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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History Repeats Itself . . . so it seems!!

A couple of months back we spent a few days in Chicago doing the tourist thing.  We saw a lot of the Untouchable sites from the gangster days (no, not these gangster days but the ones of the Roaring 20s) and the beautiful archetecture on the river.  One of the most interesting things we saw was an exhibit in the old city library, now the Chicago Cultural Center.  The exhibit was of some Pulitizer Prize winning editorial cartoons from the early days of the Chicago Tribune.  It was amazing how some of the issues in the those days are the same issues we face today.  Of all the cartoons, this one was my favorite . . . it grieves me, but it it is so true.  I pray that our nation will wake up before it is too late.Chicago Tribune 1934

Happy Independence Day!! Give Thanks to our Great God for His Gift

Declaration of Independence On July 4, 1776 our nation was born with the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.  I wonder, how long it has been since you read this document?  Have you ever read it?  I understand from talking to some high schoolers that it is mentioned in class, and the opening words are sometimes read, but that there is no requirement in their history classes to read the document.  This is sad! Is it any wonder that patriotism is waning in our great nation?

Tomorrow when we gather to worship we will not have a “patriotic service”, for we gather not to worship America but rather to worship the Living God who gave us the gift of America.  We will have a prayer to that Great and Sovereign God for protection for this country.  Peggy Noonan, in today’s Wall Street Journal, tells of asking historian David McCullough, “. . . how he accounted in his imagination for the amazing fact of the genius cluster that founded our nation. How did so many gifted men, true geniuses, walk into history at the same time, in the same place, and come together to pursue so brilliantly a common endeavor?” His answer was simply, “I think it was providential.”

Today, as a church family, we will gather for a cookout in celebration of our nation’s birth.  The Declaration of Independence will be read and we will probably sing a patriotic song or two.  We will thank God for this great gift that He, and He in His mercy alone, has given us.  We must remember the truth of Scripture, as stated in Daniel 2:21 — “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men. And knowledge to men of understanding.” You can replace “kings” with “nations” or “presidents.”   So even as we celebrate the birth of our nation, may be remember that is is because of the benevolence of, as the Declaration states, “nature’s God.”

Here’s a novel idea:  While you are eating those bar-b-que ribs, or hamburgers and hot dogs today with your family and friends, why not take about 10 minutes and read aloud the Declaration of Independence?  You can find a text version HERE.

Thomas Paine . . . if only men like him were alive today

This actor captures Paine with his Founder’s mentality and spirit quite well. Take 6 minutes and get a little historical perspective!!

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.

A Drunken Sailor?!?!

I have heard repeatedly that our government spends money “like a drunken sailor.” Upon pondering the following data, I don’t think the sailor in question can hold a candle to our congress.

How much is a billion?

A billion seconds ago was 1959 . . . I was only 8 years old.

A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago, the earth was in the stone age.

. . . and a billion dollars ago was 8 hours and 20 minutes at the rate our government spends money!!