In a recent entry, I wrote how I rarely read popular evangelical magazines because most of the articles on social issues come from the very pietistic-dispensational doctrine that led to the downfall of American Christian culture in the first place. A good example of this is David Aikman’s article on same-sex marriage in Christianity Today, “Train Wreck Coming” (October 2006).
Aikman writes, “American Christians need to take a careful look at what is already happening. Looming ahead through a blurry fog of impending lawsuits and court decisions on gay (sic) marriage is a train wreck of epic proportions.”
It’s an oxymoron for any pietist to argue for a Reformation of culture. All he can do is cover his head and rue the inevitable collapse of Christian culture — or as Francis Schaeffer termed it: our post-Christian culture.
Ironically, Schaeffer is popular among evangelicals. He is given significant space in Christianity Today’s 50th anniversary issue. They like his conclusions about the demise of culture, but they almost ignore his Kuyperian covenantal theology.
Aikman is correct in describing the problem. In framing the same-sex marriage debate in terms of civil rights the goal is to establish it as a no different than the battle to repeal discriminatory laws against Black Americans prior to the civil rights movement.
Aikman counters this stance by writing that “the issue is now the freedom of religious people and organizations to criticize that lifestyle.”
And he is correct. Once homosexual behavior gains the status of a basic human right, then the right to discriminate against those who practice the lifestyle in the public sphere becomes illegal. Churches are forced to perform same-sex marriages. Catholic hospitals must hire openly homosexual chaplains. Christian businesses must provide benefits to homosexual “married” couples.
The sad thing is that most 21st century Christians are already in partial agreement with this policy. Even Aikman acquiesces to the legitimacy of “sexual freedom” as long as it is kept in the proverbial “privacy of one’s own home.”
He concludes his op-ed piece with these anemic words, “Sexual freedom? Why not, as long as it doesn’t bother me. But when it affects religious freedom, it bothers us all.”
Freedom, equality, rights, liberty. These are all powerful words that ring in the history of American culture. We find them in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence as promises given by the One “Creator” God of Scripture. However, homosexual behavior is not wrong because Christians have the “right” to criticize and find fault. That is just an opinion, not an immutable truth.
Francis Schaeffer’s mentor, Cornelius Van Til, wrote extensively about the “myth of neutrality.” Van Til explained that one cannot maintain a neutral stance on any issue without acquiescing to one side of the issue or another. To be “pro-choice” is to be in favor of legalized abortion, whether or not you are personally in favor of killing unborn children. Remaining neutral on “private” homosexual behavior ironically pushes us into the corner of those who would paint such civil unions as a “God given right.”
We Christians simply have to ask ourselves: Is homosexual behavior wrong? If the answer is yes, then why is it wrong? Only the moral absolutes of Scripture can comment on why homosexual behavior is wrong. This is why some of our conservative brothers such as David Aikman, although correct in 90 percent of what he says, have cornered themselves on the same-sex marriage issue.
If you do not adhere to the Law of God as being the only legitimate source of right and wrong that is unchanging, absolute, transcendent, given to us by God, then ultimately, you cave in on the homosexual issue, because “these are two consenting adults who say that they love each other. It’s a free country.” And so on.
This is why so many Christian leaders have been silent on the advance of the homosexual agenda: recruiting our children, propagandizing our schools, homosexual rights, and now homosexual marriage. If the Christian community does not return to its roots of loving the Law of God, we are going to be steam rolled not just by the homosexual movement, but also by groups that want to lower the age of consent and legalize pedophilia and even polygamy (already legal in parts of Europe).
And God only knows what is right on the heels of that. The answer is not a “rights” based argument. The answer is legislating the Law of God in the public sphere. That is the only moral code that tells us what is right and wrong: the Law of God stated clearly in scripture.
Your comments are welcome!
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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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