Thursday, July 30, 2015

Unborn Babies and "Parasites?"

The ancient cult of Molech in action.
Abortion raises heated feelings on all sides of the issue. I get it. As a former radio guy and news director, I've known that a long time and have covered many a protest and news conference. 
Earlier this morning on Facebook and Twitter, I saw a posting referencing a tweet put up by author Anne Lamott, a theological liberal and favorite among Emergent Church types. I saw the original tweet in question, too. Lamott tweeted out support of Planned Parenthood in the midst of the current controversy over PP and their alleged sale of organs and other body parts from aborted infants. Because I know of Lamott's views on other issues, the fact that she's a liberal on the subject of abortion did not surprise me at all. 
What DID surprise me is what an individual tweeted in DEFENSE of Lamott. This particular individual acknowledged the humanity of an unborn child, then proceeded to call the unborn baby "parasitic" and the mother the "host" of the parasite until birth. 
I am just aghast. Seriously?!? Are we really that far gone in our society? Is our conscience seared that badly? Think this one through just a little. If you're an expectant couple, when you anticipate the birth of your child, watching a plate or ashtray wiggle on Mommy's tummy as the pregnancy gets farther along, do you see your little child to be as a "parasite?" I mean, when you think parasite, you think of an intestinal worm, body lice, etc. But an unborn baby? 
This is just too much. If that is the mentality some have, then it's not too large a leap for me to imagine the cult of Molech coming back, and people throwing their firstborn into the flaming arms of the idol. The one good thing in something as ghastly as this is that I'm seeing many who have been pro-choice or pro-abortion rights are rethinking their position on this issue.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Cecil" and Misplaced Outrage?

I suppose before I head into what I want to say, I'd best put up a "disclaimer" of sorts. Or at least a run-down of what my views on hunting and fishing are.

I love nature and wildlife. It's part of God's creation, and man has been charged with stewardship of that creation. However, I am not a pagan who worships "Earth Mother Gaia" or a radical environmentalist who thinks the best thing that could happen to the planet is for all human beings to die.

I have no problem with going hunting. I would never hunt just to kill an animal and have its head as a trophy on my wall. I would hunt for meat to feed myself or the family. Never simply for "sport." I do not like these big game hunts in Africa or other parts of the globe. It's simply killing an animal to have a photo of yourself with the game you bagged or again, to mount or stuff the animal for a brag piece in your house. There may be other reasons to kill animals, such as the rabid dog, the nuisance raccoon that's attacking you or your kids from under your back deck, rats in the attic, etc. But I would not hunt just for the sport of it. And in that light, the story about the killing of "Cecil" the lion is a sad one for me.

Now, having said all that, I am getting a little bit aggravated at the ginned up outrage around the planet over this. To drive a dentist into hiding? Seriously? If you don't like these hunts, then lobby the governments of the countries in question to ban them.

But now, my real sense of outrage. I wish some of the media and folks having a virtual stroke over the shooting death of a lion would show some of the same outrage at Planned Parenthood and the alleged infanticide for sale racket going on there. I think killing an unborn child and selling off its organs is far more egregious an offense than a big game hunt.

But our current generation's sense of proportion has been cockeyed for a long time now.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Razing History? Enough!

Before I make my comment, I would like you to have a look at this article from the Connecticut Post. Let it sink in.

And now,  I hope what I say here will provide some food for thought. Thought seems to be in short supply right now.

I tend to frown on knee-jerk reactions in response to the prevailing wind as it is, and the prevailing wind is getting ridiculously putrid. The NAACP (or as it's called sometimes, the National Association for the Advance of LIBERAL Colored Persons) is pushing for American Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson to be removed from memorials, monuments, event names, and other things because they were involved in slavery. 
Seriously, are we now going to completely deconstruct American history? Blow up Mt. Rushmore? Raze all the memorials around the country? Think a minute, please. 
We used to learn in history that people (including leaders, monarchs, the average citizen) were "products of the times in which they lived." One needed to understand the times to fairly evaluate. It's always easier in hindsight. If we all had lived in the late 1700s-early to mid 1800s, would we be any different? Can we be sure that we'd be sitting on our high and mighty thrones looking down our noses at everyone who went before us? Or would we have made the same choices they made?
The great thing about "The American Experiment" and the much-maligned, much-misunderstood "American Exceptionalism" is the fact that our very system was designed to learn, grow, and change when necessary. The Constitution was made very difficult to amend on purpose, because Founding Fathers like Jefferson etc. knew freedoms once lost are almost impossible to get back. They knew the dangers of absolute power. But they also knew that some alteration may be needed over time, and when such alteration became necessary, the vast majority of the people would hopefully be the driving force behind the change. The system was also set up that, if some law, decision, order, and even court ruling, was mistaken - it could be reversed and corrected later. Bizarrely enough, Jefferson himself was against slavery, although he had views on race that we hold askance now, thankfully. But again, it must be seen through the times in which Jefferson lived. Even Lincoln, "The Great Emancipator," held views toward blacks that would be considered racist today. Is it impossible to imagine that, given enough time, both Jefferson and Lincoln would have eventually evolved to discard even those views? 
This push to wipe every vestige off our history because we think we're so morally superior to the Founding Fathers is ridiculous. Yes, they were flawed men and women. Yes, they made mistakes. Yes, they even sinned egregiously at times. But that's who we are as a people. I personally do not like how Native Americans were treated in history. Even then, we have to ask the question of how Native American tribes treated each other before we ever got here. Humanity is fallen and does things fallen people do. No one has the right to a halo. 
I tremble to think how we will be remembered in 200 years. If we can nonchalantly talk about crunching up unborn babies for body parts over wine and salad, we may not be remembered too well. I can see a few presidential libraries being razed and portraits being removed from mansions, statehouses, courts, and legislatures. 
History has provided us with enough truly evil figures who do not deserve monuments other than to remember their evil, such as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, etc. Can we save our ire for that type of figure, and not blot out every vestige of American history so we can pat ourselves and assuage ourselves of collective guilt for every bad moment in time?

Friday, July 17, 2015

American Exceptionalism: Not What You Might Think!

One thing I do wish SOMEONE on the talking head panels would point out - perhaps no phrase these days is more misunderstood or distorted for political convenience than the term "exceptional nation" applied to America.

American exceptionalism in its origin did NOT mean that Americans in and of themselves were better than anyone else on the planet, or our people worth more than anyone else on the planet.

It meant this: given world history in Europe, Asia, etc - America was a concept—an ideal—where the social contract was set forth in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The ideas of personal freedom and individual responsibility, coupled with a healthy recognition that God governed in the affairs of men, were the fruit planted and nourished unlike any other countries governed by monarchies or dictatorships. Our republic used to be called "The American Experiment" for a reason. We were a country like no other, and that is why drew millions here from around the world. 

This is close to being entirely lost. Those who want to fundamentally change America from the ground up have to be successful in uprooting our philosophical foundation for their efforts to pay off. So they redefine "American exceptionalism" to mean an inherent arrogance and conceit that we're better than anyone else and entitled to whatever we want. That is a false definition, but unfortunately I have a hunch it is precisely what generations of American students hear in school, university, and of course, much of the media.

One final aside: I don't dispute that there ARE some who actually do hold the opinion that being American makes us better than anyone else to whom God gave breath. To their shame and loss. But we defeat that notion by resurrecting and teaching what the REAL meaning of the term is.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Please Pray for Joey Feek

I was grieved last week to hear the news that Joey Feek—one half of the husband/wife country and Gospel duo Joey and Rory—had to undergo about 10 hours of surgery for a reoccurrence of cervical cancer. It was classed as Stage 4. While the surgeon is optimistic and believes he got most of the tumor, Joey is still in for a long, hard ordeal with chemo and radiation.

You can listen to this brief little hymn clip that Joey sang shortly before they wheeled her in for surgery. This is such a special couple to me. Their love for one another and the Lord is so evident. Please join me in praying that our miracle-working God will touch Joey and heal her completely from this cancer. Pray for Rory and the family as they walk with Joey through this ordeal. And may the Lord be glorified.

Friday, July 03, 2015

An Annoyed Aside to Blogger

As you'll notice from the previous post, the formatting is somewhat messed up. For speed, it's much easier for me to copy and paste text rather than having to rekey the whole thing. And as usual, when I copy and paste, I have to go back and fix spaces, odd characters that were not in the original, etc. I do not have time to do that today. But it's very irritating. You ought to be able to copy and paste "as is" without having to go back and spend hours re-editing and cleaning. I don't have time.

And They Don't Even Get 30 Pieces of Silver

(Sola's Note: Joseph and I have been friends for many years. He's a brilliant thinker. Posted with permission)

By Joseph Ravitts

Here I am, sixty-three years old at the time I write this, and I'm being reminded of high school. Teenagers will debase and embarrass themselves in frantic efforts to be more popular; to gain the approval of the football quarterback and the head cheerleader; to be cool. And mere trifles like their own parents, or genuine friends who aren't cool enough, are often thrown under the bus in the process. Nor does it stop when they go on to college. Nor does it stop in adult society and the workplace. Whatever trend, or faction, or well-hyped lie gains popularity, fools will dump everything of real value for the sake of believing that now they're "insiders" at last.                                                

We've all seen celebrities who only are celebrities because someone _told_ us to regard them as celebrities.  Right now, collective celebrity status has been conferred on a subculture of people who don't like a basic rule for human relationships which has worked for THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE. Accordingly, millions of professed Christians  are stampeding  to beg for the approval of this latest "head cheerleader;" and, revealing their true priorities in life, they have decided that if Jesus Himself wants any more attention from them, He is required to join them in slavishly agreeing that marriage must be redefined because the cool people want it redefined.   
                                                                                                                                                  
What I have just said is a generalization, and we can't afford to _stop_ with easy generalizations.  There are many different ways by which people _arrive_ at this feeling that same-sex "marriage" is the cool thing that must be accepted.  I will try here to place the possible underlying motives on a sort of  scale, from the least blameworthy to the most blameworthy. Of course, a person capitulating to the gay aristocracy may have two or more of the motives at the same time. The motives are my central interest here; the _effects_ of homosexuality have been discussed elsewhere to good purpose, which is why the hard left wants all dissent to be gagged and silenced. Keep in mind that I'm talking about _straight_ persons who decide to give a blank check to _other_ people's aggressiveness in homosexual behavior.

The least blameworthy motive is a desire to make amends for all the times when homosexual persons, like Harvey Milk, became victims of criminal violence. This, unlike most of the motives, reflects credit on the person who feels it. But gay radicals exploit it shamelessly, pretending that American homosexuals NOW are in every bit as much danger from gay-bashing crimes as they ever were. That's why they want us to go on believing that Mathew Shepard "was murdered by right-wing Christian homophobes just because he was different." This lie has been well refuted by now; not only were Shepard's killers not any kind of Christians, but one of them was a _bisexual_ man with whom the victim had formerly had sex.   

The next most decent motive is an emotional concern for "fairness." It's redundant to call this motive emotional, since they all are; but a purported ethical position on fairness is less _obviously_ emotional than the perfectly human feeling of horror over a violent death. So I say explicitly that  this one is emotion-based.  Since popular culture  has invested over four decades in convincing us that the only justice is _distributive_ justice, it has become easy to say, "Just give everyone the same thing." Once people are waving the word "equality" around frantically enough, they can prevent themselves from _thinking_ about whether the particular equality du jour can fit inside the _definition_ of the thing we're trying to be "equal" about. From the Bronze Age forward, everyone has always understood that marriage brought males and females together-- first of all to make babies and raise them, but affection was also known to arise. Now, however, gays only need to press the emotional button of other people's wish to see distributive justice, and the same button disconnects all awareness of the significance of the fact that gay relationships _don't_ create children. Fertility and barrenness  are declared to be equal, because we want to be "fair."     

The last motive I can think of with any positive moral element in it specifically points to children. Orphaned, abandoned or abused children are tragically numerous, and isn't _some_ sort of parenting for them better than none? Well, yes, a three-year-old is less likely to starve in a home with gay caregivers than she is in an alley; and she is less likely to be physically injured in the care of two lesbians or two gay males than in the clutches of a drunken sadist who loves beating defenseless children. But "better than  nothing" is not synonymous with "best." It is a self-evident fact that gay caregivers deprive a child of one sex of parent in a primary role. I have not seen or heard any gay person _answering_ this  objection, only _denying_ that it has any importance. We've just come through about forty years of being endlessly told that women _must_ be included in every area of human activity, but now suddenly it's okay to _exclude_ women from being full-time hands-on mothers in gay-male households. 

Speaking of children, another factor assisting the gay-marriage cause is the nationwide undermining of parental authority _over_ children. Television and movies have been telling us for decades that children are brilliant and parents are stupid, and this attitude has leaked into real life sufficiently that parents are under pressure to agree with practically everything their children do. I remember the first time I saw the TV talent show "The Voice;" there was a girl contestant who had done her best to look like a boy, and who openly and fiercely expressed utter scorn for the whole concept of femininity to which her _Christian_ parents had been accustomed. The parents were shown briefly, and they had capitulated to her perversion. Hard for them to do otherwise, with the game now rigged against them. 

Next.... there's laziness. Plenty of nominally Christian people want to take the path of least resistance. Even when no threat of death, grave bodily harm, arrest, or impoverishment is at issue, they don't want to have to bother _examining_ any complex questions. They want everything to be made simple, and what could be simpler than repeating the one-syllable word "love" without asking whether some approaches to love might be accompanied by unwise and unhelpful choices? But forced simplicity is the _enemy_ of understanding.

Closely related to laziness is fatalism. Some Christians carry the idea of predestination so far as to imagine that _whatever_ happens, loathsome though it may be, must have been positively _desired_ by God, not merely permitted. On that view, any attempt by us to change or influence _anything_ in the world around us equals "rebellion against God's will."                                                                                                                                                    

It keeps going downhill from here. Next we have plain pragmatic FEAR. Considering the indisputable fact that people today _don't_ get punished for saying that _traditional_ marriage is bad,  but _increasingly_ do get punished in some way if they dare to disagree with homosexual dogma, there is realistic cause to be afraid of what will happen if you swim against the current. Can you say "They fired the boss of Mozilla," boys and girls?    

Then there are professed Christians who never did have the boldness to take a public stand for the truth of Biblical faith, but who would have been able to get away with just not saying anything. What leads them to decide _not_ to be silent, but rather actively _join_ the campaign for anything-goes pansexualism? I said above that the desire to be thought of as hip and cool, the longing to be one of the enlightened humanists, was reached by many paths, hence this listing.  But some people START OUT FROM this desire for in-crowd status. It certainly is overwhelmingly powerful, and will cause the brain and the backbone to fall right out on the ground, where they lie forgotten right next to everything that may have been learned from Godly parents.

Which brings us to the _very_ worst of the motives which have come to my mind. More than any of the others, this motive will cause a person whose own sexual taste still is heterosexual to become _similar_ to the gays in an important way. Tragically occurring even among persons who have appeared to be Christian for many years, it is the desire FOR GOD NOT TO HAVE REAL AUTHORITY; the desire that we should be able to dictate to Him, instead of obeying Him. It is the desire to call the shots for the Almighty, telling Him, "We're more sophisticated than You, so if You want us even to bother with Your church anymore, You need to accept us rewriting Your Word." Those who confront God with this ultimatum think they are doing God a favor by consenting to worship their own customized version of Him, a version which exists only to give blank-check approval to whatever the revisionists want to do, say or have.    

Yet even these traitorous apostates, who have (in their own minds) cut God off at the knees, will flatter themselves for being ever so "spiritual."  And when an informed and Bible-believing person raises any challenge to the gay-marriage dogma, in a supreme irony, they accuse _that_ person of "not acting Christian."       

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Flags, Fury, and Fundamentals

History (and theology) has been a lifelong study of mine, as readers of my blog know. I have weighed in from time to time on matters related to the Civil War, racism, etc. Since the Confederate battle flag controversy has begun raging again, I might as well offer some comment, but with a different twist. 

Not long ago, I said elsewhere online that it's a difficult issue for me with my Southern roots. While the cultural climate right now declares that the flag is nothing more than a racist symbol, that is not quite accurate and the issue is far more nuanced. People still argue today over the causes of the Civil War. To be sure, a few nut jobs out there and racist groups have taken this symbol and use it to push their ugly, hateful ideology. But most Southern people do not see the flag in that light. I do not agree at all with FORCED removal of the flag. But as a Christian who sees the cause of Christ as my only reason for being, I am willing to give it up for the sake of love. Many blacks today see it in a racist light and it's painful to them. I understand that. Given the dynamics of a leftist educational establishment that marches in lockstep with the media and church leaders who are more liberal political activists than they are pastors, you'd be fighting a very uphill battle in trying to give a more balanced view of both the flag and the Civil War. 

And let's be clear. You cannot credibly deny that slavery and racism were involved in the Civil War, and racist attitudes persisted for years after it was over. I find it ironic that the Democrats use this as an issue to bash Republicans, but Southern Democrats were the ones who created this flag and wanted to maintain the institution of slavery. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Many early black leaders were Republicans. It took Republican support to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The political dynamic changed over the years, and quite a few of these Southern Democrats migrated over to the Republican Party. But it's disingenuous for Democrats to run from their history. 

But that's another subject. Right now in talking of being willing to give up the flag for love's sake, I'm talking about a matter of the heart first, with the Gospel as the paramount driver. Anyone who knows me or heard me on the air knows my feelings about race baiters and gas throwers like Al Sharpton. He has a "Rev" in front of his name but I have never heard the man preach one Gospel sermon. Ever. 

Here's what I used to say on Christian radio a lot - to the fury of some of more politically active Christians who usually misheard what I was saying. While I support Christians being politically involved and making our voices heard, I believe that far more time and money was spent trying to effect societal changes through politics and the ballot box than we spent proclaiming the Gospel, winning people to Christ, and then allowing the Holy Spirit to effect His changes in peoples' hearts, which has direct impact on worldview, morals, values, etc. Remember Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority in the 70s and early 80s? Millions of dollars raised and a few political victories, but in time it was swept away and the nation went further left. In the 80s and early 90s, the Christian Coalition largely took the Moral Majority's place. Millions of dollars were raised and a few political races were won, but in time it was swept away and the country moved farther to the left. Conservatives (theological and political) never gained any control of educational institutions, media networks, film studios, or any of the other things that help move the needle in the culture. 

Worst of all, generations of kids grew up absorbing the impact of a lefty educational system and a society that largely embraced postmodern thought. In the church, we were so consumed with drawing people in through marketing techniques, hot worship bands, stage shows, and a watered-down Gospel. Postmodern theology took its toll, and today we have resurgent antinomianism as a result. Look at the Republican field and see what we have. 20 some odd candidates running, and among them how many will end up being truly constitutionally conservative, and willing to FIGHT for it? How many got elected over the past 35 years with Christian conservative support and money, only to end up caving to the left about every time when it counted. If I'm tired of anything, I'm tired of that more than anything else. I'm tired of being fooled by so-called constitutional conservatives, and I'm tired of the church aping unbelievers to be cool and trendy. If the church gets back to being the church, and gets busy proclaiming an unwatered down Gospel, we just might be surprised at what happens in the culture. Let's do both - speak our minds and vote in elections. But the Gospel is our top priority. At the judgment seat of Christ, we're not going to be asked how much time we spent working for a political candidate or fighting for a temporal political or cultural symbol. We'll get asked what we did for the Kingdom. My time on earth is getting shorter and shorter. I don't want to waste any more time.