Friday, October 26, 2012

Around the Horn

At first, Trevin Wax lists 10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate Is Never Asked by the Media. I won’t hold my breath waiting for them, but it would be interesting.

At second, H. B. Charles, Jr writes of a visit to Grace Community Church to hear John MacArthur. He laments that MacArthur was preaching a message on the family that didn’t address the congregation of H. B. Charles. And then Charles remembers that MacArthur is not preaching to Charles’ congregation. It is a point worth making, and worth remembering. Pastors, preach to the people your congregation and community. Don’t preach to someone else’s.

At third, Townhall columnist Maggie Gallagher writes about the recent “fall” of Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza was, among other things, the president of the evangelical King’s College in NYC who was recently seen at an out-of-town conference with a woman who was not his wife whom he introduced as his fiancĂ©e. What is perhaps most interesting is D’Souza’s remark that “I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced.” That’s hard to believe—The president of an evangelical college doesn’t know that you shouldn’t ask a woman to marry you while you are still married to another woman? The disappointing thing about Gallagher’s column is that it misses the biggest point. She focuses on the effects of divorce on the family and says “Don’t do this.” What she doesn’t do is focus on the effects of the gospel. In divorce, a false gospel is being preached, a gospel that God loves us and commits himself to us, but not forever. Only until ____________.

And last, Southern Seminary Professor Denny Burk responds to a recent book by Rachel Held Evans called A Year of Biblical Womanhood. One of the ironies was that what this author was doing has no relation to biblical womanhood since it relies heavily on following Israel’s Law in the OT when (1) we are not Israel, and (2) the Bible explicitly says that is not in force. It goes to show the danger of a faulty view of the Law that doesn’t recognize the authority of the NT. Rachel Held Evans was picking and choosing which parts of the Bible she wanted to live by, and was doing so in pursuit of a point—that the Bible was hopelessly outdated for enlightened feminists like herself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Imposing Slavery

“I don’t believe in it, but I don’t want to impose that belief on others.”

Imagine saying that about slavery in a vice-presidential debate in 1860. Many people would have agreed.

Yet today, one hundred and fifty years later, those people are looked on with disbelief, even scorn. No one could be elected today saying, “I don’t believe in slavery, but I don’t want to impose that belief on others.”

The truth is that our country imposed a belief about slavery, and people died in support of that belief.

And now, that belief is part of our core national identity, though it is imperfectly lived out at times.

So why is this kind of belief okay today? Why can someone says, as Vice-President Biden did, “I don’t believe in abortion, but I don’t want to impose that belief on others.”

Why is he not run out of national politics with a vengeance? Why is he not an object of scorn and disbelief for such a backwards and intolerant position?

How long will it be until that unborn are accorded the same kind of effort as slaves were? How long will it be until the life of the unborn becomes more than political punchline to assure of one’s moral compass without having to actual live by that compass.

It is well past the time that we as a nation take on the forces of death. While we lament the 2000 deaths in Afghanistan in that least ten years, the 2000 deaths from yesterday in abortion clinics go largely unnoticed.

People will vote for the candidate who promises to get our soldiers out of harm’s way. But they will refuse to vote for a candidate who promises to get our least protected out of harm’s way.

Let us not buy the line that refusing to stand against abortion is some noble effort to impose a moral belief.

Refusing to stand against abortion reflects a moral belief that costs thousands of lives each day.

It’s time to be done, America.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Around the Horn

Here’s a great piece from John Bloom channeling the thoughts of King David a year later. Worth some careful thinking.

You need to watch Voddie Baucham here talk about abortion. It’s hard for him to believe that people tell him that the life of two of his children and even his own life wasn’t worth living. One of the problems with abortion is that there aren’t faces attached to it.

Here’s a good piece by Dave Kraft on leaders and small things. IF you don’t do small things, you will not be an effective leader.

New research shows that 30% of Americans claim no religious affiliation. The actual number of Americans with no actual religious affiliation is probably higher than that, if you take into account that most people do not actually practice the religion they claim. It’s a wide open mission field, but many are content to preach to the converted.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Today was Pulpit Freedom Sunday, and I took the liberty just to preach the next text in line.

I didn’t feel the least bit hindered by the IRS to stand up and say what Jesus said. And I didn’t see the need to say anything else. In fact, I think I have a mandate not to say anything else.

Which brings me to my point: What’s the big deal? Why are we upset that the government agrees with Jesus? I realize that we should sometimes disagree with the government just on the principle of the matter.

Stephen Colbert had a segment on it including a short interview with one of the people behind this issue, Jim Garlow, the pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego.

Colbert, in his mocking sort of way, points out an inherent problem: If you endorse a candidate in God’s name, if that candidate turns out to be corrupt, you’ve got a false god.

While not entirely true, it is a point worthy of consideration.

Why would any pastor want to tie the message of the gospel and Jesus to politics? What happens when God tells us to vote for someone and that someone turns out to be corrupt?

Would it not be better just to preach the word? After all, we have a mandate for that.

And God won’t turn up on the evening news for taking bribes.