Evangelical Bigots?

Carl Trueman notes that for Americans under 35 years of age, homosexual marriage is not even an issue. That figure indicates a great generational divide over attitudes toward homosexuality. The trend lines in our culture are moving decidedly in the direction affirming homosexuality as normal. Trueman predicts, therefore, four challenges that lie ahead for Christians. Here’s the fourth challenge that Trueman mentions:

“Those evangelical leaders, academics and evangelical institutions that prize their place at the table and their invitations to appear on `serious’ television programs, and who enjoy being asked to offer their opinion to the wider culture had better be prepared to make a choice. As I have said before in this column, we are not far from the place where to oppose homosexuality will be regarded as in the same moral bracket as white supremacy. Those types only appear on Jerry Springer; and Jerry generally doesn’t typically ask them their opinion on the ethics of medical research, the solution to the national debt, or the importance of poetry to a rounded education.”

Of course, evangelicals who are faithful to biblical teaching aren’t really bigots, but that won’t matter. We will be maligned as such, and we need to be prepared for difficulties ahead. The encroachment upon religious liberty will be real and acute. But it will also be an occasion to bear faithful witness to Christ. Let’s pray that we do just that.

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Kevin DeYoung Gives Me My Purpose in Life

Kevin DeYoung’s message from the NEXT conference is outstanding. He calls us to cease our fixation with ecclesiastical revolution and instead to become “visionary plodders.” That little phrase—visionary plodders—is one that you can hang your hat on. The idea is that we should take the long view on our Christian walk. Revolutions can occur, but they are more likely to occur over a lifetime. What that means is that we are called to be faithful in the small things every day. A life that accumulates that kind of faithfulness over the long haul is a revolutionary life.

Kevin DeYoung hasn’t literally given me my purpose in life, but he has given me a phrase that I plan to hang on to. It sums up in succinct fashion what I believe the Bible calls us to be—visionary plodders.

You need to hear this message. You can download it here or press the play button below. Here’s the outline.

[audio:http://sgm.edgeboss.net/download/sgm/next/2010/next2010.6-deyoung.mp3]

Also, DeYoung has a short article in Tabletalk magazine that sums up some of the same material.

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Wendy Long on Prop 8

Wendy Long provided the best legal analysis I’ve heard of yesterday’s ruling in California. She calls the decision the “prime example of judicial tyranny.” Listen below.

[audio:http://fetch.noxsolutions.com/laura/mp3/080510_wendy.mp3]
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The End of Prop 8: A Moral and Legal Revolution

Yesterday, a federal judge overturned California’s ban on gay marriage—a measure that was added to the state’s constitution through a 2008 ballot effort called Proposition 8. Federal district judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was a violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment (p. 109). The judge immediately stayed his own decision pending appeals, so gay marriages will not be performed until the issue is resolved in the higher courts. Read the decision here.

The next stop for this case is the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—a court well-known for leaning left on social issues and which will almost certainly rubber-stamp the lower court’s decision. The next stop will then be the Supreme Court. That is where the showdown will be and where there won’t be any rubber-stamps. In fact, I think the Supreme Court could overturn this. But if Justice Anthony Kennedy is the tie-breaking vote (as many expect him to be), who knows how this will end up? Continue Reading →

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Prop 8

This is a terrible decision, and I will have more to say about it later. For now, here’s a snippet and a link from the story in The New York Times:

“Saying that it unfairly targets gay men and women, a federal judge in San Francisco struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, handing supporters of such unions a temporary victory in a legal battle that seems all but certain to be settled by the Supreme Court. . .

“‘Proposition 8 cannot survive any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause,’ wrote Mr. Walker. ‘Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.'”

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Oil Spill Update

“The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm…

“It remains to be seen whether subtle, long-lasting environmental damage from the spill will be found, as has been the case after other large oil spills.”

Justin Gillis, “U.S. Finds Most Oil From Spill Poses Little Additional Risk,” New York Times (August 4, 2010)

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Slightly Modified Infanticide

In 1999, Senator Barbara Boxer said in so many words that fully a delivered baby does not have an intrinsic right to life. A baby only has a right to life when its mother decides to take the baby home. Until that time, the fully delivered baby can still be killed so long as the mother decides she wants it killed.

George Will recently called Boxer’s position “slightly modified infanticide.” Boxer took issue with this characterization and fired-back that she had been taken out of context. Newsweek carried the exchange, and you can read the back and forth between Boxer and Will here.

I just want to say that I too have to take issue with Will’s description of Boxer’s view as “Slightly Modified Infanticide.” I don’t think that is fair at all. There is nothing “modified” about it. It’s infanticide.

For those of you who think I have misrepresented Boxer, you can watch and listen to her remarks for yourself. Continue Reading →

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Satirizing Moral Confusion

Sometimes satire can be a most effective polemical tool. That is why Joe Carter’s satirical conversation between two women talking about having a fetus is a must-read. Here’s a snippet:

Jan: “Marsha! How are you girl? I haven’t seen you in ages.”
Marsha: “Hey Jan, you’re looking great. How’ve you been?”
Jan: “Just peachy. Hey, guess what? I’m going to have a fetus!”
Marsha (excited): “That’s wonderful! Oh, I’m so happy for you. Isn’t it a blessing having parasites growing in us?”
Jan: “Yes, but I have to confess—I’m jealous. I wanted to have twins too.”
Marsha: “Oh, I only have one now. Greg didn’t get his promotion so we decided to selectively reduce one of them.”

Read the rest here.

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Anne Rice Speaks to NPR

NPR interviewed Anne Rice on Monday on “All Things Considered.” The conversation is of course about her recent decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church. That decision is already well-known and is not news. In this interview, however, we do find out that the straw the broke the camel’s back was the issue of homosexual marriage. She says:

“I didn’t anticipate at the beginning that the U.S. bishops were going to come out against same-sex marriage… That they were actually going to donate money to defeat the civil rights of homosexuals in the secular society… When that broke in the news, I felt an intense pressure. And I am a person who grew up with the saying that all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing, and I believe that statement.”

She knew that the church would never sanction same-sex marriage, but she was surprised that the church would oppose it in society in general. When she heard that, she knew she could no longer stay in the church.

You can download the interview here or listen below: Continue Reading →

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Another Complementarian Caricature

Egalitarians sometimes promote their point of view by equating complementarianism with oppressive forms of patriarchy. Often this is done through caricature rather than through engaging with mainstream complementarians and their stated beliefs. Unfortunately, another instance of this has happened in a recent article by Jana Chapman Gates.

In an opinion piece for Christianity Today, Gates writes about her recent move from Manhattan to an undisclosed location in the Midwest. She joined a church and enlisted in a small group Bible Study that was going through a series on marriage. She was shocked to discover that her new friends held some fairly disturbing views on gender relations. In short, she learned that they believed that “Christianity subjugates women” because women in general are more prone to sin than men are. Her friends established the point by appealing to 2 Timothy 2:12-15. Gates is concerned that her friends might not realize the implications of their view. She notes that “arguments about the foolishness of women have been historically used to deny women civil rights.” Continue Reading →

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