Friday, November 06, 2015

Christian Victories in the Culture--Are They Worth it?

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A high school football player who was suspended from his team for "praising God" by lifting his finger to the sky has been reinstated and will now be allowed to play in his team's championship game.

Navy Chaplain Wes Modder, an Assemblies of God chaplain, has been fully reinstated after being removed from office for counseling according to his biblical faith regarding homosexuality and extra-marital sexual relations.

A CNN feature story asks, "Are Culture Victories Worth the Causalities?"

It all depends on how you define "victories" and "casualties."


There has been a number of these stories this fall, but the latest involves a high school football player---yes one of many---who was suspended for praising God and giving God the glory for his athletic ability.

Seventeen year old Pedro Banda raised his finger to the sky after scoring a touchdown last Friday night.

He was ejected from the game and given a one game suspension for "taunting." That one game suspended was tonight's championship game.

Pedro, who plays for the Phoenix suburb Dysart High School, says he "wasn't taunting, he was praising God."

AIA officials say they reviewed the video tapes of the game and have reinstated him for the championship game.

Victory.

Earlier this year Christian Chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Modder, who had been assigned to the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina, was removed from his position.

Having served 19 years of exemplary service, he had one more year before retirement. His removal from office threatened the loss of all benefits related to his service.

The charges against him included his biblical counseling regarding homosexual relations and pre-marital sexual relations. And his teaching that the Bible says there are consequences to sin.

Family Research Council launched a petition drive asking the Navy to reinstate the chaplain. More than 100,000 people signed the petition.

I wrote about it and mentioned it on the radio at the time.

Now, after much prayer and effort on the part of biblical Christians, Chaplain Modder has been reinstated.

Victory.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of these kinds of incidents in our current culture. Each is different, yet linked by the deeply held biblical beliefs of those who take a stand.

You may recall, a couple of years ago---2014, World Vision announced they were essentially changing their hiring policy regarding homosexuals.

A cultural explosion followed. The members of the board who had pushed for the change were shocked at the international outrage from the evangelical community worldwide, and became very defensive. One or more of the other board members resigned saying they could not support the change of policy on biblical grounds.

Within 3 days---72 hours, World Vision reversed their decision.

I wrote about it and talked about it on the radio at the time.

Rachel Held Evans, a religious Left best selling author also wrote about it and other "victories" a year or so later---after much thought and tears, she says.

CNN featured her story, titled, "Are Culture Victories Worth The Causalities?"

Evans begins with this: "In the midst of all the shouting over Indiana's new religious-freedom law, which many fear will lead to increased discrimination against LGBT people, culture warriors marked the grim anniversary of another conservative 'victory', one that left more than 10,000 needy children without their pledged financial support."

She then reviews World Vision's long tradition of helping people---children in need---which is true. I knew the founder, Bob Pierce. He loved God. He loved God's Word. He loved people.

However, she laments, within 72 hours, World Vision turned from doing the "right" thing to "its old policies of discrimination against gay and lesbian employees."

"This," Ms. Evans says, "was a result of pressure, culture war pressure, being put on World Vision."

She writes, "It had worked. Using wells and hospitals and child sponsorships as bargaining chips in the culture wars had actually worked."

She says, "Never in my life had I been so angry at my own faith tradition."

The Christian faith tradition has never believed, nor did Jesus and His Disciples teach, that the end justifies the means.

That is relativism, not the gospel.

She also fails to mention, although it was widely known, that those donors who were leaving World Vision were simply redirecting their donations to other similar ministries, not discontinuing to give.

She notes, "Eric Teetsel, director of the Manhattan Declaration, told Christianity Today he considered it 'The best news of 2014' for evangelical Christians---This was Christianity at its best."

"But as I survey the battlefield a year later," Evans writes, "I wonder if even the most strident culture warriors would consider the World Vision campaign worth its many casualties?"

Evans ends with this invitation to all LGBT people: "And to the wounded, I offer you this: You are not alone. Please know there are field medics---pastors and priests, artists and activists, poets and parents and healers and dreamers---ready to welcome you back to faith and to church whenever you are ready."

"We can walk the long road to healing together, even if its a limp," she concludes.

Guilt.

With her, and that of both the secular and religious progressive left, the concept of reuniting the sinner with the church involves the church redefining God's Word and its doctrines to square with the current culture.

God's model for redemption is not sinners being reconciled to a church that is "evolving with the times in an attempt to remain relevant, but to the Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever---and to God's Word which will never pass away."

The goal, in the minds of the religious left, is to put aside the discrimination---although God condemns the behavior, and not seek forgiveness, deliverance and restoration from sin, but to achieve acceptance, affirmation and even celebration of the sin---thus denying the power of Christ's death and Resurrection.

That is indeed "a long road." And one that leads to ultimate personal destruction and a church without meaning, purpose or power.

The power of guilt attached to deception was used effectively in the campaign to redefine marriage in Washington State. It is always used.

The banner is always some form of this deceptive statement: "How can you deny a person the right to marry the person they love?"

Or, "How can a loving God condemn a person because of whom they love?"

Or, "True Christians are not haters or bigots."

Her "long road to healing" is emotionally appealing, but does not lead to healing. It leads to destruction and separation from the God who Created us.

It is written, "There is a way that seems right to man, but the end is death."

The true causalities are those, due to the silence of the church, who have never heard there is a road that leads to life abundant, freedom, restoration and eternal life.

We must tell that story. We must stand firm in the faith. And we must do it in the culture, not just in a building with a steeple.

That's Victory. And yes, its worth it.

Be Blessed. Be Faithful.


4 comments:

  1. Sometimes I wonder if people would think it strange if a man who thought he was a dog or a cat, protested outside an animal shelter because they wouldn't give him a basic physical, food, and a cage.

    Would they say, "How sad. This is nothing but a culture war."?


    First they took out the New England Primer and put in Evolution. Then came everything else.

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  2. I'd like to see Christians in government all stand up together and talk about how government is way too big, too fat, too greedy, too wasteful, too lazy, too corrupt, and needs to get much smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and more fit, and about how it spends way too much, like it's some kind of addiction or something, and it's piling up debt way, way, way too high, encumbering generations who will have to endure so much weight upon them, that they will likely not even be able to find work, and pay those high taxes that will be necessary to sustain all the foolishness of government that has also been reaching into everything it has no business in, and how politicians have been morally corrupting the nation with their talk about what they think marriage should be, even so far as to lure away the majority of the Supreme Court justices, with their hypocrisy, and how every one in this deal, swore to uphold the Constitution, and defend it, rather than turn coat and go against it every opportunity they get, when they should be about accountability instead of constantly letting everything go, for the sake of maybe getting a few more votes out of a lazy, unworking, unemployed, often unconnected to a nuclear family type, who looks more and more for more entitlements, while at the same time, drug lords are flooding across our borders, over filling our federal prisons, costing us lots of money, even while we spend half a billion dollars to train about 4 people in another land who we think might become soldiers, while a much smaller government would cost less, could free up small businesses, if they would be willing to set aside all their laws, rules, unnecessary procedures, regs and red tape, even making the tax code much, much simpler, even so simple that the working class people could do their own 1040 EZ like they used to do, without having to go to an expensive tax service only to leave with a stack of papers they had to sign, that didn't even include a copy of what was sent in, that they wanted to have as an example of how they might be able to figure out their own EZ form next year, that is if Obamacare is still in effect, a thing that was unconstitutionally pushed through calling whatever they did, something which it really was not. Just getting rid of all the fat and corruption of Federal government should have a tremendous effect on free enterprise.

    All this should be like put on the front of a ship, as it goes out to see what America could do if it really was free again, and we should have Christian conservatives in government that really do want to get rid of abortion by protecting the right to life (that's right "LIFE", not "potential life") of the unborn, even as they will do whatever is constitutionally correct to get rid of liberal corrupt Supreme Court justices who decided they could overturn the Constitution at their pleasure, and even do all they can to see that people learn to change their minds instead of their bodies if they get to thinking they should be of some other sex than the one they were born with, for it should be treated as a mental illness or spiritual matter instead of anything physical that would require trying to change the sex they were born with.

    And all of this and more,even working to get something like the New England Primer back in public schools instead of so much focus on "Evolution", for we did not come from apes, and all this should be done with basically two agendas:

    1. Damn the torpedoes.
    2. Full speed ahead.

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  3. Do people really believe that any ape, by it's own effort or continual works, without God, that it could progress itself, into the image of a perfect man, that all it had to do was keep on being pro-active, doing more and doing more, and that one day, it will turn itself into perfection, that is if it kept embracing anything and everything, spending all of it's reserves, opening up everything to whatever, thinking it will somehow make itself stronger, that it will turn itself into perfection? (that is if it doesn't run out of money or have all it's enemies that it let in, overcome it) Where did so many people in America get such an idea? Any ideas?

    Out with evolution. On with revolution.... radical, foundational, responsible, sensible, and lasting change.

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  4. I'm tired of this planet of the apes stuff. It's time for a new America. Yeah, it's worth it.

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