Friday, September 4, 2015

Using the Bible to Bash Kim Davis

Before you use the Bible to try to criticize Kim Davis, there are a few things you should know. The Bible doesn’t work like a game of Scrabble; you can’t take random letters and words and use them to suit your current needs. So here are some responses to some of the critics I have seen over the last few days.

1. Yes, Kim Davis has been married four times, divorced three times, and had children out of wedlock. By her own admission she has made many mistakes, but the aforementioned indiscretions were committed before she came to Christ four years ago. The Bible speaks strongly against divorce (although some divorces are justified) and premarital and extramarital relations. But it teaches that when a person turns to Jesus, he becomes a “new creation; the old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).” Using her mistakes from her life without Christ to call her a hypocrite is inconsistent.

Furthermore, like I said in my post about Josh Duggar and Bristol Palin, we all make mistakes, and Kim Davis will continue to as well. That doesn’t make her a hypocrite; it makes her a human. Even if she were the biggest hypocrite on the planet, that doesn’t somehow nullify her position. Calling her names and demonizing her may make her look foolish, but her point is still valid: she should not have to resign or violate her religious beliefs.

2. Has Kim Davis issued marriage licenses to people with tattoos, mixed fabric, and shaved beards? Of course. But again, this doesn’t make her a hypocrite if you understand the Bible. The commands about tattoos, mixed fabric, and a host of other things appear as part of the Old Covenant, which was only given to a certain group of people for a certain time in history. Kim Davis is not a Jew in the Promised Land; she is a gentile in America living under the New Covenant, and therefore, she can freely unite people in marriage who have tattoos. (For more on this, see my post titled, “Yes, I Eat Shellfish”).

3. I’ve seen many people throwing out Romans 13 and other passages that instruct Christians to both pray for and submit to those in authority. Davis should definitely do that. But we are shortsighted if we cling to that verse to the exclusion of the biblical precedent to obey God rather than government if the government orders us to do something unbiblical (Acts 5:29). Kim can pray for and submit to government, but when government orders her to violate, not only her First Amendment right, but more importantly, her religious convictions, the Bible suggests obeying God instead of government.

I realize this debate will continue to play out in America, but if we are going to use the Bible, let’s at least agree to use it the right way. If you want to criticize Kim Davis, don’t do it by taking verses out of context. And if you do criticize, please remember that name calling doesn’t improve your position nor weaken the other side.   

Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't Give Up; Stand Up

If you are a person who has biblical values, you may sometimes feel like you are on the losing side. From an out-of-control Supreme Court to a politically correct social media culture that demonizes anyone who doesn’t worship Caitlyn Jenner, this world seems to stand in stark contrast to our deeply held Christian convictions.

That’s why I was encouraged by two events this past weekend. The first was the We Stand With God Pro-Life Rally at the Statehouse in Columbia on Saturday. The Facebook event page had 535 confirmed people for attendance, but when we arrived we were blown away by the more than 10,000 who showed up. With Bibles and lawn chairs in hand, we sat in the South Carolina heat in the hottest part of the day, standing occasionally for ovations. A choir of more than a thousand voices, along with a Southern Gospel quartet led the outdoor congregation in worship. Speakers like former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and our own Senator Tim Scott made impassioned pleas for us to stand up for our First Amendment rights.

The emphasis on the rally was that God, not the Supreme Court, defines marriage. To quote Senator Cruz, “Caesar has no authority over the pulpit,” and the government cannot penalize people of faith for following the free exercise of our religion. Senator Scott pointed out that, “the solution will not be found in Washington, but in 66 books, woven together, called the Bible.” Governor Perry referenced Alexis de Tocqueville, reminding us that in every other country government and religion run in opposite directions, and America was strong because our government once ran in conjunction with the church.

On Sunday the Carolina Pregnancy Center put together The Prayer Launch at the Upward Star Center in Spartanburg, where more than a thousand people came together to simply pray for the ending of abortion, as well as those who have been affected by abortion. A massive orchestra divided the congregation from a choir that had to be close to 500 members, and their music was awe-inspiring. The event was totally pastor-led, with no introductions of speakers so that only Jesus would be lifted up; the only non-pastor to speak was South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy, who broke down II Chronicles 7:14 as if he were a seasoned pastor, challenging us as “My people” to do our job. The verse, he said, doesn’t call on Congress, the school board, or Washington, but on God’s people called by His name.

Trey Gowdy did not say a word about Benghazi.
Ted Cruz never mentioned defunding Obamacare.
Rick Perry didn’t bring up running Texas’ economy.
Tim Scott did not give his thoughts on Guantanamo Bay.

They just preached the Gospel and encouraged believers keep standing up for their faith, as thousands of people stood to their feet and cheered. It was a great reminder that we are not alone—there are countless other believers who have not conceded to the enemy. Don’t give up, but stand up.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Josh Duggar and Bristol Palin

I am not defending the actions of Josh Duggar or Bristol Palin.

Josh Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting fame, has admitted to being “the world’s biggest hypocrite;” this confession was made after the stunning allegations that the oldest Duggar child had subscribed to an online adultery site, and his own admission to a pornography addiction and infidelity to his wife.

This story came just weeks after Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol announced she is pregnant with her second child, making her the unmarried mother of two, with two different fathers for her children.

Both Josh and Bristol are the famous children of famous parents; both espouse the Christian faith of their parents; both have entered the professional arena to advocate for their belief system; and sadly, both have spent years not living up to those same beliefs they promote.

Josh Duggar recently resigned his position with the Family Research Council, where he advocated for traditional marriage. Obviously, traditional marriage is one man and one woman, and does not include the one-night stands from his Ashley Madison account.

Bristol Palin recently served as an abstinence-education spokesman. Obviously, abstinence doesn’t produce two children.

This has predictably led to cries of (and admissions of) hypocrisy. They don’t “practice what they preach.” While I am not in any way excusing what these two have done, their sad stories only highlight the fact that no one is perfect.

Bristol Palin is absolutely right. Abstinence is the best policy. It is foolproof. No abstinent person has ever conceived a child (with the exception of the virgin Mary), contracted an STD, or had to give a future spouse the list of all they people they slept with. There is no shame in abstinence, no regret, and obviously, no babies. The fact that Bristol Palin didn’t live up to her message does not mean her message is wrong.

Josh Duggar is absolutely right. The Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman. Not two men, not one man and two women, not one man and an underage girl. Josh is not claiming to have made the rules, nor saying anything hateful to those who disagree with him. Josh believes that God is the creator of everything, including people, and as such He gets to make the rules. He laid those rules out in the Bible, and Josh has tried, unsuccessfully, to live by them. His failures do not make God or the Bible inaccurate by default.

Therein lies the beauty for those of us who believe in the Bible. Our trust is in God, not mankind. People will eventually let us down. Josh and Bristol have proven to be human—flawed people who do things they regret, and who hurt other people in the process.

You know who else makes mistakes? Every person who ever lived (Jesus excluded). I don’t say that to excuse the two featured in this post, but to remind us all that we all mess up. I mess up. And when I do, please don’t blame my Savior or somehow think my message is suddenly flawed.     

We also need to be careful not to idolize humans. Whether it is the Duggars, Tim Tebow, or Billy Graham, they are just people. We need to lift our eyes up to Jesus, the only one who never fails.

To Christians, please pray for them as they go through the healing process in their public shortcomings.

To the “haters,” please understand that you can call all Christians hypocrites because none of us can live a life free of mistakes; our message is about forgiveness because we can’t live a life free of mistakes. Neither can you. You might judge yourself to be better than Duggar or Palin, but we are all flawed people in need of salvation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, the world’s leading provider of abortions, has been caught in three embarrassing hidden camera sting videos, which show doctors secretly negotiating the sale of babies’ body parts.

To add further disgust to the scenario, two of the meetings take place in nice restaurants, where doctors are causally sipping fine wine and eating salads while discussing their illegal practices. In the videos the doctors discus how they go the extra mile to “crush” the babies’ heads, ensuring that the vital organs and extremities are good enough to sell. One doctor admits to changing the method of abortion without the mothers’ consent in order to get the best parts to sell; she acknowledges the illegality of her technique, but said she isn’t worried about it.

The most stunning line in the videos shows a doctor laughing about her illegal negotiations, quipping that she needs a Lamborghini. When asked to throw out a number she wants for the dismembered body parts, she reminds the buyer that whoever throws out the first number in negotiations always gets a bad deal.

Planned Parenthood has issued a statement saying no laws were broken, which is a lie both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon would appreciate. They claim that selling the remains is routine, but if so, why the negotiations? There would certainly be a fixed cost per part, and not left up to negotiators.

The only good news from these videos is that many peoples’ eyes are being opened the horrors of the abortion business and barbarism of Planned Parenthood. Sadly, I predict that the storm will soon blow over, like after the Kermit Gosnell atrocities, and people will eventually turn a blind eye to the horrific murders that take place in these “clinics.”

I have also been dumbfounded by the selective outrage here. Why are we only concerned that Planned Parenthood is selling dead baby organs? Why are we not bothered that they first butcher the baby in order to obtain said organs? Bill O’Reilly said on his show that America is on the brink of becoming barbaric. With all due respect, Mr. O’Reilly, the crushing, decapitating, and dismembering of babies has gone on legally in this country for forty-two years; if that isn’t barbaric, then neither is selling them.

If doctors are negotiating their own sales to the point of driving Lamborghinis, then at what point do we cut off taxpayer funding? Did you know that a half billion of your tax dollars goes to Planned Parenthood every year? Before everyone forgets this story and moves on to Donald Trump’s next press conference, let’s demand the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Now is the time. The country can see how disturbing this is, and how little they need our money.

Some will call this a war on women. If we defund Planned Parenthood, how will we get birth control? How will we get cancer screenings? You are sending women back to the Dark Ages!

As if the only thing in the world women care about is birth control, and the only place anyone can find it is Planned Parenthood. Did you know that Planned Parenthood has never performed a cancer screening? Despite using that as their shield to stay in business, they only give referrals to have screenings done at actual medical establishments.

Life could certainly go on without Planned Parenthood, especially for the millions of babies they abort. Its time to defund them.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Future (Google Image Series)

I thought it was just a glob of tissue.

To say the baby has a future is to admit that all babies in the womb have a future. Those proud pro-choice activists are proudly robbing children of their future.

What if that baby you aborted was a future president, Nobel prize winner, or the one to cure cancer? We don't know. That's what happens when you destroy an innocent person's future before we have the chance to find out.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Safe? (Google Image Series)

The shirt says, "I'm grateful my friend's abortion was safe and legal.

Safe for who? Depending on the method of legal abortion, the baby was either dismembered, decapitated, or poisoned, violently stopping a beating heart.

The shirt should say, "I'm glad my friend legally murdered her baby."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bats and Birds in the Bible

One of the supposed errors in the Bible that atheists are trained to use against Christians is that the Bible wrongly refers to birds as bats.

This is one of those assumed discrepancies that are used to discredit the Bible. If the Bible is wrong about a bat, they argue, then we can reject what it says about homosexuality, hell, Creation, Calvary, or whatever else they are trying to oppose.

Here are the verses in question:

In a list of birds that the Israelites were not allowed to eat, we see, “Nor the heron, nor the lapwing, nor the bat (Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18).”

People rightly point out that the bat is a mammal and not a bird. Therefore, they conclude, that the Bible is wrong.

But please let me point out two things, one obvious, and the other not so obvious.

The obvious: these passages were written in Hebrew 4,000 years ago, translated into Greek a few thousand years later, and translated into English a few hundred years ago. The system we have today of classifying living things—the Linnaean Classification—was first published in 1735, and his breakdown of animal classes to include mammals and birds was published in 1758. There were ten editions to his classification in a 23-year period.

In other words, when the Bible was written in Hebrew, translated into Greek, and being translated into English, there was no distinction between a mammal and a bird; the word mammal didn’t even exist, and Linnaean’s ever-changing book was not exactly settled science.

So to announce today that the Bible was wrong for not using a word that would not exist for a few thousand years is quite foolish.

And now the not so obvious. In addition to the point stated above, the Hebrew word we translate as bird or fowl is owph, which means owner of a wing. A person in 2015 hears the word bird and thinks of a biological classification, but the ancient word in the Bible refers to anything with a wing.

Bats have wings. Therefore, by using the word owph to refer to anything with wings, the Bible was correct.

So when the atheist gives his condescending chuckle about the Bible not understanding science, he is proving to be the one in ignorance.