AP: “A federal judge granted an injunction Friday that prohibits the government from enforcing the federal health care law’s requirement that insurance coverage include access to the morning-after pill and similar contraceptives on almost 200 religious organizations that have filed a class-action lawsuit to block the mandate. The preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Timothy DeGiusti will prevent the government from enforcing the mandate as the religious groups’ lawsuit makes its way through the legal system. The lawsuit was filed in October on behalf of 187 ministries that provide their employees with health benefits through GuideStone Financial Resources, the health benefits arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
This is fantastic news for Southern Baptist ministries and every one that believes it is wrong for the government to force people to violate their faith. This decision – like the Hobby Lobby case and nearly every case against the HHS mandate – has decimated ObamaCare in the courts. Even the Obama administration is now seeking to alleviate penalties, change laws, and accommodate citizens after the pummeling in the courts.
For Southern Baptists and people of faith, this is another victory in the fight to defend religious freedom from government intrusion. I hope verdicts like this continue to roll out of the courts until Obama and his administration finally admit what every other American knows: it’s a bad law that needs repealed. Click here for original article.
Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to honor a perfect stranger, or someone you hardly know, than it is the people you love the most? I find this to be not only true in my own life, but very perplexing. How is it so much easier to be patient, kind and understanding to people I don’t really know than it is to be all those things with my wife and kids?
Do I love the people at the gas station more than my own family? Do I prefer the company of the grocery store clerk over my kids? Are my co-workers more deserving of my best than my wife? I doubt we would answer any of these questions in the affirmative and yet, practically speaking, we live life as if we answered “yes” to them all.
I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13: 7 as he teaches on what love looks like in daily life. Paul, speaking of love, says that it:
“Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.”
In other words, when it comes to the people we claim to love the most our love should produce more patience, more kindness, more hope and more trust. So whatever measure of these attributes we show towards the relative strangers we live next door to, work with, or encounter at the grocery store, the measure shown to our wife, kids, and extended family (Christian brothers and sisters) should be greater. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to keep up with the Duck Dynasty saga over the last week, not an easy task. Last Friday when I was writing my own commentary on the incident I was also having conversations on social media with people about what I thought would happen. (You can read my commentary here or here.)
In my conversations I mentioned that I thought this was the biggest mistake a cable network has ever made. A&E decided to cater to a small group of people that don’t even watch their network and offend the 15 million viewers making them a ton of money. I’m no cable network exec, but if making decisions like this is what it takes to be one, I can start today.
Additionally, A&E has already wrapped up filming the last 10 episodes of season 4 before this flap started and has no plans to scrap any of those episodes. So guess who will be in those episodes starting January 15th? That’s right, Duck Commander Phil Robertson.
What this told me was that A&E was making a political statement in trying to fire Robertson from his own show. It’s a well known fact that A&E has sought to reign in the religious expression of the Robertsons and they saw this as yet another opportunity. Oops…the guy that had this idea will be fired soon. This epic backfire will make network history. Continue reading
by Kristi Burton Brown
Originally posted at Live Action.
In any given year, there are thousands of pro-life moments to celebrate. Reflecting on these moments inspires us to keep on keeping in the new year.
Here are ten notable moments from 2013:
10) The rejections of the Estrela Report by the European Union and the Bali Declaration by the United Nations
Brad Mattes explains the Estrela victory for Life Issues Institute:
The Estrela Report is a proclamation of “sexual and reproductive health rights”—code words for their primary objective of abortion-on-demand. The Report would literally declare abortion to be a human right. The goal is to make abortion accessible through the public health systems in all European Union member countries. There are no limitations, meaning that third-trimester abortions until birth could be a common reality. …It should come as no surprise that one of the self-seeking groups behind this measure is the International Planned Parenthood Federation. … Continue reading
Are you able to defend life and marriage against the arguments people may throw at you?
If the answer to that question is no, I recommend a little study in order to be better prepared to defend these positions. There is no need to be afraid to engage someone because of the arguments they might use against your views; with a little study you can be thoroughly prepared to offer sound logic and biblical support against popular arguments.
The following two articles do an outstanding job of combating popular notions against life and traditional marriage. The first article, from Matt Walsh, addresses the specific arguments of an obviously “logical” pro-abortion advocate. Walsh’s responses are common sense, logical, and show just how absurd some arguments against life can be.
The second article, by Matt Chandler, addresses four basic arguments often used by advocates of homosexuality and other sexual sins. Chandler’s answers are biblically sound but culturally relevant as well.
I highly recommend taking a look at both of these articles then passing them on to someone else. Enjoy. Continue reading
The interview posted below is an excellent reminder of the need for Christians to be characterized by giving. It seems Christians have almost bought into the idea that government should take care of people, rather than the church. This is used to justify tithing and giving less. I commend this interview and the principles taught as a great place to start a discussion on stewardship.
The Scary Truth About Christian Giving
Interview by Rob Moll
The Bible gives a two-sided portrayal of wealth: It is good, but it can seduce us into sin. The solution, according to New Testament scholar Craig L. Blomberg, is to freely share it. In Christians in an Age of Wealth: A Biblical Theology of Stewardship (Zondervan), Blomberg, who teaches at Denver Seminary, argues that sacrificial giving is an essential part of good stewardship. He spoke with CT editor at large Rob Moll about our spending patterns and whether Christians are required to tithe.
If, as you argue, Christians are no longer bound by the Old Testament principle of tithing, what’s so bad about low rates of giving?
Over the past 40 years, self-identified evangelicals have given between 2 and 3 percent of their incomes to churches and Christian organizations. Stewardship is a crucial part of the Christian life, and according to these figures, it is sadly lacking.
Now, on any topic, we have to filter the Old Testament through the grid of Jesus’ and the apostles’ teaching. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus tells the Jewish leaders that they neglect the weightier things of the law, though they did tithe. This is often cited to claim that Jesus still promoted tithing. Yes, he did—for Jews still under the Mosaic Law. Continue reading
Would you join me in thanking A&E for firing Phil Robertson for sharing his personal views on sexuality?
I know many are upset over this decision to fire one of the most popular television personalities in history for simply sharing his religious beliefs when asked. But I want to take a moment and thank A&E for doing so.
While others are sharing viral images, meme’s and signing petitions demanding A&E reverse their decision to punish Phil Robertson, I am going to thank A&E.
Sure, a savvy business person might have looked back on last year’s attempt to “boycott” Chick-Fil-A and realized it was an epic failure and thought for a moment before “firing” the Patriarch of televisions most popular show. But not A&E. They promptly listened to the tiny group of angry voices – the same voices that thought it was a good idea to boycott Chick-Fil-A – and decided to alienate the millions of Duck Dynasty viewers instead. For that I want to thank them.
Just to the be clear, the attempt to boycott Chick-Fil-A resulted in a rally of support rarely, if ever seen, for a restaurant. Chick-Fil-A set one day, one week, and one month sales records, gained nationwide publicity, secured a base of lifetime customers, and made a ton of money. Those calling for a boycott looked so foolish that no one dared step forward to say it was their idea. But I guess no one at A&E remembered that and decided it was a good idea to fire one of the star’s of cable televisions most watched show. And I want to thank A&E for doing so.
Why do I want to thank A&E? (And want you to join me in thanking them.) I’ll tell you why! Continue reading
A group in Indiana is under attack for speaking truthfully about the danger same-sex “marriage” presents to religious freedom. The group put out a bulletin insert to churches which listed “Just Four Dangers of Same-Sex Marriage” that is being blasted as “promulgating panic” by those who don’t agree. The flier says the four dangers are:
– Authorities jailing pastors for preaching against homosexuality.
– Cross-dressing men violating women’s privacy in their restrooms.
– Government forcing business owners to cater to same-sex weddings.
– Schools teaching children that gay marriage is normal.
One local law professor said of the flier: “This is just ludicrous. This is just promulgating panic — and misinformed panic.” Hmm, let’s see if the statements in this flier are more truth than “ludicrous.”
Is the government jailing pastors for preaching against homosexuality? No, not that I am aware of. At least not in America. But in countries where same-sex “marriage” has been legalized and codified in law pastors and Christians have been jailed for speaking against the homosexual lifestyle. It’s called “sexual orientation discrimination.” In other words, what the government deems to be morally appropriate the church, including the pastor, is not allowed to preach against; even I the Bible clearly calls something sin. Continue reading
A proposed bill in Pennsylvania would make it illegal to fire a person for violating the doctrinal beliefs of Christian or Catholic schools and other religious employers. A report discusses the case of a Catholic school where:
“Headmaster and school President Father James McCloskey noted that Griffin’s contract ‘requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Church as a condition of their employment.’ The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts, as all sexual acts outside marriage, are immoral, and homosexual activity is ‘intrinsically disordered.’ Marriage is the lifelong and unbreakable union of one man and one woman. Fr. McCloskey says that when he confronted the teacher, Griffin ‘acknowledged that he was aware of this provision’ of his contract, ‘yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony.’ The school said it let Griffin go ‘with regret.'”
In other words, a Catholic school fired a teacher because he violated his contract which stated that he would abide by all Catholic doctrine. The teacher violated this contract by entering into a homosexual marriage and was therefore fired in accordance with his contract.
The proposed bill would make it illegal to fire someone based on these circumstances. This means Christian and Catholic schools, along with other religious employers, would not be able to fire someone for refusing to adhere to church doctrine. Not only is this dangerous for these schools, but it is not hard to imagine that churches will be next. This truly is an assault on religious freedom. Click here for original article.
It was just a matter of time before it happened.
Ever since reports surfaced that A&E was trying to crack down on religious expressions by the Robertson family during taping of their mega-hit show Duck Dynasty, we knew it was just a matter of time. And now it’s finally happened.
In case you’ve been under a rock in the last 24 hours, it has been reported by every media outlet in the country that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has been placed on “indefinite hiatus” for his remarks on homosexuality. When this news broke, the Internet and social media exploded. Here’s the story.
Robertson was doing an interview with GQ magazine when he was asked about his faith and the faith of the Robertson clan. The faith of this beloved all-American family is well-known. So when asked the questions about faith and sexuality, Robertson didn’t hold back. He said:
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right…It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” Continue reading