Thoughts on SCOTUS Ruling on Marriage

5 solasThere is probably a lot that needs to be said about yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage. It is a ruling that has many far reaching effects beyond the actual ruling that was made.  In one sense it is a narrow ruling only on a few facts and most of them technical ones that the average citizen will not understand (I know it is somewhat strange and foreign to me!).

I will have a lot more to say about it in the days to come, no doubt. It is a bad ruling for our culture, our nation, because it just shows how far we are adrift from God and His plans and purposes we truly are. The basic building block of society is marriage. It was before the law, before government, and before the church ever came into existence. As I say when I stand before a couple to do their wedding (I said it just last Saturday):

“We are not gathered here today in order to observe a social convention devised by human wisdom for the mutual comfort and happiness of men and women. Nor do we assemble here to participate in a mere tradition which has come down to us from ages past and which we have deemed worthy of preserving among ourselves.

We are gathered in this place in order to acknowledge, celebrate, and solemnize the divine institution of marriage, which is ordained by the Creator and Savior of the world, sealed and governed by His authority, and entered into by His people with humble obedience and heartfelt rejoicing for the wondrous provision of the Lord for their mutual happiness and completion.”

However, this can, and prayerfully will be good for the church, if it causes us to wake up and realize that we are failing in our mission to take the gospel to the nation and nations! An acquaintance of mine wrote this (and correctly I believe) after the ruling by SCOTUS.  These threats may bring about in the church a much-needed change of mindset. It’s time we recognized we are no longer the “moral majority” and embrace our identity as the “missional minority.”

The SCOTUS may rule, legislatures may pass laws, people may live in utter disregard to our Lord . . . but some things never change: His word, His truth, and His reign.  I cannot wait to worship again this Sunday, as we exalt the power and authority of King Jesus!!

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There Are Some Things I’ll Never Understand

truth-project-square

In our study at Grace Baptist of The Truth Project one of the clearest warnings that we see in the Scripture is not to be led astray by “the lie.” Perhaps the greatest struggle for the church, and for Christians, is to not be shaped by the world rather than shaped by Christ. Satan is so clever in convincing us that we need to look like the world, think like the world, and live like the world. But God has called us to be peculiar people — children of light in a world of darkness.

I am committed to the sanctity of human life . . . for the simple reason of the Imago Deo — all humans are created in the image of God. Thus it grieves me to see people who masquerade as Christians, even ministers of the gospel, who completely deny this truth and offer a “religious defense” to the taking of human life. Such is the case of the new president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, “the Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale”. Ragsdale has been serving as director of Political Research Associates, a left leaning lobby group. She also has served on the board of directors of The White House Project (a radical feminist organization), NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (both radical pro-abortion groups). She has been the vicar (read pastor) of St. David’s Episcopal Church since 1996.

Now you may ask, “what does that have to do with us, we are Baptists or Presbyterians or whatever.” I tell you all this to show you how deceptive Satan can be. And how far people who claim to be Christians can go from God’s word and truth. In 2007 Ragsdale preached a sermon in Birmingham, AL against the pro-life movement. You would expect her to defend abortion in the usual cases commonly used, i.e. in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. But she shows just how much she is committed to the pro-death philosophy that is captivating many in liberal mainline churches (if we can even call them that) today. Hear just three statements she makes in her “sermon”:

When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. (If you feel you need to read the complete sermon to see the context, just click HERE) (The “reverend” Ragsdale must have been getting some heat on her blog where she posts her sermons and she has removed the page with this sermon.  You can find the text however HERE)

Do you hear the “hiss” of the serpent? Calling the death, the intentional death of a baby, a blessing!! It sounds very much like the words of the Devil in the garden, “Did God say you would die? You surely won’t die, but you will be like Him.” The words of Isaiah 5:18-21 seem to be screaming at this generation — “Woe to those who drag iniquity with the chords of falsehood, and sin as if with cart ropes . . . woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness . . . woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!”

The reason we are spending so much time on The Truth Project is to protect us from slipping in areas just like this. Some will say this will never happen. But I have the feeling a generation or two ago many in the Episcopal Church said the same thing. Paul’s warning to us is worthy of hearing: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” (1 Cor 10:12). In other words, never say never. Unless we stay vigilant for the truth we are walking on dangerous ground.

Most Outragous Nomination to date

us-constitution-1I really do try and reserve this blog for Biblical, theological and ethical issues rather than political. It is no surprise to those who know me that I am a conservative politically as I am theologically. However, I have found myself of late reading books such as Thornton’s The Pulpit of the American Revolution. The pastors of that era were vigilant for freedom and preached sermons about “the Christian duty of resistance to tyrants” and “the true principles of government”. Theologically I may have differed with some of these preachers, but as to liberty I would wholeheartedly agree!!

As I read the arrogance of the Obama administration in their almost monarchical views of themselves I wonder if a second American revolution is not in our future. In the two months he has been in office he has changed the core of who America is . . . or has been for over 230 years. I know it is scoffed at when commentators refer to him as a socialist, but everything he does with the economy proves him to be just that, or worse. I never thought I would see the day when a CEO of a private enterprise corporation was forced to resign by the president of the United States. Or another corporation would be told by the president that it must merge with a foreign corporation or risk bankruptcy. But even this disaster is not the worst so far.

harold_kohIt has been reported in the New York Post that President Obama has nominated as the State Department’s legal adviser Harold Koh, until last week the dean of Yale Law School. The beliefs of this lawyer on the place of other nation’s laws being used in decisions in our courts, even Islamic sharia law. Please take a couple of minutes to read Obama’s Most Perilous Legal Pick and pass it along to all those you know who care about our nation. The radicals cannot win . . . there is too much at stake!!!

Where has our Constitution gone?

us-constitution-1It used to be that the constitution was the “law of the land,” the ultimate “decider” of all that is legal and the rights that are protected in our land. But no more!! In just two months there have been more direct attacks on the constitution than in the past 20 years combined. Buried in the pages and pages of the “Stimulus package” (which stimulates the size of government and its control and not much else) and the president’s budget proposal are attacks on our basic freedoms.

One, in the name of health care, is the attempt to remove the so-called “conscience refusal” for doctors and other health care providers to be able to decline procedures they morally object to . . . such as abortion. One of the groups that will be fighting for the free speech and freedom of religion rights of health care workers is the American Center for Law & Justice. Go online and sign a petition to President Obama letting him know of your opposition to this violation of basic constitutional rights. Sign the Petition HERE.

Better to Do Nothing Rather than This “Porkulus” Package

I realize that we have crossed the line long ago where case law began to rule the day instead of the U.S. Constitution. But the way our Congress and Executive branch of our government are behaving now it is basically the end of the constitution. Limited government is gone. The nanny-state has arrived. And we are sitting around and just taking it. We have elected officials who are only concerned with one thing–remaining in office and raiding the public funds for their area. No longer does there seem to be those in office who think of the good of the country first. We are going down a road that is heading to the end of the United States as we have known it to be.

porkulusTonight President Obama said that he had inherited this economic mess. I agree that he is right, but he inherited it from a Congress that wants to control your life and make you dependent on it, and a President (Bush) who acted more like a Democrat, economically, the last two years of his presidency than a free market Republican. Bush’s “stimulus package” and TARP plan for the banks were supposed to be the events to save the economy. They didn’t!!! In fact it just got worse. So now Congress and the new president want to do more of the same!! God help us! That is the classic definition of a fool–keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

We need to STOP and take a deep breath and stop expecting the government to be our savior. They are not and cannot be. There are a couple of things you need to read. Walter Williams, Economics professor at George Mason University, wrote an insightful article today in Investor’s Business Daily, entitled “Stimulus Can Sink Recession into Depression“. Please read it. If you prefer more Ivy League economists, then read the article by Robert Barro, Economics professor at Harvard, “Government Spending is No Free Lunch“, in the Wall Street Journal. There is also a great interview with Barro on The Atlantic website worth reading.

If you are really wanting to see why these policies will not help, but most likely harm, our economy read the book The Forgotten Man, by Amity Shlaes. Shlaes looks at the same policies that were used, and failed, in the “great depression.” I repeat, and I will shout, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT OUR SAVIOR!! Wake up America, before it is too late and our constitutional republic is no more.

Refuting all the “reasons” for getting an abortion

As we come to the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 1973 it is hard to believe that in this nation alone we have killed 50,000,000 babies in the womb. Now that we have elected the most pro-abortion President in the history of the conflict for life, we must pray, and work to education our country to the sin and evil that is abortion on demand.

This is perhaps one of the most powerful ads I have ever seen. Only 41 seconds in length, but it touches on all the “reasons.”

Have you ever thought about how many 50 million might be? Well, it is roughly the equivalent of the population of the following states:

HT: Justin Taylor

The Call of an Aborted Child

Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday . . . I preached today on “Is Our Culture Committing Suicide?” I ended the sermon with a poem by one of our young people at Grace, Kayla Sweeney. Kayla is a high school sophomore and I believe touches the heart of the issue in this poem. I will write more tomorrow on the whole life issue and the coming inauguration of President Elect Barrak Obama. Until then hear carefully the words of this heart felt piece:

The Call of an Aborted Child…

by Kayla Sweeney

Can you hear my voice!?
In the wind a mere breath,
Not a name but a choice,
And I was chosen for death.
Growing and changing,
they said “its not yet alive,”
Forming light,
turned to night
In the womb I was inside.
No chance to see,
No chance to breathe,
No chance to take my heart and sing.
No chance to shout,
No chance to cry,
No chance to scream, to laugh, to sigh.
I merely had the chance to die,
not worth
the birth
or the life to buy.

Can you hear my voice?!
I’m Gods very own,
Before the coming of your choice,
I was still always known,
He knitted me,
and molded me,
and thought of me,
unfolded me, (Psalm 139)
knew in and out the whole of me,
Before the “accident” came to be.

Can you hear my voice?!
Who could I have been??
Without your choice,
If I had the chance to begin,
A Child,
A Student,
A sibling,
A Friend,
The messenger God chose to send,
More than just a breath in the wind.
A Teacher,
A preacher,
A soldier for Christ,
I guess we’ll never know…
You paid the price.

Can you hear my call!?!
I was life to be lived,
Instead killed, murdered, my future hid
I am life!
Do not remain blind,
From the beginning God kept me in his mind.

DO YOU HEAR ME?

I’m shouting,
But it all fades in the distance,
In your mind your still doubting,
my life or existence.

My scream can’t be heard,
I have no way to call,
My life has been blurred
from the start of it all…
I ask, can you hear me….
I guess you never will,
God brought life to me,
But you chose to kill.