Drawing a Line in the Sand

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During the Siege of the Alamo in 1836 when the battle seemed hopeless, William Travis the garrison commander called the Texans together. He told them it didn’t look good and if anyone wanted to leave it would be no disgrace. He then drew a line in the sand and asked that those who wished to stay step over that line. Everyman did and everyman died.

In the minds of the Texas patriots it was better to die than bend a knee to Santa Anna, or desert Travis. The author of this article ( How LGBT Pride Month Became a Religious Holiday) challenges Bible believing Christians who are bending a knee to LGBQ political correctness.

We have to understand that there is a big difference between tolerating a lifestyle in a pluralistic society and submitting to the idolatry that propels and sanctions it-that which calls and demands that evil be said to be good.

Many of the so-called mainline Christians have already caved and so have many evangelicals who should know better. The Bible often requires a line in the sand. The only question is will Christians stand with the Bible.

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Their god is Molech

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In August, 2008 Barack Obama was running for President against John McCain. Obama was asked a pointed question by Pastor Rick Warren. This is how it went down.

Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question  with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

http://blogs.reuters.com/talesfromthetrail/2008/08/16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-above-his-pay-grade/

John McCain was asked the same question. His response:

He said a baby’s human rights began “at the moment of conception … I have a 25-year pro-life record.”

http://blogs.reuters.com/talesfromthetrail/2008/08/16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-above-his-pay-grade/

Obama, ever the clever pragmatic politician clearly evaded the question. From the article cited Warren did not challenge him and instead let Obama obliquely agree with R v Wade and the 1973 SCOTUS.

McCain, on the other hand stuck to principle and did not equivocate.

The exchange boiled down for all time how the Democrats and their media allies evade the central issue of life and instead talk about ” rights.” Today, some 11 years after the exchange the Democrats and their media allies (but I repeat myself) have moved well beyond Obama’s pragmatism. If they were to be asked the question Warren asked today the answer would have to be “when the mother and her doctor say the baby has human rights.”

The answer would reflect the reality of where certain states and Democrat governors are on the issue. The answer to the question is never about life; but always about perceived rights, granted by the Constitution or found in the Constitution by a liberal SCOTUS (R v Wade, 1973).

Whether they care to admit it or not by not dealing with the life question the left moves ever closer to outright infanticide (and I would argue they are there already.)

A person does not have “human rights” until a government agency or a mother and a doctor say they do. That’s their higher standard and their “moral high ground.” Their god is Molech and he must be pleased.

A Silly Putty Bible

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Silly Putty was (and probably still is) a fun toy. You could take Silly Putty and transform it into any kind of shape you wished. You were a sculptor who was only limited by your imagination and your own interpretation of what you just created.

This is how liberal\progressive\social justice Christians view the Scriptures. It follows that liberal progressives in general view the US Constitution in the same way. Both Scripture and the Constitution are fluid in their minds and like Silly Putty can be twisted to say whatever one wishes or what the prevailing culture demands.

In the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls Pete Buttigieg is unusual. He fits into the category of a self-identified Gay Christian who recently criticized the conservative Christian VP Mike Pence on his views regarding homosexuality. Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana and the two know each other.

A lot could be said about this but at the end of the day the manufactured dust up is not about a Scripture debate and what Scripture actually teaches. We are long past that. Instead, what we have is a hatred for the conservative interpretation of some clear and unambigious Scripture.

The hatred stems from the fact that the Bible labels homosexuality sinful. Pence agrees as do millions of Christians who do not treat the Word of God as Silly Putty.

The hatred is directed at the conservative who affirms there is such a thing as sin. A person who affirms that homosexuality is sin as a Scripture realty is therefore a bigot. That’s the end game of the political left and obviously why Buttigieg targeted Pence someone whom he got along with rather pleasantly until he decided to run for office.

The link provided above will take you to the New York Times article about the issue with VP Pence. The reporters mobbed Mr. Pence asking him if homosexuality was a choice. In an obvious set-up Pence refused to answer.

If he said no, then what’s the problem? If he said yes then he’s a bigot. I rather admire Pence for not falling for the obvious “gotcha.” As VP he needs to avoid the leftist traps set for conservative Christians.

The only way Pete Buttigieg gets to claim it’s ok to be a Gay Christian (and married to another guy) is by treating Scripture like Silly Putty and twisting it beyond all recognition. In this, he has been assisted by his very liberal Episcopal Church-a church, that as a whole abandoned the clear teachings of Scripture long ago. It must give Buttigieg and others like him a wonderful sense of security as a church remakes what God has clearly said into something else.

The article states that Buttigieg likes to quote Scripture but doesn’t give any examples, nor did I wish to take the time to find out how and where he has done so.

My immediate reaction to reading that Buttigieg likes to quote Scripture was to go to Matthew 4.

Matthew Chapter 4 begins with the temptation by Satan of Jesus in the wilderness. Satan quotes Scripture twice (Deut. 8:3; Psa. 91:11, 12). He then offers Jesus the world if only Jesus will fall down and worship Satan.

Jesus will have none of it of course and he rebukes Satan twice and then the third time tells him to basically get lost.

There is much to unpack in the passage but at the very least it illustrates that anyone, including the king of liars can quote Scripture for his own purposes.

This is the kind of world we’ve lived in ever since. Anyone at anytime can, if they choose to do so rip Scripture from it’s context and twist it like Silly Putty to mean whatever their heart desires.

The left is relentless. They do not have a live and let live point of view any longer. Anything less than a full fledged affirmation of the whole LGBTXYZ nonsense won’t do.

I would not underestimate Buttigieg’s influence on young evangelicals whose Bible knowledge is poor or non-existent and come from churches who are afraid of hot potato issues in the first place.

Jesus told Satan he needed to worship him rather than the other way around. He did so by quoting Deuteronomy 6:13. Apparently, Jesus thought Scripture was very clear and would not allow Satan to twist it like Silly Putty for his own purposes. Nor should we when Buttigieg and others like him seek office and our votes.

What You Can & Can’t Kill

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It’s been a few weeks since quite a bit of dust was necessarily stirred up over the latest abortion debate in the US. In these recent days, there have been some eyebrow-raising laws and provisions …

Source: What You Can & Can’t Kill

It Takes God

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You might have noticed that often times the photographs of politicians the media uses are less than flattering. It seems the media goes out of its way to portray those it hates, dislikes or disagrees with in the worst possible light.

Even media outlets I agree with use this tactic. That’s been the case with Governor Cuomo of New York. Some of the pictures floating about of him give him an almost demonic look. The look seems fitting giving his ghoulish and barbaric endorsement of the killing babies right up to the moment of delivery. Infanticide is by definition demonic.

We, who are prolife are often frustrated by what can we do about state legislatures that are moving toward full blown infanticide. We think that if we elect more conservatives the madness will stop or at least be slowed down. Certainly, those are possibilities but the overall cultural trend is toward an increased “death culture” , not less.

I read this in World Magazine in the new analysis article by Marvin Olasky

What’s the solution? Trillia Newel, director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, tweeted, “Many moons ago, before the Lord captured my heart by his grace, I interned at the New York State Assembly and I imagine I would have been among those cheering on the new abortion bill. But God, God changed my heart, transformed my mind. gave me a love for the unborn. It took God.”

World Magazine, Feb. 16th, 2019

It took God. I recall from Scripture the story of man who once held the coats for a mob who stoned to death a man by the name of Stephen. The man hated Stephen because Stephen was a Christ follower. Later that same man, a respected leader in his religious community, a Pharisee as a matter of fact led a small group to Damascus to persecute more of these hated Christians,

His journey was interrupted by the risen Christ. The risen Lord questioned the man Saul as to why was he persecuting him. Saul was converted to Jesus and as we know went on to write most of the New Testament. It took God.

Governor Cuomo is merely a puppet controlled by the demonic in the unseen realm. Paul, who clearly understood these things wrote:

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

It took God to change the hearts of my wife and I. We were once ambivalent about abortion but a miscarriage changed our hearts. It took God.

It took God to change the heart of a Pharisee, a self-confessed murderer who hated Christians. He would die a martyr’s death for the faith he once persecuted. It took God.

It took God to change the heart on a woman who once interned with the same legislature that now endorses infanticide. She now loves what she once hated. It took God.

It takes God to change the human heart. May He be pleased to do so in the hearts of people who have the power to stop the atrocities.

The Moral Theory of Utilitarianism and New York

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Preface: There is much to be said about Governor Cuomo and the legislature of New York for passing the horrific law that allows abortion right up to the very moment of live birth. I think something of particular interest is Governor Cuomo’s professed Catholicism. Cuomo is not alone as a Democrat politician who is a professing Catholic. Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and John Kerry are others who are as radically pro-abortion as Cuomo.

It’s fair to ask what does the professed faith of these Catholics have to do with with their with their stance on abortion? How do they rationalize what their professed faith deems immoral into something they believe to be moral?

When the news of Cuomo’s actions broke I pondered the answer to the above question and remembered something about a prevailing philosophy that I had come across years ago. Understanding something about this philosophy explains how a person\politician can deem something moral while their professed faith deems the same thing immoral. It’s rather insidious really. I turned to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy for an explanation.

Did you know there was an Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy?

No? Well neither did I until I ran a search for a philosophy known as Utilitarianism.

Like other philosophies Utilitarianism is nuanced but according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Utilitariaism is a moral theory related to Consequentialism.

How you may ask?

Utilitarianism is one of the best known and most influential moral theories. Like other forms of consequentialism, its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their effects. More specifically, the only effects of actions that are relevant are the good and bad results that they produce. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Furthermore..

Utilitarians believe that the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the amount of good things (such as pleasure and happiness) in the world and decreasing the amount of bad things (such as pain and unhappiness). They reject moral codes or systems that consist of commands or taboos that are based on customs, traditions, or orders given by leaders or supernatural beings. Instead, utilitarians think that what makes a morality be true or justifiable is its positive contribution to human (and perhaps non-human) beings. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

If you are still with me allow me to note two things regarding Utilitarianism.

  1. Note that utilitarians reject moral codes given by supernatural beings. This explains why Cuomo and his Democrat Catholic friends can so readily reject the moral authority of God. (This obviously applies to Protestants and Jews who also reject the moral authority of God.)
  2. Utilitarianism believe what makes morality true or justifiable is its positive contribution to human beings. This further explains why Cuomo and how Catholic Democrat allies can claim abortion is a positive contribution worthy of celebrating as a moral good.

What does Utilitarianism mean in practice and decision making?

Utilitarianism is a philosophical view or theory about how we should evaluate a wide range of things that involve choices that people face. Among the things that can be evaluated are actions, laws, policies, character traits, and moral codes. Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc. that determine whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results. In the language of utilitarians, we should choose the option that “maximizes utility,” i.e. that action or policy that produces the largest amount of good. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Observations: Utilitarianism is used to evaluate actions, laws, policies, character traits and moral codes. Utilitarians evaluate actions, laws, policies on the basis of overall results, that which would maximize utility, that action the produces the largest about of good. Therefore. a moral code that declares abortion as a moral wrong is not valid because in Cuomo’s mind the largest amount of good is produced by a women’s perceived right to choose, thus over turning any moral code by a supernatural being. In other words Cuomo’s professed faith has nothing to do with his politics unless it’s convenient for him which is why he is against the death penalty for murderers.

Utilitarianism appears to be a simple theory because it consists of only one evaluative principle: Do what produces the best consequences. In fact, however, the theory is complex because we cannot understand that single principle unless we know (at least) three things: a) what things are good and bad;  b) whose good (i.e. which individuals or groups) we should aim to maximize; and c) whether actions, policies, etc. are made right or wrong by their actual consequences (the results that our actions actually produce) or by their foreseeable consequences (the results that we predict will occur based on the evidence that we have). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Here the encyclopedia notes that Utilitarianism is complex because we need to know 1) what things are good and bad, (2) whose good, (individuals or groups) we should seek to maximize; and (3) whether actions, policies etc. are made right or wrong by their actual consequences or foreseeable consequences.

Once God, as found in Scripture is rejected as the moral authority something else has to emerge as the supreme moral authority. That authority is always the State, either the nation state or in this case the State of New York governed by Cuomo. The state then decides whose good should be maximized and if that means sacrificing children in the womb then so be it. The state declares it is the supreme moral authority and that abortion on demand is the resulting consequence that will maximize good for the group of women who exercise the right. The unborn do have that right and as we’ll see the unborn regardless of how long in the womb are not even persons to begin with.

Although R v W in 1973 made the same a right few states took it as far as New York and now, apparently Vermont. The moves by New York and Vermont are a reaction to a more conservative SOTUS and the states limiting abortion to under 20 weeks and the ones seeking to ban it all together. The battle revolves around who has the moral authority to declare right from wrong and both sides seek to fight it our via legislation although the conservative side recognizes the moral authority of God.

I’ll try to explain this a bit more.

Pregnant women are the group the legislation focuses on. The utilitarian believes it will promote their well being and personal happiness if they are allowed to abort their children up to the moment of delivery. There is no higher moral good than one’s well being and personal happiness utilitarianism. The consequences of an abortion will the person(s) of a problem and the legislature of New York absolves the woman of all responsibility since her action is moral in their eyes. This is precisely why you see women proudly proclaiming their abortions without apology and in some cases bragging about their abortions. This is also why some conservatives equate abortion with a sacrament and a legislature as the forgiver. Utilitarianism is a philosophy but also a practiced religion without God.

Since Utilitarianism rejects moral codes given by a supreme being the state becomes the moral authority and this is why Cuomo (a Roman Catholic) must believe it’s fine to flaunt his own church’s teaching on abortion.

I first came across the Philosophy of Utilitarianism as a formal philosophy many years ago after my wife and I had become Christians and were learning what a Christian worldview is and is not.

In my reading I discovered that Planned Parenthood’s patron saint is Margaret Sanger, a known eugenist, racist and one could argue an early utilitarian.

Sanger is not the only one and in my reading I came across an Australian utilitarian academic by the name of Peter Singer. Singer is among the most prominent utilitarians and has written many books. It would be a mistake to underestimate his influence and those like him in our culture.

Utilitarianism is popular whether a person can articulate it or not because at it’s core it caters to our natural tendencies to self-centeredness and doing “what’s best for me” and “what makes me happy.”

This is why I remember Singer in particular and have connected him to the recent actions of Governor Cuomo and the New York legislature:

In Practical Ethics, Singer argues in favour of abortion rights on the grounds that fetuses are neither rational nor self-aware, and can therefore hold no preferences. As a result, he argues that the preference of a mother to have an abortion automatically takes precedence. In sum, Singer argues that a fetus lacks personhood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer

Similar to his argument for abortion rights, Singer argues that newborns lack the essential characteristics of personhood—”rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness”[52]—and therefore “killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living”.[5

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer

Note that Singer declared that a fetus lacks personhood; therefore killing the fetus is morally sound because a fetus is not a person. If that sounds familiar it should because it defines the pro-abortion position.

Note how Singer equates the aborting of a fetus with the killing of a new born something very close to what New York has done. Singer argues that a newborn lacks the essential characteristics of personhood (the argument for abortion on demand of a fetus) and therefore it’s not equivalent to killing a person who wants to live. In other words it’s not a big deal. In fact, as I recall in reading about Singer back in the 90s he stated in an interview that he’d apply this philosophy to include toddlers (children starting to walk and talk, ages 18mo-3yrs) since they also lack the essential characteristics of personhood according to Singer.

Christians, it’s important that we are not blind-sided by the rhetoric of women’s rights and that we come to understand there is a moral theory at work. This moral theory dominates the political left (I am not saying no one on the right is a utilitarian). What I am saying the so called progressive political left is galvanized by utilitarianism where the state is the highest authority. When you take God out the picture you no longer have moral absolutes and the consequences are people like Singer and Cuomo deciding who has the essential characteristics of personhood and who has not

I am slow to play the Nazi card but in this instance it is appropriate. The Nazi state declared that disabled people lacked utility value and the proceeded to kill them off. The Nazi state further declared that Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and may others to be “subhuman” and thus lacking in personhood. The result was millions killed in the concentration camps. When the state is the highest authority all that is not only possible, but probable.

12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 6:12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

 When Christians argue that abortion is satanic child sacrifice they are correct and dupes like Cuomo (representing the state) and Singer (representing the underlying moral theory) are the human agents of the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers who preside over this darkness.

Nerf Toys Evil?

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We recently came back from our annual New Years trip to a water park in the Wisconsin Dells. Our family usually celebrates Christmas there.

Our oldest grandson (age 8) received from us one of those slick NERF rifles that look a lot like a sci-fi advanced weapon system. He was and is thrilled with the gift. He spent some time knocking down aluminum cans and became quite good at it. He was also schooled in “gun safety” meaning no ambushing your little brother or sister. (For those of you ignorant of NERF ammo understand it is harmless.)

I’ve been aware for some time the left’s agenda to ban “war toys.” The ban would include everything from toy soldiers and plastic tanks to toy guns whether they be squirt guns or NERF type guns. It was no surprise to read of yet another effort on Townhall to do away with toy guns because they are suposedly dangerous.

According to the Townhall article the agenda suggests that if a child is deprived of a toy gun they will be less likely to be interested in obtaining a real one once they are older. Therefore, they will be less likely to use a gun in acts of violence. As we have seen time and time again every time there is mass shooting the gun is blamed along with the NRA because the NRA stands for the Second Amendment and the right of the citizen to bear arms.

The article compares the argument against toy guns to the argument for open borders. The left insists that open borders are not dangerous; but toy guns are. Logic and common sense have never stood in the way of a left-wing agenda.

This is the picture used to accompany the article. The girls are obviously having fun using NERF type toy guns (or squirt guns). Will banning them help the real problem?

What is a Bible believing Christian to make of this? Should Bible believing Christians buy the argument that toy guns are dangerous in the way the left argues? What is the real crux of the issue biblically speaking?

Here’s my take…

First, let us observe that when there is a mass shooting the news media is all over it. I don’t have a problem with that but it can (and usually does) obscure logical (common sense) and theological thinking because of the huge emotional trauma associated with a mass shooting. A left leaning media is quick to exploit the emotional trauma for their own ends. It just “feels right” to blame the gun and the emotional trauma gives the idea weight but little substance.

It should also be noted that rarely if ever, is a shooter characterized as someone doing a very evil act. It’s acknowledged vaguelly of course but usually explained away as mental illness and the person “was sick” in some way as if they had a disease rather than simply being hateful. (Hmmm, isn’t every unrighteous shooting a hate crime?)

The Bible believing Christian should mourn the fact that guns can be used to perpetrate evil. That has been abundantly clear throughout history. Any weapon can be used for evil as well as for good. Police are armed for good as is the military and as long as weapons are used for good (confronting evil) there should not be be a problem.

The main problem, according to Scripture (and I’d argue by simple observation) is human nature.

Wayne Grudem in his excellent volume on politics puts it like this:

A Christian worldview must include that there is a measure of moral evil (what the Bible calls sin) in the heart of every human being who lives on the face of the earth. In addition, the Bible shows that this moral evil in human beings must be defined in comparison to an external standard of right and wrong, a standard that comes not from within the human race but from God himself. This one idea, that human beings are viewed as sinful before the absolute moral standards of the one true God, has immense implications for numerous policy differences between Republicans and Democrats…

Grudem, Wayne. Politics According to the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2010, (pg. 119)

How does Grudem’s biblical definition of moral evil challenge the assumption that banning war toys will result in less violence? Does fewer guns correlate with less violence given the fact that biblically speaking the real problem is the human heart and the measure of human evil that resides in it?

A Bible believing Christian that truly understands the root of the problem would also understand that banning war toys is a superficial solution that does nothing to solve the “evil within.”

While there is much more than could be said I’ll settle for this: Our culture and often times our evangelical church culture looks to blame evil on something outside of ourselves. In this case, it’s guns and\or war toys. The “something” becomes the bad guy, the demon, the evil, or the mental illness rather than our own propensity to do bad things and often horrible things. Frankly, it’s only because of the grace of God that most of us are not as bad as we could be!

The culture as a whole has turned away from God and his absolute standards so we should not be surprised to see the chaos around us. What should surprise us is evangelicals who seem to think that man is basically good and that superficial “solutions” to large problems are the answer.

As for my grandson (and his parents) I’m proud of them. I’m proud that he is being raised as a boy who will all to soon become a man and have man\husband responsibilities. Those responsibilities will be defined by the Bible and Lord willing his little heart will be changed by the gospel so that he strives to fulfill those responsibilities in a way that honors Christ and takes care of his family.

Ultimately, Jesus is the solution to the problems that ails us all. As conservative Protestants we must learn to think biblically about issues. If we don’t we will fall into the trap as the culture in general and either ignore God completely or reduce Him to some abstraction that has little to nothing to say about what really is our biggest problem (Rom 1:18-32).

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