Which Is More Important: The Constitution or Contraception?

July 3rd, 2014 lindarae No comments

It is difficult to present a meaningful argument to many women of why religious freedom has a greater value and moral weight than the right to force employers to provide abortions or abortive contraception. The connection of a war on women to Hobby Lobby and other smaller corporations’ right to follow their conscience is hard to grasp. The women who use abortive contraceptives do not view it as a moral issue. They want a financial benefit, which can be provided by other institutions or means. For them, their financial benefit outweighs a person or group’s conscience. It is hard to grasp how the “right to choose” trumps religiously formed beliefs. I guess most of the women claiming their rights have not read or do not value the first Amendment to the Constitution, although if government took away their right to free speech, to assemble or freedom of the press, they might rethink their position.

I have made a great effort to understand the women’s viewpoint who see the right to free contraception on a higher level of value than religious freedom and a morally informed conscience. My conclusion is that they cannot see the difference between moral choices and practical ones. They are motivated by self-interest and do not understand that religious people are motivated by a desire to obey God and His moral laws. People of faith put God and others above their own self-interest.

I believe that the women pushing for their rights and self-interest believe that they are righteous and are doing the right thing. They are just lacking important knowledge about the history of human rights, which reveals the source of inalienable rights. After the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, people became more aware of human rights. Luther’s teaching on the priesthood of all believers fed into other philosophical ideas about the importance of each individual. As a result of these “new” ideas, also influenced by ancient Greek philosophers, our Founding Fathers derived the understanding that “all men” (meaning all humans) are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In America, we concluded that God guaranteed our rights and, without God, our rights could be taken away by a dictator or even a representative, democratic government. This was one of the universal principles America held that opened up freedom and equality to people throughout the world; it was one of the American contributions that made us see ourselves as “exceptional.”

Now, let us look at the “right to choose” to have an abortion. Is it one of those rights established and endowed by God? It is unlikely. Our Declaration of Independence makes “life” a God-given right. Even if someone does not think a fetus is alive, the God who guarantees the rights established in our Constitution says in the Bible that “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” That means that God has a purpose and plan for every fertilized egg. Therefore, “the right to choose” an abortion is a manmade right based upon self-interest, not a right guaranteed by the Creator.

Of course, we can continue down the road to ignore God-given rights in order to serve self-interest, but it will end badly. We will be without universal absolutes that provide structure and stability in a chaotic world. Self-interest unchecked will lead to persecution of others’ rights by those who have power. Eventually, even those women who are demanding their manmade rights will lose other, more essential rights. Their right to freedom of speech, of assembly, of the press, habeas corpus, due process, etc. will be lost. Then, they will wonder how they lost those rights, and probably not understand that their selfish demands to ignore God-given rights led to their own downfall and the downfall of inalienable rights in America.

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How to Overcome Sin and Poor Character

April 27th, 2014 lindarae No comments

We are truly new creatures when we accept Christ as our savior. Our spirits come alive and Christ’s resurrected life now lives in us through His Holy Spirit. It is through His life in us, grace, that He is able to tame and transform our souls and bodies. It is only by faith in His life in us that we can overcome sin, renew our minds, walk in His Spirit and experience physical health. “I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and laid down His life for me” (Gal. 2:20). To progress in this new life, being a new man, you must reckon yourself dead to sin when sin rises up. Quote the Bible passages that guarantee you are a new creature and that old things are passed away. By standing on the Scripture, God’s grace, His life in you, can establish your victory over sin and character flaws.

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The Haves and Have Nots

April 27th, 2014 lindarae No comments

The constant effort of groups in society to identify themselves as victims, for example repeatedly focusing on the haves and have nots in society, can become an effort to increase covetousness and envy. It is one thing to seek justice and another to create a victim mentality in which the goal is to promote corrupt character and a covetous class, whether poor or a racial minority. It is better to encourage ambition and provide opportunities than to instill a group with self-pity, which leads to covetousness. The sin of covetousness, one of the Ten Commandments, undermines ambition and destroys character. The Soviet Union fell because their leaders tried to remove envy and covetousness by making everyone equal, removing the ability for individuals to excel. It did not work because when you feed covetousness you remove ambition.

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God’s Interaction with Us

April 27th, 2014 lindarae No comments

Three ways (maybe more) in which God intersects our lives: Trials, sacrifices and blessings. We need to discover which of these is God’s goal when we enter a new life situation. Trials last for a time and our response and growth can help determine when they end, depending upon how quickly we allow His character qualities to be formed in us. Sacrifices can last forever or for a time. For example, once a couple has a child, they enter a lifelong sacrifice. At other times, the sacrifice is required for a specified time. A blessing is an event that God asks nothing except we receive it. The situation will go smoothly and is usually for a short period of time. Sometime it appears to be a trial, but you need to inquire of the Lord in order not to interfere with His plan for a blessing.

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John Milton’s Example for Christians Today

January 9th, 2014 lindarae No comments

I have been reading the prose and poetry of John Milton with great interest. It is not easy reading since the style of writing fits the practices of the 17th century. However, his goals and ideas illuminate God’s directions to Christians in all ages.

Milton was very aware of how the popular writers in his time had excellent abilities but that the content of their works encouraged vulgarity and excesses. God inspired him to resist seeking success and popularity by incorporating the same vulgar subject matter and moral transgressions in his writings. He accepted God’s vocation for him to bring an even higher standard of scholarship and poetic ability than his contemporaries, but to resist their worldly motivations and adaptations to the culture.

Even more important to him was his God-given desire to write an epic surpassing the epics of Homer, Virgil and Tasso for the sake of revealing God’s ability to inspire a Christian to outshine all non-Christian writings throughout the ages. He also connected the superior writing he would achieve as an inspired Christian writer with a desire to honor Great Britain. He connected his God-given talent with a sense that God had called the “British islands” to a special role in God’s plans for salvation and restoration.

Milton’s desire to impact his culture by writing outstanding prose and poetry can be an inspiration to those in the arts and learning today. Christians have the same opportunity to impact our culture if they allow God and put in the time and effort to perfect their skills in the arts and education. Milton wrote the greatest epic poem of all times when he wrote Paradise Lost under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He succeeded in surpassing the writers of his era and the epics of the past. He was the best at what he did, and it took years of study and research besides God’s inspiration to achieve God’s purpose.

Christians can produce the same levels of poetry, prose, films, fine arts, sculptures, dance, choreography, and teaching through hard work and spiritual dedication. They should be the best in all of the areas of arts and education. Through excellence, Christians’ talents will not be ignored by our increasingly secular society. Dedicated, talented Christians can touch the human spirit and lift up the culture in our nation. They have a vocation to do for our country what Milton did for his.

“I began thus far to assent both to them and divers of my friends here at home, and not less to an inward prompting which now grew daily upon me, that by labour and intense study (which I take to be my portion in this life), joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die. . . .That what the greatest and choicest wits of Athens, Rome, or modern Italy, and those Hebrews of old did for their country, I, in my proportion, with this over and above, of being a Christian, might do for mine; not caring to be once named abroad, though perhaps I could attain to that, but content with these British islands as my world”; (John Milton, “Reasons of Church Government Urged Against Prelaty” http://www.bartleby.com/209/415.html )

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GLAAD Has Gone Too Far!

December 21st, 2013 lindarae No comments

GLAAD has opened Pandora’s box of pent up emotions. I went onto their Website and the majority of comments show fury at their intolerance of Phil Robertson. The commenters are not necessarily Christians; they are angry with the suppression of ideas and speech.

Something has risen up inside of many Americans over this Duck Dynasty controversy that has been ready to blow for a long time. You can only take so much mind and speech control before you blow. And this pressure cooker has definitely lost its lid.

I hope and pray for this reaction to be sustained until freedom of speech and religion are restored. I have certainly missed them. Our minds have been enslaved by politically correct restrictions and threats. I want freedom! It’s like a dictatorship of the mind and I’m rebelling against it!

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Phil Robertson Paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Check It Out

December 21st, 2013 lindarae 1 comment

Here is the Bible passage that Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty paraphrased in the GQ interview (the “Kingdom of God” is heaven): “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NKJ).” This passage is one of many in the New Testament listing sins.

Phil Robertson was stating a biblical fact, not making a judgment. I haven’t heard any complaints from idolaters, fornicators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, etc. They don’t feel judged because in their hearts they know what they are doing is a sin (or it’s wrong). They have learned to live with any societal judgments and consequences of their choices. Some homosexuals have reacted so strongly to the Bible as quoted by Robertson because they don’t want to feel guilty or ashamed; however, guilt and shame are part of the God’s (Jesus is the Son of God) message. If they knew in their hearts they weren’t sinning, they wouldn’t need anyone else to tell them. They would just live their lives in peace, knowing they were right. They should just say they don’t agree with the Bible; then they can let people who believe in the Bible alone.

Homosexuals don’t need societies’ stamp of approval as long as they are not persecuted and harmed for their lifestyle. America has many subcultures and non-traditional practices. Most Americans accept or tolerate those they disagree with because they believe in freedom. For example, I don’t like the look of so many tattoos on people’s bodies, but it would never stop me from having a friend who has tattoos. Still, some people judge or are repulsed by them. People with tattoos made a choice and have learned to live with any judgment. It has to do with courage for our convictions.

I know many people, and some of them are Christians, pick and choose what parts of the Bible they accept and follow. However, with God, it is all or nothing. Of course, it is up to God to convict and Christians should not condemn. However it is not condemnation when God’s Word makes a person feel guilty and ashamed for sinning. Conviction brings people to Jesus to repent for and be saved from their sins, and then He frees them from guilt and shame. Now, isn’t that marvelous! With God, we don’t have to be a slave to guilt, shame or sin. We can possess true freedom.

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Can You Be a Christian and Ignore the Bible?

December 19th, 2013 lindarae No comments

Because of Phil Robertson’s, Duck Dynasty’s patriarch, comments on sin and the reaction of many homosexuals and the media, I decided to clarify Christian teaching on the subject of sin. The question arises: Can you sin or in other words, violate the teachings, laws, and principles in the Bible and be a Christian? Can a Christian be an adulterer, a fornicator (sleep around outside of marriage), a homosexual, drunkard, covetous, envious, a slanderer, bitter, selfish, etc. and still be a Christian (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:21)?

The Bible, God’s Word, teaches that once you become born again, believe in Jesus Christ and commit your life to Him you possess eternal life (John 3:3, 18). Once you have committed your life to Jesus, the Son of God, all of your sins committed up to that point are forgiven. Also, you are no longer a sinner because your sinful nature has been changed by the presence of Christ’s life in you (Romans 6:6 ). Now that you are saved or redeemed, you are filled with Christ’s life and His life in you causes you to have a strong desire to please and obey God. You begin to read the Bible and go to church and discover that God has not only forgiven your past sins but He also does not want you to keep sinning.

Therefore, now out of a desire to please God and obey Him because you are so grateful that Jesus died and rose again to provide you a way out of your sin and Hell, you ask God to renew your mind and keep you from sinning. You want to avoid all sins that are described in the Bible and seek God’s grace (His life and power in you) to resist and overcome sin.

God begins to free you from lust, swearing, addictions, sexual sins, greed, hatred, bitterness, impulsiveness, and excesses of all kinds. He provides healing for your heart, mind and body. He loves you so much He does not want you to be a slave to any sin.

Therefore, now to repeat the question: Can you keep sinning after committing your life to the Lord, becoming born again, and still be a Christian? The Bible is the standard for what is and is not sin. Of course, all Christians sin from time to time, but there goal is to be free from habitual sin and to sin less and less as they draw closer to God over the years. The goal is to please and obey God and to become as much like Christ in this lifetime as possible. Of course, as a reminder, that is not done by human effort, but through God’s life working in the believer.

If some Christians ignore the Bible and/or justify their sin over a long period of time, without making an effort to stop that sin, they are called backslidden Christians. They have accepted the Lord at some point, but sin has hardened their hearts and they no longer try to please and obey God. Is there a point at which backslidden Christians lose their salvation and are no longer Christians? Truly, only God knows when and if there is a point when that happens. Some Scriptures point to that possibility, but only God makes that judgment. Personally, I would not want to take that chance. I have experienced God’s great mercy through His Son, Jesus, and desire to please Him, but I also know He is just, and that also scares me away from sinning.

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Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, Suspended

December 19th, 2013 lindarae No comments

Below, I have included parts of an article written by Elizabeth Durand Streisand. She quoted parts of Phil Robertson’s interview for a future article in GQ magazine.

Phil Robertson has been suspended since this article, so I’m praying for the Duck Dynasty family to have wisdom on how they should respond. I know for now that I will not watch anything on A&E except Duck Dynasty, to support the family but not A&E. I will wait for the family’s response before making further decisions.

A&E isn’t judging the Duck Dynasty family; they are judging the Bible and what it says. How can they suspend the principles in the Bible upon which our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are founded? What happened to freedom of religion and speech? I pray God will use this event to arouse Christians into action. When will the majority in this nation stand up for God and Jesus and stop letting the minority take over our culture? Jesus said we had to suffer persecution to be His followers. It is time to take up the cross and follow Him.

My earlier comment:

It was refreshing to see Phil Robertson, of the Duck Dynasty reality show, speak candidly about the biblical view of sin. Most Christian celebrities would avoid being that honest. He didn’t pick on homosexuals when he quoted Corinthians. That passage includes all kinds of sin. It just happened that God includes homosexuality as one of the sins on the list of sins. It is not more or less sin.
If homosexuals demand the show be removed from A&E or there be a reprimand, all of the adulterers, idolaters, greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers should be equally offended. They probably won’t speak out because the people in that category want to hide their sin because they feel ashamed. They know they are sinning. The Bible also includes fornicators in its lists of sins in various Scriptures, so that really increases the pool of the offended.

I don’t know when it became politically incorrect to state that people sin, but until recently it was generally accepted that humans weren’t perfect. I guess the only way to keep from feeling ashamed and guilty when you do wrong things is to make up your own rules for right and wrong. We might find some unintended consequences for society when the rules or standards for right and wrong keep changing. Maybe some of those school and workplace shootings have something to do with the loss of clarity about what is sin. Lawlessness does cause chaos.

The politically correct efforts to control freedom of thought and speech may change the discussion, but it doesn’t change the truth.
I think Robertson’s statement at the end of the article is a good summary of an honest yet compassionate view of how many Christians, all former sinners and continuing to battle sin, view the problem of sin and how we want to help others find forgiveness and salvation.

‘Duck Dynasty’ Under Fire Following Star’s Incendiary Anti-Gay Remarks
By Elizabeth Durand Streisand, Yahoo TV

Speaking with GQ, Robertson lamented that when “everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong … sin becomes fine.” So just what qualifies as sinful in his book?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he declared.
Phil probably should have cut himself off at this point (considering he’s a national TV star), but instead he paraphrased Corinthians. “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God,” he warned. “Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Despite Phil’s strong words, however, he insists he’s a Christian who doesn’t condemn others — even if they are “sinners” in his mind. “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he told the magazine. “We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus — whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
Still, Robertson insisted that his family “really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and… everything will turn around.”

In a statement released via A&E, Robertson attempted to clarify his remarks: “I myself am a product of the ’60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

I did not include the whole article, but only quoted parts of it. You can go to http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/-duck-dynasty–star-s-anti-gay-remarks-spark-outrage-134231650.html for the complete article.

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Lessons from the Industrial Revolution for this Technological Age

December 18th, 2013 lindarae No comments

Since the beginning of the Information Age or Revolution, discoveries and improvements have moved at a rapid pace. Uses for the Internet and communication have changed the world since the 1980s. It is affecting the economy, civil rights, government, military, churches, social interaction and all aspects of society. As a result of these radical changes and inventions, new concerns have arisen for freedom and equality on all levels of modern life.

It appears we are in a revolution that is outside of recent human experience, and we are floundering to find a way to guide us through this bewildering new age. Yet we must not forget that history has many lessons to teach us. This is not the first time that advancements in technology have revolutionized society, religion and government. We need only look to the Industrial Revolution to find a model or guide (there were earlier technological advancements, but not as all-encompassing as the Industrial Revolution). If we analyze the problems occurring and solutions discovered during the Industrial Revolution, we can discover procedures, instructions and guidelines to apply to this new technological revolution.

We can lessen the divisions and interior struggles for human rights and against unfair practices and increase the opportunities for all people, in our nation and around the world, if we learn the lessons from the past. The Industrial Revolution caused power struggles and injustices along with great opportunity for the financial advancement for all people. We can draw from the union movements and the formation of new laws to find the path for the present time. The extremes of wealth and poverty caused by industrial advancement and capitalism were overcome by the mid-twentieth century, and, in the industrialized countries, the majority in the poorest class lifted themselves up to the middle class.

My generation, being born in 1940, experienced the transition through our parents’ great efforts to make the industrial engine a means to raise up their own economic standing and even more so for their children. I saw the extreme poverty of my grandmother and aunts and uncles give way to explosion of opportunity for my parents and even more so for my generation and the baby boomers. It was a result of taking the elements of the Industrial Revolution and bending them to the advantage of the majority. For those who could break free from accepting limitations and labels, the Industrial Revolution provided the means to rise out of poverty.

This new age offers the same opportunities, and these opportunities can be expanded to more nations than those affected by the Industrial Age. If we choose wisely and learn from the past, we can move millions, if not billions, out of poverty. I am not being a Polly Anna by saying this. We have already seen nations previously considered third-world, increasing their middle class and becoming modern states as a consequence of this technological age.

Of course, there are always obstacles and the powerful who will abuse the weaknesses in our laws. However, we can write new laws to limit those abuses. We must look to history for guidance in order to avoid some of the pitfalls of an industrial age that pitted Marxism against capitalism to solve a problem that required less excessive and extreme solutions. Rather, we can find a balanced and less ideological way to prevent the injustices of the Industrial Age in the Technological Age. We can seek the path of laws and common sense rather than head off into some ideological ranting that will only postpone the real solutions.

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