Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Same-Sex "Marriage" and the Catholic Church

The Irish giving hearty approval to same-sex "marriage," as I took note of in my previous post, is another sign of the sad decline and influence of the modern Catholic Church. It seems that Frank Bruni of The New York Times, at least somewhat, agrees with me.

Though Bruni--the openly homosexual, former restaurant critic turned op-ed columnist (in other words, the typical path to advancement with the liberal media)--frames this decline in much more positive terms than I do, the evidence is unmistakable.

There are now 20 nations that have given legal status to same-sex "marriage." Those include, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. As Bruni notes, these nations don't share a continent, or a language. "But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does."

As I noted, as of 2011, over 84% of Ireland identified as Roman Catholic. As Bruni put it,

"Irish voters nonetheless rejected the church’s formal opposition to same-sex marriage. This act of defiance was described, accurately, as an illustration of church leaders’ loosening grip on the country.
"But in falling out of line with the Vatican, Irish people are actually falling in line with their Catholic counterparts in other Western countries, including the United States.
"They aren’t sloughing off their Catholicism — not exactly, not entirely. An overwhelming majority of them still identify as Catholic. But they’re incorporating religion into their lives in a manner less rooted in Europe and the Americas in particular, the church is much more fluid than [Rome]. It harbors spiritually inclined people paying primary obeisance to their own consciences, their own senses of social justice. That impulse and tradition are as Catholic as any others." (Emphasis is mine.)

In other words, as was noted last week, such "Catholicism" shows tremendous (if not complete) "indifference" towards truth, sin, salvation, and judgement. In other words, a "fluid church" is no church at all. In fact, and almost certainly unbeknownst to Bruni, a "fluid church" sounds much like a church built on shifting sand instead of solid rock. 

As Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

And great has been the fall of the Catholic Church and Mainline Protestant churches, who have abandoned truth in the name of "relevance" and "tolerance."  At least some within the Catholic Church seem to recognize this. Upon the outcome of the Irish vote, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, said he was "deeply saddened by the result." He added, "The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelization. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity."

In other words, the "reality" of the vote in Ireland should be a wake-up call to all who follow Jesus. As more and more are calling good evil, and evil good, it is getting easier and easier to compromise with the truth. The road to eternal life seems to be getting more and more narrow and harder to find, while the path to destruction is attractive, well-lit, wide, and busy with travelers. Do not be deceived!

(Update: Just after posting this, I came across this piece from Joanna Moorhead of The Guardian. Like Bruni, she captures well the liberal worldview when it comes to the church and the truth. In complete contradiction to my take (a "fluid church" is no church at all) on what destroys the church, Moorhead declares, "The gay marriage vote has forced Catholic leaders to face a simple reality: that a church without worshippers wouldn’t be a church at all."

Of course, instead of the "bride of Christ," she sees the church much like a business. Thus, if you want people to continue to come, you must give them what they want, or at least tell them what they want to hear. Because, as she puts it, its time that the church got on board with "what most of us believe, which is that truth and right are more likely to be found in common consensus than in autocratic dictatorship." Because, as we all know, Jesus always looked to what was popular, before He decided what was "truth" and what was "right.")

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Monday, May 25, 2015

On Marriage, America's Left Should Heed the Irish

As voters in Ireland voted overwhelmingly to approve same-sex "marriage," predictably, liberals across the world, but especially in the U.S., took a "victory lap." Lost in their jubilation, it evidently escaped most liberals the manner by which Ireland hastened herself down the wide path of destruction.

Make no mistake about it, a nation that rejects the oldest institution in the history of humanity, that rejects the foundation upon which EVERY culture rests, that declares motherhood and fatherhood "absurd," is well on its way to an ugly end. However, if a nation, a state, a city, or a tribe, chooses to take such a path, it should do so in the manner of Ireland. The people, not a dictator, not a handful of judges, should decide.

Barely five years ago, marriage as the union of one man and one woman was on a 31 for 31 winning streak with U.S. electorates. The average vote was 67.5% in favor of marriage as God gave it to us. This result included the very liberal electorates of Maine, California, Oregon, and Hawaii. The vast majority of U.S. states which have legalized same-sex "marriage" have done so at the whims of a federal judge. To reverse the overwhelming will of an American electorate in such a manner is the very definition of judicial tyranny.

Also, it cannot be ignored that the same-sex "marriage" vote in Ireland provides further evidence for the continued sad legacy of the modern Catholic Church. As of 2011, over 84% of Ireland identified as Roman Catholic. The waning influence of the Catholic Church on the grave moral issues of our time is shocking. As I've noted, this is yet another tragic result of the rotten influence of modern liberalism.

Again: Marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity--older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If ANYTHING is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can NEVER be compromise.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to Kill Christianity

Much has been made of the recent Pew poll that highlights America’s religious landscape. What has drawn the most attention is the apparent decline of Christianity in the U.S. “The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining,” began the piece. Many liberals took gleeful notice. The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Mark Tooley noted, “Secularists and their fellow travelers are ecstatic. The secular utopia about which John Lennon crooned is impending. Christianity is finally dying!”

Of course, this is far from the case, as Tooley later reveals. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, points out that it’s not Christianity that’s dying, but rather “near Christianity” that is teetering. “Good riddance,” Moore concludes.

The denominations that have lost the most “near Christians” are Catholic and Mainline Protestant. According to the Washington Times, “for every person who joined the Roman Catholic Church, six others were departing.” Additionally, in the last 50 years, the proportion of Americans belonging to one of the “Seven Sisters of Mainline Protestantism” has plummeted from one in six, to one in sixteen.

From the Anglicans at Jamestown, to the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and the Puritans at Massachusetts Bay, virtually all of the Mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. can trace their roots to those who literally founded America. The principles of American democracy were born in Mainline churches. The revivals during the Great Awakening were preached by men from Mainline churches. Many of the first colleges and universities in the U.S. were founded by Mainline churches. What’s more, eight of the first fourteen U.S. Presidents were Episcopalian. The spiritual and political roots of America are deeply embedded in Mainline Protestantism. What a tragic fall!

So this begs the question, why have the Catholic Church and Mainline Protestantism seen such a collapse? Moore reveals the answer when he notes that, what the Pew poll really reveals is that we have “fewer incognito atheists” in America. “Those who don’t believe can say so—and still find spouses, get jobs, volunteer with the PTA, and even run for office. This is good news because the kind of ‘Christianity’ that is a means to an end—even if that end is ‘traditional family values’—is what J. Gresham Machen rightly called ‘liberalism,’ and it is an entirely different religion from the apostolic faith handed down by Jesus Christ.”

Of course it would be the denominations most infected with liberalism (Is there anything liberalism can’t corrupt?) that have seen the most decline. As Tooley put it, “Mainline Protestantism lost its way when it forgot how to balance being American and being Christian, choosing American individualism and self-made spirituality over classical Christianity. Nearly all mainline seminaries had embraced modernism by the 1920s, rejecting the supernatural in favor of metaphorized faith integrated with sociology and political revolution.”

Such watered-down theology has produced ear-ticklers like John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Gene Robinson, and the like, along with heretical nonsense such as the Jesus Seminar. For decades men (and women) like Spong and Borg made quite a name for themselves by rejecting the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus, His atoning death and resurrection, every miracle recorded in the New Testament, and so on. In other words, in a tragic attempt to make themselves “relevant,” such men and women rejected virtually every tenet of the Christian faith, all the while still calling themselves “Christians.”

Unsurprisingly, it’s heretics such as these who’ve overseen such a precipitous decline in their denominations. After all, who wants to attend a church that rejects the supernatural and offers little more than worn-out platitudes and self-help advice? Who wants to attend a church that doesn’t talk about the forgiveness of sin (much less the existence of sin) and the hope of eternal life? Instead of pointing people to eternal truths, these liberal congregations have concerned themselves with “social activism.”

To a significant extent, the same thing has happened to the Catholic Church in the U.S. Though the American Catholic Church, unlike most of her liberal Protestant counterparts, has (for the most part) opposed abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and the rest of the radical sexual agenda of the left, sadly many Catholics have been all too willing to use big government activism as a substitute for charity.

As Paul Rahe put it, many years ago the Catholic Church in America “fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor.”

Additionally, rabid anti-death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean, the inspiration of the Susan Sarandon movie “Dead Man Walking,” is doing little for the cause of “individual responsibility.” In an attempt to help Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escape the ultimate responsibility for his murderous crimes, Sister Prejean testified last week in the penalty phase of the notorious Boston Bomber.

In spite of the lack of any public expression of remorse, Prejean testified that she felt that Tsarnaev was “genuinely sorry” for his crimes. Like her Catholic cohorts who advocate for the likes of Obamacare, Prejean mistakes “state paternalism” for true charity. (Nothing says “state paternalism” like clothing, housing, and feeding a mass murderer for decades.) Again, borrowing from Mark Tooley, “Was she concerned more about his eternal soul, or his physical life, and her political cause? Let’s pray the former, but the latter seems likelier. If indeed the latter, Sister Prejean is an archetype for the modern church’s indifference to eternity, and judgment, in favor of therapeutic protection and affirmation.”

Sister Prejean is a great illustration of why the Catholic Church in the U.S. is in steep decline. Just as with its promotion of government healthcare, or a litany of other programs that push state paternalism over personal responsibility, for decades now the Catholic Church in America has shown “indifference” toward eternity and judgement. Thus, anyone fervently seeking the truth on such matters is drawn elsewhere.

By and large, the churches that are growing in the U.S. are those that unapologetically present the truth. Of course, a large or a growing church isn’t always a measure of a healthy and holy church, but when one is sincerely seeking the spiritual truths that we all at one time or another crave, most of us “seekers” know the truth when we hear it and see it. This doesn’t mean that the majority of us will embrace such truths. Jesus Himself warned us that this would not be the case.

Don’t be surprised to see the decline of Christianity continue. As it becomes more difficult and dangerous to be a follower of Christ, more and more people are going to find the “wide road” described by Jesus quite appealing. This is especially the case when so-called “Christians” are pointing the way.

(See the column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

You Want Better Government, Embrace the Biblical Family

As Baltimore, and most recently Seattle, became the latest examples of the disgusting fruit of liberalism in America, it is becoming more and more difficult for liberals to explain away the devastation that their politics and policies have wrought. This devastation extends far beyond the burned police cars, broken windows, looted businesses, and even beyond the violence suffered by the human targets of riotous thugs. As I recently noted, such mayhem will continue in cities and towns all across the U.S. where liberalism is entrenched.

As Baltimore burned, an abundance of pundits correctly took the opportunity to call it like it was (and is). “After festering for half a century,” wrote Roger L. Simon, “we're witnessing the endgame of LBJ's Great Society.” At National Review, Kevin Williamson explained, “American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit.”

At the New York Daily News, S.E. Cupp noted how slow and opaque was Hillary Clinton when it came time to weigh in on the Baltimore fiasco. Said Cupp, “Clinton’s reticence to discuss race hints at the glaring reality that Democrats simply don’t have the answers on how to end the growing inequality that creates the distrust and civil unrest we’ve seen in Missouri and Maryland.

“If any city is an example of the failures of liberal policies — from the economy to education to unemployment — it’s Baltimore, which has had a Democratic mayor for the last 48 years.

“For decades, the city’s political elite has thrown billions at development projects that were somehow meant to trickle out toward Baltimore’s impoverished areas, but that hasn’t happened.”

David French chimed in, declaring that “Blue America has failed at social justice. It has failed at equality. It has failed at accountability. Its competing constituencies are engaged in street battles, and any exploration of ‘root causes’ must necessarily include decades of failed policies — all imposed by steadfastly Democratic mayors and city leaders.”

Even the liberals at The Daily Beast pointed out how “America’s Cities Mirror Baltimore’s Woes.” Here, author Joel Kotkin noted that “the average poverty rate in the historical core municipalities in the 52 largest U.S. metro areas remains at 24.1 percent, more than double the 11.7 percent rate in suburban areas.” Kotkin goes so far as to declare that the Reagan era “was pretty good for blacks, if not for their leaders. Even as poverty spending growth slowed, the poverty rate dropped in the Reagan years to around 30 percent for African-Americans.” Kotkin concludes, “Clearly an improved economy is more important than ramping up social spending.”

Yet, when looking for “answers” or “root causes,” ramping up social spending is nearly always the liberal answer to most any social ill. Whether burning cities, rampant crime, massive unemployment, or failing schools, liberals always seek the same solution: more taxpayer money.

After the Baltimore riots, President Obama lamented that, though “there’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now,” under the current Congress, he would not get the “massive investments in urban communities” necessary to enact such an agenda. Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD) parroted the typical liberal drivel to Chris Wallace and declared that, in Baltimore, there needed to be more investment in education and “economic development.” Never mind that Baltimore was already spending the third highest per capita in the U.S. on its pitiful government schools.

Do you know what is the best predictor of academic success? Family success. Do you know what is one of the “most significant factors in determining whether a community offers low-income children hope of economic mobility?” According to a new study by two Harvard professors, it’s the presence of two parent families.

In spite of their best efforts to ignore or explain away what common sense and sound morality have always revealed, a few liberals are finally coming around to the notion that the biblical family model actually produces good results. So we’re finally going to see liberals cease their war on the family, right? Hardly.

While acknowledging the advantages of the traditional (biblical) family model, instead of promoting the oldest institution in human history, some liberals have recently gone so far as to suggest that in order to eliminate the “unfairness in society,” we need to abolish the family. In a profile of two British political philosophers, Australia’s ABC points out that “So many disputes in our liberal democratic society hinge on the tension between inequality and fairness: between groups, between sexes, between individuals, and increasingly between families. The power of the family to tilt equality hasn’t gone unnoticed, and academics and public commentators have been blowing the whistle for some time.” In other words, these academics are merely advocating that liberals do what they so often do: if you can’t beat it, destroy it.

Ahh, but that’s just those crazy liberals across the pond. Such would never happen in America. Wrong. Even when their own attempted a campaign to highlight the link between things like out-of-wedlock births and poverty, liberals determined to hold to their orthodoxy, blasted these efforts, declaring “This campaign seems laser-focused on shaming already struggling teen parents or, ludicrously, convincing teens not to get pregnant because really bad things will happen.” Because, you know, it’s “ludicrous” to teach young people the negative consequences of sex outside of marriage.

For decades now, liberals in America have preached and promoted policies, and of course passed legislation, that has done nothing but wrought havoc on the biblical family model. Everything from the welfare state to abortion, pornography, promiscuity, homosexuality, a perverse redefinition of marriage, and the like, has undermined God’s design for the family.

Sadly, libertarians more concerned with personal pleasure than with good government (“Libertarians of Convenience” as some call them), have decided that the moral arguments they so favor when it comes to the welfare state and the like, simply don’t apply when it comes to abortion, pornography, homosexuality, marriage, and similar such issues.

As I’ve noted before, “Strong and healthy marriages lead to strong and healthy families. Strong and healthy families lead to strong and healthy communities. Strong and healthy communities lead to strong and healthy churches, schools, businesses, governments, and so on. Each of these institutions lies at the heart of any great nation.” In other words, the biblical family model is at the heart of good government. When the family is abandoned, chaos and anarchy reign. And what is so often the “solution” to such chaos? Bigger and more powerful government.

If you want good (and smaller) government, then you better support all efforts that promote the biblical family model.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Video Tribute to Papa Fitz

Below is the video played during memorial service today for David "Papa" Fitzpatrick. Thanks to Mark Nunnally (Papa's other son-in-law) for putting this together.

If you want a life this rich, full of such joy and peace, then you need to take the same path as David, and seek the Prince of Peace. And if you seek Him, you will find Him. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Legacy of Love

In the How to Manage Your Money Bible study by the late Larry Burkett, while discussing wealth and stewardship, Larry noted that, once we leave this world, what we will be in eternity is decided forever. And the only things that will matter are the things we did in the name of Jesus. So often in his sermons, teachings, counseling sessions, or simply everyday conversations, my beloved father-in-law, David Fitzpatrick, would urge us to say the things that Jesus said, and do the things that Jesus did.

Jesus was his standard--always. David didn't simply tell others to do and say such things, he modeled this behavior with his own life. Whether giving away grocery bags full of items that couldn't be purchased with food stamps (soaps, toilet paper, toothpaste, and the like) at one of the Gainesville area housing projects (a service he performed for well over a decade), preparing and delivering sermons, counseling young couples looking to marry, helping to plant churches in South America, supporting Choices Pregnancy Care Center, offering prayer to strangers in public places, being overly generous to those who waited his table in restaurants, keeping his grandchildren while their parents worked or ran errands, pouring life and truth into the middle school students that he taught, and on, and on, and on, David was very busy being the hands and feet of Jesus.

"Papa" with 3 of his 4 children (along with their spouses) and 10 of his 11 grandchildren this past Christmas.

As a result of such a walk, David's life was rich and full of joy. I almost never saw him angry. (Something with which I sometimes struggle. Thus, I will continue to look to his life as a reminder of how I can do better as a husband and father.) He was certainly one of the kindest and most generous men that I've ever met. (I'm nearly 46 years old--and I've been married to his oldest daughter Michelle for over 17 years now--and he still insisted on getting me a birthday present every year, while also taking my whole family out to dinner on each of our birthdays!)

David and Margie went to their grandchildren's birthday parties, baseball games, karate tournaments (he and Margie traveled to Ellijay this past weekend to watch Caleb, Jesse, and Caroline compete in karate), piano recitals, horse shows, and the like.

However, after his relationship with his creator and Savior, David was most devoted to his wife Margie. This devotion was clear to all of us who knew him best. This is perhaps his greatest witness. With such devotion, David has made an eternal impact on his children and grandchildren that we will remember for the rest of our lives. I've often said that, after our relationship with our Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is that between a husband and wife. David's love for Margie was as precious and proper as any marriage I've ever known.

(As an aside: Leading up to the legal arguments on marriage made before the U.S. Supreme Court, and answering Ted Cruz's challenge to preach and teach on marriage, the last two Sundays in April of this year, David's sermons were on God's design for marriage. In a world where there is so much deception about what is good, what is right, what is truth, what is love, David was a tremendous light into the deceptive darkness.)

Additionally, David LOVED to "get lost" in musical worship. He craved it. It was a point of emphasis while he was a pastor on this earth. However, he knew well that a life of worship went far beyond the songs we sing on Sunday morning.

This life of worship would certainly extend to showing love and forgiveness to the man that struck and killed David as he rode his bike near Braselton. This man must answer to the law, but in no way would David have us wallow in hate or anger in this tragedy. In fact, David would have us pray that God would reach down into Mr. Bowers' life and bring hope and healing.

Thank you, Papa, for a life full of love. I, and many others have reaped much, and will continue to do so, from all of the love that you've sown. This is only goodbye for now. All who know Jesus will see you again. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!!!

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Monday, May 4, 2015

Today, We Lost A Great One

As he was riding his bike today along highway 53 near Braselton, my father-in-law, David Fitzpatrick, was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident.

"Papa," as David was affectionately known (especially by his 11 grandchildren), is shown here with my two oldest boys Caleb (left) and Jesse, in a service at our church where he was the pastor.

Our hearts are broken. Many tears have already been shed. Please pray for God to heal our hearts and give us peace. David, however, is shedding nary a tear as he is where we are all meant to be: in the precious presence of his Creator.

David is survived by his wife Margie; four children: David, Michelle (my wife), Suzanne, and Jeremy; four siblings; his parents, Horace and Bertie-Mae Fitzpatrick (pray especially for them, as no parent should ever have to bury their child); and 11 grandchildren. Along with being a pastor, David was a middle-school teacher at the Christian home school academy (Gainesville Home School Academy) where our children attend. His oldest grandchild, Caleb (my oldest) was in his class. Pray for this room full of students as well, as they will dearly miss such a godly and gentle man who, from a strong biblical worldview, was wisely teaching them about the world in which we live.

I will say more about David's spirit-filled and beautiful life later. Instead of mourn, he would have us celebrate his rich and full life with which God so blessed him. In fact, David would probably say that we have "10,000 reasons" to celebrate. This was one of his favorites:

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jonathan Cahn Warns: America is at War with Her Foundations (video below)

A little over a year ago, I noted how that the pagan principles that led astray God's people centuries ago were very similar to the pagan principles that have come to dominate much of American culture today. Messianic Jewish Rabbi, pastor, and author Jonathan Cahn recently made similar conclusions. Rabbi Cahn made his comments at the 2015 "Washington: A Man of Prayer" service at the U.S. Capitol.

Following the recent ridiculous hearing on marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court, where the American justices heard arguments on the perverse notion that same-sex couples have the "right" to marry under the U.S. Constitution, Cahn declared "The justices of the Supreme Court took up their seats on whether they should strike down the biblical and historic definition of marriage." He added, "That the event should even take place is a sign this is America of [George] Washington’s warning … a nation at war against its own foundation."

"If this court should overrule the word of God and strike down the eternal rules of order and right that heaven itself ordained, how then will God save it?" Cahn asked. "Justices, can you judge the ways of God? There is another court and there another judge, where all men and all judges will give account.

"If a nation’s high court should pass judgment on the Almighty, should you then be surprised God will pass judgment on the court and that nation? We are doing that which Israel did on the altars of Baal," he said.

"We are exchanging our light for darkness." Indeed. Hear his powerful words below.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fueled by Liberalism, Baltimore Erupts

Make no mistake: This will happen again, and it will continue to happen in cities and towns all across the U.S. where liberalism is entrenched. Baltimore is just the latest foul episode. As much as some would like for this to be about race, this is about the rotten fruit of a political philosophy and a worldview that, among other things, eschews the notions of absolute truth, personal responsibility, sound morality, individual liberty, the biblical family model, and a host of other proper principles necessary for good government. 

Whether Ferguson, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, or any other significant American municipality dominated by liberals, it's just a matter of time until the next ugly eruption. As I asked last year--over four months prior to the Michael Brown incident--"Is there anything liberalism can't corrupt?" From the conscience to communities to corporations to families, churches, schools, and government, its destruction seems to know no bounds.

As I noted, the political machine in most every large U.S. city is dominated by Democrats, and has been for decades. And as Rush asked earlier today, why is the Democrat base so unhappy?

"Why are they unhappier than ever? You've had the Democrat Party supposedly paving the way for them for 50 years. You've had the Democrat Party running inference for them for 50 years. The Democrat Party promising to get even with all those racist conservatives and Republicans. The Democrat Party promising that whatever goes wrong, they're gonna fix. The Democrat Party making it clear that they are the examples of these downtrodden people.

"These downtrodden people are angrier than they've ever been! They're unhappier than they've ever been. They're more agitated than they've ever been. The urban core. Obama's base!"
And of course, no matter how bad it gets, they continue to vote for liberals. Because somehow, it's always the fault of conservatives.

While Baltimore's democrat mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (of course, a modern full-fledged feminazi must have a hyphenated last name) gave the rioters "space to destroy," John Angelos, Baltimore Orioles' executive vice-president and son of the majority owner of the Orioles Peter Angelos, was quick to perpetuate the victim status of those destroying his city (which got the Orioles game cancelled today).

According to the Washington Times, the younger Angelos wrote of his concern for

"the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US to 3rd-world dictatorships like China," which he said has sent "tens of millions of good hard working Americans into economic devastation" and "an ever-declining standard of living and suffering." 
"The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance and other abuses of the bill of rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kid's game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards," Mr. Angelos continued
"We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the US and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic, civil and legal rights and this … makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans," he wrote.
Of course, John and his father Peter Angelos are life-long democrats. Thus, this can't be the fault of those who are stalking the streets, smashing windows, burning cars, and attacking the police. Something else--or better--someone else must be to blame. And if only we would elect liberals, all this will change.

P.S. While few know the exact circumstances of Freddie Gray's death, one thing is clear: he was no stranger to the police. Take note of his rap sheet:
  • March 20, 2015: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
  • March 13, 2015: Malicious destruction of property, second-degree assault
  • January 20, 2015: Fourth-degree burglary, trespassing
  • January 14, 2015: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
  • December 31, 2014: Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute
  • December 14, 2014: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • August 31, 2014: Illegal gambling, trespassing
  • January 25, 2014: Possession of marijuana
  • September 28, 2013: Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree assault, second-degree escape
  • April 13, 2012: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, violation of probation
  • July 16, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute
  • March 28, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • March 14, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to manufacture and distribute
  • February 11, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • August 29, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, violation of probation
  • August 28, 2007: Possession of marijuana
  • August 23, 2007: False statement to a peace officer, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • July 16, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2 counts)
Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Andy Stanley Still Sending Mixed Messages on Marriage/Sexuality

Last year, when the Kansas House of Representatives passed their version of a religious liberty bill, Pastor Andy Stanley was quoted as saying that he found it “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law.” He added, “Serving people we don't see eye to eye with is the essence of Christianity. Jesus died for a world with which he didn't see eye to eye. If a bakery doesn't want to sell its products to a gay couple, it's their business. Literally. But leave Jesus out of it.”

In response to him and others at the time, I penned "There's Nothing Wrong in Kansas (but is there something wrong with Andy Stanley?)." It seems that Pastor Stanley is still struggling with the idea of how the church should deal with all things homosexual. As the Christian Post notes, speaking at a church leadership conference in California this past Friday, Pastor Stanley declared that local congregations should be the "safest place on the planet for students to talk about anything, including same-sex attraction."

He added, "We just need to decide from now on in our churches when a Middle School kid comes out to his small group leader or a high school young lady comes out to her parents...regardless of what you think about this topic — no more students are going to feel like they have to leave the local church because they're same-sex attracted or because they're gay. That ends with us."

Of course, he's absolutely correct. Churches should be the "safest place on the planet for gay youth." I wonder though: does pastor Stanley have the same inclinations towards prostitutes or those who struggle with pedophilia (whose numbers are very similar to those with same-sex attractions). Shouldn't the church be a welcoming environment for those as well? (As the old saying goes, the church is a not a sanctuary for saints, but a hospital for sinners.) Of course, the answer to that depends somewhat upon the attitude of the attendee. Are they seeking the church in order to get help with their sin (or "struggles," or however it is they identify the pain they're in), or are they demanding that the church redefine sin?

"The church is mean to homosexuals" is a common straw-man tossed about by the secular left and other homosexual apologists. However, the pastor of one of the largest evangelical churches in the U.S. should know better than to borrow talking points from today's liberals. How long is the church at large going to be smeared by the words and actions of a few (i.e. the Westboro Baptist crowd)?

The vast majority of evangelicals take the same "hate the sin, love the sinner" approach to homosexuality that we are to take with all sin. However, this is not enough for today's left and their homosexual agenda. They are determined to eliminate homosexuality from the list of sins. 

If you doubt me on this, take note. Barely two weeks ago, no-less than an Op-Ed columnist, Frank Bruni, at The New York Times declared that Christians who see homosexual acts as sinful are making "a choice" to engage in "bigotry." Bruni boldly concluded that "homosexuality and Christianity don't have to be in conflict in any church anywhere." Right, they don't have to be in conflict, as long as we accept the liberal definitions of sin and Christianity. 

I don't think that Andy Stanley is of this mind on Christianity and sin (at least I sure hope not!); however, he must surely be aware that this mindset is prevalent within modern liberalism, and therefore he should more carefully weigh his words when speaking on these grave matters. 

Pastor Stanley also wants churches to "take a break" for a year from the culture wars. (I prefer "moral wars.") In NO WAY should this be the case! Does anyone think those pushing the homosexual agenda are going to take a year off?! Yes, within the church (and Christianity in general) there seems to be an inordinate amount of attention given to issues like abortion, marriage, and homosexuality. However, this isn't the result of the church suddenly deciding that these issues are a special class of sin. It is due to the fact that abortion, homosexuality, and the like have a massive political/cultural machine behind them that seeks legitimacy along with total and complete acceptance--whether by force, deception, or other nefarious means--for these behaviors. (See above.)

Along with dominating the mainstream media, the liberals behind this machine own a political party (Democrats). With these massive cultural hammers, liberals have sought to pound traditional Christianity, along with other like-minded people, into submission when it comes to most anything in the sexual realm. In other words, it is liberals who have sought this fight, not Christian conservatives. Thus, without apology, abortion, marriage, homosexuality, and the like, deserve the attention well-meaning Christians give them.

I'll say it again: Marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity--older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If ANYTHING is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can NEVER be compromise.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World