Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christians Unite With Manhatten Declaration

Last Friday, 152 Christian leaders across America from the Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical traditions signed a 4700-word document entitled “The Manhattan Declaration”. The statement, drafted by national Christian scholars including Robert George (Princeton University) and Timothy George (Samford University), affirms three key truths from American history. They are:

1.the sanctity of human life;
2.the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife;
3.the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

In an interview with Mike Huckabee Saturday, Chuck Colson, a member of the drafting committee, stated: “We pledge to one another that we will not compromise or be a party to a compromise to the fundamental principles on which the faith is based and on which our country is based as well.” Colson committed to Jesus’ command, to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's” (Matt 22:21), and quickly added: “under no circumstance will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

He went on to say that the community of faith is taking a stand for what is just and good, and those signing the document are prepared to pay the price. Colson quoted from Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, “An unjust law is no law at all.” On Friday’s BreakPoint, Colson stated: “The Manhattan Declaration is a wake-up call—a call to conscience—for the church. It is also crystal-clear message to civil authorities that we will not, under any circumstances, stand idly by as our religious freedom comes under assault.”

This document is unprecedented in American church history. This document is not a political statement though many will try to spin it that way. Its neither right or left, Democrat or Republican. Its simply a unified call by believers from all Christian traditions to confront our toxic culture with biblical absolutes.

Yet, despite what many secular historical revisionists are teaching our children, faith played a huge role in the formation of the values which anchor our nation.

Christian thought has shaped the Western world for centuries. It was Christian ideas that swept into practice such noble ideas as the rights of all humans; the right of property; the right of conscience; the right of tolerance; and the right religion. Our world will be much different if these values slip away.

If you would like to sign the Manhatten Declaration, visit here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Morality Without God?

WORLD Magazine editor Marvin Olasky has a superb dialogue Dartmouth University professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on whether there can be any morality with God.

Here is the article.

I say no. Without God, one man's morality can become an other's tyranny. Case in point-Hitler and the Jews.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Teach the Bible in School? Of Course...

Since President Obama is on a roll with holding conferences to address thorny issues, let me suggest another one: convene a conference to address the volatile issue of religion in public schools. In particular, let's talk about teaching the Bible again in public schools.

I happened to believe that teaching students the Bible in public schools is a good idea. We are making this debate too complicated.

Now I know this debate can lead to great passion, but let's use a little common sense.

Here's why.

First, its a key source for the historical founding of our nation. Every point made in the 1776 Declaration of Independence was preached from a church pulpit before 1770. Understanding the biblical concepts of liberty, property and justice is crucial for students in their studies of the beginnings of our nation.

Second, the Bible is filled with all sorts of different literature that students can study. There's historical passages, poetic passages, didactic ones, apocalyptic and wisdom literature all wrapped into one magnificent book.

Third, professors from many of America's leading universities-Yale, Princeton, Rice, Berkeley and Stanford have consensus that incoming college students need to be well-versed in the stories, themes and words of the Bible. The context- they cannot understand Shakespeare, Milton or Wordsworth.

Fourth, biblical knowledge is key to understanding today's pop culture. Here's the deal. Take Stephen Colbert's irreverent humor on Comedy Central. Or the devilishly clever title of the band White Stripes release, Get Behind Me Satan. There are many movies and other cultural expressions embedded with biblical themes or twisted ones too.

Finally, in a 2008 sociological publication, research showed that regular church attendance positively affected students academic performance. There are several ways to interpret this data, but I choose to see this in the light of the benefit gained from biblical literacy as it is applied to life.

Everyone wins with biblical teaching in school. Christian families will feel positive and hopeful that these elective courses on the Bible will improve the school environment while other parents who want their kids to be high achievers just might start taking them to church....

Your thoughts?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Making Sense of Fort Hood

Like me, I am sure you were appalled at the murders which occurred at Fort Hood last week. It's incomprehensible to me that an American would turn his weapon upon fellow unarmed soldiers and randomly murder them.

There is a great danger lurking here for our nation. Its not jihadists or radical islamists. Its not our policies in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is more insidious than these. It is the anger we could seed into the lives of our children. History shows that rage always worsens with succeeding generations (see Bosnia, etc.).

You may not want to hear this, but most Muslims are not evil. We may not agree with their religious tenants, but that does not make them terrorists.

The tough challenge about Fort Hood is that we must practice discernment and not racial profiling. Scripture tells us to be discerning and in particular, on the lookout for the presence of evil. As believers, when we see evil we are to react
to it.

Major Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of the Fort Hood murders, committed an act of evil. He needs to be tried in a court of law and if found guilty, held accountable for his actions. This is the appropriate action.

Uncontrolled anger fueled by fear is the wrong response to Fort Hood. We don;t need to nuke Muslims in the Mideast or drag peaceful Muslims from their homes. Racially profiling innocent Muslims is a throw back to some of the darker chapters of American history.

A Mandate for Action-Being a Gideonite

I am not sure what storms or life challenges you face today. Perhaps its a terminal illness. Perhaps its the loss of a job or mountains of debt. Perhaps its the end of a marital or friendship relationship. The fact remains that life is filled with storms, circumstances that can blow all of us off course.

I love the story of Gideon, the mighty Jewish warrior found in the pages of the Old Testament. Here was a guy from the smallest Jewish tribe, who found himself and his nation outnumbered and overwhelmed by fierce enemies.

In the Old Testament book of Judges, chapters 6-8, Gideon meets God who tells him to trust in Him. Gideon obeys and jumps into the deep end of the pool, trusting that God would provide the victories needed to deliver his people.

You can read the outcome of God's provision in Judges chapter 7. The takeaway for us today is this:

-God is just as trustworthy today as He was in Gideon's time.

-There is no storm to big or strong that God cannot provide a way for you to navigate through it.

-Overwhelming odds are no reason to give up what we know to be true. If Gideon had accepted defeat he would have never seen God work a miracle.

Whatever obstacles you face today, remember that God will go before you into your battle. Your response: to trust Him and jump in.

Friday, November 06, 2009

God Can Change Any Heart-40 Days of Life National Campaign

This is a must read story of a former abortion clinic's directors journey to God. Let me preface this one by affirming that God is in the business of redeeming dark human souls. Redemption and reconciliation is God's number one priority. Also, there is a great nation-wide effort to pray outside of abortion clinics touted as the "40 Days for Life Campaign." More below.

Here is the story.

For more information on the National 40 Days for Life Campaign, click here.

Unemployment Soars Hitting Families Hard

The latest national unemployment report is awful.

See the story here.

If your family where unemployment is ripping through you, there is not much immediate hope.

Our political leaders here in Colorado (Gov Ritter and crew) and in Washington, DC have acted obtusely in managing our economy, keeping taxes low and creating jobs.

In the long-run, government spending never spurs an economic recovery. The engine of our economy fires away when small businesses have the ability to create sustainable jobs.

The fact remains that sustainable job creation occurs when job creators have excess capital, low taxes and a profit incentive to produce. To our detriment, many Americas are clueless about the workings of our historic market economy.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Maine Affirms Traditional Marriage Definition

Defying the predictions of many, Maine voters repealed a law that had legalized homosexual marriage in this northeast state. In recent months, other New England states-New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut had joined Massachusetts in allowing gay partners to marry.

Gay marriage has now lost in every single state -- 31 in all -- in which it has been put to a popular vote. Gay-rights activists had hoped to buck that trend in Maine -- known for its moderate, independent-minded electorate -- and mounted an energetic, well-financed campaign.

However, pro-marriage forces under the banner of "Yes on 1" won the day.

Here is the story.

A couple of points to consider:

-Gay marriage has now lost in every single state -- 31 in all -- in which it has been put to a popular vote.

-Those who would argue that Jesus would have endorsed gay marriage argue from silence. Scripture is clear on the definition of marriage-Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-5.

-Colorado passed a state constitutional amendment in 2006 defining marriage between one man and one woman.

-A vote for traditional marriage is a vote for our freedoms and liberties. As we preserve the family we preserve one of the historic hubs of freedom in our nation...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Abortion Alive and Well in Obama Care

Despite repeated attempts by pro-life legislators on both sides of the aisle, taxpayer funding for abortion is back with a vengeance in ObamaCare proposals.

Thus far, all 17 proposed amendments that would prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion in ObamaCare have been defeated, and pro-life Congressman Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan, said of the House's 2,000-page bill (H.R. 3962), "Language in the bill still does not do enough to prevent federal funding from going to abortion services.

"I am disappointed the Capps Amendments has remained intact (in the House bill), mandating abortion services for the first time in the nation's history."

Here are some more details and facts:

-In the Senate version, the 10% of doctors who submit the most reimbursements for Medicare patients will have their pay docked by five percent. This inevitably will lead to rationing of care for seniors, and make "death panels" inevitable as doctors strain to stay below the threshold.

Finally, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) describes the House bill this way: "This 2,000-page bill includes a job-killing employer mandate, an individual mandate that requires Washington bureaucrats to define what kind of coverage is acceptable, burdensome tax increases, Medicare cuts, and a huge expansion of Medicaid that will break already strained state budgets."

Let your congressional representatives hear your voice!