Resistance Is Not Futile—It Is Necessary, Part 2

The Present Challenge
Resisting Obergefell Respects the Rule of Law

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
—Frederick Douglass1

Part 1 is available here.

Last time we examined the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1857 Dred Scott case and established that the court ignored the Constitution and overstepped its authority. We remembered the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who pointed to a higher law and exposed the court for exercising arbitrary judgment and imposing its will in a tyrannical manner.

We further recognized how several of Douglass’s statements about Dred Scott also address Obergefell v. Hodges, the recent Supreme Court decision that redefines marriage nationwide to include same-sex couples; and we implicitly affirmed that we must act to resist Obergefell for many of the same reasons Douglass and others in his day were compelled to resist Dred Scott. A coalition of more than 60 scholars has released a statement through the American Principles Project showing us the way. You can read their manifesto here.

Let’s review some of the statement’s major points.

The Mess We Are In

The scholars establish early on that the court’s decision in Obergefell ignored the text of the Constitution, the Founder’s original intent, and the court’s own principles of constitutional interpretation to redefine marriage. Moreover, the Supreme Court “supplied no compelling reasoning to show why it is unjustified for the laws of the states to sustain marriage as it has been understood for millennia as the union of husband and wife.”

440px-Supreme_Court_US_2010

The scholars cite the strong and unsparing statements of the four dissenting justices; then they go on to note four costly consequences Obergefell surely will bring upon America. We summarize these as follows.

First, the ruling not only ignores the unique procreative element in natural marriage, it also falsely legitimizes the dismissal of those who seek to uphold it for the good of society in general and children in particular. As we have discussed previously, the procreative element of a man-woman relationship is central to what marriage is all about: “Only a heterosexual union can produce a baby. Infertile couples certainly do exist, but they do not negate the general rule that when one man and one woman come together and share themselves with each other intimately and sexually, the way is paved for conception, pregnancy, and the eventual arrival of a child.”2 We also observed, “The future of the human race depends on reproducing it so those dying out can be replaced. This can occur only with heterosexual couples.”3 To tilt the debate against those making these arguments, especially without any rational grounds for doing so, is to act in a truly tyrannical manner. This leads us to the second point.

Second, the court’s decision won’t just increase the probability of dismissing adherents of natural marriage; it seeks to shut them down totally by using the legal system to intimidate dissenters and force compliance, even when consciences are violated. We have seen this played out repeatedly in recent years, even before the Supreme Court issued its ruling.

Third, by removing the element of gender from the legal definition of marriage, the court destroyed the legal foundation for keeping any relationship or network of relationships from being legally considered a marriage.

Fourth, usurping the will of the people, the Constitution, cultural tradition, and historical precedent, five justices of the court issued an arbitrary ruling and acted as an absolute authority with no accountability whatsoever.

Continuing, the scholars at the American Principles Project state,

Any decision that brings about such evils would be questionable. One lacking anything remotely resembling a warrant in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution must be judged anti-constitutional and illegitimate. Obergefell should be declared to be such, and treated as such, by the other branches of government and by the citizens of the United States.

We must not miss significance of this paragraph. A bare majority of the nine justices of the Supreme Court have violated the Constitution of the United States in redefining marriage. Their ruling is therefore illegal and should not be recognized as legitimate or binding.

Quoting presidents James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution,”4 and Abraham Lincoln, the scholars demonstrate that national statesmen of the past have understood the constitutional limits placed upon the Supreme Court. These same limits apply today but unfortunately are not widely recognized.

James-Madison-3

Abe-Lincoln-233x300

These terms are not used, but this essentially completes the “whereas” portion of the document. The remaining text can be considered the “be it resolved” section. Here is a summary of that section.

The Challenge Before Us

The scholars emphasize that just as Madison and Lincoln understood “that the Constitution is not whatever a majority of Supreme Court justices say it is,” they also recognize this reality and remind all public officials that they are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not a Supreme Court ruling. Thus,

  • Obergefell is binding only to the plaintiffs in the case, and federal and state officials should not see it as binding on any other party.
  • Federal and state authorities should affirm the right of the states to define marriage and should encourage state officials uphold those definitions as they perform their duties.
  • Authorities should legally and practically assist those who resist the Obergefell ruling for reasons the Constitution authorizes and protects.
  • Authorities should openly discuss how and why Obergefell must be resisted and should work to reverse this unconstitutional ruling.

In the concluding paragraph, the scholars at the American Principles Project affirm that ordered liberty in the United States of America is threatened when a Supreme Court ruling without legal foundation is treated as settled law. Thus, to truly obey the law of the land and to preserve liberty, public officials and ordinary citizens alike must resist the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage. The scholars’ statement declares simply, yet profoundly, “We emphasize that the course of action we are here advocating is neither extreme nor disrespectful of the rule of law.”

We emphasize that the course of action we are here advocating is neither extreme nor disrespectful of the rule of law.

The scholars did not quote Dr. Martin Luther King, but they certainly could have. As you read this quote, keep in mind that many mistakenly believe that in the Obergefell ruling, the Supreme Court settled the marriage debate in this country by establishing same-sex marriage as the law of the land. Not so. According to the Constitution, while the court can interpret law, it cannot create it. Also, a Law exists that is higher than even the Constitution, and that Law remains in force. King said,

martin-luther-king-jr-ftr

There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all…One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.5

In the finest tradition of respect for the law, it is our noble call to resist tyranny and to uphold the true law of the land. May God give us the grace, strength, and courage to so act.

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Notes:

1http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/frederickd134373.html#ojXu0aK63IowKzvu.99

2,3http://www.wordfoundations.com/2015/08/13/the-high-cost-of-denying-the-obvious-part-3/

4https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison

5http://rense.com/general32/duty.htm

Statement Calling for Constitutional Resistance to Obergefell v. Hodges

 

Resistance Is Not Futile—It Is Necessary, Part 1

A Lesson From History
The Supreme Court Has Been Wrong Before

If the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott opinion had been meekly accepted, America would truly have ended her experiment in ordered liberty.
—William J. Bennett1

On Friday, March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case. One of several questions before the court had been whether or not slavery would be permitted in the western territories. The Missouri Compromise, which became law in 1820, directed that all the territories north of latitude 36°30′ and west of Missouri would be free.2 Later, the Compromise of 1850 established that the people residing in the territories could decide the question of slavery by voting. Understandably, however, people on both sides of the issue remained passionate; and in Kansas in 1854, the process turned violent. Would the Supreme Court at last be able to settle the issue that countless deliberations in Congress had failed to resolve?3

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Dred Scott

Dred Scott was a principal individual in the case. A slave, he was owned by doctor in the United States Army. The doctor had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin and had taken Scott with him to those places. Scott sued for his freedom. While a lower federal court ruled him to be a citizen, the Supreme Court overturned that decision.4 Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote the majority opinion for the court, which ruled 7-2 against Scott.5 It was a breathtaking and far-reaching decision we will not be able to explore in depth here, but we’ll “hit the high spots” and cover enough information to make obvious the outrageous nature of the ruling.

800px-Roger_B._Taney_-_Brady-Handy

Roger B. Taney

According to the court, blacks could never become citizens of the United States.6 Scott had remained a slave in both Illinois and Wisconsin, the court said, because the United States Constitution did not consider him to be a person, but rather property.7 This notion stood in sharp contrast to history, because in 1787, free blacks were indeed part of the U.S. population.8 The ruling also struck down the Missouri Compromise as unconstitutional, thereby establishing slavery in all U.S. Territories.9 It is clear that “Taney and the other justices were attempting to halt further debate on the issue of slavery in the territories. The decision inflamed regional tensions, which burned for another four years before exploding into the Civil War.”10

Southerners generally applauded the decision, but the court had engaged in a blatant overreach, and Northern opposition was intense. Taney actually had written that the Constitution’s framers held that blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”11 William J. Bennett writes, “Far from settling the slavery question, Taney’s Dred Scott ruling inflamed opposition to the extension of slavery. It served as the greatest recruitment tool for the new Republican Party.”12 Three years later, Abraham Lincoln would become the first Republican to win the presidency.

Here’s another description of the opinion from both historical and practical points of view: It “was a major political miscalculation. In its ruling, the court sought to solve the slavery controversy once and for all. Instead, the court intensified sectional strife, undercut possible compromise solutions to the issue of slavery’s expansion, and weakened the moral authority of the judiciary.”13

In May of 1857, just weeks after the Supreme Court issued its ruling, Frederick Douglass delivered a speech about the decision. Douglass was an African-American abolitionist and a speaker, writer, and articulate defender of the U.S. Constitution. Said Douglass,

You will readily ask me how I am affected by this devilish decision—this judicial incarnation of wolfishness? My answer is, and no thanks to the slaveholding wing of the Supreme Court, my hopes were never brighter than now.

I have no fear that the National Conscience will be put to sleep by such an open, glaring, and scandalous tissue of lies as that decision is, and has been, over and over, shown to be.

The Supreme Court of the United States is not the only power in this world. It is very great, but the Supreme Court of the Almighty is greater. Judge Taney can do many things, but he cannot perform impossibilities. He cannot bale out the ocean, annihilate the firm old earth, or pluck the silvery star of liberty from our Northern sky. He may decide, and decide again; but he cannot reverse the decision of the Most High. He cannot change the essential nature of things—making evil good, and good evil.

Happily for the whole human family, their rights have been defined, declared, and decided in a court higher than the Supreme Court. “There is a law,” says [Lord Chancellor Henry Peter] Brougham, “above all the enactments of human codes, and by that law, unchangeable and eternal, man cannot hold property in man.”14

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Frederick Douglass

The Supreme Court of the United States is…very great, but the Supreme Court of the Almighty is greater. Judge Taney can do many things, but he cannot perform impossibilities.…He cannot change the essential nature of things—making evil good, and good evil.

The words of Frederick Douglass ring true yet today, and it is utterly amazing just how many of his statements apply directly, not only to Dred Scott, but also to another illegal and illegitimate decision made by the Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges. In his day, Douglass stood in the prophetic tradition of boldly asserting the ultimate standard of right and wrong to expose the folly of tyranny—judicial and otherwise. This is exactly what we must do now, in 2015, with regard to the court’s recent redefinition of marriage nationwide.

Accordingly, on October 8, 2015, over 60 legal scholars released a statement urging public officials and citizens to resist the tyranny and judicial activism imposed by the five Supreme Court Justices who arbitrarily redefined marriage in the United States to include same-sex couples.15 Next time, we will explore some of the key points of that important statement.

Part 2 is available here.

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.


Updates

Forgiveness and Reconciliation for our Times
BreakPoint Commentary for March 13, 2017

From a descendant of Roger Taney to a descendant of Dred Scott: I’m Sorry
Washington Post article, March 6, 2017


Statement Calling for Constitutional Resistance to Obergefell v. Hodges

Notes:

1William J. Bennett, America, The Last Best Hope, Volume 1: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 294.

2http://www.britannica.com/event/Dred-Scott-decision

3http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dred-scott-decision

4http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/wwww/us/dredscottdecisiondef.htm

5http://www.britannica.com/event/Dred-Scott-decision

6http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/wwww/us/dredscottdecisiondef.htm

7,8http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dred-scott-decision

9http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2933.html

10http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dred-scott-decision

11https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B._Taney

11William J. Bennett, America, The Last Best Hope, Volume 1: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 295.

12http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dred-scott-decision

13http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=293

14http://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/americanliteratureifall09/frederick-douglass-on-the-dred-scott-decision/; also see http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/speech-on-the-dred-scott-decision-2/

15https://americanprinciplesproject.org/social-issues/more-than-60-legal-scholars-release-statement-calling-for-public-officials-and-american-citizens-to-resist-supreme-court-ruling-redefining-marriage/

 

 

Keep Cultivating and Don’t Lose Heart

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits,
Take care of your garden
And keep out the weeds,
Fill it with sunshine,
Kind words and kind deeds.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow1,2

Born in Leominster, Massachusetts on September 26, 1774, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, became one of America’s best known folk heroes.

He moved to Ohio at the beginning of the 19th century, bringing seeds from Pennsylvania cider presses with him and planting them along the way.…Chapman planted orchards along the pioneers’ routes, staying ahead of other orchardist competition since his nomadic, unmarried lifestyle allowed him to cover more ground. He would then trade his seedlings with new settlers in the area so that they could grow apples for their new homes.3

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Johnny Appleseed’s life and work are remembered and celebrated even today.4 While just about anyone can look at an apple tree and see apples, John Chapman was one of those special individuals who could look at an apple and see trees. Perhaps this is one reason he is so well loved in American folklore and history.

Actually, this is the kind of insight we as Christians are called upon to exercise. Despite the challenges and difficulties involved, we’re not only to believe trees can come forth but also to work to cultivate them so they can flourish. The trees of which I speak here aren’t literal trees, but the intangible results of good works.

To be clear, we don’t perform good works to be saved, but because we already have been saved. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the apostle Paul affirmed that salvation comes only “by grace…through faith…not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Then he wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

As we perform good works in the power of God’s Spirit, God uses our deeds to impact lives and to promote righteousness and the cause of Christ. In Galatians 6:9, Paul said, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Let’s examine several elements of this important verse.

  1. We note first that we are not to “grow weary.” In other words, we must not become exhausted or spiritless.5 The Greek word represented by the English words grow weary appears five other times in the New Testament, and in every case it is presented with a negative modifier (see Luke 18:1; 2 Cor. 4:1,16; Eph. 3:13; 2 Thess. 3:13).
  2. Second, we must persevere in our efforts to do good. The word translated good in Galatians 6:9 is used just over 100 times in the New Testament. It carries these meanings: “genuine, approved, noble, praiseworthy, precious, competent.”6 Consider this verse where the word appears twice: Paul wrote to Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:12).
  3. Third, we will get to reap the harvest our good works produce if we persevere. The word translated reap means just that, although it also can refer to sowing.7 Moreover, while it is clear from verse 9 alone that Paul was speaking in terms of reaping in a spiritual sense, the previous verse, Galatians 6:8, makes this assertion undeniable. Paul wrote, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
  4. Fourth, the timing of the harvest will be “in due season.” Just as crops do not ripen overnight, our good works often do not bear immediate fruit—but they will bear fruit eventually. We must be patient—obviously another reason why Paul emphasizes the theme of perseverance more than once in Galatians 6:9.
  5. Finally, we are to not to “lose heart” or faint. The Greek term means “to weaken or relax, to grow weak or to be tired out.”8 Certainly it also carries the idea of giving up, a concept employed by the translators of the New International Version and the translators of the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

It is clear that anyone reaping a harvest of good works has great cause to celebrate, but it also is evident that cultivating this kind of crop can be very costly. For examples, we need only turn to brothers and sisters in Christ like Kelvin Cochran, who was fired from his position as Atlanta Fire Chief simply because he expressed his belief in biblical marriage on his own time.9,10 Or we could turn to Kim Davis, county clerk for Rowan County in Kentucky, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, Jack Phillips, Barronelle Stutzman, David and Jason Benham, or Aaron and Melissa Klein, to name a few of many.11 Moreover, it isn’t just Christians’ livelihoods that are threatened, it’s their very lives. Many believers worldwide are paying the ultimate price to remain true to their faith.12

Thus, to produce the crop that results when good works are sown and cultivated, we may have to sacrifice a great deal. Often these sacrifices come because unbelievers misunderstand our faith and want to force us to betray our God. We would not minimize the pain of any of these sacrifices. Even so, in the end, if we remain faithful, what we gain will far outweigh everything we lose.

A Norwegian family lived on the shore, their home located very close to the lighthouse. Frequently the fisherman father would take his two teenage sons with him to catch fish. On one expedition they started out early in the morning, but by mid-day the sky had grown black and the sea rough. Conditions rapidly grew even worse, and their tiny boat was tossed unmercifully by the strong, relentless waves, which rose higher and higher with each passing minute.

In fact, the storm was so violent that it doused the light in the lighthouse. This left the man and his sons relying only on their best guess as to where steer the ship. It seemed they would perish. After some time, when the fisherman and his sons were drained of almost all their strength, they spotted a light on the shore! It grew brighter and brighter, making it possible for the captain and his two-man crew to direct their boat toward the shore at just the right time. Much to the relief of all three, when the onshore light began to dim, they’d made enough progress to ensure their safe arrival, even as the storm began to wane.

As they walked to their home, the man and his sons saw that it now was a charred, smoldering shell. The wife and mother ran to meet them and gave them the sad news that a fire had broken out she hadn’t been able to contain. Their home, along with all their possessions, had been lost. Seeing that her husband was taking the news in an almost lighthearted manner, she cried, “Karl, didn’t you hear me? We’ve lost everything!”

“But Ingrid, don’t you see?” Karl replied, “The light in the lighthouse was out because of the storm, and the same storm was battering our boat. We were groping in the dark! We surely would have perished had it not been for the light we saw onshore coming from the fire. The same fire that took our house saved our lives!”13

In the grand scheme of things, this family had a great deal more to celebrate than to grieve. So it is with us as we sow, cultivate, and tend to a crop of good works performed in the strength of God’s Holy Spirit. Despite the sacrifices we are called upon to make, if we remain faithful, then “in due season we shall reap” a bountiful harvest for God’s glory.

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Notes:

1http://thinkexist.com/quotation/kind_hearts_are_the_gardens-kind_thoughts_are_the/158511.html

2Even Longfellow, who apparently was not a Christian, understood the need to cultivate a garden yielding kind words and deeds.

3http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-was-johnny-appleseed

4http://cleveland.about.com/od/peopleandpets/p/johnnyappleseed.htm

5https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1573&t=KJV

6https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?page=2&strongs=G2570&t=KJV#lexResults

7https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2325&t=KJV

8https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1590&t=KJV

9http://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/case-details/cochran-v.-city-of-atlanta

10http://dailysignal.com/2015/10/14/city-made-dangerous-admission-about-faith-in-the-workplace-atlanta-fire-chief-lawyer-says/

11http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/courts-conclude-faith-loses-to-gay-demands/

12http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/26724

13Swindoll, Charles R. (2006-01-29). The Darkness and the Dawn (pp. 312-313). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. Swindoll’s source: Charles A. Allen, You Are Never Alone (Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1978), pp. 126– 127.

 

The Importance of Seeing the Big Picture, Part 2

Practical Implications

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
—C. S. Lewis1

Part 1 is available here.

A young man with limited experience but with a great deal of drive and physical strength aspired to be a woodcutter. He went to a local timber yard and applied for a job. The pay was adequate, and the boss seemed to be reasonable and fair-minded; so the man was very pleased when he was hired. The first day he cut down 18 trees. “Great!” said the supervisor, “Keep it up and you’ll do just fine.”

The second day the man worked equally hard but managed to bring in just 15 trees. The third day he gave everything he had but brought in only 10 trees. “I don’t understand what’s happening,” he said to his boss. I’ve been working harder than ever, but somehow I’m cutting down fewer and fewer trees. Am I losing my strength that quickly?”

“When did you last sharpen your axe?” asked the supervisor.

“Sharpen my axe?” replied the new woodcutter. “Why, I’ve been so busy cutting down trees I haven’t had time to sharpen my axe!”2

All too often, Christians and evangelical churches are like that woodcutter. Periodically, we need to “sharpen our axe” in order to effectively confront the increasingly secular culture in which we live. Of course, we aren’t speaking here of wielding a literal handle and blade but of having an accurate awareness of how non-Christian people think so we can challenge their most basic assumptions. We need to be like “the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chron. 12:32). As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”3

Picture-16

What are some things we must do? These five steps provide a great place at which to start.

  1. First, we must make sure we ourselves don’t fall prey to the lies of secularism. As Paul wrote to the Colossian believers, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).
  2. In order to do this, we need to become familiar not only with the tenets of biblical Christianity, but also with the faith assumptions of people in the culture at large. Paul used his own understanding of the citizens of Athens when he addressed them in Acts 17 (see vv. 16-34). Not everyone believed, but some did. Not surprisingly, we’ll need some help to increase our understanding. The Colson Center for Christian Worldview4 produces BreakPoint,5 a daily radio commentary that seeks to apply biblical worldview principles to all of life. It’s a tremendous resource.
  3. Third, using what we have come to understand about the biblical perspective and the worldviews that compete against it, we need to learn to engage the culture by asking strategic questions that challenge people’s faith assumptions. When properly timed, such questions target the philosophical and religious foundation on which false conclusions rest.6 Put another way, support for things like abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, and euthanasia are byproducts of underlying faith assumptions, or presuppositions, about life, death, God, humanity, and right and wrong. We need to challenge these erroneous ideas! Certainly we also need to articulate why abortion and other practices contrary to biblical teachings are bad for society, but not without also lovingly challenging presuppositions. Here’s an example. This graphic does a great job of challenging the ideas that all religions are compatible, and even equally true.7

contradiction

  1. Fourth, we must teach members of the next generation, especially our own children, about worldviews and how to discern truth from error. Here are three tremendous resources for doing so: http://www.thetruthproject.org; http://impact360institute.org; http://www.summit.org.
  2. Fifth, we have to be diligent about living according to the truth we profess to believe. If our lives aren’t consistent with what we say, we severely weaken the case we are trying to make.

As we have said, these are starting points, but they are vitally important. Once we become worldview Christians, we will consciously understand and uphold the practice of interpreting life according to biblical truth. Biblical lenses, needless to say, contrast sharply to the lenses through which everyone else around us interprets the world.

Consider the testimony of one teenager who had attended a Summit Ministries worldview training camp. He said the training had “ruined” his movie watching experiences. Now every time he saw a film, he automatically would pick up on worldview messages inherent in the movie.8 Good for him! If what he said was true about his watching movies, certainly he could pick up on worldview messages present in other places as well. May we, too, become that perceptive and astute!

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture has been taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Notes:

1http://quotes.lifehack.org/quote/c-s-lewis/christianity-if-false-is-of-no-importance/

2http://academictips.org/blogs/the-story-of-a-woodcutter/

3http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/07/17/how-to-restore-an-heirloom-axe/

4http://www.colsoncenter.org/wfp-home

5http://www.breakpoint.org/bp-home

6http://www.wordfoundations.com/529-2/

7http://steadfastlutherans.org/2012/08/contradictions-dont-coexist/

8http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/24871

 

The Importance of Seeing the Big Picture, Part 1

Philosophical and Religious Underpinnings

The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.
—Francis Schaeffer, 19811

In recent years we have seen an increasing intensity in the promotion of abortion, homosexual rights and same-sex marriage, and evolutionary philosophy cloaked in the jargon of science. All too often, we as Christians have treated these and other so-called “progressive” causes as separate issues. While we may have understood that all these movements are opposed to biblical values, many of us have largely addressed them individually, just as a teen playing Whac-A-Mole would go after the pop-up creatures in that game. The cultural and moral conflicts that confront us, however, are much more like chess than Whac-A-Mole.

Whac-A-Mole_in_China_01

A Whac-A-Mole Game Designed for Small Children in Hainan, China

To win at chess, a player mustn’t just be aware of how his opponent might use one piece here or another piece there; he instead must understand the ability of his opponent to strategically use all his pieces as an army, as a unified force, against him.

The point here is that issues like abortion, homosexuality, the redefinition of marriage, and sexual license are not separate issues, but expressions of a broader philosophical and religious belief system.

The visceral reactions of Planned Parenthood to the videos that have exposed its heinous practices offer us insight we dare not miss. Years ago, Charles Colson observed that

sexual liberation has become nothing less than a worldview—a vision of reforming human nature and creating a new society. It’s a worldview that begins with the assumption that humans are products of Darwinian evolution, and concludes that our identity is found by delving into the biological, the natural, the instinctual.

Especially the sexual instincts. Liberating our sexuality is thus seen as the high road to healing and wholeness.

If this sounds overblown, listen to the words of key founders of the sexual revolution. For Margaret Sanger, an early champion of birth control [and founder of Planned Parenthood], the drama of history consists in a struggle to free humanity from Biblical morality. “Through sex,” she wrote, “mankind may attain the great spiritual illumination which will transform the world, which will light up the only path to an earthly paradise.”

MargaretSanger-Underwood.LOC

This is nothing less than a vision of salvation through sex.2

In other words, sexual liberation, something that cannot be attained without unrestricted abortion, is a religion with a corresponding worldview.3 No wonder Planned Parenthood defends its practices with religious fervor, despite undeniable evidence of wrongdoing, callousness, barbarism, and misuse of funds.4,5,6,7,8,9

We must not miss these points, either: The religion of unrestrained sexual liberation can’t be experienced without embracing homosexuality as valid or without manipulating the meaning of marriage. Furthermore, this religion will uphold as normal many other deviant forms of sexuality as well. And while Christianity is theistic, the religion of sexual license is atheistic because it rests on a belief in humanity as a product of random, impersonal, amoral forces that require no accountability. The gay theology movement may don the cloak of Christianity, but in the end it denies what the Bible clearly says, and it thus denies the God of the Bible.10 We therefore can see why gay rights and religious liberty cannot coexist. Ultimately, compromise is not possible when you have two diametrically opposed religious perspectives.11,12,13,14,15,16

coexist-blue

So please do not fall for the lie promoted on countless bumper stickers that say COEXIST using various religious and cultural symbols!17,18 We see evidence even in the life of no less a figure than President Obama that conflicting religions can’t coexist, despite all the efforts to hide the president’s hostility toward Christianity.19

What, then, is the takeaway from this week’s discussion? Followers of Jesus Christ must understand what drives and fuels the passions of those who oppose biblical values. Whether our friends on the other side of God’s truth know it or not, their love of abortion, homosexuality, sexual license, and relativism (to name just a few of many items) rests on Darwinian evolution—the belief that human beings have originated from impersonal, random forces rather than God.20 Be aware of the complete failure of attempts to say that God used evolution to create the world and living beings. Evolutionary processes by definition are random means bringing about profound changes. If God directed them, they couldn’t have been random, could they?

Ken Ham, president, CEO, and founder of Answers in Genesis,21 has observed that Christians commit a strategic error in opposing evil by going after the “progressive” causes themselves rather than attacking the foundation upon which those causes rest. Here is a brilliant illustration from Answers in Genesis conveying this keen insight.

castle-2010

Click here to enlarge.

Christians must learn to effectively attack the foundation of humanism, sometimes called secularism. When we engage this way, the progressives’ castle will crumble, and the values our liberal friends seek to uphold will deflate. This is an oversimplification, of course; yet truth abounds herein. Other insights and implications arise as well. Next time we will discuss several of them.

Part 2 is available here.

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

For further reading:
What’s Your View of the World by Del Tackett
Is Evolution a Religion? by Dr. Tommy Mitchell and Monty White

Recommended Video:
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards’ Attempt To Dismiss Viral Video Backfires!

Notes:

1https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/78395-a-christian-manifesto

2http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/colson-files/18136-sex-as-salvation

3http://www.renewamerica.com/analysis/hutchison/120607

4http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-limbaugh/planned-parenthood-cant-handle-the-truth.html

5https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htcqhdf4WBE

6http://www.frc.org/updatearticle/20150929/planned-parenthood-cecile

7http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/07/21/gop-rep-case-for-defunding-planned-parenthood-has-never-been-stronger/

8http://adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2015/09/30/new-forensic-report-flushes-planned-parenthood-s-highly-edited-talking-point

9https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=25&v=NiqcEL3T6IU

10http://www.truenews.org/Homosexuality/pro-gay_theology.html

11http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/28/obama-warns-christians-gay-rights-important-religious-freedom/

12http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/obama-gay-trumps-religion-in-constitution/

13http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/chuck.colson.from.the.grave.gay.marriage.legalization.to.bring.wrath.of.god.on.america/49161.htm

14http://www.christianpost.com/news/do-gay-rights-trump-religious-rights-117542/

15http://www.colsoncenter.org/listen/entry/38/27126

16http://www.breakpoint.org/listen/entry/38/26690

17http://steadfastlutherans.org/2012/08/contradictions-dont-coexist/

18http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/allen-west-tolerance-one-way-street-cultural-suicide

19http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-limbaugh/obamas-faith-isnt-the-issue-but.html

20http://www.wordfoundations.com/2015/06/11/the-horrible-place-to-which-societys-belief-in-evolution-eventually-leads-part-2-the-bitter-fruit/

21https://answersingenesis.org/bios/ken-ham/?sitehist=1490627732857