Monday, April 14, 2014

Resurrection Thoughts

Here are a few quotations about the resurrection of Jesus that you might find useful. We handed these out yesterday in church and suggested that people consider using them for reflection and prayers, for use in Easter cards, and to pass around in their social media contacts.

We suggest the same to you.

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Clarence W. Hall wrote, “The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence.  Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”

“According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (1 Peter 1:3)

Timothy Keller in his book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, wrote this — “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that He said; if He didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what He said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like His teaching but whether or not He rose from the dead.”

“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”  (Romans 8:11)

Charles Colson wrote, “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one of them was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world -- and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  (Romans 10:9)

Philip Yancey wrote, “In many respects I find an unresurrected Jesus easier to accept. Easter makes Him dangerous. Because of Easter I have to listen to His extravagant claims and can no longer pick and choose from His sayings. Moreover, Easter means He must be loose out there somewhere.”

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

“According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.”  (Harvard Law Professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf.)

John MacArthur wrote, “The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.”

“Christ the Lord is risen today, Sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing ye heavens, and earth reply. “ (Charles Wesley from the hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”)

The Book Den Is Open: April Offerings

Among the April postings over at The Book Den that you might find of interest:

* 42nd Street: A Review

* Vital Signs' Latest Reading (And Listening) Projects 

Tolkien Talks to His Son About Sex, Marriage, and Fidelity

* Reflecting On "An Inspector Calls"

* "If God Is Good" (And He Most Definitely Is!)

* On Alec Guinness, Genius, and Introversion

* Endangered By Huge Ships? There's Help Available. (Humor)

* Tearing Down Christianity...From Within

* The Best Biblical Movie Ever?

Reading for Thoughtful, Counter-Culture Christians

In case you missed these articles, I urge you to check 'em out this time around.

* In an interesting and valuable article, Chelsen Vicari comments on the World Vision’s switcharoo on homosexual marriage, Rachel Held Evans leaving evangelicalism (was she ever there in the first place?), and the dangers of trying to have Christianity without the Bible.

* Mark Tooley’s report to his board of directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy deals with a whole host of issues relevant to religion, the culture wars, and the responsibilities of the Christian to faithfully occupy until Jesus comes. (By the way, I’m printing off a copy of this article for discussion starter with our Thursday morning group.)

* “Global war on Christianity is violent and real” (John L. Allen Jr., Boston Globe.)

* “How Can You Trust Christianity Is True When There Are So Many Unanswered Questions?” (J. Warner Wallace, BreakPoint)

* “Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think it Is)” (Albert Mohler)

Doggone It, They're Not Dying Fast Enough: Belgium Doctors Want More Euthanasia

Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Although voluntary euthanasia is legal is Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal. But the Society wants to be able to euthanase patients who do not appear to have long to live.

The Society spells out its policy very carefully. It is not about grey areas like withdrawing burdensome or futile treatment or balancing pain relief against shortening a patient’s life. It clearly states that “shortening the dying process by administering sedatives beyond what is needed for patient comfort can be not only acceptable but in many cases desirable”.

“Shortening the dying process” is a euphemism for administering a lethal injection...

Here's more from Michael Cook at Mercator.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Burning Preborn Babies for Heat Is Okay with Parliament

About that outrageous discovery from last week that British hospitals were burning fetal remains for energy use. Were you expecting a storm of protest? A big splash in the press? Quick and decisive action by Parliament?

Then you're doomed to disappointment.

For not only did the American press ignore the story altogether, even in Britain where it did make the headlines, the scandal has failed to draw even a shrug from lawmakers.

Indeed, a motion condemning the incineration of fetal remains by NHS hospitals, a motion that has no real force of law but it is only intended as a moral exhortation, has been signed by just 14 members of Parliament.

14. Out of 650.

Words fail me.

Releasing the Dogs on All Nonconformists

Imagine going to work one day only to be, in effect, fired -- not because of anything you did or didn’t do at your job, but because of something you did in your personal life.  Something religious.  Or maybe, something political…

That’s exactly what happened to Brendan Eich, a highly-respected tech guru in Silicon Valley and co-founder of Mozilla Corporation, after he was appointed CEO in late March.  In less than a week, he was forced out of this position for no reason other than that he had a made a $1000 contribution to the Prop 8 initiative in 2008.  His own money.  On his own time.  In his private capacity.  Mozilla had nothing to do with it…


Welcome to the brave new world of thought police, coercion, injustice, and the rigorous persecution of persons of conscience.

Ah, America. The land of the free and the home of the brave. The city shining on the hill.

It was nice knowing you.

Here's more of Sally Zelikovsky’s excellent article for American Thinker, "Brendan Eich and the New American Totalitarian State."

Will You Sound the Alarm?

In this 30-minute presentation before an audience at Liberty University, best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg talks with wisdom and passion about Daniel, the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the holocaust of abortion, the desperate necessity of Christian faithfulness, his newest book (The Auschwitz Escape), and more.

It's a really good lecture and I'm grateful to Student Venture Director Gary Warrick for alerting me to it.

Try to find some time this weekend to give it a listen. You’ll find it informative and bracing…in the best sense.


Vote Fraud: The Biggest Problem That Doesn't Exist

The Democrats (and the American media) continue to insist that there is no serious problem with vote fraud.

So, what are they saying about this?

“North Carolina’s Board of Elections found that tens of thousands of registered voters from the state have personal information matching that of registered voters in other states, and appear to have voted in states other than North Carolina in 2012. In some cases, votes were cast under names of individuals who had passed away before Election Day.”

The Democrats (and the American media) continue to insist that there is no serious problem with vote fraud.

Sigh.

Here’s more of the story from Andrew Johnson at National Review.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Greatest Champion of Women

I believe that Jesus Christ has done more to elevate the state of women that any other human being who ever lived. 

The modern feminists have their icons, people from the history of the women’s movement that they claim have raised the status of their gender.  Yet nowhere in the pantheon of women’s champions and martyrs do they list Jesus Christ – but they should! 

In all of history, no one has done more that Jesus to champion the cause of women.

(D. James Kennedy, Risen Indeed, 2005)

Mountain Lions, Yes. Human Babies, No.

Ernie Chambers, the most aggressively pro-abortion senator in Nebraska’s history, had this to say on the Unicameral floor about mountain lions, “Those animals can't speak for themselves....We are to be their voices and protectors.”

No commentary needed.

ObamaCare's 7 Million: America's Wildest April Fool's Joke Ever

I've got a few article links below which will greatly help shine the light on those April Fool's shenanigans enacted in the Rose Garden yesterday by our petulant President, his buffoonish sidekick, and a fawning media entourage.

But first, let's read a bit of Bryan Preston's take from over at PJ Media.

...A simple bit of math shows that even if there are 7 million legitimate sign-ups, there are between 5 and 6 million who lost their healthcare because of Obamacare. What’s the net number? How many of these have even paid their premiums? And how many of them are now facing steeper deductibles?

Premiums are not going down. Access has not been expanded. Provider networks are shrinking, reducing choice. These are all consequences of Obamacare. The president mentioned none of it.

The Obama administration is also neglecting to admit that their law is killing jobs. It is strangling hiring. It is killing the work ethic that built this country. The CBO estimates that we will lose the equivalent of more than 2 million jobs’ worth of work hours. Small businesses say that Obamacare is keeping them from expanding their businesses, and keeping them from hiring and growing their workforces. They also say that Obamacare is forcing them to cut hours, which translates into lost wages, for millions of workers. Obama mentioned none of that.

But most importantly, the Obama administration is not admitting that it used naked, brute force to coerce Americans into signing up for Obamacare. Failing to sign up can get the IRS, with its auditors and armed agents, unleashed on you. When faced with that prospect, sure, it’s not all that hard to persuade people to do what you want. It’s a lesson that feudal chiefs, tyrants, pirates and bandits learned a long time ago.

The 7 million that President Obama touted today is a false number, he knows that it is a false number, and he knows that it is based on the threat of force...


See also:

* “The ACA: Still Falling Short: A realistic assessment of Obamacare shows it is not delivering what was promised.” (James C. Capretta, NRO)

* “Obama's Rose Garden phony numbers 'tell.’” (Thomas Lifson, American Thinker)

* “Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare  but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!” (David Martosko, Daily Mail)

Urgent Action Needed on Nebraska "Sexual Orientation" Bill

LB485 is being pushed through very quickly and is on today's agenda agenda in the Nebraska Capitol. Here is a quick summary of what you can do. And believe me, now is the time to act. Don't put it off.

Would you take a few minutes to do 3 things?

1.  Forward this email to your family, friends, colleagues, Bible Study groups, business owners, pastors, and your church community.  Senators need to hear from hundreds of concerned Nebraskans within the next 48 hours.

2.  Contact Speaker Adams:  402.471.2756  and/or gadams@leg.ne.gov
Politely leave Speaker Adams a message and ask him to not support LB485.

3. Contact Senators: visit www.nebraskafamilyalliance.org for contact information or give them a call @ 402.770.7713.  They would be glad to let you know who your senator is and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Politely tell your Senator to oppose LB485. Choose two or three of the talking points below:

* In America, people should be free to live and work according to their beliefs. It’s one of the principles on which this country is founded.

* The government should not require Nebraskans to abandon their faith just to earn a living.

* LB485 would change our state non-discrimination statutes to extend special protections to sexual orientation and gender identity and provides a very weak religious exemption.

* LB485 demands that Nebraskans comply and risk losing their job to honor their deeply held religious beliefs.

* LB485 would allow unelected bureaucrats to decide what faith is, who the faithful are, and where and how faith may be lived out.

* We all agree arbitrary discrimination is wrong. All people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The real question in LB485 is whether we should enact a law that, while attempting to protect homosexuals against discrimination, fosters widespread discrimination against people of faith and subjects business owners to needless litigation.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

On Being A Passenger

Alas, I have a bum knee.

It could be something moving around inside that’s torn loose; it could be arthritis or some other degeneration; it could be badly wrenched and only needs time and muscle relaxants to allow me pain-free movement and stability again. We don’t know. But the way insurance companies are nowadays, they require attempts at medication before paying for treatment. (And even something as simple and diagnostic as an x-ray is considered treatment. Yipes.) So, it may be another month before I get to find out what’s exactly wrong.

But we will deal with it. I’m getting used to moving slower and more gingerly. I’m learning to deal with pain by prayer and ice packs. And I’m even learning how to enjoy being a passenger in my trusty ’95 Oldsmobile. No kidding. I’ve always wondered why Claire knew more than I did about what’s going on in our city — where the stores are, when certain buildings have gone up or torn down, and so on. Now I know. Being a passenger allows you to look around and notice things. You can also think about something other than the traffic.  In fact, I realize now that there are a lot of advantages of being a passenger.

Nevertheless, I am praying I don’t have to be one for too much longer!

Claire, of course, has been very sweet about the whole thing. Very patient and helpful. She drove me to the doctor’s office yesterday morning. She drove me to a speaking engagement I had scheduled at Grace University yesterday afternoon. And then, to make sure I safely made my 6:00 Panera’s meeting with Dick Wilson, she got up early and drove me there too! (The three of us had a delightful time together)

We are fortunate too that this next week is one of those with no “When Swing Was King” presentations on the schedule. For even though Claire could take on the taxi duties, hauling all the stuff we need into the various facilities really would be a task. So, both of us ask that you lift up a prayer that this knee will come back soon enough for us to carry on with our regular duties. Thanks so much.

Ronald Reagan's Simple Testimony

I was sitting in a room, and across from me, about ten feet away, was seated the then governor of California and soon-to-be president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.  I had the opportunity to ask him some questions.  I said, “Governor, I would like to ask you a very important spiritual question.  If something were to happen to you and you were to die and stand before almighty God, and He said to you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?’ what would you say?”

His response was surprising.  He doubled over, put his head down between his knees and stayed there some time.  Then, after about thirty seconds, he slowly straightened in his chair, looked me in the eye, and in a very sober tone said, “I don’t deserve to go to heaven.  The only thing I could say would be, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him  should not perish, but have everlasting life.’”


(From  D. James Kennedy's Risen Indeed: Evidence for the Resurrection, Coral Ridge Ministries, 2005)

The Persecution of Christians Is Increasing

* “UN: Unprecedented Christian Persecution in Iran” (Ryan Mauro, Reuters via Juicy Ecumenism)

* “Lao Christian families who refused to convert to Buddhism flee village” (Asia News)

* “Watchdog Asks Why Obama Failed to Talk Religious Freedom With Saudi King” (Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post)

* “Nigeria Christians Mourn Deaths in Massive Killings” (Faith McDonnell, Juicy Ecumenism)

* “Asia Bibi Appeal Delayed Again” (Voice of the Martyrs)

* “Myanmar’s Religious Minorities Facing Test of Faith” (Dennis Crowley, Juicy Ecumenism)

* “China: Human Rights Lawyers detained under cult charges” (Christian Solidarity

* “Religious and Political Leaders Warn of ‘Dying Middle East Religious Diversity’” (Dennis Crowley, Juicy Ecumenism)

Are you getting the idea? Those who love Christ are under fire more than at any time in history. We must be in more fervent, more frequent prayer for our brothers and sisters in the Faith. We must also intercede in their behalf as we have the chance -- as in writing letters and petitions and telling the story of their plight. And we must be stirred by their example to live righteously, courageously and vibrantly for our Lord.

Important Reading For Culture Warriors (And Anyone Who Wants To Be In The Know)

* “Bob Kerrey Calls Obama a Delusional Liar; Media Mum” (P.J. Gladnick, Newsbusters)

* “Startling Rift on Supreme Court Springs From Error by Kagan On Text of Obamacare Law” (Betsy McCaughey, New York Sun)

* “Report: Obama administration released 68,000 convicted criminal aliens last year” (Caroline May, Daily Caller)

* “Cleveland Clinic CEO: Three-Quarters Of Americans Who Signed Up For Obamacare Now Have Higher Premiums” (CBS TV, Cleveland)

* “6 Big Unanswered Questions About Obamacare” (Peter Suderman, Reason.com)

* “Chick-fil-A stole KFC's chicken crown with a fraction of the stores” (Venessa Wong, Business Week via Yahoo Finance)

* “Obamacare Real Enrollment: Just 1.7% of Uninsured Covered” (Wynton Hall, Breitbart)

* “Obama Told Military Leaders: Accept Gays In Military Or Step Down, Admiral Says” (Ellie Hall, BuzzFeed)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Interacting with Vital Signs Ministries


World Vision Hits Reverse. But Is Their Apology Enough?

Igniting a furor among Evangelicals after Monday’s announcement accepting same sex unions by employees, the $1 billion relief group World Vision on Wednesday completely reversed itself and apologized for its “mistake.”

After a board meeting, World Vision’s president and board chair affirmed it will “revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”

They added: “We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness” for neglecting World Vision’s “commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage” and belief in the Bible as the “inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.”…

World Vision’s Monday policy was a muddle from the start and seemed like possibly the clueless construction of a secular public relations firm. It affirmed same sex marriage, inclusively in deference to liberal Protestant churches, while still implausibly insisting singles remain celibate until married, which liberal Protestants mostly don’t. It insisted employees must still uphold the Apostles Creed without admitting liberal Protestants typically reject it, ignore it, or reinterpret it into meaningless metaphor.

Sexual liberalism in religion always walks hand-in-hand with theological liberalism, which made continuance of World Vision’s Evangelical identity impossible under Monday’s policy, and which is why Evangelical critics were so viscerally aggrieved.

There are reports that after Monday several thousand World Vision donors, out of a reported more than 400,000, threatened ending their support. There’s also an indication that work with overseas missions partners, working in traditional cultures, was imperiled. The later was probably more persuasive than the former, although both should have been anticipated before Monday. Ironically, Wednesday’s policy may cost World Vision far more dollars than Monday’s.

Angry LGBTQ groups and their allies, who previously were unfocused on World Vision’s internal policy, furiously now may target it for boycott, demanding that government and corporations halt funding. Liberal supporters of Monday’s policy angrily denounced Evangelicals withdrawing support, with one declaring: “It’s astounding to me that Christians would take food from starving children because a gay person might have helped in getting it there.” Will that same professed concern for starving children inhibit liberal demands for corporations and government to defund World Vision?…


From Mark Tooley’s “World Vision Withdraws From the Brink” at The American Spectator.

Tooley's essay is a good one. That's par for the course. Mark Tooley's writing, research and advocacy work at the Institute on Religion and Democracy is first rate and I feature him frequently on Vital Signs Blog.

However, in this case, I think my skepticism about World Vision's reversal is deeper than Tooley's. For instance, he suggests that the original decision to allow on staff homosexuals who were in "marriage" unions "seemed like possibly the clueless construction of a secular public relations firm."

No.

These guys were well aware of what they were doing and were arrogant enough to think they could get away with it. Remember, World Vision's boss, Richard Stearns, boasted of how enlightened they were and how they were presenting a new model of "unity through diversity" that would heal the blindness and error of other Christian groups.

Remember too that Richard Stearns insisted that the World Vision governing board was "overwhelmingly in favor" of the move to legitimize homosexual unions.

No. I'm sorry; I'm not buying the apology or the professed change of heart. To do that I would have to see apologies and a change of heart about the other nefarious actions that World Vision has taken in recent years: the connections to abortion organizations and abortion-promoting "family planning" groups, the antagonistic attitudes towards Israel, the embrace of socialism and wealth distribution, the high salary of the World Vision CEO, and so on.

Until these things change too, I cannot support World Vision.

U.K. Abortion Boss Is Cool Even with Sex Selection Abortion

Ann Furedi is the boss of BPAS, Great Britain’s largest abortion “charity.” Yes, that’s the absurd title they give this abortion business that is responsible for about a fourth of all the abortions committed in the country. This, of course, is the same thing the government and media do in the United States; that is, telling Americans repeatedly that Planned Parenthood, a mega-abortion corporation that makes untold millions of dollars from killing preborn children, is also just...a “charity.”

Anyhow, Ms Furedi is again going out of her way to defend, even publicize, the abominable fact that British law does not prevent women from choosing an abortion even if it’s because the mum doesn’t want a baby girl.

Writes Furedi, "The woman gives her reasons, the doctor decides on the grounds as set out in the law. There is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met. The law is silent on the matter of gender selection, just as it is silent on rape."

This is how abortionists think. More abortion is a positive good to them. Therefore, any restrictions at all -- the viability of the child in utero, the age of the mother, the involvement or even the knowledge of parents, the mother's understanding of the effects of abortion on her health and future, and even killing the baby simply because it's the "wrong" sex -- well, abortion zealots will fight tooth and claw against even these limited measures.

God help us.

If a Democrat Politician Is Arrested, Does It Make Any Noise in the Newsroom?

Rhode Island House of Representatives, Gordon Fox…mayor of Charlotte, Patrick Cannon…California state Senators Rod Wright, Ron Calderon, Leland Yee.

All Democrat politicians who were arrested this week.

Have you heard about any of them? Even though the crimes included bribery, perjury, and gun-running!

Howie Carr writes, “What a crime wave, in less than one week. So guess what most of the networks led with on their newscasts last night? The 5-month-old story of Gov. Chris Christie’s Bridgegate. Because it has one thing going for it that none of these other stories had, the only thing that matters to the corrupt American media. Christie is a Republican.”

Washington's "War on Doctors"

Dear Congressman Brooks,

As a practicing family physician, I plead for help against what I can best characterize as Washington’s war against doctors.

The medical profession has never before remotely approached today’s stress, work hours, wasted costs, decreased efficiency, and declining ability to focus on patient care.

Doctors are smothered by destructive regulations that add costs, raise our overhead and ‘gum up the works,’ making patient treatment slower and less efficient, thus forcing doctors to focus on things other than patient care and reduce the number of patients we can help each day.

I spend more time at work than at any time in my 27 years of practice and more of that time is spent on administrative tasks and entering useless data into a computer rather than helping sick patients…

America has enjoyed the best health care the world has ever known. That health care is in jeopardy because physicians cannot survive Washington’s ‘war on doctors’ without relief.

Eventually the problems for doctors will become problems for patients, and we are all patients at some point…


In an address to the House on Wednesday, Alabama Representative Mo Brooks read aloud a letter sent to him by Dr. Marlin Gill of Decatur. The letter holds nothing back while detailing the excessive costs and regulations that Dr. Gill calls Obamacare’s “war against doctors.”

Read the rest of Dr. Gill’s letter here at the IJR Review.

"Shark Tank" Panelist Does the Math: Democrat Policies Destroy Jobs

In this clip (posted by the Heritage Foundation), successful investor Kevin O’Leary battles a liberal (and rude) CNN journalist over the huge damage that Democrat economic policies have on the nation.

He’s good.

Writes Israel Ortega, “O’Leary is spot on, confirming Heritage research finding that ‘during President Obama’s first four years in office, the annual regulatory burdens on Americans increased by nearly $70 billion.’”


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Stoned Silence: The Cause Michelle Obama Didn't Voice in China

First Lady Michelle Obama is now concluding a week-long tour of China with her mother and two daughters, a “real treat” for three generations of Obama women, according to Mrs. Obama’s Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen. While Mrs. Obama and her family were treating themselves to the best China has to offer, hundreds of millions of women are suffering at the hands of a brutal, totalitarian regime.

Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated: “I am extremely disappointed that Mrs. Obama has deliberately ignored egregious women's rights abuses while in China. Mrs. Obama has positioned herself as an international women's leader. She could have done so much good if she had been willing to use her position to advance women's rights in a nation that tramples them. Previous first ladies have used their positions of influence to speak out for human rights in this totalitarian regime.”…

Littlejohn continued: “As the mother of two children, Mrs. Obama could have spoken out against forced abortion under the One Child Policy. As the mother of two daughters, she could have taken aim also against gendercide – the sex-selective abortion of baby girls. She could have comforted the grieving family of Ms. Cao Shunli, a respected human rights activist who died weeks ago after having been denied medical treatment. As the wife of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, she could have visited Liu Xia, wife of jailed 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.”

Littlejohn concluded: “It is disheartening to see Mrs. Obama leave China without conveying any message on behalf of women’s rights. Instead, Mrs. Obama has chosen to ignore the intense suffering of hundreds of millions of women who have been victims of forced abortion, involuntary sterilization, gendercide and sexual slavery; and she has chosen to ignore the plight of Liu Xia and the family of Cao Shunli. These choices seriously undermine any claim that she is a champion of women's rights.”


(The above paragraphs were taken from Reggie Littlejohn’s essay in today’s Women’s Rights Without Frontiers e-mail update. You can sign up for these updates by going to the organization’s website right here.)

World Vision Caves In Again. This Time with Same-Sex "Marriage."

The American branch of World Vision, a Christian relief mission, has announced it is now going to accept staff members who are in same-sex unions. World Vision will retain, however, a policy of abstinence from sexual activity for staff who are not married.

Sexual virtue among the single? Why hang on to this particular biblical standard when turning so dramatically and blasphemously aside from others?

The change was explained to Christianity Today by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision's American branch (whose annual salary, by the way, is over $400,000). Stearns insisted that it is only the American branch making this move...a move in which its governing board was "overwhelmingly in favor."

However, the international organization (one of America's largest charities with over a billion dollars a year take) isn’t protesting the move at all and thus seems not only willing to embrace the new policy, but probably will shift its own in that direction soon. After all, the international part of the organization has long ago made its own “marriages” with worldliness, most disgustingly by partnering with abortionists.

I have, by the way, reported on these cave-ins by World Vision before. And that after correspondence with the organization itself. So, this isn't mere rumor. World Vision is deliberately moving away from orthodox Christian values.

That's bad enough in my book and I will never give another dollar to an organization so willfully indifferent to the clear teaching of Scripture.

And yet there are still other bothersome things about World Vision. Statements and policies that are "decidedly supportive of the Palestinian cause and condemnatory of Israel." A belief that justice is served through socialism and a coercive redistribution of wealth.  A rating by Charity Navigator that is not the highest. Attitudes of arrogant denial and of wanting to foist it's style of political-correctness on other evangelicals.

Says Stearns, "I want to reassure you that we are not sliding down some slippery slope of compromise, nor are we diminishing the authority of Scripture in our work. We have always affirmed traditional marriage as a God-ordained institution. Nothing in our work around the world with children and families will change. We are the same World Vision you have always believed in."

You've got to be kidding. His words do not come close to matching his actions. Furthermore, "Stearns asserts that the 'very narrow policy change' should be viewed by others as 'symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity.' He even hopes it will inspire unity elsewhere among Christians."

He also explains that the decision to allow same-sex partners as staff in World Vision "makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues." And, "It's been heartbreaking to watch this issue rip through the church. It's tearing churches apart, tearing denominations apart, tearing Christian colleges apart, and even tearing families apart. Our board felt we cannot jump into the fight on one side or another on this issue. We've got to focus on our mission. We are determined to find unity in our diversity."

"This is also not about compromising the authority of Scripture. People can say, 'Scripture is very clear on this issue,' and my answer is, 'Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.' The church is divided on this issue. And we are not the local church. We are an operational organization uniting Christians around a common mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ."

Stearns and World Vision have made a devastating compromise with the postmodern world and, even worse, they are wrapping it in a false and preposterous piety in order to make it palatable to other Christians. This is shameful, cowardly and menacing.

In response to World Vision’s policy change, Russell D. Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, writes, “At stake is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If sexual activity outside of a biblical definition of marriage is morally neutral, then, yes, we should avoid making an issue of it. If, though, what the Bible clearly teaches and what the church has held for 2000 years is true, then refusing to call for repentance is unspeakably cruel and, in fact, devilish…

"There’s an entire corps of people out there who make their living off of evangelicals but who are wanting to 'evolve' on the sexuality issue without alienating their base. I don’t mind people switching sides and standing up for things that they believe in. But just be honest about what you want to do. Don’t say 'Hath God said?' and then tell us you’re doing it to advance the gospel and the unity of the church.

"Donor bases come and go. But the gospel of Jesus Christ stands forever.

‘World Vision’ is a good thing to have, unless the world is all you can see.”

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, also shared his disappointment and opposition to World Vision's move. 

"I was shocked today to hear of World Vision's decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages. The Bible is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. My dear friend, Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse, would be heartbroken. He was an evangelist who believed in the inspired Word of God. World Vision maintains that their decision is based on unifying the church – which I find offensive – as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the church. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Scriptures consistently teach that marriage is between a man and woman and any other marriage relationship is sin."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In Case You Missed It

Here's a few important reports from the culture wars that you might have missed.  Read.  Pray.  Pass along.

* “Volunteers must leave Maine campus ministry” (Sarah Padbury, World)
The leaders of a campus ministry at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, must step down as of May 1 because they refused to sign a non-discrimination statement. The school’s new volunteer policy requires organizations to allow LGBTIQA—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning or asexual—students to be leaders in the group...

“NYT reporter: Obama administration ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom’ in a generation” (Brendan Bordelon, Daily Caller)

* “Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs” (John Bingham, Telegraph)

* “Downton Abbey and abortion rights: The popular TV series provides a lesson in how people deal with a ‘crisis pregnancy’” (Michael Stokes Paulsen, Mercator)

* “Obama and the Churches of Saudi Arabia” (Nina Shea, Wall Street Journal)

“Pro-Life Activist: Abortion Industry Hurts, Not Empowers, Women” (Alissa Tabirian, Heritage Foundation)

* "Vatican Chief Justice: Obama’s Policies ‘Have Become Progressively More Hostile Toward Christian Civilization’" (CBS, St Louis)