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Second Comings

Writing in a time of chaos and hopelessness, W. B. Yeats subverts the Christian story of the world and paints a dark picture of the end in his poem “The Second Coming.” It is easy to slip into this kind of hopelessness when things are coming apart.

That is why it is imperative that we remember right now that the true story of the world does not end in chaos and destruction. The true story of the world is better than how the anarchy of the moment makes us feel.

The only people prepared to bear witness to this truth in a week like this one are those who know the one who will come to make all things new.

Lord, help us to be faithful in our time both in our words and in our deeds. Continue Reading →

An Expression of Our Grief, Our Appreciation, and Our Resolve from the Faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary & Boyce College

[This afternoon, the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary passed a resolution. The full text is below. A PDF can be downloaded here.]

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April 29, 2020

The faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College hereby make a unified statement about the recent hardships our community has faced as a result of this global pandemic. The purpose of this statement is to express three main things in response to these hardships: our grief that beloved colleagues were affected, our appreciation both for their contribution to Southern and for the difficulty our leaders have faced, and our resolve to labor on in faithfulness to God’s Word.

We want this statement to encourage those colleagues, as well as our students, alumni, and churches, who are also enduring these unsettling times.
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If beer is “essential,” so is Easter.

We are having a genuine religious liberty imbroglio here in Louisville, Kentucky, and it is time for Christians to pay attention.

The Courier-Journal reports that late in the week, Governor Andy Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer doubled-down on their ban on church gatherings. Gov. Beshear mainly focused on churches that are gathering together in person. Mayor Fischer took it a step further and forbade drive-thru services where congregants don’t even get out of their cars. Mayor Fischer says that police will record license plate numbers of anyone caught in a drive-thru service and would possibly subject them to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Continue Reading →

“Hate Group” Report from SPLC Still Malignantly Flawed

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” report that identifies “940 active hate groups across the United States in 2019.” Anyone familiar with this list knows how malignantly flawed it is. It designates a number of mainstream Christian organizations as “hate groups” simply because of their beliefs about homosexuality and transgenderism. Two groups highlighted in the report are the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Family Research Council (FRC).

ADF’s senior counsel, Jeremy Tedesco, slammed the report and its timing in an interview with NBC News saying, Continue Reading →

Your Wife & Daughter May Become Eligible for the Draft

I know that the nation’s interest has been transfixed by the coronavirus outbreak. Nevertheless, there is another item in the news that is worth our attention. Politico reports that a congressional commission has recommended that women be required to register for the draft. From the report:

A congressionally mandated commission is recommending women should be eligible for the draft, a move that comes five years after the Pentagon opened all combat roles to women.

“This is a necessary and fair step, making it possible to draw on the talent of a unified Nation in a time of national emergency,” the commissioners wrote in the 255-page report, obtained by POLITICO.

We haven’t had the draft for many years now. If it were ever reinstated, however, the commission calls for requiring women to serve, including in combat units. Yes, you read that right. Women could be drafted to serve in forward areas where they would be required to engage in combat—sometimes hand-to-hand combat—with male enemy soldiers. Continue Reading →

Mama Xue: The woman from Wuhan who received Christ on her deathbed

“Zhang Ru Zhen, affectionately known as Mama Xue, was the first novel coronavirus casualty in Sichuan province. Before the 80-year-old took her last breath on January 29, Pastor Peng Qiang of Chengdu’s Blessings Reformed Presbyterian Church was able to share the gospel with her. The following is an excerpt of Pastor Peng Qiang’s message at a special memorial service for Mama Xue and is reproduced from their church’s WeChat account. Her son’s eulogy has also been published on our site.”

Continue Reading…

Praise and Prayer for Kanye

Over the weekend, I had a chance to listen to Kanye West’s new album and to watch some interviews with him. It’s an amazing thing to watch because everything I’ve seen points to a radical conversion to Jesus Christ. In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last week, Kimmel asks West, “Would you consider yourself to be a Christian music artist now?”

West responds, “I’m just a Christian everything.”

That is certainly clear in the lyrics of West’s new album “Jesus is King.” The track “Selah” has a line that gets to the heart of West’s conversion: Continue Reading →

Florist takes her case to the Supreme Court… again

If you aren’t familiar with Barronelle Stutzman’s case, you need to be (watch above). Barronelle is a 74-year old grandmother and florist who was sued by Washington State and by the ACLU after she declined to participate in a gay wedding. She serves gay people in her store. She has even hired gay people to work in her store. But she is a Christian and cannot in good conscience lend her talents to help celebrate a gay wedding. So when a gay man whom she had served for nine years in her store asked her to participate in his gay wedding, she told him that she could not because of her relationship with Jesus. She was apologetic, but she nevertheless did the right thing according to her Christian conscience.

Word got out on social media about what happened, and the government and the ACLU sued her for violating anti-discrimination law. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the court ruled in her favor, vacated the Washington State court’s decision, and ordered the State court to come up with a decision that respects the constitution. The state court refused to comply with the Supreme Court’s directive and ruled against her again! Now Barronelle is making an appeal (again!) to the Supreme Court for help.

The Tri-City Herald reports:

A Southern Baptist, [Barronelle] has argued that arranging flowers is artistic expression protected under the First Amendment.

“Barronelle serves and hires people from all walks of life. What she can’t do is take part in, or create custom floral arrangements celebrating, sacred events that violate her religious beliefs,” Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president of Alliance Defending Freedom’s U.S. legal division, said in a news release Wednesday.

“Because of this, the Washington Supreme Court upheld a ruling that threatens Barronelle with personal and professional ruin,” she added.

“Regardless of what one believes about marriage, no creative professional should be forced to create art or participate in a ceremony that violates their core convictions. That’s why we have taken Barronelle’s case back to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Progressives constantly gas light Christians and claim that we are crying wolf about being mistreated for our ancient beliefs about marriage and sexuality. The next time you hear them gas light us, I want you to remember Barronelle Stutzman. Both the state and the ACLU won’t leave her alone but are trying to ruin her financially unless she agrees to violate her religious convictions and to participate in gay weddings. It’s an abhorrent, ugly thing that they are doing to her. It’s hard to believe that this is still going on after all these years (and even after a Supreme Court ruling in her favor!), and yet here we are.

I hope the Supreme Court rules once and for all on the constitutional principle at stake in Barronelle’s case. This case is about more than her. It’s about all of us who believe what the Bible teaches about marriage. If the government can coerce her to violate her conscience, then they can do it to anyone. And that’s the issue.

Women and children first? Absolutely.

I’ve been enjoying Andrew Roberts’ recent biography of Winston Churchill titled Churchill: Walking with Destiny. The book includes a letter in which Churchill opines about the sinking of the Titanic and about how proud he was that the men on the ship put women and children onto the lifeboats first. Churchill said that the whole event “reflects nothing but honour upon our civilization.” His prose is grandiose but stirring:

I cannot help feeling proud of our race and its traditions as proved by this event. Boatloads of women and children tossing on the sea safe and sound — and the rest — silence. Honour to their memory. In spite of all the inequalities and artificialities of our modern life, at the bottom — tested to its foundations, our civilization is humane, Christian, and absolutely democratic. How differently Imperial Rome or Ancient Greece would have settled the problem. The swells and potentates would have gone off with their concubines and pet slaves and soldier guards, and . . . whoever could bribe the crew would have had the preference and the rest could go to hell. But such ethics could neither build Titanics with science nor lose them with honour.’

I can’t help but wonder if men in 2019 would do what those men did over one hundred years ago. Would they put the women and children into the lifeboats first? Or would the elbow their own way to safety? In any case, what an act of valor on the part of these men. Churchill is right. The whole event reflects honor on that civilization.

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