” to “whatever” so that people who have trouble identifying themselves can use whichever they please.  How many “nobodies” will have to suffer the consequences?  How many impressionable “nobodies” will believe the unnatural is “normal?”

Do we really think that nobody will get hurt when we tamper with God’s design?

Camille Paglia is a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  She is a feminist, social critic, and a lesbian.   She is also surprising.  When it comes to “identity politics” and transgenderism, Paglia says, “This hyper-self-consciousness about ‘Who am I?  Where exactly am I on the gender spectrum?’ is mere navel-gazing while, in the Middle East, ISIS is beheading people.  It is a kind of madness of self-absorption.”

Paglia says she pities “young people today” because “it’s one thing to feel, ‘I’m not quite comfortable in the gender I was assigned at birth,’ but the pressures are to change, change, change, and to telegraph it to the world.  People are pushed into making choices about surgical interventions and taking hormones, which is dangerous, and they will have all kinds of medical problems in the long run.”

Paglia believes “there are authentic transgender people who had a genetic issue from the start” and points out that “medical science is still developing to help these people.”   But transgenderism has “become a fashion statement, or a mask [for other problems].  People are being induced to think that all their unhappiness—in family life, in school, in relation to society—is to do with this gender issue.  Well, maybe it isn’t.  Maybe there are other issues a person needs to deal with.”

In a way, Paglia is speaking about the “nobodies that won’t get hurt” or, in this case, today’s college students.   She says, “They have no sense of the great patterns of world history, the rise and fall of civilizations like Babylon and Rome that became very sexually tolerant, and then fell.”

She continues, “If you’ve had no exposure to that, you can honestly believe that ‘There is progress all around us and we are moving to an ideal state of culture, where we all hold hands and everyone is accepted for what they are … and the environment will be pure … .‘”  This is their “magical utopian view,” explains Paglia, that “we are marching toward perfection.”  But what is the “sign of this progress?”  They believe it is “toleration,” observes Paglia, “for homosexuality, or for changing gender, or whatever.”

But to Paglia, “[I]t’s a sign of the opposite, it’s symptomatic of a civilization just before it falls.”

Babylon and Rome did fall.  They fell because men and women shaped themselves after the imaginations of their own heart.  They exchanged the natural for the unnatural and were foolish enough to believe that nobody would get hurt.

Our civilization may be rushing toward the abyss, but the Christian can blaze trail away from destruction.  We do this when we believe that there is no such thing as a “nobody” to God.  Every child—born or yet to be born—is already redeemed and called by name (Is. 43:1).  Every child—born or yet to be born—will be affected by what we do or do not tolerate.

We may wrestle with our identity and, therefore, the way we choose to live.  But, the Lord identifies us in His Prayer when He invites us to pray: “Our Father who art in heaven.”   We are not “debtors to the flesh.”  We are not slaves to our own fear.  What we are, in Christ, is God’s adopted heirs!  Tolerating no other identity, we and our children’s children can navigate out of hopelessness and away from the abyss.

Quotes of Camille Paglia are excerpted from an article by Carolyn Moynihan
(“Navy-gazing about gender while the world burns,” Mercatornet)
and an interview with Camille Paglia by Ella Whelan of Spiked
Graphic: Etsy

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There are two things (we’re told) we should never talk about.  Religion and politics.  That’s difficult… and silly.

A few days ago, two women and I – standing in a very public place – avoided the “safe” topics found in the pages of People magazine to enter into dialogue about the election and matters of faith.  I don’t know either of these women very well, but I believe that when we are attentive to facial expressions and body language, we can usually recognize another person’s willingness (or unwillingness) to dialogue.  Experience proves to me that a great many people are hungry to talk about issues of faith and life, but they need an invitation to speak whatever might be on their mind or hidden in their heart.

Dialogue is sadly becoming a lost art.  Perhaps we feel ourselves ill-equipped to speak about what may be emotional topics.  Perhaps we’re afraid of conflict.  But, it’s o.k. to disagree.  Two people who don’t agree on something can learn from one another during the polite exchange of thoughts and ideas.  If we keep silent and don’t speak about controversial issues of life from the Biblical perspective, we might miss the opportunity to comfort a hurting soul… to share a word of hope… to point to forgiveness and healing.

We need to break the silence and, with a caring and careful manner, talk about abortion, cohabitation, same-gender “marriage,” health care and, yes, the election.  That’s what happened quite unexpectedly in a public store with two women I’ll call Ellen and Diane.

I know Ellen only because of family connections.  I know Diane because she is a supporter of the pregnancy center where I volunteer.   At a recent fundraiser for our center, Diane told me she didn’t think she could vote this year, “neither for a Mormon,” she said, “nor for Obama.”  That comment stayed with me so, after greeting her in the store, I took the opportunity to tell her that I’d been giving some thought to what she had said about not voting.  I asked her if she had ever considered that Thomas Jefferson, while not a believer in the deity of Jesus Christ, was nonetheless a defender of religious freedom and encourager of virtuous people.  Diane admitted this might be applicable to this year’s election.

“It seems to me,” I said, “that we should vote for the man who will keep us the farthest from the edge of the cliff.”

At that moment, Ellen leaned in to the conversation.  She smiled at me, then said to Diane, “Linda should be out speaking!”

That was an invitation to continue the conversation.  With the invitation, however, also came a memory.  A faint memory of Ellen’s past.  After high school, Ellen left home in search of something different from the life of her parents.  There were some rough years.  I don’t know specifics.  But, this memory prompted me to respond to Ellen.

“I am a speaker,” I said.  “I’ve been a pro-life speaker for a long time.”  But, I explained to Ellen, “it was only when I became a listener that I really learned.”  Often, in a hallway or the restroom after my presentation, women would approach me, wanting to confess their abortion.   The pain in their voices, I told Ellen, compelled me to dig beneath the symptoms of promiscuity and abortion to the real problem.

“We’re in spiritual battle, Ellen.  It seems to me that Satan and our Savior both desire our attention, but what they have in store for us is very, very different.  Trusting ourselves, we are deceived and bound for trouble.  Satan offers no comfort when we fall.  But, even after our sin and in the midst of consequences, Jesus stands close with arms open wide.”

Ellen’s eyes never wandered from mine.  Her cheeks were moist.  I suspicioned that she was thinking about her own life.

“We all have a story,” I said.  “We all have a story.”

At that point, we needed to go our separate ways.  Ellen and Diane went to one part of the store for coffee, I to another.  Within a half hour, one of my closest friends walked in the door.  Jane was in town to visit her mom.  We had not planned to meet, but apparently God had a different idea.  “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” I asked.  We settled into chairs at a table across the room from Ellen and Diane who were enjoying their time together.  When they got up to leave, Diane and I waved to one another.  Then she headed for her car.

Ellen, however, approached our table.  “That conversation we had mattered,” she said.  “This afternoon has been good.”

She kept looking at Jane.  “There’s something familiar about you.  Do I know you from high school?”

Jane looked surprised.  “Oh, my goodness,” she said.  “We graduated the same year, didn’t we… but that was a long time ago.”

Ellen pressed on.  “Weren’t you in a serious car accident?  I remember reading about it in our class reunion book.”

“I was,” Jane said, “and God sent mighty angels to protect me that day.”  She gave a few details.  Then paused.  Ellen could have excused herself and said good-bye.  But, she didn’t.   This was another invitation.

“Ellen,” I said, “the fact that Jane is here with us today is God’s amazing grace, but she has another story to tell… a powerful story of Christ’s work in her life.  She doesn’t tell this particular story publicly, but . . .”

At this point, Jane interrupted.  “No, I don’t tell my story, but I’ve given Linda permission to tell it.”

“And it’s so important that I do,” I continued.  “It’s after I share Jane’s story that other women are more willing to come up to me and share their own stories.  They tell me they feel more welcomed and less alone and vulnerable.  Jane’s story is one of hope.  It reminds others of how patient God really is and that He never turns His back on us.  We may walk away from Him, but our Father never abandons us.”

“There is so much fear,” Jane spoke up.  “It can be overpowering.”

“It is,” Ellen agreed.  “It is overpowering.”

“I’ve come to believe,” I added, “that every one of our wrong choices is made out of fear… fear of being out of control or unloved or insignificant.”

It was long past time for Ellen to go be with her family, but she lingered.  She seemed to be searching for words.  “I came home to visit my parents, but never would I have imagined meeting up with the two of you or having a conversation like this.”

Ellen continued.  “Do you know what this afternoon has meant to me?  I’ve been close to losing my faith . . . I was told by my parents that my life and the lives of my children have been difficult because it’s punishment for the sins of my youth, but you have reminded me that God doesn’t work that way.”

No, He doesn’t.  “There are consequences of our choices – good or bad,” I said, “but rather than punishing you, it seems that God is staying the course with you.”

Jane nodded and said, “I thank God every day that He never lets go.”

Ellen hugged Jane.  Then me.  “Thank you.  Thank you for this visit.  For the honesty.  What a difference this has made for me.”

Jesus makes the difference.  Jesus – the very Word of Life – speaks to every important issue of our day.  Trusting Him, we can dare to break the silence.  Ellen was hungry to hear someone speak to the concerns she has about our nation.  Even more, she was hungry to get personal… to hear someone remind her that sins of the past may affect our lives, but do not have to bind us.  Newness of life in Christ is real.  We are forgiven and set free to start our lives over.

What do you think?  If we who claim to know the Lord of life are afraid to dialogue in the public square about issues of life, what will happen?  What won’t happen?

We may not want to make waves, but what about a ripple here and there?

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“I would never have an abortion myself, but I support the right of others to do so.”

“Abortion is wrong, depending upon the circumstances.”

“Sometimes we’re forced to choose the lesser of two evils.”

Why is abortion defended as a “woman’s right” even among people of faith?  How does a mother, father, or grandparent rationalize abortion?  What has to happen to make people who acknowledge the Creator of life set themself in His place and take a life?

The ministry of Titus 2 for Life began after years of asking these questions.  In order to make abortion “unthinkable,” we must honestly examine what happens prior to an abortion, including a “me first” mentality, promiscuity, loss of true identity, and failure to trust God.  But is there, as one Titus 2 participant asked, a missing piece to the puzzle of abortion?  Is there something so terrible that, in moments of fear and hopelessness, even Christian women and their families feel compelled to play the role of God?

An e-mail conversation following a Titus 2 Retreat began to reveal that missing piece.  A participant wrote: “Without breaking confidences, a group of us shared the painful circumstances of abortion as related to us by friends, family, congregation, and community members we have cared about and listened to over the years.  A common thread seemed to run through these accounts.  Young women who had been victims of childhood sexual abuse became promiscuous or experienced further sexual abuse from men during their teen years.  When they found themselves pregnant, they chose an abortion.”

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is, without a doubt, a missing piece in the abortion puzzle.

“I don’t even remember when it began.  My older step-brother would slip into my room at night and crawl into bed with me . . .”

“When I was twelve, my ‘uncle’ began touching me . . . later, when boys wanted to do the same, I honestly didn’t know how to say ‘no.’”

“Between the ages of 10 and 14, I was sexually abused by my step-dad.  My mom knew but was too afraid to say anything . . .”

“The principal of my Christian school said I was special and what he was doing to me was our secret . . .”

The stories break our hearts.  One study done in 1997 found that “compared to women who were not abused during childhood, women who reported a history of childhood sexual abuse were 1.5 more likely to have had an abortion.”  (Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9315271)

This statistic (and more) was researched by a Titus 2 participant whose heart was touched by the stories she heard following a retreat.  She has been motivated to speak so that a culture can begin to prevent more harm, death, and hopelessness.

Titus 2 women gather to contrast the world with The Word.  Abortion is a worldly idea, but God calls it a sin.  What has to happen before the sin of abortion?  Other sin.

Sin happens when we rebel against or fail to trust God.  Sin happens when we let our sinful human flesh come under Satan’s authority.  Sin happens when God’s people are silent about sinful behavior.  Sinful humans caught up in sinful behavior affect the lives of others.

CSA is an example of sin’s generational effect on all of us. The consequences of one sin can affect generations to follow.  God says: I, the Lord your God, am a jealous god, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me . . . (Exodus 20:5 NIV).

In pausing to take a breath, I sense what some of you are thinking.  Why is God so unjust to compel innocent children to bear the sins of guilty parents?  Ahhh . . . and so it might seem to those who stop with verse five.  Please!  Don’t stop!  Read the rest of what God has to say.  He continues with a powerful, life-changing “but” that is followed by words of hope: I . . . am a jealous God, punishing . . . to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me . . . but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments (v. 6).

Do you hear what the Lord of life is saying?  He is “a jealous God” because He created male and female.  The first man and woman’s sin tainted all of their children and children’s children.  Sin produces consequences.  But, praise God!  There is Hope!  There is always Hope for those who love and trust God!  This Hope died for our sin ad rose to victory.  Hope is Jesus Christ who covers the repentant sinner with mercy every morning.

It is never a child’s fault when he or she is abused.  A child has not sinned when they are forced to do something against their will.  The adult who puts a child in harm’s way or strips away innocence is always held accountable.  So, what does the person who experienced childhood sexual abuse do?  He or she finds hope and healing in God’s promises: Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame . . . The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them . . . The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:5, 7, 18 NIV).

What does the adult who sinned against God and one of His little ones do?  He or she finds hope and healing in God’s promises: When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.  Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ – and You forgave the guilt of my sin.  (King David in Psalm 32)

What do Titus 2 women (and men) do?  They speak up.  They expose the darkness of evil with the light of God’s Word.  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this  present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing ofour great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:11-14).

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Yesterday, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that requires the state’s schools to teach the contributions of people who are lesbian, bisexual, “gay,” and transgender.

S.B. 48 makes California the first state in the union to pass such a law.  It was authored by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, a homosexual.  The law requires textbooks be re-written to include information about LBGT Americans and “present them in a positive light.”

Students as young as six will be affected.  Parental notification is not required.  Parents cannot opt their children out.

The governor says the bill prohibits “discrimination in education.”  He stated that “history should be honest.”

For the sake of honesty:

  1. What is the driving force behind this law?  What is the desired outcome?  Who does it benefit?
  2. To whom are children entrusted: their parents or the school?
  3. If parents teach God’s Word to their children because it protects them from harm, why would the governor, teacher’s association, or school want to contradict parents?
  4. Why does the bill prohibit teachers and textbooks from telling students that homosexuality is a risky lifestyle?  The practice of homosexuality carries with it the highest rate of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, high cancer rates, and earlier deaths.

It has always been a good thing to teach young people about the contributions of earlier Americans.  But, honestly, where is the textbook describing the contributions of George Washington the heterosexual?  Clara Barton the heterosexual?  Martin Luther King, Jr. the heterosexual?

Apparently S.B. 48 is California’s eighth school sexual indoctrination law forcing itself on parents and children.  What will this trend in sexual trail blazing leave behind?

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Years ago, legal scholar Phillip Johnson said that the entire cultural war is being fought over the issue of sex.  Chuck Colson puts it this way: “Sexual liberty has become the ultimate virtue in American life.”

Here we are, approaching “Silent Night,” and a lame-duck Congress recklessly repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  President Obama calls the repeal a matter of “basic equality”.  I grow weary of the “equality” mantra.  This repeal is the re-defining of morality.  It is a social experiment that will carry a high price for the U.S. military and the nation it defends.  Colson writes, “It is the ultimate victory of political correctness over the protection of human life.”

Human life is always at risk when we fall to idolatry — people rejecting God’s order and worshiping what is created rather than the Creator.

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is, as Colson notes, “[A]nother tragic case in which ignoring the Biblical worldview leads to irrational, unsustainable decisions.”

God created humans to be male or female.  In marriage, God works through the union of man and woman to bring new life into the world.  A sexual union between two men, two women, or a man and a woman not married to each other is wrong.  Don’t agree?  Take it up with God.

What concerns me most about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

  1. “Outdated” policy. One senator noted a “generational transition” taking place on the issue of openly gay and lesbian people serving in the military.  Really?  Has the human body somehow transitioned to naturally support homosexual behavior?  Have the enlightened ones “progressed” beyond the facts of biology and anatomy?  I wonder: what other things are “outdated”?  Lessons from history?  Words of the Founding Fathers?  Wisdom from parents and grandparents?  The Word of God?
  2. A battlefield without Gospel. LCMS President Rev. Matthew Harrison writes, “We are all sinners in need of repentance and forgiveness.  For 2000 years, the church has welcomed sinners, but refused to affirm sin.  The saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Gospel are for all people (2 Cor. 5:19), and the only thing that separates us from this forgiveness is a lack of repentance or sorrow over our sin . . . [Will] military chaplains striving to carry out their responsibilities for preaching, counseling, and consoling find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or man (Acts 5:29)?

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’  He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:1-4).

In heaven, God mocks those who have the audacity to circumvent His laws and plans as Creator.  On earth, we will have to live with the consequences of human arrogance.

This hasty repeal creates a mess.  How will commanders discipline cohabitation issues?  How will combat troops be educated to change attitudes and opinons on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) issues?  What punishment will be set up for soldiers or chaplains who, for moral and religious reasons, resist new policy?  The list goes on.

In the midst of a mess, wrong seems to prevail.  But, tonight I sleep because God’s Word is not outdated.   His morality cannot be re-defined.  I will sing “Silent night, holy night” and know that Jesus is Lord.

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Women have abortions because they care about motherhood . . . [It’s] excellent medicine.”

So said Elizabeth Newhall on MSNBC, October 25, 2010. Ms. Newhall has been deceived.  Death is never good medicine.  Who is her deceiver?

Jesus called satan a “murderer from the beginning.”  He said that satan had “nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in  him.  When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).  Later, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

The “murderer” first approached woman in the Garden of Eden.  He had no respect for her or the children that would grow in her womb.  Despising the human life that God so loves, satan wanted woman to be the mother of death.  He tempted her to think God was holding something back from her, something that should rightfully be hers.  He deceived her into false spirituality and, failing to trust God, the woman determined her own standard of right and wrong.  The man stood by in silence.  He failed to remember God, enter into battle with the “murderer” and protect his “rib.”  Only then did male and female fall into sin.  Their relationship with God and each other was never the same.

The battle for life had begun.

But, God is the God of hope and promise.  He did not want woman to be the mother of death.  And so, He named her Eve which means “life” (Hebrew: chawwah).  Eve became the “mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20).  Indeed, through her seed came the Promised One, Jesus Christ, who has victory over the “father of lies” and “murderer”.

Until Jesus returns, this will be a deceptive world where evil is called “excellent medicine.”  But, the Creator of Life is not compatible with death.  He loves mother and child.  It is not His will that either be in harm’s way.

The God who created motherhood says choose the “blessing,” not the “curse” (Deuteronomy 30:19).  He says:

Choose life… that you and your children may live.

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Titus 2 for Life is a mentoring ministry that honors God’s model for positively affecting society.  The flow of mentoring is older to younger.  “Older” is more than age.  It is experience and spiritual maturity.  Typically, with age, we become wiser.  We’ve made mistakes and hopefully learned from them.  It is unfortunate when the “younger” see little need for sage advice.

History is real.  It happened.  Of course, the best one to tell it — and explain the lessons learned from it — is the person who lived it.  I’ve been reading several stories of “older” women who were supposedly “modern” and “unbounded” earlier in their lives who now have a different perspective.

Matt Kaufman notes one.  He writes:

“Sometimes family-values talk comes from unexpected sources.  Like Raquel Welch.  Writing for CNN on the 50th anniversary of the Pill, the 69-year-old actress regrets that it took ‘the caution and discernment out of choosing a sexual partner, which used to be the equivalent of choosing a life partner.’  As a result, she writes, ‘nobody seems able to . . . honor a commitment.’

“Welch regrets her own track record in this area, too.  ‘I’m ashamed’ — how many celebs use that word? — ‘to admit that I myself have been married four times.  And yet I still feel that it is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stablilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children and saves us from anarchy.’

“There’s more.  Welch deplores ‘promiscuity.’  She says ‘any sane person’ must make a moral ‘judgment’ about certain sexual practices.  She even sounds pro-life: When she got pregnant, she realized ‘this process was not about me,’ but about the ‘life’ inside her.

“In a new book, Welch says she’s reconnected with her Christian upbringing and regularly attends church and Bible study.”  (Matt Kaufman, Focus on the Family CITIZEN)

What do you have to say about that?


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