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Bill Gothard; Déjà vu All Over Again

by on October 16th, 2014

Yogi Berra is known for what are called Yogiisms which make me smile. One of his observations on baseball was “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.” Another is “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.” One of my all-time favorites though has to be “Its Déjà vu all over again.” Watching Bill Gothard’s repeat performance of non-repenting repentance is a case of having Déjà vu all over again. We have seen this before. In the early 1980’s in the midst of a sex scandal which was in the national news Bill Gothard met with the Board of the then Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts for about 12 hours. The board members would ask Bill, “Did you ever…” (there were a number of accusations) to which he would respond, “I never…” Witnesses and evidence would be brought forth, he would confess that indeed he was guilty and by the end of the meeting he resigned. That resignation, however, was short lived. In less than 3 weeks (about long enough for a nice vacation) he returned to the helm and the blood-letting of those who had attempted to hold him accountable began. His response at that time was not unlike we read about Diotrephes in 3 John 1:9-10:

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Letters to My Child if They Tell Me They are Gay (Part 2)

by on October 9th, 2014

WashedLast week I took up John Pavlovitz’s challenge to formulate what I would say to my children if one of them told me he or she was gay. That particular letter was aimed at a young adult who came out to me. This time, I want to formulate what I would say if a younger child–say 14 or 15–or even younger told me that they were attracted to someone of the same sex. The “letter” is a contrivance because obviously I would not “write them a letter.” I would sit down with them and talk.

So you’ve told me that you think you might be gay. You think this because you don’t find yourself really attracted to the opposite sex but find yourself very much attracted to the same sex. Chances are, I’ve suspected this for some time. Maybe you are like one of my heroes Wesley Hill who has tried to “like” those of the same sex but just can’t. In his book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality describes trying to feel attracted to girls all his life to no avail. That may be you. You may have had same sex attraction for a long time and just been too scared to say anything. So you want dad’s thoughts on all this:

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Letters to My Child if They Tell Me They are Gay (Part 1)

by on October 2nd, 2014

Recently a pastor in Raleigh North Carolina blogged about what he would say if one of his children told him that they were gay. He got lots of flack and lots of pats on the back. I think if he had a nickel for every time someone quoted Romans 1 he could build his own youth center. However, he kept coming back to the same set of questions:

How would you respond if you found out your child was gay?
What would you do, specifically?
What do you say, exactly?
Do you share the news with friends, family, and church family?
Do you get them some sort of treatment? What kind?
What do you pray?
How do you determine if they are “well”, or fit for inclusion into Heaven?

In short, how would your specific response to a gay child be different than mine?

barney-stinson-challenge-accepted

I want to answer these questions in this next post as sort of a way of working out what I would say if one of my children told me they were gay.

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A Moron in the Whitehouse?

by on September 25th, 2014

Ah, the election season is upon us again. It seems to actually be never ending in recent years but merely more intensified as we get closer to voting. Some campaigns come across as dirty politics and can get quite nasty but as it turns out, not as nasty as the campaigns of the 19th and early 20th century. Someone created the video Attack Ads, Circa 1800 using the campaign material from those elections:

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Negative Campaigning: A History is about a 5 minute overview of several of the nastier campaigns from that era. It seems our modern day campaigns are a bit more civil. Now, I am not so much weighing in on the elections but rather how some seem to use or more importantly misuse quotes from the past. Someone sent me an email last week which subject line, “A 94 Year Old Prophecy Fulfilled.” The email read:

A 94-year-old Prophecy is Fulfilled:

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You’re Not Wearing Jesus Very Well

by on September 19th, 2014

Mama-Tits-Seattle-Pride-2014-Christian-Protesters-Video-Featured-Image

I’ve been staring at this photo a lot over the last few days. And the same thing keeps going through my head. What do these people think they are accomplishing? I mean the ones with the signs not the one with blue hair. I mean seriously what do you expect to happen when you show up at a gay pride parade with signs that say “Repent” and “Jesus Christ is Lord”  Do they think that drag queens are simply going to look up and say in a moment of clarity: “Wow. I am compelled by the sincerity of those people and their signs. I had forgotten that my cross dressing and gay sex was a sin. But seeing these signs, well now I’m not so sure. In fact, it just hit me that my entire worldview is completely false. And these people look so loving and caring. I really should rethink my entire worldview and maybe go to church with them.”

seriously

Is there anyone who seriously thinks that there are people in the gay community that are not aware that Evangelicals think homosexuality is a sin?

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Atheism in Review

by on September 11th, 2014

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I have had the opportunity to get to know Dr. William Lane Craig and worked on research for one of his debates some years ago. He is a clear thinker and sound debater. The above 10 minute clip of his debate with the Christopher Hitchens is a case in point. In fact, CommonSenseAtheism.com wrote that, “Frankly, Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.” Craig is correct in pointing out that atheists cannot simply deny that God exists but are also required to make a positive case for their position. Our task is to understand their claims and question their conclusions as well as making a positive case for our beliefs.

Two recent contributions to the ongoing debate are the book by Norman L. Geisler and Daniel J. McCoy, The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw:Exposing Conflicting Beliefs and the film God’s Not Dead

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But We’re Moderates!

by on September 4th, 2014

There’s a poem that goes . . .

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The poem is attributed to Nazi-era German pastor Martin Niemoller. Niemoller admits that when the Third Reich began its campaign of systematic incarceration of those not . . . well Nazi, that the church was complacent:

When the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers. Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians – “should I be my brother’s keeper?” Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. – I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it’s right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn’t it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? — Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.

Now in what follows I don’t want to be accused of playing the “Hitler Card.”

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