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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Why is Israel So Hated?

Before getting to the question in the title of this piece, another question must be considered: Why is there a nation called Israel? This question begets other questions: How did Israel come into existence? And another: What purpose, if any (beyond the typical purposes of a nation), does the nation of Israel serve? Each of these questions is important when it comes to understanding the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the centuries of hate and suffering endured by the children of Israel.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background (fewer and fewer of us) knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who became “Israel”). Jacob—later named Israel—fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” that would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham—initially named “Abram,” a decedent of Noah’s son Shem—in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there’s Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God—in multiple ways—will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak—Israel was in slavery when it became a nation—so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity—especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

Interestingly—but unsurprising to those undeceived—modern science verifies what the Bible reveals when it comes to the Jewish people. For example, a study widely reported on in 2000 revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common and genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome—which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son—of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.” Again, this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Scripture. The two sons of Abraham were Ishmael—the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs—and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Also, a 60 Minutes episode—of which I have the transcript—from the year 2000 reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl then reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.” (GASP! I wonder who and when?!)

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron—the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood—lived.

Another manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew…Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly…No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

After the message and ministry of Jesus, when followers of Christ became known as “Christians,” and like the Jews, they also became the target of much persecution. Though we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Because of this, the enemies of God continue to attempt to wipe Israel and the Jews from the face of the earth.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, December 24, 2016

God’s Greatest Gift Meets Humanity’s Most Desperate Need

As the parents of four young children (ages 14, 12, 10, and 8), my wife and I have had many years of joyous celebration at Christmas time. Interestingly, we’ve done this without ever “doing” Santa Claus. In other words, we have never pretended with our children that the gifts under the tree and the goodies in their stockings were the result of the magical efforts of a jolly fat-man.

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t shun Santa. As the above implies, we embrace most of the traditions surrounding Christmas. We have a Christmas tree with presents underneath. We decorate the house inside and out with wreaths, bows, Nativity scenes, and the like. We have our “stockings hung by the chimney with care.” We send and receive Christmas cards (one of our best efforts from a few years ago is below), and so on. We’ve taught our children that some families, even Christian families, use the Santa Claus myth as a means of enhancing the joy and fun of the Christmas season.

Have a Merry Christmas…Or Else!
Of course, we work hard at keeping Christ the center of Christmas. We’ve cautioned our children that “traditions” often can distract us from the profound Truth that Christmas presents. In addition, those who hate the real meaning and message of Christmas will go to great lengths to keep us from this Truth.

Thus, as is almost always the case, at this time of year, we must endure again the “War on Christmas.” Why wage a “war on Christmas?” What’s so scary about Christmas? Is the birth of Jesus really that scary? Yes, it is. In fact, whether we would admit it or not, each of us, whether privately or publicly, at one time or another, has waged a “war on Christmas.”

Sometimes it’s as subtle as Clark Griswold at the end of the film Christmas Vacation. While staring at what he thinks is the Christmas star, with the typical Hollywood drivel, Clark declares “That’s all that matters tonight. It’s not bonuses or gifts or turkeys or trees. You see, kids, it means something different to everybody; now I know what it means to me.” The moment is supposed to warm our hearts, but instead it’s just another lie about Christmas.

We lie about Christmas, because the real meaning and message of Christmas makes us confront a frightening truth. Christmas means one thing and one thing only. As C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how the rightful king has landed. When Jesus stood before Pilate, just prior to going to his execution, the Roman governor asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

Of course, He was not just any king. He was a king with a holy mission. He was a king who was born to die. “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my King would die for me?” Jesus was, and is, our Savior King. Because, the “frightening truth” is that we are all in desperate need of salvation. As author Charles Sell put it,
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
In Christian circles, it is often told that, early in the twentieth century, The Times (UK) either invited essays on, or ran a piece entitled, “What’s wrong with the world?” Noted theologian, author, and apologist G.K. Chesterton replied,

“Dear Sir,

I am.

Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”


As Chesterton implies, none of us is “innocent.” We have all gone our own way and done our own thing with disastrous results. In spite of the foolish notion often portrayed by some, no nation, no culture, no individual is “basically good.” This world is filled with evil, and at one time or another, we’ve all had a hand in it. As the prophet Isaiah puts it, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah wasn’t merely painting a picture of sinful humanity. The above Scripture was a prophecy of the coming Messiah. Ultimately the world doesn’t have a poverty problem, or a crime problem, or a sexual problem, or a terrorism problem, or even (and of course) a climate problem. The world has a sin problem, and Jesus is the answer.

The most quoted portion of the Bible, John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Emphasis mine.) Less well known is the verse immediately following. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The Red Cross offers “Operation Save-A-Life.” Those wanting us to donate blood or organs do so by imploring us to “Give the gift of life.” With Christmas, God gave “the gift of life” as it has never before been given. How many dying individuals would say no to a lifesaving medical procedure made possible through the efforts or generosity of another? Yet how many reject the amazing gift of everlasting life that God offers through Jesus?

There’s no escaping this all important eternal truth: we are all in dire need of a Savior. Your life can be filled with treasures and pleasures, but if you ignore Jesus and His message, you will regret it for eternity. Your life can be riddled with poverty, sickness, and strife, yet if you repent and believe in Christ, the magnificent riches of eternal life await you. And whether rich or poor, sick or well, imprisoned or free, in good times or bad, we all need the gift that was given on that first Christmas. Merry Christmas!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

Forget “Fake News,” Our Real Problem is Fake Christianity

Pleased with the efforts of his demonic protégé, Screwtape nevertheless cautioned Wormwood not to waken his waffling churchgoing “patient” to “a sense of his real position.” In chapter XII of C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, Screwtape further warns Wormwood that his patient “must not be allowed to suspect that he is now, however slowly, heading right away from the sun on a line which will carry him into the cold and dark of utmost space.”

Screwtape goes on to contend that the man’s church attendance could even be used as an advantage in their demonic schemes. He explains,
As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a few new friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago [before he became a Christian]. And while he thinks that, we do not have to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognized, sin, but only with his vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn’t been doing very well lately.
After all, Screwtape concludes,
It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing…Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
Fewer and fewer Americans these days seem willing “to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognized, sin.” Of course, to a great extent, this is because fewer and fewer Americans are able to recognize what is sin—or, many Americans are simply becoming comfortable with their sin, and are eagerly strolling along the “gentle slope” to hell.

Thus, no one should be surprised that a nation so deceived about sin is steeped in “fake news.” Tragically, peddling what I’ve dubbed “fake Christianity,” many in the church today are responsible for this widespread confusion and deception.

As I noted several years ago, the greatest lie ever told is that there is no God. The second greatest lie ever told is that the devil does not exist. (Even Verbal Kint was not fooled by this.) The third greatest lie ever told is that your (and my) sin is not really sin. Of course, each of these lies is a cousin to the others. They are all deceptions whose aim is to separate us from the greatest truth in the universe: we have a Creator who loves us and desires a relationship with us.

Sin keeps us from this relationship. Yet, instead of teaching and preaching the truth when it comes to sin and salvation, heaven and hell, far too many Christians have become tools of Screwtape—doing the evil bidding of those determined to see us cling to our sin. As I have often pointed out, this is especially true of sin in the sexual realm. The desire of many to be free to do whatever they want sexually has become the “compelling issue in the ‘City of Man.’

In a foolish desire to be “relevant” or “tolerant,” churches across the world—especially mainline Protestant churches and the Catholic Church—have abandoned long-heeded truths—especially on marriage and sex—for heresy. For nearly a century now, many church leaders—particularly those in the seminaries—have increasingly embraced a more liberal worldview.

Such watered-down theology has produced ear-ticklers like John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Gene Robinson, Jim Wallis, 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 have rejected virtually every tenet of the Christian faith, all the while still calling themselves “Christians.”

Thus, it is little wonder that mainline Protestant churches, along with the Catholic Church, have seen steep declines in their membership—especially in the U.S. Most anyone who truly takes to heart the message of the aforementioned ear-ticklers will soon figure out: “Hey, I can follow what these folks are preaching, and I don’t even have to call myself a Christian—or go to church, or pray, or repent, or do any of that hard stuff. Sign me up!”

The American Family Association recently noted that fake Christianity is especially impacting American youth. Instead of young followers of Christ, many U.S. churches are producing followers of, what Christian sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton have dubbed, “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Lacking virtually any belief in orthodox Christian principles, many American youth simply see their religion as a form of therapy that makes them “feel happy.”

In their book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, Smith and Denton conclude, “[W]hat appears to be the actual dominant religion among U.S. teenagers is centrally about feeling good, happy, secure, at peace. It is about attaining subjective well-being, being able to resolve problems, and getting along amiably with other people.”

Other efforts in preaching fake Christianity involve attempts by so-called Christians to reconcile the way of the Cross with that of Muhammad, Buddha, liberalism, secularism, or any other religion contrived by man. This is especially disturbing when one considers the threat that is militant Islam. I submit to you that there are no greater organized threats to liberty, justice, and truth in the world today than liberalism and Islam. Yet, instead of teaching and preaching the truth on these matters, the peddlers of fake Christianity have embraced this religious pluralism.

Poet Steve Turner describes well this heretical philosophy: “Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves. We believe he was a good teacher of morals but we believe that his good morals are really bad. We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the one we read was. They all believe in love and goodness, they only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.” Yeah, “only” those minor things.

Another prominent teaching of fake Christianity is the “prosperity gospel.” The promoters of this heresy are some of the most recognizable faces in America. Through a formulaic, man-centered approach to Scripture, this false teaching promises not only wealth, but good health and just about anything else a longing human might wish to “claim.” God is often presented as a heavenly Santa Claus eager to give us almost anything we ask for, if we only speak, or “declare,” the right words. Sin, suffering, hell, repentance, salvation, and the cross—you know, all that stuff that Jesus talked so much about—are virtually ignored.

Thanks mostly to Americans, the prosperity gospel is taught across the globe. As John Piper noted, “It’s a tragic thing that one of [the] greatest exports of America is the prosperity gospel. People are being destroyed by it; Christians are being weakened by it; God is being dishonored by it; and souls are perishing because of it. And a lot of guys are getting rich on it.”

Fake Christianity is a terrible plague upon our culture. Here are some warning signs of churches steeped in fake Christianity: If your church is more concerned with “social justice” than with the gospel of Jesus; if your church rejects the Bible’s clear teaching on marriage and sexuality; if your church is hesitant to engage in “controversial” issues such as marriage, abortion, transgenderism, and so on; if your church is more concerned with its campus than with exporting the Gospel of Jesus; if your church promises you financial blessings if you will only give to their cause; each of these is a sign that a church is more concerned with the approval of man than it is with the Truth.

On the other hand, real Christianity confronts the difficult issues of our time and tells the truth with courage, conviction, and love. (If America can’t rely on the church for the truth, where will she turn?)

Real Christianity stands up for the unborn and promotes and celebrates marriage as God gave it. Real Christianity ministers to the sick, poor, hungry, and broken. It builds churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages. In order to further engage the world and spread the truth, along with leading the church, Christians are involved in politics, science, industry, education, entertainment, and even the military. They also peacefully, but strongly, stand up to the lies of liberalism, Islam, and the like. This is precisely why such Christians are found to be so “offensive.”

Part of the lure of fake Christianity is that it seems so inoffensive, so much easier, so much nicer and more modern, than the real thing. In fake Christianity, instead of surrendering to something greater than ourselves, we get to rule our own world, or so we think. Satan must take great pleasure in using the sights, the sounds, and the feel of authentic Christianity to lead millions astray. And I imagine that it’s his most effective means of luring people into his kingdom.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Friday, December 16, 2016

National Geographic Promotes Child Abuse (UPDATE)

I'll have more on this later, but no one should be surprised that a publication devoted to a Darwinian worldview would give a voice to those attempting to promote the perverse as healthy and normal. National Geographic has infamously made history by placing a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl on its cover:



The caption reads: "The best thing about being a girls is now I don't have to pretend to be a boy." No son, you're a boy pretending to be a girl. I've not read anything beyond the cover of this foolishness, but is there any doubt that the biggest fools here are this boys parents? Ten to twenty years from now--if it even takes that long--we will almost certainly be reading of the tragic outcome of this sin, and tragically, it will be this boy who will have suffered the most. Let us pray that there are wise adults in his life who will lovingly, but firmly, tell him the truth.

Update: Dr. Michael Brown provides some excellent commentary and information on this matter (and like me, implicates National Geographic in child abuse). Some highlights:
[T]here will never be a lasting gender revolution. 
Male-female relationships form the foundation of all societies, from romance to reproduction to parenting, and without those relationships, which include the celebration of gender distinctives, no society will flourish. One does not need an advanced degree in sociology, anthropology, psychology, or human sexuality to figure this out. 
The radical LGBT activists who have declared war on gender or who have sought to demonize the “gender binary” (meaning, recognizing only two genders) have really declared war on themselves...
[I]t is irresponsible for National Geographic to put a confused 9-year-old child on the front cover of their magazine. 
It is one thing for this child – obviously with the help of others – to put out Avery Chat YouTube videos. (The description explains that Avery “was assigned male at birth, but has now transitioned into a beautiful young girl. She wanted to tell her story to let other gender non-conforming kids know it's okay to be proud of who you are.”) 
It is another thing for National Geographic to make this child into an overnight, international celebrity – to repeat, Avery is just 9-years-old – and virtually to ignore the cautionary stories of other trans-identified young people (or their parents) and the voices of other medical professionals who claim that Avery has a treatable condition...
Dr. Brown points out the regret of several high-profile youths (and their parents) who wanted to "transition" to the opposite sex:

In 2012, the Daily Mail ran this headline about Ria Cooper: “‘I was born a boy, became a girl, and now I want to be a boy again’: Britain's youngest sex swap patient to reverse her sex change treatment.” 
The article tells the sad story of Ria, who was accepted for gender-reassignment at the age of 16, began to transition at 17, but then had a change of heart at 18, “saying that she has found the changes overwhelming and that they have made her deeply unhappy.”
Three years later, the Mirror reported that “Britain's youngest transgender patient says she can't get a job ‘because of her past’.” 
Apparently, Ria (or, Rihanna) ended up transitioning to female but then began to work as a sex escort to make a living, which is now coming back to haunt her/him... 
The very fact that Ria wanted to become a woman, then decided that he was really not a woman, then ended up as a teenage prostitute, indicates how unstable this young person has been and how a system intended to help him has apparently done more harm than good...
In another tragic example:
On a similar note, is it possible that the severe depression sometimes experienced by 16-year-old Jazz Jennings, now a transgender reality TV star, indicates that Jazz has deeper issues that need to be addressed? In Jazz’s own words: “Sucks to think that I have to rely on medications to be emotionally balanced. My body is crap, and I feel it.”
And another:
Writing for Crisis Magazine on December 12, 2016, Elise Erhard notes that, “Last May, Dr. Kathleen Levinstein, a professor of social work at the University of Michigan, wrote a heartbreaking piece about her autistic daughter, a teenaged girl who became convinced that she was really a man trapped inside a woman’s body. With encouragement from transgender activists at the local organization of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the vulnerable young woman took sex-altering hormones and cut off her breasts. Dr. Levinstein now grieves the mutilation of her daughter’s body and the increased psychological confusion her daughter is experiencing as a result of the hormones.” 
Initially, Dr. Levinstein was supportive of her daughter’s actions, but her views have now changed dramatically, saying of her daughter, “She has been taken advantage of. Healthy organs were amputated…. It is a crime not just against women, but particularly against disabled women. So many of these young women who are ‘transitioning’ are also autistic.”
Dr. Brown also details the attacks on the members of the medical community who are attempting to speak truth in this new front of the LGBT agenda. The whole piece is well worth the read. Again, as I noted with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their young daughter Shiloh, what is happening in these situations is nothing short of child abuse. Almost certainly this is not going to end well. Pray for this child and his family.

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Monday, December 12, 2016

As the Modern Left Demonstrates, Evil Craves the Darkness

One of my favorite scenes in Tolkien’s The Hobbit is the riddle-battle between Bilbo and the creature Gollum that took place in the dark, deep caverns beneath the Misty Mountains. (I can remember when I first read Tolkien’s classic and came upon the riddles. I tried not to read ahead to see if I could solve them myself.) Bilbo, having accidentally fallen into the mysterious place, wanted the way out (which Gollum knew), and Gollum wanted to make a meal of the plump Hobbit. Thus a riddle challenge was issued and accepted.

Toward the end, a frustrated Gollum presented Bilbo with,

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.

Carrying on the theme of the last sentence, from a more spiritual perspective, an additional clue might read:

It keeps secrets, and hides sin,
Guarding the evil that lurks within.

The answer: darkness.

The Gospel of John informs us that, “The Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil.” In other words, we’ve all done shameful (sinful) things we want to hide from others—maybe everyone, and maybe for all time—and we seek comfort in the darkness. And as Scripture implies, mankind’s desire for darkness is as old as sin itself. The modern political and moral climate in the U.S. provides a great lesson here.

As the left seeks to stifle debate (“the debate is over!”), distort facts and information, suppress facts and information that contradict liberal dogma, seek “safe spaces” from events or speech with which they disagree, and so on, America is seemingly headed for a new “Dark Age.” Whether colleges and universities, the media, the Democrat Party, the homosexual agenda, the abortion industry, the global warming industry—virtually every bastion of liberal thought is steeped in darkness. A couple of recent events shed some light into the dark efforts of the left.

As I alluded to a couple of weeks ago, Elton John and his homosexual partner—what some now refer to as John’s “husband”—David Furnish have gone to great lengths to guard the image of their perverse relationship—what some call a “marriage.” As was noted in my previous piece (and by many others over the last several months), in an effort to hide their non-monogamous sexual activity, John and Furnish have made extensive use of the British legal system. In a sad attempt to keep as many in the dark as possible concerning their stereotypical homosexual lifestyle, Sir Elton and Furnish have also resorted to using Web Sheriff ® to threaten individuals worldwide (and of course, not subject to the British courts) who have shed light on their sham of a “marriage.”

About a week after my November 27 piece that made mention of John and Furnish’s “open marriage,” yours truly received such a threat via an email from Web Sheriff. Web Sheriff is an anti-piracy company that is most noted for its monitoring of websites that allow for the illegal download of copyrighted material (especially music and film). However, for the right amount of money, it seems one can hire Web Sheriff to try to intimidate online sources from presenting (truthful) information that Web Sheriff clients might find uncomfortable.

The email I received is exactly like the one mentioned here from May of this year. Other websites and news organizations have received similar (empty) legal threats from Web Sheriff. As one of the other websites here artfully put it, Web Sheriff is “full of sh*t.” There is nothing here for me to be concerned with legally because no copyright has been infringed upon (as the email threat implies), and most importantly: I do not live in England, nor do I operate anywhere that is subject to British law. Again, this is nothing more than an attempt to keep in the dark the truth about marriage and homosexuality.

As eager as many are to hide the truth on homosexuality, there is an equal effort to obscure and distort the facts when it comes to life in the womb. The French provide the latest sensational example here. George Will recently gave the sad account of the widespread efforts in France to suppress the facts when it comes to human beings born with Down syndrome. (There were other earlier reports on this as well.) .

In early November France’s Conseil d’État (State Council—France’s Supreme Court) upheld the ban on an award-winning video entitled “Dear Future Mom” that features happy children and young adults with Down syndrome. The French Broadcasting Council first banned the video when it was offered as a commercial. As Will notes, the French court called the video “inappropriate” for French television, and said that the video’s depiction of happy Down syndrome children is “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.” In other words, the French courts think it best that the conscience of French women who’ve killed their unborn Down syndrome children (which, according to some reports, happens in about 96% of cases)—not to mention those whose minds might be changed on the matter—remain in the dark.

Even the Huffington Post ran a piece that was critical of the French ban. Curious about the response to a pro-life piece on the Huffington Post, I scanned the comments at the end. One in particular is revealing of the liberal mindset when it comes to abortion. A female pro-abortionist declared,
This article isn't balanced…Articles written this way can be dangerous as they trigger strong negative emotions and hate for people with differing views…From what I can see, reading french articles, the Counsel has said that in terms of public interest it’s more important to “protect the right to have an abortion” over “knowing children with Down's can be happy.”
This attitude and the behavior of the French are very typical when it comes to killing children in the womb, because, of course, for the mind corrupted by liberalism, the “right” to kill children in the womb must be protected at almost any cost (because of the “right” to have sex without any consequences). Abortion apologists generally despise any effort to shine light on life in the womb, and they will go to great lengths to allow the grisly practice of abortion to continue. However, as I noted last year, as science and technology advance, the deception about this “choice” is getting much more difficult for liberals. Isn’t it interesting how real science always tends to verify what sound morality always revealed?

As Catholic scholar George Weigel implies, what we are dealing with here is a godless philosophy, devoted to a coercive state (which is why we see liberals go berserk when they lose elections), that ignores the very fabric of reality. And when you are trying to ignore or distort reality, darkness is a comfortable place.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sir Elton Sic'd the "Sheriff" on Me (Update)

I'll have more to say on this in my next column, for now let me just say that, a few days after my piece entitled "Same-Sex 'Marriage' Was Doomed Long Before President-Elect Donald Trump," I received an email from Web Sheriff. The email was from "JM" and the subject declared,
Urgent/Permanent Injunction--Contempt of Court, Invasion of Privacy, Data Protection, Cyber-Harassment & Copyright Infringement Notice and Breach of Terms of Service Notification
The email went on to inform me (and yes, yelling at me in all caps) of the "UK CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT," the "EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE 8 (INVASION OF PRIVACY NOTICE)," the "UK COMMUNICATIONS ACT (MALICIOUS COMMUNICATIONS NOTICE," the "UK PREVENTION OF HARASSMENT ACT (MALICIOUS COMMUNICATIONS NOTICE)," the "UK COMPUTER MISUSE ACT (MALICIOUS COMMUNICATIONS NOTICE," and so on.

Web Sheriff is acting on behalf of the homosexual couple Elton John and David Furnish. Since I mentioned John and Furnish and details concerning their "open marriage" in the aforementioned column--in other words, told the truth about marriage and homosexuality--I became a target. This threatening email has been sent more than once this year (see here).

As the other target of Web Sheriff dutifully notes, this is pure nonsense. It's little more than an empty threat meant to scare me into silence. The people of America haven't been subject to British law for well over two centuries. John and Furnish want to carry on their faux "marriage" and further the homosexual agenda without being challenged. I won't stand for it. I will continue to shine the light on their lies and the lies of their like-minded allies. Stay tuned.

Update 1: It seems my good friends at American Thinker (AT) have fallen prey to similar tactics. Though I'm not privy to all of the details, the column Same-Sex 'Marriage' Was Doomed Long Before President-Elect Donald Trump ran on American Thinker on Sunday, November 27. Because of threats from "ridiculous people" in the UK, AT has--for now--taken down my column. Again, stay tuned.

Trevor Thomas

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fighting the Battle that BuzzFeed Insists We Fight

We were warned. Because the left is not going to remain silent on the moral issues—and because most liberals are devoted to a “theology of self” (or a “philosophical dumpster fire” as described by David French)—Christians, especially Christian celebrities, are going to remain targets of the homosexual agenda. It doesn’t matter whether you are tied to the wedding industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re famous. It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business owner, a large corporation, or a state government. In spite of the meme they like to perpetuate, the left simply will not tolerate dissent when it comes to liberal orthodoxy on homosexuality (and yes, the transgender agenda is wed to—bad pun!—the homosexual agenda).

In addition to lust, in the battle over all things homosexual, the left is driven by vengeance. BuzzFeed’s recent malicious hit-piece aimed at HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines is merely the latest effort in this despicable practice. As Gabriel Malor points out,
This post had one purpose and one purpose alone: to harm the couple. The post served no news purpose—even Aurthur concedes she never learned the Gaines’ view of same-sex marriage. The post cannot be termed “activism” since it fails at every level to persuade readers of the rightness of the same-sex marriage cause. Even the most generous alternate topic of Aurthur’s post, “Texas pastor opposes same-sex marriage,” is as dog-bites-chew-toy as a news item can be. The only conceivable purpose of targeting the popular television couple in this manner was to cost them viewers and, perhaps, their jobs.
Of course, this is an all too familiar (and, as Ace of Spades notes, an all too effective) tactic of the modern left. Whether a television personality, baker, florist, photographer, fast-food chain, or the state of North Carolina, we have frequently witnessed the hateful agents of the homosexual gestapo wage their wicked war against millennia of Christian (and Jewish and Islamic) teaching on sex and sexuality. And make no mistake about it, we are in a war.

However, this is not a war that can be won with mere boycotts, elections, and sympathetic judges (though battles in these arenas should not be ignored by Christians and our like-minded allies). This is a spiritual war that can be won only through prayer, sound spiritual teaching and preaching, and repentance. For decades now, American Christians have poorly taught/preached, poorly modeled, or outright ignored what God has revealed on matters of sex, sexuality, and marriage. Homosexuality has a long way to go before it can inflict the damage done by promiscuity, pornography, adultery, abortion, fornication, and divorce. Many who decry the tactics and efforts of the left when it comes to the homosexual agenda are knee-deep in the sexual sins that are most prevalent in our culture.

As we fight perhaps the defining spiritual battle of our time, Christians must remember that it is not enough simply to point out the sexual immorality of others. We must also be quick to discuss our own struggles with sin, especially those in the sexual realm, as situations call for it. Additionally, being filled with peace, love, joy, and the like, we must live out what is right and true.

As Rick Warren put it a couple of years ago, churches and like-minded others should celebrate healthy marriages. Don’t simply be an opponent of what’s wrong, be a proponent of what’s right. Our lives, whether single or married, should be an example of what a walk with Christ looks like so others are drawn to Him whether they hear us say anything about Him or not.

Specifically, on marriage and sexuality, if you are married, commit as husband and wife to remain faithful in all that the Bible reveals on the holy covenant of marriage. Namely, commit to remain faithful to one another and keep the marriage bed pure. Commit to remain married until your earthly union is dissolved by death. Furthermore, as a union of one man and one woman, commit to allow God to use your union as He sees fit to build His Kingdom.

Also, commit to model and to teach others the truth on marriage and sexuality—specifically that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life and that the only rightful place for sex is within marriage.

Likewise, if you are single, commit to remain faithful to all that the Bible reveals on the holy covenant of marriage. Namely, while unmarried, commit to keep yourself sexually pure and model and teach this behavior to those in your circle of influence. Furthermore, commit to allow God to use you as a single person as He sees fit to build His Kingdom, and commit to model and to teach others the truth on marriage and sexuality. Namely, that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life and that the only rightful place for sex is within marriage. (All of this is in the “Marriage Commitment Challenge.”)

Second, those with a higher profile in the culture, those in leadership or who have a wide circle of influence have a greater responsibility in this and all such matters. To whom much is given, much is required. Of course this means pastors, but also politicians, pundits, business leaders, famous athletes, musicians, producers, actors, authors, bloggers, educators, and so on. In other words, not only do we need Christians like Chip and Joanna Gaines to remain strong and unwavering in their faith, we need Christians in the culture at large to tell and model amazing stories on marriage and sexuality. As Rick Warren said, “Whichever side tells the best stories wins.”

There can be little doubt that to a great extent, the deception on homosexuality, marriage, and gender has occurred because of the efforts of liberals in politics, the media, and so on. Not only that, but as most of us well know, the traditional family has been mercilessly attacked in the media. As American Thinker noted last year, this is especially the case with fathers. As Rick Moran put it, “Hollywood has made a deliberate effort to undermine the patriarchy by savaging fatherhood.” This has been the case for decades now.

Christian conservatives and our like-minded friends have not done enough to counter this. For example, recently my wife and I, along with our four kids, attended a Christian concert. Several popular contemporary Christian artists performed. There was a lot of great (but too loud!) music that focused our hearts and minds on God. However, there was nothing said or sung that focused on marriage and the family.

Similarly, there is more than one Christian radio station in our area (northeast Georgia) to which we frequently listen. I hear almost nothing from the hosts, guests, artists, and so on, when it comes to marriage and the family. Surely they are not shying away from the truth out of fear of “offending” their sponsors or audience. Similarly, famous athletes and other entertainers who believe what the Bible teaches on marriage and sexuality need to exercise their First Amendment rights (while they remain!) on these matters. (Like the NFL’s Ben Watson has done.)

Third, if you are a Christian parent, you have no greater responsibility on this earth than sharing the truth with your children. In other words, every parent is in youth ministry. There’s a reason millennials are the group most likely to support a perverse redefinition of marriage. Decades of divorce and out-of-wedlock births have led to tens of millions of U.S. children growing up in homes without both parents. Thus we now have millions of young Americans whose notion of marriage and family has been tragically distorted. This trend must be reversed.

Fourth, we need to be ready to minister to those who suffer from the sin of homosexuality. As the decades have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court foolishly attempted to redefine life in Roe v. Wade, science, technology, and human experience have revealed what sound morality has always taught: life in the womb is just that. Just a few weeks after conception, we can now literally witness, through sight and sound, the miracle of life in the womb.

The horrible images (warning: graphic) of post-abortive children have been seared into the consciences of tens of millions of us. The testimony of regret of millions of women who were deceived by the abortion industry has helped shine light into a deep and ugly darkness. Yes, abortion remains legal and as brutal as ever, but restrictions abound and are growing. Crisis pregnancy centers have ministered to countless women and saved millions of lives.

There is no getting around it: the wages of sin is death. If we linger in sin, we are going to reap suffering. This is certainly true with sexual immorality. Disease and death literally await those enslaved in the homosexual lifestyle. And how can we measure the broken hearts of those who have departed from their Creator’s plan on marriage and sexuality? As has happened in the pro-life movement, the Christian community must equip ourselves like never before to minister to those who are broken by the sin of homosexuality.

Again, after our relationship with our Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is the relationship between a husband and his wife. 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 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com