Monthly Archives: March 2015
In case you didn’t know, Lifeway Christian Stores, the main retail outlet owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, has announced it will pull all “heaven visitation items” from their shelves. This is a great announcement, but one that comes with a bitter side.
If you are wondering what a “heaven visitation item” is, it is simply any book or DVD sharing the personal account of a visitation to heaven. Think: “Heaven is for Real,” or “The boy Who Came Back from Heaven.” These accounts are supposedly the tales of people who for one reason or another (trauma, accident) claim to have visited heaven but came back. They are sharing their accounts via books and movies under the guise of “heaven visitation.”
So why is it a good thing that Lifeway is pulling such items from their shelves? Well, for starters, the accounts given by most people who claim to have died and gone to heaven contradict accounts in the Bible. For this reason such claims cannot be trusted, and should not be given credit by Christians.
Let’s take for a moment the account given by Alex Malarkey. He is the teenager that claimed is his 2010 book “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” to have died during a medical emergency, visited heaven, then came back. The book was a big success and Malarkey and his family made a lot of money on the back of that account.
But, just recently Malarkey released a statement saying the whole thing was made up. Kind of ironic considering his last name. Or perhaps more apropos. Malarkey’s statement reads in part:
A recent post at LifeNews.com shares a really cool ultra-sound video of an unborn child seemingly clapping his hands as his parents sing. The article states:
“On March 26th, Jen Cardinal posted a YouTube video of her 14-week-old unborn baby clapping and it has already received over 100,000 views. Cardinal told the Daily Mail that she began singing ‘If You’re Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands’ after she saw her baby clapping for the first time. She said, ‘At our 14 week ultrasound our baby was clapping, so I sang a song with our doctor as my husband filmed. The experience is one I’ll never forget. The baby clapped three times, then the doctor rewound and scrubbed it while we sang. No mystery. It was amazing.'”
Amazing indeed. Then again, unborn children have been shown to have some amazing capabilities while they are in the womb. LifeNews goes on to share a couple of newly discovered facts about unborn children:
“As LifeNews previously reported, a recent study published in Infant Behavior and Development revealed that babies in the womb are able to recognize words and even remember nursery rhymes if their mom repeats them between weeks 28 and 34. Another study published in the February 2014 Pediatrics suggested that the more words a preterm baby hears while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the more they respond with sounds of their own. This means that preemies could be developing speech patterns in the NICU. Additionally, the study found that an increased amount of parent talk was linked to higher language and thinking scores when the babies were older.”
While Planned Parenthood tries to convince us that unborn children are just a “blob of tissue,” science continues showing us just how human and amazing they are. Who’s anti-science now?
Watch the video for yourself and see if the baby isn’t clapping. If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser.
How would you answer this question: “Is your church healthy?”
Odds are if someone asked you that question you would quickly, and enthusiastically say that your church is a wonderful, loving place where everyone gets along and Jesus is King. And that may be true. But the question is whether or not your church is healthy. That means taking a closer, honest, look at the inner workings of the church and seeking to assess whether things are working properly or not.
I’ve been in dozens of churches in my life. As a pastor’s kid I have more memories of church and church-related things than I do anything else. (That’s another topic for another post.) What I can honestly say is that I have rarely been part of a church I would say is healthy. More often than not churches are not healthy and in need of some help. The difficulty seems to be diagnosing the problem so that proper steps can be taken to rectify the situation.
Thankfully some help is out there. In a recent article for The Gospel Coalition, Pastor Kevin DeYoung shared “9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church” along with some thoughts on how to diagnose each problem. This doesn’t mean every possible struggle a church could face is listed – there are only 9 after all. But this is a good place to start.
In case you didn’t know, there is an effort to redefine marriage. One of the most deceptive and false narratives in this effort is that the redefinition will stop with homosexuals and same-sex “marriage.” For several years now many of us have been issuing constant warnings that if marriage is redefined for homosexuals it will have to be redefined for any other group, person, or group of people that want to be “married.”
My typical warning goes something like this: If the government redefines marriage to include same-sex “marriage” it will have to continue redefining marriage to include polygamy, polyamory, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality. There will be no logical, moral, or political reason not to continue redefining marriage. If the government does not continue to redefine marriage for these groups it will be guilty of the same “discrimination” it now accuses traditional marriage supporters of.
Professing Christians that attempt to “love” their neighbor by supporting their sin and advocating for marriage redefinition will, in the end, either limit their support to homosexuals – thereby becoming guilty of the same “discrimination” they now accuse traditional marriage supporters of, or, endorse any and all forms of “marriage”; including polygamy, polyamory, et. al.
If these Christians that now support redefining marriage for homosexuals end their support of marriage redefinition there, they will have a hard time explaining their position using Scripture; or logic. The reality that many will broaden their support to include polygamy and polyamory is an easy conclusion given their existing ability to twist and stretch Scripture to support same-sex “marriage.”
If you are singer/songwriter Sam Martin you have a lot to be proud of. Martin co-wrote Maroon 5’s top 10 single “Daylight,” David Guetta’s “Dangerous,” One Direction’s “Change Your Ticket,” and Nick Jonas’ “Wilderness.” But when Martin found out his wife, Joy, was pregnant, and heard his unborn son’s heartbeat for the first time, he was inspired to write a song.
Martin said that writing this song “was a spiritual experience” and “incredibly personal and meaningful.” He kept the song a secret from his wife until it was finished, but once complete, sang it for her as they both were “sobbing, uncontrollably crying.” The very simple song is powerful as it conveys the message that martin wants his son to know “I’m going to love you anyway.” And while Martin was surprised that the record company went along with his song and allowed him to record it, he is thankful.
Listen to Martin’s beautiful song below. If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser.
A growing problem in our society is women addicted to porn. Traditionally this has been a male problem, but our over-sexualized culture has led to a dramatic rise in women that are struggling with porn addiction.
A British vlogger named Oghosa Ovienrioba shared a video about her particular struggle with porn. What makes her video so relatable is that she is 1) a woman, and 2) candid about her addiction starting as a result of abuse.
What is becoming clearer is that porn addiction and childhood sexual abuse are intricately connected. More than just a few people have realized their abuse and their addiction to porn are linked. So much so that studies are being done to understand how they are connected. Ovienrioba is no exception to this trend and shares in the video – posted below – how her own abuse led to consuming hours of porn each day.
“When I was about 15 or 16, I started watching porn much more regularly and this time it didn’t shock me as much. The thing about porn is, it works on desensitizing…When you see people, you don’t even see people anymore. You see them as sex objects.”
As a resident of West Virginia, I am proud that our state legislature not only passed the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” I am proud that they passed it, then overrode the governor’s veto to make it state law.
Why is this an important bill?
The picture in this post is of a baby boy named David that died by miscarriage at 7 weeks old. What is immediately obvious by looking at the picture is that the unborn child is…a living human being! It is easy to identify arms, legs, the head, and the eyes beginning to form. The fact that this child, before he died through miscarriage, had a heartbeat makes it clear that it is a living child.
A recent article commenting on this story shares the words of the mother in the wake of her loss:
Writing at Live Action News and LifeNews.com, pro-life activist and lawyer Kristi Burton Brown discusses “10 Pro-Abortion Myths That Need to be Completely Debunked.” What’s curious to me is that several of these myths have been offered as “convictions” by people claiming to be pro-life. One has to wonder if the constant media hounding of pro-life people has created compromises that pro-life people are willing to accept. I certainly hope not. What other explanation could there for a person claiming to be pro-life that finds an exception (read: loop hole) where killing an unborn child is acceptable? How can that be justified?
More to the point, if killing an unborn child can be justified in certain circumstances, can’t killing any person be justified? (This example does not include death incurred as the result of just war.) If killing a person can be justified in a few circumstances can’t those few circumstances eventually be expanded to include others? You see where this is going? The bottom line is that if killing the unborn can be justified in any way, it will (and must) lead to the killing to others.
Some of the “myths” Burton-Brown discuses are: (To read the entire list with commentary, click here)
1. MYTH: Abortion is safe.
2. MYTH: Abortion doesn’t kill a person.
One of two scenarios have become popular in our culture:
Scenario #1: Boy and girl meet, start dating, get serious, decide to move in together (more often than not due to one person’s hope that it will propel the relationship toward marriage).
Scenario #2: Boy and girl meet, get serious, start dating, date for a couple years, get engaged, THEN decide to move in together (for any number of reasons including, to save money while planning a wedding, or because “we are basically married anyway”).
The problem that many people just cannot seem to figure out with these scenarios is that they are doing more harm than good to the relationship.
Marriage is a commitment. Marriage says “I am committed to being with you through thick and thin, good or bad, easy or hard, I will be by your side.” (That is what the vows are supposed to mean, and each person is supposed to convey this message and make this commitment). When two people get married it is supposed to be for life regardless of circumstances; a vow and covenant made with each other, God, and before a number of witnesses. Marriage is serious.
Moving in together before marriage does not carry the same commitment. This poses a problem as many people expect their girlfriend or boyfriend to ACT like they are married, but without the vows and commitment that comes with marriage. When those expectations do not materialize it often strains the relationship and causes breakups, custody battles, and broken lives. In other words, people want to play house without making it official. By doing so they unwittingly set themselves up for failure.
Despite being vetoed last year, and then again this year, the West Virginia legislature has successfully overrode Gov. Tomblin’s veto to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This means West Virginia now has it’s first abortion limiting law on the books. West Virginia was previously one of just nine states with not a single abortion limiting law in place. That meant a woman could get an abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth. Considering the fact that a vast majority of West Virginians are pro-life – that was simply not acceptable.
We were all disappointed when our “pro-life” governor vetoed this bill last year; a decision that told us all we need to know about where Tomblin stands on the issue of life. After a second veto this year, no one in West Virginia will ever wonder about Tomblin’s position or whether he will defend life – he won’t.
National Right to Life made the following comment concerning the legislature’s override:
“In a 27-5 vote, the West Virginia state Senate today joined with the state House of Delegates in voting to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 2568), legislation that protects unborn children from abortion at the point that they are able to feel pain. Tomblin’s veto came after the state House of Delegates and the state Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill in February. The legislature’s successful override of Gov. Tomblin’s veto means that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will go into effect in 90 days.”
Another article wrote: