Author archives: Rob Schwarzwalder

We Are More than “Born Equal,” Mr. President

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 8, 2016

In a speech at a Baltimore mosque last week, President Obama said, “We’re all born equal, with inherent dignity.”

He’s right. But his chronology is inadequate.

Our Declaration of Independence says we are “created equal.” That’s an important piece of phrasing in that it accurately represents the true origin of our humanity. Our Creator, from the moment of our conception, bestows on us His image and likeness. From that fraction of time on, we are persons. All the DNA that composes our beings is there at the union of the sperm and egg. As my colleague Cathy Ruse and I wrote a few years ago, “the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism — a living, and fully human, being.”

Throughout his time in elective office, in the Illinois and U.S. Senates and now as President, Mr. Obama has been a consistent and strident proponent of unrestricted access to abortion-on-demand. His health care plan subsidizes it. He is suing in federal court to demand that everyone from faith-based colleges to an order of Catholic nuns provide contraception to their employees. He wants birth control with potentially abortifacient action made widely available. It is thus difficult not to see his assertion of our being born with inherent dignity as a turn of phrase calculated deliberately to avoid dealing with the humanness of the unborn child.

We are created with dignity from the moment when our humanness starts. That’s called conception. It takes place in the womb. No clever phrasing can ever diminish what the conscience cannot deny and science cannot but confirm: That life within the womb isn’t some collection of tissue and blood — he or she is a baby who should be protected by law and welcomed into life.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News January 21, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 21, 2016

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As Washington, DC braces for an onslaught of winter weather, hundreds of thousands of people are coming here from around the country for the annual March for Life.  The March’s president, Jeanne Mancini, previously led FRC’s Center for Human Dignity.  We are deeply grateful for her life’s dedication to the little ones and their mothers.

Those coming will be here to celebrate the beauty of life and mourn for the loss of so many millions of unborn children over the past 43 years.

Along with unborn children, millions of women have been victimized by a predatory abortion industry.  Many others have believed one of the great lies of our time, one that deceives men and women of every age and station: Professional attainment and personal satisfaction outweigh in value not just all other priorities, but other people.

That’s why there are so many broken marriages, casual intimacies, addictions, pathologies, and wounded young people and children. Avarice and greed are rampant. Radical autonomy is the god of the age.

The good news is that the true and living God offers new life to everyone.  Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). 

That gracious invitation is extended to all.  Have you accepted it yet?

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure not to miss FRC’s “ProLifeCon 2016,” the premier conference for the online pro-life community. Hosted by the Director of our Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, activists, policy experts, and legislators will be on hand to discuss the issues impacting the pro-life movement, and to share practical ways to make a difference for life on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and your online platform of choice.  Register online or join us here at FRC headquarters.


Religious Liberty

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square –

 

Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Healthcare conscience

 Obamacare

 

Family

Family Economics

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

A Fundamental Departure from the Faith

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 15, 2016

My father was a choir boy in the famous “Little Church Around the Corner,” the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in New York City. One of my aunts was married there. 

On its website, the church makes a point not of noting how many people have been won for Christ through its ministries but, instead, boasts of this:

Continuing its long tradition of inclusiveness, the ‘Little Church’ celebrated the first same-sex wedding in the Diocese of New York in July 2012 and is proud to have performed several since the formal rite of Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant was adopted by the General Convention.”

It is this sort of thing – pride in jettisoning orthodox Christian teaching and practice on human sexuality – that yesterday led “the Anglican Primates - the senior bishops of the 38 Anglican Provinces” - to “formally … (require) that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church (USA) no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

As the Primates, who were gathered in Canterbury, England for a special meeting called by Anglicanism’s chief cleric, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote, “The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.”

Of additional note at the annual event was “the full participation of the leader of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a new conservative body, among the leaders of the communion’s 38 provinces.”

As noted in The Washington Post, “Like other mainline denominations, the Episcopal Church, home to U.S. presidents and the nation’s elite, has struggled to fill its pews in recent years. It has lost more than 20 percent of its members since it consecrated (openly gay Bishop Gene) Robinson, and new statistics suggest that membership continues to fall, dropping 2.7 percent from 2013 to about 1.8 million U.S. members in 2014.”

This is a very sad day for a once great denomination, but not because it has been formally disciplined for its heterodoxy, but because of its embrace of that heterodoxy itself. The Bible is very clear that the only sexually intimate behavior of which God approves is that which exists between a man and a woman within the covenantal union of marriage. This is clear from Genesis onward.

It is, as the Primates’ statement says, “the traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture.” As well-known Presbyterian pastor and theologian Tim Keller has written, “until very, very recently, there had been complete unanimity about homosexuality in the church across all centuries, cultures, and even across major divisions of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions … One has to ask, then, why is it the case that literally no church, theologian, or Christian thinker or movement ever thought that any kind of same-sex relationships was allowable until now?”

Millions of American Protestants, disenthralled by their former “mainline” churches’ teachings on one or more of a number of critical issues, including human sexuality, are now attending churches whose orthodoxy is uncompromised and whose loyalty to Scripture is firm. Why? Because, as the Anglican Primates wrote, they have come to know “the person and work of Jesus Christ, unceasingly and authentically, inviting all to embrace the beauty and joy of the Gospel.”

To learn more about Scripture’s teaching on human sexuality, listen to Dr. Robert Gagnon’s FRC lecture, “Jesus, Scripture, and the Myth of New Knowledge Arguments about Homosexual Unions” and download my own “Leviticus, Jesus, and Homosexuality: Some Thoughts on Honest Interpretation.”

It Is Not the Political Critic That Counts

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 11, 2016

Many politicians are some combination of the following: hypocritical, venal, self-interested, provincial, demagogic, too ideologically rigid, too easily manipulated, not close enough to the people, too susceptible to public whims, immoral, ignorant and arrogant. And so are many of the people they represent.

Many activists, Right and Left, are motivated by a confection of fear, outrage, anger, insensitivity, a sense of loss, and intellectual myopia, not to mention political unsophistication and a pattern of oversimplifying the complex.

Combined with the fact that the sun rises in the east and that water runs downhill, the above statements should be obvious to any reasonably close observer of the American political scene.

In other words: So what? Human moral and emotional frailties are not new, and that they are evident in the 240 year-long American effort to demonstrate that representative self-governance is not a farce should come neither as a surprise nor a source of contempt.

I am not talking about the excesses of human sin that blot the American political landscape. From marital infidelity to subsidization of abortion, the personal and public wrongs of those we allow to rule us stain the body politic, sometimes hidden beneath the heavy cloth of secrecy, at others as obvious as a rash on one’s cheek.

Yet painting all office holders as contemptible because some fall greatly or because all are imperfect amounts to little more than snide carping and usually is the result of personal non-participation in the arena of public life. Armchair critics enjoy the comfort of indolence and the luxury of indecision. This is not to say their criticisms are always wrong. Rather, it’s to note that their observations are made in the arid vacuum of passivity, preventing a fuller, deeper understanding of the tensions and difficulties found in writing a bill, taking a vote, electing a candidate, or marshalling a movement.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure,” said Theodore Roosevelt in 1899, “than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

A bit melodramatically stated, perhaps, but nonetheless a substantively accurate account of life generally and of politics in particular. Public action need not be perfect to be noble, permanent to be valuable, or complete to be worthy.

Cynicism is often tempered by engaging in the very activity condescending detachment sees as humorous or stupid. Tempered because in such engagement one comes to know the moral courage of one’s fellow participants. Even if some of those who act are ill-informed or driven as much by pain as principle, working alongside them shears-off the coat of patronization whose thickness prevents experiencing the empathy, joy, and sadness—the richness—political life can produce.

Those are things worth knowing, and can only be known by those whose intellectual knowledge is augmented by human experience. That combination, founded upon a bedrock of moral conviction, can make involvement in the public life of one’s country invigorating, honorable, and beneficial.

Christians know (or should) that until Christ’s return, political success will always be partial, transient, and pock-marked by sin. They should also know that justice and human dignity call for their faithfulness not only in private endeavors but appropriate public ones, as well.

Armed with that knowledge and stirred by that duty, let the redeemed of the Lord seek to protect the innocent, defend the fatherless, strengthen families, and do justice to the poor and oppressed, at home and abroad. People of the Gospel must do no less.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News January 7, 2016

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 8, 2016

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The new year opens with big events here at Family Research Council:

For the Nation: “State of the Family” address by FRC President Tony Perkins - webcast January 11

While the state of the union waxes and wanes with changes in government leadership, the American family has always been the backbone that makes this country strong. Strong families make a strong America. Family Research Council is in a unique position to examine the state of the family in our nation. From the group’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., FRC President Tony Perkins will deliver a 30-minute State of the Family address on January 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM EST. Perkins will examine how the family is doing in the areas of religious freedom, life, and marriage. In attendance at the event will be families and individuals who have been uniquely affected by the erosion of religious liberty. Register to watch here.

For Churches: “Free to Believe” - webcast January 16

In a world where two out of every three people live in regions lacking religious liberty, America is still one of the brightest lights on freedom’s shore. But that light has dimmed of late, as the current administration continues to diminish religious liberty. On January 16, 2016 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST, FRC is helping to reignite the flame on National Religious Freedom Day during a special Saturday broadcast event. This is an excellent opportunity to gather a group of leaders interested in joining or forming a Culture Impact Team in your church. Saturday’s broadcast will be an inspiring, practical, hands on event that will give you the tools need you to impact the culture in your community and beyond. Register to watch here.

For Pro-Life Advocates: “ProLifeCon” – webcast January 22

On January 22, 2016, pro-life internet activists will gather at Family Research Council headquarters for ProLifeCon, the premier conference for the online pro-life community. As Americans grow increasingly aware of the abortion industry’s agenda, we believe 2016 is a Year for Hope. At our 11th annual event we will be joined by such friends as U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation, Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Alison Howard, and the Center for Medical Progress’s David Daleiden. Activists, policy experts, and legislators will be on hand to discuss the issues impacting the pro-life movement, and to share practical ways to make a difference for life on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and your online platform of choice. Register to watch here.

All of these events can be viewed at no charge. We hope you will join us as we begin 2016 strong for faith, family, and freedom.

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Don’t miss the Marriage and Religion Research Institute’s “Family Findings,” a unique weekly summary of research on marriage, the family, and human sexuality.  Subscription – just like the SoCon Review – is free!


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom-

Military Religious Freedom

Religious Liberty in the public square –

 

Life

Abortion

 

Adoption

Healthcare conscience

 

Family

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

 

FRC Publications

Op-eds

Policy publications (booklets, Issue Analyses, Issue Briefs)

The Cost of President Obama’s Cultural Imperialism

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 21, 2015

The Obama administration has made a huge investment in advancing gay rights as part of its foreign policy. According to today’s New York Times:

In late 2011, the Obama administration made the promotion of gay rights an integral part of American foreign policy. Since then, it has pushed for the decriminalization of homosexuality overseas, working with the United Nations and private groups. Since 2012, U.S.A.I.D. has spent more than $700 million on the effort globally, starting new programs related to gay rights and incorporating the promotion of such rights into existing ones, according to American officials. Agency officials declined to release details of the programs in Africa, citing security concerns.”

President Obama and his allies see this as an effort to defend homosexuals from persecution. This is, in itself, a noble goal; no one should be brutalized or dehumanized in law or practice.

However, countries have every right to affirm that certain types of sexual acts are or are not commensurate with the moral values they regard as absolute and that historically have been affirmed by the Western powers under whose auspices Christian faith (and its teachings concerning the immorality of all non-marital, heterosexual forms of sexual intimacy) came to them.

Instead, the administration is now in the business of lecturing other countries—almost invariably, nations in the developing world—about their laws concerning homosexual conduct. As the eminent constitutional scholar and Supreme Court attorney John Eastman said during a lecture here at FRC earlier this year, “This agenda is now substituting for any other goal at the U.S. Agency for International Development.” Eastman and others have characterized the Obama approach to foreign policy as little more than “cultural imperialism.”

Writing in National Review, Josh Craddock summarizes it this way: “The Obama administration has made abortion and LGBT ‘rights’ cornerstones of America’s foreign policy, to the delight of the U.N.’s development agencies and the chagrin of the developing world. Despite a lack of domestic consensus on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and ‘gender identity,’ the sexual revolution is now America’s biggest export.”

All this is being undertaken at a time when religious persecution is underway and increasing in so many regions, and when impoverished people in Sub-Saharan Africa could well use the $700 million devoted to the Administration’s international homosexual agenda.

Mr. Obama’s cultural arrogance is embarrassing to our country. He has been rebuked publically by the leaders of Nigeria, Kenya, and Senegal. And as the title of the New York Times story cited earlier says, “U.S. Support of Gay Rights in Africa May Have Done More Harm Than Good.” Specifically, the article says that “Fierce opposition has come from African governments and private organizations, which accuse the United States of cultural imperialism. Pressing gay rights on an unwilling continent, they say, is the latest attempt by Western nations to impose their values on Africa.”

Let us be on guard against colonization by new ideologies,” Pope Francis said earlier this year.  Those are wise words for Mr. Obama to consider as he thinks about U.S. diplomatic priorities. Let us pray that he will.

Hello to America - in Arabic?

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 18, 2015

Germany is working to assimilate its growing Muslim population with new online videos, “Marhaba” (“hello” in Arabic).

In “a series of ten, five-minute online videos,” the show “reminds viewers that German Basic Law—the constitution—takes precedence over all others, including Sharia.”

Writing in Breitbart.com, Donna Rachel Edmunds notes that “There are approximately four million Muslims currently living in Germany, three quarters of whom are Turks who arrived in the country in the 1960s and 70s under Germany’s ‘guest worker’ scheme. However, half of that group have failed to integrate, and the speed of the current influx poses similar problems for integrating the new wave of one million asylum seekers.”

Reuters explains “Marhaba’s” emphasis on Germany’s view of essential human rights and liberties:

“Freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly are just three of the main rights secured by the (German) Basic Law,” (the host) tells viewers, with the Reichstag parliament building in the background.
The three fundamental rights are particularly sacred in Germany given that its history is scarred by the “horrors of dictatorship,” he continues. The Basic Law (Grundgesetz in German), (the host) says, was the foundation of the new democratic Germany established after World War Two.
The episode is filmed in Berlin’s government quarter where Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, explains what freedom of expression looks like in Germany.
“Freedom of speech means everyone may say what they think. Freedom of the press means you may make jokes, even about religion,” Spahn says. “Even when jokes are made about the Koran, this must be tolerated.”

The German effort is impressive: gracious in tone, clear in explanation, surefooted in content. As America takes in immigrants and refugees from the world over, should we not have a similar and perhaps even mandatory program for them to watch in order to understand some of the core principles of our republic and the nature of freedom itself? Perhaps even an explanation that as the Declaration of Independence argues, our rights come from our Creator, not the state, whose duty it is to guard those rights?

How would the Left respond to such a thing—with accusations of indoctrination and ominous warnings about right-wing propagandization?

What do you think?

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News December 3, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 3, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


Over the past few days, we’ve learned the story of a newborn baby left in a Nativity scene at the Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens, New York.  The babe was found lying in a manger, wrapped in towels.  Sound familiar?

Thankfully, the baby was found within an hour of being left in the crèche, discovered by a custodian.  It’s good to know that “under NY safe haven law, which permits a parent to leave a child in a safe place (such as a hospital or church) with hope of their being taken care of, (the baby’s mother) will not be charged with child abandonment. And as it turns out, there are parents in the parish who have already asked to adopt the baby.”

A baby rescued in the representation of a manger.  Of course, another Baby came to a manger, but the difference in the stories is that Jesus came to rescue us.  As Paul the apostle wrote the church in Galatia, Jesus “gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (1:4).  Born in a stable, laid in a feeding trough, the Lord of the universe came to us as a baby.  Fragile, vulnerable, tiny.  No words can capture the dimensions of this miracle.

Last week, we were reminded that the fragility of human life is not limited to the little ones among us.  A maddened shooter murdered three people at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado.  Ironically, one of them was police officer Garrett Swasey.  In addition to his service protecting and defending his community, Officer Swasey also served, part-time, as a pastor (take a few moments to listen to his compelling, Gospel-rich last sermon). 

Those murdered in Colorado were as precious as the baby found in Holy Child Jesus Church.  So were those aborted in the clinic in which the victims were killed.  So are their mothers.  So is every life, within the womb and outside it.  As FRC President Tony Perkins said last week, “Only through peaceful means –not violence— can we truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn.”

Sincerely,
Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. Be sure to watch Dr. David Prentice’s presentation this week at FRC, “Malevolence or Benevolence? Fetal Tissue Research, Planned Parenthood’s abortions, and Embryonic Stem Cells.”


Religious Liberty

Free to Believe” –

International Religious freedom- 

Religious Liberty in the public square –

Note: U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has given a number of thoughtful speeches on the centrality of religious liberty to our country.  His most recent, delivered in the Senate on December 1, is titled, “Hatch Affirms that Religion is Indispensable to Democracy.”

Tax Exempt Status

 

Life

Abortion

Adoption

Federal funding of abortion

Fetal Pain

 

Family 

Human Sexuality (Homosexual/ gender issues)

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

 

FRC Events and Publications

Blogs

Op-eds

 

Peas in a Rotting Pod: Woodrow Wilson and Margaret Sanger

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 24, 2015

So, Woodrow Wilson was a racist. This is indisputable. It’s also why many black students at the school for Wilson was once president, Princeton, are calling for a renewed assessment of his legacy there and as president of the United States.

We don’t want Woodrow Wilson’s legacy to be erased,” said Wilglory Tanjong, a member of the protesting Black Justice League, told the New York Times. “But we think that you can definitely understand your history without idolizing or turning Wilson into some kind of god, which is essentially what they’ve done.”

In my view, that’s a good balance. We need not unduly lionize prominent people, especially people like Wilson whose moral narcissism, disdain for constitutional government, and ineptitude in foreign policy resulted in tragedy and political chaos. Yet we can’t scrub our history of all unsavory aspects of its past. Stalinized portrayals of history, in which people who for whatever reason have fallen out of favor are airbrushed-out of photographs and deleted from written accounts, are dishonest and chilling. Such an approach not only invites fascism and statist control, it embodies such.

Across the street from my building, a bust of the late eugenicist and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger sits in honored glory in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Here is one choice giblet of insight from Mrs. Sanger for inclusion in the gravy of her secular adulation:

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922, page 12

As historian Paul Kengor notes, “Was Sanger plotting to eliminate all blacks? Of course not. But she was plotting to control the reproduction of blacks and of the human race generally.”

And as my distinguished colleague Ken Blackwell writes, “Sanger sought to recruit Black pastors because she did not want the word to get out in our churches that she wanted to eliminate America’s Black population. Sanger constantly denied any such intent, but she argued incessantly for creating ‘a race of thoroughbreds.’ Not since the days of Slavery had such language been used, comparing human lives to horse breeding.”

Later in life, Sanger seems to have changed her tune, at least a wee bit. “The Negro race has reached a place in its history when every possible effort should be made to have every Negro child count as a valuable contribution to the future of America. Negro parents, like all parents, must create the next generation from strength, not from weakness; from health, not from despair,” she wrote in 1946.

Yet one must ask, who did Sanger think she was to determine which baby was or wasn’t a “valuable contribution” to America’s future? Her concerns about the health and well-being of black mothers and their children, expressed elsewhere in the 1946 piece quoted above (“Love or Babies: Must Negro Mothers Choose?”) were in themselves admirable, yet her solutions — widespread use of contraceptives to alleviate the suffering of black women and their babies and compulsory sterilization of “defectives” — hardly constitute a compassionate approach.

In many other writings, Sanger wrote of “human weeds” and advocated widespread forced sterilization. In sum, her belief in coercive population control and her apparent desire to “exterminate” the “Negro race” (note: she wrote this at the age of 43, not as an immature young woman) should animate her bust’s removal from the Smithsonian every bit as much as Wilson’s racism in belief and practice should temper Princeton’s reverential recognition of him as one of its greatest sons.

Who Cares What Era We’re In?

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 19, 2015

Having spent two full days at the annual gathering of the Evangelical Theological Society, I’ve heard myriad comments from lecturers and participants along the following lines concerning where Evangelicals find themselves in contemporary American society:

We live in a post-Christian culture.”

We live in an era of great promise.”

We are a minority and should ask for protected status.” (Yes, in a seminar I attended, this was seriously proposed.)

The decline of our culture is inevitable.”

The reasons for hope are great.”

As my friend Matt Anderson, founding editor of Mere Orthodoxy, said to me earlier today, in one profound sense, what difference does it make?

Of course, understanding the times gives us a map by which we can better communicate with the current generation, what the critical issues facing our country are, and how Christians can then persuade our contemporaries that the Gospel offers present and eternal hope and how God’s standards for society afford great blessing to everyone in it.

With that said, endless pondering over our position in society has become a near-closet industry among the Evangelical intelligentsia. It is only natural that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s fiat dictum on same-sex marriage this past summer, the continuing horror of abortion, genuine and growing threats to the practice of religious liberty, and other concerns as diverse as sex trafficking and domestic terrorism, that trying to understand how we are perceived, where our opportunities lie, where the dangers lurk, and how we speak winsomely, wisely, truthfully, and convincingly to our increasingly diverse society is not just appropriate but necessary, even imperative.

Yet meticulous and repetitive analysis removes our focus from where it should be—Christ and His Good News—and fosters a surfeit of gloom in some and a general sense of ennui in many. We are in a race for the glory of God (Hebrews 12:1-2). That race will not be won by continuous chin-pulling or hand-wringing but by discipline, speed, and agility harnessed in pursuit of a longed-for goal. For Christians, that goal is “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14), a calling which includes reaching the lost, protecting the weak, and upholding human dignity. 

So, by all means, let’s continue healthy reflection on the cultural canvas before us. But let us not become so immobilized that we don’t work to infuse it with the colors of life and joy offered by the living Savior. The “welfare of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) and the souls of men require no less.

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