Archive for August, 2016

bathroom

Courtesy of the Christian Post

Rather than change its controversial transgender bathroom policy, Target Corporation is now planning to spend $20 million to add private single-stall bathrooms at all of its stores. The report directly cited a dramatic drop in shopper traffic, company stock, and loss of revenue partly due to the retailer’s “transgender-friendly” policy.

I shook my head while watching the Olympics last night as an announcer on NBC pointed out the man (transgender) posing as a woman (South Africa’s Caster Semenya) easily won the race advancing to the 800 m final, and stated:

It’s really a confusing issue, even scientists have not come to a consensus on it.”

Just because corporations, Hollywood, government, and the media are pushing this politically-correct immorality on America – now in the form of transgender propaganda – it doesn’t mean we have to accept it into our homes and churches. But too many people; parents, pastors, and politicians have already waved the white flag.

Tired of the cultural battles, public pressure, and the narcissism we have embraced as a society, it’s easier to look the other way than to confront others with the truth. Many people who once claimed this was all about “equality” and “love” are now admitting that they bought the lie. Do you think the left will back off its agenda of conquest and submission?

In addition to the silence from most Christians on these issues, we have not successfully defined the terms. In the most intense public debates and battles over words and meanings, what I’ve realized is we often use the same terminology, but have vastly different dictionaries!

After all, the Supreme Court basically decided marriage is whatever one wants it to be – as long as it is not limited to one man and one woman as God naturally ordained it from the beginning.

We are learning the hard way. No longer tolerated are moral beliefs and ideas that go against the pursuit of sexual satisfaction at any cost.

Another problem in our society is there is often one critical, glaring omission from the debate over sex, gender, birth, and biology: truth!

Theologian, Francis Scheaeffer, once said,

“Truth always carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.”

Are there any fixed historical absolutes we can refer to in this battle for the heart and soul of our nation? If not, anything goes, right? Many have accommodated this new religion of sex while at the same time, failing to stand up for truth, decency, and biblical morality.

For example, are you okay with the fact your children will now be learning there is nothing permanent, definite, or unchangeable about them and that every aspect of their identity is subjective? In a way, this is encouraging kids to be their own gods.

New transgender-affirming policies are about to be implemented in public schools as kids prepare to go back to school in a few weeks. As Todd Starnes reports:

…boys who identify as girls would be permitted to participate on overnight all-girl field trips. That’s a rule sure to be a hit among the 13-year-olds. Another guideline indicates parents could be left out of their child’s gender decision-making.

Soon, your kindergartner will learn he or she can choose their own gender and corresponding bathroom based on how they feel and what they’ve been told. Soon, more boys will be girls will be boys, if that even makes sense.

If you don’t believe me, there is a radical leftist group working with the public schools and ready to unleash unprecedented sexual confusion on young people. Trans Student Education Resources (TSER) has created a gender unicorn cartoon character for kids to learn about gender identity and expression in the classroom.  They describe themselves as “an organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment.”

The make-believe character was also used to explain terms like questioning, queer, cis gender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming. I wish I were making this up. These extremists even believe the terms “biological sex” are offensive and “harmful” to transgender people. Why? Could it be because the truth points back to science, the laws of nature and nature’s God?

Christian parents, be honest about this. Can you expect your children to withstand thousands of hours of liberal, LGBT indoctrination, along with the peer pressure to conform to culture and away from anything having to do with Christ? Can you expect your kids to be strong enough to resist the ridicule, attacks, and secularism in their school?

…And it’s not just the kids.

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free speech pulpit and micBoth sides are firing shots across the bow of their opponents in a revived First Amendment battle thanks to Donald Trump and a bizarre election cycle. This debate is absolutely necessary, but not for the reasons you might think.

Too many people have no idea what the Johnson Amendment is and why it is so important, but at least a few more are paying attention since Trump brought it up.

First, some background: Lyndon Johnson, a progressive, racist, and perhaps the second most liberal president in U.S. history was running for reelection as a Senator in Texas and he found a way to silence his enemies – Christians, conservatives, and Republicans. He slipped an amendment to limit the speech of nonprofit groups into a massive tax code overhaul bill and the rest is history. Conservative groups were campaigning against Johnson in 1954 and interestingly, they had concerns about communism at the time as well as Johnson’s big government ideology.

The freedom of religious expression was also restricted by Johnson’s shrewd, calculated move and many religious leaders were silenced – not necessarily because of the amendment, but due to their fear or ignorance of the law.

So a few weeks back, Trump rallied the base by claiming he will repeal the Johnson Amendment if elected president. Who knows if Trump would actually make good on his promise or if he will be able to get Congress to back it.

What are his motives? Did an evangelical Christian advisor convince him to talk about it in the hopes more conservative ears would perk up? Is his goal to create Christian Church super PACs?  Does he want to “politicize the pulpit” as some liberals claim?

Dusting off this debate has encouraged some on the right and infuriated some on the left, and there are many angles to discuss.

…I am not suggesting pastors and religious leaders must endorse candidates. They wouldn’t have to if they had already been preaching the whole counsel of God and speaking about sin, morality, the controversial issues of the day, and teaching on what the Bible says about each one. Moreover, informed citizens should already know where political candidates stand on issues of importance!

Sadly, we may now have one of the most distracted, disinterested, divided, and uninformed electorates in U.S. history.

…part of the new Republican Party platform states:

“Republicans believe the federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring speech based on religious convictions or beliefs, and therefore we urge the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.”

Trump said the Johnson Amendment has had a chilling effect on the nation. Agreed, and most secular progressives, Democrats, and atheists love it because godlessness has increased and Christian influence has decreased. He also declared,

“Christianity is under siege. Every year it gets weaker and weaker and weaker…

Trump is correct, but it is because Christians and conservatives concerned about biblical morality have practically surrendered the public square by our silence and inactivity as well as our tendency to duck the issues of sin, repentance, and God’s judgment.

It is true the amendment has been used by the IRS and even by the Christian Left to intimidate and silence the voices of untold numbers of Americans. Isn’t this considered bullying?

Under the Obama administration, the IRS has aggressively and wrongly targeted and fined conservative non-profits including many Tea Party groups while the media collectively looked the other way. Enforcement of the law has been a one-sided effort.

We do know the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” People often forget or ignore that second part! This was meant to protect people of faith and their deeply held biblical convictions – and that includes when they’re outside the walls of their church!

Our Founders believed the church had a right and responsibility to influence society for good and never imagined government would be empowered to censor Christians and restrict their religious expression.

Religious leaders not only have a constitutional right to address the moral issues of the day, many believe they have a responsibility to do so.  And, pastors should have the ability to speak out from the pulpit and support or oppose a political candidate based on where the candidate stands on the issues.

History now includes the last 62 years, which, of course, tell a very different story. Hands off, big government! The state should allow the church to speak freely and let the free market of ideas decide who wins…

We know in today’s culture, political correctness trumps truth. Christians have a moral obligation to defend the truth no matter the circumstances. Regardless of what happens, let’s hope the gospel will prevail over silent compliance or compromise.

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