"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
Tag Archives: Supreme Court
This week the Supreme Court will be hearing two cases regarding same sex marriage. Now before the “equal rights” fan crowd goes crazy I just want to clarify. This piece is not about the political game being played with the institution of marriage. This piece isn’t interested in the benefits of civil union versus marriage. Rather, I wanted to take a moment to reflect historically on how our current culture compares to others in history. You see, this Supreme Court ruling may re-define marriage. Regardless of the ruling, our nation has been moving away from traditional, biblical marriage under the guise of equality and justice for some time now. Even Christians are in support of this move and sit off to the side clapping their hands as our society becomes more “evolved,” “caring” and “enlightened.”
That being said a comparison can be drawn between our society and others throughout history. there is nothing unique about American society historically speaking. To illustrate this point, I am going to throw some adjectives out and let’s see who they seem to describe…
Haughty (acting superior and disdainful in case you were wondering)
Do the words above describe America? I would think that on this point an Atheist and a Christian can agree. America is often described globally as an arrogant nation full of haughty people. Neither, is there any doubt about us being overfed – We are incredibly overweight and by and large a lazy nation. We are more prone to not help someone in dire need than we are to help them. We are a sexually permissive nation that was “freed” by the sexual revolution – to the point there are very few taboos any more. Homosexuality…well that is just part of the freedom that we allow here in America. We are indulgent, often act in immoral ways, and are generally unconcerned with anything that doesn’t directly affect our own bottom line unless it is so incredibly shocking that it basically jumps up and slaps us in the face.
Yep, that is the America that I am an adult in and the America that my children will grow up in.
But why does this matter – Why am I concerned? Well, because these adjectives are the very words used to describe Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible.
Let that sink in for a while….. Still sinking in?
The American society in which we live has now become a nation almost exactly like Sodom. Don’t believe me? Here is a sample scripture… you decide for yourself:
Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…”
Liberal theologians are quick to point out (or at least they try to point out) that homosexuality had nothing to do with the destruction of Sodom. They go so far as to say that God has no problem with homosexuality at all. This of course is absolute foolishness and Christians should own the fact that God has rejected homosexuality both through His Word, and in creation. Read this BLOG POST
There is absolutely no doubt that the America we live in fits the biblical description of. The Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and DOMA may solidify that even more.
So I say…Welcome to the United Sodoms of America. The good ol’ US of A.
So what does this mean? I don’t know but it’s not good. A society that is going out of its way to rip itself from the God of the Bible under the pretense of equality and justice cannot be good. A nation that is ever increasingly turning its back on its Judeo Christian ideals…cannot be good. A nation that is now supporting the single religion of Humanistic Moral Relativism (Atheism) cannot be good.
If you believe that God doesn’t do judgment…you need to go read the Bible (more or again or for the first time). I believe it is just a matter of time before this nation is judged, and it won’t be pretty. The question is, what are we willing to do about it? Are YOU willing to carry the message of the Gospel to your friends and family?
We have hit the 6th commandment mark in our series on the 10 commandments (link here to sermon). Here is a commandment that is laced with controversy and unintended consequences. Murder is a harsh word, that (in some circles) is politically charged and could cause many to recoil. And it should. Our political climate and cultural climate has begun to desensitize us to the “condition” of human life. I am not sure that a week goes by were murder is not shown on tv, or played out in video games. This commandment covers the topics of war, abortion, manslaughter, and outright murder.
So when we look at the 6th commandment murder must be defined. My pastor defined murder as the following “Any act of violence against an innocent human being out of hatred, anger, malice, deceit or for personal gain by whatever method that results in death.” This is a definition that all of us (including most laws) will agree with.
I want to talk about the elephant in the room that everyone can see, and I want to talk about the 800lb Gorilla in the room that very few see.
First to the 800lb gorilla…all of us, at some point, more than likely have committed murder.
I wanted to start here because if you ask the average Christian, atheist, or agnostic if they have ever committed murder they would all answer no. They would be about 50% correct. The truth is that 99.9% of those same people have committed murder and have no idea that they have…
Jesus is known for ramping things up…so to speak. He does so with the 6th commandment. The point here is pretty straightforward. The Bible says that anyone who is
angry with his brother is guilty of murder (Matthew 5:21-22, 1 John 3:15). So the act of physical murder is one thing, but anger and hate is murder as well? Does that even make sense? ABSOLUTELY! The point that Jesus is making is that the intent in your heart matters! God can see through to your heart and knows what your heart is saying….even if your exterior is smiling at the person you hate. Let this soak in for a second…Every person you have hated…you have murdered…in your heart. That would make some of us psychopaths.
The fact that this is a HIGH standard is intentional. Raise your hand if you have hated anyone. Okay know that all of our hands are up…including mine…would you have ever thought that the emotion of anger and hate was tantamount to murder? This is undeniably a high standard and underscores the reason for our need for salvation.
Now to the elephant…abortion. Abortion is, and has become a very politically charged issue. Many argue that abortion is a moral issue. What is the moral issue? A woman has a right to choose what to do with her body. However, I would argue that choice is not a moral issue. Moreover, I would argue pro-choice is simply a position that could be applied to any issue where a choice is required…such as school vouchers (opportunity for parents to send their kids to a school of their choice), or the gun issue (my choice to have a weapon in the house). The moral issue at play for the issue of abortion is this, is it right or wrong to murder? Now, I can immediately envision the embolism that is taking place in the heads of pro-abortion individuals. Hear me out. Pro- Abortion and pro-life individuals both agree that murder is wrong. No one on either side of that argument would defend murder as defined above. The question then isn’t whether or not murder is wrong; because we all know that it is…the question then becomes when does life begin? Is abortion in fact murder? Check this out…In Roe v. Wade the US Supreme Court declined to comment on the issue of life. Rather a neutral position was declared saying that it wasn’t necessary for them to know when life began. Doesn’t that seem odd? A court ruling that allows for the termination of a pregnancy ignoring the question of whether the fetus is in fact alive. Now Planned Parenthood v. Casey does define when life begins (yes a court did this) however, the morality (which is where I am attacking here) was as vague if not more vague from this ruling.
Consider the following quote from the Casey case: “Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code…at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Now that you have read this…re-read it while considering the following: 1. The court mandated it’s own moral code, while stating that it could not. 2. Based on the above one could argue that a murderer defines his existence by murdering. The above statement could be used to justify anything under the guise that it defines a person’s existence, and meaning.
Now, in our small group we discussed this topic at length. It was brought up that scientific studies show that the cells do not enter the womb until the 6th day of pregnancy (yes this is relevant.) Looking at abortion statistics from a 2006 CDC survey, 40% (487,000) of abortions take place AFTER the 9th week and 60% (755,000) less than 9 weeks. We don’t know how many abortions take place from day 6 and before, but I am willing to wager not very many considering that most do not find out they are pregnant until the missed cycle (which could be anywhere from 3 weeks). Consider the above statistics when reading the next paragraph.
According to Psalm 139:13-16 God knit us together in the womb. He sees our unformed body. He wrote out our history before we saw one day. Psalm 139 offers instruction as to when life begins. So there could be two sides to this argument… the Conservative, life begins at conception, or the liberal, life begins when God knits us together in the womb. Both conclusion could be had from Psalm 139. To rephrase…life begins at conception or at the time we enter the womb for knitting (day 6).
To summarize…God has provided a timeline to when life starts. The courts have been put into a position to try and define when life starts, but they relegate it to choice. If life starts (even at the latest) 6 days after conception, then abortion at any point beyond that has to be considered murder, according the definition provided above.
While the argument about abortion is indeed heated, one must remove the cultural issue (choice) and focus on the moral issue at hand (murder). When you focus on the true moral issue of murder, the only question that exists about abortion is, when does life begin. If the argument for abortion looked specifically at that question…I have a feeling that the tone would be much different.
So…I was doing the unthinkable again…searching for “things” on Google, and came across this article. It is clear from the article that Mr. Hankins is not a fan of religion. He abhors (I think it is fair to say) government sponsored religion. While we disagree on 90% of the argument (perhaps from the 3rd paragraph down) I do agree with a particular point he does make…why do we have a National Day of Prayer? His point more specifically…and to quote “Any religious group that needs the government to sponsor its religious worship is a feckless flock. Had I been a member of any of the participating groups, I would have been ashamed.” Additionally he says “If a religion requires government sponsorship to give it meaning, its God must be the most impotent God ever imagined by the human mind.” While I disagree with the imagined God part, I believe that Mr. Hankins makes a valid point, and I believe the Bible supports that point. Why do we need a “national day of prayer”?
First lets take a look at the actual legislation that declares the National Day of Prayer… 36 U.S.C § 119 “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals.”
This seems a little off to me. There is nothing in particular that we are supposed to pray for according to the legislation. Not to pray for our leaders, or government. So my question…Why isn’t every day a national day of prayer for Christians? Do we as Christians REALLY need a national day of prayer or should we be constantly praying for our nation?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 provides the clearest answer to these questions.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Pray continually. Now, Kevin recently wrote about prayer. As a matter of fact most of the Bible verses he used for that post can be used here again.
Look at Colossians 1:3-4…
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you…
Have not stopped praying for you.
Get the point? Question: As Christians, if we are praying continually, and have not stopped praying, why do we need ANY designation of a prayer day. Shouldn’t we be pushing each other to make everyday a prayer day? I would much rather prefer that, than having a single day listed as prayer day. Why not lay claim to every day of every year as a prayer day?
Now, don’t get me wrong. The National Day of Prayer is a good thing. We should take advantage of something afforded to us. It is a good reason for churches to come together and give focused prayer, a reason for us to be outspoken for Christ’s sacrifice for us. But do we really need this legislation to make that happen? I guess the bigger question is, given the fact that there is a very real possibility that the National Day of Prayer is over ruled by the Supreme Court, what do we do then? Do we lose our reason to come together as the body of Christ for focused prayer? Do we lose an excuse to be outspoken for Christ?
“But Robert”…some of you will say…”aren’t you worried that losing the National Day of Prayer is just another example of the attempt to remove God from everything?” No, I am not. Because the government…as hard as it wants to try, cannot remove God from my heart. And removing the national day of prayer does not prevent me from praying continually, to not stop praying for others or being outspoken for Christ. I don’t need the government to tell me it is okay to pray today…I know that already…do you?
I ran into this story (Supreme Court Case) while piddling around on Google. If you remember a few weeks ago I wrote a piece on the omnipresence of God. Basically the argument was that the world is trying to convince you that God does not belong in certain aspects of our lives. Among those places was school. According to the article a small college in San Francisco withdrew a clubs right to be recognized as an official club on their campus. The club had asked members to sign a statement of faith consistent with a biblical standard of sexual morality. If you are wondering what type of club it was… you guessed it. It is a Christian club. The college revoked the club status under the guise that it would discriminate against homosexuals. To sum up… the college wanted this club to remove God from their club or to worship a God that did not exist.
Now this is probably appalling to a number of you reading this. How can this happen? Especially here in America where we have been given the right to free speech! Simply put…this is happening because the Bible said that it would. Look at 2 Timothy 3. There are a number of verses that are applicable to this situation. The one I want to focus on here is 2 Timothy 3:12. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. As is the case with so many other things in the Bible…there is no qualification, no gray area, just a simple statement. If you WANT to live a godly life…you will be persecuted.
Another interesting verse to consider is John 15:18-21.
18″If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.'[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”
What is this verse telling us? Simply put…you will be persecuted for your faith. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. In this case, the club had the opportunity to gain favor by denying biblical truth. Rather, they have turned their back on the world, and now the world hates them for it. They are doing it right. Another interesting aspect here is the use of the word “will” in verse 21. Again, no gray area. Christ leaves little doubt as to the results of your faith when it comes to dealing with the world. You WILL be persecuted because you KNOW God, and the world does not.
We can be certain that this type of persecution for our faith is going to happen – there is no need to be appalled. At a certain point this club had the opportunity to turn their back on God and his word. Rather than cowering to man, they stood up for God.
I know it is a natural, instinctive emotional response to get angry. Why get angry? Know the truth and be comfortable in it. This will happen because God said it would. This cannot be emphasized enough. Rejoice with this club for taking a stand for God, and not caving to the world (cf. James 1:2). Rejoice with anyone who defies the world and does not forsake their faith so that the world will love them.