What the Supreme Court marriage ruling means for you

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The long anticipated U.S. Supreme Court ruling, coercively imposing a judicially created same-sex “marriage” (SSM) regime on the good citizens of all 50 states, portends far-reaching and truly ominous implications for our democratic republic. Amidst the morally hollow fanfare of rainbow illuminations and banners, most of these cold-hard realities were either ignored or under-reported. Tragically, the primary victim of the high court’s divisive decision is the Constitution itself (shredded) and with it the rule of law (undermined). In this era of growing moral and legal anarchy, some are asking, “Is the American experiment over?”

Justice Kennedy, joined by Breyer, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, threw the legal equivalent of jet fuel on the already red-hot glowing embers of intolerant anti-Christian sentiments. In doing so, they cemented the specious cultural narrative that, according to the “thinking” of secular-progressive elites, individuals opposing marriage’s radical redefinition, especially Christians, are no better morally speaking than purveyors of Jim Crow or rabid Clansmen—enemies of humanity and enemies of the state.  Whether or not this devilish propaganda is actually true is irrelevant to our enlightened neo-high priests and priestesses. As such, now that our statist black-robed “gods” have spoken, our fellow citizens have “official” permission to tar Bible believers as unenlightened, homophobic bigots.

Righteously angry and powerful dissenting opinions were authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. As the four dissenting justices point out, theObergefell v. Hodges decision will likely prove to be at least as nationally divisive as Roe v. Wade, and signal a clear and present danger to our democratic republic and the bedrock American principle of religious freedom.  The following points raised by the dissenters are important to understand going forward:

  • Democracy Denied: The votes of millions of Americans desiring to retain the one-man, one-woman definition of marriage, which has successfully served humanity for millennia, were judicially nullified in a shameless illegal power grab by the purportedly superior, enlightened, statist, and decidedly elitist whims of five lawyers. This gang-of-five acted alone, apparently knowing better than the rest of us what is collectively good for all of us—whether we like it or not! Liberal passions and libertinism aside, it is common sense, and supported by the best research, that kids do best with a mom and a dad; neither is fungible. And yet, as Justice Scalia pointed out, the inherent authority we have possessed since 1776, the right of “we the people” to govern ourselves has been subverted and destroyed by a black-robed oligarchy, irresponsibly acting as super-legislators, imposing their hyper-progressive version of reality on all. To observe that this action is profoundly repugnant to American ideals is an awesome understatement. Tyranny, even in the form of lofty sounding legalese, remains tyranny and must always be opposed by a free people.
  • Liberty Libeled: As Justice Thomas pointed out, throughout our history liberty has meant freedom from government interference, not entitlement to a government benefit nor a lawless libertinism. As such, the Kennedy clan further misinterpreted and perverted the 14th Amendment’s conception of liberty to serve the result they were seeking. Apparently when you are making constitutional “sausage,” (a.k.a garbage) the ends justify the means. And, it is important to point out here, that the 14th Amendment appropriately extended procedural legal rights (equal protection and due process) to African Americans; it did not create and coerce new substantive rights as the court has done here by radically redefining marriage, concocting a new genderless or androgynous version. This new radical “right” was fabricated by Kennedy, who did not even bother to follow the court’s precedents regarding equal protection (suspect classification/strict scrutiny) or fundamental rights (“deeply rooted in our history and traditions”).
  • Federalism on Fire:   And, not willing to remain constitutionally bounded by its federal “limited enumerated powers,” the Supremes have swallowed up yet another important area actually left by our founders to the states and to “we the people”—the power to define marriage. This action further subverts the checks and balances between the federal government and sovereign states. States and the people ought rather to retain plenary authority over everything, including marriage, not specifically delegated to the federal government. Unlimited federal power has led and will continue to lead to increasing tyranny over the states and the people.
  • Religion Ransacked: The gang-of-five seems to have forgotten or ignored actual constitutional rights, specifically the religious liberties embodied in the First Amendment which have, until recently, successfully protected religious freedom and rights of conscience for more than 220 years. As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out, this new judicially manufactured illegitimate “right” to SSM (crudely fabricated by the five from the 14th Amendment) has crushed and will continue to crush religious freedom, a clearly legitimate constitutional right. Because SSM has been compared with African-American civil rights and the civil rights of women, those poor souls who maintain the Judeo-Christian view of marriage will be vilified and persecuted as backwards bigots. If the statist radicals have their way, non-profit ministries and churches that refuse to comply may soon see their tax exempt statuses revoked.

It is indisputable that we have now, as a nation, foolishly drifted far from the safe harbors of our constitutional moorings out into violently churning uncharted waters of moral and legal anarchy. Rejecting the warning of John Adams, we have become a nation of “men,” carelessly casting aside our beloved Constitution and the rule of “law.” This soft-tyranny of the black-robed oligarchy, undermining the Constitution and with it the legitimate rights of the states and “we the people,” must not go unchallenged.

How far can this go? Are there any meaningful limiting principles, other than progressive elitist appetites, proclivities, and biases? Perhaps not! If the United States Supreme Court can get away with this, what can’t they do? If nearly all issues can be federally misappropriated by merely relabeling them “constitutional,” than we the people may have truly lost our ability to govern ourselves as we are increasingly ruled by an oligarchical elite who couch their tyranny in reasonable sounding words.

Indeed, it was tyrannical governmental usurpations that fomented our break from England; perhaps history will be repeated here. Regardless, unless something is significantly changed, it appears that the idea and ideals that were America, including self-government and freedom, may become largely lost to history.

This unwelcome diagnosis may be painful to hear and the prescription for what ails us is a bitter pill to swallow. John Adams was right: Unless we have an educated, moral, and engaged citizenry to elect wise leaders who respect and follow the law, there is little hope for a return to national greatness from this dark abyss of legal and moral anarchy. There is no easy path back to the lamp light of freedom left for us by our wise founders, but there is a path!

For the past eight years, the National Center for Law & Policy has been actively fighting for marriage, the sanctity of life, and religious liberty in an increasingly hostile culture and the courts.  Although the legal landscape and American values have changed and are changing, our mission, vision, values, and goals have not varied, nor will they vary one iota.  We will continue to stand firm in truth and fight the good fight.

Certainly, in this radicalized cultural environment, we must have hearts of compassion and backbones of steel.  Now is not a time for Christian wimps.  If you missed it, please read Dean’s powerful editorial appearing in the Christian News Journal, A Call for Christian Courage!  The board of directors, attorneys, and staff of the National Center for Law & Policy make this solemn pledge to you regarding our core areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of life: We will not change!  Therefore, we commit to continue to:

  • Advocate for and defend individual believers, religious colleges, ministries, and churches from any and all threats to our freedom to believe, practice, express and actively live out our faithin all areas of our lives, both privately and publicly.
  • Engage the culture and the church by winsomely speaking the truth in love(Eph. 4:15) in hard-hitting opinion editorials, interviews, debates, and speaking opportunities.
  • Support policy efforts to pass legislation and secure constitutional amendments to protect religious liberty and the freedom of conscience, such as state and federal religious freedom restoration acts (RFRA’s).
  • Oppose and stop attempts to undermine the sanctity of life.For example, the NCLP is working with other pro-life advocacy organizations to fight California’s AB 775.
  • Advise and guide churches and Christian ministries regarding amending their bylaws and policiesto proactively prepare for future sexual orientation and gender identity lawsuits.
  • Encourage pastors to courageously shepherd and lead their flocks by clearly and compassionately preaching the gospel and the full counsel of God, including what the Bible teaches about the key moral issues confronting the church today.
  • And much, much, more…

The Obergefell v. Hodges decision has thrown proverbial gasoline on the already burning fires of anti-Christian sentiment. We expect to see and are in the process of preparing ourselves to handle a rapidly growing number of requests for our specialized legal assistance with a wide variety of cases involving religious discrimination and persecution. The battle lies before us and we need to make sure we have supply lines in place so that we do not run out of food or ammunition as we fight to keep the doors open for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Dying for a Lamborghini

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What would you do if you were offered the one thing you really wanted, but you had to do something truly terrible to get it?  What would you be willing to trade for your dream?  Your humanity?  Someone else’s humanity?  Let’s say that you had to hurt someone you love to finally achieve your big dream home.  Or perhaps you had to hasten the death of a relative to inherit a million dollars?  How far would you go?  What would you be willing to sacrifice to fulfill your selfish fantasies?  Would you kill for a really cool car?

Such Faustian bargains are unfortunately not just the fodder of fairy tales.  They are all too contemporary in our complex, modern, increasingly value-free, jaded, materialistic American culture.  We don’t want to admit it, but sometimes we are tempted to sacrifice our principles for profit, trading our virtue for worthless idols.

Truth is stranger, or perhaps darker, than fiction.  Enter reality, ripped from the headlines.  A Planned Parenthood employee, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, was caught on tape casually discussing how to avoid crushing aborted baby body parts containing vital organs, while crunching on salad and sipping Cabernet. Exposed, Planned Parenthood’s media team started distorting reality at speeds faster than the salad spinner that dried her fancy lettuce.  They claimed it wasn’t really all that bad, because the commodification of dead babies was for medical research and because they weren’t really “selling” the body parts, but only charging for transport costs, a modest fee of, say, $30 to $100.  What a bargain!  Why the explanation? Because the optics where truly horrible and because they were probably breaking the law.  According to the 42 U.S. Code, Section 289-G2, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”

And then, as it so often does, the other shoe dropped.  Be sure your sin will find you out!  Another video of yet another Planned Parenthood employee, Dr. Mary Gatter, surfaced revealing the callous deception of their duplicitous media messages.  You see, while bragging about a “less crunchy method” to preserve baby vital organs during abortions, Dr. Gatter drove a very hard bargain, not wanting to reveal her asking price for human baby flesh so as to weaken her negotiating position.  The truly dark conversation ends with Gatter confirming that she probably wants more than $100 per intact specimen. Why, because, as she explains, “I want a Lamborghini!”

Here’s a truly gruesome summary of what we learned, or perhaps have been reminded of, this week.  First, approximately 55 million of our fellow citizens have been “legally” exterminated (in perhaps history’s largest genocide) since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade unlawfully discovered and created a specious new “constitutional right” to kill babies (similarly as they did with same-sex “marriage” last month).  Second, Planned Parenthood is an active proponent and purveyor of baby killing.  Third, Planned Parenthood is significantly funded by you and me—our taxpayer dollars at work (They gross well over $1 billion annually—half of that from taxpayers.)! Fourth, they are altering abortion procedures to ensure lucrative baby body parts remain intact, also a violation of the law.  Fifth, Planned Parenthood has commodified dead baby body parts and is unlawfully profiting from their sale.  And finally, Dr. Mary Gatter wants to be so successful in this satanic scheme, that perhaps she will be able to afford a Lamborghini, starting price, $241,000.

As my friend attorney Casey Mattox recently noted, these videos have perhaps once and for all exposed Planned Parenthood as “an uncaring abortionist with a terrible bedside manner looking to squeeze out the last few dollars in profit from the unborn child it is killing.”  Are you not outraged?  If this sadistic status quo doesn’t grieve you deeply as a fellow human being, I simply ask, why not?  Perhaps this is because those holding culture’s megaphones have so successfully desensitized us by their pervasive propaganda as to what is truly evil, that we have lost the ability to be subjectively (and appropriately) shocked by darkness, sin, evil, or murder—even when confronted by truly such objectively awful things.  Have we become so morally numb that we have lost the human capacity for compassion, empathy, love, and concern for innocent victims?

This week’s macabre video montage reveals that the abortion industry is morally bankrupt and, like the proverbial emperor, has “no clothes.”  Planned Parenthood has been exposed as what it has always been, not a magnanimous champion of the rights of women, but rather a maleficent eugenically-motivated killing machine misappropriating taxpayer dollars as a part of its gruesome legacy of death and destruction.  We will be judged for how we have treated the least of these.  America, we can do better!  We must do better.

Why atheists should mourn the loss of religious freedom

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There was once a dream that was America.  Our early ancestors were willing to suffer great sacrifices, risking everything for a singular goal-freedom.  Victims of spiritually oppressive European regimes endured perilous journeys to our shores with hearts full of liberty’s hope-fleeing discrimination, intolerance, persecution and violence.

Religious Freedom was once the paramount right in the American pantheon of civil liberties.  Now, as Professor Smith accurately points out, religious freedom has fallen out of favor in the culture and the courts having been relegated to a “lesser liberty” status. It is regrettably forced to compete on an equal or lower footing with other rights including new, more recently fabricated, rights which are not explicitly embodied in our Constitution.  These “new rights on the block,” if you will, are concoctions, not of the Creator whose judgments are transcendent and objective to us, but of the fallen, fallible, and subjective human imagination.  The clearest examples of this are the emerging “sexual liberty” rights, which like a massive steamroller are crushing everything in their path, including religious freedom.

Over the past 60 years, a small but growing group of powerful cultural elites have effectively employed the media, the judiciary, and the coercive power of government to systematically suppress and remove religious freedom.  Many welcome this social demotion of religious liberty.  I do not.  I submit, and our current history proves, that if we lose religious freedom, which includes the freedom ofconscience, we undermine virtue and morality and erode the only sure foundation and transcendent and objective basis for all of our civil liberties such as the freedom speech (think speech free zones in Nevada), the freedom of the press (think prosecution of reporters), and the right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures (think NSA).

In other words, unless we comprehend and appreciate that our fundamental civil liberties are truly objective to us and independent of us, graced upon us by our benevolent and transcendent Creator, they can easily be immanently trampled upon and destroyed by the subjective biases, feelings, passions, preferences, whims and fancies of whomever happens to be in control of the government at the moment.  I submit that every freedom loving citizen, whether you believe in God or not-yes even the atheist, should highly esteem and with passion join the good fight to promote and defend religious freedom.  It is the fundamental civil right upon which all other civil liberties depend.

Many of our European ancestors came to America to flee religious persecution in Europe where, for centuries, when in control of the government, Protestants had been abusing Catholics, and Catholics had been abusing Protestants.  Needless to say, religious establishments in European nations usually did to turn out very well.

In the American experience, freedom of religion was first applied in the colony of Maryland at its founding by Lord Baltimore, a Catholic, in the form of the 1649 Maryland Toleration Act.  Protestant minister Roger Williams in the colony of Rhode Island, Thomas Hooker a minister in Connecticut, and William Penn, a New Jersey and Pennsylvania Quaker, promoted religious freedom in the colonies they led.  They combined the democratic form of government, which had been developed by the Puritans and the Congregationalists in Massachusetts with religious freedom.   These colonies became sanctuaries for persecuted religious minorities.

Williams, Hooker, and Penn were firmly convinced from the authority of the Holy Scriptures that freedom of conscience was the will of God. Williams believed that because faith is the free work of the Holy Spirit, it cannot be forced on a person.  Some have proposed that religious freedom is the creation of John Locke (1632-1704), the puritan English philosopher.  However, while Locke did write on the subject, he was greatly indebted for his formulation of it to the early American colonial leaders and his belief, based on scripture, that humans are created in God’s image.

Indeed, our founders universally believed that religion and virtue were the indispensable and only solid foundation for true freedom and liberty.  Benjamin Rush asserted, “The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion.  Without this, there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty.”  John Adams, declared, “[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”

All change is not progress–I believe this is especially true when one surveys the decline of religious freedom in America.  Our founders considered religion our first freedom, the bedrock upon which all other rights rest.  There are profound connections between democracy, religious freedom, and other civil rights we cherish.

By “religious freedom,” I mean what James Madison meant when writing in the 1785 “Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.”

I mean what Thomas Jefferson meant in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The transcendent Creator, who is objective to us, grants our civil rights-not the state.  As Sir William Blackstone wrote “The principle aim of society is to protect individuals in the enjoyment of those absolute rights, which were vested in them by the immutable laws of nature.” Jefferson affirmed these rights flow from our being created in the imago Dei when writing in 1777:”Almighty God hath created the mind free…All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.”

Today there is tremendous cultural pressure to stuff faith and conceal its expressions in one’s proverbial closet.  Still the concept of religious liberty of our founders embodied a far broader and more robust idea of freedom than the narrow, meager, and spiritually starved “freedom of worship” promoted by the Obama administration. This anorexic proposition would presumably only include the right to believe and acknowledge God privately in your prayer closet or church, hidden from the public square.

Robust religious liberty, as conceived by our founders, included a vast array of beliefs and actions, including, but not limited to the right to believe, but also practice and express one’s religious faith–both privately and publicly.  Indeed, Madison acknowledged in the Memorial and Remonstrance that religious freedom is an “unalienable” right.  In other words, because it is a right given by the Creator, no man has the right to take it away.

So, when the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, ratified in 1789, prohibits the establishment of religion, it means that the government cannot use its taxing and spending powers to forcibly establish one state church or otherwise establish one religion over and against other religions (e.g., a National Presbyterian Church).  And when the First Amendment states that congress shall make no law “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion, it means that the government may not, except in very limited circumstances, infringe upon or burden personal religious beliefs or expressions of those beliefs.  The First Amendment was clearly not intended, nor should it be used, as a spiritually hostile battering ram to silence or cleanse public religious expression or squelch public religious practices, as some organizations, such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, have suggested.

As one who has committed my life to advocate for and defend religious freedom, I am deeply concerned about its deteriorating condition in America over the past 60 years. As we have uncoupled our rights from their only secure, transcendent, objective source, a more robust experience of religious freedom is systematically being pushed out of our public life, including our hilltops, schools, churches, and even our military.  As Dostoevsky wrote, “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.”  “Everything” may include the state sanctioned destruction of the rights of conscience and religious freedom. But my concern is not only that we are “losing our religion,” but also what the loss of our religious freedom may portend for the viability of other civil rights and, ultimately, for the survival of our democratic republic.

In conclusion, the pending demise of religious freedom ought not be celebrated but should rather be mourned. We often foolishly confuse social change with “progress.”  But history teaches the brutal lesion that change is nearly equally likely to proceed in a negative or backwards direction-leading to the loss of freedom, the destruction of civil rights.  That is why I invite you to join me and others in engaging in “the good fight” for the freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

A call for Christian courage!

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Things appeared bleak. The righteous cause was at a critical crossroads. Opposition was fierce. Many in the culture, including some fellow Christian leaders, were not applauding his just and noble struggle. Would hate win? Languishing in a Birmingham jail, the future was uncertain. At that moment, the lonely, imprisoned hero started to write, penning a passionate plea. The man was pastor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now is such a time. We are at a critical cultural crossroads. You could almost cut the tension with a knife as we nervously awaited the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage edict. Would marriage be redefined? Would the radical LGBT agenda have the last word? Will religious freedom continue to evaporate, becoming a burnt offering on the pagan idol of radical sexual liberty? And what is the Christian response?

These questions remain profoundly vexing to faithful Christian culture warriors in light of the 5-4 decision, coercively imposing a same-sex “marriage” regime on the citizens of all fifty states. Five justices could not locate this “right” anywhere in the constitutional text or judicial precedents, so the elite “enlightened” jurists opted to act as super-legislators and simply make it up! Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, announced the newly discovered “right” to genderless “marriage,” describing it in such glowing and confusing terms as “spiritual” and “transcendent,” almost sounding as if he were a neo-pagan Moses figure delivering revised commandments to modern America. But this is certainly no laughing matter. Gays and their allies, waiving rainbow flags in celebration, ought rather to mourn. God has not changed. And He will not be mimicked or mocked! This overreaching edict has significant negative implications not only for marriage, the family, and religious freedom, but it profoundly undermines federalism, the separation of powers, and the right of “we the people” to govern ourselves.

Yet, perhaps nothing has been more disappointing in the days leading up to the radical ruling, than capitulating Christian leaders congratulating each other for their cultural compromise and apostasy. We must not confuse cultural cowardice and capitulation with true courage. These anti-heroes must not be emulated.

The pathetic pattern these “leaders” represent is neither novel nor new—nor, in spite of the claims of cheering fellow-apostates, is it evolved or enlightened. What is the pattern? Growing pagan cultural pressure leads to personal compromise on biblical truth, usually resulting from an inordinate fear of man. Over time, compromise of biblical truth leads to capitulation due to cultural coercion. These patterns often result in near-total assimilation to the increasingly pagan culture. Yet this so-called “Christianity” is no longer unique or distinct, nor is it actually Christian. Salt, having lost is saltiness, is destined to be thrown out and trampled (Matthew 5:13). As my pastor recently said, “Sin makes you stupid.” Repentance is desperately needed and it starts with God’s people (II Chronicles 7:14).

So, who are models of Christian leadership we should follow? There is William Wilberforce, who eventually succeeded in his decades-long efforts to end the slave trade and improve cultural virtues in England. Consider Dietrich Bonhoeffer who heroically, overtly and covertly, stood up to the Nazification of the German Lutheran church and the German people. And there’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who employed biblically principled non-violent protests to end segregation and procure legitimate civil rights. Note that two of these men had the honor of paying the ultimate price for their courage—King via a hate-filled bullet and Bonhoeffer “tried” and summarily asphyxiated by piano wire at a Gestapo prison within weeks of Germany’s liberation.

Having few authentic Christian champions today as role models in this present darkness, we need to ask ourselves, “What does Christian courage look like?” Here are a few thoughts based on the lives of the three bold men mentioned above:

  • Biblical: Maintains a high view of the absolute authority of God’s word and God’s authority in our lives. Believes in transcendent objective truth and that truth sets people free from the bondage and desolation of sin. Refuses to compromise clear biblical teaching and convictions. Realizes God defines marriage, not the U.S. Supreme Court. Understands that civil rights are “endowed by our Creator” and must not be diminished by the state. Celebrates gender distinctions as part of God’s beautiful plan for mankind. Believes that where there is a moral conflict “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Comprehends that God had the first word on marriage and that He will have the last.
  • Compassionate: Shares a deep and passionate love for God and love for all people, even our enemies, who are image bearers of the Imago Dei. Does not shrink back from opportunities to share the Gospel. As MLK wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” As Dr. Michael Brown said, “[When it comes to standing for truth], we must have hearts of compassion and backbones of steel.”
  • Actively Engaged: Genuinely loves people enough to engage in biblically principled acts of love, mercy, and justice, helping to make communities and the culture a better place for all. Prays and works so that God’s kingdom comes and His will is done. Understands, as King stated, that “[i]njustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Is deeply concerned about future generations (i.e. children and grandchildren) and is willing to take direct action when necessary to oppose unjust laws that contradict higher moral law.
  • Vocal: Refuses to be silent. Opposes cultural propaganda and lies, winsomely speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). As Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Understands that truth eventually dispels lies.
  • Expects Opposition: Understands spiritual warfare, that we have an enemy who has come to lie, steal, and destroy (Eph. 6:10-20). Is not surprised by criticism, persecution, or fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12). Fears God more than he or she fears man or desires man’s praise (Matthew10:28)! Understands that biblical truth-telling is increasingly radical today. As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
  • Sacrificially Faithful and Uncompromising: Comprehends that freedom is not free and is willing to persistently pay the price to stand for truth, justice, and righteousness, no matter what opposition is faced. Is determined to stand firm and not compromise. Prioritizes God’s kingdom over personal comfort, success, conformity, and pleasure. Is strong in the Lord and remains immovable. Is not easily distracted or intimidated.
  • Holy Spirit fueled: Is not dependent on his or her own meager resources, but relies on the power of God’s word and promises and the leading and dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. Understands that a powerful move of God can radically transform people and cultures overnight.
  • Victorious: Has confidence in the heavenly Father’s plan for marriage and the wisdom and strength only God can provide. Understands that moral and sexual anarchy contain the seeds of their own destruction. Has faith and hope in the fact that, no matter how dark it gets, Jesus wins in the end and we win with Him! God will have the final say on marriage as He will on all things!

True Christian courage is not the absence of fear; it is allowing the Spirit to harness the power of your fears and cooperating with God to overcome your feelings and do the right thing anyway. The Reverend Billy Graham said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” You have the opportunity to be a bold hero every day. You will strengthen and encourage others as you faithfully obey Christ without wavering.

Authentic biblical Christianity has always been counter-cultural. And so it is today. The darkness descending upon us in the wake of the redefinition of marriage brings unprecedented challenges but also unprecedented opportunities to continue to model and demonstrate God’s love and God’s truth. Especially now that we have lost the marriage battle at the Supreme Court, one thing is certain—we will need a lot of Christian courage going forward.

Light shines the brightest in the darkness. Now is the time for Christian boldness, bravery, determination, fortitude, endurance, tenacity, valor, backbone, guts, power, heroism and lion-heartedness. Vast opportunities to be a powerful Christian witness in our communities and culture are multiplying before our very eyes. The chances to be bright lights and savory salt are legion. We must not lose heart or shrink back! We must remember that we are not called to always be “successful,” but we are always called to be faithful. Let us determine to always be faithful and to leave the success to our sovereign God.

Got courage? You will need it! Boldly and joyfully run to the battle, knowing that our victory is sure!

American genocide

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No human right is more basic than the freedom to live. With all of the violence, destruction, and death in our world, the womb ought to be the safest of places—a sanctuary. But, not satisfied with external violence, as we have done with many good things, taking matters into our own destructive hands, we have re-purposed and distorted the womb into a torture chamber, a killing field, a sanctuary of death.

We express appropriate moral outrage at Stalin’s slaughters, Hitler’s holocaust, ISIS’s religious cleansings, and other deadly atrocities, yet barely notice the more than 56 million missing Americans, untimely ripped from their mother’s wombs. We say that we value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but ignore the weakest and most vulnerable among us, denied the most basic of rights—their first breath of freedom. These hard truths do not synch well with our ideals of American exceptionalism.

As Mother Teresa said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want.” True, a proper love for God and our fellow humans would never have allowed this senseless slaughter of the innocents. We have accepted abortion. We have accepted violence. We have accepted death. We have narcissistically worshipped ourselves, our unrestrained materialism and successes, rather than God. Why? Because children are far too often viewed not as a beautiful God-imaged precious gift from our creator, but rather an inconvenient truth, standing in the way of our empty American dreams. We have been weighed in the moral balance and have been found wanting.

How did this happen? We have “killed” God and, with Him, truth, morality and justice have died. If God is dead everything is indeed permissible and is now being permitted. Employing a macabre Darwinian “survival of the fittest” approach, we have coldly dispatched our own offspring as an inconvenient truth, easily erased and forgotten.

More ancient stories reveal that each human has profound eternal significance. We are intentionally created in God’s image, designed to be in relationship with Him. This old story teaches us that every unique person matters, having great value to our father—that our highest and best purpose is to love the Creator and to love other humans. Observation reveals that, like our ancient parents, we have fallen far short of our purpose, have turned away from truth, and have acted in contradiction to it. Abortion and our tolerance of death are surely symptoms of this deeper problem: unrestrained rebellion and sin.

The once bright light of our shining city on a hill is being covered with a shroud of darkness and death. My prayer for America, as we acknowledge 42 years of legalized genocide resulting in 56 million deaths, is that we would turn away from ourselves and our sin and back to God, back to truth, back to justice. That is the hope for America and the hope of finally bringing to a full stop the savage slaughter of the innocents among us.