August 24th, 2010 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org.

We’re in the middle of the Top Ten false “facts” reported by Judge Vaughn Walker in his decision to overturn Proposition 8 in California—a decision that could erode marriage and First Amendment rights in the entire country. See yesterday’s column here if you missed the first five false “facts.”

6. “No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation.” (FF 46)

I guess thousands of ex-gays just don’t exist in Judge Walker’s special-pleading universe. Neither does renowned Columbia University psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Spitzer, who concluded that some highly motivated individuals can change their orientation from homosexual to heterosexual through reorientation therapy.

This is significant because Spitzer is no propagandist for the religious right. Quite the contrary—a self-described “Jewish atheist,” Spitzer has been a hero to homosexual activists since 1973 when he helped get homosexuality declassified as a mental disorder. Recently, however, they’ve turned on him because he reported the truth.

Dr. Spitzer said that his 2003 study “has been criticized severely by many people, particularly gay activists, who apparently, feel quite threatened by it. They have the feeling that in order to get their civil rights, it’s helpful to them if they can present the view that once you’re a homosexual you can never change.”

When asked whether the American Psychiatric Association should now change their position statements that say orientation cannot be changed, Dr. Spitzer said, “I think they should, [but] they will not be. . . . There’s a gay activist group that’s very strong and very vocal and is recognized officially by the American Psychiatric Association. There’s nobody to give the other viewpoint. There may be a few who believe it but they won’t talk.”

Dr. Spitzer then acknowledged explicitly that politics often trump the scientific facts at organizations like the APA (an organization cited to bolster Judge Walker’s conclusion). He also said that the APA should stop applying a double standard by discouraging reorientation therapy, while actively encouraging gay-affirmative therapy that’s intended to confirm and solidify a homosexual identity. Good point by Dr. Spitzer. After all, if people can be talked into it, then why can’t they be talked out of it?

Sexual orientation isn’t like race either. You’ll find many former homosexuals, but you’ll never find a former African American.

Of course Walker’s “fact” even if true is irrelevant anyway. Marriage does not need to be redefined just because people can’t change their sexual desires. Otherwise a legal “marriage” relationship must be created for every particular sexual desire.

7. “The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment.” (FF 70)

Incredibly, Judge Walker says that this conclusion “is accepted beyond serious debate.” Citing a study by the politicized APA, Walker never admits that not enough research has been done to evaluate the well being of children living with homosexual parents. And he ignored evidence presented by the defense that contradicted his “fact.”

But does one really need a study to know that Walker is wrong? Was your father different as a parent than your mother? To say no is laughable. In fact, even Rodney Dangerfield could expose this false fact. “No respect at all—when I was a baby, I was breast fed by my father!”

Later in the opinion, Walker makes the unbelievable assertion that, “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.” Who sez? The imperial Judge Walker.

Questions for the Judge: Why do you assert that men and women are interchangeable as parents but not as sex partners? After all, if gender really is irrelevant to marriage as you maintain—if men and women are interchangeable—then why argue for same-sex marriage at all? Why not just tell homosexuals, “Gender is irrelevant to marriage, so instead of making a fuss, why not just go ahead and marry someone from the opposite sex”?

Why not? Because when it comes to their own personal gratification, homosexual activists like Judge Walker clearly recognize the big difference between the sexes. But when it comes to the more important priority of raising children, they say there is no difference between the sexes. Children are just going to have to take a backseat to their sexual desires. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse sums up the attitude of homosexual activists well. She writes, “[Homosexual] adults are entitled to have what they want. Children have to take what we give them.”

8. “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” (FF 77) Really? Do religious beliefs that drunkenness is sinful or inferior to sobriety harm alcoholics? No, those beliefs help such people by telling them the truth about destructive behavior instead of enabling them with liberal fantasyland talk about how all behaviors and lifestyles are equal.

9. “Proposition 8 results in frequent reminders for gays and lesbians in committed long-term relationships that their relationships are not as highly valued as opposite-sex relationships.” (FF 68) This is not meant to be offensive, but what if certain relationships really are more valuable to society than others? Clearly, the procreative committed relationship of a man and a woman is more valuable than any other relationship in society because it is necessary for society’s very survival. To comprehend the impact of this, you just need to consider two questions.

1) What would happen to society if everyone lived faithfully in natural marriage? Our country would thrive with a drastic reduction in numerous social problems including illegitimacy, crime, welfare, and abortion.

2) What would happen to society if everyone lived faithfully in same-sex marriage? Society wouldn’t thrive because it wouldn’t even survive. It would end the human race!

This is not to say that such a law would cause this, but merely to point out that certain relationships are more valuable to a society than others. The truth is that homosexual and heterosexual relationships are not the same, can never be the same, and will never yield the same benefits to individuals or society. No law can change that fact; only deceive people into thinking so.

If this point offends you, then you have a problem with reality not me. I didn’t make up the facts of nature. I’m just admitting them—something Judge Walker and many same-sex marriage supporters seem unwilling to do.

10. “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” (Conclusion)

The real fact is that Judge Walker fails to provide any “rational basis” for overturning Proposition 8—no rational basis from the constitution or common sense. While lecturing the people of California that their “private moral views” cannot be used to make their laws, Judge Walker has simply imposed his own “private moral view” that same-sex marriage must be sanctioned. That is objectively immoral and unconstitutional itself.

He claims that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage “exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.” If that’s true, that’s not for him or any judge to decide. The people of California have said that time has not passed.

Disagree? Then you have the burden of persuading your fellow citizens to pass a constitutional amendment sanctioning same-sex marriage. That’s what the amendment process is for! When judges short-circuit that process, we are no longer a free people who govern ourselves.

(For more about this complicated and sensitive issue, get my compact book from which some of this article is adapted: Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone.)

Posted in Law & Politics Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 2nd, 2010 by Daniel Kolenda

Jacob had a get-rich-quick strategy. He made a deal with Laban, his father-in-law that rather than being paid in cash for his shepherding services he would receive as payment all of the imperfect members of the flock; all the striped, speckled and spotted cattle, sheep and goats. Laban preferred the beautiful ones anyways. He was glad to be rid of the imperfect members of the flock and agreed to Jacob’s pathetic idea of remuneration. But soon Jacob’s motley flock had exceeded Laban’s and the lowly farmhand had grown more rich and powerful than his master.

I visited a church not long ago where the pastor was very proud of the fact that his congregation was made up of some of the wealthiest, most successful and most famous people in town. Everything from the building itself to the demeanor of the staff to the kind of people that were positioned on the platform, shouted that this was a church for the good-looking, the rich and the powerful. Anyone who did not fit into that category might not feel very comfortable there, but for those that were members it was more than a church, it was a sort of elite club for classy Christians. It reminded me of Laban’s perfect flock.

Rich people need Jesus too and I’m glad that they found a place of worship where they could feel comfortable, but somehow I think that if Jesus were pastoring in that city, his church would probably look a lot different. Jesus was known as a “friend of publicans and sinners. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor” (Luke 4:18). And again, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt 9:12). And again, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). “The Son of man” He said of Himself, “is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

If Jesus pastored a church I think that it would be “on the wrong side of the tracks”. It would be filled with hookers, drug addicts and bums. It would be a church where the unlovely would feel welcomed and accepted. It would be a church for the striped the speckled and spotted members of society.

In fact, Jesus identifies with the needy to such an extent that he takes our actions towards them personally saying, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Mat 25) One of the two elements of “pure religion” according to James is to, “…visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need.” (James 1:27 AMP) The ones that, “…turn many to righteousness [shall give forth light] like the stars forever and ever.”

If any evangelist, pastor or church will follow the example of Jesus and Jacob they will soon make an amazing discovery. A church that is after the lost, the unlovely, the poor, the outcasts and the sinners will soon surpass in every way, the wealth of its country-club counterparts. An evangelist that is willing to leave the well-traveled circuit of itinerate preachers and venture into the dark, dangerous and remote areas of the world will discover rich and abundant harvests where no one would have ever expected to find them.

I am convinced that at the end of the day, the greatest reward will be for the ones who have gotten down in the dirt with Jesus and served “the least of these”. The greatest honor will belong to those who have preached the Gospel to the poor and the first prize will go to the ones who have invested in the striped, the speckled and the spotted.

Posted in Scripture Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

September 17th, 2009 by Bryan Anthony

4(This is a poem inspired by NT scholar F.F. Bruce’s description of the first Church in Jerusalem in the book of Acts. He dubbed them “the Spirit-possessed society.”)

I see a society, peppering the globe,
Through the lens of faith I’m permitted to probe,
Who are these ones, these fearless, ‘nothing-phobes’?
They rejoice like Paul, clinging like Job,
I see a society.

I see a society, tucked in each nation,
Fulfilled in them is the groan of creation,
They face lies with courage, with proclamations brazen,
Yet their dispositions are tender and patient,
I see a society.

I see a society, hungry & thirsty,
Looking for fresh bread & wine unearthly,
Plumbing the depths of the Scriptures with yearning,
Growing as trees with bottomless roots, sturdy,
I see a society.

I see a society, marked with reality,
Dissatisfied with programs and analogies,
Sick to the teeth of Hollywood’s melodies,
Plowing through cheap theology and hollow fallacies,
I see a society.

I see a society unowned by toys,
Refusing to live as little distracted boys,
Waiting in worship with priestly poise,
Hearing His voice, enwrapped in His joys,
I see a society.

I see a society, unwilling to engage,
In spiritual fads, whatever the craze,
They prefer the closet of prayer to the stage,
Preparing the way for the end of this age,
I see a society.

I see a society made up of meek souls,
Serving their neighbors with towels & bowls,
Perished ambitions to meet heavenly goals,
Israel & the nations transformed, made whole,
I see a society.

I see a society of pilgrims progressing,
Not to new ideas with emergent themes pressing,
But moving with fidelity through trial & testing,
To walk the ancient paths of true priestly blessing,
I see a society.

I see a society, turning from lust,
Turning from immorality with fervent disgust,
Turning from anxiety to radical trust,
Turning from stagnancy, lethargy, rust,
I see a society.

I see a society with Danielic hearts,
Living in Babylon, shielded from darts,
Faithful in prayer, building ramparts,
Holy fire burning in the inner-most parts,
I see a society.

I see a society lit with God’s light,
Fit to endure tribulation and plight,
Equipped to extend mercy in the darkest night,
Walking in weakness, seeing His might,
I see a society.

I see a society refined of its dross,
No longer jerked, pulled, pushed, moved, or tossed,
‘Round by the winds of the world, they’re embossed,
Branded and burdened to preach only the cross,
I see a society.

I see a society of sons and daughters,
Raising the dead, walking on waters,
Content just to be on the wheel of the Potter,
Not aching for platforms or titles, unbothered,
I see a society.

I see a society profoundly Christ-centered,
They’ve springs in the desert, flames in the winter,
Merciful souls, vessels of balm, menders,
Exemplifying another wisdom, fiercely tender,
I see a society.

I see a society, I see the Son,
His image shines forth, leaves dark powers stunned,
Their schemes undone, His glory has come,
Alongside the King, with horses we run.
I see a society.

I see a “Spirit-possessed society.”

The hour is late, saints. Shall we come into the reality He has called us to? The hour is late, indeed. Let us respond to Him without reservation.

Amen.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

August 11th, 2009 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

As our great country accelerates its slide into economic and moral Hell, be careful whom you blame. The present boldness of liberals and timidity of conservatives are only the secondary causes. Much of the blame can be placed at the foot of the church.

When I say the church, I don’t mean an institution like the Roman Catholic church, but the entire body of believers—those from all denominations who believe that the Bible is true, that people are sinners, that God sent the perfect God-man, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins, and that we are charged with spreading that message and reforming society.

Believers are God’s ambassadors here on earth, called to be salt and light in the world and to the world. When we follow our calling, individuals are transformed and societies with them. Our country is failing because too many believers have abandoned this calling.

They began abandoning it in earnest in the 1920’s. That’s when an anti-intellectual movement called fundamentalism led believers to separate from society rather than reform it, and to bifurcate life into two separate spheres—the sacred and secular. Reason was given up for emotionalism, and only activities that directly saved souls were deemed sacred. Everything else was considered secular. Careers in clergy and missions were glorified at the expense of everything else. That led too many believers to leave public education, the media, law, and politics in the hands of the unbelievers. Is it any wonder why those areas of our culture now seem so Godless? Take the influence of God out, and that’s what you get.

Secularizing public education has been the key to our nation’s moral demise. Once public education went secular, the rest of society eventually did, especially when the products of that system became our leaders. As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

The philosophy of the schoolroom is atheistic. The question of God’s existence—the most important question regarding how we should live—is not studied or debated in our public schools. Atheism is just assumed to be true and with it moral relativism. That’s a major reason why immorality dominates our schools and why our kids know more about political correctness than truth. It’s also why we have a new generation of voters more enamored with “hope and change” than defending our changeless rights from an overreaching government. G. K. Chesterton’s observation about Russia has come true here, “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

How did this happen? In the early 1960’s, the Supreme Court, consisting of newly trained secularists, banned devotional Bible reading in our schools (apparently, for the 180 years before that, people just didn’t understand the Constitution!). That decision, and several others, has stifled virtually any mention of God or the Bible in our public schools. In effect, the most influential book in the history of the world is ignored in our educational system. What kind of a quality education is that? It’s certainly not what the folks who settled this land had in mind for public education. In fact, the first public school in the new world began as a result of the “Old Deluder Satan Law.” That 1647 Massachusetts law established the school to teach kids how to read the Bible so that old deluder Satan could not deceive them.

Likewise, most of our first universities were established to teach and propagate a complete Christian worldview. Harvard’s charter read, “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.”

The founders of Harvard knew that all truth is God’s truth. There is no bifurcation between the sacred and the secular. According to the Bible, every vocation, every discipline, and every person is sacred. Nothing is secular. In sharp contrast, those running our country now say that everything is secular. That’s a long way from our founding.

“So what?” you say. “Who cares about morality and God?”

That’s exactly the problem: Who does care? When the church separates from society, it takes its moral influence with it. But respect for the moral principles upon which out nation was founded—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—is essential to its survival. Our founders knew this.

Following the Constitutional convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government he and his fellow founding fathers created for the nation. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Franklin knew that freedom must always be defended; that the unalienable rights for which our founding fathers pledged “their lives, fortunes and sacred honor,” were never secure unless an informed electorate held their representatives accountable to uphold those moral rights.

Recognizing that only a religious and moral people will maintain a good government, George Washington declared in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” His successor, John Adams, wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In other words, even the best Constitution cannot prevent immoral people or politicians from destroying a nation. That’s why the church cannot abandon its calling. But it has.

So if you’re a believer who is upset that life is not being protected; that marriage is being subverted; that judges routinely usurp your will; that our immigration laws are being ignored; that radical laws are passed but never read; that mentioning God in school (unless he’s Allah) results in lawsuits; that school curriculums promote political correctness and sexual deviance as students fail at basic academics; that unimaginable debt is being piled on your children while leftist organizations like Planned Parenthood and ACORN receive your tax dollars; and that your religion and free speech rights are about to be eroded by “hate” crimes legislation that can punish you for quoting the Bible; then go look in the mirror and take your share of the blame because we have not obeyed our calling.

Then start over. Reengage at every level of society. Treat every job and every person as sacred. Be a beacon for Christ and truth in whatever you do and wherever you are. There is hope if you act. After all, we believe in redemption.

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