Category: Culture

September 3rd, 2013 by Christine Colbert

Pope John XXIII once observed that the world “must mature to the place that we will no longer tolerate war.” Surely many — if not yet all of us — would raise a loud “Here, here!” to this wisdom.

There’s something so sinister, so utterly bewildering about those scenes we’ve all sorrowed to see on a nearly daily basis — some of the darkest deed doers in the world, armed and wearing their masks. The terrorists among us. Apparently they or their agents are even among us in this long-sung “land of the free.”

We recall our growing-up years during the infancy of television. The “Western” was a favorite format. Many of these included men wearing bandanas drawn up to hide the lower half of their faces as they robbed stagecoaches or fled town after robbing a bank.

Compared to some of today’s terrible terrorists in black, those bandana-masked horsemen of not so long ago seem almost mild mannered.

Of course masks that are worn to protect are an entirely different consideration. These protect medical practitioners and their patients from contamination; they protect their wearers from allergens and other environmental contaminants; they protect skiers and others from cold temperatures. So the call for “no more masks” must be qualified. But we can see the international symbol now — with the masked face of one of those most barbarous, armed terrorists inside a red circle with a red diagonal line drawn across the circle. ‘ Would that someone would bring this symbol into being!

In recent years even a few young women who have been raised on indoctrination toward hatred have joined the ranks of those who choose to be killed in the act of killing others. In a culture that seems to both worship and purvey death.

We are of Irish ancestry and have rejoiced in recent years to observe that the Irish finally had enough of conflict, funerals, and the spilling of their own countrymen’s blood. They had to break the pattern; they had to chart a new course. But they have turned the corner. So there’s hope for this world.

It is the world’s most barbarous men (and cultures) who choose to sacrifice peace, security, and even life itself to make this world dark and darker. No bright and wonderful thing is to be found at the end of any human being’s sword. Violence doesn’t beget peace; just heartbreak and heartache and pain. Our Lord said “The one who lives by the sword will die by the sword.” Even young children in these cultures are taught to hate — an appalling thing to see!

Of course today’s terrorist cultures aren’t new in their error; the “church” of past centuries told the same kind of nonsense to crusaders over long years. If they died in making “holy” war, their sins would be forgiven and they would be assured of attaining heaven. But the One who said that those who live by the sword will die by the sword also told us clearly that doing our Father’s will in this world consists first and foremost of believing the One He sent.

He told us to love our enemies, to bless those who persecute us, and to pray for those who abuse us. What a singular, perfect, and beautiful Lord He is!

“. . . Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done — on earth as it is in heaven . . .” More words from the Prince of Peace.

We do not hear any more the reporting of deaths and division in Ireland as the result of a difference in religious beliefs or political position. Any “religion” that causes human suffering, wars, and death is no true religion at all. There is no place in this world for barbarism. We must no longer tolerate it. Can you visualize the signs, the universal symbol? “No More Masks!”

Posted in Culture

August 11th, 2013 by Michael L. Brown

In the wake of a rising tide of pro-life sentiments and sensibilities in America, the utter bankruptcy of thepro-abortion position is being revealed, especially in its more militant forms.

The pro-abortion side is now faced with:

  • The beautiful reality of 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds, making clear that the fetus in the womb is really a carefully formed, developing baby. It is now impossible to deny that the little one seen with such clarity on the screen is a human life that is about to be snuffed out.
  • The brutal reality of the “houses of horror” run by men like Dr. Kermit Gosnell (and others), with the unavoidable conclusions that: 1) The same doctors who killed babies in the womb had no problem killing babies outside the womb; and 2) There is virtually no moral difference between killing a 20-week-old baby in the safety of its mother’s womb and killing it seconds after it emerges from the womb.
  • Moving stories from abortion survivors like Gianna Jessen. They even have their own network called TheAbortionSurvivors.com.
  • A younger generation that values fairness, equality and the rights of the victim. Although this is often more gut-level rather than rational (leading to many young people getting on the wrong side of the homosexuality debate), it also explains why so many are becoming pro-life.
  • Court rulings siding against Obamacare’s pro-abortion mandates.
  • Undercover videos by Lila Rose and others, revealing the greed and heartlessness of abortion providers.

What has the pro-abortion side offered in response?

  • Planned Parenthood dropping its “pro-choice” moniker, once considered an impregnable (no pun intended) winning concept, in favor of the hopelessly self-defeating “Your Baby Will Thank You” (but only, of course, if the baby manages to escape the Planned Parenthood clinic alive).
  • Completely inane statements by the media, like this one from MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who said: “When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling—but not science. The problem is that many of our policymakers want to base sweeping laws on those feelings.” (Aside from the ludicrous nature of saying the parents determine when life begins—where does this kind of thinking lead?—the question remains: Which lawmakers are trying to “base sweeping laws” on feelings alone?) Yes, this was the same TV host who recently wore tampon earrings to protest the Texas abortion laws.
  • Absolutely murderous statements by so-called medical ethicists, leading to outlandish headlines like this, in Britain’s Telegraph: “Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say.” (Yes, the headline really says “experts say.”) The article continues, “Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are ‘morally irrelevant’ and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.”
  • Pathetic ads, like the one celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and featuring black actor Mechad Brooks. The ad was so dreadful that Eric Metaxas commented, “When I first watched this ad, I thought, this HAS to be a spoof. It employs the ugly racial stereotype of a smooth-talking [black] predator celebrating his freedom to use women at zero cost to himself: Hey, baby, hook up with me—and then go have an abortion. Are they kidding? No; this was no spoof.”
  • Despicable protests in Austin, Texas, against legislators who were simply voting for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks as well as for heightened health regulations at abortion facilities. As Katie Pavlich reported, “Apparently chanting ‘hail Satan,’ ‘f*ck the church,’ ‘bro-choice’ and holding signs that say ‘hoes before embryos’ just wasn’t enough for pro-abortion protestors in Texas. According to reports on the ground, police have confiscated bricks, tampons, pads and condoms protestors planned to throw at pro-life lawmakers.” The police “also confiscated jars of urine and feces.”
  • Students on campus videotaped as they signed a petition to legalize “aborting” fourth-trimesterbabies (meaning already born, full-term babies—but who said college students were good at math these days?).
  • The rise of the “bro-choice” movement, as young men, surely moved by altruism alone (forgive the sarcasm), are now taking a stand. As expressed by Ben Sherman, “For those of us guys who like girls—you know, like them like them—and want to have relationships with them, that may last anywhere from a few minutes to many years, we need to think about how this bill (Texas HB 2), by curtailing the bodily autonomy and sexual freedom of women, hurts us, too. We need to stand with women in their fight to control their own bodies.”

It is little wonder, then, that the pro-life tide continues to rise.

Yet a recent Pew Research poll indicates that far less Americans think abortion is an important issue today as compared to just seven years ago, with most Americans still opposed to the complete overturn of Roe v. Wade—all of which means we have our work cut out for us. And so, rather than congratulating ourselves prematurely, we need to increase our efforts to expose the bankruptcy of the pro-abortion position along with continuing to emphasize the precious sanctity of life.

Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles, Revolution & Justice

megan-fox-bw
February 10th, 2013 by Michael L. Brown

I was at the grocery store the other day when I was unexpectedly confronted with an adult-oriented magazine located right next to the vitamin section. I immediately had to look away from the front cover, which featured a scantily-clad, seductively-posed, sex symbol. Yet it was only a few weeks ago that I read an article about how this same sex symbol loves to speak in tongues and has to restrain herself from outbursts in tongues while attending church services. What?

This is actually a perfect illustration of American Charismatic Christianity, where you can say you love Jesus (like the rapper “The Game” claims to do) and still frequent strip clubs (as “The Game” still does), or where you can flow in the gifts of the Spirit and become a made-for-TV preaching sensation, only to announce that God told you that you married the wrong woman, leading to a quick divorce and remarriage.

Yes, this is the “gospel” of the 21st century, “Spirit-filled” Church of America, where the cross is bypassed, denial of the flesh is scorned, purity is called legalism, and anything goes if it feels good.

It is the “gospel” of self, in which Jesus dies to make you into a bigger and better you, a “gospel” in which God is here to serve you and help you fulfill your dreams, and where the measure of all things is not how God feels about it but how you feel about it (or how it makes you feel).

Back in the late 1950’s (as I recounted in my 1990 book How Saved Are We?) there was a notorious gangster named Mickey Cohen. He attended a Billy Graham meeting in Beverly Hills, and although he expressed some interest in the message, as revival historian J. Edwin Orr explained, Cohen “made no commitment until some time later when another friend urged him, using Revelation 3:20 as a warrant, to invite Jesus Christ into his life. This he professed to do, but his life susbsequently gave no evidence of repentance, ‘that mighty change of mind, heart and life’ [as defined by Richard Trench]. He rebuked [his] friend, telling him: ‘You did not tell me that I would have to give up my work,’ meaning his rackets; ‘You did not tell me that I would have to give up my friends,’ meaning his gangster associates. He had heard that so-and-so was a Christian football player, so-and-so a Christian cowboy, so-and-so a Christian actress, so-and-so a Christian senator, and he really thought that he could be a Christian gangster.”

Today, in some charismatic circles, you can be a Christian gangster – or, at least, a tongue-talking, seductive starlet, or a Christian lingerie model, or a strip-club attending, Jesus-speaking rapper, just to mention a few. After all, as we are reminded day and night, “Who are you to judge?”

Actually, what Jesus taught was that we should not judge hypocritically or superficially or unjustly and that we should not condemn. But Jesus also said, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24). The Lord commands us to judge, as long as we do it rightly.

Paul taught the very same thing, writing to the Corinthians, “not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” (1 Corinthian 5:11-12)

Why is it that everyone seems to know the words, “Judge not” (Matthew 7:1), but very few seem to know – or care about – the divine call to judge those “inside the church” (meaning those who profess to be followers of Jesus)?

Without a doubt, only the Lord knows who is saved and who is not. But the Word make things very simple for us, outlining God’s part and our part: “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” (2 Timothy 2:19) There you have it! To quote the words of John, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). Could God make himself any more clear?

Unfortunately, as Orr noted years ago, “Many have sadly forgotten that the only evidence of the new birth is the new life,” and the Scriptures make perfectly clear that if we profess to follow Jesus with our lips but do not follow Him with our lives, we do not belong to Him. (I’m not talking about momentary lapses in our walks with the Lord or about serious mistakes that we make, only to reject and renounce them. God’s mercy and forgiveness are great. I’m talking about the consistent, willful pattern of our lives. Are we following Jesus or not?)

It’s time to say goodbye to this watered-down, sin-excusing, so-called gospel that offers everything and calls for nothing. It’s time to get back to the cross and back to the truth. Otherwise, as America collapses in a heap of amoral ruin, the soft preachers of America will be largely to blame.

Dr. Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.

Posted in Culture, Lead Article, The Kingdom of God

matthews
October 18th, 2012 by Michael L. Brown

In comments made before the presidential debate this past Tuesday, Chris Matthews claimed that Gov. Romney’s position on abortion was “almost like Sharia,” stating, “You’re saying to the country, we’re going to operate under a religious theory, under a religious belief.” In doing so, Matthews repeated the common leftwing libel that conservative moral principles with a basis in religious beliefs are equivalent to radical Islam.

In May, Rev. Billy Graham took out full page ads in North Carolina newspapers stating in part, “The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment.”

Gay activist Wayne Besen responded by asking, “Do we now make our civil laws based upon Christian Sharia?” (Note to the reader: This was meant to be taken seriously.) “Do we all have to follow his version of the Bible or be punished by government? And if this is the case, are we really a free country? Are we really much different than Iran, or is it only by a matter of degrees or a matter of time until these so-called ‘Christian Supremacists’ get their paws on all of our laws?”

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the radically left-leaning DailyKos.com, published an entire book on these themes in 2010, entitled American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right. In the Introduction he wrote, “the Republican Party, and the entire modern conservative movement is, in fact, very much like the Taliban. In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban. . . . the Republican Party, and the entire modern conservative movement is, in fact, very much like the Taliban. In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban.” (Additional note to the reader: This book is not intended to be a spoof on the left, a la the old Mad Magazine parodies. It too is meant to be taken seriously, even if it does make for some unintended comedic reading.)

Already in May, 2005, John McCandlish Phillips, formerly a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, penned a telling article in the Washington Post: “I have been looking at myself, and millions of my brethren, fellow evangelicals along with traditional Catholics, in a ghastly arcade mirror lately — courtesy of this newspaper and the New York Times. Readers have been assured, among other dreadful things, that we are living in ‘a theocracy’ and that this theocratic federal state has reached the dire level of — hold your breath — a ‘jihad.’”

He observed that, just days earlier, “Frank Rich, an often acute, broadly knowledgeable and witty cultural observer, sweepingly informed us that, under the effects of ‘the God racket’ as now pursued in Washington, ‘government, culture, science, medicine and the rule of law are all under threat from an emboldened religious minority out to remake America according to its dogma.’ He went on to tell Times readers that GOP zealots in Congress and the White House have edged our country over into ‘a full-scale jihad.’”

Bringing us back to reality, Phillips noted that, “If any ‘emboldened minority’ is aiming to ‘remake America according to its dogma,’ it seems to many evangelicals and Catholics that it is the vanguard wanting, say, the compact of marriage to be stretched in its historic definition to include men cohabiting with men and women with women. That is, in terms of the history of this nation, a most pronounced and revolutionary novelty.”

But that is the voice of clearheaded, rational thinking. In the world of Chris Matthews, if you argue that a baby in the womb, upon conception, is entitled to personhood status, you are espousing a position “almost like Sharia,” which Matthews sums up by exclaiming, “This is extremism!” Indeed, for Matthews, in the early stages of pregnancy, we are certainly not dealing with a baby in the womb, let alone “a fetus,” but “rather an egg that had just been fertilized, right after sex, if you will.”

So, the high regard for life and the protection of the innocent that fuels the Republican platform on abortion is nothing more than Sharia-like extremism. (To repeat once more, this is meant to be taken seriously.)

The good news is that the more these leftwing commentators play their “Jihadist, Sharia, Taliban” card, the more the absurdity of their positions will be revealed. The bad news is that a considerable number of listeners and readers will continue to believe them.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile if some wealthy benefactor could pay for Matthews, Besen, Moulitsas, Rich and their ilk to spend six months, all expenses paid, living in a country like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, where the hanging of gays and the beheading of adulterers is commonly practiced (and fully sanctioned) under Sharia Law, and where conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death.

Perhaps they could even write their columns or do their broadcasts from there (that is, if the prisons would allow them to after their arrests).

Dr. Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles

question-mark
October 4th, 2012 by Michael L. Brown

The new documentary Hellbound? has reignited discussion about the perennial topic of hell as well as revealed some very bizarre perspectives.

Kevin Miller, the film’s director, who identifies as a Christian, stated in an interview that, regarding the traditional view of hell as a place of fiery torment, “I don’t see anything in the Bible that would lead me to believe that such a place exists.” Instead, according to Miller, when Jesus talked about hell, he was talking about the here and now.

Really? Jesus didn’t warn about a place of judgment to come? And Director Miller gets his denial of hell from the Bible? Perhaps he is reading into the Scriptures what he would like them to say? Warnings like this from Jesus, spoken with rhetorical urgency, are hard to dismiss: “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29)

Frank Schaeffer, son of the late and revered evangelical leader, philosopher Francis Schaeffer, appeared in the movie and is more aggressive in his dismissal of hell. He writes in his column in the Huffington Post, “People ‘defending’ God have completely screwed up America and our politics. And their version of ‘God’ f—-d up the first half of my life too.”

He claims that, “Hell is irrelevant because of course there isn’t one. The movie is important though because it exposes a real question: how can we survive the God-nuts who take this stuff seriously? Hellbound? is our chance to get to know the enemies of what’s left of our crumbling ‘civilization.’”

So, those who believe in a place of future judgment are “the enemies of what’s left of our crumbling ‘civilization,’” by which he explicitly means America.

Schaeffer continues, “Talking about hell in and of itself is a waste of time because if there is a ‘God’ no one knows anything about him/her or it and they never will, let alone about what he/she or it will ‘do’ about the ‘lost.’ But there are people, lots of them, who think hell is real because it fits their kill-your-neighbor-if-he-looks-at-you-funny vision of ‘life.’”

Well, I just learned something new: If I believe that God will bring about justice in the world to come and settle wrongs at the time of resurrection, I believe this because it fits my “kill-my-neighbor-if-he-looks-at-my-funny vision of ‘life.’” Seriously?

But there’s more. For Schaeffer, America’s hawkish tendencies and aggressive foreign policy directly relate to our fundamentalist reading of the Bible: “Thank you St. John (or whomever) loon was the author of the ‘book’/acid-trip of Revelation, for giving us a deluded roadmap so that the Americans who can’t find France on a map can get their foreign ‘policy’ marching orders direct from a ‘prophet’ huddling in a cave alone with his odd brain 2000 years ago.”

Aside from the fact that it is sad to see someone like Frank Schaffer, who once held to evangelical Christian beliefs, then Greek Orthodox beliefs, turn into such a Bible mocker, it is more than a stretch – shall we call it a leap of incredulity? – to claim that America fought (or is fighting) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places, because of a literal belief in hell and the Scriptures.

Interestingly, a study “appearing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, found that criminal activity is lower in societies where people’s religious beliefs contain a strong punitive component than in places where religious beliefs are more benevolent. A country where many more people believe in heaven than in hell, for example, is likely to have a much higher crime rate than one where these beliefs are about equal. The finding surfaced from a comprehensive analysis of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries.”

According to Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the Culture and Morality Lab at the University of Oregon, “The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation’s rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation’s rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects. . . . The finding is consistent with controlled research we’ve done in the lab, but here shows a powerful ‘real world’ effect on something that really affects people — crime.”

Here in America, belief in hell remains prevalent, and a 2003 poll by George Barna indicated that 71% of the population “said that there is such a thing as Hell.” At the same time, “just one-half of 1% expect to go to Hell upon their death.” So, hell is real, but none of us are going there!

Putting aside our religious differences, perhaps the questions we need to ask ourselves are these: 1) Are there lasting consequences to our actions? 2) Will there be an ultimate judgment and final justice? 3) If so, how should we live today?

Dr. Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.

 

 

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles

September 19th, 2012 by Michael L. Brown

The Democratic Party Platform contains just one reference to “God,” and the inclusion of that single reference was famously booed by many delegates at the Democratic convention. In contrast, the Republican Party Platform contains 12 references to “God,” and candidate Romney has emphatically stated, “I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart. We’re a nation that’s bestowed by God.” Does this make the GOP the party of God?

The Democratic Platform certainly stands in stark contrast with the Republican Platform. The former is radically pro-abortion, endorses same-sex “marriage,” and is decidedly weak on Israel. The latter is strongly pro-life, in favor of natural, organic marriage, and unashamedly pro-Israel.

All this is readily seen in Liberty Counsel’s Voter’s Guide, which contrasts 10 categories in both platforms: Abortion and Human Life; Family Values; First Amendment, Liberty, and Responsibility; ObamaCare; Gun Rights; Fiscal Reform; Israel as an Ally; Government Oversight; Judiciary; Word Use Comparisons.

Starting with the last category, as already noted, the Democratic Platform (from here on DP) used the word “God” once; the Republican Platform (from here on RP) spoke of “God” 12 times. But is this more semantics than substance? Apparently not.

The DP did not mention the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. The RP condemned them.

The DP did not mention the protection of individual conscience in healthcare; the RP explicitly supported it.

The DP did not mention the right to publicly display the Ten Commandments; the RP explicitly endorsed it.

The DP favored the so-called Fairness Doctrine; the RP opposed it.

The DP did not encourage abstinence-only education for teens; the RP encouraged it.

The DP did not mention the enforcement of laws against pornography and obscenity; the RP did.

The DP did not support a constitutional amendment that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, nor did it support the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); the RP supported both.

The DP did not mention euthanasia and assisted suicide; the RP opposed both.

The DP supported taxpayer-funded/subsidized abortion; the RP opposed this.

The DP did not mention the Human Life Amendment in defense of the unborn; the RP supported it.

And Romney continues to ratchet up the God talk, stating, “I will not take God out of the public square,” and “we are [a] nation under God.” But that does not mean that the Republican party is the party of God. Not by a long shot.

Both parties have more than their share of cronyism, compromise (if not outright corruption), ungodly alliances, hypocrisy, blind spots, and poor role models. It would be a terrible mistake to invoke some kind of divine sanctity on the Republicans. (For the record, it would also be a terrible mistake to think that there are no godly Democrats out there.)

To be perfectly clear, as a religious conservative, I strongly support the GOP Platform when it comes to family, life, and Israel. And I find it interesting that individuals, religious organizations, and political parties which invoke God and the Bible as authorities tend to be pro-life, pro-traditional family, and pro-Israel (which does not necessarily mean anti-Palestinian). In contrast, individuals, religious organizations, and political parties which either marginalize God and the Bible or reject the plain sense of the Scriptures tend to be pro-abortion, in favor of same-sex “marriage,” and anti-Israel (or, at least, not strongly pro-Israel).

And I do understand why conservative pundits have referred to the “godless Democrats” and why conservative politicians have runs ads highlighting the Democratic “booing of God.” But even if many (or most) Democrats are “godless,” that does not mean that the Republicans, for the most part, are godly, nor should we look at them as the Party of God. (For the conservative Christians reading this, do you think God would appoint a Mormon to head up his party?)

Let’s not forget how many Republican candidates have used “God language” to win the votes of conservative Christians (especially evangelicals) only to disappoint those very voters once in office.

Let’s not forget that marriage was redefined in New York State because four Republican senators caved in. (It’s true that the bill was driven and supported by Democrats, but the Republicans certainly failed to hold the line.)

Let’s not forget that the Republican Party of Massachusetts has not embraced the national platform as its own.

And let’s not forget the fundamental error we make when we exaggerate the goodness and godliness of a large and diverse political party.

Without a doubt, the Republican Platform is far closer to conservative Judeo-Christian values than is the Democratic Platform, but let’s not get carried away. The only true, political “party of God” is sitting in heaven right now. Here on earth, the political scene is mixed, and the ones calling themselves the “party of God” are groups like Hezbollah. (In case you didn’t know, that’s what Hezbollah means in Arabic.)

Dr. Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.

 

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles, Law & Politics

August 16th, 2012 by Christine Colbert

“Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the human mind, the good things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

It has been a trend in our culture for some time to consider the concept of “hell” to be one that is outdated. Some express the mindset by saying that a good God wouldn’t send people to a place like that. Yet we have that best and most-loving One on record, from His walk here with us, referring to it.

Christian writer George MacDonald lived in Victorian times. In his three volumes of Unspoken Sermons, he treated important topics powerfully and in a way that enlarges and encourages his readers. He is the writer whom C.S. Lewis described as “my master.” Scripture is illuminated on MacDonald’s pages, and one is “fed.” He touches on every important subject, just as the Word does. MacDonald’s sense of hell is that the Father who is Love will resort to whatever tormenting tactics He has to use — to cause as many souls as possible to turn to Him in righteousness and recognition.

Righteousness? In referring to the essence of the sacred text, Dr. Isaac Rottenberg, a past president of the Dutch Reform Church, observed, “It’s all about righteousness.”

Recognition? We remember the conversation between Jesus (Yeshua) and His disciples that began with His asking them who other people said He was and culminated with His asking them, “But who do you say that I am?” When Peter — apparently alone — responded with full recognition, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus expressed profound appreciation for his recognition. “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you — but my Father in heaven. And I say to you that you are Peter. And upon this rock I will build my church; and the powers of hell shall not prevail against it.”

For much of our early life we appreciated the non-judgmental, progressive qualities of the liberal Christian church that our family preferred. But in more-recent years we have seen this church become increasingly one of the “ear-tickling” variety, as described in Scripture. Its primary spokespeople have chosen to be guided by what is popular to the extent that they are leaning toward secular humanism — largely abandoning this church’s Christian foundation and even disrespecting the Bible.

The perception of “crude salvationism” may have driven some toward secular humanism. This perception would perhaps be voiced by people associated with liberal churches — or even more likely by those who don’t bother with church at all. Of course there is an element of truth to this perception: that a “dumbing down” of something vast has been done by well-meaning, unsophisticated people.

Astrophysicist and pastor Dr. Hugh Ross has devoted his life to searching out answers to important questions — with the unique result being a synthesis that reflects both his considerable personal “assets” and his (at least) two areas of expertise.

We have learned from him and his organization, Reasons to Believe (reasons.org), that our world is apparently fine-tuned to an astonishing degree and in a sufficiently significant number of ways to leave no other rational conclusion than that a Designer of absolute mastery is behind the evidence that He has left for us to find! We have also learned from Dr. Ross that astronomy is entirely focused on determining when cosmological events took place.

He and his associates see evidence of this masterful Designer’s having worked for millions of years to create an ideal environment in which He could, in Dr. Ross’s words, “in the shortest time possible accomplish the elimination of evil.” He notes the many ways in which this present world could be described, as it is in Genesis, as “very good.” Beyond this world, ahead of us, Dr. Ross foresees a “perfect” creation that will be free from every manifestation of evil — just as one reads about in Revelation.

Carlisle Marney expressed it this way: “We know a secret — Jesus is the name of our species.” It has been said that Jesus was the first Human Being; but He invites us all to join Him! Jesus (Yeshua) is the perfect example of what God had in mind for every one of us. In His own precious words to His disciples after the resurrection, as He prepared breakfast for them on a beach, “Come and dine.”


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Culture Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

August 2nd, 2012 by Michael L. Brown

In recent days, the extreme intolerance, bigotry, and exclusivity of some gay activists and their straight allies has been on prominent display in their attacks against Chick-fil-A. What makes this all the more ironic, not to mention Orwellian, is that their campaign is being carried out in the name of tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. As expressed by jurist Marvin Frankel (in his book Faith and Freedom: Religious Liberty in America), “The powerless call out for tolerance. Achieving power, they may soon forget.”

Today, words like “diversity” and “inclusion,” which have been on the lips of gay activists for years, have taken on an ominous tone that would make Orwell proud.

Since March, students at New York University have been circulating a petition calling for Chick-fil-A to be removed from their campus for “human rights violations” (I kid you not). In classic doublespeak, the petition states that the fast food company doesn’t belong there because “NYU prides itself on being a diverse, open and inclusive campus community. . . . Unfortunately, maintaining a contract with an anti-gay vendor like Chick-fil-A undermines what makes this university so great.” So, Chick-fil-A should be banned because NYU “prides itself on being a diverse, open and inclusive campus community.”

In the same vein, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, stated, “As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality.” He further stated, apparently with a straight face, that “fair-minded consumers” can now “make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company.” It appears, then, that Griffin’s version of an “inclusive” America means that it’s either the gay way or the highway.

But it gets worse. In the now infamous words of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.”

It appears, however, that you can have a mayor in the city of Boston who discriminates against a population (namely, the scores of millions of Americans who do not want to redefine marriage) and against a business (namely Chick-fil-A, an exemplary company that has broken no laws, including laws of discrimination).

Mayor Menino continued (and with Orwellian eloquence at that), “We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” a stunning example of unintended irony if ever there was one.

In a similar example of unconscious doublespeak, New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, herself in a same-sex “marriage,” explained why she too wanted Chick-fil-A kicked off the NYU campus: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”

That’s right, Chick-fil-A. We are so diverse that we will run you out of our city. And we are so open and inclusive that we have no room for a business like yours.

Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno also attributed his attack on Chick-fil-A to “diversity,” explaining to ABCNews.com that his district is “a very diverse ward–economically, racially, and diverse in sexual orientation” – but not so diverse that it can welcome a Christian-based company. (The comments of the magnanimous mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, require little commentary: “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” Perhaps he should have added, “No disrespect intended to my fellow neighbors and residents who oppose same-sex ‘marriage,’ and certainly, no disrespect intended to Minister Farrakhan, whose business is always welcome in our city.”)

Not to be left out in this remarkable display of tolerance, equality, and diversity, the Philadelphia City Council was considering “a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for what one city leader called ‘anti-American’ attitudes that promote ‘hatred, bigotry and discrimination.’ City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy telling him to ‘take a hike and take your intolerance with you.’” (I am not making this up.)

Does Councilman Kenney not realize that he should be directing his statement to the face looking at him in the mirror? (To repeat: “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.”) Does the Philadelphia City Council not recognize that 31 states have so far voted to uphold marriage as the union of one man and woman? Are all these states, most recently North Carolina, with an overwhelming vote of 61-39%, “anti-American”? And isn’t it the Philadelphia City Council resolution that is actually an example of “hatred, bigotry and discrimination”? Yes, Chick-fil-A, we will discriminate against you because we oppose discrimination.

Already in 1994, Camille Paglia wrote in her book Vamps and Tramps, “One reason I so dislike recent gay activism is that my self-identification as a lesbian preceded Stonewall: I was the only openly gay person at the Yale Graduate School (1968-72), a candor that was professionally costly. That anyone with my aggressive and scandalous history could be called ‘homophobic,’ as has repeatedly been done, shows just how insanely Stalinist gay activism has become.” And Orwellian too.

So be on guard: The intolerance brigade is coming for you.

Dr. Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.

 

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles

May 29th, 2012 by Guest Writer

Fox News journalist, Shep Smith, welcomed President Obama into the 21st century and declared those who still oppose same-sex marriage to be on the wrong side of history.

May 9, 2012 was indeed an historic moment. Though President Obama bathed his decision in Christian principles: “…our faith…is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf but it’s also the golden rule…treat others the way you’d want to be treated…” For the first time ever, a sitting US president, considered the most powerful political leader in the world, has endorsed a marital arrangement that formally constitutes the pagan “worship of the creation rather than worship of the Creator” (Romans 1:25).

“How do you get there?” you may ask. My statement is neither panic nor exaggeration, since it comes from the theological reasoning of the inspired Apostle Paul: “For this reason,” he says, “God gave them up to dishonorable passions [of lesbianism and homosexuality] contrary to nature” (Romans 1:26–28). The “reason” to which Paul refers is what he stated in the previous verse (25), namely the exchange of the truth for the lie, and the worship of creation rather than the Creator. That process includes an exchange of sexuality for a practice “contrary to [created] nature.”

Historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, once a radical Marxist feminist, observed (as a chastened older observer of the Cultural Revolution in which she had enthusiastically participated): “within a remarkably brief period …has occurred a cataclysmic transformation of the very nature of our society.”

The speed of this “cataclysmic” change takes our breath away. At the same-sex Stonewall riots of 1969 few people had even heard of homosexuality. Just forty-three years later, a president publicly announces support of same-sex marriage. In the 1960s, thanks to the Beatles and the hippies 1960s “Christian America” discovered for the first time the spirituality of the East. In August 2009, Newsweek announced: “We are all Hindus Now,” as yoga studios outnumber Starbucks cafes in New York City, and we massage our karma with mantras and meditation.

The “cataclysm” is due to the invasion into the “Christian” West of pagan spirituality, with its strident intention to “eliminate the binary.” The foremost “binary” is the distinction between the Creator and the creature. Other binaries then fall like dominos—the binary of right and wrong, for example. “We must beware of thinking of good and evil as absolute opposites,” says a leading theorist. Modern psychologists tell us that a binary view of reality (as made up of opposites) produces guilt, the hallmark of neurosis. The Hindu notion of Advaita, “not two,” dominates spirituality and “non-dual spirituality” is taught even in some “evangelical” schools. Lesbian activists ask: “Can We Put an End to the Gender Binary?” (The Advocate.com) because “there is no one way a person should be.”

On all these levels we see Twoism undermined for the promotion of a Oneist worldview. Of course, it is said that same-sex “marriage” will not harm anyone. However, its legalization will introduce a God-denying civilization that will erase 2000 years of Christendom based on Twoism (theism). The past will be labeled “homophobic.” Nursery rhymes, literature and art that consider heterosexuality normal (including the Gospel) will be declared illegal and obsolete. Christians will be outside the law. Already the fifteen Christian groups (Catholic and Protestant) at Vanderbilt have been kicked off campus for refusing, by principle, to allow gays on their leadership teams. This is a classic preview of what the future holds.

May 9th 2012 is in many ways the final “sacralization” of the Sixties, where behind the pretext of the Golden Rule, the “revolution” fraudulently covers its unrestrained libido in the white robes of bridal purity.

We must not panic or exaggerate, nor cease to love homosexual individuals. But we must not re-interpret “Christian” love, so that our contemporary culture can reject God the Creator in favor of self-serving desires. The Gospel love story of creation and redemption must be heard via a clear witness to the biblical worldview, as Paul articulates it in Colossians 1:19–20:

For in Christ…by whom all things were created…[God] through him reconcile[d] to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

The President’s “Christ sacrificing himself” is not a decorative element of the Faith but the very essence of all things, expressed distinctively in male/female marriage as the love of the other for the different. In this way, Christ the Creator loves his people. Paul in Ephesians 5:32 calls this a “mystery,” the deep meaning of all things on earth and in heaven. The radicals rightly call their same-sex marriage “the sacrament of monism,” and see in it a pagan celebration of Oneist sameness and of the divinity of self-creating Nature. Alas, Paul would call this a part of “the mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

Peter Jones PhD
Executive Director of TruthXchange
Scholar-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor
Westminster Seminary in California

 

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles, Sexuality & Gender

April 17th, 2012 by Michael L. Brown

I would love to take a break from writing about gay-related issues, but it’s hard to keep silent in light of some of the things taking place here in America and in the UK.

Consider this brazen case of censorship in London, coming straight from Boris Johnson, the mayor. In 2007, gay activists in England launched a campaign “to tackle homophobic bullying in schools” with a simple message: “Some people are gay. Get over it!”

According to the Stonewall.org website, “After the launch, 600 billboard panels, kindly donated by Titan Outdoor Advertising Ltd, depicted this legend in giant, tabloid-style capital letters, on a bright red background at sights in England, Scotland and Wales. In September 2009 the simple, striking poster campaign appeared on 20 major railway stations advertising screens and on 3,500 interior bus panels in November 2009 for Anti-Bullying week.”

In response, an ad campaign was recently launched by Core Issues, which describes itself as “a non-profit Christian initiative seeking to support men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression. It respects the rights of individuals who identify as ‘gay’ who do not seek change.” The Core Issues group purchased ads to be carried on a number of buses reading, “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!”

This was too much for Mayor Johnson, who explained, “London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance. It is clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.” What a remarkable statement.

Aside from the fact that the ads did not say that “being gay is an illness that someone recovers from,” it is absolutely outrageous that the mayor of London – “one of the most tolerant cities in the world” – would deny the right of free expression to those who identify as “not gay, ex-gay, or post-gay,” especially in light of the ubiquitous “Some people are gay. Get over it!” campaign.

Some observers suggested that Johnson had ulterior motives in his actions, specifically, his own campaign for reelection, and his main rival in the upcoming election, Ken Livingstone, criticized Johnson for even allowing the ads to be booked:  “London is going backwards under a Tory leadership that should have made these advertisements impossible. They promote a falsehood, the homophobic idea of ‘therapy’ to change the sexual orientation of lesbians and gay men.” Yes, censorship is alive, well, and being fully justified in “most tolerant” London.

To add insult to injury, after Alexander Boot, a regular opinion columnist for the Daily Mail, published an article entitled, “So attack on free speech is a sign of tolerance,” there was an outcry from the gay community, branding it a “startlingly homophobic column.” The Daily Mail responded by pulling the article.

It appears then that even criticism of censorship is to be censored, with one Facebook comment asking, “Actually isn’t the article a crime or against the law? Because of laws against homophobia or incitement to hatred?”

Turning now to Rhode Island, we move from the outrageous to the absurd, from censorship to moral insanity.

Two weeks ago, a 17 year-old student-artist at Pilgrim High School painted a mural depicting the stages of a boy’s life, from childhood, to teen years, to graduation in cap and gown, to marriage and family. The last image showed the boy, now a man, standing with his wife and son, with wedding rings over the couple’s heads.

This was too much for the school, and the administration decided to paint over the last image, since “some of the members of the Pilgrim High School community suggested that the depiction of a young man’s development from boyhood through adulthood as displayed may not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School.” I kid you not!

How dare this young artist depict an image of a traditional family, since this “may not represent the life experiences of many of the students.”

Do you see why I call this moral insanity?

The artist, Liz Bierendy, herself raised in a single-parent home, explained, “I felt bad because I didn’t want to offend anyone. I was scared that maybe it would go out to our homosexual community and I didn’t want them to get in an uprise because I was not trying to preach that’s the right thing to do at all.”

Can you imagine this? She “didn’t want to offend anyone” and she was “scared” that it would provoke a negative reaction from “our homosexual community.” And all this over an image of a married couple with their child. What has become of America?

The school ultimately let Liz decide how to complete her mural, and she stood by her initial decision. But as long as incidents like these continue to happen – here and in other parts of the world – I’m going to continue to write about them.

The best way to combat censorship is to speak out more loudly and clearly, while the best way to combat moral insanity is to expose it.

 

Posted in Culture, Featured Articles, Sexuality & Gender