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The Forerunner

The Battle for the Family

By Editorial Staff
Published November 1, 1988

by Shelby Sharpe

The greatest war ever waged in this country is currently under way against the American family and is increasing in intensity. So far, more families have been destroyed as a result of this war than all of the military conflicts in which this nation has been engaged. All indications are that the casualty rate will increase over the balance of this century. This is a strange war because the number one “battleground” giving rise to the greatest number of casualties is largely uncontested territory.

No-fault divorce is the number one destroyer of families. No-fault divorce statues are present in all fifty states and none is currently being seriously contested within the court system. Tragically, the Church in America is virtually silent concerning this issue. None of the major denominations has targeted this matter with a view to pressuring legislators to remedy it.

Last year in the state of Texas, several Legislative committees investigated the impact of gambling on the family. Yet, there was not one legislative committee in the entire United States which did an investigation of the impact of no-fault divorce on the family. Such an investigation would reveal, among many other things, the cost to the taxpayers in the proliferation of courts and their support personnel to handle these divorces and related matters such as child support and custody issues. A return to the fault-based divorce laws would eliminate perhaps four-fifths of these courts and their personnel.

Economically, divorce is a disaster for the family. One of the spouses, if not both, usually end up facing extremely difficult financial problems. The cost of dealing with the physical and emotional problems arising out of divorce are astronomical. Adults and children involved in a divorce have a greater than 90 percent probability that they will experience medical problems requiring medication or treatment attributable to the stresses of the divorce.

Job performance and educational development are also significantly affected. Recently, a teacher of remedial reading for elementary school students asked her students how many of them had experienced a divorce of their parents. Every hand went up in a class of twenty-six. None of these students has a learning disability necessitating remedial reading help.

Chief Justice Brown, writing for the Supreme Court of Texas, in Grisgby vs. Reib, declared that: “The contract of marriage is the most important of all human transactions. It is the very basis of the whole fabric of civilized society.” These words were written in 1913 and are as true today as they were then. We have seen the consequences of not honoring the wisdom of these words.

In 1948, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas wrote in Sheffield vs. Sheffield one of the most prophetic messages on the importance of protecting marriage. Chief Justice Hemphill noted that the happiness of married life “depends upon its indissolubility” and that government is charged with responsibility that no marriage is dissolved by “mutual consent” or for “light or trivial causes.”

He stated that “the prospect of easy separation foments the most frivolous quarrels and disgusts into deadly animosity.” This is precisely what has happened in the United States. Judge Hemphill made the concluding observation that when husbands and wives know they cannot end their relationship by mutual consent or for light and frivolous reasons, “they become good husbands and wives; for necessity is a powerful master in teaching the duties it imposes.”

The absurdity of a “no-fault” approach to settling marital disputes is clearly demonstrated by considering the results if such reasoning were to be translated to other contractual (covenantal) relationships. What if the civil government, ordained by God to enforce voluntary contracts, simply ceased to do so? What if all questions concerning business contracts were to be resolved on the basis of “no-fault transactions,” in which no party could be held responsible for its actions?

It is precisely this question of responsibility which is at issue here. God holds all people accountable for their behavior before Him (II Corinthians 5:10); the civil government, as the administrator of God’s justice in the public arena, must also view its citizenry as responsible for their actions. If a divorce is to be granted, it must be because the behavior of one (or both) of the spouses is in such clear violation of God’s standard as to warrant the dissolution of the marriage; not because they “want out,” “found somebody else,” or have “irreconcilable differences.”

Will God’s people speak out and take action or will we allow this injustice to continue unchecked? The Bible states clearly in II Chronicles 7:14 that the destiny of our nation and of the families that compose it rests upon the shoulders of believers, not the unbelievers. If we are to see the healing of our families we must give attention to such life-threatening disorders as this. Like it or not, we will be accountable before God in this matter.

Used by permission of Equity, 131 Stony Circle, Suite 750, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“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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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

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

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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