No MSNBC Slow Jam

This set of observations was offered by David Gushee, an ethicist of some note with Mercer University. Not only are the homosexual activists declaring a premature victory in the sexual culture wars, but they have also begun discussions on how much damage we Christians did in the course of the fighting, and have begun to muse about what reparations we must owe. But as far as paying reparations is concerned, and I speak here in what is almost certainly a metaphor, they can take my gun after I am dead and see what they can get for it on eBay. Gushee laments all the damage we did by remaining faithful to a moral tradition grounded in nature, in the revealed will of God, and extending over thousands of years. And he says this because we hurt the feelings of people he confusedly identifies as the protagonists of the story. Look at the points he makes about the damage we did. Stare at those points if need be. The first three consist of some variation of "Christians have become identified … [Read more...]

Michael and Jennifer

We live in a day when the institution of marriage is under assault. Not only are many powerful voices clamoring for a fundamental redefinition of marriage, we are also faced with the confusion of many Christians in how to respond to it. We know that something is drastically wrong, as though the whole world has gone off the rails, but so many things are wrong we often don’t know where to begin. In that broader context of confusion, when we gather to celebrate this marriage, do we really know what we are doing? There are many lies currently being told about marriage, but long before these lies were commonly accepted, the truth about marriage was being mumbled by those who claimed to be its friends. When the truth is not boldly and confidently declared, this leaves room for lies to be boldly and confidently declared. When glorious truths are muttered, the lies become more and more brazen and open. So our task, in these times, is to speak the basic truths about marriage clearly and … [Read more...]

A Little Black Twisty Thing

As Christians continue to process the ramifications of the Supreme Court's supreme arrogance on the same sex mirage issue, one of the things we must continue to remember to do is review the basics. This of course will include constantly reviewing what the Scriptures explicitly teach on the matter of same sex sexual activity, but it is also important for us to go a layer beneath all that. We also need to keep reviewing what the Bible teaches about the nature of man's nature, and the nature of man's choices. A hidden driver in a lot of what is going on around us is something that doesn't appear to have anything to do with human sexuality. But it really does. The roofline is cockeyed because of blunders in the foundation work. We have to identify, and reject, two false doctrines concerning man -- one oddly mixes genetic destiny with Pelagianism, while the other oddly mixes heroic choices with absurdity -- a form of existentialism. One says that homosexuality is baked into the genes, … [Read more...]

Just Like Tomorrow Morning Is

With the Supreme Court doing its part today to advance the homosexual agenda, while trying not to provoke a major backlash, as happened with Roe v. Wade, I thought a little encouragement for the saints might be in order. All this reminds us again that there is no political solution to what ails us. We are a nation with the staggers, and our prophets and judges all have paper bags over their heads. There is such a thing as political and legislative faithfulness, but there is no such thing as political and legislative salvation. God brings us to the end of our puny little abilities so that we may trust, not in ourselves, but in Him, the God who raises the dead. So we remind one another -- as we ought to -- that there is no political solution. There will be political consequences when the solution arrives, but there is no political solution. This is true as far as it goes, but there might be an assumption buried in there that is not so true. As the old joke has it: "Well, I guess … [Read more...]

The Dawn of a New Day

This is just a brief note about the Supreme's latest on the same sex mirage issue. I don't want to say very much before all the legal ramifications are clear (they appear to be mixed), but at the very least, the force of Scalia's dissent should indicate that we are still in the hand basket, we continue to bounce along merrily, and that eerie glow on the horizon grows ever brighter. Must be the dawn of a new day. … [Read more...]

Jabba the Hutt With a Thyroid Condition

Chesterton observed -- and why wouldn't he? -- that we drastically misunderstand the nature of our sin and rebellion. We like to flatter ourselves in our discontent, saying that the spirit of rebellion rises up within us because of all the things that are wrong. But the reality is the other way -- things go wrong because rebellion has risen up within us. Satan did not revolt against God because of the grim conditions of Hell. Hell is the result of him revolting against the delightful conditions of Heaven. Adam did not rebel against God because he was tired of living in a slum. No, his children live in slums because he grew tired of living in Paradise. Thus far Chesterton. Now that history is mixed -- good and evil mingled together -- we have multiple opportunities to make our confusion on this point more plausible. There are evils present, and so we may readily point at them, but our revolt is actually against the good things that are present. That's our story, and we continue on … [Read more...]

Legally Speaking

"Not that they knew about it at the time, but Shattuck had pulled all their shirts up over their heads and rolled all their socks down, creating a little black wool bead around the tops of their expensive Italian shoes" (Evangellyfish, p. 164). … [Read more...]

A Basic Character Trait

"Forgiveness comes from someone whose heart is disposed to kindness and tenderheartedness; we are therefore talking not merely about isolated acts of forgiveness, but also about a deep-rooted disposition to forgive. A forgiving heart is a character trait" (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 94). … [Read more...]

Love and Liberty

"At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16: 11) The Basket Case Chronicles #119 “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?” (1 Cor. 10:27-29). So Paul gives us a little scenario to help us understand how love and the conscience of others should intersect. He presupposes first that a pagan invites you to a dinner party, and he makes it clear that it is lawful to go if you want to. When you go, you have no responsibility to trace the history of the food. Just eat—your conscience should be untroubled by whether or not the meat on the platter had been offered up … [Read more...]

To a Chair in the Basement

Allow me first to draw your attention to this fine post, with which I largely agree. But then, if I may, I would like to ladle some generous helpings of my own brown gravy complications over top the roast beef of our agreement. So to speak. This is another way of saying that I agree, as far as it goes. But in real life tangles, it often goes much farther than all that. Let me keep Snowden out of this so that we can just address the ethics of whistleblowing, and not have to deal with the hot politics of this particular situation. Let us assume a Christian with a top security clearance comes to you, his pastor, for some counsel. He wants to know what the right course of action is, and his interest is genuine. Let us also assume that the malfeasance he is concerned about is real and massive, and that it involves all his known superiors. This means that his only choice is to decide between whistleblowing and not whistleblowing. He either has to say nothing, or say something outside … [Read more...]

But Hardly Anybody Has Gray Eyes

"With that, Radavic swiveled his head and looked straight at Rourke with what he thought was a steely, gray-eyed gaze, like in those TV legal-office drama shows, at an especially tense moment when one of the handsome actors rivets another handsome actor with an unshakable and hardened resolve and says, 'Dammit, Trevor, this is our job!'" (Evangellyfish, p. 162). … [Read more...]

Forgiveness in Marriage

"We must deal with the fact that marriage means marriage of a sinner to a sinner . . . in order to deal with sin rightly, we have to understand forgiveness, and anyone who wants to be married in this fallen world without understanding forgiveness is frankly out of his mind" (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 93). … [Read more...]

Down the Sinkhole

The issue before us now is not whether Snowden is an admirable and trustworthy character. The thing we should care about is whether the people pursuing him are trustworthy, and the manifest answer is that they are not. The issue is not whether the countries that Snowden has popped into are bastions of liberty -- they are not. The issue is which countries are likely to extradite Snowden. Let's not demand that Snowden prove his worth to us by fleeing to a place that will provide him no protection at all. I don't know enough yet to know what I think of Snowden. But when it comes to our federal information leeches, I know plenty. So, just for the sake of argument, let's assume that Snowden was up to no good. That doesn't matter. His motives for blowing the whistle are of no concern to me. The only thing that matters is whether or not we want the government collecting information on everybody in the fashion they have been doing. Of course not. The stale answer that comes back to us is … [Read more...]

One of Those Circus Ponies

So what about today? Does the Leviticus 20:13 still apply today in a judicial fashion? Or could it? I will be getting to that shortly, and will be clear as a bell in my reply. But to the murky, all things will remain murky. But a few observations first. These initial observations are my imitation of asking for a coin -- since I have been asked their imitation of whether it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not. Believe it or not, not all questions are raised in search of an honest answer. Those who raise this particular question do so because they believe it to be a loaded question, applying solely to those few Christians who still take the whole Bible as altogether good, straight up. But this is, I would suggest, a loaded question for lots of groups. Let me suggest three others besides the one I am (cheerfully) in. First, Sharia law not only allows for the execution of homosexuals, it is a form of law that is being practiced today (in this aspect of it) in various parts of … [Read more...]