An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton About Black Babies

Is it all politics, or does Hillary understand the incongruity of her statements on black babies?

 

By MICHAEL BROWN Published on July 20, 2016

I know that you and Mr. Clinton have been considered real friends of the African-American community to the point that, before President Obama’s election, your husband was jokingly referred to as the nation’s first black president.

I also know that you have identified proudly as an “old fashioned Methodist” and that you warmly welcomed a contingent of African-American pastors who laid hands on you and anointed you as the next president. It is against this backdrop that I write this letter to you.

Speaking on July 18th to the NAACP convention, you said, “Right now, black kids are 500 percent more likely to die from asthma than white kids. 500 percent. Right now a black baby in South Carolina is twice as likely to die before her first birthday as a white baby. Imagine if those numbers were reversed and it were white kids dying. Imagine the outcry and the resources that would flood in.”

You’ve made similar claims before regarding black kids dying of asthma, and last year, Politifact.com checked on the accuracy of your statement and found you may have actually underestimated the statistics. That’s truly distressing to hear, and I appreciate you bringing this to the attention of the nation. Whatever we can do to address that disparity, we need to.

But it’s the second statement that especially got my attention, namely, that “a black baby in South Carolina is twice as likely to die before her first birthday as a white baby.” That too is distressing to hear, and, if accurate, must be addressed.

But what about black babies inside the womb? How can you have so much compassion on those precious lives outside the womb and so little compassion for them within their mother’s belly? How can you affirm that black lives matter and then be the darling of Planned Parenthood, one of the greatest takers of black lives in history?

In the words of Ryan Bomberger, “Planned Parenthood kills more unarmed black lives in one day than police are accused of killing in one entire year. (These Planned Parenthood-caused deaths of black unarmed lives in the womb amount to 266 a day, which is 30% — the percentage of the nation’s abortions among blacks — of the 323,999 abortions that generates over $200 million annually for the abortion chain.)”

In case you don’t know Ryan, he’s African-American, and he was conceived when his mother was raped. Yet she didn’t terminate her pregnancy, giving him up for adoption instead. I believe he can speak to this issue with some authority — or do you think he would have been better off killed in the womb? Given, then, your fervent support of Planned Parenthood, I must cry foul when you say to the NAACP audience “a black baby in South Carolina is twice as likely to die before her first birthday as a white baby.”

One pro-life website, drawing on data from the pro-abortion Alan Gutmacher Institute and from the Centers for Disease Control, provided some shocking, painful, data. May I ask you to read this with your heart and mind open before? These are devastating statistics. Out of the more than one million abortions per year, “the African-American community bears a disproportionate number of these abortions. Although blacks make up 13% of the US population, black women have some 36% of the abortions. A Black baby is 5 times more likely to be killed in the womb than a White Baby.”

Does this matter to you? Will you decry the fact that, in South Carolina, a black baby is half as likely to reach its first birthday as a white baby while ignoring the fact that nationwide, a black baby is one-fifth as likely to make it out of the womb as a white baby — and that by the choice of the mother and the help of local abortion providers?

This same pro-life website also states that:

  • Some 3,446 Blacks were lynched in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968, That number is surpassed in less than 3 days by abortion.
  • Since 1973, abortion has wiped out over 25% of the African-American population

This is nothing less than black genocide, yet rather than oppose it, you celebrate a woman’s “right to choose” and support policies that lead to more abortions, not less. You even acknowledge that the baby in the womb is a “person,” yet claim that it has no constitutional rights. How can this be?

According to the BlackGenocide.com website, since 1973, the combined total of African-American deaths by AIDS, violent crimes, accidents, cancer, and heart disease is close to 6.5 million. In stark contrast, since 1973, African American deaths by abortion amount to more than 15.5 million. Mrs. Clinton, how can you be a lover of black Americans without standing against this genocide?

And as an “old fashioned Methodist,” can you give me one clear text in the Bible that supports the idea that the child in the womb is not a real person? Don’t the sacred Scriptures speak of God forming us carefully in the womb (e.g., Psalm 139:13), also attributing personhood to unborn babies to the point that they can even respond to things taking place outside the womb (e.g., Luke 1:41)?

With all respect, can you cite for me one scripture (or even one statement from Methodist founder John Wesley) that points to a woman’s “right” to choose abortion? And will you reject the recent pro-life shift in your own Methodist Church?

I know you have held to these positions for decades, and they form a central part of your political and personal history. But for the sake of black babies everywhere, I appeal to you before God to reconsider your ways.

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Trump / Pence 2016

You might be a Conservative if …

A number of times I’ve heard Conservative leaders indicate a dire need to educate the American public about the current status of the political system in the US. The Party of JFK, for instance, is not Obama’s party. Neither is the party of Sen. McCain, the party of most Republicans. Party lines have been skewed … or blurred … or even erased in favor of self-interest.

In light of this mass confusion or mis-identification, some questions are listed below to clarify the mis-information espoused by the media and those pushing to deceive the American people for selfish gain.

So, without further ado, YOU might really be a Conservative if

  1. you think our federal, state, and local governments ought to be required to formulate a budget and stick to it … Period! (just like you and me!)
  2. you understand government is hired by the People, and must answer to the People for their policies, decisions, and actions.
  3. you know ALL humans are greedy, not just the rich.
  4. you think a “Fair Tax” (or flat tax) is the most equitable way to tax the nation. It’s simple and fair!
  5. you there are many types of intelligence, most of which can not be well measured!
  6. you think any individual’s greatest personal treasure is his/her dignity.
  7. you understand that every human being needs a purpose, a reason to live, and that most find that in work and family.
  8. you know that the earth has “seasons” for various things, and that while the earth is actually cooling, it has nothing to do with “greenhouse gases,” which are actually Carbon dioxide – what you and I exhale and what green plants ingest. You also understand that things like “green” electric cars must be plugged in, and therefore actually use MORE fossil fuel while claiming to be “green friendly.” It’s all a scam!
  9. you appreciate the benefits of living in a nation enriched by a multitude of cultures imported by legal immigrants.
  10. you know Jesus taught “personal responsibility,” not “personal entitlement!”
  11. you wonder where all the bra-burning feminists are when it comes to the growing college interest in radical Islam that enslaves women.
  12. you favor the Constitutional rights of the individual over the assumed “good” of the “collective.”
  13. you think greed has corrupted corporate America, but also government and the Unions, and only a free market can hope to counter greed’s effects.
  14. you know that even when it’s rainy and overcast, the sun is still shining!
  15. you understand a universal moral code is necessary for a civilization to thrive.
  16. you remember the days when neighbors actually knew one another, helped one another, and accepted our differences, instead of suspecting them of any number of crimes.
  17. you understand that “political correctness” is just another word for censorship!
  18. you’ve been a convenience store clerk, a school teacher, a soldier, a mother, and never been on welfare even though it might be more … politically correct.
  19. you think most Hollywood celebs would be much better actors (and people) if they remembered what it felt like to struggle.
  20. you question the message of both Lenin and Lennon!
  21. you understand that making welfare a lifestyle is not HELP, but just another name for slavery.
  22. you believe in the “Hand up,” but not the “Hand out!” For something to have value, it must cost something.
  23. you want our federal government to STOP sending money and weapons to those who are NOT our allies.
  24. you believe all individuals are created equal under the Law, that each individual has the right to pursue his/her life according to his/her dreams, values, and goals as long as they don’t infringe someone else’s right to the same.
  25. you believe we are all different, uniquely gifted and valuable to society.
  26. you believe it is impossible to create an education system that will produce only “successful” students.
  27. you adhere to the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  28. you are willing to fight to maintain the Right to bear arms in defense of yourself, your property, and your Constitution.
  29. you think education’s role is to equip students to consider options and think for themselves rather than program them how to think.
  30. you think the purpose of government is to facilitate the ability of the People to pursue their individual life, liberty, and happiness.

The Contempt Obama and Clinton Have For America

danmillerinpanama

The contempt for America held by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama rivals that of Black Lives Matter, The New Black Panther Party, The Nation of Islam, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and similar Islamist groups. Obama has tried to remake America in His own foul image. Now Hillary wants Her turn. Will we give it to Her?

Hillary and Barry

In the following video, Michael Cutler speaks about the Obama-Clinton contempt for America. Rather than try to summarize the points Mr. Cutler makes, I’ll let the video speak for itself.

Leadership comes from the top, and the leadership that Obama has provided has been deadly to America.

As noted by Sheriff Clarke, Obama has been a powerful force for the racial polarization of America. The Dallas shooting gave Him a splendid opportunity to ramp up the polarization.

Judge Jeanine’s favorable comments about Black Lives Matter reflect common misconceptions, which I had shared…

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We have a deep crisis of the soul that is killing us morally and we have no recourse. We have no recourse because the only cure has been disparaged and mocked by the elite and the powerful.

By RAVI ZACHARIAS Published on July 3, 20166 Comments

Years ago, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop penned their book, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? It was a book that warned of the decisions that were being made within a culture stepping into new and terrifying terrain. They saw clearly where we were headed. We are now there.

I narrow that title down to what is happening on the home front here in America.

Listening to the blistering political rhetoric, I am asked all over the world, “What has happened in America?” The question should go deeper. Whatever happened to the American soul? We are truly at the cliff’s precipitous edge and the fall could be long and deadly. Why? We have a deep crisis of the soul that is killing us morally and we have no recourse. We have no recourse because the only cure has been disparaged and mocked by the elite and the powerful. And those very ideologies are now presiding over the slaughter of our citizens while the abundance of speeches is inversely proportional to the wisdom they contain and Reason bleeds to death before our eyes.

These may be strong words but I am staggered by all that is happening around us while the powerful fiddle and bodies litter the floors of offices, airports and even restaurants. How many families will be shattered and offered up at the altar of our foolishness?

Three Killings

Let me connect some dots to trace where the real killing is happening. Dare I say a kind of genocide stares us in the face? Genocide is defined as the mass killing of a particular group of people. I have started to ask myself whether genocide is the first step towards mass murder or has a kind of mass murder already taken place before we experience genocide and the mangled bodies? I propose to you that multiple killings have preceded the horrors with which we now live. Those killings prepared the ground for the literal burial of our own people.

Three killings in particular are as real as the carnage we see when suicide vests are detonated: the death of morality, the death of truth and the death of reason. With such tragic exterminations, we now find ourselves in ever-present danger, constantly lectured to by those who have all the bodyguards they and their families need while the rest of us are sitting ducks for evil people whose rights are protected more than those of their slaughtered victims. Why is this happening? We are at war but not only with an enemy. We are at war within our own culture, and whether we will ever win over the enemy depends on whether we win this war within our own souls.

The Prince of Lawyers

At first, how I connect these dots may seem far-fetched, but they are indeed connected. Some time ago Robert Shapiro, the well-known lawyer of the famed O.J. Simpson trial, was being interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News. She asked if justice had been served in that case. In a mind-stupefying, pathetic answer, he said, “There is legal justice and moral justice. Legal justice was served.” Maybe it was rightly called the trial of the century: We have entered the twenty-first century having amputated law from morality. Welcome to the uncivil civilization legalizing murder.

That an intelligent, educated, supposedly legal scholar can make a statement like that and think he has defended a noble cause is fatal to our culture. Maybe that’s why Shakespeare described Satan as “the prince of lawyers.” If that’s what legal theory espouses we are in great peril.

I have no doubt many an honorable lawyer cringed at that response but probably none was shocked. This is where law has drifted and come unhinged from any moral moorings. When justice is decapitated and something can be legal but immoral, we know we have already killed the heart of what it means to be human.

The morality of the beast is now normal. Is it any wonder that Nazi judges felt they were doing the “right thing” by upholding their legal prerogative that resulted in the death of millions? Our society is being dragged towards the morgue because the law has held the gun to the heart of morality.

Morality and Truth Divorced

Ironically, there was something in his response to be applauded. At least he granted there was such a thing as moral justice. So that leads to a deeper question: Should not Morality and Truth be inextricably bound together? That is at the heart of all judgments. What is the truth when a person is killed? But now, I dare say, not only does morality not matter, the truth doesn’t matter either. That has also been buried.

If you want a snapshot of our times, here it is: Four brave Americans serving their country murdered by a bunch of hate-filled thugs, whose ideology we are not allowed to identify, received and presided over by a litany of lies, their bodies draped in the national flag, while assurance is given to the bereaved that the culprits will be hunted down, including the one because of whom they were killed. If that scenario doesn’t drive us to our knees, Lord have mercy!

We are in the graveyard of a culture when a most somber moment cannot compel the conscience to tell the truth. Oh, that the victims could have sat up for just a moment and stared down that heinous lie! But it was not to be. One day it will be so as their blood cries out from the ground. As Malcolm Muggeridge said, “The lie is stuck like a fish bone in the throat of the handheld microphone. … Truth has died, not God.”

The noble thing to have done when that blunder was made was to admit a failure for whatever reason and ask for pardon, but not to bury the dead with a lie! As if it is not dark enough for a handful to tell a lie, even worse, in our culture today the lie is no longer a posture to be shunned. We celebrate power over truth, enshrouding the lie with our flag. That is a form of national murder. You see, a blunder is a momentary reality. Upholding a lie is a character flaw, sending that lie into eternity.

The Death of Reason

The death of morality, the death of truth; then we come to the last, the death of reason. Aristotle reminded us that the first law of logic is identity. We must identify what we are talking about. A particular identifiable characteristic is indispensable to the referent. We must identify the characteristics of the thing we define. That is necessary to understanding the thing and to resisting contradiction. But as destroyers enter our lands and desire to pillage and kill, we are led by rhetoric that kills the first law of logic, the law of identity.

We are told that identifying the enemy is not that important; strange that the same logic is not employed to all other local inimical ideologies but only seems to apply to Islam. Honest Muslims themselves wish to call it for what it is but our clever linguistic sleight of hand seems to restrict us from such identity — and so we bury our dead without identifying why the killer killed them.

First, we try to mitigate our peril by this incredible new coinage, “radicalized,” that conveniently shifts the blame from the active shooter to the remote controller. Now we don’t even wish to identify what controls the remote controller. Propaganda that kills identity is deadly to the soul of a culture.

We are sliding into the future with evil stalking us but no morality, no truth and no reason to guide us. America may be flirting with a self-inflicted mortal wound. Or it could well be a killing that is designed by a postmodern ideology masquerading as political correctness.

When liberalism, whose legitimate child is relativism, has played itself out it will be a Pyrrhic victory to find ourselves in the hands of those whose identity is no longer in doubt. And when they are in control, the very means they used to hide their identity will be silenced as well. They will preside over the last rites of politically correct enforcers and a “free press” that abused freedom and celebrated the lie ‘til they themselves were silenced, buried by the truth they never wanted to expose.

The One True Hope for Rescue

There always has been, and is now more than ever, only one hope for rescue. If we abide in God’s truth revealed in his Son, then we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free. That is why I say again and again that we must dispense with our verbal arsenal that speaks only in terms of right and left. We have forgotten there is an up and a down.

May God help us! We need His transforming power to change our thinking and to give us a hunger for what is true. True freedom is not in doing whatever we wish but in doing what we ought. That has been buried in America. And only one who knows the way out of the grave can give us a second chance to live: Jesus, the way, the truth and the life that sets us free from within first, before we learn to deal with the lies around us.

As my prayer for this July 4th, I think of the great hymn by Isaac Watts prayed often in moments of drastic transition. I have added a fourth verse for our times.

Our God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal Home!

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

We need thee now as ne’er before,
We mourn the wisdom gone;
Transform our land forevermore —
Redemption through your Son.

Thank God for Spiritual Grandfathers THOUGHTS ON WAYNE GRUDEM

A few months ago, Tim Challies wrote a post called, “Amusing 1-Star Reviews of Great Books.” After a short introduction, Challies “cut and pasted” a few dozen 1-star reviews of some of his favorite books, all for the purpose of showcasing “why we ought to be careful when allowing Amazon’s star ratings to influence our purchases.” As the title promised, the reviews were certainly amusing!

Among his favorite books was Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. A systematic theology is an attempt to say helpful things about the whole of the Christian faith as taught in the Bible. I remember, as a young Christian, when I first read Grudem’s book cover-to-cover. It taught me many things, including why there are church denominations; it’s not just that this pastor is funny and that one is serious, or this church sings hymns and that one doesn’t. No, different interpretations of the Bible create different denominations.

Challies notes several Amazon reviewers who didn’t share my appreciation for Grudem. One writes:

Make no bones about it: Grudem’s Systematic Theology represents about the dullest and least inspired end of the evangelical theological spectrum. His method is only too obvious: Announce your conclusions; line up the prooftexts; shoot holes through everyone else’s prooftexts; proudly announce the matter settled.

Dull. Uninspired. Eisegesis, not exegesis (that is, stuffs ideas into the text, not takes truth out of the text). Oh yeah, don’t forget: prideful.

Another reviewer writes: “No need to waste your money (that is what Wayne gets out of it).”

I find this comment especially interesting in light of the only time I met Grudem, a time when I found him to be generous not greedy. He was teaching how the Bible should inform our political views to a group of about a hundred pastors. After his talk, he answered questions from the audience. I had one, so from the back side corner of the room, I raised my hand. Eventually, a kind woman made her way to my table and handed me the microphone she was holding. As I raised it towards my mouth, someone from the stage (not Grudem) said, “Okay, I think we need to move on. No more questions.”

The woman looked sympathetically at me; she shrugged, snatched the microphone back, and walked away. I got snubbed. The eight people from my church who shared a table with me found this, shall we say, amusing!

Though I lost some pride, I still had a question. So afterwards, I found Dr. Grudem at his table. He was standing beside an intimidating stack of his books, which were for sale. When it was my turn, he couldn’t have been more gracious and unassuming, listening to my question, answering it as best he could, and giving me time for a follow up.

Then, he asked me a question. He asked if I had his book, Politics According to the Bible, because, as he said, “I go into that very question in a lot more detail.”

What was I supposed to say? I didn’t have the book or the money to buy it, so I mumbled, “Ahhh . . . a guy at our office has it and I’m going to read it over the next week or two.” (This was actually true; the pastors at our church were teaching a class about the topic, and I did intend to read it.)

But here’s what Grudem did: He took out his wallet, went over to the table, and bought me a copy of his own book—an expensive hardback copy! And I say it was “his book,” but it was only “his” because he wrote it. I found out later that it was the organization hosting the event who had provided the stack of books, so technically, as was pointed out, “someone should pay for it.” From a distance, I had loved and benefited from the ministry of Grudem for years, but in that moment, my appreciation for him grew by volumes.

Since that day, as I’ve listened to the audio from his Sunday school classes (which are free online), I’ve heard him show others the same care he showed me. And I’ve also learned how he has sacrificially lived the complementarianism that he’s so faithfully defended. For example, for the sake of his wife’s health, he left the large and established Trinity Evangelical Seminary to teach at the smaller and (then) less established Phoenix Seminary.

On December 22, 2015, Desiring God posted the article, “I Have Parkinson’s and I Am at Peace.” It was written by Grudem. It made me sad, a twinge of sorrow before Christmas. My grandfather died of Parkinson’s when I was in high school. I remember it well. In a way, and albeit mostly from a distance, Grudem has been a sort of spiritual grandfather to me.

At the end of the article—after describing the disease, his renewed trust in the Lord, and his hope to finish several writing projects, including updating hisSystematic Theology (from 2017–2019!)—he wrote, “I am at peace.”

I love Wayne Grudem and “I thank my God in all my remembrance of [him]” (Philippians 1:3).

What just happened?

In one of the most significant rulings on abortion in decades, the Supreme Court ruled on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in a 5-3 decision to overturn state laws designed to regulate abortion clinics in a way that would protect women’s health.


What was the case about?

After the Kermit Gosnell scandal created an awareness of the unsafe, unsanitary, and largely unregulated conditions in abortion clinics in America, the State of Texas passed House Bill 2. According to Alliance Defending Freedom, HB2—which became law in 2013—mandates that abortion facilities adhere to ambulatory surgical center requirements common to most outpatient facilities, and it also requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility to be able to handle emergencies when something goes wrong.

Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion provider in Texas, challenged the law in federal court, claiming it was expensive, not medically necessary, and interfered with women’s health care.

What was the lower court ruling?

In June 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans disagreed with the claims of Whole Woman’s Health and largely upheld the contested provisions of the Texas law. The Fifth Circuit ruled that, with minor exceptions, the law did not place an undue burden on the right to an abortion.

Why did the case go to the Supreme Court?

The plaintiffs on the side of Whole Woman’s Health Women appealed the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit court erred by refusing to consider whether and to what extent laws that restrict abortion for the stated purpose of promoting health actually serve the government’s interest in promoting health; and that the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health—or any other valid interest.

What is the federal government’s position on the case?

The Obama administration joined in the case in full support of the abortion clinics and their doctors.

Was the law responsible for shutting down abortion clinics?

Prior to the adoption of the new restrictions by the Texas legislature, the state of Texas had 41 clinics performing abortions. But as a result of partial enforcement of the new law, Lyle Denniston says, that number has dropped to 19, and clinic operators have argued that the total number may drop to 10, statewide, if the Court were to uphold the law. The conservative justices on the Court, however, said there was little evidence that clinics have closed or would close because of the law.

What was the opinion of the liberal justices on the ruling?

The liberal majority (Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan) claimed that the regulations impose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. According to the opinion:

The dramatic drop in the number of clinics means fewer doctors, longer waiting times, and increased crowding. It also means a significant increase in the distance women of reproductive age live from an abortion clinic. Increased driving distances do not always constitute an “undue burden,” but they are an additional burden, which, when taken together with others caused by the closings, and when viewed in light of the virtual absence of any health benefit, help support the District Court’s “undue burden” conclusion.

Their ultimate determination:

We have found nothing in Texas’ record evidence that shows that, compared to prior law (which required a “working arrangement” with a doctor with admitting privileges), the new law advanced Texas’ legitimate interest in protecting women’s health.

What was the opinion of the conserative justices on the ruling?

Justice Thomas wrote a separate dissent to “emphasize how today’s decision perpetuates the Court’s habit of applying different rules to different constitutional rights—especially the putative right to abortion.” Thomas notes that throughout the nation’s history, third parties have been barred from bringing a case challenging a statute by asserting someone else’s constitutional rights. Yet exceptions are commonly made by the Court on abortion-related cases. He writes:

Ultimately, this case shows why the Court never should have bent the rules for favored rights in the first place. Our law is now so riddled with special exceptions for special rights that our decisions deliver neither predictability nor the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.

Justice Alito also wrote a dissent noting that the Court appears to have special rules when it comes to abortion. Alito said, “determined to strike down two provisions of a new Texas abortion statute in all of their applications, the Court simply disregards basic rules that apply in all other cases.”

In his dissent (which was joined by Thomas), Alito notes, “The Court’s patent refusal to apply well-established law in a neutral way is indefensible and will undermine public confidence in the Court as a fair and neutral arbiter.”

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition, the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

The #NeverTrump Mass Temper Tantrum Continues: George Will Announces Departure From GOP. Well…Bye! — Kingsjester’s Blog

By now, I’m sure that you have seen or heard Donald J. Trump’s New Campaign Slogan, “I’m With You”, meaning that he stands with us average Americans, not the Political Elite of our nation. And, that has made “The Smartest People in the Room” positively apoplectic. PJMedia.com reports that Conservative columnist George Will told PJM […]

via The #NeverTrump Mass Temper Tantrum Continues: George Will Announces Departure From GOP. Well…Bye! — Kingsjester’s Blog

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Defining Decency Down

Samuel D. James

If a horrific act of murder happens somewhere in the world, but you don’t blog within minutes about it, or Tweet about What It All Means…do you still care?

In the week and a half since a young man (I won’t name him. It’s a scandal that we make celebrities out of terrorists and psychopaths) brutally murdered nearly 50 people in an Orlando nightclub, I and many of those close to me have had much to think about. The nightclub was a gay nightclub. The killer obviously targeted a specific community of human beings that particularly offended him, one that he wanted to terrorize. In the era of our media-soaked, clicks-oriented identity politics, the weight of that thought can be hard to feel. Not hard to understand, mind you; hard to feel, to truly have the horror and hatred and vulnerability of such an act reverberate in the soul.

The…

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Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not turn away from it.

Father’s Day

So thankful for a Father like Olin Lingle

he was father who worked hard to provide

for a family of 3 boys, 3 girls. He was a

very good example and role model for all

of us. He was a man of great faith in Jesus

Christ. And he walked the walk. He prayed

about everything. His prayer life was a

commitment like I have not seen in anyone

else I have ever known. Thank you Lord

for blessing me with a Father like

Olin Lingle. He has been in heaven now

for nearly 20 years, and I look forward

to seeing him again someday.

His favorite

saying to everyone was as we were leaving:

 “Take Jesus with you” 

and big hug!

Thank you Dad —

New for June 7, 2016 … Here’s today’s Free and Discount Christian Non-fiction Kindle Deals. Today’s list new e-book deals includes by these authors: John MacArthur, Ed Stetzer, John Wooden, Warren Wiersbe, Ken Hemphill, Jeff Goins, John O’Malley, Kaye Miller, Max Davis, and many more. Don’t miss the five free e-books.

via 81 Free and Discount Christian Non-fiction Kindle Deals June 7, 2016 — Vessel Project

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Patriotism, like other earthly “prides,” can be a virtue or vice.

By Kevin DeYoung

This is post probably has something to make everyone unhappy. But here goes.

With Memorial Day on Monday (in the U.S.) and, no doubt, a number of patriotic services scheduled for this Sunday, I want to offer a few theses on patriotism and the church. Each of these points could be substantially expanded and beg more detailed defense and explanation, but since this is a blog and not a term paper, I’ll try to keep this under 1500 words.

1. Being a Christian does not remove ethnic and national identities.

In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free (Gal. 3:28), but this does not mean men cease to be male or Jews ceases to be Jewish. The worshiping throng gathered around the throne is not a bland mess of Esperanto Christians in matching khaki pants and white polos. God makes us one in Christ, but that oneness does not mean we can no longer recognize tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples in heaven. If you don’t have to renounce being an American in heaven, you shouldn’t have to pretend you aren’t one now.

2. Patriotism, like other earthly “prides,” can be a virtue or vice.

Most people love their families. Many people love their schools, their home, and their sports teams. All of these loves can be appropriate. In making us for himself, God didn’t mean to eradicate all other loves. Instead he wants those loves to be purer and in right proportion to our ultimate Love. Adam and Eve should have loved the Garden. God didn’t intend for them to be so “spiritual” that they were blind to the goodness around them. In the same way, where there is good in our country or family it is right to have affection and display affection for those good things.

Of course, we can turn patriotism into an idol, just like family can be an idol. But being proud of your country (or proud to be an American or a Canadian or a Russian or whatever) is not inherently worse than being proud of your kids or proud to be a Smith or a Jones or a Dostoevsky. I find it strange that while it is fashionable to love your city, be proud of your city, and talk about transforming your city, it is, for some of the same people, quite gauche to love your country, be proud of your country, and talk about transforming your country.

3. Allegiance to God and allegiance to your country are not inherently incompatible.

Sometimes Christians talk like you should have no loyalty for your country, as if love for your country was always a bad thing. To be sure, this must never be ultimate loyalty. We must always obey God rather than men. But most Christians have understood the fifth commandment to be about honoring not only your parents but all those in authority over you.

Moreover, Jesus shows its possible to honor God and honor Caesar. This is especially clear if you know some of the Jewish history. The tax in question in Mark 12 is about the poll tax or census tax. It was first instituted in AD 6, not too many years before Jesus’ ministry. When it was established a man by the name of Judas of Galilee led a revolt. According to Josephus, “He called his fellow countrymen cowards for being willing to pay tribute to the Romans and for putting up with mortal masters in place of God.” Like the Zealots, he believed allegiance to God and allegiance to any earthly government were fundamentally incompatible. As far as they were concerned if God was your king, you couldn’t have an earthly king.

But Jesus completely disagreed. By telling the people to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” he was saying there are duties to government that do not infringe on your ultimate duty to God. It’s possible to honor lesser authorities in good conscience because they have been instituted by a greater authority.

If you read all that the New Testament says about governing authorities in places like Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, you see that the normal situation is one of compatible loyalties. The church is not the state and the state is not God, but this does not mean the church must always be against the state. In general, then, it’s possible to be a good Christian and a good American, or a good Ghanaian or a good Korean. Patriotism is not bad. Singing your national anthem and getting choked up is not bad. Allegiance to God and allegiance to your country do not have to be at odds.

4. God’s people are not tied to any one nation.

When Jesus says “go ahead and give to Caesar what belongs to him” he is effectively saying, “you can support nations that do not formally worship the one true God.” Or to put it a different way: true religion is not bound with only one country. This means–as we see in Revelation 7 and Isaiah 49 and Psalm 87 and Matthew 28 and Acts 1and a hundred other places–the Church will be transcultural and transnational.

While American churches are in America, they must never be only American churches. We must keep in mind (and when applicable, explicitly state) that our congregations are filled with brothers and sisters from all over the world. Likewise, we must work hard to help people see that Christianity is not just a Western religion or American religion. Christianity started in the Middle East and quickly spread to North Africa, and parts of Asia and Europe. The Church was always meant to be international. Today there are more Anglicans in church in Nigeria than in England, more Presbyterians in South Korea than in the United States. The promise to Abraham way back in Genesis is that through his family God would bless the whole world. Christianity is not tied to just one certain nation. Following Christ is not an ethnic thing. You can be from any country and worship Jesus.

5. All this leads to one final point: while patriotism can be good, the church is not a good place for patriotism.

We should pray for service men and women in our congregations. We should pray for the President. We should pray for the just cause to triumph over the evil one. We are not moral relativists. We do not believe just because all people are sinners and all nations are sinful that no person or no nation can be more righteous or more wicked than another. God may be on America’s side in some (not all) her endeavors.

But please think twice before putting on a Star Spangled gala in church this Sunday. I love to hear the national anthem and “God Bless America” and “My Country, Tis of Thee,” but not in church where the nations gather to worship the King of all peoples. I love to see the presentation of colors and salute our veterans, but these would be better at the Memorial Day parade or during a time of remembrance at the cemetery. Earthly worship should reflect the on-going worship in heaven. And while there are many Americans singing glorious songs to Jesus there, they are not singing songs about the glories of America. We must hold to the traditions of the Apostles in our worship, not the traditions of American history. The church should not ask of her people what is not required in Scripture. So how can we ask the Koreans and Chinese and Mexicans and South Africans in our churches to pledge allegiance to a flag that is not theirs? Are we gathered under the banner of Christ or another banner? Is the church of Jesus Christ–our Jewish Lord and Savior–for those draped in the red, white, and blue or for those washed in the blood of the Lamb?

In some parts of the church, every hint of patriotism makes you a jingoistic idolater. You are allowed to love every country except your own. But in other parts of the church, true religion blends too comfortably into civil religion. You are allowed to worship in our services as long as you love America as much as we do. I don’t claim to have arrived at the golden mean, but I imagine many churches could stand to think more carefully about their theology of God and country. Churches should be glad to have their members celebrate Memorial Day with gusto this Monday. We should be less sanguine about celebrating it with pomp and circumstance on Sunday.

The Power Of Conformity

A reader writes:

Watching my Facebook feed over the past several years, I’ve come to understand what bin Laden meant when he said people naturally back “the strong horse.” Now that it appears that LGBT+ is the Winning Team, a lot of folks are suddenly super-duper in favor of pretty much the entire LGBT+ agenda, despite whatever they might have said in the past.

I grew up in a conservative, Bible-belt environment. When I was in high school about two and a half decades ago, open hatred of gays was viewed as perfectly acceptable. I vividly remember one of my classmates, a perfectly lovely and sweet-natured girl, telling me she thought all “faggots” should get the death penalty — this was around 1991, I believe. When I was brave enough to speak up with a qualified defense of gay rights, people called me a “fag-lover” and a pervert.

Today, I see some of these exact same people on my Facebook feed, and suddenly they’re far to the left of me on everything involving LGBT+ issues. It’s really amazing. In about 25 years, I went from being a “fag loving” perv to a hateful right-wing bigot without ever changing my views on the subject.

To be fair, the switch seems to have been most pronounced with the people who never had any strong principles to begin with; the most devoutly religious folks I know are still not on board with any of this, although they’ve obviously toned down their rhetoric by a few orders of magnitude. But the rest? It’s like night and day. I’m getting lectured on “tolerance” by people who would have been happy to pack gays into ovens back in the day. I know people can evolve and change, but this is just incredible. I mean, a lot of these people just show zero awareness of how much they’ve shifted.

Heck, the dad of one my high school friends said today he doesn’t care one way or another about all this transgender stuff, and everyone should be allowed to go potty where they want. This was a guy who told his son when he was a teenager that he’d disown him if he “came out” as gay and said if his son ever came home wearing an earring he’d rip it out and take a chunk of his ear with it.

In theory, of course, I always knew that most people don’t engage much with the big questions; they just go through life following the herd. Still, it’s been quite unnerving to see this play out so drastically in real life. What OTHER policies would the majority heartily endorse if the culture commanded them to do so?

It used to confuse me how the Bolsheviks were able to take over Russia when, by all accounts, they were such a tiny minority at the time. Now I understand how, and it’s starting to frighten me. If you’re on the other side of this LGBT+ debate, it should frighten you, too: You should know that a lot of those folks posting LOVE WINS memes on Facebook would be happy to abandon you and join the rabid fundamentalist side if they suddenly felt it was in their interest to do so; furthermore, a distressing number of them would do it without any awareness of what they were doing. In view of that, do you REALLY think it’s that wise to import millions of Muslim fundamentalists into the west?

Incidentally, this is why I think Trump’s chances in the general are better than most people think. Political “majorities” are, in some sense, an illusion. The vast, vast bulk of the population, it seems, will happily switch sides if it suddenly appears that the side they’re nominally allied with is headed for a crushing defeat. Trump could win a lot of voters just by creating an aura of invincibility; he wouldn’t have to change people’s minds — if he appeared strong enough, they’d change their minds FOR him.

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Exclusive: ‘I was Raised by an Islamist Terror Cult in America’ Clarion Project, Ryan Mauro, May 15, 2016 Illustrative picture: Pixabay) The Clarion Project has been in contact with a woman who grew up within Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a cultish Sufi Islamist terrorist group that now goes by the name of Muslims of the Americas. The group […]

via Exclusive: ‘I was Raised by an Islamist Terror Cult in America’ —

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Trump: Unexpected and Unconventional but Suited for Our Times —

Trump: Unexpected and Unconventional but Suited for Our Times, American Thinker, Scott S. Powell, May 11, 2016 One of the most extraordinary things about Donald Trump’s primary victory in the Republican Party is that he received more votes from people identifying as Christian than his closest competitor Ted Cruz — the son of an evangelical pastor and […]

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CAIR Tries to Deceive About Somali Terror Recruits —

CAIR Tries to Deceive About Somali Terror Recruits, Clarion Project, Ryan Mauro, May 10, 2016 Fox News starts to Somalis in Minnesota (Photo: Video screenshot) The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood front designated by the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist group, was asked by FOX News about Islamist terrorist recruitment among […]

via CAIR Tries to Deceive About Somali Terror Recruits —

Mother’s Day celebration

To those who gave birth this year to their first child —we celebrate with you. To those who lost a child this year—we mourn with you. To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains—we appreciate you. To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you. To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, tears, and disappointment—we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is. To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms—we need you. To those who have warm and close relationships with your children—we celebrate with you. To those who have disappointment, heartache, and distance with your children—we sit with you. To those who lost their mothers this year—we grieve with you. To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother—we acknowledge your experience. To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood—we are better for having you in our midst. To those who have aborted children—we remember them and you on this day. To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children—we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be. To those who step-parent—we walk with you on these complex paths. To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be—we grieve with you. To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year—we grieve and rejoice with you. And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising—we anticipate with you. This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

By Amy Young

Wise Up About Alcohol

by James MacDonald

Monday, September 19, 2005

Category: Problems

I will not be brought under the power of anything.”  1 Corinthians 6:12

I grew up in a very conservative, somewhat legalistic church, and I heard a lot of red-faced pulpit pounding about the awfulness of alcohol.

That attitude in the pulpit quickly translated into a lot of judging in the pews. Well-meaning Christians would say, “The first thing you gotta do now that you’re following Jesus is to stop drinking.”  And, “You’re not as spiritual as I am if you don’t see this issue the way that I do.”  Even then I knew that wasn’t Jesus’ heart on the matter at all.

So as I look back now, I think I overreacted. Not wanting to be legalistic, I left the subject alone.  But I have to say to my own shame that in trying to avoid legalism on the subject of alcohol, I believe that we as a generation of believers have come dangerously close to promoting license.  So we’re going to solve that right now.

The way I see it, all of us fall into one of three categories:

Group 1: You’ve got a drinking problem.  It’s way beyond, “I like Kool Aid, I like Diet Coke, I like Budweiser.”  You have a problem.  You drink because you need to and that’s not taking you in a good direction.
Group 2: You drink for amusement. “Drinking’s not a problem for me.  I really enjoy my alcohol here and there.”
Group 3: You completely abstain from alcohol.  “I don’t drink at all and I don’t allow it in our home.”

I don’t know which of those three groups you’re in, but my goal both here and in the broadcast message, “Wise Up about Alcohol” is to try as best as I know how to lead you toward what I believe is the highest and best choice for the followers of Jesus.

In the complete message you can catch six reasons why I believe in total abstinence from alcohol. Notice, six reasons why I believe this.  I promise you at the outset, if you come to a different conviction, I’m not going to judge you about it but I will challenge you to defend your conviction from God’s Word.  If alcohol has in any way affected your life or the life of your family, I encourage you to listen to the complete message.  Here’s a summary: I believe in total abstinence because . . .

#1  drunkenness is a sin, not a disease.
#2  alcohol impairs wisdom.
#3  alcohol is an unnecessary drug.
#4  alcohol is destructive.
#5  alcohol is addictive.

#6  Finally, I believe in total abstinence because wisdom calls me to set it aside.  The Bible does not require total abstinence, but it recommends it as the highest and best course, filled with the greatest wisdom.  I believe it is a choice which you can be most proud of when you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a wise choice. Proverbs 20:1 says “Wine is a mocker, and strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”  You say, “But I’m not being led astray.”  No, but you’re on that path.

It is a loving choice. As you grow in your faith, you discern that you make choices not because of what is best for you, but by what is best for others.  The Christian life is not all about you—what you can handle, what you can control, what’s nice for you.  The Christian life is for others.  We don’t live to ourselves. Romans 14:15 says, “Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love.  Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be evil spoken of; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

You would never want to defend what you’re doing on the basis of what’s best for you.  You would always want to make a loving choice and realize that though I might not stumble into a sinful use of this commodity, it might destroy someone else. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Kids embrace what parents tolerate.”  That should concern you. Any youth pastor will tell you that the primary place where kids begin to experiment with drinking is from their parent’s supply. Total abstinence is a loving choice.

Abstinence is also an edifying choice.  Romans 14:19 challenges us, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things with which one may edify another.”  The application of this is: “I’m going to do the things with my life that will help you be a better follower of Jesus.”

Lastly, it’s a supportive choice.  Romans 14:21 says, “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”

You say, “Well, James, you’ve put me in a position where I’m not totally sure that I can go ahead drinking.”  Look closely at Romans 14:23, “But he who doubts is condemned . . . whatever is not from faith is sin.”  Now I’ve really wrecked you.  As a follower of Jesus, if you’re not sure it’s right for you to drink alcohol, then it’s wrong for you to do it even if it isn’t wrong.

The Bible does not require abstinence, but I believe it recommends it as the wiser choice.  “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  1 Thessalonians 5:22 “I will not be brought under the power of anything.”  1 Corinthians 6:12 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32. You say, “Free from what?”—free from addictive patterns of sinfulness that don’t lead to the righteousness which can be found in Christ alone.

So, lovingly and imperfect as I am, I commend to you total abstinence as the wisest course for your life. I challenge you to lay it down at the cross and get 100 percent free of its power and allure for the higher and better influence of others.  Take the biblical foundation laid out in this message and be an influence for this righteous choice within the body of Christ

Young Men — Is This You?

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Need” is a strong word. But I use it intentionally and I use it passionately. Yes, I use it urgently. Our culture desperately needs men. Not boys! We have plenty of boys. The church needs men, real men, godly men, holy men, biblical men. As a minister of the gospel, as a student of Scripture, as a biblical counselor, and as a man after God’s own heart, I will list 8 traits that should characterize men. So — young men: is this you?

Young men — you need…

1) Truth — Jesus described Himself as being “the Truth.” God is the God of truth and truthfulness. You are made by Him and designed to emulate Him. Speak truth in your heart and have no fear of what you’ll say. Fill your mind and heart with truthful things and flee from deceptive, hidden, devious, manipulative ways. Young men, at all costs, be men of truth!

2) Integrity — The biblical concept of integrity speaks of wholeness, blamelessness. That is, to live a life of integrity demands a person who refuses double-mindedness and double-living. What you say you’ll do, do it at all costs. Be faithful, true to your word, and honest in all things.

3) Gentleness — The boldest and manliest person to ever walk this world was God in human flesh. And this Lord Jesus Christ was full of gentleness. Be strong! Be courageous! Be self-controlled and be sober-minded. Control your heart, mind, words, and actions. Be gentle!

4) Convictions — Be willing to die for things! These are your convictions. Men hold opinions but convictions hold the man. Believe God, His Word, the gospel and in the eternality of the soul, and live and die for Him. Shape your convictions by Scripture and stand up for them.

5) Perseverance — When life thrashes you against the rocks remember one thing: when suffering comes it comes because God wants you there. God grows His people as they endure hardships. Don’t despise the clouds that God brings. The Sun of Righteousness grows you in it.

6) Punctuality — Young men have this tragic reputation of being late (and lazy). And shamefully, it’s often true. Manhood demands responsibility. Rise early. Prepare your body and heart. Warm your soul with Christ each day. Leave early. Arrive early. Pray, prepare, be punctual. To arrive 5 minutes early is to arrive on time. Remember that.

7) Submission — Never be to prideful to submit. Godly men submit. Christ Himself — God come in the flesh — submitted Himself constantly and perfectly to the will of His Father. Submit to your parents. Submit to your authorities. Submit to the police. Submit to your church shepherd-elders. Find joy in obeying Christ in worshipful submission.

8) Discipline — Own your body. Don’t be mastered by it. You need to discipline yourself. No one wins a gold metal by coasting. No one wins the race with laziness. Discipline your soul, your mind, your body. Engage daily with Christ. Pray humbly before Him. Speak much of Him. Ponder His beauties. Discipline yourself, O man.

Should Christians Cremate Their Loved Ones? A Modest Proposal


Should Christians Cremate Their Loved Ones?

My proposal in this article is that Christian churches be willing to help families financially with simple Christ-exalting funerals and burials, so that no Christian is drawn to cremation because it’s cheaper. I’m not thinking mainly of a line-item in the budget, but of a segregated compassion-fund that church members may give to regularly or as the need arises. Grieving families could quietly approach the overseer of that fund and make it known that they have a need, and all could be handled quietly and carefully between the family and the funeral home.

At the same time, I do believe that pastors should discourage expensive funerals. In a Bible-saturated, counter-cultural church, made up of kingdom-minded sojourners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11), no one should be pressured into the mindset that the more expensive the coffin, the more loved the deceased. Pastors should lead the way in cultivating a church ethos where expensive funerals (and weddings!) are not the norm. God-centered, gospel-rooted, Christ-exalting simplicity should be the norm.

How many evangelicals would choose cremation if it cost as much or more than a simple, traditional service of burial? Very few. There has been a skyrocketing preference for cremation over the past decades in the United States (1960—3.5%; 1999—24.8%; 2014—46.7%; in some states it is over 75%). There are various causes, but the greatest, by far, is the combination of secularization and economics. Fewer people test the practice with biblical criteria, and more people want the cheapest solution.

So my aim here is to touch on both of those causes. First, I am proposing that churches cultivate a Christian counter-culture where people expect simple, less expensive funerals, and where we all pitch in so that every church member can afford such a funeral. Second, I want to give biblical pointers for why burial is preferable to cremation. I say preferable, not commanded, in the hope that the culture created would not condemn or ostracize a person who chose differently. I encourage those who choose cremation not to equate our disapproval with ostracism. Otherwise, real disagreements are not possible among friends.

The Dignity of the Human Body

Two focuses of Scripture lead away from burning toward burying. One is the focus on the meaning and importance of the human body, now and in the life to come. The other is the meaning of fire as it relates to the human body, now and in the life to come.

First, biblical faith, unlike Greek religion, does not view the body as theprison of the soul. So the afterlife has never been viewed as the “immortality of the soul” finally liberated from its physical prison. Rather, Christianity has always viewed the body as essential to full humanity so that the life to come has primarily been seen as the resurrection of the body in glorious eternal life. Paul did not consider the intermediate bodiless state, between death and resurrection, as ideal (2 Corinthians 5:4).

The greatest thing that can be said about the human body is that the eternal Son of God was incarnate in a human body and will have one forever. He “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14). Today in heaven, Jesus has the body he had on earth, glorified. When he comes he will “transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21). This was an immeasurable elevation in history of the dignity and glory of the human body.

In this life Paul says, “The body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13). He goes on to say even more amazing things about the body.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

Note four stunning facts: 1) Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. 2) Christ died to purchase us, including the purchase of our bodies, for himself. 3) Therefore our bodies do not belong to us to use as we please, but rather as he pleases. 4) Therefore, we should use our bodies to put the glory of God on display.

  • Our body, God’s dwelling.
  • Our body, God’s purchase.
  • Our body, God’s possession.
  • Our body, God’s glory.

Paul said he hoped to magnify Christ “in my body whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20). Glorifying God is what the body is for — in life and in death.

This blood-bought, God-owned temple of the Spirit is not destined for final destruction, but for resurrection glory. It is precisely the continuity between the Spirit-indwelt-body now and the Spirit-work at the last day which guarantees our resurrection:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)

The body will never be discarded. It has been bought by the blood of Jesus!

All of this leads to a view of burial controlled by symbols which are true to the glory of the human body. Paul’s understanding of burial is that this was a picture of being “sown” in the ground like a seed that will sprout with wildly superior beauty at the resurrection, when the graves are opened at the coming of Christ.

What you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. . . . So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:37, 42–44)

Burial — sowing the seed of the body — is the biblical picture of belief in the resurrection of the body.

Christians also have seen burial as the laying to rest of the body as though it is sleeping waiting for the waking of the resurrection. “We who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:15). “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51). Early “Christian gravesites were called coemeteria (cemeteries), which literally means ‘sleeping places,’ reflecting belief in a future resurrection” (Timothy George).

One of the reasons putting the body in the ground, as if in sleep, was important was that no one knew when the Lord Jesus would come back. Therefore, it was possible that the trumpet could sound not long after the burial, and the dead would be raised very much as if he had only taken a nap.

But the main issue was the message of the symbolism about the preciousness of the body now, and the glory of the body at the resurrection. The double symbolism of sowing seed, as though ready to sprout, and laying to rest, as though ready to waken, was the main reason Christians have buried their dead and provided burial for those who could not afford it.

The Dreadfulness of Fire

The other focus of Scripture that leads away from burning toward burying (besides the importance of the human body) is the meaning of fire as it relates to the human body now and in the life to come.

The use of fire to consume the human body on earth was seen as a sign of contempt. It was not a glorious treatment of the body but a contemptuous one. This is the meaning of Achan’s cremation. He had betrayed Israel and so was not only stoned with his family, but deprived of an ordinary burial by being burned.

Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. (Joshua 7:25)

To be sure, fire is a great gift from God. It warms, and brightens, and guides, and cooks, and refines. But in relation to the human body, it is a dreadful thing. It wounds and tortures and kills and destroys.

This is most prominent in relation to the body after death. As a Christian who believes in the judgment of God after death (Hebrews 9:27), the last symbol we want to use, in connection with death, is fire! Hell (gehenna) is a place of fire (Matthew 5:22; James 3:6). This fire is meant to be felt by the body.

“It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:30)

“Fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.” (Luke 16:24)

In summary, then, the two biblical focuses that point away from burning to burying are 1) the preciousness of the human body as God’s purchase and possession, now and forever, and 2) the dreadfulness of fire as it relates to the human body especially after death.

Four Other Reasons to Bury

There are other reasons, besides these biblical pointers, that should give us pause before we decide to burn our loved ones. (Using the word “burn” instead of “cremate” is like using the phrase “dismember babies” instead of “abort fetuses” — it prevents us from hiding reality.) For example:

  1. Where Christians are a small minority, cremation is high. And where Christian influence is giving way to rapid secularization, cremation is rapidly increasing. “Almost everyone adhering to Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism cremate their dead. . . . Japan has one of the highest cremation rates in the world with the country reporting a cremation rate of 99.85% in 2008. . . . The cremation rate in the United Kingdom has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 34.7% in 1960 to 73.44% in 2008. . . . [In Canada the cremation rate rose] from 5.89% in 1970 to 68.4% in 2009.” (Wikipedia) (Note: The Japanese cities ofTokyo and Osaka have ordinances requiring cremation “due to lack of cemetery space or for sanitary reasons.” I doubt that those two arguments would be decisive if there were not other worldview issues at stake. God will give wisdom to Christians living under this added legal constraint.)
  2. “The first cremation in America took place in 1876, accompanied by readings from Charles Darwin and the Hindu scriptures. For many years, relatively few persons (mostly liberals and freethinkers) chose cremation.” (George)
  3. The nature of the procedure of cremation makes dishonesty difficult to prevent and honesty hard to enforce. For example, how would you know if the crematorium actually cremates your loved one, rather than just disposing of the body? There have been scandals over this very issue. It may be cheaper for the crematorium to dispose of the body. And we all like cheaper.
  4. How would you have any assurance that the ashes they give you are the ashes of your deceased loved one? This is simply impossible to police. For all we know, a crematorium may have common bucket of ashes, and may give you your three pounds. There is no way you can know.

A Modest Proposal

I am encouraging churches to cultivate a Christian counter-culture where people expect simple, less expensive funerals and burials, and where we all pitch in so that a Christian burial is not a financial hardship on anyone. And because of the biblical pointers and the additional reasons above, I am arguing that God-centered, gospel-rooted burial is preferable to cremation. Preferable. Not commanded, but rich with Christian truth that will become a clearer and clearer witness as our society becomes less and less Christian.


More from Desiring God

  • Don’t Waste Death | One Saturday, we buried DeAndre — a father, brother, uncle, and cousin. He will be greatly missed. His death reminded me of a hard truth: Death shouldn’t be wasted.
  • Cremation or Burial? | In this episode of Ask Pastor John, he discusses the differences between cremation and burial, and why the differences should matter for Christians trying to make the decision for their loved ones.
  • You Will Never See Death | John Piper preaches a sermon onJohn 8:48–59. He explains how the life and death of Jesus Christ free us from the lifelong bondage of the fear of death.
Thumb author john piperJohn Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory.

Remembering Marshall Harrison Brown

Worthily Magnify

1A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in my Wednesday night seminary class when I got a phone call that would change everything. It was my brother calling to say that my dad had been found unresponsive on his apartment floor, and I needed to get over there right away. I’ve never driven so fast in my life.

I arrived, and was able to see my dad still barely alive, before the paramedics arrived and attempted to stabilize him. They tried their hardest on the ambulance, and the doctors did their best at the hospital, but to no avail. My dad died of heart failure as a result of undiagnosed cardiomyopathy the evening of April 13th, 2016.

Marshall Harrison Brown was born in North Miami, Florida, in 1953, the only son of Jerry and Emma Brown. He met and married my mom at The Church of the Resurrection in Miami, and they…

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10 Guidelines for Christian Voters

Make God’s Word your primary voting guide. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 110:105).

Biblical Spirituality

  1. Make God’s Word your primary voting guide. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 110:105).
  1. Pray before casting your vote. Ask the Lord, first, for guidance as you vote. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him…” (Prov. 3:5-6). Pray also for the candidates even the ones whom you do not like. “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
  1. Vote for a candidate who upholds Christian principles. Are his/her views on important social and moral issues biblical? Religious freedom. Will the candidate hinder you from exercising your faith in Jesus Christ…

View original post 627 more words

An Open Letter to Target: Regarding your New Restroom Policy

Thank you for sharing

Mary From Martha

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a woman. I am a frequent shopper in your stores. I am first and foremost a mother. Your recent change in policy of who you allow to use each restroom concerns me. You stated in your blog post, “We believe that everyone…deserves to be protected from discrimination and treated equally.” and “…you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.” As a business owner, I do understand your right to make a stance as a company. As a parent, I will never understand why you would trade the safety of our women and children for the sake of not hurting  feelings.

I realize that everyone needs to feel accepted, loved, and wanted. I know the struggles of a person struggling to find their identity. I also know that as of September 2012, a Gallup poll showed that approximately 3.4% of Americans identify as

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BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

The Cross Is All We Need

"Weak, feeble and foolish as it may seem to people, the simple story of the Cross is enough for all mankind in every part of the globe." ~ J.C. Ryle

Start Thinking Right

Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command -- 1 Chronicles 12:32

David F. Watson

Musings and whatnot....

Lisa Haven News

Christian, End Time, and Conspiracy News!

News that matters

Exposing fake and falsehood

Tony Reinke

Minneapolis

Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth

Pastor Dave Online

Reflections on Christ and Culture

Samuel D. James

Assorted thoughts on life, faith, and culture

Enough Light

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal

Worthily Magnify

Helping Worship Leaders Lead Well

Biblical Spirituality

A Blog of Brian G. Najapfour

Mary From Martha

A Girl After God's Own Heart

Veritas et Lux

Truth and Light for Postmodern Pilgrims

BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

God, Guns and Guts Comrades!

The Cross Is All We Need

"Weak, feeble and foolish as it may seem to people, the simple story of the Cross is enough for all mankind in every part of the globe." ~ J.C. Ryle

Start Thinking Right

Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command -- 1 Chronicles 12:32

David F. Watson

Musings and whatnot....

Lisa Haven News

Christian, End Time, and Conspiracy News!

News that matters

Exposing fake and falsehood

Tony Reinke

Minneapolis

Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth

Pastor Dave Online

Reflections on Christ and Culture

Samuel D. James

Assorted thoughts on life, faith, and culture

Enough Light

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal

Worthily Magnify

Helping Worship Leaders Lead Well

Biblical Spirituality

A Blog of Brian G. Najapfour

Mary From Martha

A Girl After God's Own Heart

Veritas et Lux

Truth and Light for Postmodern Pilgrims

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