Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Oracle Concerning America

Woe to you
Red, White & blue
Where Life & Liberty
Has become Death & Despair


You reject the good
Yet call yourself great
You destroy the weak
And call yourself strong

You claim to be wise
But you’re filled with lies
As child after child dies
Right before your closed eyes

And sometimes wide open

You sacrifice daughters
You sacrifice sons
To the gods of convenience
Of which there are none

Backed not by science
But by fallen man’s ruling
When you write sin into law
I’m not the one that you’re fooling

Beginnings stabbed short
Don’t cause you to weep
Maybe the dawn of death
Will stir you from sleep

So wake up America
Begin a new day
Choose me… Choose life
Repent… Pray

For the million and more
That each year in you die
Are not truly silenced
I. Hear. Their. Cry.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Myth of Progressive

I find it frustrating that more and more people taking on the label 'Progressive Christian' are less and less vehement against the evils of abortion. They'll usually admit that abortion is unfortunate, but they often fall short of calling the killing of an unborn child wrong. They are more angry over the willingness of conservative Christians to call abortion evil than they are with social liberals calling it a legitimate choice.

The response of 'Progressive Christians' to the Planned Parenthood videos is an excellent case and point. Progressives are more likely to be found defending Planned Parenthood and critiquing the video-makers than they are grieving the atrocity that is the abortion industry. Whereas they were reluctant, but willing, to jettison the entire institutional church due to scandal in the ranks, they are apparently unwilling to jettison the institution that is Planned Parenthood. The former was quickly aborted, the latter should apparently be kept alive. If only the babies were considered as sacred!

The conversation for Progressives automatically went toward all the 'good' that the Planned Parenthood organization does. I have to ask... why not, at the very least, vocally call for the de-funding of the abortion branch of the organization? After all, it's just a line item on a budget (sort of like Planned Parenthood considers baby parts just line items).

In my observation, Progressive Christians are almost incapable of making a good argument (and they do have some good ones) without simultaneously expressing their inner-anger toward Fundamentalists and Conservatives. If a conservative says abortion is evil, the Progressives automatically assume that said conservative hates babies as soon as they are born. It's as if no one is allowed to say anything unless they say everything every time.

There seems to be a radical disconnect here. Progressives are supposed to be those most likely to defend the cause of the poor and needy. Don't babies fit the bill? I guess, maybe, babies get largely ignored by Progressive Christians because their are so many of them that they don't make up a minority group. If you point out that abortion is the leading cause of death in this nation, they are more likely to quibble over the amount (since it's impossible to deny the reality) than they are to lament the fact.

I've seen Progressive Christians defend Planned Parenthood because it's possible they didn't break any laws. IF they didn't break any laws, that only makes the problem bigger! Conservative Christians could barely care less about how 'legal' Planned Parenthood's practices are. We care about the babies. To hell with the laws! Literally...to hell with them. Some day we'll look back and wonder why it took so long to de-fund Planned Parenthood's chop shop. I hope that day comes before eternity.

Until then, I think it's time to re-evaluate the title 'Progressive' for these Christians. Progress can no longer mean just following two-steps behind social liberals. Sometimes you only make progress by going backward. Progress would be repealing Roe v. Wade. Progress would be de-funding Planned Parenthood's abortion program.  Progress would be defending these babies instead of the organizations that maul them (even while trying to find less crunchy methods for doing so) and negotiate prices for the leftover pieces.

When your version of progress looks like defending Planned Parenthood, the word progress has for you become a free-floating noun defined by the world instead of an adjective belonging before the word Christian.

Friday, June 26, 2015

On Supreme Authority

I see that Facebook and Twitter are exploding with people's immediate thoughts on the Supreme Court's decision that same sex marriage can no longer be banned in the dozen or so states that are currently banning it. I am choosing to post on my blog rather than those sites mostly because I simply want to present my view without getting instant and emotionally charged feedback.

I am a Christian guy. The 'Supreme' authority in my life is Jesus Christ. When I got married to my wife, I didn't really care about a state license. I cared about entering into a covenant relationship with Katie. The state license came with some civil benefits, so we got one. But I don't consider what the state says about marriage to be 'moral' one way or the other. I don't look to the government to provide my moral framework.

Some people are excited because they feel granting civil marriage equality to same-sex couples is moral progress. Others are upset because they feel granting civil marriage equality to same-sex couples is evidence of moral decline. I don't really fit in either camp. Again, I don't look to the government to provide my moral framework.

Some people are in same-sex relationships. I think same-sex couples should have some civil rights (like visiting each other in the hospital). I live in a representative democracy. If the majority of the people in this country think they should have the full list of civil rights that opposite-sex couples have, then it makes sense that they'd have such rights. Whether these civil contracts are considered equal in the eyes of the government is not a moral issue in my opinion. AGAIN, I don't look to the government to provide my moral framework.

Maybe you're noticing a theme here. I don't look to the government to provide my moral framework. Same-sex couples shouldn't look to the government to provide their moral framework either. If you think homosexual behavior is appropriate, it shouldn't matter what the government says about that. And if you think homosexual behavior is inappropriate, same deal.

Until the government begins to directly FORCE ME to show approval for things I don't morally approve of, I'm not concerned. I actually think it makes sense for our nation to recognize same-sex civil unions as legally legitimate. I don't need my earthly government to be a Christian government. I already have a Christian government (the Kingdom of God).


Friday, June 05, 2015

Q&A FRIDAY


Can I be Pro-Life AND Pro-Death-Penalty?

It is quite common, within Evangelicalism, to be Pro-Life in regards to abortion, but also in favor of the Death Penalty. This strikes many unbelievers (and a good number of Christians, too) as inconsistent. If one is Pro-Life, shouldn’t they be Pro-Life across the board? Shouldn’t they fight for the life of the person on death row just as passionately as they fight for the unborn child? Is it really possible to be Pro-Life AND Pro-Death-Penalty?

Let me start by answering NO (but hear me out, because there’s another sense in which I think the answer is YES). When we think of being Pro-Life, we normally think of being passionate advocates for unborn babies. But should we be passionate advocates for the death penalty? I personally don’t think so. It doesn’t seem fitting for a Christian, at all, to be enthusiastic about the death of another human being. When a serious criminal is put to death, this is a terrible tragedy (even if it, hypothetically, is the right course of action). We might, in one sense, celebrate that justice has been done… but we should never celebrate the death of one made in the Image of God.

So it would be inappropriate, I think, for a Christian to think of the death penalty as a positive thing. Saving babies is positive. Killing criminals is negative. But is it possible that some negatives are necessary (or at least allowable) in this fallen world? I think a fairly strong case can be made for use of the death penalty by world governments.

Governments themselves are necessitated only because the world went mad. God established the concept of human government as a way to keep some degree of order in the world until all is made right again. God gives governments the task of rewarding good and punishing bad. In regards to the latter, rulers do not bear the sword in vain. They are agents of wrath against evil. Capital punishment is one way that governments may choose to perform their role against the most serious offenders of the law of the land. Is it the most effective way to deal with such criminals? Are too many mistakes made in the judicial system to condone it? These are questions worth asking.

Hypothetically, one could ask those questions and determine that the death penalty is an effective way to deal with serious criminals and may be carried out in an extremely judicious manner. Would a Christian’s support for such a policy be inconsistent with the Pro-Life position? Not necessarily. When we defend the life of an unborn baby we are defending the life of the most innocent and defenseless of all human beings. When we demand (or allow for the demand of) the life of a murderer, we are demanding the life of someone who disregarded the value of life. The execution of a murderer is, quite arguably, a way to SHOW we believe that value exists. It is a show of support for the life that was so wrongfully taken.

This is a highly debatable topic. While, in my opinion, a case can be made for supporting the governments right to utilize the death penalty, there will always be Christians (and others) who find it inconsistent to show people murder is wrong by killing them. One thing I hope and pray we can all agree on is that we, as Christians, should never hope for the death of one who has seriously wronged us. Instead, we should love and pray for them… offering them forgiveness… and hoping they find the forgiveness available to them in Jesus Christ before it is too late.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rock the FNC



Tonight the Sabres play the Penguins in the last game of the season. Here are 3 reasons why the crowd should be as loud as ever.

#1 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
We won at losing! At the beginning of the year we all knew what the goal was: Finish last. It took 81 games, but we did it! We are now guaranteed either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel! We finally found something we do better than anybody else. Let’s celebrate!

#2 REVENGE
Remember 2005? The Bills needed a win against Pittsburgh’s B-team to sneak into the playoffs. Against all odds, we lost. Now, about 10 years later, the Pittsburgh Penguins needs to beat a B-team in Buffalo to clinch a playoff spot. It’s time to get revenge!

#3 FANS AGAIN
It’s been an odd year. It was right to root against the Sabres for these past 81 games, but it often felt wrong. And it wasn’t really fair to the players. It’s a new day. Game 82. We’re fans again. We have a whole season’s worth of cheering to catch up on. We can ‘root root root for the home team’ for a change!

Let’s make it a memorable night Buffalo!