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Posts Tagged ‘ideology’

boy scout pledgeA Boy Scout learns how to survive in the wilderness.  Trained correctly, he can sense danger and steer himself and others clear.  But when faulty ideologies reconfigure the training ground, a young man’s moral sense is compromised.

Adults who should know better can boast, “Look at what we’ve done!  We broke new trail for young men!”   But this trail most definitely leads off the edge of a cliff.

Why would anyone want to tamper with moral behavior and remove boundaries put in place for the human good?  Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42).

There is little that influences society more than mentoring a boy to be a man.  Dennis Prager writes,

Wise cultures have learned that happiness is attained only when we conquer our nature . . . Historically, societies and parents have always known it’s a good thing to teach boys to control aspects of their male nature – their sexual desires and their predilection for violence.  Decent men were taught from youth to touch a woman sexually only with her permission and to channel physical aggression into sports or into helping fight evil by joining the police force or military.  Men who didn’t learn to control these aspects of male nature not only became bad men, but unhappy men.” (“Wanted by women: A few good old-fashioned men,” The Washington Times 6/30/08)

When a scout questions his male nature, how will his troop leader respond?   Will he help the young man practice self-control?  Will he remind the scout of his pledge to “do my duty to God . . .”?  And, if so, what god will he be pledging to?  Here he faces the most dangerous cliff of all.

Defined as a “sexual being,” a boy may be tempted to give himself freedoms that God does not; to trust his own reason and desires; to, in fact, worship and serve self rather than God (Romans 1:24-25).  In time, sexual identity can influence everything… even the way a boy sees God.  When society redefines morality, identity and even the character of a Boy Scout, then it redefines God.  It will not just be young men who are in danger.  It will be all the others who fall into idolatry with them.

I’d like to believe that many young men, in doing their “duty to God,” have been encouraged to see themselves as God does.  God does not call a boy “gay” or “straight.”  He calls him “holy.”  Even in the midst of conflicting desires, God equips a boy to rise above self to Him and through Him resist dangerous attitudes and behaviors.  God says, you “will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).  Identified this way, a young man can blaze a trail for himself and others away from danger.

What god does a boy pledge to — the Creator who made woman a “good fit” for man in the faithfulness of marriage, or the god who declares sexuality not a moral issue but a civil rights issue?  It matters.  It matters a lot because a god in our own image is no god at all.  Such a god cannot help any boy navigate the wilderness of life.

Foolishness is tampering with marriage.  Now it threatens another institution.  God did not establish the Boy Scouts, to be sure, but He did establish the boundaries of morality and character.  He does not give us license to do as we please.  He does not make square pegs to fit in round holes.  He does not delight in a boy’s frustration and misery.  But He does offer wisdom and strength to change… or practice self-restraint.  Only the God of all creation enters the chaos of this world to bring order and goodness to life.

New trail for scouting may have been broken, but it leads off the cliff.  Rather than sinning against God and all that is holy, the most courageous thing a boy might do is to turn away to a trail less traveled.  Separate from the pack.  Together with dad, grandpa, and men of faith, set safer course.

P.S.  Looking for a collection of outdoor adventures and character building supplies?  I highly recommend Vision Forum.

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We are baptized, not in the water of sexuality, but in the water of pure Word and Holy Spirit.  We are called, not to ways of weak flesh, but to holy and noble purpose.  We are encouraged, not to glorify self, but to glorify Jesus Christ who makes us children of God.

Baptism “is an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).  Baptism cleanses and raises us to new life.   Our Baptism sets us apart from the world and our own fickle desires.

So here is why I’m so deeply disappointed following the election.  Far too many of my fellow Christian sisters let their sensuality have its way.  They voted in favor of “my body, my choice” rather than in remembrance of their baptism.  They feared they might be denied something, something that should rightfully be theirs.

Back to the Garden we go.  God appealed to Eve’s whole being, her true identity as His wondrous creation.  But, Satan appealed to her pride and desires, taunting with the apple of “my rights” and “my control.”  Today – right here and right now, God appeals to the whole being and true identity of His daughters in Christ.  But, Satan (until he’s banished to hell) lingers around, tantalizing our desires.  Whispering sweet nothings in our ears.

Admittedly, I can’t say how many baptized women were influenced by the childish ad of the Obama campaign.  You know the one I’m talking about.   Actress Lena Dunham appears on a video making an appeal to young women to imagine their first time voting for Obama as being akin to losing their virginity.  References in the ad were explicit and low standard.

The sexual innuendo of the ad was unmistakable: “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody.  You want to do it with a great guy,” says actress Dunham.  “It should be with a guy . . . who really cares about and understands women.”  Then, on behalf of the sitting president of the United States, Dunham makes her political appeal.  She says, you want to do it with “a guy who cares whether you get birth control.  The consequences are huge.  You want to do it with the guy who brought the troops out of Iraq . . ..”

Actress Dunham quickly references “gay marriage,” then says, “It’s also super-uncool to be out and about and someone says, ‘did you vote?’ and [you] reply, ‘No, I didn’t feel – I wasn’t ready.’”  The ad wraps up when Dunham describes her first time voting as “amazing.”  It was like crossing that “line in the sand” to vote for Barack Obama.  “Before I was a girl; now I was a woman.”

This campaign ad was endorsed by the President of the United States.  The father of two daughters.  The man who, true to his vocation, should protect and defend the virtue of every American woman.

But, how many baptized American women – more or less youthful – voted for the man who appealed to their pride?  Sexual rights?  Desire for control?  Did any of us think about the irony of it all?  Modern feminists abhor Biblical patriarchy, yet here are women asking “Big Daddy” – a patriarchal government – to provide their birth control pills, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization procedures at no cost.  Why?

Is it because they are deceived by a wrong identity?  Or because they have forgotten their baptism in the Word of holiness and purity?  Or because they are captive to pride and sensuality?  Or, because they live in fear?

Trusting our baptism, we need not fear the known or the unknown.  Baptism in the waters of new life encourages us to virtue.  Self-restraint.  Trust in our Creator and Redeemer instead of our own weak flesh.

Baptism gives us new identity in Christ.  We are not sensual beings, but holy beings.  We are not captive to sin, but redeemed from sin.  We are not left in the despair of wrong choices, but set free to start new.  To see our life from God’s perspective.  All this… because we have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Do we believe it?

Amen.  God said it.  It is so.

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Tom lives in the neighborhood.  Most of us see him as a quiet, non-troublesome kind of guy.   He “minds his own business.”  But, those of us who live a little closer to Tom see him making some choices that, while seemingly private, are affecting his neighbors.   It isn’t my right to tell Tom what to do in his own home, or to tell him who he should invite into his home.  But, when how he chooses to live his life encroaches on my life in a less than helpful way, then should I voice concern?

Conversations of the past have revealed that Tom and I don’t share the same faith or character.  We have built our lives on very different foundations; therefore, we not only see the world differently, we respond to the things of this world differently.   I’ll be honest.  I’m concerned about my neighbor.  I’m concerned for Tom’s sake, but also for the sake of other neighbors whom he influences. 

I don’t believe I should question my neighbor’s faith and character.  I do believe, however, that I can ask questions about his perspective on life.  His worldview.  Every caring neighbor should ask another neighbor questions about their worldview.  If we don’t ask our neighbor why he does what he does, says what he says, or lives the way he lives, then what kind of neighbor are we?  What kind of neighborhood will we jointly build up…or tear down?

Rick Santorum was recently understood to have questioned President Obama’s faith.  When criticized for his remarks, Santorum explained that he was questioning the president’s “radical” environmentalist view that “elevates the Earth above man.”  Santorum explained that he wasn’t questioning that President Obama is a Christian, but that his worldview on natural resources and how they can’t be tapped because to do so will harm the Earth is a “phony ideal.”  Santorum has also questioned the president’s worldview on the issue of abortion; most recently, in the area of insurance coverage for prenatal tests that can identify problems in unborn children.  Santorum knows for a fact that doctors “more often than not” recommend abortion when problems are discovered.

I believe that any presidential candidate – or American citizen — should be able to ask questions about their neighbor’s worldview.  In kindly doing so, he or she is simply and fairly asking: Why do you believe what you believe?  What is the source of your belief?  How does your belief serve other people?  How does your belief help us all build a better society?  After asking such questions, it is fair to say:  Here’s what I believe and why.  Here is the source of my belief.  Here is how I try to live my belief.  Now, please feel free to question me about my worldview.  Why I say what I say and do what I do.

Too many of us seem unwilling to dialogue about worldviews and how those worldviews affect neighborhoods and society as a whole.  When a person is concerned enough to speak up about health care, marriage, sexual behaviors, abortion, euthanasia, or ethics of any kind, they are quickly labeled as “judgmental.”  Care and concern are not judgmental.  Contrasting one worldview with another is not “judgmental.”  Laying something counterfeit next to the real thing is not “judgmental.”  And, you know what?  Calling something harmful or dangerous is not “judgmental.”  If it is, then every “bridge out” or “stop ahead” or “wear your seatbelt” sign should be torn down.

I’m not sure that I’ll be given the opportunity to dialogue with Tom about important matters of life.  But, if I am, I promise to take care.  To not question his faith (or lack of it) or demean his character.  Instead, I will try to ask questions.  Questions that show my interest in him as a person.  But, also questions that help Tom think about being a good neighbor.

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I’ve always been rather fond of Girl Scout Cookies.  My favorites?  Thin mints. But, no more.  

There’s something dark and twisted about Planned Parenthood receiving some of the profits.  It goes deeper.  If you have a few minutes, you might want to read the following article from the Washington Times.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/16/say-no-to-girl-scout-cookies/?page=all#.Txo__z6o8wk.email

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