On the Salutary Effects of Losing an Election

We are now two weeks past the election (though some ballots are still being counted, as suspicious as this must seem to sensible people), and those of us who are concerned for the moral fiber of our nation have once again been shocked to discover that majorities in several states count “freedom of choice” more important than the life of a full-term baby.  And our Congress is set to further destroy the definition of marriage codifying what prior generations rightly called, sodomy—after the behavior of those inhabitants whose city the Almighty overthrew long ago (Genesis 18:22-19:29; Jude 7).

So what are Christians to make of this?  How are we to understand this and respond?  Well, we are reminded once again that this is a broken and sinful world—a place which is not our home.  And thank God!  This is why the Apostle Peter calls us “elect exiles” dispersed throughout the world (1 Peter 1:1).  And this title we must embrace if we are to protect ourselves from becoming too familiar with the ways of world.  We shall always be a minority before our Lord returns (Matthew 7:13-14).  Indeed, God’s people are a minority from Genesis to Revelation and throughout Church history.  Furthermore, we must remember that the “sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8).  In other words, in this world, we tend to lose—if “lose” is defined as pagans getting their way more often than not.

And why is this?  Why do pagans embrace the lies of “reproductive freedom,” which is only a cover for sexual immorality and the slavery which comes with it?  Because this world is their home; it’s all they have.  And when something is all you have, you cherish it above all things, you embrace falsehoods wherein the promise of salvation lies, and thereby cling tooth and nail to the trinkets the world bestows.  It’s the natural impulse of unregenerate man.

“But it’s so unfair!”  Yes, for them.  But it is a world they gladly choose and a way of life they gladly embrace.  In moments of deeper reflection, they will admit something is wrong with themselves.  But in the end, they return to wallowing in the mire since it seems to them a well-watered garden.  They must have sex even to the murder of its natural fruit, and they must have unnatural sex even to the ruin of their bodies.  And it all leads to the eternal destruction of their souls.

“But they call us, ‘Semi-Nazis, Deplorables, uneducated buffoons clinging to guns and their religion.”  Yes.  And they called the early Christians incestuous, cannibals, and atheists.  This is the way the world’s minions demonize those who disagree with them, especially when it concerns matters the world deems sacrosanct.  The West has worked long and hard over more than two centuries to free sex from the confines of husband and wife in the lifelong covenant of marriage.  They’ve succeeded and are not about to let that go.  Thus, we must endure the puerile behavior of a President screaming epithets at us across the playground.  We are called a threat to democracy for speaking on behalf of the unborn, upholding the biblical and natural family, championing religious liberty (funny, liberals used to care about that as well), advocating for fair elections, and for a border that allows the most vulnerable to enter while shielding the population from the most dangerous.  Meanwhile, justices are harassed against the law and churches and crisis pregnancy centers are vandalized with impunity.  Such lawlessness is the measure of their resolve.

Indeed, such venomous accusations, and in some quarters persecution, is actually proof of our calling.  And it will only get worse.  So we must: 1) Embrace our status in this world as pilgrims and sojourners; 2) Understand that the world is merely behaving as the world behaves; 3) Pray for the strengthening of the Church as pagans grow angrier and more hostile; 4) Pray for those Christians who have been fooled by the world into embracing its values thereby jeopardizing their salvation; and finally, 5) Trust God to bring us through these dark times.  Many will be threatened with compromise and harassed, many will lose their jobs, some will forfeit their goods to rapacious courts, some will lose custody of their children, and perhaps in the not-too-distant future some will perish.  But we must remember that our patrimony is in heaven, and the sufferings here are a mere trifle to the glory that shall one day be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).  So look up, dear Christian; Your redemption draweth nigh.

On Clint Eastwood Movies, Regret, and the Christian Life

Since I watch very little television and even fewer movies, I have seen only a few of Clint Eastwood’s in my time, and those were his westerns of the 1970s.  But I must admit he is one of my all-time favorite actors.  He was always so cool.  He rarely showed emotion.  He said little letting his pistols do his talking for him.  He was faster than the bad guy and never missed.  And when the movie was over, he would ride out without a smile or a frown, like it was just another day.  That’s why we loved him: Clint was the essence of cool.

But things are different in his movie, Unforgiven (1992).  The movie opens (almost humorously) with his character preaching to his children that the reason his horse won’t let him mount is for the sins he committed long ago.  He was converted by his sainted wife whose memory he worships.  Yet, he allows himself to get caught up in the vindication of some prostitutes terribly mistreated by a town’s sheriff.  The entire movie follows his dealings with regret and remorse over past sins which he only multiplies in the end.  One might also mention, Gran Torino (2008), where you discover late that this grumpy old and racist man is plagued by the memory of an unjust killing he committed and for which he received a medal in the Korean War.  But unlike Unforgiven, there is some redemption in the end when he gives his life to save the people he once despised but learned to love.

Somewhere along the line, Clint’s characters changed, or at least in the movies I mentioned, from cool, calm, emotionless gunslingers to old men devoured by remorse.  I suppose most men like the former character better.  That’s the way we would like to be, or so we think.

But I demur.  Regret and remorse are essential elements to living—including Christian living.  I’m sure I’ll get some blowback from this, but I am convinced of it.  It is universal among Christians today to think that since God forgives us then we should just get on with life and forget our past misdeeds, regardless how great or small.  Since God has forgiven us, we are supposed to forgive ourselves.  Regret gets in the way of this, and remorse is downright morbid.  They remind us that we have left behind a veritable trail of tears of people whose lives we broke.  They burden us, and the therapeutic society in which we live—which is just as regnant in churches as any place else—urges us to cast that load into the sea and leave it there for our own mental and spiritual health.

But I’m not so sure.  I agree with seventeenth-century Puritan, John Owen, who said in his Mortification of Sin that we are too quick to forgive ourselves.  You see, regret and remorse have a positive effect in that they call us to repentance.  The person who would leave them behind and quickly forgive himself for the sake of his mental health will probably commit the same deed again.  But suppose there is no chance he ever will?  Regret and remorse still serve the godly purpose of keeping a man humble.  I’m not suggesting that we live our lives ever brooding over past sins, but I do say that contemporary Christians err on the side of not brooding enough and might even be rightly accused of receiving God’s grace a little…well, cheaply.

I have read people who say, “I have no regrets,” and encourage others to adopt the same attitude.  To this I respond: A man without regrets is a man without a conscience.  And I have more confidence in the salvation of a man who struggles with these things than I do in the salvation of that man who treats his sin as if Christ’s death and resurrection made it a matter of indifference.

As I approach sixty, I realize that “cool” is something I never was and never will be.  Oh, I suppose I’ll always enjoy, The Outlaw, Josey Wales; but honestly, Unforgiven and Gran Torino are better movies, and not just because the characters are more realistic, but for their depictions of real life struggles with which we all must deal. 

Regret and remorse are part of the broken world in which we live and part of the broken lives we have made of ourselves and others.  Indeed, Christ redeems all of this through his death and resurrection.  But though his work opens heaven’s gates for us, we must still deal with the consequences of sin in this world.  Regret and remorse are two of those consequences, and they have their purpose—especially in the lives of Christians.

Mary the Autonomous?

With the exception of Jesus, there is no figure in all of Scripture abused by the Left more than Mary, the mother of our Lord.  The more radical feminists despise her because of her association with virginity and motherhood.  They prefer Jezebel as a more worthy exemplar for women.  That’s fine with me; they can have Jezebel.  But we must now endure something far worse: “Mary the Autonomous.”   (“Autonomy” comes from Greek meaning, “self-law” or “self-governing” or perhaps even “a law unto oneself.”) 

I recently read a post wherein a woman argued that Christian opposition to abortion was about controlling women.  Nothing new here, just the same old lie.  Christian opposition to abortion is about saving the most vulnerable lives among us.  But this woman goes even further.  Her argument goes like this: Women merit autonomy just the same as men.  Access to abortion is an essential part of that autonomy lest women be reduced to motherhood, “not [having] the right to be free, independent beings.”  She then employs several examples of women from Scripture who do good things which, in her mind, speaks to their autonomy.  And she praises none more than Mary, whose autonomy led her to interrogate an angel, lean on Jesus to turn water into wine, and press him about his mental state during his ministry.  Yes Ma’am!  Don’t mess with Mary; she’s a liberated, autonomous, free-thinking woman who stares down angels and gods.

But what is even more stomach-churning for the believer is the conclusion to which our champion’s abortion argument leads if she would only follow her own logic: If abortion is about women’s autonomy, and Mary is the biblical model of such autonomy,…I mean, being an unwed teenager…and poor…and with Joseph wanting a divorce…and the unfairness of it all…well, shouldn’t Mary have exercised her…autonomy?

And there’s the rub.  You see, Mary didn’t see herself as an autonomous woman.  This should be obvious to anyone reading Mary’s response to the angel which was full of submission to the will of God, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).  To get to the point: Mary saw herself as “theonomous,” that is, one under the law of God, which is now made known to Christians through the inspired word of God.  And this is the law under which every Christian woman and man must live. 

Allow me to set forth a few examples:

A Christian businessman wants to cheat on some business dealings.  His is a small business and he is running into real financial trouble.  Stress is mounting at home.  No one would ever know what he is doing.  But he says to himself, “This is not right.  I am taking advantage of the good will of others to benefit myself.  I shall not do this to my neighbor.”  Such a man is living a theonomous life.

A man desires a woman and both are retired.  If they marry, one or both will lose the retirement a company has provided for the widowed spouse.  By living together, they can “double-dip.”  But the man says to himself, “If I will have this woman in my living room, dining room, and especially my bedroom, I will have her as my wife or not at all.”  Such a man is living a theonomous life.

A woman lives with an unfeeling husband.  He has not committed adultery, but neither does he show interest in her or share his life with her.  She is so lonely.  She could easily divorce him, and in our culture no one would blame her.  She can take the children and tell them that such is for their own good and that one day they will understand.  But she will not do this.  She prays to the Lord through tears, “I married for better for worse…till death do us part.  I am in a one-flesh union with an unloving and unlovable man.  But Christ is in such a union with me, and how many times have I been so unlovable to him?  I will stay with this man and love him and hope that he will someday love me again.  And if not, at least I will be able to say on my deathbed that I learned to love like Christ and will have taught my children to do the same.”  Such a woman is living a theonomous life.

A man struggles with same-sex attraction.  He can give himself to his passions and experience the temporary euphoria of sin and degradation.  He can even enter a mock marriage.  But instead he says to himself, “In sin did my mother conceive me, as we are all conceived.  We each have our cross to bear, and this one is mine.  I will not wallow in the mire but stand as a man and trust that God will give me the grace to stand.  My Lord carried his cross to Golgotha for me and I shall carry this cross for him even to my death.  And on that day, I shall rejoice and say, ‘I endured to the end,’ and I shall wear the victor’s crown.”  Such a man lives a theonomous life.

And finally, a young woman is pregnant.  It was a reckless night.  One thing led to another.  Now he’s gone.  What a pig!  She has dreams of law school and rising out of poverty.  A baby will change everything.  Abortion would solve everything!  But deep down, she knows that’s a lie.  So she says to herself, “I did not plan this.  I do not know how I will get through this.  But within my body is my baby who looks to me for life and love though he does not even know it.  Indeed, he does not know me, but I know him, and he is mine.  I cannot, I will not, take his or her life for the sake of mine.  Perhaps some dreams will have to die, but others more glorious will take their place.  I will seek God’s help and together we shall make a life.”  Such a woman is living a theonomous life.

Godly men and women seek not autonomy but theonomy.  And we can only be fully autonomous when we are fully theonomous, which won’t happen until our humanity is fully restored to us in heaven.  But that’s another essay.  In the meantime, seek theonomy.  Mary did.

The CDC, Monkey Pox, and Marriage

I now hear that Monkey Pox is spreading among men who define their existence by their sodomitical affairs, reminiscent of the AIDS virus of some forty years ago.  Rather than requiring sheltering in place and masking-up, the CDC—that disgraced and now largely disregarded agency, at least among the thinking public—urges such men to limit the number of their sexual partners.  Apparently asking them to remain abstinent would be tantamount to locking them up and denying them food and water.  “Just limit the number of your sexual partners,” the CDC says.

Let us not fool ourselves: The legal fiction of “same-sex marriage” was predicated upon the myth of homosexual monogamy.  Former lesbian and professor, Rosaria Butterfield, told us that for women, homosexual relations is about talking; for men, it’s about sex.  We know this is true.  A married man knows that his wife is not like him and that he must treat her with love and kindness all day.  Do you think such is the case between two men?  Mrs. Butterfield knows better—and so do we.

Indeed, two arguments from opposite directions which were made for same-sex (pseudo) marriage were: 1) That marriage would reign in the rampant promiscuity among them; and, 2) that “homosexuals” would show “heterosexuals” the benefits of open-marriage (i.e., marriages open to outside partners). 

And what is the spiritual law at work here?  That sex is like fire.  When it is practiced within the guidelines for which it was created by God, it is a most wonderful blessing.  But when it is allowed outside those parameters, it consumes everything in its path—beginning with people and ending with whole societies.

Some will say that I should stop writing these posts; after all, the sodomites won and may now marry.  Perhaps they have.  But I will not stop telling the truth which is plainly exhibited even by CDC guidelines.  Gay marriage is neither gay nor marriage.  It is a myth, a legal fabrication created in response to the demands of pagan voices which now own the megaphone in American society.  It is both immoral and demoralizing.  We have succeeded in making a mockery of marriage in western civilization, a Frankenstein’s monster of an institution that once called out people’s highest regard and respect.  Marriage is now a matter of taste which one is supposed to find personally fulfilling.  No wonder the younger generation avoids it.  IT’S NO BIG DEAL!

And that’s exactly what the feminists were aiming for: Same-sex pseudo-marriage was never about social justice but merely a trojan horse to redefine marriage as to render it anything and everything and a strictly personal matter—that is, meaningless. 

Churches (you know, the true ones) will have to hold to biblical teaching and raise the standards in their own congregations: We only marry people whom we know are believers, who understand “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” who will raise their children in the faith and in the church.  No more marrying people who “think your sanctuary is so pretty” bologna.  And we must preach this.  The best evangelism is modeling godly living.  Marriage and family is one of God’s chief ways of doing this.

The Defeat of “Value Them Both” and Bleeding Kansas Redux

As Kansans know quite well, there occurred a mini-civil war in their state in the 1850s that is today referred to as “Bleeding Kansas.”  It concerned the issue of whether Kansas would enter the Union as a slave or free state.  Upsetting the issue were people coming from slave-state Missouri to vote in Kansas elections.  These were called “Border Ruffians” who desperately wanted Kansas to be slave.  Violence ensued between these “Ruffians” and “Free-staters.”  Eventually, the Free-staters won.

But I read something interesting this morning after Kansans voted down the “Value Them Both” amendment to the Kansas Constitution.  It seems that those who value “reproductive freedom” garnered 71% of their contributions towards defeating the amendment from outside the state while only a miniscule of the contributions of those who “value them both” came from such sources.  It appears that the “Border Ruffians” won round two.

But what is so different this time is that while the Border Ruffians of long ago aided and abetted Kansas slave-holders rather than the slaves (obviously), this time the Ruffians were able to convince the slaves to enslave themselves.  Now that’s quite a feat!

What I mean is this: Kansas women had the opportunity through their vote to say, “From now on, we will hold men accountable.  We will not give you that which you so dearly desire until you commit to us in the lifelong bond of marriage, promise to provide and protect us, and be loving fathers to our children.  Until then, there are plenty of “men” and trans-“women” who will have you.  And a (monkey) pox on your house as well!”

Abortion, sodomy, divorce, pre-marital sex, adultery, and pornography are SO FAR removed from Genesis 2:18-25 and Ephesians 5:22-33, and define the “culture of death.”  And unfortunately, I’m sure there were plenty of Christians who voted in defeat of the amendment whose thinking is far more in line with that pagan culture than Christian teaching.

I understand why men would vote down the amendment—but women?  Even Susan B. Anthony and the early feminists saw abortion as a horrible crime perpetrated upon women—not a source of “empowerment” as feminists view it today, just like they now view pornography and prostitution (check the Progressive, Huffington Post, for the latest feminist wave).  But women today have been convinced by feminists that they should be as promiscuous as men.  So they must have abortion; it’s only fair!  What Kansas needs is another Carrie A. Nation who will demand that women indeed take control of their own bodies, not by the slavery of lechery and abortion, but through a new “temperance” movement!

And so Kansas women voted with the Border Ruffians who swept into Kansas to see that they remained enslaved.  And the blood will flow as dismembered babies are harvested from the wombs which were supposed to nurture and protect them.  And thousands more women will learn to regret and weep bitter tears. 

Yep!  It’s Bleeding Kansas all over again.

On the Left’s Obsession with Handmaids

It has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture, and none surpasses the beauty of the King James Version: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).  And in this brief and simple expression of faith, the purest virgin of all takes upon herself the burden of the lifelong suspicion of her purity, as well as the unimaginable load of being mother to the Messiah.  Hers is the greatest example of obedience the Bible has to offer, and her reward is that all generations have called her blessed.  If obedience is the measure of our love for God (and it certainly is), none ever loved the Lord more than this handmaid.

But the Left never tires of outdoing itself when it comes to prostituting otherwise simple and innocent words for perverted political ends—“gay,” “straight,” “culture,” to name a few, and now, “handmaid.”  Although no devotee of television or movies (one of my few virtues), I only just discovered that there was recently a popular series based upon a 1985 dystopian novel, entitled, The Handmaid’s Tale, in which a radical religious (dare we say, “evangelical”) group overthrows the United States government, and, due to low birthrates, forces women into sexual slavery for the purpose of bearing children.  That’s the gist of it which I skimmed from Wikipedia, not the best source for information, but good enough for such kitsch as this. 

Anyway, the word, “handmaid,” has become even more infamous on the Left since Roe was overturned, and women now have no choice but to manufacture babies.  One might get the impression these people never learned how babies are made, or that engaging in that process is, in the vast majority of cases, a choice.  Of course, they will always advertise those horrifying exceptions (for which there are remedies), but those exceptions have never been the driving force behind abortion.  That driving force has ever been what feminists deem the essence of equality: To be as lecherous as men but without the consequences unique to women.  Lately, women, and the men who enjoy lecherous women, have gathered daily to harass the family of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett (in violation of federal statute, but what does the Attorney General care), addressing her by the now pejorative, “handmaid,” perhaps because she and her husband have seven children, two adopted from poverty-stricken Haiti (which most would call an act of immense charity), and one of their own with Down Syndrome (which many on the Left would consider an act of excessive cruelty). 

Well, apparently there are people on the Left who actually believe that this is the direction in which the United States is heading—a world ruled by Christian fundamentalists who take all rights away from women and reduce them to baby-making slaves.  The irony is that the producers of this smut could have selected any number of Muslim countries for an authentic setting, but they chose instead to dream of this happening in America.  And need I say that it was in the Christian West that slavery was ended and women’s rights were born—not in the Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist East? 

At the risk of psychoanalyzing, it really makes one wonder if this is the sort of world these people secretly crave.  If so, it’s their fantasy and not of those they blame.  And if I may play “social justice warrior,” what about the “transwomen” who can be handmaids but not make babies, or the “transmen” who can make babies but not be handmaids?  Why they’ve been completely erased from the dystopian/utopian world these Leftists have created, and for that alone this production deserves two thumbs down!

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”  Those words will always ring in my ears of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Virgin’s obedience was the first step in this world towards our salvation, and I shall always honor her and call her blessed.  And by the way, there really is a new world coming.  We know that one day our Lord shall return and usher in a world of true justice—not that twisted sort which pagans seek.  But we are called in the meantime to do justice and love kindness here (Micah 6:8), a thankless task in this world.  We make no apologies for fighting for the unborn, or demanding at public school board meetings that children not be groomed by those blinded by the perverted philosophies of this world and then robbed of their God-given sexuality or offered pornographic books in the name of inclusion.  We will not stop saying that though we believe in a free society, a healthy nation is a nation that supports the family understood as: father leading, mother nurturing, and both modeling for their children love of God and neighbor, living virtuously while hating sin, especially their own.  And yes, a healthy nation is a nation full of Bible-believing churches. 

And this is why the pagans rage: By God’s grace, our nation’s highest secular court issued a ruling that was—to a limited extent—God-honoring, and achieved by the yearslong work of His people.  “Who is this God and who are these people to gain such a victory on OUR turf!” they shriek (Psalm 2:1; Exodus 5:2; Ephesians 2:2).  And hell itself is not large enough to contain their rage—or so they think.

Christians have no desire for the sick world of the creators of The Handmaid’s Tale, but I tend to think THEY do.  Let them have their Tale; we shall bless the Handmaid.

On the Scandal within the Leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention

Well there’s much to decry that has happened in the last thirty years within our nation’s largest Protestant denomination, and, no doubt, a great reckoning is coming.  Some men who thought themselves above the law abused others in the worst way while other men covered their tracks for the sake of saving the institution.  It’s a sickening saga that is played out in institutions from government to education to media to entertainment, et.al—but it’s especially nauseating when it involves churches.

And the Left is beside itself with glee.  After all, what provides pagans more pleasure than to learn that a bunch of white, straight, male, evangelicals played the hypocrite preaching such moribund platitudes as sexual purity while looking the other way when some of their own were committing the most impure deeds of all!  Unfortunately, the whole denomination—the faithful who labor in those forty-thousand churches—must share the shame with those rascals.  Oh, they understand that sin often gets the best of us, and most entertain no illusions of perfect men guiding the ship with steady and sinless hands.  But it still hurts as people rightfully feel betrayed—and none more than the victims of this treachery.

But I recently read at the Progressive online magazine, The New Republic, a commentary on this sad scene which employs racism, sexism, and all the usual bogeymen which the Left exploit as lenses to invent their convoluted sociological explanations for human behavior.  In short, the crisis the Southern Baptist Convention now faces is due to its creation in 1845 to maintain the institution of slavery, the raping of black women by white slaveholders, and the lynching of black men who spoke to white women during Jim Crow.  Indeed, the purity culture whereby parents teach their daughters to guard their hearts and bodies before marriage (and their sons as well, but they don’t mention this) is a sickly symptom of patriarchy as fathers seek to control the sex lives of their daughters, and ESPECIALLY as that concerns not having sex with black men!  I can say with a clear conscience that as a father who taught his daughters sexual purity the latter thought NEVER entered my mind.

But the article supplies an excellent example of the lengths sociologists on the Left will go to support the premises for their predetermined conclusions—which premises are always rooted in race and sex, and more recently homophobia and transphobia—all those societal ills brought to you by white, straight, Christian men and their demonic patriarchal reign.

A medieval philosopher who had more to do with our contemporary way of looking at things than most will ever know was a man by the name of William of Ockham.  And though I disagree with his philosophy in general, I will state his most famous principle which may prove useful as I seek to offer an alternative explanation for this scandal.  “Occam’s razor” goes like this: “Plurality is not to be posited without necessity.”  Or to say it another way: “What can be explained by assuming fewer terms is vainly explained by assuming more.” 

And so forgoing the Left’s attempt to dress the fall of the SBC’s most prominent leaders in sociological garb (the trappings of Trueman’s “psychological man”), I shall now explain the underpinnings of this scandal according to Scripture’s “spiritual” (or in this case, “unspiritual”) man, and we shall find that it complements both Ockham’s dictum and Christian teaching.  To sum: These men allowed LUST to take control of their lives, and PRIDE to allow them to think they had the right and ability to commit these heinous acts without ever getting caught.  Simple.  Direct.  Easy to understand. 

Christian theology teaches that we are born with sinful natures, the transformation of which requires a radical rebirth of the Holy Spirit.  Upon this renewal, a man must grow in knowledge and grace, living a truly religious and spiritual life in close communion with his Lord to gain mastery over his temptations.  If he does not do this, or even desire to do so, it is evidence that his conversion was false.  On the other hand, if he were truly converted and committed such scandalous sin, such a one would be broken, plead forgiveness, repent of such, and wish to do whatever feasible to right the wrong.  He rejects excuses (such as racism, sexism, “my patriarchal upbringing made me do it”) and takes his place with the thief on the cross simply pleading, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 

The seven deadly sins are ever with us: pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.  For this reason, the Apostle Peter wrote to Christians: “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9).  This is especially true of Christian leaders as they, above all people, are in the devil’s crosshairs.  Let us pray that this scandal will be met with confession, tears, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, and above all healing for all parties.  And let us further hope that the churches of the SBC, innocent and ignorant of these misdeeds, and which have done so much good over the years for their communities, will experience a season of their greatest fruit-bearing.

My Dad–True Blue Democrat

My Dad was born in Georgia in 1932.  He passed away about a year and a half ago.  The last few years of his life he suffered from dementia.  But there was one thing Dad never forgot—that he was a Democrat.  The poor man suffered the misfortune of siring three Republicans.  Indeed, in the family in which I was raised, we passionately discussed religion and politics.  We still do.

Dad was Democrat to the core.  No, it wasn’t about Jim Crow.  Oh, he would be considered racist by today’s standards, but that wasn’t why he voted Democrat in the 1950s or any other time.  Dad was a working man.  He retired from General Motors and was a big union supporter.  For Dad, politics was easy.  It boiled down to one thing: the Democrat was for the working man; the Republican was for the rich man.  Dad considered this a law of the universe.  So did other working-class people in those days.  Millions from the 1930s to the 1980s voted precisely in the same manner.  The top of the ticket didn’t even matter.  Dad voted straight-line Democrat.  Indeed, in those days, no one could get elected in the South if he had an “R” by his name.  What infuriated Dad most were conservatives who ran on the Democratic ticket because they couldn’t win on the Republican.  US House Representative from Georgia, Larry McDonald, was just such a Democrat—who also chaired the John Birch Society!

There were many things about the Democrat Party Dad overlooked.  He didn’t support feminism by any means.  He wasn’t opposed to legal abortion but neither did he champion the cause.   Of course, Dad knew that a man went with a woman, but if others disagreed and voted Democrat, then all the better.  For Dad, it was all about economics.  He thought that in a nation such as ours, the working man should be able to enjoy the advantages of owning his own home, a decent car, and taking pleasure in a few luxuries, perhaps a vacation to the beach if one so desired.  As far as Dad was concerned, the rich man was the enemy—the one who gobbled up everything for himself and begrudged the working man his due.  Dad might personally oppose the interests of others in his party, but as long as the party served the interests of the working man, then that was all that really mattered to him.

And why am I writing my Dad’s political biography?  BECAUSE I DECLARE HERE AND NOW THAT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY CAN IN NO WAY CONTINUE TO CALL ITSELF THE PARTY OF THE WORKING MAN!  For one thing, Dad would not have recognized a party as Democrat that embraced a policy of open borders.  Dad thought that the reason government did nothing to stop people coming over the border was because rich Republican businessmen wanted cheap labor.  He understood that people entering the country illegally either took jobs away or drove wages down for working-class Americans.  I personally understand people who want to leave a failed country run by gangs and warlords, but I also recognize that a nation without borders is no nation at all.

But more than anything else at the present time—and what “triggered” this essay—is the fact that in the face of soaring gas prices, the President and congressional Democrats have done everything they can to thwart energy derived from our own fossil fuel industries and have instead reduced us to begging the same from other countries, choosing energy dependence over independence—and it is the working class that is suffering the most from this senseless, misbegotten policy.  Wealthy Democrat politicians can afford to pay at the pump; working-class families cannot.  Elite, snobbish, holier-than-thou Progressives can afford to terrorize school-age children prophesying the end of the world—who happen to be the same children that working-class parents are struggling to feed and clothe.  The only answer this party has to offer is pumping trillions more into an economy already suffering the worst inflation in forty years.  And it’s so vexing listening to young people, whose minds have long since been washed clean by apocalyptic climate-change soothsayers, tell us in self-righteous tones how happy they are to pay more at the pump when Ukrainians are suffering so much at home.  Everyone feels horrible about Ukraine, and working class families are sending money and doing whatever they can through their churches and other agencies to help.  Just think how much more they could give if gas prices had not risen one-hundred per cent since the inauguration!  And though the war has exacerbated the problem at the pump, the problem had already been thrust upon us by Democrat policies.  And until the Democrat party can establish an AFFORDABLE and CONVENIENT way to bypass fossil fuels, it is completely unjust to enact energy policies that rob the working man of his hard-earned money.  Working-class families cannot be expected to sacrifice their livelihoods for that far-off day when clean energy is supposed to save us from ourselves. 

Where’s all that Democrat concern for economic justice?  Democrats once believed “people don’t eat in the long run.”  So much for nostalgia!

If I had told Dad a couple of years ago that we had a President who wanted to seal the border while the other party wanted to open it, and that that same President was bringing energy independence while that other party was fighting him tooth and nail—and THEN told him that the President was a Republican and that the party who opposed these policies was Democrat—well, I don’t know if he would have believed me.  I think he would have said, “No son.  The one who is for stemming illegal immigration is the Democrat so to protect jobs for working-class Americans, and the one who wants higher prices at the pump is the Republican businessman.”  I really don’t know if I could have convinced him.  But that’s where matters stand today. 

RIP Dad.  I’m glad you’re not here to see your beloved Democrat Party.

On the Inhumanity of COVID Restrictions

“Love thy neighbor,” the cherry-pickers of the Bible proclaimed.  We should have known better.  It sounded all too familiar, like that bunch who pick and fling, “Judge not,” at those who say something that pricks their conscience.  So like sheep we submitted.  How could we argue in the face of…what do they call it?  Oh yes, “science,” that discipline the high priests of which now demand the public’s unquestioning obeisance.   So we wore masks and stayed six feet away from each other.  That was the easy part of loving our neighbor.

But then there were other ways we were required to “love” our neighbor:

  • Nursing home residents went months without visitors—the highlight of their final dreary days.
  • In some places, small children were forced to wear masks—and thus eat their snot, children being children.
  • I’ve recently read of a “mother” who “placed” her son who had the virus in the trunk of her car while traveling to a testing site so that she would not be exposed while seated next to him.  Of course, the judge found no probable cause for child endangerment; after all, it was she who needed to be saved from the inconvenience of carrying her thirteen year-old infectious fetus which (not “who”) just happened to be outside her womb.  I suppose the trunk of her car was a worthy substitute thereof in such a life-threatening situation.  I wonder where she “places” her son when they’re at home!
  • We wrecked a booming economy and thereby destroyed millions of livelihoods and lives to boot.  But, hey, it put Trump out of office.
  • Worst of all, we violated the sacred bond of marriage as husbands and wives who had been married for fifty years were not allowed to be in the same room together, let alone touch one another, when one lay dying in the hospital or nursing home.

And this was the way we loved our neighbor: We treated the weakest and most vulnerable in society in the most inhumane ways and justified it by prostituting the second greatest commandment.  This is an even worse perversion of Scripture than the other mentioned above!  Lesson to Christians: Never let the world tell you what Scripture means or how to apply it—NEVER!

Eusebius, church historian who lived around A.D 300, recorded how during a plague, Christians ministered to the sick and buried the dead left in the streets  knowing full-well they too would die by coming into contact with the infected.  They welcomed death for the cause of Christ.  But not us.  We cling to this life.  I expect this sort of cowardice from pagans who wince not at Roe v. Wade’s answer to child sacrifice but who cling to life for themselves at all costs as we have observed these past two years.  What else do they have but this life and what they think matters most, namely, freedom to do with their bodies whatever gives them pleasure. 

But Christians should be different.  We failed.  We wore masks to church and stayed six feet apart—which is inherently contradictory to what “church” is supposed to be?  We stayed home watching “cyber-church,” as if it were the same thing.  It’s not.  We stayed away from places where people needed us.  In short, we went along with, and might have even been accessories to, the world’s latest farcical but cruel attempt to save humanity.  And I fear much of it was out of the same cowardice in the face of death that one would expect out of a contemporary pagan.  Love thy neighbor, indeed!

What would Eusebius write about us?

It’s All about Sex

So I read that the Biden Administration is bracing for violence around the country in the event that the Supreme Court overturns Roe.  This should not surprise us given the lack of response to, and even encouragement of, violence by governors and mayors in blue cities and states in the wake of the George Floyd horror two years ago.  A Christian might suggest that one of the mercies God ordained for mankind is government whereby the worst impulses of human nature are subdued by law enforcement.  Without this blessing, societies crumble into anarchy as barbarians pillage and loot—but for the cause of social justice, of course.

Now we must prepare for the same savagery, only this time for the sake of women’s rights.  And what right is denied them?  The right to make decisions over their own bodies, they tell us.  Forget the case of the—twelve year old…with Down Syndrome…who was raped…by her grandfather—you know, those one per cent of one per cent of one per cent of cases they usually trot out to pull our hearts’ strings.  Now the knives are out: “It’s about a woman’s body, curse you!”

As I’ve said in other posts, the feminist movement has taught three generations of women that they should be as predatory and promiscuous as the most lecherous of men—and they have largely succeeded.  Promiscuity is a matter of social justice now.  The problem is that women get pregnant and men don’t—(well, up until a couple of years ago, but we are told that has now changed; biology is just funny that way, you know).  Oh, as a Christian man, I look with utter disdain upon a wretch who would use a woman in such a way.  But now both men and women seem to think that if the “malady” of pregnancy should occur, the cure is just a Planned Parenthood clinic away.  Abortion allows a man to say, “You’re a willing partner who knows what might happen, and you have the means to fix the problem.  It’s on you.”  It’s despicable, but that’s what happens when despicable beds despicable.  Sex as pleasure has conquered society.

And how did we arrive at this unfortunate juncture?  It didn’t happen overnight.  (I recommend Carl Trueman’s, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, as the most definitive analysis of our social pathologies.)  But as a churchman I must point the finger at…OURSELVES.  And it is certainly NOT that we have been Pharisaical or judgmental or intolerant.  On the contrary, the problem is that we have been COMPLICIT.  How so?  Are you ready to listen?

Many years ago, we (evangelicals) embraced the idea that sex is first and foremost for pleasure.  That this change of perspective was simultaneous with newer and better methods of contraception can hardly be viewed as accidental.  Then we pointed to Bible verses which allegedly justified this position.  I do not deny that within the context of marriage between a man and a woman that pleasure is one of the blessings God grants Christian couples, but I do question that pleasure is the primary purpose of intimacy, which idea did not originate but with urbanization and the Pill.  One need only witness the declining birth rates in developed nations to draw the obvious conclusions.  And to make matters worse, when one combines this pleasure-seeking understanding of intimacy with no-fault divorce and serial monogamy (all of which evangelicals have readily availed themselves), well then the slide to where we are now becomes both predictable and inevitable.

To sum, when the primary purpose of sex is pleasure and the natural fruit of procreation is intentionally cut off by those who are supposed to live the purest sexual ethic—when those who are supposed to live the purest sexual ethic turn sex into a hedonistic venture and justify that venture solely because they are one man and one woman in holy matrimony—it becomes extremely difficult to argue against—for example, same-sex (pseudo) marriage—because even though sodomy is plainly unnatural given its fruitless outcome due to its confusion over the function of certain body parts, LGBT’s have every right to say to us, “We learned from you heterosexuals a long time ago that sex has nothing to do with making babies.  Having children is merely a lifestyle option, so our brand of sex is okay.”  Thus, they, too, may marry and enjoy fruitless sex.  And what’s better, they don’t even have to use contraception!

Though some may say that I am contradicting myself, I do not see Natural Family Planning as contraception as these are willingly denying themselves the periodic pleasure others enjoy.  (Natural Family Planning would more accurately be labeled “birth control,” per se.)  Nor do I condemn all reasons for using contraception.  I simply assert that our wholesale embrace of contraception for the singular purpose of pleasure has unwittingly segued into the current “contraceptive and abortive mentality” that now dominates our culture.

Most evangelicals will disagree with me while their grown children even CHOOSE to be childless—something which would have horrified previous generations who thought married couples (even non-Christian) were supposed to welcome children as gifts from God.  We have been fooled by our fallen culture and then complicit in the moral downfall of our nation as that concerns exalting pleasure-seeking, fruitless sex.  Yes, I was fooled as well, and it is one of my greatest regrets.  But I’ve started connecting the dots and am cheered that some young Christian couples have done so as well. 

Even pagans see the hypocrisy of it all.  And if they see it, how can we miss it?  Because it’s all about sex—and sadly, just as much for us as it is for them.  God help us!