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News

Saturday Selections - July 28, 2018

How to help your daughter deal with mean girls

Three tips on how to help your girls deal with - and not become - mean girls.

Some cultures are better than others

Some post-modern folk are so consistent with the outworking of their worldview, they'll argue that a culture that conducted ritual sacrifice daily is just practicing what they believe, and we shouldn't judge them. Thankfully, most post-modern folk aren't this consistent, and showing them something like this can help them see through the problem with their worldview.

Facebook shuts down Christian ideas while allowing others to post threats 

When CBC posted a video pushing homosexuality on what looked like kindergarten kids, a Christian professor posted a protest to his Facebook page. And got suspended by Facebook. Moreover, when folks share that they have been muted by Facebook, on Facebook - or their friends do - that can lead to further suspensions.

Anne with an E is a PC fail

Anne of Green Gables, everyone's favorite Canadian heroine, has been turned into an advocate for homosexuality, and an opponent of "domesticity and traditional social roles."

What the Roman Catholic Church is still wrong: a helpful book

R. Scott Clark reviews D.G Hart's new book Still Protesting: Why the Reformation matters. If you have a Roman Catholic in your life, this may be a good read. Another is R.C. Sproul's Are We Together: A Protestant analyzes Roman Catholicism.

Is the Earth's climate unstable? A young earth creationist's thoughts (3 minutes)

News

Saturday Selections - June 23, 2018

What submission means for singles Wives are called to submit to their husbands so does that mean submission is only for marriage? Supercomputers don't compare to single cells  Paul Nelson talks with Del Tackett about "how a single cell is more complex than any computer." "Happy wife, happy life" and other misleading advice to young husbands Martin Luther once noted there are two sides of a horse we can fall off of, and swing back from the one side can have us falling off the other. When it comes to headship, some Christian men understood their headship role as being a domineering, rather than sacrificial one. Perhaps in an overreaction, there are men who think their headship role is sacrificial in so far as it involves doing whatever their wife asks, but they've abdicated any sort of leadership role. Other gospels? A number of scholars address the claim that there are other gospels (4 minutes). Should Christians be conscientious consumers? In a world in which the corporate sphere increasingly endorses what God opposes, should Christians be boycotting this business and that? Douglas Wilson argues that while that can be a legitimate tactic, that's quite different from saying it is a moral obligation (7 minutes). Dogs can talk In this half hour film Ray Comfort introduces us to his incredibly cute dog, Sam, and highlights how man's best friend can break the ice for evangelism (28 minutes). ...

News

Saturday Selections - June 16

Free book on what it means to be a man What does it mean to be a godly man? Dr. Bredenhof reviews The Masculine Mandate, and a link at the end of his review shows where you can pick up the e-book version for free until June 18. Fantastic free film for the kids From now until June 20 you can get a FREE download of The Wild Brothers, Episode 1 – the coupon code at checkout is KIDS18. Young and old will really enjoy this series (this is the first of eight videos) about a missionary family in the jungles of the South Sea Islands. Exotic setting, exotic animals, and adventurous Christian boys - it's quite the combination! Defend your body with the Word "...part of the problem, I know, is myself: I haven’t learned contentment. I haven’t fought to infuse my thinking about body image with God’s word. I haven’t wrestled with this because, for most of my life, my body conformed to the pattern of the world—and as long as it conformed, I felt little pressure. But now that it doesn’t, I’ve been caught unprepared." The hardest job in school: The board member? There are a lot of hard jobs in our schools so this title might be a bit much. But these two articles offer a lot for board members to consider. 5 fears that keep us from talking to our kids about porn "Why do we put off what we know we need to do, even when we know it is something very important? In my experience most parents know that modern day pornography is more dangerous than ever and that they need to regularly talk with their kids about it. However, my experience also demonstrates that a lot of parents put off these conversations until they discover their child has started viewing pornography. We do this because we are afraid." Earth: the perfect place to watch eclipses The moon is roughly 400 times closer to us than the Sun, and amazingly also 400 times smaller than the Sun. That makes it possible for the moon to completely block out the Sun during an eclipse while still allowing us to observe and study the Sun's corona. "It is an amazing 'coincidence.' The one place that has observers is the one place that has the best eclipses" (5 minutes - read more here). ...

News

Entertainment industry stands strong for what's wrong

Veteran actor Robert De Niro made news on Sunday for a very short speech – just 17 words. His assignment, at the Tony Awards, was to introduce a performance by Bruce Springsteen. But before he did that, he decided to spend just a moment insulting Donald Trump. Standing in front of the Broadway theater community – many of whom are also stars in Hollywood – De Niro began: “I’m going to say one thing: ------ Trump!” This brought out the wild cheers, and got the crowd on its feet. After shaking his fists above his head De Niro continued: “"It's no longer down with Trump, it's ----- Trump!” Now there’s any number of reasons to disapprove of Trump: he owns casinos and has lobbied the government to use its eminent domain to drive people off their property so he could expand those casinos; he’s been featured on the cover of Playboy; he’s bragged about his many affairs including with married women; he’s run the Miss American pageant; he’s on his third marriage; his wife has posed nude; he often lies, even (maybe especially) about unimportant things; and he throws out his own petty insults. But is that why these entertainment elites were jeering him? How many of them are on their third wives, and have had multiple affairs? How many have appeared onscreen naked? How many gamble in those same casinos? So they aren’t protesting Trump’s moral failings. But then what are they protesting? We can guess but we don’t know because De Niro used expletives rather than explanations. Later, in his introduction to Bruce Springsteen, he did give reasons – he spoke of the need for “truth, transparency and integrity in government.” But that came afterwards. What Broadway was cheering here was not a position, but simply his use of the F-word – they were siding with boorish vulgarity, over against intelligent, civil, discussion. In related news, Major League Baseball, and the National Football League announced that they will join the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association at this year’s New York City Pride March. That means all four of North America’s most popular sports leagues will be using their influence and reach to promote a lifestyle that is in rebellion to God, and which is harmful to its participants. This leads to a question. As actors, and sports leagues too, seek to use their influence to oppose God and His standards, how much longer are we going to contribute to that influence by watching and discussing their movies, and following their sports franchises? If they want to thumb their nose at God, then they shouldn't hear our applause. Picture is a screenshot from CBS broadcast of the Tony Awards and used under fair use provisions....

News

Saturday Selections - June 9

I believe in "theistic evolutionist" Dr. Bredenhof on the disingenuous way some in the creation/evolution debate describe their positions. Airport security: where do we draw the line? When airport security selected his 13-year-old daughter for a pat down, John Stonestreet wasn't going to have it. Should churches incorporate? "Incorporating the church also undermines Reformed church governance because it puts power in the hands of the membership to overturn “board” (i.e. elders’) decisions. Incorporation puts final decision making power in the membership rather than consistory." The myth of deforestation: the difference between environmentalism and biblical stewardship On the surface biblical stewardship and secular environmentalism seem to have a lot in common - both are concerned with pollution and loss of animal species. But where they often differ is in the Christian belief that people are more important than plants and animals. Now, saying people are more important than the plants and animals isn't to say that plants and animals are unimportant – it is only about getting our priorities straight. And when it comes to deforestation, secular groups have gotten their priorities mixed up. While the planet is, overall, still experiencing a slightly decline in the extent of its forests, that is happening in the poorest countries. Meanwhile in the rich West, our forests are increasing - in the UK they are three times what they once were! Trees are a luxury – the person who doesn't know what they are going to eat today doesn't have the time or energy to care about trees...and we shouldn't expect them to. But the wealthier a country becomes, the more likely they will see an increase in the size of their forests, as trees become a luxury we can now afford. So when environmentalists complain about deforestation, what is it they are asking for? That the poorest countries start making trees a bigger priority, even as people are still starving? They aren't saying that out loud, but that is what they are asking. And those are mixed up priorities. Starlings are stupendous! Grab the spouse, grab the kiddies, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the jaw dropping spectacle of starling "clouds." God is fun! (4 minutes). On reading and how to do it We all know how to read, sure. But we don't always know how to assess what we're reading. Bekah Merkle gives us some of the tools (40 minutes). ...

News

Saturday Selections – May 26, 2018

I want to buy your cheapest phone Tim Challies has bought a "dumb" phone to help him regain balance and control over his "digital assistant." No, the eye is not badly designed The claim that the eye is badly designed - and that this bad design is evidence of it chaotic unplanned evolutionary origin – is a myth that keeps popping up: by Richard Dawkins 30 years ago, to Dr. Nathan Lents this year. But, all we need is a closer look at the eye to see the critics have been blinded by their worldview – what they see as a design problem is actually a design feature! The biblical way to fly a plane? Is there really a Christian way to fly an airplane? You bet! As Kuyper once said, there is not one square inch of creation that Jesus doesn't declare as His own. So whether flying planes, or doing math, there is a Christian way to do it. Math? Yes, that too: "As the apologist Cornelius Van Til once said, paraphrasing, it is not that the unbeliever cannot count, but that his worldview cannot account for counting." Alfie Evans not alone: Hundreds of patients starved to death in the UK every year Those of us with Dutch relatives have heard the reports of elderly folk in the Netherlands who are scared to go to their hospitals – they don't trust that the staff will look at their lives as worth extending and fighting for. The same fear exists in some places in Australia, and as this article illustrates, it would seem the British elderly also have a reason to fear their public healthcare system. When all life isn't regarded as precious, then it might just be your life they don't find precious. More on the importance of questions Joseph Backholm asks "How can we have civil discourse when the other side isn't willing to have ANY discourse?" God says the law is written on our heart, and one bit of that - Proverbs 18:17 - says that one side seems right until the other comes and tests it. So when people are unwilling to share the reasons for why they believe what they believe, we can use questions to point out to them that their ideas are untested – that they believe what they believe, not because they have weighed both sides, but only because someone told them what to believe. (Warning: there is some bleeped out language) School shootings: the cause and cure Ray Comfort's new 20-minute movie is worth watching for the first few minutes alone. Comfort interviews young people and asks them if they can call a school shooter evil...and they can't! Our culture doesn't want to condemn evil because then they would have to own up to their own. But God's law is written on their hearts... ...

News

Are young people the loneliest generation?

In our ever more connected age, somehow loneliness seems to be growing. Earlier this year the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, appointed a “minister of loneliness” to address the situation. And this past month a study on loneliness among Americans found loneliness a particular problem among youth – those aged 18 to 22 felt far more isolated than those aged 72 and over. On the study’s 80-point scale, anything at a 43 and up was considered lonely. Generation Z, 18 to 22 year olds, scored an overall average score of 48.3. This compared to a 38.6 for the “Greatest Generation” of 72 and over. So why would young people feel lonelier than their grandparents and great grandparents? Might it be due to social media, with young people perhaps making more Facebook “friends” than real friends? That could be a part of it. Heavy users of social media did score higher/were a bit lonelier than those who never used social media. But the difference was only 2 points, and not enough to explain the nearly 10-point gap between youth and their grandparents. Another possibility? The study found those who lacked regular “meaningful in-person social interactions” were far lonelier. So social media is part of the explanation, but perhaps some of it is also the constant stream of trivialities occupying youth (and many of their parents too): video game marathons, clip after YouTube clip, constant texting, endless sport commitments, Netflix-binging, and keeping up with the latest love interest of this musician or that actor/royal/celebrity famous for being famous. Constant, quick, shallow engagement doesn’t leave a lot of time for the slower, deeper, more meaningful exchanges. Loneliness happens in the Church too, and often times for the same reasons. We may have the opportunity for social interaction – there are a lot of people in our churches – but that doesn’t automatically mean those interactions are going to be of the meaningful sort. Christians also put on masks – for public viewing it’s tempting to play the part of the always-perfect parent, ever-supportive spouse, or trouble-free son or daughter. We’re good at shooting the breeze, talking sports and the weather. It’s easy to have a ten-minute conversation after church that’s about nothing at all. God has a prescription of sorts for a more meaningful conversation. He wants older men and women mentoring their younger counterparts (Titus 2). And He wants parents and grandparents to talk about how God has worked in their lives. David puts it this way: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (Ps. 145:4). Of course, there’s a bad way this can be done. When we’re older, we sometimes find ourselves amazed when a young fellow or lass is willing to listen to what we have to say…so we try to squeeze every last bit of wisdom in that we can. And we don’t let them get a word in edge-wise. But relationships aren’t built via one-way communication – to be a help to the next generation we have to care enough about them to ask them about their interests, struggles and joys. Young people, you have a role in this too. God wants you seeking wisdom from your elders (Prov. 3:1). If they aren’t coming to you, it might be because they can’t imagine the younger generation really wanting to get to know them and learn from them. So, approach them after church. Introduce yourself. Ask yourself over for coffee sometime. Ask questions. Grab hold of that wisdom with both hands. There is more to relationships than simply sharing our joys, sharing the good God has done us. As David models in Psalm 3, 6, 25, and others, it also involves letting others know about our struggles. Finding a group of people you can trust and count on and “be real” with can be a hard. But is worth pursuing. God has given us the communion of saints for a reason – He knows what we need, and He has given us each other....

News

Donald Trump, G.K. Chesterton, and the 10,000 Commandments

During his campaign, Donald Trump promised he would get rid of two regulations for every one that he added. Why make such a pledge? Because regulations come with all sorts of compliance costs. How many lawyers and accountants does it take to help businesses comply with tax regulations? Safety regulations might require a business to buy bright yellow vests for their employees, and that’s a compliance cost too. Then there are also required certifications, and training, and it all adds up. In fact, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) – an American free market think tank – estimates federal regulations (this doesn’t even include state or city regulations) cost US taxpayers $1.9 trillion annually as of 2017. That works out to $15,000 each year for the average American household. In this year’s edition of their annual regulations report “Ten Thousand Commandments 2018” the CEI gave Trump credit for reducing some regulations. But they figured it amounted to bumping the metaphorical 10,000 in their title down to 9,999. This secular think tank has picked an intriguing title for their regulation report. “Ten Thousand Commandments” seems to be a reference to a very religious statement attributed to G.K. Chesterton: “If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments.” Chesterton’s point? When a culture rejects God and His call for self-control and self-regulation, the State steps in, trying to replace Him and his Law. But they do a muck of both. When everyone is looking out for number one, and isn’t trying to reflect God, or look out for his neighbor’s interests, then instead of compassion and care, we will have to have regulation and legislation. So how then should Christians view regulations in a godless culture? As a sometimes necessary evil. They are costly, but there is a reason for many of them. However, in the midst of 1,000-page healthcare bills and 500-page omnibus budgets, we can be sure they are sometimes a very unnecessary evil too. Whittling them down isn't going to impact the country's spiritual health – no matter how successful his efforts, Donald Trump isn't going to take the US from Ten Thousand to just Ten Commandments. But with this type of effort many countries could have a positive impact on their material wealth....

News

Saturday Selections - May 12, 2018

5 questions to ask a book before you read it Tim Challies lists 5 questions to "help you filter the few books you will read from the thousands you could read." Marvel's latest supervillain sounds like some respected scientists and doctors Thanos thinks death is preferable to a life of suffering. This is the same kind of thinking that motivated Alfie Evans' doctors. An "animal salad" of bones points to catastrophic demise A massive collection of fossils bones gives evidence of a massive flood. Some of the facts on transgenderism A new picture book by a transgender television star is reviewed by an endocrinologist who highlights the misinformation being pitched at kids. Greg Koukl on a powerful tactic for defense of our faith This spring Reformed Perspective brought Tim Barnett to congregations across Canada to teach "Tactics in Defense of our faith." His talk was based on a book, Tactics, by Stand to Reason president Greg Koukl and in this half hour video Koukl gives his own presentation of the very useful "Columbo Tactic." This is the first session, available for free, of a six-session set you can buy here. The Log Driver's Waltz A bit of nostalgic canadiana for Canucks 30 and over. ...

News, Sexuality

When a gay couple wants you to help them celebrate sin

Back in 2012, an American couple that rented out their barn for weddings ran into trouble when two ladies wanted to reserve it for a gay “marriage” ceremony. Cynthia and Robert Gifford, both Catholic, refused – they didn’t want their farm used to celebrate what God condemns. The lesbian couple lodged an official complaint, and the New York Division of Human Rights ruled in their favor, fining the Giffords a total of $13,000 for their refusal. Two years later New York’s Supreme Court Appellate Division upheld the ruling. The appeals judge, Karen Peters, said that the Giffords could “profess their religious beliefs that same-sex couples should not marry,” but as long as they allowed heterosexual couples to use their farm, they had to let same-sex couples do so too. The “perfect solution”? So what could the Giffords do? A March 23 Faithwire.com article detailed the couple’s response. They are continuing to rent out their barn and farm, but on their website they’ve announced that a portion of the proceeds from any wedding will be donated to support traditional marriage. The notice reads: At Liberty Ridge Farm, our deeply held religious belief is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and the Farm is operated with the purpose of strengthening and promoting marriage. In furtherance of this purpose and to honor and promote our moral and religious beliefs, we donate a portion of our business proceeds to organizations that promote strong marriages such as the Family Research Council. The couple’s response got a couple of media outlets quite excited, with Faithwire’s Will Maule suggesting they “may have just solved the gay marriage dilemma” and The DailyWire’s Hank Berrien describing it as the “perfect solution.” This, they thought, was the way forward for Christian wedding cake bakers, and wedding photographers, and wedding venue owners. By declaring their support for traditional marriage, the Giffords are sure to dissuade many gay couples from even considering their farm. And the activist sorts who want to push the issue and rent it anyway? Well, if they know that using the Giffords' barn means, in effect, making a donation to the conservative Christian lobby group, the Family Research Council, that might just dissuade them too. This would seem an approach that Christian wedding photographers, and wedding cake makers, and more, could readily imitate. But it is it really the perfect solution? On the very same webpage the Giffords promise that all “couples legally permitted to marry in the state of New York are welcome to hold their wedding at Liberty Ridge Farm. We serve everyone equally.” This statement is probably a requirement from the judgment against them, but it would seem to concede too much. On the one hand the Giffords are speaking up for traditional marriage, but on the other, they are promising to host and help with same-sex “marriages.” This is a muddled message. Still, is there something that we can be inspired by here, and perhaps improve on? Shrewd and innocent In Matthew 10:16 Jesus told his disciples that in their dealings with the world, they should be shrewd and innocent: I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. The Giffords’ approach is certainly shrewd. It seems sure to decrease and maybe even eliminate the requests they might otherwise get from homosexual couples. What might be missing in the Giffords’ approach is the “innocent as doves” part. When Christians oppose gay “marriage” we’re not going to be portrayed as innocent doves, but as bullying bigots – we’re going to be accused of simply hating those who are different. That’s why it’s important we explain ourselves. And it’s just as important that our motivations be truly godly. We can applaud the Giffords for their desire to stand up for traditional marriage but if we’re going to build on what they’ve done, we shouldn’t overlook where there is room for improvement. In their explanation, they speak of honoring and promoting their “moral and religious beliefs.” They also speak of traditional marriage as being a “deeply held religious belief.” Something is missing here. Or, rather, Someone. We don’t oppose gay “marriage” because of our deeply held religious beliefs. We oppose it because God made us male and female (Gen. 1:27), and because a man is to leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). We oppose gay “marriage” because that is not how God intended marriage to be. We oppose it because we know that homosexuality is a sin, and that unrepentant sin separates a person from God. We oppose it, because if we love our gay neighbor then we want them to know that a commitment to continuing to live this sinful lifestyle “until death do us part” is a commitment to rebellion against God. It sets them on the road to hell. That’s why we can’t help them celebrate. Out of concern for the couple themselves, we don’t want any part in these ceremonies – we know it’s going to harm them! Of course, a reporter from the 6 o’clock news isn’t going to give us the time and space to communicate our concerns. But when it comes to our own websites, we have all the time and space we might need, so let’s spell it out there, with clarity and love. “Ewww!” is not an option To be clear, this isn’t simply about finding the right words, so we can say just the right thing. This is about living out the love God calls us to. If we’re saying we oppose gay “marriage” out of concern for the salvation of homosexuals, but we don’t actually feel that in our hearts, it’s going to come out. We can’t be a light to the world, if we’re faking it. So if we’re not feeling concern for them, then, before anything else, we need to ask God to work on our hearts, and to help us better love our neighbor as ourselves. Conclusion While the Giffords’ approach is shrewd, it’s also more than a little confusing. That’s in large part because, even as they are conceding they will host gay “marriages” but don’t want to, they don’t make it clear why they are opposed. Christians still have the freedom to speak our beliefs, including what we know to be true about marriage and homosexuality. What would happen if all the Christian wedding cake bakers, and wedding photographers, and wedding venue owners did so? What would happen if we all stated our concerns that these sinful commitments separate the couple from God? And what if we stated that, if a gay couple uses the law to compel us to be a part of their ceremony, then we are going to donate all funds to homosexual outreach so we can express these concerns to many more? Is that a stance we can, in good conscience, take? Or does it concede too much? Might there be another better way for us to be both clever and clear? If it’s not clear just yet what exactly the “perfect solution” is, this much is clear: Christians need to explain our opposition to gay “marriage” with clarity and charity. Our opposition isn’t first and foremost because it undermines traditional marriage, or because it offends our “deeply held religious beliefs.” We oppose gay “marriage” because it is a commitment to life-long rebellion against the one true and holy God, and if the couple keeps to that commitment, then they are going to hell. That’s the clarity. And the charity is in expressing that in all sincerity, and with genuine concern....

News

“Non-binary” fellow takes on feminist law

In mid March news broke of yet another “first,” this time in an Oregon county where Venn Sage Wylde, a “non-binary candidate” – a man who doesn’t want to be identified as a male or female – is running for the position of “Precinct Committee Person.” The interesting wrinkle here is that, by state law, these positions are to be filled with an equal number of men and women. Why? This type of law is typically meant to increase the participation of women in politics and based on a feminist ideology that declares women and men to be identical, both in interests and abilities. So the lower number of women in politics is understood as being irrefutable proof of discrimination – what other explanation could there be? – which such a law is then brought in to correct. Of course, this sort of feminist thinking ignores the possibility that men and women might actually be different. It denies that God, in making us male and female, gave us different roles, and different abilities, and might even have given us different priorities. Could it be that more women than men find politics noxious and unattractive? Feminists deny that’s even a possibility. However, there is one gender difference feminists will tout: they say women are uniquely oppressed. So, again, that’s why we need “corrective” laws like this one. But what happens when a feminist law is protested by a “non-binary” fellow? Venn Sage Wylde has previously been elected a “Precinct Committee Man,” but earlier this year he went to the courts and had the State officially affirm his non-binary claim. Then, when he decided to run for a “gendered” position, that left the State with a problem. However, it turns out Multnomah County is nothing if not quick to appease. They immediately granted Wylde his wish and created a ballot with three offices: Precinct Committee Man Precinct Committee Woman Precinct Committee Person What’s unclear is how this can possibly work. Originally there was supposed to be one man and one woman elected for every 500 electors. Is there now going to be one man, one woman, and one “person” for every 500? Is this 50/50 split going to now be a 33/33/33 division? And how are they going to deal with the fact that while there are roughly as many women as men in the world, there are nowhere near as many folks claiming to be non-binary? There’s only one possible way forward: Oregon is going to be forced to eliminate their gender-based requirements. When that happens, it’ll mean that God has used a “non-binary” fellow to frustrate feminists’ ambitions; He’ll have used one rebel to correct another....

News

Glenn Beck on Stephen Hawking (1942-2018): When almost right is completely wrong

When renown theoretical-physicist and atheist Stephen Hawking, 76, passed away March 14, it made headlines around the world. He was probably the world’s best known scientist, his fame due in part to his 10-million copy bestseller A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. He was also known for his decades-long battle with ALS that confined him to a wheelchair and took his ability to speak, forcing him to communicate via a distinct computer-generated voice. In a tribute to the man, radio talk show host Glenn Beck addressed how the world doesn’t properly value the disabled: “Stephen Hawking is a prime example that all life is precious and has meaning. How would Margret Sanger or George Bernard Shaw view Stephen Hawking? They would say he didn’t have any quality of life. They would say he was disabled and therefore a burden on society. They would say he was worthless. “All of those sentiments are untrue. The world is a better place because Stephen Hawking chose to live his life to the fullest despite his crippling disease. He leaves behind a loving wife, three children and a legacy unmatched by many. Agree with him or not, he challenged our perception of the universe. But more than that, he showed us that no one can define your life except you. You are the master of your own world.” As a Mormon, Beck speaks from a generally Judeo-Christian perspective, and thus often defends the disabled. But while his sentiments here are right, his argument is wrong. In its push for euthanasia and abortion, the world argues that life is worth living only so long as we can be productive. Thus they justify euthanasia as the best end to a person’s life who, due to age, has become infirm. Similarly, the world touts abortion as the best “treatment” for unborn children with Down syndrome; since their disability will limit what they can do, their lives are not valued. To put it in more formal terms the world argues: If you can’t do much then your life isn’t worth much, And the disabled can’t do much; Therefore their lives aren’t worth much. Beck counters this argument by disputing the second premise: yes, Hawking was severely disabled but look at all he was able to accomplish! Some disabled people can do amazing things! This point is true enough. But in attacking only the second premise, Beck gives credence to the first. He acts as if the world is right: our lives are valuable only if we can do, and achieve, and accomplish. In granting this point, Beck is (albeit inadvertently) attacking the worth of any who are so severely disabled they can’t do much. Yes, some disabled people can make notable accomplishments…but what of those who cannot make decisions for themselves, can’t define their own lives, and are not the masters of their own world? Beck has lost sight of where our worth comes from. It isn’t found in what we can do, but instead is found in Who made us. We are all made in God’s Image, from the smallest unborn baby, to the most aged and infirm adult – this is why all lives are valuable and should be respected. This is also the only way in which we are all equal, and thus the only basis for equality. Beck was half right – many disabled people are able to accomplish notable things. But this is an example of how being half right is sometimes the same as being horribly wrong....

News

Episcopalians consider non-binary/feminine pronouns for God

The 1.7 million member Episcopal Church opposes the death penalty, supports legalized abortion, and ordains both women and homosexuals into office. Now one diocese has voted to ask the denomination’s upcoming July General Convention if they could “when possible, avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.” The 88-congregation Washington, D.C. diocese passed the resolution in January with the intent that any upcoming revisions of the denomination’s Book of Common Prayer would use “expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition.” The problem is, there are no rich Scriptural sources of feminine imagery for God; He overwhelmingly chooses to use the masculine pronouns to describe Himself. And that reality is a problem for many in this diocese. As delegate Rev. Linda Calkins shared: “Many, many women that I have spoken with over my past almost 20 years in ordained ministry have felt that they could not be a part of any church because of the male image of God that is systemic and that is sustained throughout our liturgies. Many of us are waiting and need to hear God in our language, in our words and in our pronouns.” It’s clear then, that instead of trying to know God as He has revealed Himself, they want to hear from a god made in their own image. When we see millions of professing Christians running from God, some self-examination would not be out of order. So….are we so different? To answer that question, consider how we deal with passages of the Bible that we find unpleasant, or difficult to accept, like those on: eternal damnation (Rev. 20:10-15) rods, and corporal punishment (Prov. 13:24) the annihilation of the Canaanites (Joshua 12) gender roles (Eph. 5:21-33) the Creation account (Gen. 1-2) slavery (Eph. 6:5) election and reprobation (Rom. 9:11–13) Do uncomfortable passages inspire us to dig deeper to find out what they reveal about God? Or do we want to ignore them, and ignore what they teach about God so we can go on worshipping God as we would like Him to be? The answer to that question will reveal the direction we are heading. Either we’re embracing God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, or we are heading down the same path (even if it is quite a distance behind) as the Episcopalian Church. Of course, God may yet turn them around and there is a small, almost ironic indicator that something is going on behind the scenes. The same Diocese that is pushing for gender-neutral descriptors has also, since 2015, been encouraging their members to tithe ten percent – how very literalistic of them!...

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