Monthly Archives: February 2016
Imagine your child and a few friends bowing their heads to say a prayer in the cafeteria at school before eating their lunch. As a parent you would be proud of their small demonstration of their faith. And you would be more than a little irritated if the principal of the school told your child that prayer was not permitted and the group had to stop immediately.
That scenario happened in a Wyoming school when students were told they needed permission to pray, and after receiving permission must pray in the hallway so other students wouldn’t see the prayer and be offended.
A recent article reports that the school argued that by praying in the cafeteria the students were creating a “captive audience” and forcing others to see, hear, and be part of their prayer. The principal wanted to avoid offending anyone – except the Christians it would seem – by making sure no one would see or hear the prayer.
But, when the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) – a legal organization that defends religious freedom – stepped in, the school changed its tone. ADF sent a letter to the school threatening legal action if the school continued to infringe on the students’ 1st amendment rights to pray:
Can we truly worship God apart from our emotions? The debate over what “worship” in churches should and should not be like confronts us with the idea of whether it is possible to be divorced from our emotions and truly worship.
That question has been on my mind as I rethink what it means to worship. We know that we are to “worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) But it seems the practical application of worshipping God “in spirit and in trust” is what is up for debate.
Discussions and comment threads over the use of instruments (and the banning of others); the use of dance (and the sin of dance); and the use of traditional hymns versus modern songs (aren’t the Psalms the most “traditional” hymns?) has made the discussion difficult to learn from. Each side is convinced of their right-ness on the issue. And in many cases opposing sides are willing to “agree to disagree”; a nice change from the typical name-calling (“legalist,” and “hippie” come to mind). But this is important.
The worship of God is not like the disagreement of whether or not Christians should drink alcohol. Our worship of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is central to our lives as believers. Refusing to think critically about this topic could be spiritually deadening.
A bill that was making its way through the West Virginia legislature has been approved by a wide margin. The “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” (SB 10) had a few detractors but has been passed by the Senate. A recent article states:
“The West Virginia Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, SB 10, successfully made it through the Senate Health Committee and then received approval in the full Senate today. This bill outlaws a form of abortion that “dismember[s] a living unborn child and extract[s] him or her one piece at a time from the uterus.” This heinous procedure undermines the dignity of all human life, and should be outlawed in West Virginia. In ordinary medical care, doctors have testified that there is no emergency that requires dismembering a living unborn baby.”
The need for a bill of this type should not have to be stated. The fact that it has to be made into law shows how far we’ve come as a society. National Right to Life Director of State Legislation, Mary Spaulding Balch commented on the type of abortion procedure being banned:
“Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb…Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.”
This is good news. If you haven’t already done so; contact your state legislator to encourage their support for this much needed bill. No child should ever have to fear being torn limb from limb. As West Virginians we need to defend the unborn and support this bill.
A bill to protect the unborn from being torn limb from limb in what is known as a “dismemberment abortion” has made it through committee and will now move on to a second committee vote.
As I mentioned previously, West Virginia is seeking to pass the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, SB 10, to protect the unborn from a cruel and barbaric procedure that many doctors say is absolutely unnecessary. The very idea that anyone would support tearing an unborn baby apart in the womb reveals the hardened conscience of our culture.
Abortion advocates have said dismemberment abortion is an “emergency procedure” and only used in extreme cases. But many doctors have testified that there is no emergency that would require such an emergency. Fabricating “facts” in order to torture and kill the unborn seems to be standard in the abortion industry, but it should not be tolerated in West Virginia.
I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to contact your lawmakers and ask them to support passage of SB 10. If they refuse then it’s time we find new lawmakers. West Virginia has been shaking things up politically in recent years and the results have been positive. Now is the time to move forward with protecting life in our state once and for all.
You can contact your elected lawmakers to the house and senate here.
Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, A.W. Tozer, a highly respected pastor, author, and theologian, was concerned that people just wanted to be entertained, even when they came to church. His fear was that society in general was moving towards an insatiable desire to be entertained. It seems his fears were well-founded and the subject needs to be revisited once again.
Like many, I have been in public settings where people would normally be interacting but they were all staring at their phones. It seems the next tweet, Instagram photo, or Facebook post was more captivating than the people around them. And now, our reliance on social media for stimulation and entertainment has made its way into the church. Entertainment has, in many ways, become another possible master for us to choose from.
A recent article at Desiring God explores the reality that entertainment has become the master of choice for many people, even Christians. The author confesses that entertainment has been used “…to distract me from the guilt of sin, friction in relationships, or anxiety about work. It became what daily prayer and Bible reading should have been — a safe haven to retreat for rest and comfort.”
But the result of choosing entertainment as a master is that it will slowly draw us away from Christ:
Everyone loves a well-done Super Bowl commercial. The prime-time advertising spots cost millions of dollars, but when 100 million people see your commercial it seems to be money well spent. I had pegged one commercial as the best of this year’s Super Bowl. And wouldn’t you know that abortion advocates thought it was the worst and took to the internet to show their disapproval.
If you recall, a Doritos commercial showed and unborn baby reaching for his father’s chip. The father moved the chip back and forth and the unborn child would follow and reach out for the nacho cheese snack. Suddenly, the mother grabbed the chip and threw it across the room. The unborn baby decided that was all he needed to make a grand entrance to the world and promptly came out of his mother’s womb. (Watch the ad below)
But the faithful abortion activists over at NARAL immediately decried the ad with this mind-numbing tweet:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
That was the first prayer I remember praying. I prayed it each night with one of my parents before going to sleep. Somewhere along the way I stopped praying that prayer and started praying my own prayers. But that prayer was said with the heart of a child that sincerely wanted to talk to God but didn’t necessarily know how.
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about the idea of children praying and all the theological implications behind it. As a theology student I can say I have not. As a parent I can say it never occurred to me. That is, until I read an article by Tim Challies in which he answers a question about whether or not it is appropriate to let kids pray.
Those words come from Daniel McArthur, general manager of Ashers Baking Company, as he describes what it is like to have the government demand he and his family of Christians make a cake with a message that violates their religious beliefs.
It all started when a man asked for a cake with the words “support gay marriage” on it. McArthur and the people at Ashers refused to make it citing their religious beliefs. A legal battle ensued and the government sided with the customer saying that Ashers had violated the Equality Act and “discriminated” against the man. Ashers was fined $765 for “injury to feelings” and told to make the cake.
By the way, this all happened in Norther Ireland where gay marriage is illegal.
A newly released video by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) reveals the deceitful accounting tactics used by Planned Parenthood to profit in the sale of aborted baby body parts. The video (posted below) shares a conversation between CMP investigative journalist David Daleiden and a Planned Parenthood Director of Research Melissa Farrell.
The accounting gimmick used involves using dual invoices and subtle phrasing in order to charge extremely high prices for “specimens” that cost Planned Parenthood virtually nothing. This means Planned Parenthood was making a great deal of profit on each “specimen” it sold; a practice that is blatantly illegal. A recent article shares some detail:
“Daleiden says the system of accounting gimmicks and dual invoicing for “consent” payments in place of fetal specimens that Melissa Farrell describes in the video bears a striking resemblance to invoices submitted by Farrell on behalf of PPGC to the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2010 and 2011. In these documents, obtained through a Public Information Act request, two PPGC invoices for the exact same billing period charge $25 per “Consents obtained,” with a total quantity of 32, and in the same time period charges $150 per “Consent payment” for a smaller quantity of 25. This is consistent with a scheme where Planned Parenthood charged $25 to consent abortion patients to supply fetal tissue, and then charged another $150 for each usable fetal specimen that UTMB could procure.”
I’m typically a big fan of Texas.
Texas is a place where steak is served at every meal, guns are encouraged, and the San Antonio Spurs call home. Oh, and I was born in Texas. All in all Texas is a great place that many states could learn from.
However, Texas has recently made headlines for something that defies the imagination.
By now most people are aware that a series of undercover videos exposed the illegal and barbaric practices of Planned Parenthood in selling aborted baby body parts for money. The videos have been so damning to the abortion business that many states are cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and a majority of Americans want federal funding cut. (That’s not likely to happen as long as the most pro-abortion president in US history is in office. Think before you vote.)
David Daleiden and his group, the Center for Medical Progress, spent several years undercover secretly videotaping conversations with Planned Parenthood executives about their daily practices in securing aborted baby body parts to be sold for money. The videos caught many high-ranking Planned Parenthood executives discussing the practice as if they were selling used auto parts. It was nonchalant to them. Some remain proud of their actions today.