Archive for the tag “Patheos”

Social justice and the Christian voter

Joe Carter writes at patheos.com:

“History is a voice forever sounding across the centuries the laws of right and wrong. Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity.” – James Froude

When it comes to historical hindsight, modern Christians have a tendency to believe that we would always have sided with the angels, particularly when it comes to opposing institutionalized evil. We believe, for instance, that we would have been abolitionists decrying the injustice of slavery in Britain and America.

We believe that if we lived in Germany in the 1930s we would have recognized the inherent threat of Nazism and openly condemned Hitler’s regime. And we white Southern Christians have no doubts that we, unlike our parents and grandparents, would have stood with Dr. King and our other civil rights leaders in fighting to end racial segregation.

We can’t truly know, of course, what we would have done in the past. As much as we prefer to think that we would have stood against oppression and injustice we must not forget that many honest and otherwise admirable Christians were swayed more by the zeitgeist than by the redemptive power of the Gospel. But while we can’t know how we would have faced previous trials of moral courage, we have an opportunity to test our mettle against one of the greatest tragedies in American history—abortion.

Every election season we’re reminded that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. From this obvious truth many people draw the conclusion that their choice in candidates is therefore morally equivalent. It isn’t. While it may be perceived as presumptuous to tell anyone who they should vote for, I truly believe that no Christian should in good conscience vote to re-elect the most pro-abortion president in America’s history.

… The sad and incontrovertible fact is that Barack Obama is deeply committed to protecting and expand just such an institution evil. Under his watch, his administration has championed the destruction of the innocent and the Democratic Party has enshrined abortion as an essential right. No longer is the mantra to keep “safe, legal, and rare.” Today, the Obama administration and the DNC unequivocally support abortion on demand and opposes any efforts to limit the practice for any reason—including sex-selection and partial-birth abortions.

For that reason Obama should be ineligible for the votes of Christians who take the demands of social justice seriously.

Many Christians, though, will attempt to rationalize their decision by claiming that they are not ‘single issue’ voters. These believers never explain, however, what issues they believe take precedence over defending innocent human life. Whether the government should tax the rich more heavily or whether more can be done to protect the environment are positions on which Bible-believing Christians can honestly differ. But the demands of social justice require that we protect the weak and the innocent. And in America, none are more vulnerable and in need of protection than the unborn.

… A Christian can be pro-life or they can vote for Obama. But to do both exhibits a disturbing level of cognitive dissonance. … However, refusing to cast a vote for Obama does not require supporting Mitt Romney. The Republican candidate has his own history of supporting abortion and embryo destruction—at least when the thought it would help him get elected. He also has a history of changing his position when flip-flopping is the prudent electoral move. Romney is considered a ”pro-life” candidate only because he is flexible enough to support the pro-life cause when it’s electorally convenient. In contrast, when it comes to abortion, Obama is a man of firm conviction.

… History has placed before us an opportunity to rectify an evil that has plagued our country since 1972. When we cast our vote for president we must do so not on the basis of the next four years, forty years, or even four hundred years. We must do so from the perspective of eternity, knowing that we will someday have to answer for our decision before our Creator.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

The three deadliest words in the world: It’s a girl

A.G. Harmon writes at Patheos:

The woman in this picture has just related to a film crew how she killed her newborn daughter by strangulation. She killed eight of her newborn daughters, in fact, and can lead you to the tree-shaded plot of ground where she has buried all of them. The earth is rich there, rounded and fertile. The mound where the infants lie rises over them in a gentle slope, like the swell of mother-flesh.

This woman is not unusual in her Indian village. She and her neighbors explain through a strange kind of laughter the myriad ways that they have dispatched their female children. One of the most common is to dampen a piece of cloth—large enough to swaddle the child in—then lay the wet fabric over the baby’s face, so that she can’t breathe. Other options are to expose the child to the elements or to place her in a box near the river and walk away.

Not only are these practices common in India, they’re common throughout many countries and across many cultures. It’s estimated that as many as 200 million girls are missing from the world’s population due to the practice of gendercide, the culturally-based killing of a child (overwhelmingly female) on the basis of its sex.

… In such societies, boys provide for the family and care for the elderly; girls must be married off by way of an expensive dowry that many parents cannot afford. So the system in turn breeds a culture of death, giving perverse birth to all sorts of attendant crimes

… Girls conceived in areas with technological advancements are discovered—hunted does not seem too strong a word—by way of portable sonograms, administered at the insistence of mothers, in-laws, and husbands, who demand to know whether the baby is worth keeping, meaning a boy (such practices go on in America too, as The Economist reports). If not, an abortion follows, often disregarding the mother’s wishes.

… It is a damnable lie not to call this business what it is.

These girls are being murdered at every stage of life, and those who survive are being subjected to every form of indignity. However tragic the poverty that motivates such a thing, the fact remains. To deny it, to be too uncomfortable to look at it, to be too embarrassed to see it, is to be complicit in it.

Read the full text of this excellent article by clicking here.

A chilling new documentary, It’s a Girl, exposes the widespread custom of female gendercide.

Launch the counter-revolution

Timothy Dalrymple writes on patheos.com:

There is a growing genre — call it Progressive Christian Scorn Literature — about the scorn progressive Christians have for conservative evangelicals. It seems to be celebrated on the Left as a kind of righteous comeuppance for the Christian Right, and it wins the applause of the Left for the Christian Left. But it’s wrong and it needs to be called out. It’s neither winsome, nor loving, nor constructive, nor right. It will not improve our witness because it’s soaked through with bitterness and rancor. I hope that people of good heart and mind, like Evans, leave it behind.

We cannot get beyond the culture wars by simply joining one side and lobbing bombs against the other. We cannot improve the reputation of the church by throwing half of it under the bus.

Read the full article here.

What Mr. Dalrymple says is true enough. Unilateral withdrawal wouldn’t be any more redemptive a solution for the culture war than it was victory in Vietnam or Iraq. If you won’t stand up for the implications of your faith’s worldview, your faith isn’t much.

At the same time, the fact is the culture war is lost for conservative evangelicals, not because the politics failed — indeed for a time they were successful — but because the culture of promiscuity and self-indulgence won the hearts of the people. Political involvement is crucial, but the culture war was fought in the arena of popular culture — TV, movies, music, etc. Conservative evangelicals failed to present as winsome a case for the biblical worldview as unbelievers did for theirs. People were persuaded. One wonders whether it was ever even possible to win, but the fact is we didn’t step up to the challenge when it mattered.

None of that is to say conservative evangelicals should stop advocating passionately for the biblical worldview. Scripture is clear that we are engaged in a battle declared against righteousness and justice, but it also reminds us that the weapons of that warfare are not flesh and blood tools like political power. The battle is spiritual, more about ideas and values than winning elections.

The battle will eventually be won. Jesus Christ is Lord. For our part, we can continue to make movies like Courageous that tell winsome stories full of God’s righteousness and justice demonstrated in loving lives. We can build deep relationships with those around us by caring about their day-to-day struggles. We can listen to the Lord’s heart for the poor and oppressed and stand with them in multiplying justice.

I’m not sure the day will ever come when Jesus’ values will be honored by the large majority of this country, but we can change our strategy for persuading the people. We can launch the counter-revolution.

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