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Posts Tagged ‘worldview’

Some people I know are saying, “I don’t like either Obama or Romney, so I’m not going to vote.”  Others are saying, “I can’t vote for a Mormon, so I guess I’ll vote for the one who says he is a Christian.”

This year’s presidential election is not about electing a Christian.  It is about electing an American.

To those of you who follow this blog, I ask one thing: Please inform yourselves about both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Get to know their mentors.  Learn who influenced them through life and shaped their worldview.  Then ask yourself: Which man more closely shares your vision of the United States of America?

I do not believe that Mormons are Christians.  However, I would rather be ruled by a loyal defender of this American republic than by a man who wants to remake America in another image.

Dr. Paul Kengor is the author of The Communist, subtitled “Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.”  The media doesn’t seem interested in Kengor’s book, although it is “meticulously documented and fair,” observes Sheila Liaugminas (Sheila Reports, MercatorNet).  Kengor writes, “It is scandalous that so little attention has been paid to Frank Marshall Davis and his influence on our president . . . Frank Marshall Davis’s political antics were so radical that the FBI placed him on the federal government’s Security Index, which meant that he could be immediately detained or arrested in the event of a national emergency, such as a war breaking out between the United States and the USSR.

“Obama’s memoirs feature twenty-two direct references to “Frank” by name, and far more via pronouns and other forms of reference.  Frank is a consistent theme throughout [Obama’s book] . . . He is part of Obama’s life and mind, by Obama’s own extended recounting, from Hawaii – the site of visits and late evenings together – to Los Angeles to Chicago to Germany to Africa, from adolescence to college to community organizing.  Frank is always one of the few (and first) names mentioned by Obama in each mile marker upon his historic path from Hawaii to Washington.”

Kengor writes that Davis worked diligently to “trash the Democratic Party.”  Then, “like many American communists,” [Davis] decided to join the Democrats” because he had “nowhere else to go.”  Communists, like Davis, patiently sought “alliances with Democrats much closer to their collectivist thinking.”  Kengor’s detailed documentation reveals that Davis has a 600-page FBI file.  In that file is an April 1950 report stating that “members of the subversive element in Honolulu were concentrating their efforts on infiltration of the Democratic Party through control of Precinct Clubs and organizations.”  These communist subversives, said the report, were pushing “their candidates in these Precinct Club elections.”  Kengor explains that it was a “long march to transform the Democratic Party from the party of Truman and JFK to the party of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.”  He continues, saying, “[I]n a quite fascinating twist of history, Frank Marshall Davis, as a ‘Democrat,’ would go on to influence today’s Democratic Party standard-bearer: Barack Obama.”

I wonder.  Did the Democratic National Convention meeting in Charlotte appear to conclude that it is government – not God – who takes care of the people?

It has been said: We become like the company we keep.  The mentors in our life matter.  The people we let influence us matter.  I want to know what makes the next leader of the free world tick.  I want to know who has influenced the next Commander in Chief.  I want to know what has shaped the man who will sit in the People’s House.  Don’t you?  So, it’s a fair question: If you seek to open the life story of each candidate, what will you find?  What is their worldview… and why?

Please.  Take note of how Obama and Romney each see the proper size and role of government.  Take note of how Obama and Romney listen — or do not listen — to Catholics, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Southern Baptists and other believers on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Take note of where they stand on the sanctity of life, marriage, and personal/religious freedom.  Take note of how they view Shariah Law vs. U.S. Constitutional Law.

Take note… then vote as if the lives of your children and grandchildren depend on it.

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Open forum here.  Your thoughtful answers to my question are coveted.

What civilization would sexualize daughters and then provide free sterilization services?

People with opposing worldviews bemoan the fact that we are sexualizing American girls.  One group worries about the sexualization of girls but promotes more sex education as the answer.  The other group promotes abstinence but uses sex education to do it.

Is there a connection between sexualizing children — completely inundating them in school and culture with a steady stream of information on sex, sexuality and sensuousness — and a national health care mandate that covers contraception and sterilization for girls as young as twelve?

Is something foul afoot?  Does a power or principality despise new life?

A CNSNews reporter asked former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a critical question: “One of the services that health care plans have to offer free of charge (under the HHS mandate) are sterilizations . . . do you agree with the federal government mandating . . .”

Congresswoman Pelosi cut the reporter off, saying, “You know what, I told you before, let’s go to church and talk about our religion.  Right here we’re talking about public policy as it affects women . . .”

Government-sponsored free sterilization services should set the pants of Biblical thinkers and people of faith on fire.  It should set the pants of every parent on fire.

Under the HHS mandate, every health plan except those held by houses of worship (what about the church-run school or organization?) conceivably must not only cover contraceptives, but sterilization for children as young as twelve.  But, it gets even more serious.  Many states require parental consent for the sterilization of a minor, but as CNSNews reported, some don’t.  In Oregon, for example, girls as young as fifteen can now undergo sterilization procedures without their parents or legal guardians knowing a thing.  All they have to do is sign a consent form.  (Source: www.breakpoint.org 9/6/12 and CNSNews.com 8/10/12)

On my library shelf is a book by Edwin Black entitled War Against the Weak.  He states, “I find it abhorrent that a 15-year-old girl who’s not old enough to consent to sexual activity, who’s not old enough to consent to buying a beer, who’s not old enough to drive herself to the hospital could possibly be considered old enough and mature enough to give informed consent for her own sterilization . . .”  Black is a student of history.  He has done his homework and connected the dots between population control, abortion, sterilization, and eugenics.  By the way, the subtitle to Black’s book is “Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.”  Some of my fellow Lutherans and other believers on the Lord Jesus Christ have studied under men like Paul Popenoe, once a leader of California’s eugenics movement.  Here, I think, is a topic for another blog.

What civilization would sexualize its daughters and then provide easy access to abortion and free sterilization services?

What does this say about the sanctity of human life?  About our identity and purpose?  About being male or female?  About marriage?  About the act of sex?  About family and society?

Have Christians, too, been deceived?  Are we unintentionally dehumanizing sons and daughters by putting them in the same category as animals: “After all, we’re afraid they’re going to do it anyway”?

Have we enabled the divorce of sex from procreation?

Have we bought the lie that we are “sexual from birth” rather than the truth of God who tells us, “I have called you by name, you are Mine . . . You are set apart to be holy, even as I am holy”?

How do you answer?

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What do the Divine Service and sex education have in common?  Nothing.

The Divine Service, with its ordered liturgy and reverence, is not common.  It is not casual.  It is not “do it myself;” rather, it is the Holy God “doing” for me.

Filled by God with His Word and Sacrament, my behavior as a woman of God should not be common.  My choices and behavior should put me at odds with the theories and trends of the world.

What I teach and how I teach it should not be common.  I should, with no apologies, instruct using God’s Word and mentor winsomely in the way of Jesus.  I should resist adapting worldly theories, fooling myself with the nonsense that I can sort “good” from “bad, and attempting to wrap the Word of God around the common.

Sex education is common.  It is worldly.  Tragically, especially for boys and girls, it is accepted by the secular world and many in the church.  Instruction in purity is not common.  It calls me and the people I mentor to be different.  Set apart.  That’s because, as God’s possession and treasures in Christ Jesus, we are different.  What we do flows from our identity as men and women called for holy purpose.

Consider me strange, but I think that Biblical instruction in purity is very much like the Divine Service.  Both are not common.  Both seem strange.  Antiquated.  “Too righteous.”   Both are criticized for being difficult.  Perhaps even “unrealistic.”  But, that’s how it is with things that are not common.  Holy things.  Things of God grow out of different soil.

The Divine Service and instruction in purity both speak to our true identity in Christ.  In Him, we are new creations called to live differently.  Even as new creations we are still sinful males and females who, on this earth, will always be tempted to determine our own worship practice and our own sexual behavior.  Therefore, we are in desperate need of the God who is separated from the common.

Divinely served by God through my pastor on Sunday morning, I am equipped to live different from a secular world the rest of the week.  Failing often during the week, I return again on Sunday to be Divinely served and strengthened.

Instructed in the purity of Biblical manhood and womanhood, boys and girls are equipped to live different from the world and better resist the sinful nature that will surely tempt them throughout all their earthly life.  Failing often, they can return to a life of purity because being different – not common – means being a treasure of Jesus Christ.  His forgiveness for every treasured soul is new every morning.

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Labeling sex education “child abuse” is a strong statement.  No one wants to be accused of abusing a child.   I would not easily call someone a “child abuser.”  All of us, however, are deceived by theories and techniques of the world.  Education built on false teaching is sure to do harm.

If we blend false teaching or worldly ideas with God’s Word, we will most certainly compromise our best intentions.  We will weaken the protective boundaries of God’s commands.  It is never a good thing to tamper with things of God, especially the instructions He gives us about children.

God’s Word never tells us to educate children in sex.  It tells us to instruct children in purity.  To guard their innocence.  To do nothing that might lead a child astray.

Here are some reasons why sex education – in or out of the church – is “child abuse.”

  1. “. . . [S]ex education is child abuse because it is ill-planned and poorly thought out, thus adding to the very problem it is trying to address and eroding the structure of a healthy family.”  (Douglas Gresham, step-son of C.S. Lewis and founder of Rathvinden Ministries, a ministry to post-abortive and abused women in Dublin, Ireland, in an e-mail to ezerwoman.)
  2. Early, explicit, and boy/girl sex education classes can steal the innocence of children and create mind absorbing images, conflicts, and preoccupations.  Boy/girl classes in sex education or “human sexuality” can be a form of desensitization that eventually strips away defenses and induces acceptance of alternative values.
  3. Sex education is taught in the “cool condition” of a classroom where children can say, “Yes, I’ll be smart,” but things change in “hot conditions.”  Children may be informed in the classroom but, because their pre-frontal cortex is not fully developed, they possess neither the reasoning skills nor good judgment necessary to take command over feelings or peer pressure in the heat of the moment.  (Dr. Miriam Grossman defines “cool” and “hot” conditions in her book, You’re Teaching My Child What?)
  4. Sex education removes the natural and protective covering of modesty.  After their sin, God covered Adam and Eve’s embarrassment with far more than a bikini.  He covered their shame with the promise of Christ’s Robe of Righteousness.  Putting boys and girls together in a classroom for an intimate discussion of “human sexuality” makes children vulnerable by stripping away modesty and stirring up self-awareness and curiosity.
  5. A goal of sex education is to get young people “comfortable with their bodies” or their “sexuality,” therefore, it should come as no surprise when scantily-clad girls approach the Lord’s Table much to the discomfort of pastors offering the Sacrament (or other gentlemen present).  Too many girls are no longer embarrassed but, indeed, “comfortable” with drawing attention to themselves at the mall, on the beach, socializing, or even in church.  In what way does this help a boy or man maintain chaste thoughts?  (A helpful resource is the Bible study Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up available from CPH Publishing.)
  6. Sex education is a utopian lie.  Secular sex education is built on the foundation of evolution and a worldview that opposes the Biblical worldview.  Instruction in purity is built on the Word of the Creator and Redeemer.  Christian educators may want children to grow comfortable with the beauty of God’s creation; to recover the Garden experience, but we’re not in the Garden anymore.  Sin changed our hearts and the way we look at one another.  Jesus says, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19).  Do we better equip children to fight the battle with sexual immorality by telling them they are “sexual beings” – or immortal souls?  Captive to their sensual nature – or able to “control [their] own body in holiness and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:4)?
  7. Christian sex education, most specifically, tantalizes the child; in other words, it presents something desirable to the view, but continually keeps it out of reach It gives children much information about sex and “sexuality,” but then tells them to wait for marriage until after college and an established career.  Does this seem cruel?
  8. Sex education may tempt into idolatry or self-worship.  It’s “my identity.”  It’s “my need.”  It’s “my right.”
  9. Sex education may, unintentionally, get adolescents “hooked,” but then leave them “unprotected.”  (Hooked by Joe McIlhaney, M.D. & Freda McKissic Bush, M.D.; Unprotected by Miriam Grossman, M.D.)
  10. Sex education might change a child’s attitude toward God.  No matter what our sin, God is always our Father; we are always His children in Christ.  But, if a child is given all manner of sexual information before he or she can make wise use of it in its proper time, then might the child ask, “What kind of loving God would create me with all these sexual desires and then tell me not to fulfill them?”  Have we set the child up for frustration and anger toward God?  Might the child ask, “What does it matter what I do if I am assured of Jesus’ love and forgiveness?”  Might a child re-define God according to his or her perspective of what is “right” or “wrong” depending upon the situation?

What words of hope are there for the Christian who has been deceived?  Who may have trusted sex education as something helpful for children?  If we have built on wrong foundation or passed on a half-truth or lie, there is hope!  King David sinned against God and hurt other people.  But, with broken and contrite heart, David acknowledged his sins to the Lord (Psalm 32:3-5).  He received God’s free grace and forgiveness.  Leaving sinful ways behind, we become a “vessel for honorable use” (2 Timothy 2:23).

In Christ, we are “vessels for honorable use.”  Wow!  This identity does indeed raise us above that of just a “sexual being.”  Imagine the change in thought.  Word.  Behavior.

(Excerpted from Faithfulness: One Child at a Time,
a work nearing completion by Linda Bartlett.
A PDF file is available at Issues. Etc., or Titus 2 for Life.)

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Americans are waking up to the fact that we have sexualized our children.  They are appalled by the sensual dress of girls starting at early ages. They are worried about boys’ early addictions to pornography and that pedophiles lurk around many a dark corner.

I’m convinced, after 30 years of careful study, that sex talk and instruction has made boys and girls less safe.  More vulnerable.  The “sex talk” and images of TV, movies, and the internet threaten the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness of the youngest generations.

But, how many of us are willing to admit that we’re part of the problem?  That we may have unintentionally broken down the wall of innocence to leave boys and girls more vulnerable to the pull of the world and their own human flesh?

Do you think that years of sex education, even for the best of intentions, could have anything to do with the sexualization of children?  Do you think that sex talk can raise curiosity?  Tantilize?  Stir up images?  Create a comfortableness with their fickle heart and deceptive flesh?

Let’s think about what happens in the sex ed classroom.  Boys and girls are rarely taught separately.  Beginning at a young age, these boys and girls are subjected to sex talk.  This sex talk is necessary, or so some say, because we are “sexual from birth.”

But, who said we are “sexual from birth?”  Well, o.k., maybe it wasn’t God, but we are “sexual beings,” aren’t we?  Don’t our children need to hear the “right” kind of sex talk?  Sexually educated (the “right” way), won’t they be better protected from teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

What is the “right” way?  Is it the way we perceive it?  Educating the way we thought we should (including 30+ years of Christian sex education), do we have more or less teen pregnancy?  STDs?  Teen depression?  Abortion?  Cohabitation? Single parents?

Some people don’t like it when I refer to sex education as a form of child abuse.

Last year, an article of mine entitled “Child Abuse” was published.  The purpose was to help the Christian community recognize that we’ve let unbelieving neighbors in the land influence our teachings.  We have adapted worldly techniques and then attempted to wrap Jesus around them.  (He can’t and won’t.)  The article angered a Christian sex educator.  That anger, observed my husband, motivated me to bring order to some random notes and research.  If you will allow me to say so, I believe the Spirit was whispering: It is time.  Gather your years of experience and observations together into a helpful resource.

That resource is, for now, entitled Faithfulness: One Child at a Time.  It is a collection of questions and answers on sex education versus instruction in purity for Christian dialogue.  I’ve been encouraged by honest “editors.”  Perhaps it will soon become clear what should be done with it.

Last week, Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwartz invited me to discuss parts of the booklet on Issues, Etc.  You can find that interview here (see July 17).  Better than the interview is the PDF format which Issues, Etc. included for anyone who wants to explore some reasons for a dangerously sexualized culture.  Getting to the root of the problem, we are better able to provide a different kind of instruction.  A different kind of mentoring.  Speaking of mentoring, you may also find the document at Titus 2 for Life.

Over the next few days, I hope to post some excerpts from Faithfulness: One Child at a Time.  I’ll begin with the reasons why sex education – in or out of the church – might very accurately be labeled sex abuse.  Both Scripture and science concur.

Oh.  And there’s this to remember.  Perhaps we’ve been an advocate of sex education because we were deceived.  Fearing for our children, we may have put our trust in a particular theory or so-called expert.  Wrong thinking can be left in the past.  Truly sorry for ways we may have unintentionally brought harm, we are reconciled to God in Christ.  His Word gives us all we need to do battle with the world for the sake of our sons and daughters.

We engage in that battle by being distinctively different from the world.  Are you up for the challenge?

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What follows is an article by John Stonestreet published July 19 in Breakpoint.  I was going to quote John, but you need to read his article in its entirety.  Thank you, John, for sharing the experiences of Timothy Dalrymple and Martin Daubney — for the sake of our sons and daughters.

Writing at Patheos.com, Timothy Dalrymple tells perhaps a familiar story for many: “I first saw pornography by flashlight in an underground fort I had built with my brother and friends,” he said.

When he first looked at those pictures at nine years old, Dalrymple says they were “seared into his mind.” And the way he viewed women was deeply changed.

He explains, “It was not the last time I would see pornography, or naked women when I shouldn’t…Whether they’re photos in magazines, images on the internet, scenes in movies, or stolen glances, their imprint sinks deep into the male mind, it shapes its patterns of thought, and remains there for years, even decades. You cannot unsee them…”

But Dalrymple says all of that changed when he became the father of a little girl. The images remained, but he was forced to ask himself a painful question: What if these images were my child?

That’s the same question Martin Daubney, longtime editor of the British magazine “Loaded,” asked himself when he became a father in 2009. Last month in the UK Daily Mail he told the story of how he spent eight years pushing this “soft porn” magazine to raunchier extremes to compete with rival publications and the internet.

He thought of his work as “harmless fun,” and dismissed his critics as “party-poopers.”

But when his son was born three years ago, Daubney had a crisis of conscience.

“It…changed my views so forcibly that within a year I’d quit a dream job… I started seeing the women in my magazine not as sexual objects, but as somebody’s daughter. To think that girls who posed for our magazine had once had their [diapers] changed, had once been taught to take their first steps and had once been full of childlike hope…it was almost heartbreaking.”

After Martin quit his job and began devoting more time to raising his son, things became even clearer.

“I am ashamed at the way I used to defend the magazine…” he says. “When I edited Loaded, I’d often get asked ‘Would you want your daughter to appear in topless photos?’ and I’d squirm, but I’d feel obliged…to say ‘yes’.”

If asked the same question today, Daubney says he’d have a different answer: “Not on my life.”

Becoming parents drastically changes the way we think about things like pornography because we’re forced to remember that these de-humanized objects are those made in the image of God. As Chuck Colson used to say, and my colleague Eric Metaxas points out in his book on Bonhoeffer, the first step to destroying or abusing human life is always dehumanization.

And that’s why one of the great tasks of the church is to continue sounding wake-up calls whenever we can — to each other and to the culture. Lives are at stake.

And that’s exactly what was done recently by Robert George, co-author of the Manhattan Declaration, and Muslim professor Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in a letter they co-authored to hotel chain executives. In it, they petition for the removal of pornographic movies from hotels by asking the same question Dalrymple and Daubney asked.

“We beg you to consider the young woman who is depicted as a sexual object in these movies… Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your sister…[or] your own beloved daughter?”

George and Yusuf are putting a face to pornography, and reminding us that those depicted aren’t just images but real people; and it becomes infinitely harder for us to use them for our selfish pleasure once we see that.

To read this letter, come to BreakPoint.org. And I’ll also link you to today’s “Two-Minute Warning” video. In it, I deal with how deeply pornography and other aspects of our culture’s sexual brokenness have victimized women, and men. It’s part two of our four-part series.

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Brad Pitt is about to become the husband of Angelina Jolie.  Angelina Jolie is the daughter Jon Voight.  As we all know, Brad, Angelina, and Jon are well-known celebrities in Hollywood.

Academy-award winner Voight is more than just Angelina Jolie’s dad, he is a seasoned conservative voice in Hollywood.  So, when Brad Pitt’s mother spoke out against President Obama’s stance on gay “marriage” and abortion, Voight told FOX News that he agrees with his daughter’s soon-to-be mother-in-law.  “Good for her,” he said, for expressing those views.

Mrs. Pitt shared her perspective in a letter-to-the editor of her local paper, Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader.  She described the President as a “liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”  She said that fellow Christians should give “prayerful consideration” to supporting the presumptive GOP nominee whose morals, she said, contrast those of President Obama.  Quickly, Mrs. Pitt was labeled a  homophobe — all across Twitter-land.

Brad Pitt’s brother, Doug, came to his mother’s defense.  “There can be healthy discussions when people disagree with you.  The bad thing is when it turns to venom and negativity, and we don’t have that in our family.  It’s open discussion.  We can learn from each other . . ..”

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“It’s hard to imagine two stranger organizational bedfellows,” writes Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief of WORLD magazine (WORLD exclusive, July 14, 2012).  Olasky is referring to the partnership between the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.  The partnership is not only “strange” but unnatural because it attempts to blend two opposing worldviews.

Founded in 1942, the NAE is a pro-life, Christian organization of more than 40 denominations whose motto is: “Cooperation Without Compromise.”  The Campaign, founded in 1996, is a secular organization devoted to promoting contraceptive use by the unmarried.  “The National Campaign is zealous,” writes Olasky.  “When conservatives this year tried to reduce funding for Planned Parenthood and similar groups, the lead story on the Campaign’s newsletter began, ‘The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to increase teen and unplanned pregnancy.’”

Before Olasky’s article entitled “Strange Bedfellows” was published, I was aware that he was investigating a multi-year $1 million grant given by the Campaign to the NAE in 2008.  The Campaign itself, notes Olasky, has received grants from abortion advocates and contraception pushers.  For more details, I encourage you to read Olasky’s articles in WORLD (7-14-12, pp. 9-11, 88).

So, what’s going on here?  Why would pro-life Christians accept help from people who seek to promote contraceptive use by unmarried people?  Who advocate abortion?  I think it is because Christians have been deceived.  We have been deceived by one question: “Did God really say . . . ?”  (Do you hear that hissing sound?)  Did God really say that male and female are set apart for holy purpose?  That sex is not just something two people are going to participate in – married or not – because they can’t help it?

Once deceived, we believe the lie.  What is the lie?  That we are “sexual from birth.”

Olasky’s article exposes a problem.  Something goes awry whenever Christians accept help from those with an opposing worldview.  We become “strange bedfellows” with non-believing neighbors in the land whenever we “evolve” away from God’s Word.  In this case, the NAE is doing the very thing it says it will not do.  It is compromising Biblical faith in the area of sexuality, I think, for two reasons.

It appears that the NAE has determined for itself what is right and wrong.  It has aligned itself with false teachers.  When approached in the Garden by the serpent, a flattered Eve not only spoke for God, she added words of her own to His.  Putting ourselves in God’s place is dangerous.

Secondly, it appears that the NAE, having been deceived, now thinks itself wise.  Wisdom, however, does not come from the world, but through fear of God.  False wisdom believes the lie that we are “sexual from birth.”   Clinging to such “wisdom,” sexual promiscuity – with all of its consequences – increases.  Since we can’t help being the “sexual” beings we are, we’ll just have to rely on the corner drug store.  Deception leads us to rationalize.  Tempted to think that unmarried people will naturally exercise their sexuality, Christians are deceived into justifying provision for the “lesser of two evils.”  NAE President Leith Anderson responded to Olasky, saying, “The Church is understandably reluctant to recommend contraception for unmarried sexual partners, given that it cannot condone extramarital sex.  However, it is even more tragic when unmarried individuals compound one sin by conceiving and then destroying the precious gift of life.”  Many of us may agree with Anderson.

Are we trapped between a rock and a hard place?  What can we do?  I propose that we stop listening to false teachers.  We are not, first and foremost, sexual beings.  We are human beings called to live out our lives as male or female.  Although fallen from God’s perfect image, we are still created with His attributes, not the attributes of animals.  This is what our children need to hear.

The Christian community will better serve a modern culture by remembering how revolutionary we really are.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” by His will, not through sexual behavior.  This was a radical worldview for all the neighbors of the Israelites.  This is still a radical worldview in today’s society.  Historically, the Judeo-Christian view of human life, marriage, and procreative sex was a revolutionary idea that de-sexualized God and religion.  “I Am” stood in contrast to “gods” who engaged in sex with other gods and humans.  Judeo-Christianity introduced the concept of holiness.  It contrasted a life of purity with a life captive to sensuality.   It sanctified the procreative act of sex and connected men to wives, home and generational faithfulness.  “The sexual genie,” writes Dennis Prager, “was forced into the marital bottle.”

God’s own people have always been given opportunity to affect the culture.  But, considering ourselves wiser than God, we become foolish.  Foolish into captivity.  The Israelites were captive in Babylon for so long that generations forgot the Truth and became comfortable with their environment.  When the Israelites were told they could return to their homeland where they could rebuild Jerusalem, very few wanted to go back to “old ways.”  I fear we, too, have grown comfortable with our environment.  Deceived, we believe the lie… and cling to wrong identity

How many times have we told that we are “sexual” beings?  When does God define us that way?   He doesn’t.  Instead, God sets us apart as a people all His own.  We struggle with the “old man” in us, but our Baptism in Christ makes us new every morning. We are not bound by passions of ignorance, but called to reflect our Creator.  God is holy (not sexy) (1 Peter 1:14-16).  We are “His own possession” equipped to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you” (1 Peter 2:9).  We are strengthened to “abstain from the passions of the flesh which wage war against our souls” here on earth (2:11).  God warns us away from sensuality, but never does God tell His people to stop living their lives as male and female.

We want to make abortion unthinkable.  But, abortion – and new definitions of marriage and family — will always be thinkable for people who see themselves as “sexual from birth.”  Such deception brings us dangerously close to idolatry.  Exchanging the Truth for a lie, we worship the creature rather than the Creator.  At that moment, we are vulnerable to Satan, the world, and our own sensual flesh.

Sex does not have to dominate society.  God-ordained institutions of marriage and family can build a vibrant civilization.  The innocence of children can be guarded.  Men and women can complement one another.  It begins with fear of God rather than trust in fickle hearts and weak flesh.  Even in marriage, husbands and wives are called to more than a sexual relationship, but a partnership as good stewards over all that God has entrusted to them and a life that anticipates Jesus’ return.  Anticipating Jesus, men and women – married or not — do best to see themselves as God sees them.  To be distinctively different from the world.  To be vessels for honorable use.

Our purpose in this world flows from our identity as God’s holy people.  So, let us avoid “strange bedfellows” and affect the culture with true wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:5).

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In response to a previous post, “Not a Scientist” asked: “Would you mind quoting where Jesus says that homosexuality is a sin?”

Where does Jesus speak against homosexuality?  Everywhere that God does!

First, one must believe that God is who He says He is.  “In the beginning, God created . . . ” (Genesis 1).  He created male and female to be equal, but not the same.  He didn’t created them at the same time, in the same way, or for the same purpose (Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-22).  He gave them to each other, male and female, to be one union or one flesh in marriage (Genesis 2:24).  Woman was created to be a “helper fit for him.”  Did you know that “fit for him” literally means “like his opposite”?  Consider how man and woman are, in many ways, opposite yet, in marriage, fit together perfectly.  God brings new life into the world through their procreative act of sex.  Marriage, childbirth, and growth of the human community were part of God’s plan for humankind from before The Fall.  Throughout the Old Testament, the Word of God speaks against homosexuality or sodomy.  It is not His design.

Where does Jesus speak against homosexuality?  Everywhere that God does.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any think made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5; 14).  Jesus is God.  He is the Creator.  He is the Word.  He is Law and Gospel.

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law (Old Testament) of God.  He came to fulfill it.  He did not disregard it.  He is it!  Inspired by The Word Jesus, St. Paul wrote many times about the sin of homosexuality.  To be sure, we humans think we have evolved in our thinking.  We seek our own way.  We set ourselves up as gods of our own lives.  The consequences are always the same.  “. . . They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator . . . For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:25-28).

Jesus is the Word.  He is God.  He is the Creator.  The Creator knows intimately what He has created.  He is the Creator of anatomy and biology.  He knows what works and what does not.  God is incapable of imperfection.  He would not create a man “fit for” another man, and then laugh when they don’t fit.

My Biblical worldview — CREATION, THE FALL & REDEMPTION — explains to me the wonder of God’s perfect creation of male, female, marriage, and generational society, but it also explains what went wrong and why we struggle so with ourselves and others.  Sin happened.  Man and woman were deceived and failed to trust God’s Word.  That first sin affected us all.  We put ourselves in place of God.  We doubt that Jesus said any more than what is printed in red letters in the New Testament.  But, He did say it all!  He is the Word.  And, because He calls Himself the Word, he is either that… or a liar.

Every day, I am in awe.  Things go bad because of sin.  We struggle heterosexually and homosexually.  But, because of that struggle with our sinful flesh, The Word Jesus came in perfect flesh.  Because of The Word — Jesus — there is hope.  Because of Christ, I am redeemed!  Set free of the chains that bind me to sin.  I may continue to do battle with my feelings and desires, but Satan and my own sinful flesh do not have dominion over me.

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In 2009, after taking office, President Obama declared the month of June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.”  Now he has endorsed so-called same-sex “marriage.”

On June 1, a group of African-American pastors requested a meeting with the President to discuss their concerns with his “endorsement of gay  marriage as a civil right.”  These pastors believe that when government works to promote sin, Christians cannot be silent.

Aren’t we compelled to ask: 1) What are the basic rights of American citizens?  2) When God’s Word calls a particular choice or behavior immoral and, therefore, a sin, should it be celebrated as a basic right under the guise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”  3) What happens when a government such as ours creates “rights” based on changeable or controllable behavior?

President Obama has often referred to his Christian faith.  In this case, it is reported that he told the African-American pastors that he knows that he should treat others as he wants to be treated.  Well, that leads me to another question:

What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves?

Sometimes, our neighbors make choices different from ours.  Sometimes they offend, irritate, or intimidate us.  Nevertheless, they remain our neighbors.  We are called to love God by loving and serving the best interests of our neighbors.  This does not mean we must endorse their choices or behaviors, especially if those behaviors offend God.  It does mean that we are to support and care for our neighbors even when we cannot support a behavior that God labels sinful.

We love our neighbors best when we fear, love, and trust in God first.  Knowing God and His design for our lives as male and female helps us to serve our neighbors, not by approving of wrong things, but by seeing them as real people who struggle (as I do) with real challenges and temptations.  Martin Luther wrote, “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”

The Word — Jesus Christ — is Truth.  When he calls something a sin, it is so.  Our vocation as Christians is to be faithful to the Word of Truth and, at the same time, be kind in how we contrast deception with truth, darkness with light, evil with good.

For those who want to be kind to their neighbors, may I suggest:
Exodus International and Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays

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