‘Stamp Them Out’: On Josh Barro and the New Sexual Moralism
New York Times reporter Josh Barro tweeted out: “Anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible for people in all sorts of communities. They linger and oppress, and we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly.”
In these tweets, Barro has shared his honest opinion: that the New Sexual Moralism will tolerate no dissent. We commend him, gravely, for his honesty. The logic of this sentiment leads to exactly one conclusion: When it comes to promoting gay rights, all must come to heel. There will be no debate. There will be... Continue Reading
What a Difference Six Years Can Make
How can it be mindless bigotry to hold to the same position that our President affirmed until a little over two years ago?
If bigotry is “the stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own” who is the bigot: the one who tries to provide reasons for his views or the one who says there is no reason your views deserve to be heard? If the President’s evolved position proves to be the... Continue Reading
Protecting Children at Church: 6 Suggestions
We should be vigilant to protect children when they are under our watch at the church
Be vigilant in knowing who serves in your church and make the protection of your children a priority for your church. This may not lead to astounding church growth, but I guarantee you that creating sound and open security procedures will set at ease parents who visit your church for the first time. Moreover, I... Continue Reading
If You Want To Prove You Don’t Hate Gays, All You Have To Do Is Worship At Their Feet
I have never in my life encountered a religion as oppressive, cold, and stiff as Progressivism
These are all of the things I might say, but it’s probably useless. This isn’t a discussion, anyway. When you degrade and attack a man for holding a sensible and utterly unremarkable opinion about something as inconsequential as hypothetical draft strategies, you are obviously not interested in having a conversation. You only want to punish the transgressor for his scandalous lack of... Continue Reading
Don’t We All Worship the Same God?
Just because one is correct in one’s doctrine of God does not mean that one is orthodox in all other areas
It is not true that the doctrine of God is the only doctrine of importance. It is quite obviously of central importance. However, we cannot reduce Christianity to our doctrine of God. What about our doctrines of Scripture, Christ, man, salvation, Holy Spirit, church, and sacraments? Are they now to be completely ignored in the... Continue Reading
Circular Reasoning and KJV Only-ism
When it comes to Bible translations, we are being illogical if we start with the presupposition that a certain translation is the only perfect one.
In each case the KJV Only advocate is using circular argumentation. How? The assumed standard is the KJV. Why is the KJV the standard? Why not the Geneva Bible, or the Bishop’s Bible, or the Great Bible? Could we not choose any one of these earlier English translations and then make up page after page... Continue Reading
What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘Birth Control’
Meaningful debate requires us to define the terms of discussion
The debate around the Hobby Lobby case, birth control methods, and insurance coverage illuminates not only how deeply divided Christians are on these matters but also how ill-defined the central questions are. Questions of conscience are matters for all believers to respect in each other even amidst disagreement. If Christians cannot engage with each other... Continue Reading
Our Foster Care System Is Becoming A ‘Pipeline’ For Human Trafficking
60 percent of the children rescued in a recent FBI sting had been in foster care at some point
If we really look at this issue of child trafficking in America, it’s another lens through which to understand how broken our foster care system is. Many of these girls, especially, have been put into multiple placements, and many of these girls in those different placements have been abused. So one survivor leader whom we... Continue Reading
What Are We Saved From?
Here is a good question that every Christian witness should be able to answer.
According to John, our greatest need is to be saved from perishing. But what doesperish mean? The best way to answer is to consider biblical statements that illuminate this teaching. For instance, there is Jesus’ reference in this same chapter to the “serpent in the wilderness,” which Moses lifted up (John 3:14). Jesus was referring to... Continue Reading
PCA Minister Lloyd Kim Nominated as Mission to the World Coordinator
In 2007, the Kims moved to Cambodia to initiate a new church-planting work
Dr. Kim, an ordained PCA pastor, received a M.Div. from Westminster Seminary California and a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He served as associate pastor with New Life Mission Church (PCA) in Fullerton, Calif., before joining MTW. In 2004 Dr. Kim and his wife, Eda, a medical doctor, were sent by MTW to Manila, Philippines.... Continue Reading
A Line Crossed in the Middle East
What the end of Christianity in Mosul means for Christians everywhere
In the Middle East, secular dictatorships can be very brutal. But, bad as they are, they are often the only thing that stands in the way of the absolute destruction of minority religious communities. Toppling such dictatorships and hoping for their replacement by “moderates” is not a good bet. Incredibly, this seems to be a... Continue Reading
ISIS Forces Last Iraqi Christians to Flee Mosul
By 1 p.m. on Friday almost every Christian in Mosul had heard the Sunni militants’ message — they had until noon Saturday to leave the city
A YouTube video shows ISIS taking sledgehammers to the tomb of Jonah, something that was also confirmed by Mr. Hikmat. The militants also removed the cross from St. Ephrem’s Cathedral, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archdiocese in Mosul, and put up the black ISIS flag in its place. BAGHDAD — By 1 p.m.... Continue Reading
What’s Happening to Gordon College is Just the Beginning
There is far more government bullying ahead for every private school, charity, parachurch organization, and even churches.
It is now excruciatingly clear we live in a time where some people who have political power are on a crusade against people who, in their view, commit moral thought crime. A religious college loses all reason for existence if it must conform to a diametrically opposite moral code….If a religious school cannot act... Continue Reading
Can Gay Love Really Be Straight? A Reply to Mark Joseph Stern
Can the homosexual form of sexual desire support the society’s most important institution in the same way that the heterosexual form of sexual desire does?
And it definitely does not mean that in the long run gay culture can cultivate and sustain the attitudes, behaviors, and norms that will conform gays to the ideal of marriage rather than reform marriage to the realities of homosexuality. Individual gays cannot remake homosexuality to fit the marital paradigm any more than individual heterosexuals... Continue Reading
Former Homosexual Reveals ‘Unmitigated Disaster of Gay Marriage’
Active homosexuals are trying to find something through gay relationships that can never be found there
All that to say—the term “gay marriage” is an oxymoron. It is an invention of broken man in defiance against the expressed desire and design of God for mankind. It is the fallen creature trying to tell the omniscient Creator how things should be. Even the misnamed “gay Christian”—those who practice homosexuality without repentance and... Continue Reading
The Parent Trap
The overprotection and overreaction of caring for children leading to the criminalization of parenthood
last issue presents a distinctive challenge to conservatives like me, who believe such work requirements are essential. If we want women like Debra Harrell to take jobs instead of welfare, we have to also find a way to defend their liberty as parents, instead of expecting them to hover like helicopters and then literally arresting... Continue Reading
Christian Cake Baker Appeals Government ‘Re-Education’ Order
A Christian cake artist in Colorado filed an appeal Wednesday challenging a government order that says he and his staff must take “re-education” classes
“Americans should not be forced by the government — or by another citizen — to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Lead Counsel Nicolle Martin. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. A Christian cake artist... Continue Reading
Justification and Sanctification at the Table
Forgiveness is found not by mere confession of sin but by confession of Christ
Confession and forgiveness are not terminal destinations; they are pivot points of new commencement. They are not ends but beginnings of new obedience, exercised by the grace of God that teaches and trains “us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” “If we... Continue Reading
6 Points on Leading Funeral Services: An Open Letter To Pastors
I hear the same story with alarming frequency: a funeral that could have brought comfort and hope instead led to guilt and frustration
“Don’t talk about the glories of heaven before you talk about the person who is now there. Instead, establish rapport with the grieving community by articulating what made the deceased person unique. A funeral congregation is often one whose ear you have to earn—and you earn those ears in your descriptions of the deceased. If... Continue Reading
Husband Arrested? Pack Him a Lunch
How to be a pastor’s wife under persecution
I have long held, with my tongue only partly in my cheek, that the primary job of a pastor’s wife is to keep the pastor alive. Most churches have at least some people who will organize events, or lead Bible studies, or play the piano. We’ve got members who greet, members who teach, and members... Continue Reading
But Is It Biblical?
We should question the premise of the post that Christians are called, as Christians, to promote and advance social change.
There is no doubt here whether there is a need for mediating institutions or whether Christians should be involved in them and engage them. The question is how? May we simply assume that we must think of our cultural engagement under the category of redemption (e.g., redeeming music, art, literature, politics etc)? Again, I should like to see a clear, unequivocal case for... Continue Reading
The Dangers and Duty of Confessing Sin to One Another
If James does not teach treating pastor and congregation as priest for penance, or confession of sin in undifferentiated settings, what does he have in mind?
Is James speaking of going around and confessing any sin that you can point to in your life to just about anyone you are in fellowship with in the church so that they will pray for you? Or, does he have in mind the practice of “keeping short accounts” with the brethren? Does he mean... Continue Reading
How Do Sinners Help Sinners Stop Sinning?
How do we approach someone who is sinning in a way that will help lead them to repentance?
Although the sin may be wide, deep, high, and long, the Gospel is wider, deeper, higher, and longer. The goal is to help the sinner see the seriousness of sin, the misery of sin, and all that God can offer through the Gospel to conquer both. Christians are not only called to repentance but... Continue Reading
When You Should NOT Submit to a Church
How do you recognize abusive leadership?
All of us will, at times, be called to endure humbly a leader’s mistakes and sins. Nonetheless, should you find yourself in a church where the leadership is characteristically abusive, I would, in most cases, encourage you to flee. Flee to protect your discipleship, to protect your family, to set a good example for the... Continue Reading
Disillusionment with the Church
The key to understanding biblical fellowship is that it is rooted in a spiritual reality, rather than something that is physical.
Many of our disappointments in the local church are rooted, founded, and based upon the ethic of other communities. We are disappointed and critical of our brothers and sisters in Christ, because they are not giving us what we want or what we think we need. But true fellowship isn’t grounded in what others can... Continue Reading
Shame on you Bowdoin College
A good example of how anti-Christian hostility can manifest itself in our society.
College administrators, in their role of administrators, should not choose sides in this theological debate. But when they imply that a Christian group should accept a non-Christian leader, then they have entered that debate. That Christian group has decided that leadership must be with their same religious tradition and does not accept the premise that... Continue Reading
Was Jonathan Edwards a Puritan?
Theologically, Puritanism was not quite as monolithic as we might think or as some might like to think
So, was Jonathan Edwards a Puritan? No, he was not a Puritan. That may be a disappointment for some and a relief for others. But my admiration for the man doesn’t depend on whether he was a Puritan or not. Edwards may have had the “spirit” of Puritanism in him, for he read them with... Continue Reading
Sabbath Is Not a Means To More Productive Work
It's time to stop optimizing the Lord's Day
“Today, the zeitgeist has shifted. What was once prohibition might now be heard as permission: to stop, take a breath, and remember that we are more than what we produce, more than our job title or bank balance. Sabbath, in this light, does indeed represent resistance to the dominating paradigm of more more more, an... Continue Reading
A Word To The Introverted Pastor: Be Extroverted on Sunday
My introversion can keep me from interacting even with people I love
“The pastor that inspired me most in my spiritual walk when I was a 20-something year old trying to figure out my life direction emailed me recently. He had read one of my introversion posts and wanted to echo the sentiments in it. He said he has always marveled at how many introverted pastors he... Continue Reading
“The Greatest Failing Of The American Church Today”
Greg Forster says it’s “the failure of the American church to affirm the goodness of civilizational life”
“I don’t agree with Greg that “the failure of the American church to affirm the goodness of civilizational life is our greatest failing today.” That’s overstating a good case. I do agree with him that it’s a great failure, even a very great failure. And I also agree with him on the need to prioritize... Continue Reading