Blog Archives

What Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Tell You

Yesterday I posted a brief bit on the annual report for Planned Parenthood.  I pointed out that they had over 300,000 abortions in 2014, essentially wiping out the entire city of St. Louis in one year. That works out to be one every 90 seconds or so if you are wondering.  Or, in the time it took me to write that post about 10 babies died in the wombs of their mothers.

Well today I want to look a bit more at their report and write about what they won’t tell the average reader.  They write:

Teens who need an answer right away to an urgent question can now reach us on their phones or through their computers. . . .We now have more than 200 college campus groups — a 182 percent increase from three years ago — at universities ranging from Yale to Wellesley to Spelman. Additionally,1,503 peer educators (half of whom are people of color) partnered with Planned Parenthood educators at 42 affiliates and conducted sex education workshops on issues such as healthy relationships and birth control for youth in their communities —reaching nearly 100,000 young people across the country.
So they are reaching the teen community through their chat apps and they are training women to educate the young ladies on “healthy relationships.”  Really?  Here is one undercover video (very graphic) by Live Action where a 15 year old is counseled that BDSM and such is “normal” as long as it is consensual.  Here you have one of those trained educators  helping a young lady understand what is healthy.  Isn’t it nice of her to point out that there is a sex shop that is just across the street?

Not convinced?  That is isolated?  Nope, you can go to Live Action’s website and see other undercover videos of Planned Parenthood clinics helping with all sorts of sexual issues that are incredibly graphic.Remember that Planned Parenthood is at the forefront of resisting and fighting any legislation that involves parental consent on anything related to birth control and sexuality.

Planned Parenthood and many other organizations are working hard to normalize sexuality in ways God forbids.  As a pastor I witness the fallout of this constantly, to the point that even the most innocent term I utter can carry a sexual innuendo for many young people. In addition, abortion is now seen by too many as something that is normal, acceptable and proper.  The shift of thinking is almost complete for the question asked is what is “right for me” whereas the proper question is “what is right before the Lord?”  Parents, grandparents, and church leaders need to be constantly aware of this pressure for the younger people to conform their minds to this age.

So Much To Write and So Little Time

I find two enemies constantly are at my heels when it comes to this blog.  The first is laziness, I look outside and think about doing some woodworking or I write an article.  Woodworking wins usually.  The second is there simply is not enough time.  So I have a plan.  I am locked down time-wise through Sunday and I have several things I wanted to write.  Instead I will post this interview and ask you to watch it.  Try to listen to how both sides are presenting their arguments and what are those arguments, then write them down in the comment section.  Not the comment section of Facebook, but here.  Try to figure out what is the root problem with Bell’s argument, assuming you find it less than satisfactory.

Remember that Bell is one of those who defined a significant branch of the world of “missional.”  I don’t belong to that branch and frankly want to cut it off and burn it.

I found this to be incredibly exasperating but it is the stuff that is sweeping through our churches and para-church organizations right now.  I hope to see some helpful comments when I can return to the blog at the end of this week.

The Hole in The Reversal of World Vision

Well that was fast.  Shortly after the news of World Vision’s decision to redefine marriage and hire same-sex couples, they now have reversed that decision. On one level that is fine and good.  I am glad they did it but I am not impressed by it.  Consider how it is framed:

  • “they made a mistake. . . .”
  • we were merely trying to serve the poor but in the process “we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith”
  • “We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent.”
  • “While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.”

I spend a lot of time helping Christians who sin and need to properly repent think through the process.  I would never counsel anyone who has sinned to use this type of terminology.

Note first how it is framed in “oops” terminology.  We made a mistake.  You know, like turning left instead of right at the intersection.  Or maybe it is like taking down measurements of a room and writing down 12 1/2 feet instead of 12 feet.  We all know there was no mistake.  No one in that room who crafted and approved the change of policy that created this whole mess looked at it later on and said, “Dude!  Where did those words about homosexual Christians and marriage come from?”  An organization that size doesn’t write formal policy changes on a whim, it flows from many strategy meetings and discussions at the highest levels.

Second, note how it keeps this whole discussion on a interpersonal level.  There is no sense in any way that there was sin even though the board was approached in a Matthew 18 sort of way.  Where is the sense of dismay because they sinned against God?  Read it in its entirety and you will find nothing there.  This is the most egregious aspect of the whole thing.  A couple of days ago they decide that marriage is something that man defines and they don’t want to tear apart churches on such a divisive thing such as same-sex marriage.  You see, it is all about Christian love and unity.  They decide that you can be gay and Christian.  But then, when all hell breaks loose they decide it was an oopsy and they are sad that people are sad and hurt.

When you find yourself on the wrong side of what the bible says you are not resisting man, culture, or belief systems.  You are resisting God.  You sin against Him and you are accountable to Him to repent and actively turn from that sin.  You are to embrace what He calls true and you are to hate evil.  I am glad they reversed their decision.  But I am not impressed.  Nothing at all has really changed if we are judge this through the lens of their apology.  The same convictions that ultimately led to their first policy change are still there, they just pulled back on policy so that they could not be smacked about anymore.

Here are a couple of other posts from men who speak well on this whole subject.  Dr. Trueman and Dr. Jones.

The Real Hole in The Gospel

Well, the news has hit that World Vision’s president,  Richard Stearns, has announced that World Vision is redefining marriage as either one man and one woman, one man and one man, or one woman and one woman.  So now, a so-called Christian organization has made a decidedly non-Christian decision.  There are many who have and will weigh in on this subject so I will merely give a few thoughts on this situation:

In his interview to Christianity Today he argues that this “very narrow policy change” will be an example of the pursuit of Christian unity. He makes the point that same-sex marriages are tearing apart churches.  Of course he fails to answer the real question of if that is a good or bad thing.  I think that the bible is abundantly clear that the gospel has a separating quality because it calls people to turn from themselves and their sin to follow and love Jesus.

I would ask Stearns what Jesus meant in these words, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household” (Matthew 10:34-36).  Or, what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5 regarding a so-called brother who loved his sin over truth and Jesus, “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler– not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves” (9-13).  You see, World Vision purports to be a Christian organization.  If it were not, I would have little to say regarding the decision, it is a non-Christian making a non-Christian decision.  But he claims Jesus as Lord as well as does his organization, so he is held to a different standard.

I am painfully aware that the idea is that those employees are professing Christians.  But professing means nothing because at some point one must take what the bible says regarding what is a Christian seriously.  I know there are books out there that speak about how homosexuality is sooooo misunderstood by the Church and yes you can be a Christian and also love and marry a person of the same gender.  But, of course, the bible is clear and unambiguous on the subject except for those who earnestly desire otherwise.  In other words, the problem with World Vision is deeper than this decision.  In fact, this decision simply is a by-product of the real issue, they don’t know what a Christian looks like.  Not in reality.

Stearns wrote a provocative book entitled, The Hole in The Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us?.  It was well received over-all but that doesn’t mean it was a good book.  His premise is that God expects the Christian to help alleviate poverty.  That is fine.  Our church is all for that.  But as Dr. D. A. Carson points out, that is not the gospel. And here is the problem as I see it, now looking back upon that book.  I think Stearns does see it as the gospel, just as the liberal church has always seen the gospel, more in a social justice perspective rather than a reconciliation with our Creator God through Jesus Christ.  That book was merely a precursor to this current decision which is also not gospel-centered or even Christian.  My mind goes back to these powerful words by Carson,

. . . even while acknowledging—indeed, insisting on the importance of highlighting—the genuine needs that Mr Stearns depicts in his book, it is disturbing not to hear similar anguish over human alienation from God. The focus of his book is so narrowly poverty that the sweep of what the gospel addresses is lost to view. Men and women stand under God’s judgment, and this God of love mandates that by the means of heralding the gospel they will be saved not only in this life but in the life to come. Where is the anguish that contemplates a Christ-less eternity, that cries, “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses. . . . Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone” (Ezek 18:30-32). The analysis of the problem is too small, and the gospel is correspondingly reduced.

In closing, I whole-heartedly agree with Trevin Wax who tells us to weep for the children.  But I would add that we need to weep for the lost all the more.  For the many who are lost while professing Jesus at World Vision and across this land shall one day hear those terrible words, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness'” (Matthew 7:23).

ELCA and An Imperfect Storm

Read with a bit of interest this little story about Luther Seminary.  I do not belong to the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) but I do interact with them on a consistent basis in my stomping grounds.  This is an outtake from the whole thing:

The president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul has resigned amid rising maintenance costs and declining enrollment.

Considered the country’s largest Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) seminary, the school wants to “take a fresh look going forward” after losing nearly $4 million last school year, Luther’s board chairman Jim Lindus said Tuesday.

The seminary announced Monday that Richard Bliese stepped down from the job he’s held since 2005. Officials plan to name an interim president by January and launch a national search for a successor.

Enrollment is down from 822 nearly five years ago to 764 students this year.

We kind of had a perfect storm here of financial challenges in the last year or two,” Lindus said. “Rising maintenance costs; our buildings are older and so we’ve had more deferred maintenance. (Emphasis mine)

Seems reasonable, tough financial times so things don’t work out so well.  Pressures build to come up with money that people simply don’t have and finally the fallout begins.  Nice if that were the reason.  I take a different position.

Tucked down a ways in this story we learn something else:

Lots of seminaries struggle

Other ELCA seminaries nationwide are also dealing with “very challenging times,” Lindus said. “They’re all facing the same problems. The scale is different because we’re much larger than the rest of them.”

So they are not alone.  ELCA is struggling as a whole.  Curses be upon this darned economy of ours.  If only. . . .  But then we keep reading:

The ELCA has seen at least 600 of its congregations leave since its controversial policy change in 2009 allowing for openly gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships to serve as pastors.

Oops!  There is that little event too.  But that isn’t the culprit.  It could not be a basic abandonment of the God’s Word that could be causing this.  Nope, it is the economy.  Even bumper stickers in the Bush era warned us of it all.  So what can they do?  When they sit down to strategize on how to weather this perfect storm of economic madness called “today” what is the outcome?  Oh, here it is:

Theological schools will need to be more “creative in responding to the market and to the interest of students and the realities of how those students can actually play out their calling to ministry,”

See, here is where my small minded ignorance shows through time and time again.  It isn’t repent and return to the God you claim to love.  It isn’t preach the gospel and its demands to all the world calling men and women of a perverse generation to turn from sin and to the living God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  It isn’t open the Word and preach it day in and day out, word by word, sentence by sentence until the people of God rise up and shake of the shackles they have allowed to encircle them.  It could never be to unleash the Spirit-inspired, Spirit-written, Spirit-protected, Spirit-empowered Word upon the nations.

Nope, we just need creativity.  Let’s check back in ten years to see how history records that little decision.

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