Bought by the Blood

July 7, 2011

Casey Anthony and the Cross

Chris Brauns has some great insight on how Christians should respond to the Casey Anthony verdict.  Below are a couple of highlights, but you can read the rest here

  • Point people to the Cross. Situations like this are the opportunity for Christians to point to a balanced view of forgiveness that stresses love, justice, and grace. Casey Anthony is not the only one who will stand before her Creator. We are all sinners, and we will all be there. If we don’t know Christ, then the wrath of God abides on us (John 3:36).
  • Examine yourself. If you find yourself feeling terribly ungracious towards Casey Anthony, then perhaps it is because you haven’t been thinking enough about God’s grace in your life.  Indeed, this is what happened with the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35. Do you get more energized about the sin or perceived sin of someone else or your own? Consider 2 Corinthians 13:5.
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July 1, 2011

If You Have A Free Hour This Weekend

Focus On The Family did a great two part series this week featuring David Barton on the faith of the founding father’s.  In today’s secular society it is easy to lose sight of the Christian principles America was founded.  The series was really refreshing and eye-opening as it presented a side of American history that is often neglected.  You can listen to part 1 here and part 2 here.  David Barton is a member of a group called Wall Builders and there website is here http://wallbuilders.com/

June 24, 2011

What I Will Tell My Kids About Gay Marriage

Here I Stand

The problem with the way that many conservatives, including evangelicals, defend marriage is that they’ve dumbed it down to a point where when it is stood up against society’s current redefining of marriage there is hardly any recognizable difference.  Marriage, as God designed it is to be a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). In a secular society, that is not always the case especially since everyone does not have the same worldview. Marriage, in America is quickly deteriorating from what God intended, with many people living together and having sex outside of marriage, the growing popularity of no-fault divorce and how pornography and infidelity run rampant.

In light of all of this, is it correct to say “anything goes”? Because of the separation of church and state should we just take the mindset that marriage is a state institution and it is up to individual states to decide? My fear is that if I do that, then I won’t be salt and light, which is why it is important to know what I believe and why.

The Bible is the solid ground on which I stand and form my convictions, all else is sinking sand. These convictions may make me sound judgemental and condemning, but my hope is that any judgement or condemnation someone sees me passing is the same judgement and condemnation that I deserve, but because of Christ free grace and rich mercy that all who seek to be crucified with Christ and find their life in Him may be free from any judgement or condemnation.

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Many people believe that marriage should be for two people who love each other and it doesn’t matter their gender.  I am not going to argue with that statement, because it is a great proposition.  Instead, ponder this, what does it matter if a person gains marriage, but loses their soul (Mark 8:36).  If we think that a couple, straight or homosexual, having the right to marry will complete them then we have set the bar far too low.  To quote C.S. Lewis “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”  If someone doesn’t have the opportunity to marry the person they love, then they may be momentarily missing out on something.  Ultimately, marriage is nothing compared to knowing Christ. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).” By promoting any marriage not built on Christ, whether straight or homosexual, it does not matter how much love there is, there will be no eternal value in it.

The Culture Wars

Obviously, I would not stop a non-Christian couple from marrying.  I can imagine your reaction being that if a homosexual is born that way, then it is unfair that I would support laws that would stop them from marrying someone they loved.  In all honesty, I have trouble supporting laws that outlaw same-sex marriage because legislation is not the answer.  The law has no power to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and without a relationship with Him how can I expect them to deny their desires?  I have friends that are homosexual and in same-sex relationships and marriages.  I have never told them that what they are doing is wrong.  Also, I have never outright supported their choice.

The media, our society and the political machine wants us to believe that a culture war is going on right now.  I believe that Jesus would scoff at the idea of a culture war.  I am not at war with any homosexuals who choose that lifestyle.  They do not need me telling them that they need to change.  They need to see the love of Jesus and that His grace is greater then all their sin.  If Jesus was walking the earth right now, it would probably be the homosexual couples and not the conservatives that He would spend His time with.

Jesus does not see people as straight or homosexual, but he sees all people as sinners who need a Savior.  Rules and laws will point out that we are sinners.  Rules and laws can go no further then bringing about shame and I fail as an ambassador of Christ if all I do is point to people’s sin without pointing to the Savior.  No one who comes to Jesus has to make a drastic life change before they come and as His representative I do not have to force people to change instantly when they come to Jesus.  The result of coming to Jesus is crucifying the flesh and no longer walking according to its passions and desires, but that always comes after faith and never as a condition (Galatians 5:24-25).  Straight people, homosexuals, all are free to come to Jesus and and find the satisfaction their soul has been longing for.

Does It Really Get Better

Many of you reading this, are probably familiar with the “It Gets Better” campaign.  Part of me wholeheartedly agrees with that campaign, with the ideal that people will grow up and mature so that others don’t have to fear being bullied, have the ability to visit a loved one in the hospital and not be ostracized by family and friends for being who they are.  Even if that day comes, things may temporarily be better, but ultimately there will be a day where we will all have to stand before God and give an account.  Hell is a real place, it is a place of eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30), and torment (Luke 16:23).  Any human rights that homosexuals gain to make this life better will not compensate for God’s holy wrath that He will pour out on sinners in the life to come.

It isn’t just homosexuals worthy of burning of eternally, but it is everyone. No one does good, no one chooses God (Romans 3). Every single person is born with a heart that is sinful and no one deserves to go to Heaven, except for Jesus who lived a perfect and righteous life and died on the cross to atone for the sins of gays, straights, liars, murderers, thieves, gossips, etc. Yes, that is condescending and judgmental, but it is filled with hope. It is gloriously beautiful because it means that salvation is not up to us and that we don’t go to Heaven because we do good things or live a “right lifestyle” but it is only because of the merits another.

Former homosexual and current evangelist Sy Rogers once said, “People doesn’t go to hell because they’re gay; they go because they’re separated from God.  Heterosexuals don’t automatically go to heaven; they go to hell too.  The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it’s devotion to God and a holy lifestyle.”

In the book, “An Arrow Pointing Towards Heaven,” about the life of Rich Mullins, Rich tells the following story and I believe it truly gets to the heart of the matter.

I remember one time Beaker and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and he met some friends of his, so I walked into town.  It was about a five-mile walk from the campsite down the trail…,down into town.  And when I got there I went into a restaurant and I was having a steak, and this guy started talking to me and we had this great conversation.  We were having a good time, and he said, “Hey look, it’s dark and it’s five miles up to your campground. Why I don’t I drive you up there?”
And I said, “Hey, Great!”
And so we got in his car, and just as we pulled out from under the last light in that town, the guy said, “You know what, I should probably tell you that I am gay.”
And I said, “Oh, I should probably tell you that I am a Christian.”
And he said, “Well, if you want out of the car…”
And I said, “Why?”
And he said, “Well, I’m gay and you’re Christian.”
I said, “It’s still five miles and it’s still dark.”
Then he said, “I thought Christians hated gays.”
I said, “That’s funny, I thought Christians were supposed to love. I thought that was our first command.”
He said, “Well, I thought God hated gays.”
And I said, “That’s really funny, because I thought God was love.”
And then he asked me the big one. He said, “Do you think I will go to hell for being a gay?”
Well, I’m a good Hoosier, and I puckered up to say, “Yes, of course you’ll go to hell for being gay.” I got ready to say that, but when I opened up my mouth it came out, “No, of course you won’t go to hell for being gay.” And I thought to myself, Oh my God, I’ve only been in New Hampshire for one week and I’ve already turned into a liberal! What am I going to tell this guy now?
Then I said to him, “No, you won’t go to hell for being gay, any more than I would go to hell for being a liar.  Nobody goes to hell because of what they do.  We go to hell because we reject the grace that God so longs to give to us, regardless of what we do.”

What Will I Say

I titled this post, “What I Will Tell My Kids About Gay Marriage.”  Some time in the future my children will ask me about gay marriage and human rights.  I can’t tell you today what I will say, most likely I won’t repeat all 1,800+ words to them that you just read (if you did read all of this, thank you and I’d love your thoughts). I know that it will be a message of grace because that is what everyone deserves even when we don’t see eye to eye.  It will be a message of acceptance because homosexuals are not second class citizens.  It will be a message of love because “we love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).” It will be the message of the cross because homosexuals need the cross just as much as I do.

[9] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [10] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

June 21, 2011

Interpreting Abortion Biblically

The problem in American society when conservatives or liberals think about abortion is they think about the rights of women or the rights of the unborn.  Before any discussion about abortion happens, the first thought has to be about the rights of God.  John Piper has the following to say about the idea of God’s creator rights

The biblical mindset is not simply one that includes God somewhere in the universe and says that the Bible is true. The biblical mindset begins with a radically different starting point, namely, God. God is the basic given reality in the universe. He was there before we were in existence – or before anything was in existence. He is simply the most absolute reality.

And so the biblical mindset starts with the assumption that God is the center of reality. All thinking starts with the assumption that God has basic rights as the Creator of all things. He has goals that fit with his nature and perfect character. Then the biblical mindset moves out from this center and interprets the world, with God and his rights and goals as the measure of all things.

What the biblical mindset sees as basic problems in the universe are usually not the same problems that the secular mindset sees. The reason for this is that what makes a problem is not, first, that something doesn’t fit the rights and needs of man, but that it doesn’t fit the rights and goals of God. If you start with man and his rights and wants, rather than starting with the Creator and his rights and goals, the problems you see in the universe will be very different.

Is the basic riddle of the universe how to preserve man’s rights and solve his problems?(You can listen to or read the rest of that message here)

Today and yesterday Focus on The Family had a great program on helping men heal who have lost children to abortion.  One of the great points that they made is that you can’t just ask for forgiveness for taking the life of the unborn.  Healing is not found until we are reconciled to God by asking God for forgiveness for taking the life of His Son.

As the hymn, “I will glory In My Redeemer” states, “Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails and hung Him on that judgement tree.”  Abortion can’t be rightly understood apart from the cross. The greatest offense isn’t an infringement upon a woman’s right or the loss of the unborn’s life.  The greatest offense is that God has been taken off of his throne so that we may live as we want with a disregard for His rule and way.

Once God is the starting point of the abortion debate, there is no middle ground or gray area.  He is the creator of life, all humans, born and unborn are made in His image.  Without the Bible as the standard of truth then there is no way to say if abortion is right or wrong.  If the cross is taken out of the equation then there is no healing for those who have chosen abortion.  A sovereign God who intends good has to be our guide or what reason is there to choose life?

April 15, 2010

Groundbreaking Pro-Life Legislation

Filed under: Abortion — cubsfan1980 @ 8:42 pm
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Last night I got a text message from a friend asking that I pray that the Supreme Court does not overturn the new pro-life legislature in Nebraska.  This is a piece of legislation is monumental and many believe it challenges the foundation of the Roe V. Wade decision.  Nebraska’s new pro-life legislation is one which makes abortion illegal after 20 weeks on the basis of fetal pain (except for the case of medical emergency, the mother’s death is imminent or a serious risk of “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”)

Most states have a law which forbids abortion after the baby is viable, which is at the earliest 22 weeks, although that can vary from case to case.  Even though there is a two week difference, this legislation is ground breaking because scientific evidence for fetal pain has never been used by the courts before.  The following is from an article in the New York Times on this legislation.  To read the whole article go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/us/14abortion.html

What is perhaps most notable about the law is that it takes aim at abortions from an utterly different perspective — the possibility of fetal pain — than states have tried historically, said officials at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit research organization that focuses on reproductive health and rights.

In some states that mandate counseling for women considering abortions, the women are told of a possibility that fetuses may have the capacity to feel pain. But no other state cites that possibility as part of a law restricting abortions.

After the death of George Tiller, a doctor in Nebraska by the name of Leroy Carhart wanted to take his place as the leader of performing late term abortions.  This would, according to one pro-life group, make Nebraska the late term abortion capital of the midwest.  Statistics are showing that America is becoming more pro-life and this is one proof of it, as this bill is the result of Nebraskans not wanting their state to become known for late term abortion.

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, has been quoted as saying this about the bill,”If some of these other anti-abortion bills have been chipping away at Roe v. Wade, this takes an ax to it.” Please pray that this is what is needed to sharpen the axe to taken down Roe V. Wade.

For more information please go to:

NE Fetal Pain Bill Advanced: Late-Term Bills In Two States Could Limit Carhart’s Abortion Business
Nebraska Moves Ahead with Abortion Ban Based on Fetal Pain
A Strategy for the Next Supreme Court Abortion Battle?

March 22, 2010

Despite Obamacare Passing, God Is In Control

Filed under: 1st Corinthians,Health Care,Russell Moore,Trusting God — cubsfan1980 @ 10:43 am
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Here are some encouraging and convicting words from Dr. Moore about last nights about House vote and the proper Christian response.

If we were half as outraged by our own sin and self-deception as we are by the follies of our political opponents, what would be the result? If we rejoiced as much that our names are written in heaven as we do about such trivialities as basketball brackets, what would be the result?

So if what you’re afraid of is a politician or a policy or a culture or the future of Western civilization, don’t give up the conviction but give up the fear. Work for justice. Oppose evil. But do it so that your opponents will see not fear but trust, optimism, and affection.

“So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).

Fear God and, beyond that, don’t be afraid.

Read the rest at: Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore.

March 21, 2010

President Obama’s Executive Order Will Not Protect The Unborn

Filed under: Abortion,Obama — cubsfan1980 @ 8:18 pm
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I just posted this over at the We The Posterity Blog and wanted to share it here as well

Being in the dark ages and not owning a smart phone, I don’t get the news as quickly as others.  My first glance of cnn.com I thought I saw good news about health care reform as Stupak announced that an agreement was reached which would protect the sanctity of human life.

Unfortunately, this agreement comes from an executive order that President Obama has agreed to sign which would prohibit federal funds from going towards abortion.  On the surface there seems to be promise, but as we dig deeper Obamacare is not as pro-life as Pelosi, Obama and others would want us to believe.

However, if the bill excludes federal funding for abortion, why is an executive order necessary?

The answer, of course, is that President Obama and the Democratic leadership know that the Senate health care reform bill includes subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortions, could possibly lead to abortion coverage mandates for insurance companies, and does not prevent other funds in the legislation from directly paying for abortions.

The question then becomes, can an executive order correct all of the abortion-related problems in the bill?

The answer is a resounding no. While a carefully worded executive order might be able to take care of some of the mandate concerns, it cannot correct all of the abortion-related problems with the bill. A statute cannot be undone by an executive order or regulation. For example, an Executive Order cannot prevent insurance plans that pay for abortions and participate in the newly-created exchanges from receiving federal subsidies, because this allowance is explicitly written in the bill…

Further, Executive Orders can be undone or modified as quickly as they are created. In spite of the fact that the American people overwhelmingly do not want to see their tax dollars go toward abortion, we continue to see restrictions on federal funding for abortions reduced to executive orders, appropriations riders, and regulations. The majority of Americans want to see a prohibition on federal funding for abortion included in permanent, statutory law.

Congress failed to deliver a statutory prohibition on abortion funding in health care reform, and an executive order cannot do the job.

The following is a statement that Charmaine Yoest, from Americans United For Life made to the press.  You can read the full thing here: http://blog.aulaction.org/2010/03/21/yoest-executive-order-won%E2%80%99t-stop-taxpayer-funded-abortion/

Once again, the proposal to address the problem of abortion funding in the health care bill through use of an executive order is a tacit acknowledgement that the bill as it stands is pro-abortion legislation. Both the President and the Speaker have repeatedly denied this stark fact.

Furthermore, the AUL legal team has concluded that an executive order is not an adequate fix to mitigate the Senate bill’s establishment of taxpayer-funded abortion.  For example, an executive order cannot prevent insurance companies that pay for abortions in the exchanges from receiving federal subsidies.

In addition, executive orders can be undone or modified as quickly as they are created. President Obama revoked the Mexico City Policy, through the use of an executive order, and thereby allowed federal tax dollars to finance organizations that provide abortions internationally for the first time in years.

This fact, coupled with the Administration’s repeated endorsement of the pro-abortion lobby’s agenda, force any reasonable person to conclude that this bill will clearly create the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion in American history.

In summary, the two big takeaways that we need to remember is that 1)An executive order cannot prevent federal funds from paying for abortions and 2)The language in the original bill did not prohibit abortion from being funded by tax payer dollars.  If it did, then there would be no need for an executive order.  Please continue to pray for our nation and the unborn.

January 29, 2010

State Of The Union

Filed under: Abortion,Barrack Obama,pro-life — cubsfan1980 @ 3:25 pm
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Unfortunately I missed the State of Union Address, but I thought these thoughts on it were provoking.

Speaking of our humanitarian efforts around the world during last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama said:

“America must always stand on the side of human dignity and freedom.”

Yes, Mr. President, America must stand for these things, they are the principles that our country was founded on. Unfortunately, after 37 years of Government sanctioned abortion, we as a country have denied the dignity of the weakest and most vulnerable members of our own society and deprived them of their first and most basic human freedom – the right to Life.

Seems to me, if we’re going to promote human dignity and freedom throughout the world, we should begin by promoting it right here in our own country.

via Reflections of a Paralytic » SOTU Line of the Night.

January 22, 2010

A Missional Way for the Pro-Life Passion

Filed under: Abortion,Gospel,Missions,pro-life — cubsfan1980 @ 11:38 am
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Lots of pro-life news and links are going out today with this being the 37th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision.  If you read anything, I would highly recommend Jared Wilson’s article “The Gospel-Driven Church: A Missional Way for the Pro-Life Passion.”

The five parts to a missional way for the Pro-Life Passions are

  1. Gospel-Centered Preaching
  2. Reframing the Abortion Discussion
  3. Creating Cultures of Adoption and Rescue
  4. Prophets, not pundits
  5. Technology, technology, technology
  6. Love

January 14, 2010

Bart Stupak On Why Health Care Reform Can’t Contain Federal Funding For Abortion

Filed under: Abortion,Bart Stupak,Health Care,pro-life — cubsfan1980 @ 12:39 pm
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Below is an excerpt from an editorial that Bart Stupak wrote for The Detroit News. You can read the rest here. Let’s continue to pray for him as he defends the rights of the preborn. (Emphasis added is mine).

There continues to be a great deal of discussion surrounding abortion language in the health care bill and the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts amendment specifically. Let me be clear: Our amendment maintains current law that says no federal funding for abortion.

Further, not one person has been able to show where the actual language in our amendment is different from language in the Hyde amendment that has been in effect for the past 33 years.

Under our amendment, private plans within the health insurance exchange can offer abortion services and individuals purchasing plans with their own money can choose a plan that covers abortion as long as they are not receiving government subsidies to help pay for the plan. Our amendment even includes provisions that explicitly state individuals, even those who receive federal subsidies, may purchase separate abortion coverage with private funds.

While many accusations have been thrown around in recent months, the intent behind the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts amendment is simple and clear — to continue current law of no federal funding for abortions.

Two recent polls from Washington Post-ABC News and CNN found 61 percent of Americans do not want taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion. Another report just released by Rasmussen found 53 percent of voters favor a ban on abortion coverage in any health insurance plan that receives federal subsidies.

Those upset about our amendment in the House legislation do not think I should be voting pro-life. They fail to mention it was the support from pro-life Democrats that provided the critical votes needed to pass health care reform in the House.

Though our amendment maintains current law and is squarely in line with public opinion, the Senate failed to pass similar language. Instead, the Senate bill includes an amendment that would implement a dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage and recognize abortion as a benefit in a federal health plan.

It would also segregate funds to pay for abortion coverage in a way that has never been allowed under the Hyde language.

While many pro-life House Democrats and I wish to see health care coverage for all Americans, the proposed Senate language is unacceptable because it allows federal funds to subsidize plans that cover abortions. I will continue to work to ensure the final health care reform bill considered in the House and Senate maintains current law of no public funding for abortion.

Finally, I have long been an advocate of health care reform. Too many Americans have gone far too long without access to basic health care services they need, and it is past time to put an end to that injustice. But the key issues of fairness, competition and cost must be addressed in the final health care bill.

While it is time to pass health care reform legislation in this nation, we must not overturn more than 30 years of federal policy preventing public funding of abortion.

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