Tag archives: Christianity

Christians Must Not Be Afraid of Being Controversial

by Molly Carman

July 16, 2020

Last week on Washington Watch, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins observed, “We often avoid controversy, because we associate controversy with things that are wrong. But if you read the New Testament, controversy surrounded Jesus, controversy surrounded his disciples, controversy was a way of life for those who follow Jesus.”

Tony is right, and his call for Christians to take a stand on issues that may be perceived as controversial is needed more than ever. As Christians, we know that nothing is new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Although our beliefs are routinely labeled as too controversial, old fashioned, or even extreme, we know that we are called to stand for truth in the public square.

The term “controversial” comes from the Latin root contorversia. When broken down, the word is a combination of contra—turning in an opposite direction—and versus—turned toward or against. In other words, to be controversial is to intentionally turn in the opposite direction of one thing and turn towards another. Being controversial is not always a bad thing because, especially for Christians, we are called to stand counter to the ways of the world and turn towards truth.

To be controversial often means to be countercultural. Christ did not call His disciples to conform to the world but to be transformed (Romans 12:2). Moreover, Jesus warned His disciples that taking a stand for truth would bring about judgment from the world: “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John encourages the church later in I John 3:13, “Do not be surprised brothers, that the world hates you.” The same truth applies to Christians today.

This is not to say that Christians should intentionally incite controversy by becoming public provocateurs or scornfully dismiss those who disagree with us. But what it does mean is that when we as Christians face opposition or are in a situation where standing for truth is frowned upon, we take a stand. We do not go along with progressive and destructive thoughts, ideas, or institutions that subvert the truth. And, as Peter reminds us, “yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

The Bible is full of examples of people who faced opposition and controversy who had to decide how and when they would take a stand. Today is no different. As we read Scripture, we can be encouraged by God’s faithfulness to Moses when he spoke before Pharaoh (Exodus 6-11). Likewise, we should take heart when we read of the courage and strength God gave to Esther when she spoke up for her people or the wisdom and clarity God gave Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Joel, Malachi, Micah, and many other Old Testament prophets. This theme of the faithfulness of God when His people faced opposition continues into the New Testament when many of the new converts to Christianity were forced out of their synagogues. Jesus Himself was killed on the cross because the priests and leaders said that He was too controversial and was changing people’s way of thinking.

Truth is expensive—when we intentionally choose to stand for truth, it may cost us relationships, jobs, or even our lives, as those Christians being persecuted by authoritarian regimes around the world can attest to. Jesus warned of this at Caesarea Philippi when He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24-26).

To conclude his radio show last week, Tony Perkins quoted the Apostle Paul and gave these words of encouragement from Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” In a world of opposition that seeks to make its own truth and abandon morality, Christians must remember that we must turn from worldly ways and instead turn towards “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Inevitably, this means we will be controversial.  

Molly Carman is a Policy and Government Affairs Intern at Family Research Council whose research focuses on developing a biblical worldview on issues related to family and current events.

Is Rubio Right About Christianity Being Designated “Hate Speech?”

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 29, 2015

It is always encouraging when politicians speak truth boldly.

Marco Rubio did just that earlier this week, in an interview with CBN’s David Brody. Referring to strident advocates of same-sex “marriage,” he said:

If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech. Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater. So what’s the next step after that? After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger.

Is he right? I think so.

Christianity teaches eternal destruction (read that, hell) for those without the Savior it heralds.

Christianity teaches that all men and women are sinners by nature and by choice.

Christianity teaches that there’s only one way to God — Jesus Christ.

Christianity teaches that all other professed ways to God are false.

Christianity teaches that its written text, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, were inspired without error in all they affirm.

Christianity teaches that sexual intimacy is reserved solely for one man, one woman marriage.

These and many other things abrade today’s cultural sensitivities and social demands. As such, is not Sen. Rubio’s prediction pretty obviously correct?

What do you think?

Keep Calm and Don’t Carry On: On Being Joyful in the Battle

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 24, 2014

Don’t carry on, that is, in the sense of panicking over what seems to be the moral collapse of the universe, or at least of our country.

Followers of FRC know that we believe we must advance and defend religious liberty, the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage, the centrality of the family, and the dignity of the person strategically (we want to win) and faithfully (regardless of any political outcomes). The battles in which we are engaged are intense. Their number is increasing. And the stakes, for the future of the nation we love, are accruing at an alarming rate.

But in the midst of our efforts, we need to remember a few basic things:

(1) While being burdened by and pained for all that’s wrong and for all who are being hurt by it, whether born or unborn, we should never lose sight of the fact that Christ’s ultimate victory in time and eternity cannot be deterred. As John the apostle records in Scripture’s final chapter, “He (Jesus) Who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end’.” “It is done:” He will do what He has said, and in the framework of eternity already has won the victory.

(2) God never promised His people an easy path. Consider Paul’s words to the church in Corinth: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (4:8-11). There has never been a time when parts of the Body of Christ haven’t suffered somewhere. The believing slaves of pre-Civil War American could’ve spoken to that, for example. But through our suffering from without and the war against sin within, “the life of Jesus” is “manifested in our mortal flesh.” The fragrance of a rose is most acute when the flower is crushed. We should never invite such crushing – that’s masochism, not martyrdom – but let’s not ignore the opportunities nascent repression at home and active persecution abroad give all who love God (I write that humbly; I’m in no way comparing the current dangers to the American church to those being murdered and brutalized for their faith in places like North Korea, Iraq and Nigeria; may we all pray for them with vigilance and energy, as they are daily enduring unspeakable, horrific things).

(3) In America, we have it in our power to use legal means to stand firmly against social and political wrong. Through elections, petitions, protests, legal action, public awareness campaigns, advertisements, the media and other means, we can make our arguments and work to influence public judgment and enact sound public policies. Of course, each of us must count the cost: Political and cultural engagement involves time and money, stress and aggravation, unfairness and misrepresentation, some victories and some defeats. Just remember that not to engage is to engage; you’re simply opting for passivity in the face of evil, which is acceptance thereof – a form of engagement. That’s not an option the God of justice and righteousness gives those who have come to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

Christian joy comes through faith, obedience, and wisdom, whether you’re working to defend an unborn child and her mother at a pregnancy care center, standing in a voting booth, working in a hostile work environment, or just mowing your lawn. Keep calm. Don’t panic. Life is a vapor, one which, for Christians, is swallowed-up in victory.

Are Christians Relevant?

by Family Research Council

November 15, 2012

In a recent article in the Washington Times titled Evangelicals Struggle to Stay Relevant in Republican Politics the inevitable question following the recent elections was asked- do evangelicals need to change to be relevant? The simple answer is no. Christians will always be relevant because Christianity is true and the truth is always relevant. People in America, and particularly in the political realm, often forget history. Christianity started in the middle of a hostile, Roman-controlled Israel when its Founder was brutally executed on a cross. Christians were then persecuted, killed, maligned and had no political power. Then they turned the world upside down with their doctrine. They proceeded to spread the message of God who came to earth as a man, died to redeem all mankind to Himself, then rose again conquering death forever. Now you can find Christians in every corner of the globe and the Gospel message has not changed for it transcends all time and all culture and is always relevant.

It is a mistake if one thinks that evangelicals derive their relevance from their politics. The politics of a Christian are merely an outworking of the message of salvation in a sin-cursed world. All have sinned and the punishment for sin is death, Christ bore our sin in His death on the cross and by His resurrection we can live forever with Him. Our earthly leaders die and new ones rise and some of them bow to Jesus the King and some defy Him. Christians dont fear irrelevance nor do we fear even death. Christ has conquered death and He reigns and will one day return and make all things right. As a Christian I seek to influence the political process because I love my neighbor and know that following Gods standards will bring blessing on the nation and glory to God. If my fellow man decides to follow a path contrary to God I am not worried about my own relevance but about the terrible consequences of sin.

I believe evangelicals are very relevant politically to both parties. They have in recent years been much more in line with the Republican platform than the Democratic platform. The Democrats were not always the party of abortion and homosexual advocacy. The Democrats moved away from the principles that evangelicals hold and so evangelicals moved away from them. Evangelicals vote on principle and if neither party supports their principles they may feel inclined to sit out or to vote for a lesser known party. It is vital that the major parties appeal to the values of evangelicals because evangelical values such as natural marriage and a respect for all life are best for the country and because so many people ascribe to these beliefs as evidenced by the many conservative members of the House elected with evangelical support and by the fact that natural marriage was more popular than Mitt Romney in the four states that voted on it.

It is interesting that people wonder if Christians can stay relevant to the GOP. I wonder if the GOP can stay relevant to Christians. Men have tried to silence us, governments have tried to kill us, and cultures have tried to drown out our message. But we just keep moving forward and we often thrive in spite of persecution. What seems like defeat to those who oppose us is merely the mercy of God delaying His judgment while desiring that all would turn from sin to Him. Man can defy Gods law and ignore His created order but man will never change it. The Republican and Democratic Parties will fade away, and America will fade one day too. But Christianity, never. While Christians should strive to elect those that hold our values we should remember that salvation will never come from the GOP but only from Jesus.

Tolerance, Truth, and Tough Love

by Sharon Barrett

September 25, 2012

As a one-time college debater, part-time blogger, and future law student, I am constantly on the watch for questions in need of an answer (or answers in need of a refutation). But when I decided to dive into the debate over the redefinition of marriage, I discovered that more is at stake than my ability to present sound evidence for my side.

More is at stake, too, than the effects of same-sex parenting and divorce on children, or the ways religious freedom will be muzzled if marriage is redefined. The core issue is love.

The definition of love itself has been called into question. Recently, a friend who works with teens in the school system gave me a scalding rebuke for posting about the results of the New Family Structures Study. She told me students in her class are bullied for feeling same-sex attractions, and if we would stop disseminating hatred and start loving others as Jesus did, these teens (as well as children raised in same-sex households) could have a well-adjusted life. Love, she insisted, all you need is love.

Love, of course, does not mean tolerating behavior that carries negative consequences; it means telling someone the truth. Documentation of the negative outcomes of homosexual behavior abounds. For instance, the mortality risk from the active homosexual lifestyle is, on average, double the risk from smoking cigarettes. Surely it is not unloving to tell a friend who smokes that he is shortening his life expectancy by 7-10 years. To say the same to a friend who lives as an active homosexual, however, is unacceptable.

True love is often tough love. Put another way, love is often unacceptable.

Jesus exhibited unacceptable love. He showed tough love to the Pharisees, calling them snakes and sepulchers for holding people to man-made regulations; he showed it to the woman at the well, looking her in the eye and naming her sins. I knew my friends definition of love as tolerance was skewed, but her words encouraged me to ask a critical question: Am I showing love according to Jesus definition?

Answering this question showed me a new dimension of Jesus love. As MARRI intern Sarah Robinson writes in a piece titled Tolerance vs. Love:

Ultimately, I wish to live my life in such a way that homosexuals and heterosexuals alike would see radical love emanating from me that ultimately would point them to the love of God. I may be accused of being intolerant, but may I never be accused of being unloving.

Jesus love tells us the truth about our sin, and then goes further. It is radical because it is not just tough love, but transforming love. The teens my friend sees at school each day need to hear that Jesus can set them free from all sexual attractions, addictions, and fears that are not part of His created design for men and women. He can make them a new creation!

As Sarah Robinson said, the change Christ has made in our lives should invite others to be changed. While our words may or may not win the soul of the culture, Christs love can win the soul of a person. And this, according to Proverbs 11:30 and James 5:20, is what matters most.

Saving Kids Means Saving Families

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 7, 2012

It is always encouraging when Christian leaders call for believing men and women to take a stand for their children and their culture. Jason Pankau and Michael Lee Stallard have done this graciously but forcefully in a recent Crosswalk article, “The Christian Calling to Rescue Cultures: Saving Our Kids. This moving article recounts how loneliness, excessive time online, and internet pornography have poisoned a generation of young men and women.

Pankau and Stallard are to be commended as Godly men whose passion for Americas youth reflects the love of Christ. Yet as we consider their moving call for Christians to help rescue a lost and lonely generation, its worth remembering that the crises of our countrys children, teens, and early-20s grow substantially out of family breakdown.

At FRC, we talk and write a lot about the centrality of family to personal fulfillment, social well-being, and economic prosperity. We do so because family matters so much: No ones needs, however grave, can be resolved in isolation. We need moms and dads, sisters and brothers, or at least surrogates in these critical roles, to thrive as our Creator intended.

The hard facts prove it: FRCs Marriage and Religion Research Institute provides well-documented and sometimes counterintuitive data vindicating the proposition that the biblical vision of the family remains essential to the life, liberty, and happiness of any culture. Our talented commentators and writers, including Tony Perkins, Ken Blackwell, and Bob Morrison, frequently share how the family unit which is so under attack is the yeast that leavens our countrys cultural bread.

Most importantly, the law written on the heart described by Paul the Apostle in Romans 2 confirms to our inner lives what we witness all around us: The love, security, and guidance of family are irreplaceable. Whatever social, religious, and political structures we develop to better the lives of our youth, lets never forget that.

Same-Sex Marriage In the U.K. Met with Christian Resistance

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 3, 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron, a member of the Conservative Party, met today with leading British clergymen and pleaded with them to play nice as he forces homosexual “marriage” on an unwilling public.

I hope we wont fall out too much over gay marriage, said Mr. Cameron. This pathetic request is sort of like throwing food at someone and then saying, “Oh, the gravy brings out the color of your blouse so well!”

Mr. Cameron asserted that same-sex “marriage” would change what happens in a register office, not what happens in a church. In doing so, he insults homosexuals, whose “marriages” would be, apparently, merely matters of legal accounting, not of anything substantive. And he insults orthodox Christians, who understand too well that placing homosexual unions on the same plane as marriage not only sends a moral message that runs contrary to their convictions but also has legal ramifications that inevitably would affect the way a church operates. For example, could a church be compelled to provide benefits for an employee’s same-sex “husband” or “wife?”

To his credit, Mr. Cameron agrees that the excesses of Britain’s increasingly aggressive secularism are extreme, and passed a law allowing city councils to hold prayers after a court had declared them unacceptable. “The values of the Bible, the values of Christianity are the values that we need,” said the PM.

Well, good. But understand that the values of the Bible are not merely those enumerated by Mr. Cameron in today’s message to the religious leaders: “compassion, generosity, grace, humility and love.” This is a helpful but incomplete list. Other biblical values include truth, moral courage, doing what is right in God’s sight, and loving our fellow men and women sufficiently not to acquiesce when they want to take society in the wrong direction.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury hasn’t helped the situation. As a headline in The Telegraph put it, “Rowan Williams’s authority goes up in smoke as he replies ‘Pass’ to a question about future gay bishops.” As a columnist wrote, “It’s inconceivable that Benedict XVI would produce the game-show reply ‘Pass’ to a question about sexual morality.”

Rev. Williams’ likely successor, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, accepts civil unions but is unequivocal regarding homosexual marriage. He strikes the proper Christian balance between compassion and conviction in the following statements: Homosexual people are children of God, loved and valued by Him and deserving the best we can give - pastoral care and friendship.” Yet the Archbishop has also written that “Marriage in the UK, whether in Church or Register Office, is a pact between one man and one woman, for life.” As he put it in an interview:

Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. I dont think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you cant just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are. Weve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I dont want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.

So much for Mr. Cameron’s “it’s only a matter of registration.” If Rev. Semantu becomes the next head of the Church of England, it will be interesting to see how he fares with the man he implied is a “dictator.”

As conservatives in the United States continue to stand against homosexual marriage, we can take heart in the example of those “across the pond” willing to take on their own government. Families in our own country deserve this kind of bravery and strength from those who profess to be our public servants and Christian leaders.

At the Family Research Council, were standing for marriage and families as God designed them, and doing so in a way consistent with the God Who is both Truth and Love. Click here to learn more about our efforts.

The Nuba People of Sudan: Black, Christian, and Under Attack

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 27, 2012

The persecution of professing Christians is, in one sense, indiscriminate: it knows no race or region. Ethnicity, denomination, language, and historic customs of comity and protection are immaterial to those who would crush the men, women, and children who claim the Name of Christ.

One of the most difficult and immediate of such crises is occurring now in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. According to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently visited the region, the government of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, a recognized international war criminal, has instituted a campaign of “ethnic cleansing, mass murder and rape, all carried out by uniformed soldiers of the Khartoum government” (Source). In tandem with this effort, al-Bashir is having his air force conduct bombing raids of refugee camps, placing thousands at risk of being killed or maimed.

Many of the Nuba are Christians. They are also dark-complected, which in the Arab supremacist philosophy of al-Bashir makes for a deadly combination. Our U.N. Ambassador, Susan Rice, said recently that “this conflict has affected more than 500,000 people and if there is not a substantial new inflow of aid by March this year, the situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will reach stage 4 of an emergency which is one step short of a full scale famine. This is exceedingly grave, and underscores the urgency of the situation.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof yesterday published a moving column titled, The Man Who Stayed Behind. Its the story of Ryan Boyette, an American missionary who served with Samaritans Purse *. When, out of concern for their workers, Samaritans Purse asked all its staff to leave the threatened areas, Ryan and his Nubian wife chose to remain with the persecuted and endangered Nubians. After intense prayer, he chose to resign from his position with Samaritans Purse to do so.

Visit the Websites of Christian ministries the Persecution Project website or Save the Nuba to learn more about the crisis, or read about how the Samaritans Purse ministry is working actively to help those in greatest need. Also be sure to visit FRCs RealCompassion.org to link to Christian ministries helping the persecuted and oppressed around the world.

* To listen to FRC President Tony Perkins recent interview with Samaritans Purse founder Franklin Graham, click here.

Anti-Gay Hate and Pro-Gay Terrorism

by Peter Sprigg

October 21, 2011

Two acts of vandalism were committed in recent days against facilities associated with the debates over homosexualityone on each side of the issue.

In Arlington Heights, Illinois, bricks were thrown through the glass doors and windows of the Christian Liberty Academy. That night, the Christian school was to host a banquet put on by Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), a pro-family organization led by Peter LaBarbera. The banquet was to feature presentation of an award to Scott Lively, another pro-family activist who heads Abiding Truth Ministries.

In the other incident, an office door and two display cases of the GLBT Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh were defaced with spray paint, including an anti-gay epithet.

Both acts of vandalism were contemptible, and Family Research Council (FRC) condemns them both equally. The debates over homosexuality, however emotional they may become, should be carried on peacefully by those on both sides. Physical attacks on people or property are never justified. (Will liberal groups join us in equally denouncing both acts? The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is quick to accuse conservatives of hate, chose to blame the victims, criticizing the attackers in Illinois primarily for [a]dding fuel to a fire started and stoked by anti-gay activists.)

So are there any differences between these two incidents? Yes. There is not the slightest evidence that the spray paint attack at NC State had any connection with any religious or political organization or public policy issue, or that it was perpetrated by anyone other than a lone thug.

In the attack on the Christian Liberty Academy, however, the vandals made clear that their attack was directed specifically at the work of AFTAH and Lively. A note accompanying one of the bricks said, This is just a sample of what we will do if you dont shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH. It followed with obscenities (edited here): F*** Scott Lively and Quit the homophobic s***! The other brick had written directly on it, Shut down Lively.

If that werent bad enough, an anonymous person posted a detailed claim of credit for the attack on the left-wing Chicago Independent Media Center website. It included this declaration:

These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down.

(It is bizarre that anyone could think throwing bricks through school windows could be considered a way of combating hatred.)

Were either or both of these incidents hate crimes? In a generic sense, as the term hate crime is typically used, both were hate crimes. Both involved criminal acts, and both were motivated by characteristics of the victims (in the one case, sexual orientation, and in the other, religion, or more specifically religious beliefs in opposition to homosexual conduct).

In the legal sense, however, neither of these fit under the definition of hate crimes that merit federal intervention, according to the 2009 law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. The new federal hate crimes bill applies only to cases where a person willfully causes bodily injury or attempts to cause bodily injury, so crimes of vandalism directed only at property are not covered.

Some states have their own hate crime laws featuring broader definitions than the federal statute. North Carolina, however, does not include sexual orientation as one of the protected categories in its hate crime law.

Illinois, on the other hand, has a hate crime law that does cover religion as a protected category. It also states explicitly that even an act of misdemeanor criminal damage to property will be treated as a Class 3 felony if it is motivated by bias and takes places on property used for religious purposes (such as the Christian Liberty Academy).

Thus, under current state laws, the North Carolina incident would appear not to be a hate crime, but the Illinois one would be. However, police treatment of the two cases appears to be diametrically opposite of what the law would suggest. Authorities in North Carolina say they are investigating the spray paint attack as a hate incident, while those in Illinois say there was no hate crime because Lively was targeted for his views, not his religion.

While Christian moral teachings are not the only reason to oppose homosexual conduct, does anyone seriously believe that if an African American church were targeted for supporting civil rights protections, or a Jewish synagogue were targeted for giving aid to Israel, it would not be considered a hate crime?

Family Research Council opposes the entire concept of hate crimes, because we believe that criminal laws should punish actions alone, not the personal opinions of those who commit those actions. We hope that both the Illinois and North Carolina incidents will be thoroughly investigated, solved, and prosecuted on that basis.

Nevertheless, the selective application of the hate crime law in Illinois shows that such laws are actually not applied on a neutral basis, but are used primarily when they will advance a politically correct cause, such as the affirmation of homosexual conduct.

While both the Illinois and North Carolina incidents were hateful on their face, there is another factor at work in the attack on Christian Liberty Academy. Those who claimed credit for the attack online said it had a specific goalto directly cause this event [the AFTAH banquet that night] to be shut down (in this they failedthe program went forward as scheduled). They also warned of similar attacks in the future: If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings [a reference to AFTAHs Truth Academy educational programs] do not end, the Christian liberty academy will continue to be under constant attack.

There is a word for the use of violence to deter others from opposing your political agenda. That word is not just hate, but terrorism.

Some who posted comments under the claim of credit for the Illinois attack condemned it: As a gay man, I cannot condone your actions. Violence is never acceptable. Shockingly, though, a number of the comments actually praised this act of pro-gay terrorism.

Some were mild in their endorsementThese kinds of actions may have their place, and It should be respected. Others, however were downright gleeful: lol those homophobes got served maybe they think twice before bringing fascists to our town again; and, I only wish I could have been there with a truckload of concrete blocks for smashing. Let’s STONE those haters for the criminals they are.

There is such a thing as anti-gay hate. The attack on the GLBT Center at NC State is an example of it, and FRC does not hesitate to condemn it.

Peaceful opposition to demands for official affirmation of homosexual conduct, however, is not hate.

And the terrorism at the Christian Liberty Academy shows that it may be those making such pro-homosexual demands who are guilty of the most hatred toward their opponents.

Commitment to the Sacredness of Life Should Unite All Christians

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 11, 2011

David Gushee, a self-professed “progressive” Evangelical who supported Barack Obama in 2008, yesterday published an elegant piece on the sacredness of human life, in which he previews his forthcoming book on this topic. Conservative Evangelicals can applaud Gushee’s argument, as summarized in the following:

The moral witness of the early church gives us stark evidence of what our forebears understood lifes sacredness to mean. Theirs was a comprehensive sacredness of life ethic that recoiled at the shedding of blood and opposed Christian participation in practices ranging from abortion to infanticide to murder to gladiator games to torture to war.

As to war, the record of the early church is much more mixed; over time, there were many Christian soldiers in the Roman legions, and the text of the New Testament indicates that military service is consistent with God’s plan for both government and His redeemed people. But Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Georgia’s Mercer University, should be given his due: He is a political liberal whose commitment to Scripture is such that he cannot deny the witness of God’s Word - that personhood begins at conception.

In a 2009 op-ed in USA Today, Gushee described his disillusionment with the then-nascent Obama Administration:

Mexico City, conscience clause, Sebelius, embryonic stem cells. In each case, I have been asked by friends at Democratic or progressive-leaning think tanks not just to refrain from opposing these moves, but instead to support them in the name of a broader understanding of what it means to be pro-life. I mainly refused … a society that legally permits abortion on demand is deeply corrupt. It pays for adult sexual liberties with the lives of defenseless developing children. That practice, in turn, desensitizes society to the implications of paying for prospective medical cures with defenseless frozen embryos, which themselves are available because our society pays for medically assisted reproductive technology by producing hundreds of thousands of these embryos as spares.

As he puts it in yesterday’s Associated Baptist Press op-ed, “My biblical explorations find building blocks for this belief (that human life is sacred) in the Old Testament and New Testament. These include the creation narratives (including the imago dei concept), Old Testament laws and prophetic writings. It also includes New Testament narratives about Jesus and the early church as well as the theological significance of God becoming human in Jesus Christ and dying for sinners such as us.”

Amen, brother. Amen.

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