Rogue pastors endorse candidates, but IRS looks away

It looks like things might get a little bit dicey. According to a report in Politico, some pastors are daring the government to sue them. Here’s an excerpt:

A record number of rogue Christian pastors are endorsing candidates from the pulpit this election cycle, using Sunday sermons to defiantly flout tax rules.

Their message to the IRS: Sue me.

But the tax agency is doing anything but. Although the IRS was sued itself for not enforcing the law and admitted about 100 churches may be breaking the rules, the pastors and their critics alike say the agency is looking the other way. The agency refuses to say if it is acting.

At the same time, the number of pastors endorsing candidates in what they call Pulpit Freedom Sunday jumped from 33 people in 2008 to more than 1,600 this year, according to organizers, Alliance Defending Freedom. And this year, they’ve stepped up their drive, telling pastors to back candidates any Sunday up until the election, not just one Sunday as in past years.

Read the rest here.

26

Death, Be Not Proud


Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

———-
Poem: “Death, Be Not Proud” (Holy Sonnet 10), by John Donne
Music Credit: Audrey Assad, “Death, Be Not Proud”

2

Transgender: When Psychological Identity Trumps Bodily Identity

Earlier this week, I spoke at the ERLC National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. I was asked to address the topic of transgender. An adapted excerpt from my manuscript is below. The full video is below.

—————

Now that the gay marriage cause is all but won, sexual revolutionaries are turning their attention to the “T” in LGBT. Both Newsweek and Time have written cover stories in the last two years arguing that the transgender cause is the next phase of the LGBT revolution. There seems to be evidence confirming this in headlines across the country. From the city ordinance in Houston that led to the subpoena of pastors’ sermons to children being allowed into the opposite sex bathrooms in public schools, there is no question that significant cultural changes are afoot. Continue Reading →

19

How to wage culture war and win

Peter Leithart has a great little piece over at First Things about the rapid shift in public opinion on gay marriage. He concludes with a sage word about how Christians should “wage war” in the midst of a majority culture that stands decidedly against what God has revealed about human sexuality. Leithart writes:

I will be accused of demonizing opponents, but my argument leads to the opposite conclusion. If “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers in heavenly places,” then flesh-and-blood persons are not our principal adversaries. They are victims—willing victims, perhaps—of demonic deceit. But we should focus on fighting the real enemies, while offering the good news of liberation and clear sight to political enemies. I am demonizing opponents only to the extent that I’m suggesting demons are our opponents.

If I’m right, then Christian tactics and strategies should be adjusted accordingly. You can’t combat demons with what Paul calls weapons “of the flesh.” In a spiritual war, our main weapons are the usual Christian armaments—righteousness, truth, mercy, love, the Gospel of peace, faith, and the sword of the Spirit that is the Word of God. Some demons, Jesus said, come out only by “prayer and fasting.” For the present, our mission is that of Isaiah: to show reality to the blind, to speak truth into deaf ears.

Amen. Read the rest here.

19

What David Gushee’s change of heart really means

Jonathan Merritt reports for Religion News Service that David Gushee no longer believes homosexual, bisexual, or transgender behavior to be sinful. Who is David Gushee? He is an ethicist that has been a part of the evangelical movement for many years—which is why Merritt has splashed his story. Merritt puts forth Gushee’s change of heart as a decision of great consequence for the evangelical movement saying, “It is difficult to overstate the potential impact of Gushee’s defection.”

Several thoughts come to mind in response to this report: Continue Reading →

32

Division on Wheaton’s faculty about Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate

Ruth Graham reports that some of the faculty at Wheaton College have problems with the college’s opposition to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. Obamacare requires Christian schools like Wheaton to provide insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs. Wheaton has sued the government (like many other institutions in their position) to get relief from Obamacare’s infringement upon religious liberty. Nevertheless, Graham reports that some of the faculty are opposed to the lawsuit. She writes: Continue Reading →

18

A coach’s wife writes to tell about her marriage

In my previous post, I made reference to the fact that being a head football coach in the SEC can be a real trial for marriages. As the video makes clear, the husbands are so busy that the wives are left alone for long amounts of time with minimal input from the husband. One woman said that her husband starts working on July 13 and does not get a full day off until Christmas Eve. In other words, it is really tough for husbands and wives.

A high school football coach’s wife left a comment under my last post that I thought was really helpful. She says that she and her husband have a “dynamic” marriage, even though the football season is a trial every year. They are Christians, and they have made this life their ministry. After viewing my last post and the video embedded in it, she writes: Continue Reading →

5

ESPN profiles wives of SEC head football coaches

ESPN has produced a brief feature on the wives of SEC football coaches titled “The Better Half.” It’s really short, but I also think really telling. One of the wives says that her husband goes to work on July 13 and won’t get a day off until Christmas Eve. Another is pictured with her kids (sans husband) at the kitchen counter saying that it’s a hard life but that you get what you sign-up for.

Yes, there is lots of money and big houses if you’re an SEC coach’s wife. Still, there seems to be an underlying sadness with some of these women. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so. Watch it, and see for yourself. See below. Continue Reading →

11

All law is imposed morality

The inimitable Doug Wilson is in rare form over the subpoenaed sermons in Houston. He writes:

I have been pointing out the totalitarian impulse of progressives for some time, but they are not totalitarian because they want to impose morality. They are totalitarian because they want to impose an immoral morality. They are not totalitarian because they want to suppress something. All laws suppress something. The problem is what they want to suppress. They want to suppress decency and glorify kink, when they ought to be doing the opposite.

There are only two options — public virtue or public vice. There is no neutral third zone that enables our ruling elites to privatize all virtue and vice, thus enabling them as moderators of our public discourse to make their Olympian decisions in accord with some trans-moral system.

All law is imposed morality, and the only question concerns which morality will be imposed. Either you will impose virtue on the creeper who wants into the ladies room, or you will impose your system of vice on pastors who object to creepers being allowed in the ladies room. You will either punish vice or you will punish virtue. Houston is currently doing the latter.

The rest is here.

14

When Popes and councils contradict each other

Andrew Sullivan calls the news out of the Vatican yesterday a “pastoral revolution.” That point is being vigorously contested right now by the likes of Robbie George, George Weigel and R. R. Reno, who point out that the statement in question has no official status. Some reports say that the report reflects the sentiments of a plurality of bishops participating in the synod. Still, it is significant that a synod of Bishops has even released an interim report affirming the church’s traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality while calling for “courageous pastoral choices” that include valuing gay “sexual orientation.”

At least some of these bishops wish to maintain the language of the catechism but to adopt pastoral practices that contradict it. This enables them to say that the church’s teaching on homosexuality has remained constant and that the only change is in how it is applied in people’s lives. But in this case, that distinction doesn’t work. One cannot value something and at the same time repent of it, and yet that is what these bishops appear to be calling for. Most people (I think) can see the contradiction. Continue Reading →

11

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes