The North Carolina Marriage Amendment

A friend of mine who lives in North Carolina posted the following message on his Facebook page after voting on the marriage amendment Tuesday. I thought it was insightful and summarized a lot of my own thinking on the topic.

Why I Voted For The Marriage Amendment

  1. I believe that marriage was intended to produce life, and the perpetuation of the human race and thus societies. This only happens between a male and female. I realize this still happens outside marriage, but that does not change the main purpose of marriage.
  2. In the same vein, marriage laws exist primarily to protect children. They do not exist to give certain rights or entitlements based on the gender of the couple.
  3. One of the main reasons I voted for it is because I firmly believe that homosexuals and heterosexuals who cohabit will still have equal protection under the law. All people deserve that protection, regardless of their identity. If I believed the amendment limited those protections, I would have voted against it.
  4. The family, two parents producing children, is the basic unit of society. It is not built on the government or whatever rights it may allow. Without stable families, there would be no society or government. Everyone that exists was brought into the world through this family relationship. Marriage offered further stability to the family. There is a moral restraint in marriage (or at least there used to be) to keep couples from breaking apart and undermining this stability.
  5. I also believe in tradition. The reason traditions get established is largely because people realized that living one way works and other ways did not. The ancients found that marriage between male and female offered stability for their societies, and not other relationships.
  6. I believe in revelation. God does communicate his will to us, both in general and special revelation. Nature (or biology, if you will) shows that the only life-producing relationship is between male and female. Special revelation, God’s direct communication, tells us that He created male and female, and that the male was intended to take female as a wife.

I think there is some hypocrisy when we as Christians talk about protecting marriage. The problem lies in the fact that the divorce rate among Christians is as high as it is among non-Christians. Since the onset of “no fault” divorce in the late sixties, divorce rates skyrocketed, and that lies at our door. We need to repent and begin standing up for traditional marriage. This is a step in the right direction.

Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound

Fox News reports:

The former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas says she had a “change of heart” after watching an abortion last month — and she quit her job and joined a pro-life group in praying outside the facility.

Abby Johnson, 29, used to escort women from their cars to the clinic in the eight years she volunteered and worked for Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. But she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched a fetus “crumple” as it was vacuumed out of a patient’s uterus in September.

This raises an interesting point. Given the current legality of abortion in the U.S., would it be unreasonable to mandate that women considering having an abortion watch a.) a video of an abortion procedure, and/or b.) a live ultrasound of the little life inside of her?

There is nothing more fascinating and miraculous than the first time you see your own little unborn baby on an ultrasound screen. Even as early as 10 weeks you can see little arms and legs moving around and a little heart beating at 170+ times a minute. It makes you wonder how many women, confronted with the beauty of a living fetus and/or the horrow of its termination, would still go through the procedure.

What do you think?

The Green Culture of Death

The Telegraph had an article yesterday contending that the best way to manage ‘global warming’ is through the use of contraception.

Contraception is almost five times cheaper as a means of preventing climate change than conventional green technologies, according to research by the London School of Economics.

The article’s main thesis is that by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies through contraception, the global population can be cut significantly enough to curb the elevation in the earth’s growing temperature.

I disagree with this thesis for two main reasons. First, I don’t believe in global warming. We’ve covered the so-called ‘green’ movement before. There is absolutely no sufficient scientific data that suggests any change in the earth’s core temperatures have anything to do with anything other than the normal cycles of the sun.

But more importantly, I don’t accept the view of children presented in the article. This suggests that children are less important than ‘Mother Earth’ — for the sake of the earth, let’s cut back on the number of babies that are born every year. Babies = bad. Does that not bother you?

If not, perhaps it is because you have become too caught up in the culture of death that we live in. I say culture of death because it is a culture that does not value life. I saw on Facebook the other day a friend of mine who was ‘disgusted’ that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were having another child, as if children are somehow an affront to human society. Here was the message: “*name* is feeling nauseous after finding out that the Duggars are having a 19th child…really, 19???…gross.” Then below a comment in response reads: “that’s just irresponsible. there’s not room for all of us on this planet.” What is so irresponsible about this? None of these children are going to be neglected or be left in need for anything. In fact, I would wager that every one of those children will turn out to be an outstanding person that will have much to contribute to society. But because our culture hates life, the concept of having more than 2-3 children is disgusting.

I almost want to tell these folks that if they’re so concerned about the population of earth then go live on the moon.

It’s no wonder abortion and gay marriage are so cherished today. Ours is a nihilistic culture that celebrates decisions that can only lead to death and scorn those that lead to life. I can only say that never in my household will my children feel as though the earth’s temperature is more valuable to me than their lives are.

Some Reasoned Apocalyptic Observations

I once really liked the Left Behind series. I was young, impressionable, and interested in the end times. Yes, the books are entertaining to read, but I learned long ago not to exclusively buy into one particular take on end times prophesy. In fact, I have opted not to speculate about the end times at all, focusing instead on what I believe end times prophesy is really all about — living a life of holiness and service here and now.

With all that said, have you seen the news lately? Now trust me, I am not prone to grand conclusions or speculations, especially regarding the apocalypse. But I don’t want to be an ignoramus with my head buried in the sand either.

Now that you’ve read my disclaimer and will hopefully not view me as a wild haired end times fanatic, consider some of today’s headlines.

George Russell of Fox News reports that a new U.N. ‘Climate Change’ plan would likely shift trillions to form a new world economy. He writes:

A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

Just earlier this week Secretary of the Treasury and tax cheat Tim Geithner said he was open to a Chinese proposal to move towards a global currency. Granted, the tax cheat did qualify his statement by saying that such a move would be “evolutionary…building on the current architecture rather than moving us to global monetary union,” but the openness to such an idea at all is somewhat troubling. Especially given the renewed global movement toward such an idea.

And who can ignore the global threats posed by rogue nations with nuclear ambitions such as the terrorism-sponsoring state of Iran and North Korea, or the emergence of the Chinese communist superpower that is buying up all the world’s debt, or the many recent provocative advancements of the Kremlin, including the most recent news of a new arctic military presence.

All things considered, one thing is for sure: the world is changing. While I welcome the return of Jesus, and eagerly await seeing him face to face, the world in the meantime is becoming an ever more hostile and dangerous place to live. And even if none of these things above have anything to do with the end times, they still give reason for concern and demand that we do not remain idle or oblivious.

Generational Holiness

This was sent to me this morning by my sister-in-law, Shellie. I thought it was rather witty and dead on the mark (click the image if you’re having trouble reading it):

The fallout of the bad parenting decisions of the now aging Baby Boomer generation has yet to be fully felt. But the initial consensus is that the next generation of young men and women, IE. my own, may be the most narcissistic ever. After being raised to believe that everyone wins and no one is wrong, many who are close to my age think they are the epicenter of the universe. Parents who try to be their children’s ‘friends’ instead of their parents — you know, the ones who opt for “time out” instead of a good old fashion spanking — are creating a whole generation of vain selfish little monsters who are soon to be in control of the world. It’s already bad enough that my generation is inheriting our parents’ touchy-feely overly-emotionally-oriented self-help therapeutic me-and-Jesus religion. Now it just seems like the whole country is going to be overrun with young men and women who’s worldview is only me-and-me. Exaggerated? No. Scary? Yes.

I know what you’re thinking… “Sean, don’t you fit into this category?” The answer is no. Thank God that my parents spanked me when I was bad, told me to be quiet when I was talking in church, encouraged me to win (but to do so with integrity and in good sportsmanship), showed interest in my education, punished me when I had a check mark in the “talks too much” box on my elementary report cards, made me do chores around the house (including shoveling snow that didn’t belong to me), be responsible with my money, carry my dinner plate into the kitchen after I was through, clean up my bedroom, and more. And thank God that there are other parents out there like them. Granted, they still managed to pass along some of that touchy-feely overly-emotionally-oriented self-help therapeutic me-and-Jesus religion that I mentioned earlier, but at the very least they taught me to believe in and love God. The truth is that I owe much of my manhood/adulthood/personhood to my parents. The question now is what kind of parent will I be to my own children?

The answer: I want them to be more holy than I am. Just as my goal is to replicate all that is good in my parents while avoiding the things they did wrong, I hope in turn to raise my children in such a way that I am not half the person that they will be. Is there a more beautiful offering to God than godly children who love the Trinity and hate sin? Perhaps that is the moral to this post, and maybe even the moral to all of life. Perpetuating godliness is the antithesis of the spirit of our age, the spirit of rabid narcissistic individualism, which is the spirit of antichrist.

I conclude my little rant by pointing you to a good sermon on this topic by WBS alum and board member, Mr. Charlie Artmann. He beautifully articulates all that I am trying to say here, so I recommend you take the time to listen to it.

http://wbspod.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=130328

Humans will wed robots?

Updated. Originally posted on 10/12/07.

From Breitbart:

MAASTRICHT, Netherlands, Oct. 11 (UPI) — The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.

David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, “Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners,” that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.

Read.

This is further proof that today more than ever we need to be firm on God’s intentions for human relationships. This report is but a chilling example of the nihilistic end to Western individualism. Now, more than ever before, we must be able to accurately articulate who God is. He is three persons who in a communion of self-giving love are one. If you start with monadic oneness you end with monadic oneness…and people trying to marry robots.

For those of you interested, Dr. Dennis Kinlaw was the lecturer for the 2007 Chamberlain Holiness Lectures here at Wesley Biblical Seminary last week. The topic was “Human Sexuality and the Holy.” CDs and DVDs of the lectures, including the 2007 Academic Convocation address by Dr. John Oswalt on “Human Sexuality in the Old Testament,” are available to be purchased from the seminary’s website. You would benefit greatly from purchasing copies of these lectures. They were exceptional.

God save us.

Middle School Offering Contraceptives

From Yahoo! news:

PORTLAND, Maine – After an outbreak of pregnancies among middle school girls, education officials in this city have decided to allow allow one school’s health center to make birth control pills available to girls as young as 11.

King Middle School will become the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available, including birth control pills, patches and condoms. There are no national figures on how many middle schools provide such services. Most middle schoolers range in age from 11 to 13…

Read.

Can you believe this? Instead of confronting the issue, which (in case you are unable to identify it) is the fact that these children are having sex in Middle School, this school district has decided to throw condoms at its outcome. The problem isn’t that these girls are getting pregnant, but that they’re having sex! Though you almost have to wonder what alternatives public schools left themselves with. I mean, you can’t talk about morality, or personal responsibility, or, horror of horrors, God in the public square any more.

Public schools in America have handicapped themselves in such a way that no longer can they offer actual solutions to the children attending them. They’ve thrown out the Bible, prayer, and any trace of Christianity and replaced them with contraceptives.

How fitting.

In other words:

There is no right or wrong way to use your delicate and immeasurably precious sexuality.

Here’s a box of Trojans instead.

Have a blast.

This is such a tragedy. No one is looking out for these children. Neither their parents, nor their teachers, nor the school district as a whole. It’s frightening once you realize that Portland, MN is both a microcosm of American schools as a whole and an omen of times to come.