Elitist Utopian Transformational Socialists Humbled by 2016 Election

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You’re scared.  Every day you go to school you have to face him.  On the good days, he sneers down at you and calls you names. On the bad days, he threatens to beat you up, throws you up against the lockers, and steals your lunch money. The impact is real. Victimized, your self-esteem craters, you become quiet and afraid. You start to lose hope. Terrified that if you say or do anything, you will be targeted and attacked even more by the menacing school bully.

For conservative Americans, especially biblical Christians, this is how many of us have felt—increasingly marginalized, demonized, and victimized by bullying cultural elites who have been controlling the social megaphones (news media, higher education, Hollywood, etc.) for more than a decade. We are feeling like outliers—strangers and aliens in our own county.  Indeed, conservatives have become intimately in touch with these unhealthy feelings, especially over the past eight years. Radical progressives have been mocking us and shouting us down, while simultaneously pushing an oppressive radical post-modern socialist cultural and political worldview, crushing us under an Orwellian regime of political correctness. Their bag of tricks includes claiming, simply because we disagree with them, that we must be hateful, racist, homophobic, and bigoted, unworthy of being a part of the American cultural fabric or even having a seat at the table of the marketplace of ideas. So much for tolerance!

On November 8, sick and tired of being beat up and bullied by elitists, regular folks across America screamed “enough” and mustered the courage to punch “transformational” liberal socialism in the face at the ballot box. Millions of decent patriotic Americans, who believe in objective truth and American exceptionalism, and who are profoundly concerned that we are losing our way economically and morally, flocked to the polls. For example, white evangelicals, making up 26% of the electorate, voted for Trump at the high rate of 81%, up from 78% who voted for Romney in 2012. Like most typical bullies, once rebuffed and having lost their power, progressives were left sobbing on the ground whining, “Why me?”

They weep because they are shocked and surprised. They simply cannot believe or accept that their utopian fantasies and their flagrant cultural-political oppression have been rejected by “we the people.” And, for many, this election was a referendum—not only a rejection of Hillary Clinton, and her lawless and corrupt way, but a repudiation of Barack Obama’s misguided plan to fundamentally transform America and his already tattered legacy.

Other big losers were the pollsters and pundits inhabiting their liberal media echo-chambers who were calling the election early for Hillary. Trump won in spite of not being a paragon of virtue and in spite of the fact that he was dramatically outspent. The arrogant uber-liberal media cast aside any pretense of objectivity. And, having committed themselves for more than a year as rabid cheerleaders for team Hillary, savagely attacking Trump and his supporters, they were shocked, humiliated, and started melting down as it became clear in the early morning hours of November 9 that he dominated the rust belt and would win. The media have lost any remaining credibility, as they should.

Bitter angry progressives, many of whom didn’t bother to vote, ranting about abolishing the electoral college and chanting “not my president,” participated in violent protests funded by George Soros’ Alinskyan radical-leftist pet community organizing project MoveOn.org. University administrations and staffs came off as cartoonish buffoons as they rushed to create safe spaces for snowflake students by canceling classes, scheduling cry-ins, or handing out Play-Doh and coloring books. Actors and musicians who threated to leave the country if Trump were elected screamed and cried threatening #CalExit but, alas, did not follow through on their childish threats. A hilarious Saturday Night Live skit suggests disappointed progressives move into a safe-space “bubble,” protected from the rest of the United States.

How did this happen? Millions of Americans have felt that the leaders of the federal government have been fundamentally opposed to them, undermining everything they believe is good and true about America. They were tired of being demonized, had had enough, and voted.  The polling data reveals that average Americans, repulsed by the Democratic party’s radical pro-death abortion advocacy, LGBT activism, transgender mandates, and rabid anti-religious platform, especially anti-Christian extremism, were compelled to the polls by their biblically-informed consciences and a profound desire to maintain our constitutional republic and its promise of freedom for everyone. You know something significant and organic is happening when the separatist Amish vote in large numbers helped Trump carry Ohio and Pennsylvania.

We were tired of seeing photographers, bakers, and florists being called hateful bigots and losing their livelihood for merely living according to their Christian faith. We couldn’t understand the absurdity of the Obama administration pushing religious organizations, like the nuns at the Little Sisters of the Poor, to fund health insurance coverage for abortions and abortifacient drugs. We were appalled when Hillary Clinton proudly announced her blind commitment to late term abortions including partial birth abortions. By our votes, we declared “Enough!”

Yet, one would think that so-called progressives, of all people, would have been sensitive to the signs and symptoms of human victimization. If only they were capable of looking or thinking outside of the group-think confines of their echo-chambers they might have understood, as uber-liberal prophet Michael Moore solemnly warned, that there were millions of Americans citizens, who were not necessarily particularly conservative, but who felt left behind by our tepid economic recovery and the freedom-crushing hard leftward cultural-political push of the Obama administration. Though surely a flawed vessel, I believe the most lasting legacy of a Trump presidency will most likely be his two to three U.S. Supreme Court justice appointments, steering us away from being ruled by a liberal judicial oligarchy that would have likely continued to undermine religious freedom and affirm and create fake and destructive constitutional rights like abortion and same-sex marriage.

The popular narrative is that bleeding-heart liberals authentically care about the outcast, the weak, and the marginalized. The hard truth unmasked here is that most elitist liberals only care about “the least of these” in America if you mindlessly submit to their oppressive radical ideology and they can purchase your vote. If not, well you are an enemy of cultural-evolutionary “progress,” unworthy of compassion, pity, or help. In fact, you deserve to be bullied, having only brought it on yourself because of your unenlightened conscience.

Elitists were distracted, so intoxicated by their own wine, making room for the truth to rise up and bite them in the butt. The liberal echo chambers that didn’t understand why Trump, in spite of his many flaws, beat Hillary are probably in denial about what they need to change to reassure average Americans and give them real hope. Savaging all Trump supporters as racist, misogynistic, homophobic bigots is precisely why Hillary lost and it isn’t going to cut it going forward. Throwing temper tantrums in the streets in Soros-funded violent protests isn’t going to change anyone’s mind in your favor. We are on to you now.  Your bullying has kept us largely passive and silent for more than a decade. We are silent no more.

This national election defeat is similar in its miraculous qualities to our recent fight in California to defeat SB 1146, a bill that would have dismantled and destroyed Christian colleges. Against all odds, including a liberal legislature and governor, roaring lambs who found their spiritual spine and prophetic voice, overcame their fears to oppose and defeat an existential threat to religious freedom—the radical sexual liberty claims of “discrimination” by the LGBT lobbyists, including Equality California. When His people stand for truth in unity, powerful things can happen.

Yet this is not a time to rest on our laurels. I submit, as I have argued for years, that it is time for Christians to come out of the shadows, find our moral voice, and engage by speaking the truth in love. Paul wrote to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). If we authentically care for our neighbor and our children and grandchildren, this is a no brainer. Far too many of us have allowed ourselves to become victims of the spiral of silence: intimidated by fear, pressured by elite bullies dictating the cultural narrative, and shamed into silence.

As we continue to emerge from hiding, may the Lord give us backbones of steel and hearts of compassion as we speak the truth in love to power in this present darkness. Even if you don’t like Donald Trump, believers are commanded to pray for him and to pray for peace. I believe there is hope!

It is morning in America. Will you be the light?

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Passive Acceptance of Evil Is Not a Christian Family Value

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There is an epic war of the ages between darkness and light raging all around us, yet most Christians are content to have a picnic next to the battlefield.

When I first learned about the surreal scene of hundreds of citizens strolling into the countryside to observe a civil war battle near Washington, D.C., I thought “How odd, how strange! Why would anyone want to watch a battle in which they were not engaged?” Now, I understand that this bizarre visage is a rather apt yet tragic symbol of American Christianity today.

There is a very real war of good versus evil being fought in our midst, both spiritual and physical, but we are largely content to sit out the conflict on the sidelines. We should rather to be trained for warfare, arrayed in our armor, standing firm on the field of battle, engaged with our enemy, and advancing against the very gates of hell-but we are not (See Ephesians 6:10-20).

Why not? Well, for the most part, our Christian leaders have not effectively trained us for war. And far too many of us are distracted and ensnared by the worship of a multitude of our American idols-comfort, success, and popularity, to list a few, rather than Christ. We are trained to be passive sheep, lazily grazing on the sidelines, selfishly waiting for heaven to land on earth. Most of us do not know the Bible well enough or have a comprehensive biblical worldview that informs and motivates proactive engagement. And, even if we know what we ought to do, we are not motivated to obey-because it is hard. And “hard” requires sweat, blood, tears and we would rather not sacrifice, bleed, or cry. It is a lot easier to be distracted by the latest Walking Dead episode than fighting real spiritual zombies.

Then, there is the enormous obstacle of desperately wanting people to like us (fear of man) that causes us to stand frozen still when God-warfare opportunities arise.  If we loved and feared God more, we would not shrink back, but would be willing to fight the good fight.

As Charles Spurgeon asked, “Wouldst thou be a feather-bed warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love?” Too many of us Christians are content to be arm-chair prophets and feather-bed warriors. As such, we have little to no power or impact on the raging battle at hand. But authentic biblical love is not passive and disengaged when evil rears its ugly head; it is active and engaged with truth, love and all of the weapons of our warfare!

Passive acceptance of evil is actually more of a Buddhist or Hindu value, rather than a biblically Christian aspiration. These Eastern faiths were formed to try to answer the question of how to cope with the problem of human suffering. Their answer was to essentially ignore it and escape it, by putting on blinders to reality, checking out, and by going within for “truth”-a profoundly hollow exercise. The world can appear to be a much safer place when you close your eyes, cover your ears, and harden your heart.

As believers, we are not supposed to escape from evil and suffering but we are rather to escape to evil and suffering-we are to proactively engage and overcome evil with good. I submit that when American Christians are passive in the presence of evil, we are not behaving as authentic robust biblical Christians, but as passive and selfish spiritual weaklings. The sad result is that we end up compromising, capitulating, and even assimilating to the darkness, rather than exposing it, opposing it, fighting it, and destroying it. This weakness it not irrelevant, but has serious negative consequences for our culture and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Authentic biblical Christianity is not passive. The Lord said, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams”(I Samuel 15:22).  We should hate what our Father hates and love what our father loves-and do something about it. And James admonishes us “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).  Jesus still admonishes us today to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).

God will hold us morally accountable not only for what we have done (sins of omission), He will also hold us accountable for what we have failed to do (sins of omission).  One of my heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who literally gave his life to stop evil in his generation 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.” The famous Christian British parliamentarian Edmund Burke wrote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

As we are surrounded by evil, now is the time for good men and good women to do something. When we see evil we must boldly speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). When confronted by darkness we must act. We must never passively allow evil to triumph in our land, in our churches, or in our homes.

If you think you are not strong enough on your own to fight the good fight of faith, you are right! But you are not alone! God is with you! “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (II Chronicles 16:9). Step out in faith onto the battlefield and God will meet you there and He will empower you with strength, wisdom, and courage.

There’s a war raging! It is time for fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ to wake up and engage!  Now is the time to work and to fight for His Kingdom and His glory. We can rest in heaven. We fight not out of hate, but motivated by God’s holy-love, passion and power of our Father, who first loved us.

For now, let’s get out of our feather-beds, put on our armor, grab our weapons, and get our butts out on the battlefield! Prepare yourself for war, and fight in faith with the confidence that God wins in the end and we triumph with Him. And someday, though perhaps wounded, scarred, exhausted, and spent from battling many dark foes, you will understand and experience with joy the pleasure of your Father because you have fought a good fight, you will have finished your course, and there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness that does not fade. And on that day, you will hear those truly awesome words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” followed by the biggest party the universe has ever known!

Is Franklin Graham Right About America?

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I was still rubbing sleep from my eyes, preparing to groggily reach for my morning coffee, when a story jumped off my smart phone screen, catching my eye.  The Fox News editorial headline read, “It’s Open Season on Christians in America.” The piece by Todd Starnes hailed Billy Graham’s Johnny-Cash-loving, once rebellious son as a prophetic “voice crying in the wilderness.”  Personally, I have had a soft spot in my heart for the Graham family since, as a young boy, my father proudly told me the story of how he, as a young pastor, was part of the leadership team hosting the Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles in 1958.  “So what is the ever-biblically-bold Franklin saying now?” I pondered.  The weighty words I read next hit me right between the eyes!

“I believe we are perilously close to the moral tipping point for the survival of the United States of America.  I refuse to be silent and watch the future of our children and grandchildren be offered up on pagan altars of personal pleasure and immorality,” Graham wrote in Decision magazine.  Upon absorbing these two sentences, Franklin and Starnes had my full attention!  Franklin Graham was addressing, head-on, the fundamental issues that I have been thinking about, writing about, and fighting about for my entire career as a constitutional attorney.  In fact, the book proposal I am submitting to my literary agent this month is precisely about how American Christianity is rapidly succumbing to powerful pagan cultural myths.

So, what evidence does Graham cite for his dark diagnosis?

  • The U.S. Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Radical Islamic terrorists on our shores increasingly in our midst slaughtering innocents, in an age of truth-denying political correctness.
  • The deep-seated antagonism and hostility towards Christianity in every seat of power in this nation—government, media, courts and education.

Many other Christian leaders have bemoaned these and other very serious problems we now face.  But what is the solution?  In this season of nearly wall-to-wall political coverage, is it politics?  Graham says no.  “The only hope for America is not the Democratic Party and it’s not the Republican Party.  The only hope for America is God.”  And Graham has put his money where his mouth is by launching a Decision America Tour that includes a series of prayer rallies at capitol building in all 50 states.  “It’s trying to lead this nation in prayer, confessing the sins of our country, asking for God’s forgiveness and encouraging Christians to get engaged in the political process,” he told Starnes.

Graham explained to Starnes that he is addressing issues many pastors, especially younger ones, do not.  “The younger pastors—so many are caught up in the pop culture, and the pastor in a church is more about being cool,” he said.  “We’re beginning to put theology in the back seat and I’m concerned about the church.  To be honest with you, the problems we have in America today are the failure of the church,” Graham said.  This, by the way, is another issue I tackle in my book. Graham went onto explain that as government has grown bigger the church’s historical role in feeding and clothing the poor and health care has diminished.  His point:  It’s time for Christians to get off our bottoms and reengage the culture.

Indeed, our salvation is not in politics, it is in the Lord!  Although I am a confessed political junkie, over the past decade I have increasingly realized the limits of politics to bring about meaningful enduring change.  If America is to be changed, if America is to be transformed to the depth necessary to see lasting progress, our hearts and minds must be renewed.  Only God can do that! That is why I have been hoping for, praying for, and looking for revival.  Not a passing fad, but a profound reformational shift on par with the First or Second Great Awakenings.

So what can you do, what can I do?  What are some take away action points?

  • Pray for America: that the Gospel will be clearly preached, that we will respond by confessing our sins, repenting, and that, by God’s favor and grace, we will see revival (some would say reformation) in our lifetime. This starts with the church (See II Chronicles 7:14).
  • Pray for the church: that pastors and Christian leaders will become biblically bold and courageous, reject powerful pagan cultural forces, preach the full counsel of God, and lead the flock biblically.
  • Engage the culture: develop a comprehensive biblical worldview and apologia, be willing to suffer and be persecuted, live out your faith publicly without fear, speak the truth in love (See Ephesians 4:15), share the Gospel, and vote for leaders who will not subvert religious liberty. Be salt and light (See Matthew 5: 13-16).

Yes, Franklin Graham is right about America. Will you join us in prayer and godly action today?  I believe with all of my heart that this is the only way we will see meaningful hope and change.

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.

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.