Dear Friends,

Many in our culture today think of Jesus as a kind of domesticated philosopher who had some polite things to say about how everyone should be nice to each other. Christ’s actual words in the gospels, however, reveal just how subversive he truly was 2,000 years ago and remains to this day. When I say “subversive,” I don’t mean in the sense of dissident rebellion towards society. I mean that the demands that Jesus placed on our human capacity for love were and are truly revolutionary and formidable. Consider these words from the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel:

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…”

And again: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

And again: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.”

And again: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”

If we are honest with ourselves, these words should shake us to our core, because they sound impossibly impractical and superhumanly difficult to put into practice. We all fail at doing what Christ tells us to do in these verses with such routine regularity that his words can seem almost absurd at times. The reason for this can be traced all the way back to the beginning. Ever since our earliest ancestors fell into temptation in the Garden of Eden, we humans have been stuck in a default setting of selfishness—our fallen natural instinct is to be comfortable in our own self-righteous anger, lust, defensiveness, and loathing. Christ’s teachings completely subvert our inclinations, calling us to a higher and greater way of being. Since Christ is one with God the Father—our Creator—he has perfect understanding of man’s fallen nature. Therefore, his teachings are ultimately designed for our complete restoration—to bring about the apex of human flourishing, fulfillment, and happiness—as it was meant to be from the beginning.

Many in our society put Jesus in the “nice guy who said nice things” box and insist that “niceness” is all he stood for. What they do not realize, and what we believers must fight for, is this truth: that Jesus is a full rebuke of the “think whatever you want to think” and “do whatever feels right” mentality. In this age of confusion, where identities, emotions, and urges rule the day, there is nothing more subversive than Jesus. But the paradox is that there is nothing more attractive, either—who doesn’t want to be happy and fulfilled?

This, then, is the challenge for believers: to help unbelievers rediscover their original design before the fall by living out Christ’s radically challenging teachings in our own lives. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

FRC Articles

America Celebrates Another Freedom Revolution – Ken Blackwell

Keep kids with parents at border — and remember how we got here – Tony Perkins

Are Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg For or Against Religious Hostility? – Travis Weber and Andrew Rock

The Little-Known Figures Who Had an Outsized Impact on the Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision – Peter Sprigg

The Freedom to Serve: Why Religious Adoption Agencies Must Be Protected – Spenser White

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

A culture of freedom keeps winning at the Supreme Court – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

SCOTUS Invalidates Ruling Against Christian Florist – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

Southern Poverty Law Center's settlement with 'extremist' organization dings credibility – Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times

Floral Artist Faced Same Intolerance as Jack Phillips – Kristen Waggoner, National Review

Supreme Court Reverses Ruling Against Kansas Woman Told by Police to Stop Praying in Her Home – Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post

Faith and courage – Ray Hacke, WORLD

SCOTUS allows lower court to ban prayer from public square – Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review

International Religious Freedom

President Buhari, Please Stop the Muslim Slaughter of Nigerian Christians – Michael Brown, The Stream

Countries increasing legal restrictions on religion, survey finds – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times

Canadian Bus Driver Arrested Two Years Later For Criticizing Homosexuality – Jeremiah Keenan, The Federalist

 

Life

Abortion

Pro-Life Advocates Celebrate Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Law Forcing Abortion Promotion – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews

Why The Supreme Court’s Ruling Will Protect All Pregnancy Centers From Forcibly Promoting Abortion – Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

Overturning Roe v. Wade is a Major Step. But Changing Hearts Is the Endgame – Liberty McArtor, The Stream

How to Overturn Roe – Josh Craddock, First Things

Adoption

Philadelphia Bans Catholic Agency From Placing Foster Kids with Christian Families – Charlene Aaron, CBN News

More Adopted Children, Who Are Adults Now, Look For Birth Parents – Ashley Westerman, NPR

How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father – Marcia Kester Doyle, Her View From Home

Comparing Border Children To U.S. Foster Kids Proves The Outrage Is Disgustingly Selective – Donna Carol Voss, The Federalist

Adoption Is Love – Heather Duckworth, Her View From Home

Bioethics

Physician Assisted Suicide and the Rise of Suicide Cults – Grace Emily Stark, Public Discourse

Jahi McMath, the teen doctors tried to declare dead five years ago, has died – Cassy Fiano, Live Action

Obamacare

Trump’s New Health Initiative Will Spell Relief for Americans – Robert Moffit, The Daily Signal

 

Family

Marriage

35 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage – Brad & Heidi Mitchell, The Stream

Want a better marriage? These core values keep families close – Linda Lewis Griffith, The Tribune

Fertility and Marriage: An Underappreciated Link – Angela Rachidi, Family Studies

How Asking For My Husband’s Help Around the House Changed My Life – Elisa Cinelli, Her View From Home

This Two-Step Process Can Cure Your Lonely Marriage – Greg Smalley, Focus on the Family

Economics/Education

Teaching Children How to Manage Money – Laurie DeRose, Family Studies

For Young Adults, Economic Security Matters for Marriage – Benjamin Gurrentz, U.S. Census Bureau

Faith/Character/Culture

Ten Thousand Small Trials: How God Fits Us for Glory – Scott Hubbard, Desiring God

New Mister Rogers Documentary Is Full Of Surprises About An American Icon – Josh Shepherd, The Federalist

How Flourishing Families Cultivate Great Art – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies

The Seven Things You Need to Know About Forgiveness – Rob Schwarzwalder, The Stream

The Most Damaging Attitude in Our Churches – C.M. Joyner, Relevant

Gloom in The Time of Oculus – Matthew Becklo, Word on Fire

The American Library Association’s criticism of Little House entirely misses the mark – Megan Basham, WORLD

Generation Vexed – Lois M. Collins and Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News

The Joyful Longing of Paul McCartney’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ – Brett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition

Human Sexuality

Scientists Have Unwittingly Revealed that the Obergefell Decision Did Nothing to Diminish Sexual Minority Distress – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

‘Struggling’ with Same-Sex Attractions? – Hudson Byblow, National Catholic Register

The FBI Says Sexual Assaults on Flights Increasing ‘At An Alarming Rate’ – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Human Trafficking

Twelve Days of Action: It’s Time to Raise Your Voice – National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

The Brain’s Delete Button: How You Can Erase Years Of Watching Porn – Fight the New Drug

Study Shows How Watching Porn Could Seriously Increase Your Divorce Risk – Fight the New Drug