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Saturday Selections – Nov 12, 2022

Should Christians use someone’s “personal pronouns”? (12 min)

J.D Greear, former president of the conservative-learning Southern Baptist Conference, said he would, if asked, refer to a man as “she” and he would do so out of a “generosity of spirit.” This is a pitting of truth vs. love, with Greear choosing to side with love.

But it is a false contrast. In the same way that it would not be loving to affirm an anorexic in their delusion, it’s not loving to affirm a transgender in their lie. As James White notes, some of the Christian confusion here comes from believing there is some sort of moral neutral ground. And some of it comes from not being prepared to pay the cost for standing up for God’s Truth. (For more see When Steve wants to be called Sue.)

Tim Challies on love covering a multitude of sins

“There are as many ways to react badly to sin as there are ways to sin against one another. There are not nearly as many ways to react well to being sinned against. The Bible gives us two: lovingly overlook that sin or lovingly address that sin. The question is, when are we to overlook and when are we to address?”

The “knockout punch” syndrome

Gary Bates explains “why creationists are sometimes too quick to embrace the latest apparent ‘evidence’ for biblical creation.”

The problem with declaring a “pandemic amnesty”

The problem isn’t simply that mistakes were made when we didn’t have enough information. The problem was, “when we did not have adequate information to know what was best, interventionist policymakers nevertheless acted as if they did know.”

Though this isn’t a specifically Christian article (it cites a rabbi), it has thoughts on the nature of forgiveness and repentance which aren’t far off.

The case for kids (10-minute read)

Kevin DeYoung: “I do not urge Christian couples to have as many children as possible. But I do urge them to have more children.”

On the significance of beards

The beardless John Piper recommended this article, and I, equally beardless, add my kudos. In an emasculated world, beards can be a bit of a counter-protest and even a signpost.

Voddie Baucham on how they’re normalizing sin to our children… and us too (10 min)

I’ve been asked why I wear pro-life shirts; do they prompt conversations? And the answer is, no, most often they don’t. I either get a thumbs up, or a lady might make a throat clearing, scoffing sound. So, why wear them then? And why put a pro-life sign on your lawn, or an “Adoption, not Abortion” bumpersticker on your car?

To, as one friend put it, normalize dissent. In our godless age, God’s Truth is so infrequently presented that when it is, it might well be immediately ruled out as the crazy thoughts of some fringe minority. But the unborn’s defenders number in the millions; we’re no fringe element. We only seem like it because we’re being quiet. So, to further the case for the unborn – to get it moved out of the crazy camp to a place where conversations can happen – we need to normalize being pro-life.

The video below is on how impactful normalization can be, though the other way around. Consider just how many Christians feel uncomfortable when God’s thoughts on homosexuality are shared publicly. That’s the culture impacting us. And now, through children’s shows, the world is trying to impact our kids: from Peppa Pig and Muppet Babies to Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues. They seek to normalize what God condemns.

Countering this involves more than just shutting off these shows (though it certainly involves that too). There’s really no escaping the pervasiveness of this normalization effort. So we must acquaint our children with both God’s truth and how to most winsomely communicate that truth on issues like transgenderism, and homosexuality, the unborn, marriage and more. And we need to hear preaching that isn’t embarrassed by God’s stand, but highlights how our good God, who loves us, knows what is best for us.

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Saturday Selections - Nov 5, 2022

The power of Nazi propaganda (6 min) As Remembrance Day approaches, it's worth remembering the way the Nazis won people over with their propaganda. They pointed to the Jews as the source of their nation's ills, and to a special elite - whether that was Aryans, the Nazi Party, or the Fuhrer – as the savior, not even being subtle about the Messianic nature they were ascribing to Hitler. Are we vulnerable to the same scapegoating, the same misdirection? Johnny Horton in a 1960 appearance on The Ed Sullivan show singing "Sink the Bismarck" In this 1960 appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, Johnny Horton sings about the sinking of the German battleship Bismark in World War II. It was the biggest battleship the Nazis had ever made, and was involved in the sinking of the British battlecruiser, HMS Hood, one of their biggest warships. "The Mighty Hood" went down with almost all hands. This could be one to show the kids to, in a kid-appropriate way, introduce them to the sacrifices and bravery involved in defeating this enemy. On the "banality of evil" The world wants to believe the Nazis were very different from us. That's why many were very angry when Jewish author Hanna Arendt reported during Nazi Adolf Eichman's trial that he was "terribly and terrifyingly normal." In Proverbs God warns us that while there is a type of evil – the way of the wicked (Prov. 14:5, 14:17, 21:29) – that takes effort, there is also another kind – the way of the sluggard (Prov. 19:24, 25:26) – that comes of simply not standing up for what is right, not pursuing righteousness. This is the banal sort that requires nothing but apathy and indifference to what is good. Cannibalism onscreen is a strange evangelism opportunity Today's scriptwriters seeking to shock their audiences have to go further and further into the outrageous. And that explains why cannibalism is being increasingly featured as a plot device. But, as John Stonestreet writes, "Those who find a worldview in which bodies have no purpose or boundaries a bit nauseating should wonder why. Christians can tell them, and offer the alternative..." Conscience rights are a must in medicine The Left wants to force Christian doctors and nurses to participate in abortion and euthanasia. Some Christians think that, while they should refuse to participate, they can refer the patient to someone else who will do the deed. That's better only to the degree that it is better to be an accessory to murder than rather than the murderer yourself - better yes, but still really wicked. The Left gets that there can be a time when it is good to refuse to participate, as evidenced by some who've proudly refused to serve former First Lady Melania Trump. They believe in conscientious objection... just not for Christians. Laura Klassen is preaching to the choir so the choir can start preaching (4 min) Why should already pro-life people watch a video depicting the horrors of abortion? Isn't that just preaching to the choir? Maybe. Or maybe even we don't understand the true horror of abortion yet either As we approach Remembrance Day, we think also of the Holocaust, and while it wouldn't be accurate to describe the Holocaust as having being a secret during the war, it would be true to say that the extent of the horror was only understood after Germany was defeated – what the Nazis had been doing to the Jews was so terrible as to be unbelievable. And that's true of what is happening to the unborn today. So there is reason t0 watch, to cry, and to be motivated to act, whether that's sharing the video, or speaking up for the unborn in some other way. This is important to see, but it is also very disturbing and certainly not appropriate for everyone, particularly our young children, so parental discretion is very much advised.  ...


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