Category: Politics


This great nation may very well become little more than a footnote in a book at some point in the distant future. It will be yet another testimony to the glory of God and what happens when a nation so blessed by His manifold kindnesses and favorable Providence turns its back on Him.

 

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Churches may, indeed, soon face more vicious forms of government sanctioned persecution in this country. This is not something new, nor should it surprise us. (Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:20-23) Let us be sure of one thing, however: the Church of Jesus Christ, over which He is Head (Eph. 1:18-23), will never cease to exist on the earth. (1 Cor. 15:22-28) The people of God do not have to have buildings and public meetings to carry on the work of the gospel, which is the one unique and glorious thing about this message– it does not deal only with external behavior, but is the power of God to penetrate to the very soul and no opposition, seen or unseen, will ever succeed in stopping it. (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12, 13) You can forbid people to meet and you can destroy our buildings and you can threaten us all you want, but the gospel will continue to be applied to the human race according to the sovereign decree of God and then it will be over–and not a millisecond before God has done whatsoever He pleases with this world. (2 Pet. 3:3-10) Rave on God-haters. He who sits in the heavens is laughing at you. (Psa. 2:1-4) You are only storing up wrath for that great Day. (Rom. 2:5-8)

“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” (Obama at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast)

Sadly, I suspect that many Christians will see this and not realize what a distortion of truth it represents. Facts are essential so that we maintain an honest perspective on reality and, therefore, have the ability to analyze current events properly. Misrepresentation of the facts of history is a critical component in controlling contemporary opinion. Look for increasing examples illustrating deceptive rewrites of the history of the Crusades. This is only the beginning of efforts to remake Christianity in the image of radical Islam.

 

Thoughts for All Saints

Commentary by Jim Bordwine, ThD

Volume 3 Number 3

February 26, 2014

The Tyranny of the Minority

 

 

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

(Isaiah 5:20)

Have you noticed how many aspects of our lives these days are governed by a minority opinion or a minority preference or a minority demand? I am not referring to race relationships; I’m referring to the upheaval that can be traced directly to the willingness of our culture to capitulate to highly vocal, consistently pushy, and well-financed groups that represent minority perspectives on issues that are, from a Biblical standpoint, definitely moral in nature.

Take the institution of marriage, for example. Some in the moral minority, in terms of the traditional ethical context that has been one of the distinguishing features of our history, have insisted, not only on recognition under the law, but also that the institution of marriage be re-constructed in order to accommodate their sexual proclivities. And a related area in which the tyranny of the minority is being frighteningly effective is in the matter of what is being called “gender identity.”

Recently, I read a news article that began with these words: “A California high school student who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy’s body just made the girls’ softball team.” A new state law, which went into effect last month, declares that “a pupil [must] be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

Consequently, a 17-year-old teenage boy, described as a “strapping senior,” is now a member of the girls’ softball team and is allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms previously designated for females only. This is just one of many examples that could be cited. To put it bluntly, as a country, we are doomed if such forced acceptance of moral perversion continues unabated. And there really is no evidence to suggest that this movement can be stopped. Politicians, educators, and entertainers, generally speaking, fully support this transition and these kinds of laws are being considered and enacted around the country.

As the prophet Isaiah warned in the verse quoted above, there is no future for those who would disregard the definitions and boundaries established by our Creator. Ignoring His Word or pretending that His will is irrelevant guarantees only one thing and that is destruction, not freedom. This will not end well for any of us, believer or unbeliever.

 

Thoughts for All Saints

Commentary by Jim Bordwine, ThD

Volume 3 Number 1

February 13, 2014

Conjunction Malfunction

 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;

male and female He created them.

(Genesis 1:27)

Is it possible that we have misinterpreted one of the most significant Biblical declarations concerning the nature of humanity? I’m referring to the verse quoted above, Genesis 1:27, in which we are told that God created human beings “male and female.” Traditionally, we have interpreted this short phrase in which the conjunction “and” connects the words “male” and “female” as teaching that God created two genders of human beings. Some human beings are male and other human beings are female. We have assumed that Moses meant that God created a male gender and a female gender, separate and distinct from one another.

This assumption, however, is certainly no longer the norm in our culture. A different idea has become prevalent, namely, that an individual human being may consider themselves male or female or some combination of both, if they choose. Therefore, what Moses was really saying is that God created human beings with no distinct male or female gender identity, but so designed human beings that we are capable of being either male or female, or a combination of both, depending on how we feel about ourselves.

This is absolute foolishness, of course, to anyone who believes the Scriptures. In fact, it should be a ridiculous notion to anyone, Bible believer or not, who takes seriously the history of our race. In our contemporary culture, however, those who see themselves as “progressive” and, therefore, unrestrained by traditional definitions and social morays, are celebrating the enlightenment that is finally becoming mainstream. This step forward in our collective self-awareness has now been acknowledged and incorporated into the operations of the world’s most popular social media platform known as Facebook.

Today Facebook announced “a custom gender option,” which will allow users to select the pronoun by which they would like to be referred to publicly. Those who wish to be identified as males may choose “he/his”; those who wish to be identified as females may choose “she/her”; and those who wish to maintain neutrality may choose “they/their.” Moreover, users may select from a number of options to identify their sexuality, including: “androgynous,” “transgender,” and “gender fluid.” Ironically, in what is supposed to be, I assume, a liberating opportunity for self-expression and an historic step forward for social consciousness, Facebook will also allow users to control who sees these custom gender specifications.

As one who believes the Bible is the very Word of God and is, therefore, always binding and relevant, regardless of the passage of time, I see these kinds of developments in our society as nothing less than brazen expressions of rebellion against God and His authority. We cannot expect to prosper or even remain stable as a nation as such trends toward autonomy continue.

All Saints Weekly Devotional

Volume 1 Number 32

September 13, 2012

Empathy

From Pastor Bordwine

 

 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

(Romans 12:15)

The apostle Paul addresses the concept of empathy on several occasions. For example in Second Corinthians 1, he relates how God had comforted him in his afflictions so that he might be able to extend comfort to others when they experienced affliction. The idea is that Paul would have a genuine empathy for anyone having to endure hardship. In the context of his remarks, Paul is thinking of those who would face persecution for the sake of the gospel. There are other passages, however, in which Paul appears to be speaking in a broader fashion.

In Romans 12, the apostle covers a number of issues and obligations for the edification of believers. Many of Paul’s commands in this chapter are easily applicable to life in general. One of the more interesting exhortations is the one quoted above: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” In essence, Paul teaches that we should take note of and respond to the various experiences of those around us.

When someone is joyful, it is easy for us to join in the celebration and experience a measure of gladness ourselves. Paul does not stop with empathetic joy, however. He also includes our duty to “weep with those who weep.” When someone experiences a tragedy or is passing through some circumstance that causes them much distress, it is possible for us to sympathize with that person. While we cannot experience the exact measure of their grief, we can still comfort them, pray for them, and sometimes do something to lessen the burden of grief.

On Tuesday, Christopher Stevens, our country’s ambassador to Libya, was murdered during a well-planned attack by Islamists. I did not know Mr. Stevens, but I certainly was moved by the report of what happened to him and several others who were filling roles designed to help liberate the very people who carried out this attack. To get to the point, let me say that I immediately felt great empathy for the friends and family of these Americans. The only thing that I could do, in terms of a response, was pray for those who had lost loved ones. And so I did ask God to comfort them and give them peace in their time of mourning.

As noted, praying was the only response I could give, but that doesn’t mean my reaction was insignificant. On the contrary, I think God is pleased any time His people are touched by the suffering of others in this world. I think He is also pleased when we call upon Him to bring relief to those who are grieving. Most of us, at some point in our lives, have been on the receiving end of empathy. We have had people in our lives who came alongside us during a time of suffering and we were greatly comforted by this act and we definitely cherished their promises of intercession.

Empathy is, I believe, a godlike characteristic. This fact is established by the ministry of our Savior. Speaking of Christ, the writer of Hebrews states: “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”(Heb. 2:18) The temptation of Jesus was genuine and, as we know, He maintained fidelity to the will and word of His Father. He does understand, therefore, the nature of temptation and is able to serve us as our empathetic high priest. As I said, responding to the troubles of others with words of comfort or prayer amounts to the imitation of Christ in His relationship with us.

The family of Christopher Stevens is experiencing deep and prolonged agony; the same is true for the families of the others who were killed. It is unlikely that any of us have a personal connection to these families, but we can still be of help to them through our prayers in which we seek the grace of God so that they may be blessed and He may be glorified. There are a multitude of issues and questions related to this attack on our embassy, but our primary obligation, I would maintain, is what I just described. Remembering how you were helped by the empathy shown to you in the past, I would urge you to pray for the friends and families just mentioned.

All Saints Weekly Devotional

Volume 1 Number 29

August 22, 2012

The LORD Laughs at Them

 

He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.

(Psalm 2:4)

When did human beings start mocking the concept of God and ridiculing His followers? This question is easy to answer: “From the beginning of history.” Man’s perception of God and all things associated with God was thoroughly corrupted when our first parents disobeyed Him in the Garden. Although we have been made by God and live in a universe that He created and now governs, due to our fallen natures, we do not recognize Him and we find the very idea of a Supreme Being to whom we are accountable irrational unless we are enlightened by God.

The serpent mocked God as he tempted Eve to disobey. And by their actions, Adam and Eve mocked God by casting aside His command and proceeding according to their own wisdom and desire. As Noah built the ark, he called his generation to repentance before God and for that, he was scorned and considered a fool as he warned about what was to come.

This kind of behavior continued throughout history and is certainly present in our own day. We hear of those who want to rid our culture of all references to God, all respectful signs of belief in Him, and all evidence of how belief in God has influenced this country’s development. In recent years, the activities of those who have identified themselves as atheists have expanded and become more entangled with our day-to-day experience. They have taken steps to organize themselves and present a professional front. Banding together, many atheists have begun using our court system to further the agenda I just described.

After the twin towers in New York City were reduced to rubble, workers discovered an unusual formation of metal. Two steel beams had been compressed together in the form of a cross. Officials are planning to locate this cross in the same vicinity as a way of honoring those who perished and comforting their loved ones. An atheist group, however, is vigorously opposing this memorial. They say that it will discriminate against those who reject the idea of the Christian God.

This is the kind of situation that often causes believers to become anxious and frustrated. It seems to them that our world is getting more and more hostile to God even while immorality spreads at an alarming rate. On such occasions, we should keep two things in mind. First, as noted above, enmity toward God and the things of God is nothing new. Although such opposition has existed throughout the history of the world, it has not succeeded in eliminating God’s work for and through His people.

Second, God has revealed a pointed reaction to those who would mock Him and seek to rid the world of His influence. His response is quoted above: “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.” It is absurd to think that the creature would represent a serious threat to the Creator. In this verse, God mocks those who want to cast off His authority. I do not mean to be irreverent, but they are little more than an amusement to God.

God has always controlled our existence and He always will. His power is unlimited and His will cannot be impeded. In the end, it is those who deny God who are the fools, not those who confess Him and seek to live for His honor. Therefore, whatever victories they appear to gain are hollow and ultimately meaningless.

If you find yourself unsettled by the kinds of things I have described or, in fact, by any attempt to silence the Church or remove believers from the debate, then you should memorize Psalm 2:4. If the atheists were a genuine threat to God and His plans, then we should be seriously alarmed. But, as noted, God laughs at the grand assertions of His enemies. Remember, too, that this God, who is by nature unstoppable, is just as involved in your life as He is overseeing His unfolding plan of redemption.

God is intimately aware of you and all of your struggles, all of your worries, and all of your hopes. Contrary to what God thinks of His enemies, He loves us and guards us while we are on our journey to heaven. Just as there is no power to oppose God successfully, so there is no real threat against us because we are His children. If the united powers of darkness must fail in their war against God, then so must they fail in their attempts to harm God’s people. Therefore, the atheists can rave and accuse and demand all they want, but they will never be the cause of distress for those who know God.

Authorities in South Korea recently seized a huge load of drug capsules that were being transported into the country. The capsules were filled with the powdered flesh of dead babies—the powdered flesh of dead babies. Some people say that the powdered flesh of dead babies can cure disease; therefore, they take these capsules like any other medication.

As you should be able to guess, this “medicine” is manufactured in China, a nation that murders an estimated 13 million babies every year. In the past, most abortions were the result of the government’s one child per couple restriction. It has become evident, however, that during the last few years, single young women, especially those who are students, have become a target of abortion providers. For example, the Beijing Modern Women’s Hospital offers a complete, government-subsidized, abortion “discount package.” It costs a mere $130.

Having a child out of wedlock in this society is considered a much greater dishonor than having an abortion. Along with this cultural attitude, the genocidal policies of the government, and the increasing erosion of fundamental morality have made abortion the preferred method of birth control in China. By the way, in China abortions are known as “artificial miscarriages.”

Until now, I haven’t explained how the flesh of dead babies is turned into powder. In order to make powdered flesh from dead babies, an aborted child is cut into small pieces which are then dried with high heat. After this process, the flesh is ground into powder, packaged, and shipped off.

Are you disgusted beyond words by this horror? You should be, and, morally speaking, you should realize that our country is headed in the same direction.

Due to the death of dictator Kim Jong-il, we have had a rare glimpse into the culture of North Korea. The degree to which this man was able to shield his people from the world is astonishing. Reports indicate that the people are almost completely unaware of major events, technological developments, and geopolitical situations. And even though this leader had a history of abuse, while he himself lived in opulence, the reaction of the people when he died would lead us to believe that Kim Jong-il was one of the most beloved heads of state in all of history.

Images of citizens morning the passing of Kim Jong-il are informative. There has been much weeping, wailing, and emotional excess in response to the death of the great leader Comrade, as he was known. In September, however, more than 40 human rights groups launched a campaign calling for a United Nations inquiry into the “crimes against humanity” perpetrated by Kim Jong-il. To the detriment of his people, he continued the policy established by his father of putting the military first when it came to the nation’s resources regardless of the humanitarian consequences. The people of North Korea live in chronic poverty. Detractors are imprisoned in camps where they must exist in the most miserable circumstances. Those who have managed to escape tell stories of deliberate starvation and torture.

The situation in North Korea illustrates how effectively an entire nation can be manipulated to revere and even worship someone distinguished by wickedness and disregard for life. During the approximately 40 years that this man ruled the country, he was able to convince the people that he was a god and that they lived in an earthly paradise. The people have been trained to view the rest of the world as opportunistic enemies.

Kim Jong-un, the son of Kim Jong-il, will replace his father. As it turns out, apparently you can fool all of the people all of the time.

A Few Good Men

Historically, certain institutions in our culture have been characterized by male leadership. In the family, for example, men have been viewed as heads of homes responsible for protecting and providing for the members of the household. This position requires self-discipline and self-sacrifice in order to establish and maintain a prosperous and happy home. The obligations required of men emphasize some particularly masculine traits, such as bravery and strength. And, of course, the Designer of marriage and family set before men the inspiring example of our Savior. To match the pattern set down in Scripture, a man has to become a servant who lives and labors for the good of his wife and children.

Another institution historically characterized by masculinity is the military. Entering combat for the sake of protecting others has always been a calling that is distinctively male. We can go back as far as we like in history and we will discover that warfare in defense of nations has been dominated almost entirely by men. As indicated above, this is in keeping with the nature of masculinity as defined by God. Men are supposed to fight for country and home. When females are involved in this endeavor, it has usually been in support roles, not positions on the front line. This, too, is in keeping with God’s design of females.

Both of these institutions, in which men occupy unique positions that carry unique responsibilities, have been dramatically altered by homosexual activists and their political supporters. Marriage has always been defined as an arrangement in which a man pledges himself to a woman and a woman pledges herself to a man. As husband and wife, they establish a home, which normally includes children. Although the will of God in this matter remains what it has always been since the creation of Adam and Eve, our culture is rapidly adopting a view of marriage and family that is absolutely contrary to Scripture.

Marriage is being redefined to accommodate men marrying one another and women marrying one another. And since it is impossible for two men or two women to produce offspring, they have resorted to various procedures by which children can be obtained. Such relationships are now sanctioned as “families.” This wholesale reconstruction of marriage and family is enjoying the increasing protection of law. In a very short amount of time, the homosexual agenda has advanced to levels that now profoundly and detrimentally affect the fabric of our society and, consequently, the future of this nation.

Action being taken by the present administration in Washington has hastened a similar corruption of our military forces. A substantial majority of those who are actually doing the fighting clearly oppose allowing homosexuals to serve openly in their ranks. But this opinion is simply ignored and the agenda progresses. Effeminate men are not suited for combat and the close quarters shared by soldiers is not the place for both heterosexual and openly homosexual men. This decision is bound to have the same kind of destructive impact as what we’re seeing in regard to the institution of marriage.

There are now no institutions in our culture that are distinctively male in character. This might be acceptable if God had not created the sexes with different, yet complementary, characteristics and abilities. The compromise of the military represents an enormously significant step forward for the homosexual strategy, which aims to erase all restrictions, both moral and practical, that have heretofore restrained the widespread acceptance of that which the Scripture condemns.