I heard a preacher over the weekend answering questions about the LGBT community and how to reach them and love them. He, himself, lives in Boystown in Chicago. When asked on how to respond to the harsh, bigotrous, anti-Christian persecution on Facebook, which comes to anyone that stands by the Gospel, he responded with a ridiculing laugh and said that we should know better than to do this on Facebook.
A man, who lives in Boystown, going where the people are and reaching out to a community in need of Jesus laughed at people that were going to and reaching out to a community in need of Jesus online. I agreed and nodded my head with most of what he said before this statement, but then this laugh stabbed through me, a backhand across the face. Where there is an open hostility towards Christianity, a people that live in mockery of God, a people seeking meaning, us Christians ought not go?
The irony apparently is lost on him.
As an introvert, the whole approaching-those-I-don’t-know thing is very difficult. Not because I’m shy— I’m not—, but because our culture is built around extroverts. To get to any sort of real conversation, one must jump through the hoops of small talk, formalities, and fakery to seem pleasant enough to be real with. Our churches, too, seem geared towards extroverts. “Turn around and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know.” “James, I don’t know you, but do you mind opening us in prayer?” “Join us Saturday for our ice cream social.” None of those seem even remotely enjoyable to me. And I’m not alone.
But where the one-on-one interaction in person is difficult, the Internet opens many of us up to be more bold, more social, more sharing. Where an extrovert shines going to Boystown, the introvert shines going on Facebook. Both locations need Jesus. Both places are hostile towards Christianity and God. Both are seeking purpose and meaning. So why is my mission field wrong?
During his remarks, which were regularly interrupted by rounds of applause from the assembled lawmakers, Pope Francis condemned the death penalty, called for better environmental stewardship, and even talked about the ills of political polarization. He did not, however, mention Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection form the very foundation of the Christian faith.
The Pope could have had a Jonah moment, going before the Congress of the most powerful nation in the world. He could have called each man and each woman to hit their knees before the Most High; repent, take up their cross and follow Jesus. But instead he talked about climate change and politics. Not even mentioning Jesus once, as if a congress of men could change the world when only Jesus can.
When Lawrence Krauss says that no true scientist starts assumptions of God, he’s committed a fallacy called a No True Scotsman.
A No True Scotsman argument is an ad hominem fallacy, targeting the person making the argument instead of the argument at hand.
It goes as follows:
“Scientists have to be militant atheists to do their job,” which gets the response ”Michael Faraday was a believer in God and used Scripture as a source to discover electromagnetism,” to which the one bad at arguing says, “No true scientist believes in God.”
It’s a way of distracting from the argument at hand and poor form, for sure.
When Lawrence Krauss does this, he ignores the wealth of scientific understanding that has come from Christian men and women that started with the Bible as their authority.
As previously stated, Michael Faraday was the father of electromagnetism.
In a book on Faraday and electricity, Brian Bowers writes that ‘it seems likely that his religious belief in a single Creator encouraged his scientific belief in the “unity of forces”, the idea that magnetism, electricity and the other forces have a common origin.’ Faraday went on to show that the electricity produced was the same regardless of how it was produced—by a magnetic field, by a chemical battery or as static electricity.
The father of Thermodynamics, too, was a devout Christian scientist. James Joule, who is credited with Joule’s Law. Isaac Asimov called his First Law of Thermodynamics, “one of the most important generalizations in the history of science”.
But don’t forget Pascal, Pasteur, and even Newton. Much of early science was pioneered by Christian creationists, but even modern science is seeing major discoveries from creationists, such as the inventor of the MRI, Raymond Vahan Damadian.
To set a pseudo-requirement that scientists mustn’t believe in God is just another attempt to silence faith in today’s world. Because tolerance.
“Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.
“I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to chose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion.
“In dissent, Chief Justice Roberts rightly observed that the Court’s marriage opinion has nothing to do with the Constitution. Justice Scalia observed that the Court’s opinion was so contrary to law that state and local officials would choose to defy it.
“For every politician — Democrat and Republican — who is tut-tutting that Davis must resign, they are defending a hypocritical standard. Where is the call for the mayor of San Francisco to resign for creating a sanctuary city — resulting in the murder of American citizens by criminal illegal aliens welcomed by his lawlessness?
“Where is the call for President Obama to resign for ignoring and defying our immigration laws, our welfare reform laws, and even his own Obamacare?
“When the mayor of San Francisco and President Obama resign, then we can talk about Kim Davis.
“Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in pubic office, they must disregard their religious faith–or be sent to jail.
“Kim Davis should not be in jail. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so.
“I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now.”
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
I have a guity pleasure for the writings of Douglas Wilson. The wit and the bite of his words are something to admire. Many Christian writers are too nice, avoiding harsh, direct words even when they are necessary. Douglas doesn’t mince words.
In his latest piece, he addresses the lack of support for Kim Davis, the county clerk that has taken a stand against the new cultural edict of gay marriage.
[T]here is a difference between contempt of court and seeing that the courts have become contemptible.
This woman needs our prayers as much as the Duggars do. As she is brought before the court of the land, she will need the boldness to stand for godliness against a godless rule. This is no easy task. Fact is, she was elected to uphold the law and the rights of the citizens. These rights and these laws were not to be established by men, but by God. “Endowed by our Creator,” to quote our founding documents. But now, activist lawyers have taken it upon themselves to read additional rights into amendments that simply don’t give those rights.
So let us pray for Kim’s boldness, her faith, and her resolve. They can either fire or impeach her, or realize that when a right infringes on the rights of others, it isn’t a right. Forcing Christians to participate in sinful behavior has never been legal, so let’s pray that we can get some balance back for religious freedom.
Now this takes me to my citation of Jefferson above. Some might say that it is a shame that I, a staunch Calvinist, have taken to quoting a Deist on the relationship of righteousness to government. And I say that it is a shame that a 18th century Deist has a better grasp of the relationship of righteousness to government than do two and a half busloads of 21st century Reformed seminary professors. The striking inconsistency might have two possible causes, in other words.
Hope. Many people are seeking it. Some Christians have lost it. The tricky thing is to recognize where you find it. Hope found in the world will always fail. Hope found in the power of the Cross, in the Blood of Jesus, in the eternal life to come will never fail. While the total depravity of our world is heavy, I find hope in the One that can overturn the sinful nature of the hearts of Man.
This for me is why I do not keep my words, my faith, the Word of God to myself. Keeping this hope, this blessèd assurance, to myself would be the greatest form of hate and selfishness. So I publish. Many will be offended. Many will unfriend me, unfollow me, or cut off all communication with me. But many more will see hope for something better than this fallen world.
For the Christian, we must recognize that sexual identity is not consistent with the Word of God. Neither hetero- or homosexuality. The idea of sexual identity is a very recent concept. As Rosaria Butterfield says, sex is something you do, not a core element of your identity.
Instead of common thinking that our kids need to "sow their wild oats" when they are young, research suggests that the behaviors, addictions, and poor choices of our developmental years stay with us. God can always help us to overcome the baggage, but it's never an easy process.
Unfortunately more information has come out about Josh Duggar. The media loves to shred people and— using information from a website, specifically built to help people have affairs, that was hacked and published online— have jumped on the story of Josh Duggar having an affair. This is horrible and a major hit to his integrity has a Christian, even more for it to be happening in the public square. Often times, these things come out behind closed doors and families deal with them and no one ever hears a word.
We need to realize that this family needs our prayers more than anything. Our God is a god of mercy and grace, forgiveness and love. The desires of the Lord are that this marriage stay together, that forgiveness is sought and given. The lions are circling and waiting, pushing and prodding to make the opposite happen. We need to pray that this family circles around this young couple in prayer and as wise counsel.
As for us, we need to be reminded if our sin and the wages of sin over time when not confronted. Our children today are not only encountering sexual sin much earlier, but be encouraged by their elders to partake in it much earlier. We must talk with our children earlier than ever and warn them, coach them, and parent them. We will be the weird ones of the world, but we always have been.
None of us can afford to sit idly by. We must be diligent to coach our kids on healthy sexuality. We must tell them that it is precious, beautiful, and worth saving for marriage. We must share with them about the addictive dangers of porn. Beyond the "just say no" language of many, we have to have frequent, relevant and usually awkward conversations about what it looks like to choose God's best in a world that commonly chooses poorly.
In a culture that glorifies death, does any life matter? We walk around trying to make sense of the senseless, find meaning in the meaningless, peace in a war zone. Born blind and deaf, only able to scream out in the empty darkness.
This isn't how life was meant to be. You aren't made to be living for the next nap, the next weekend, the next sexual encounter, or the next high. This is death. This is meaningless.
Wake up, oh sleeper, rise from the dead!
There is a life that welcomes all to pick up their cross and follow a King not of this world. Our leaders in this world might fail to meet our expectations, but this King set our expectations for something more because He wanted us to yearn for more.
Nothing here is good enough to fulfill that yearning. You've all felt it. That need for more. A different job, more money, a different girlfriend, the latest gadget. Maybe that will make me happy. I'm sorry to spoil it for you, but none of it will work.
This world is but a glimpse of the eternal, a taste of the divine. The best steak doesn't compare to the eternal. Neither does the most amazing woman, the highest paying job, or even a secluded island with no worries. We long for the eternal.
Your King knocks. Do you hear Him? Will you get out of bed and invite Him in? Wake up.