Maddi Runkles is graduating from high school this year. In fact, at the time of this posting she has already graduated. Unlike her classmates, Maddi did not participate in the commencement ceremony at her private Christian school. The school, where her father was previously the president of the board of directors, decided not to allow Maddi to walk and participate in the school’s graduation ceremony.
The reason Maddi has been prevented from taking part in the school’s graduation ceremony is because she is pregnant. The school has a covenant that prohibits students from being sexually active before marriage. The school said that since Maddi broke the covenant, she is not eligible to walk in the ceremony.
Abortion advocates have blasted the school for this decision, saying the school pretends to be pro-life, but then punishes one of their own that chooses not to abort. The school is being accused of hypocrisy. Continue reading
Any parent that has lost a child will immediately want to know whether their child is in Heaven or not. They will ask the pastor doing the funeral, or the devoted family friend, they will ask anyone that they think might be able to give a concise, simple answer to this question. Parents want the peace of knowing that in the midst of their tragedy, there is hope for their lost child.
I can understand wanting a measure of peace during a difficult time. It’s human nature to ask these questions and seek such peace and comfort. It is also human nature to offer such peace and comfort to grieving parents and family. We want to alleviate the suffering and grief of parents by assuring them that their child is now “in a better place.”
While we may have good intentions for our efforts to comfort grieving parents, Christians must make sure that their intentions, efforts, and words are based solely on Scripture. There is no real comfort in telling someone what cannot be supported by Scripture. So before we tell parents that their child is now in Heaven, we need to examine Scripture to determine whether that is true or not.
Let me start by saying I love the differences between men and women. I know that’s probably not a popular thing to say in our culture as we are supposed to downplay the differences between the sexes. Not me, I like the differences and I like celebrating our differences.
Up until about 10 years ago it was normal, popular even, to celebrate the differences between the sexes. Routinely within our culture we praised men for certain things and women for other things. This, despite the growing assault of the feminist movement, was nothing that would capture headlines.
Then things changed.
Suddenly, gender was not as binary as people thought. You weren’t just a man or a woman, you were, potentially both, or neither. Maybe you even experienced life as both on some days. Social media sites, attempting to placate the cries of a few radicals, adopted numerous gender options for people to “identify” with in order to make sure everyone was included. And life as we know it, man and woman, has never been the same.
Now you can truly be “anything you want to be.” That no longer just applies to your “dream job,” it applies to your gender. Are you a man that really wants to be a woman? No problem. Are you a woman that wants to be a man and a woman? Sure. Are you gender fluid, moving seamlessly between man and woman on a daily basis? Cool. In fact, you can even be non-binary. That just means you don’t identify as male, female, or anything else, you just…exist.
We’ve certainly come a long way. Continue reading
A recent article highlighted once again just how dangerous it is to take part of a verse or a single verse out of its context and attempt to make it bend to our predetermined thought. This has been done for centuries and, I suspect, will continue to happen. After all, what would the prosperity preachers preach if they could not utilize this tactic?
For those of us seeking to be faithful disciples and followers of Jesus however, cherry-picking Scripture is to be avoided at all times.
John Hendryx, writing at Monergism.com, responds to a commenter that cites Scripture in his opposition to the “biblical view that, due to a corruption of nature, fallen man has no free will to come to Christ.”
The view concerning man’s will is one of debate among Arminians and Reformed theologians. Arminians believe that man has the ability, the free will, to choose Christ. Reformed theologians believe that due to the bondage of the will to sin, man does not have the ability to choose Christ without the regenerating work and effectual calling of the Holy Spirit. This distinction has been the source of much debate between these two theological groups.
Before moving forward, it is important to understand that it is a universally agreed upon fact that man has a will and can make choices based upon that will. However, what is not true is that man has the ability to freely choose Christ based solely upon his own free will. Let me explain the difference. Continue reading
When I was in college I had a friend that was a proponent of Reformed Theology. He called himself a Calvinist and he rubbed me the wrong way when he spoke of his theology. By no fault of his, I developed some terrible misconceptions about Reformed Theology (that’s the proper term for Calvinism). These misconceptions made it easy to dismiss Reformed Theology anytime it was brought up.
Unfortunately, like me, many people have serious misconceptions about Reformed Theology. Whether as a result of a pastor that is a staunch opponent to Reformed Theology, or an experience similar to mine, a lot of folks have the wrong idea about what Reformed Theology is, and what it isn’t.
I appreciate an article by Michael Horton in which he helps to clear up some of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology. Horton is a well-respected theology professor and theologian that regularly blogs and discusses theological topics at his podcast, The White Horse Inn. Horton carefully discusses each of these myths and others in great detail in his work For Calvinism.
The above referenced article addresses five of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology in a quick, overview type format. The five myths that Horton addresses are:
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY IS ARROGANT AND PRIDEFUL”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY MAKES US ROBOTS IN GOD’S PLAN”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY HAS NO GRACE AND LOVE”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY KILLS GENUINE, HEART-FELT PIETY”
- “REFORMED THEOLOGY KILLS COMMUNITY AND MISSION”
After several years of litigation, a Kentucky appeals court has decided that Hands On Originals, a local t-shirt printing business, did not discriminate by refusing to make t-shirt for a gay pride festival.
In 2012 a LGBT organization asked Hands On Originals (HOO) to print their t-shirts for the pride festival they were preparing for. The owner of HOO, Blaine Adamson declined the order saying his Christian beliefs would not permit him to take part in supporting the message of the festival by making shirts.
As you would expect, Adamson and his business were sued for discrimination under Kentucky’s fairness ordinance. The Human Rights Commission in Kentucky ruled against HOO in the case saying that it discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation. Adamson and HOO appealed the decision to the Fayette Circuit Court, which overturned the decision and ruled that there was no discrimination. The decision was then sent to the Kentucky appeals court where the lower court decision was upheld.
One of the appeals court justices wrote a concurring opinion that stated clearly that forcing HOO to print shirts with a message supporting homosexuality would be coercion. A recent article comments: Continue reading
The House of Representatives recently passed a bill to repeal Obamacare, led by Republicans in the House and mostly on a party-line vote. This is in keeping with many Republican’s promise during the 2016 election cycle to repeal the healthcare bill. This was also one of President Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises so there’s little doubt that he charged Republicans in Congress with getting it done.
Given this bit of reality it’s hard to believe that anyone would be surprised when Republicans in the House passed a bill to repeal Obamacare. And yet, some seem surprised.
Others, however, are just really angry.
Take for example Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. She is really “angry,” and “furious” and “disgusted” by the attempt to repeal Obamacare. But, to be fair, it’s probably because the bill has a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.
Richards went on an unhinged rant against Republicans after the bill was passed accusing lawmakers of “stripping health care from millions.” Richard’s alarmist language is intended to stir up supporters of abortion. Let’s put this in perspective. Continue reading
I’ll never forget visiting a church where the pastor strung one feel-good cliché after another while interjecting “Jesus” every now and then. At the end of his “sermon” he wanted to make sure everyone knew “how awesome” we all were and invited us all to join him in yelling as loud as we could to “release our negativity.”
I left that church service wondering what had just happened and feeling like I had just wasted my entire Sunday morning. This was mainly due to the fact that I didn’t learn anything; the Bible was not preached and taught in a rich way to provide the food my soul needed.
I’m not alone, a recent study has concluded that the number one reason people attend church is to hear “sermons that teach about Scripture.”
For years church leaders tried to convince us that being a hip, trendy, and relevant church was the key to doing church right. It was about professional bands, cool video graphics, and more ministry choices than you can fit on one bulletin page. But after many years and many failures even the well-respected church growth guru’s are admitting that it’s really about the preaching.
But not just any preaching. The trendy “talks” that cite one Bible verse then shares stories, jokes, and illustrations for 40 minutes are also failing. What people are really looking for is teaching from the Bible that expounds the Scriptures and connects them with daily life. In other words, expository preaching. What exactly is expository preaching? Continue reading
One of the firsts actions President Trump took after taking office in January was to reinstate the Mexico City policy. This policy says that funds given to organizations for international health care efforts cannot be used to promote or perform abortions. These nongovernment organizations must agree not to promote or perform abortion or support coercive and forced sterilization efforts in the countries they provide health care aid.
The policy was in effect through George W Bush’s entire presidency but was revoked for the entire 8 years of President Obama’s presidency. Considering that President Obama was American’s most pro-abortion president in history, it’s not surprising that he would support abortion efforts on foreign soil using taxpayers money.
Many pro-life voters were energized by the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, seeing it as a sign of good things to come from President Trump’s administration; an administration that vowed to be pro-life. The latest announcement by the Trump administration is sure to further fuel the energy of pro-life voters.
A recent article reports “the Trump Administration will significantly expand the pro-life Mexico City Policy by drastically increasing the amount of global health assistance funds and government programs that will be covered under the policy.” Continue reading
Let me ask a quick question. It should be fairly easy for you to answer because it involves your television habits. Think of a few of the shows you watch on a regular basis and then answer the following question:
Name 3 male characters that portray hard-working, loving, protective leaders in their families.
I’ve sat here for the past 15 minutes and I am having serious trouble writing just one name, much less a few.
When I was a kid I could have answered this question in a few seconds with several names: Carl Winslow, Howard Cunningham, Cliff Huxtable, and Tim Taylor.
If I go back in time even farther, more and more names start to fill the list. But to name even a single male, playing the role of a loving, protective, nurturing father that provides for his family is nearly impossible.
The lack of positive portrayal of men in the media is not coincidence. It’s part of a larger movement that has sought to change the very nature of men. The results have been catastrophic. And the people hurt most, I think, are women and children.
Studies in recent years have shown two disturbing trends: men are marrying later in life and adolescence is stretching into the early 30’s. Continue reading