“For the first time in its history, the United States is trying to wage and win a war without accurately identifying the enemy or its motivations for seeking to destroy us. That oversight defies both common sense and past military experience, and it disarms us in what may be the most decisive theater of this conflict: the battle of ideas.”
The following is an article written by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington and was an article in the April 2010 issue of The American Legion Magazine. Thought you would find it interesting & scary; I did.
For the first time in its history, the United States is trying to wage and win a war without accurately identifying the enemy or its motivations for seeking to destroy us. That oversight defies both common sense and past military experience, and it disarms us in what may be the most decisive theater of this conflict: the battle of ideas.
Such a breakdown may seem incredible to veterans of past military conflicts. Imagine fighting World War II without clarity about Nazism and fascism, or the Cold War without an appreciation of Soviet communism and the threat it posed.
Yet today, the civilian leaders of this country and their senior subordinates – responsible for the U.S. military, the intelligence community, homeland security and federal law enforcement – have systematically failed to fully realize that we once again face a totalitarian ideology bent on our destruction.
That failure is the more worrisome since the current ideological menace is arguably more dangerous than any we have faced in the past, for two reasons. First, its adherents believe their mission of global conquest is divinely inspired. Second, they are here in the United States in significant numbers, not just a threat elsewhere around the world.
What, then, is this ideology? It has been given many names in recent years, including political Islam, radical Islam, fundamentalist Islam, extremist Islam and Islamofascism. There is, however, a more accurate descriptor – the one its adherents use. They call it “Shariah.”
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about Shariah is that it is authoritative Islam, which presents itself as a complete way of life – cultural, political, military, social and religious,
all governed by the same doctrine. In other words, this comprehensive program is not simply the agenda of extremists hunkered down in caves in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Neither can its directives be attributed to deviants hijacking Islam.
Rather, Shariah – which translates from Arabic as “path to God” – is actually binding law. It is taught as such by the most revered sacred texts, traditions, institutions, top academic centers, scholars and leaders of the Islamic faith. Fortunately, hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world do not wish to live under a brutally repressive, woman-demeaning, barbaric and totalitarian program. Such Muslims are potentially our allies, just as those who do adhere to Shariah are our unalterable foes.
The immutability of Shariah-adherent Muslim hostility toward the rest of us derives directly from the central tenet of Shariah: Muslims are explicitly required to seek the triumph of Islam over all other faiths, peoples and governments.
The ultimate objective of Shariah is the establishment of a global Islamic state – Sunni Muslims call it “the caliphate” – governed by Shariah. The means by which this political outcome is to be achieved is called “jihad.”
Since 9/11, many Americans have become unhappily acquainted with the terrifying, violent strain of jihad. Under Shariah, violence – often described by non-Muslims as “terrorism” – is the preferred means of securing the spread and dominion of Islam, as it is the most efficient.
While Shariah deems jihad to be the personal obligation of every faithful Muslim capable of performing it – man or woman, young or old – they can forgo the violent form when it is deemed impracticable. In such circumstances, the struggle can be pursued through means that are, at least temporarily, non-violent. Taken together, the latter constitute what renowned author and expert Robert Spencer calls “stealth jihad.” Adherents to Shariah call it “dawah.”
Examples of stealth jihadism abound in Western societies, notably Europe and increasingly in the United States. They include the demand for symbolic and substantive accommodations in political, economic and legal areas (for example, special treatment or rights for Muslims in the workplace, in public spaces and by government); the opportunity to penetrate and influence operations against government at every level; and the insinuation of the Trojan horse of “Shariah-compliant finance” into the West’s capital markets.
If stealth jihad seems less threatening than terrorism, the objective is exactly the same as that of violent jihad: the subjugation to the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) of all non-Islamic states that, like the United States, make up the Dar al-harb (House of War). It follows that those who seek ostensibly to impose Shariah through non-violent techniques – notably in the West, the organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood – are our enemies every bit as much as those who overtly strive to defeat us by murderous terrorism.
Many Western elites, including the Obama administration, have been seduced by the seemingly benign quality of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, we know from the 2008 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation – the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history – that the Muslim Brothers’ mission in the United States is “a kind of grand jihad to destroy Western civilization from within … by their own miserable hands.”
Another Brotherhood document, titled “The Rulers,” was seized in a 2004 raid and describes how the organization will try to overthrow the U.S. Constitution in five phases:
• Phase I: Discreet and secret establishment of elite leadership
Phase II: Gradual appearance on the public scene, and exercising and utilizing various public activities
• Phase III: Escalation, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through the mass media
• Phase IV: Open public confrontation with the government through the exercise of political pressure
• Phase V: Seizing power to establish an Islamic nation, under which all parties and Islamic groups will become united
“The Rulers” makes plain that all the above-mentioned phases “are preliminary steps to reach the (fifth) phase.”
The Muslim Brothers know that by masking their ideological agenda as a religious program, they can use Western civil liberties and tolerance as weapons in their stealthy jihad. For this strategy to succeed, however, they must suppress any discussion or understanding of the true nature of Shariah.
Adherents to Shariah insist that their law prohibits any slander against Islam or Muhammad. Under such a catch-all restriction, virtually any kind of conversation about – or critique of – Islam can be considered impermissible if Muslims find it offensive. Particularly in Europe, the ever-present prospect of violence, like that which followed the September 2005 publication of Danish cartoons poking fun at Muhammad, is generally sufficient to induce self-censorship.
In this country, the application of such prohibitions seems unthinkable, given the guarantees of free speech enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment. Unfortunately, the Obama administration last year co-sponsored with Egypt a relevant and deeply problematic resolution in the U.N. Human Rights Council, promoted for years by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a group of 57 Muslim-majority nations that stridently embraces Shariah and seeks to legitimate and promote its advance around the world.
The resolution calls on members of the United Nations to prohibit statements that offend Islam. It also calls for criminal penalties to be applied to those who make such statements.
The U.S. implementation of such a resolution would obviously be a matter not just for the executive branch, which supported it, but for Congress and the judiciary as well. It is a safe bet that any formal effort to supplant the First Amendment in this way would meet with great resistance.
To a stunning degree, U.S. leaders have been effectively conforming to Shariah slander laws for some time now. For instance, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both repeatedly described Islam as a “religion of peace,” without acknowledging the requirement for jihad its authorities demand, pursuant to Shariah.
At the Muslim Brotherhood’s insistence, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have barred the use of perfectly accurate terms like “Islamic terrorism.” The U.S. government has also embraced the Muslim Brothers’ disinformation by translating jihad as nothing more than “striving in the path of God.”
Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the favored name for the enemy has been “violent extremism” – a formulation that neither offers clarity about the true nature of our foe nor lends itself to a prescription for a successful countervailing strategy. Even when al-Qaeda is identified as the enemy, it is almost always accompanied by an assurance that its operatives and allies have “corrupted” Islam. Ignored, or at least earnestly obscured, are two unhappy realities: such enemies are implementing Shariah’s dictates to the letter of the law, and they have millions of fellow adherents around the world who view Islam’s requirements the same way.
One of the most egregious examples of this practice of unilateral disarmament in the battle of ideas is the January report of the independent review of the Fort Hood massacre, co-chaired by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon Clark. Their 86-page unclassified analysis purported to dissect an event allegedly perpetrated by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan – a medical officer whose business card described him as “Soldier of Allah,” whose briefings justified murder of his comrades in the name of jihad, and who shouted the Islamic martyr’s cry “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”) as he opened fire, killing 13. Incredibly, the words “Islam,” “Islamic terror,” “Shariah,” “jihad,” and “Muslim Brotherhood” were not used even once in the West-Clark report.
Such political correctness, or willful blindness up the chain of command, doubtless caused Hasan’s colleagues to keep silent about his alarming beliefs, lest they be punished for expressing concerns about them. Now, reportedly, six of them have been designated as the scapegoats for what is manifestly an institutional failure.
The painful truth is that however we rationalize this sort of behavior, our Shariah-adherent enemies correctly perceive it as evidence of submission, which is the literal meaning of the word “Islam,” and what Shariah demands of everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Indeed, Shariah offers non-believers only three choices: conversion to Islam, submission (known as dhimmitude) or death. Historically, dhimmitude was imposed through successful Muslim conquests. In more recent years, tolerant Western nations have increasingly succumbed to stealthy jihadism, backed by more or less direct threats of violence.
That trend, worrying as it is, may be giving way in this country to a new campaign: jihad of the sword. The past year saw a fourfold increase in the number of actual or attempted terrorist attacks in the United States. Sadly, that statistic will likely be surpassed in the year ahead. Four of the nation’s top intelligence officials have testified before Congress that it is certain new acts of violence will be undertaken in the next three to six months. Worse yet, a blue-ribbon commission has calculated that the probability of the use of weapons of mass destruction somewhere in the world by 2013 is now over 50 percent.
Is this dramatic upsurge in violent jihad directed at the United States unrelated to our behavior? Or does it reflect a growing calculation on the part of our Shariah-adherent enemies that violence against the United States is now, once again, practicable?
Either way, the time has clearly come to make a far more serious effort to defeat both the violent and stealthy forms of jihad being waged against this country. If we are to do so, however, we have to start by telling the truth.
Our enemy is not “violent extremism,” or even al-Qaeda alone. Rather, it is the millions of Muslims who – like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and their allies – adhere to Shariah and who, therefore, believe they must impose it on the rest of us.
We are at war with such individuals and organizations. Not because we want to be. Not because of policies toward Israel or the Middle East or anything else we have pursued in recent years. Rather, we are at war with them because they must wage jihad against us, pursuant to the dictates of Shariah, the same law that has guided many in Islam for some 1,200 years.
What is at stake in this war? Look no further than The American Legion’s Americanism Manual, which defines Americanism as “love of America; loyalty to her institutions as the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness; and the willingness to defend our country and Flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Such values cannot coexist with Shariah, which demands the destruction of democratic nations like the United States, its governing institutions and liberties. Shariah would supplant them with a repressive, transnational, theocratic government abroad and at home.
The extraordinary reality is that none of this – the authoritative and malevolent nature of Shariah, its utter incompatibility with our civilization, and its adherents’ determination to force us to convert, submit or die – is concealed from those willing to learn the truth. To the contrary, the facts are widely available via books, the Internet, DVDs and mosques, both here and overseas. Interestingly, on Dec. 1, 2005, Gen. Peter Pace, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on his troops to expose themselves to precisely this sort of information: “I say you need to get out and read what our enemies have said. Remember Hitler. Remember he wrote ‘Mein Kampf.’ He said in writing exactly what his plan was, and we collectively ignored that to our great detriment. Now, our enemies have said publicly on film, on the Internet, their goal is to destroy our way of life. No equivocation on their part.”
As it happens, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, a lawyer and Army Reserves intelligence specialist recruited by the Joint Chiefs to be their expert on the doctrine and jurisprudence of jihad, took Pace’s admonition to heart. He wrote a master’s thesis inspired by the chairman’s quote, titled “To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad.”
Coughlin’s briefings explicitly and repeatedly warned military leaders of the enemy’s “threat doctrine” – drawing from, among Islamic texts, passages the Fort Hood suspect used to justify his massacre. Unfortunately, engaging in such analysis, let alone acting on it, was powerfully discouraged in January 2008 when Coughlin was dismissed from the Joint Staff after he ran afoul of a Muslim Brother then working for Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.
In short, we are today confronted by the cumulative effect of a sustained and collective dereliction of duty, one that is putting our country in extreme peril. Our armed forces – like their counterparts in the intelligence community, Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement – have a professional duty to know the enemy and develop appropriate responses to the threat doctrine. If this dereliction is allowed to persist, it is predictable that more Americans will die, both on foreign battlefields and at home.
The American people also need to become knowledgeable about the threat of Shariah and insist that action be taken at federal, state and local levels to keep our country Shariah-free. This toxic ideology, if left unchecked, can destroy the country and institutions that are, indeed, “the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness.”
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington and host of the nationally syndicated program “Secure Freedom Radio.”
The only flaw in his thinking is that he thinks the enemy is merely those muslims who want Sharia law.
In an age where some schools are even disallowing red and green (i.e., Christmas Colors, non-religious) paper plates and plastic ware at “Winter Holiday Parties”
and Christmas carols are being banned, to have second graders at a school perform a “Holiday Program” that includes a song praising Allah is OUTRAGEOUS!
In Fishers, Indiana, at the Lantern Road Elementary School,
Principal Danielle Thompson defended the program that included things from Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Las Posadas, and Kwanzaa. While only a few local parents protested the inclusion of a song about Allah, the word got out to the American Family Association and a national campaign developed to stop the song in praise of Allah.
“School officials removed a phrase saying “Allah is God” after the American Family Association launched a protest of the program on its electronic newsletter.The change was made, Thompson said, because no other deities were directly named in the program.”
At Pamela Gellers’ website, Atlasshrugs, some of the words to the program that the children were to sing are included:
“Allah is God, we recall at dawn,
Praying ‘til night during Ramadan
At this joyful time we pray happiness for you,
Allah be with you all your life through.”
But when it came time to perform the “Christian” part of Christmas, children were assigned to say:
“I didn’t know there was a little boy at the manger. What child is this?
I’m not sure if there was a little boy or not.
Then why did you paint one on your nativity window?
I just thought if there was a little boy, I’d like to know exactly what he (sic) say.
Micah Clark, executive director of the Indiana AFA, launched an Internet protest once he heard about the allegations. “What surprised me here is that we’ve had a secular scrubbing of Christmas for so long and the school apparently didn’t see the problem with kids singing to Allah,” he told FOX News Radio. “You won’t even mention Jesus and you’re going to force my child to sing about Allah?
The first problem here is the desire to be “inclusive”. This modern innovation in our society and education system is inherently self loathing and destructive, although it sounds nice. Historically, America has been a “melting pot” that has rightfully welcomed immigrants. However, the goal has always been (until recently) to have E Pluribus Unum, Out of Many- One. The goal is to make Americans not to have a thousand different little cultures perfectly preserved, included, and respected.
We should be inclusive in the sense that, wherever you come from, whatever your past, you are welcome to come to America to start afresh. But starting afresh means you are willing to become Americanized. You learn our religion (Christianity), you learn our language (English) and you learn our culture.
Modern day inclusiveness directly implies that all cultures are equal and are of equal value and truth. It teaches that we cannot judge other cultures as inferior and we must respect everyone’s culture, religion, etc. It teaches that it would be wrong to make immigrants change their ways when they come here. This belief is not only wrong, it is dangerous.
What makes a nation is three things: 1) a geographic border; 2) a language; and, 3) a common worldview (based upon core beliefs, most frequently religion).
Christmas is about as American as you can get. As a Christian, and former Baptist Pastor, I know that Christmas is itself a melting pot of a tiny bit of biblical Christianity, a dash of paganism, a lot of Roman Catholicism, some folk lore from Germany, England and America, and a lot of American entrepreneurial spirit. The early Puritans who founded New England tended to stay away from Christmas as too Popish.
But Christmas is THE BIGGEST HOLIDAY IN AMERICA. Christmas is inherently about Christ, hence the name, and any attempt to put it on an equal footing with Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (a totally made up, non- African holiday) and Ramadan is just plain wrong. Now I can respect Hanukkah and celebrate it because Christianity and Judaism are somewhat intertwined and the Jews are a wonderful people and culture that have contributed immensely to Western Civilization.
But should a public school try to celebrate and link all these different religions in one holiday celebration in the name of Inclusiveness or Diversity? NO!
The SECOND problem with Lantern Road Elementary’s celebration is that they FAVORED Allah over Jesus. Allah was proclaimed as being God, but Jesus was left out of Christmas entirely and the song even cast doubts on the nativity. In the last 50 years there has been a steady war against Christianity in the public schools, but now we are seeing a deliberate attempt to teach islam in the schools, to favor islam and give muslims special rights.
Does Ms. Danielle Thompson even know that in most muslim societies she would be given the lash for how she dresses and for being a woman out in public and daring to teach girls in a school? I don’t think so.
The one quote in the article that stands out as being the most nonsense is this:
But one state Muslim leader said the school’s decision to remove the word Allah was far from inclusive.”It’s unfortunate if that was removed from the program just because of Islamophobic feelings,” said Shariq Siddiqui, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. “Schools are a place where we should learn more about each other rather than exclude each other based on stereotypes and misconceptions.”
Please point out how inclusive and ready to learn about other religions the schools in Islamic countries are? Wherever Islam goes, oppression and ignorance follow. Do you really think that if muslims were the overwhelming majority in this school district, and were allowed to practice sharia law, that they would allow Hanukkah or Christmas to be celebrated equally with Ramadan?
The last problem in this story I want to address is this quote:
In the week before the program, the principal said, about 30 people called with concerns — and only four of the complaints came from local families. Thompson said many callers were appeased when they heard the program’s purpose and scope.
Only 4 local families called to complain? This is either a complete lie or, what I fear, it shows complete dhimmitude and apathy. People don’t know and they don’t care to know what Islam is really like. We have grown complacent and sheeplike, afraid to speak out.
I am convinced that we must eventually address the “free exercise and establishment clauses” of the First Amendment in light of Islam. This is dangerous territory for a secular state can then slap restrictions on all religions. But the problem is that Islam is spreading aggressively in the West and in America now as well. They have learned to “game our system”. Their goal is not an equal playing field, it is total dominance.
They have been at war with us, we are not yet at war with them.
Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience
Drafted October 20, 2009
Released November 20, 2009
Christians are heirs of a 2,000year
tradition of proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our
societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and
While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and
communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by
rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the
Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed
their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who
died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.
After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but
also the literature and art of Western culture. It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery:
Papal edicts in the 16 th and 17 th centuries decried the practice of slavery and first
excommunicated anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led by
John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that country. Christians
under Wilberforce’s leadership also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor, the
imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.
In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish
the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible.
And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great
civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and
asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or
This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the
dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to
AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes – from providing
clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned
by war, disease and gender discrimination.
Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called to proclaim the
Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the
common good. In being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship, the church through service
to others can make a profound contribution to the public good.
We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on
September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on
behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in
obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on
our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend
the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is
grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a
beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person. We call upon all people of
goodwill, believers and nonbelievers
alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues
we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight
While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and
vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the
unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage,
already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to
accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are
gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of
faith to compromise their deepest convictions.
Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and
the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common
good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this
declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a
creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life;
2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and
historically understood by believers and nonbelievers
alike, to be the most basic institution in
society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ,
and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.
We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm
our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of
these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it
cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the
Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season.
May God help us not to fail in that duty.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he
created them. Genesis 1:27
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Although public sentiment has moved in a prolife
direction, we note with sadness that proabortion
ideology prevails today in our government. The present administration is led and staffed
by those who want to make abortions legal at any stage of fetal development, and who want to
provide abortions at taxpayer expense. Majorities in both houses of Congress hold proabortion
views. The Supreme Court, whose infamous 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade stripped the unborn
of legal protection, continues to treat elective abortion as a fundamental constitutional right,
though it has upheld as constitutionally permissible some limited restrictions on abortion. The
President says that he wants to reduce the “need” for abortion—a commendable goal. But he
has also pledged to make abortion more easily and widely available by eliminating laws
prohibiting government funding, requiring waiting periods for women seeking abortions, and
parental notification for abortions performed on minors. The elimination of these important and
laws cannot reasonably be expected to do other than significantly increase the
number of elective abortions by which the lives of countless children are snuffed out prior to birth.
Our commitment to the sanctity of life is not a matter of partisan loyalty, for we recognize that in
years since Roe v. Wade, elected officials and appointees of both major political
parties have been complicit in giving legal sanction to what Pope John Paul II described as “the
culture of death.” We call on all officials in our country, elected and appointed, to protect and
serve every member of our society, including the most marginalized, voiceless, and vulnerable
A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief
that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discardable. As predicted by many
prescient persons, the cheapening of life that began with abortion has now metastasized. For
example, human embryodestructive
research and its public funding are promoted in the name of
science and in the cause of developing treatments and cures for diseases and injuries. The
President and many in Congress favor the expansion of embryoresearch
to include the taxpayer
funding of socalled
“therapeutic cloning.” This would result in the industrial mass production of
human embryos to be killed for the purpose of producing genetically customized stem cell lines
and tissues. At the other end of life, an increasingly powerful movement to promote assisted
suicide and “voluntary” euthanasia threatens the lives of vulnerable elderly and disabled persons.
Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben (“life unworthy of life”) were first
advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe. Long buried in
ignominy after the horrors of the mid20
th century, they have returned from the grave. The only
difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of “liberty,”
“autonomy,” and “choice.”
We will be united and untiring in our efforts to roll back the license to kill that began with the
abandonment of the unborn to abortion. We will work, as we have always worked, to bring
assistance, comfort, and care to pregnant women in need and to those who have been victimized
by abortion, even as we stand resolutely against the corrupt and degrading notion that it can
somehow be in the best interests of women to submit to the deliberate killing of their unborn
children. Our message is, and ever shall be, that the just, humane, and truly Christian answer to
problem pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for mother and child alike.
A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who have been entrusted with
temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to protect the weak and vulnerable
against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible
enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot
themselves speak. And so we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and the
dependent. What the Bible and the light of reason make clear, we must make clear. We must be
willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our institutions, the lives of our brothers
and sisters at every stage of development and in every condition.
Our concern is not confined to our own nation. Around the globe, we are witnessing cases of
genocide and “ethnic cleansing,” the failure to assist those who are suffering as innocent victims
of war, the neglect and abuse of children, the exploitation of vulnerable laborers, the sexual
trafficking of girls and young women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression and
discrimination, the persecution of believers of all faiths, and the failure to take steps necessary to
halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS. We see these travesties as flowing from the
same loss of the sense of the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life that
drives the abortion industry and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and human
cloning for biomedical research. And so ours is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of love and
life for all humans in all circumstances.
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman,
for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be
united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:2324
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of
you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
In Scripture, the creation of man and woman, and their oneflesh
union as husband and wife, is
the crowning achievement of God’s creation. In the transmission of life and the nurturing of
children, men and women joined as spouses are given the great honor of being partners with God
Himself. Marriage then, is the first institution of human society—indeed it is the institution on
which all other human institutions have their foundation. In the Christian tradition we refer to
marriage as “holy matrimony” to signal the fact that it is an institution ordained by God, and
blessed by Christ in his participation at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In the Bible, God Himself
blesses and holds marriage in the highest esteem.
Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for
sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is
honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses
themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage
culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves.
Unfortunately, we have witnessed over the course of the past several decades a serious erosion
of the marriage culture in our own country. Perhaps the most telling—and alarming—indicator is
birth rate. Less than fifty years ago, it was under 5 percent. Today it is over
40 percent. Our society—and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sectors, where the outofwedlock
birth rate is much higher even than the national average—is paying a huge price in
delinquency, drug abuse, crime, incarceration, hopelessness, and despair. Other indicators are
sexual cohabitation and a devastatingly high rate of divorce.
We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to
uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage.
Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social
practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the
To strengthen families, we must stop glamorizing promiscuity and infidelity and restore among
our people a sense of the profound beauty, mystery, and holiness of faithful marital love. We
must reform illadvised
policies that contribute to the weakening of the institution of marriage,
including the discredited idea of unilateral divorce. We must work in the legal, cultural, and
religious domains to instill in young people a sound understanding of what marriage is, what it
requires, and why it is worth the commitment and sacrifices that faithful spouses make.
The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize samesex
and multiple partner
relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture. It
reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil and religious
law and in the philosophical tradition that contributed to shaping the law. Yet it is critical that the
impulse be resisted, for yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of restoring a sound
understanding of marriage and, with it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy marriage culture. It would
lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult
satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way, about procreation and the unique character and value
of acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion
and protection of life. In spousal communion and the rearing of children (who, as gifts of God, are
the fruit of their parents’ marital love), we discover the profound reasons for and benefits of the
We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous
conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of
immoral conduct. We have compassion for those so disposed; we respect them as human
beings possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity; and we pay tribute to the men and
women who strive, often with little assistance, to resist the temptation to yield to desires that they,
no less than we, regard as wayward. We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less
than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives. We, no less than
they, are in constant need of God’s patience, love and forgiveness. We call on the entire
Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful
condemnation of those who yield to it. Our rejection of sin, though resolute, must never become
the rejection of sinners. For every sinner, regardless of the sin, is loved by God, who seeks not
our destruction but rather the conversion of our hearts. Jesus calls all who wander from the path
of virtue to “a more excellent way.” As his disciples we will reach out in love to assist all who hear
the call and wish to answer it.
We further acknowledge that there are sincere people who disagree with us, and with the
teaching of the Bible and Christian tradition, on questions of sexual morality and the nature of
marriage. Some who enter into samesex
and polyamorous relationships no doubt regard their
unions as truly marital. They fail to understand, however, that marriage is made possible by the
sexual complementarity of man and woman, and that the comprehensive, multilevel
life that marriage is includes bodily unity of the sort that unites husband and wife biologically as a
reproductive unit. This is because the body is no mere extrinsic instrument of the human person,
but truly part of the personal reality of the human being. Human beings are not merely centers of
consciousness or emotion, or minds, or spirits, inhabiting nonpersonal
bodies. The human
person is a dynamic unity of body, mind, and spirit. Marriage is what one man and one woman
establish when, forsaking all others and pledging lifelong commitment, they found a sharing of life
at every level of being—the biological, the emotional, the dispositional, the rational, the spiritual—
on a commitment that is sealed, completed and actualized by loving sexual intercourse in which
the spouses become one flesh, not in some merely metaphorical sense, but by fulfilling together
the behavioral conditions of procreation. That is why in the Christian tradition, and historically in
Western law, consummated marriages are not dissoluble or annullable on the ground of infertility,
even though the nature of the marital relationship is shaped and structured by its intrinsic
orientation to the great good of procreation.
We understand that many of our fellow citizens, including some Christians, believe that the
historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a denial of equality or
civil rights. They wonder what to say in reply to the argument that asserts that no harm would
be done to them or to anyone if the law of the community were to confer upon two men or two
women who are living together in a sexual partnership the status of being “married.” It would
not, after all, affect their own marriages, would it? On inspection, however, the argument that
laws governing one kind of marriage will not affect another cannot stand. Were it to prove
anything, it would prove far too much: the assumption that the legal status of one set of
marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could
be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even
adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships. Should these,
as a matter of equality or civil rights, be recognized as lawful marriages, and would they have
no effects on other relationships? No. The truth is that marriage is not something abstract or
neutral that the law may legitimately define and redefine
to please those who are powerful and
No one has a civil right to have a nonmarital
relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an
objective reality—a covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to
recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine
social harms follow. First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter of conscience
is jeopardized. Second, the rights of parents are abused as family life and sex education
programs in schools are used to teach children that an enlightened understanding recognizes
as “marriages” sexual partnerships that many parents believe are intrinsically nonmarital
immoral. Third, the common good of civil society is damaged when the law itself, in its critical
pedagogical function, becomes a tool for eroding a sound understanding of marriage on which
the flourishing of the marriage culture in any society vitally depends. Sadly, we are today far
from having a thriving marriage culture. But if we are to begin the critically important process of
reforming our laws and mores to rebuild such a culture, the last thing we can afford to do is to
marriage in such a way as to embody in our laws a false proclamation about what
And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”),
that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of
one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do
otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant.
Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so
just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we
are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable
treasure that is marriage.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good
news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the
captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Matthew 22:21
The struggle for religious liberty across the centuries has been long and arduous, but it is not a
novel idea or recent development. The nature of religious liberty is grounded in the character of
God Himself, the God who is most fully known in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Determined to
follow Jesus faithfully in life and death, the early Christians appealed to the manner in which the
Incarnation had taken place: “Did God send Christ, as some suppose, as a tyrant brandishing
fear and terror? Not so, but in gentleness and meekness…, for compulsion is no attribute of God”
(Epistle to Diognetus 7.34).
Thus the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the example
of Christ Himself and in the very dignity of the human person created in the image of God—a
dignity, as our founders proclaimed, inherent in every human, and knowable by all in the exercise
of right reason.
Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Immunity from religious coercion is
the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one should be compelled to embrace any
religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the
dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.
What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.
It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill the unborn, aged and disabled and also a
right to engage in immoral sexual practices, and even a right to have relationships integrated
around these practices be recognized and blessed by law—such persons claiming these “rights”
are very often in the vanguard of those who would trample upon the freedom of others to express
their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the
conjugal union of husband and wife.
We see this, for example, in the effort to weaken or eliminate conscience clauses, and therefore
to compel prolife
institutions (including religiously affiliated hospitals and clinics), and prolife
physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other health care professionals, to refer for abortions and, in
certain cases, even to perform or participate in abortions. We see it in the use of antidiscrimination
statutes to force religious institutions, businesses, and service providers of various
sorts to comply with activities they judge to be deeply immoral or go out of business. After the
judicial imposition of “samesex
marriage” in Massachusetts, for example, Catholic Charities
chose with great reluctance to end its centurylong
work of helping to place orphaned children in
good homes rather than comply with a legal mandate that it place children in samesex
households in violation of Catholic moral teaching. In New Jersey, after the establishment of a
“civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status
when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to
be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions. In Canada and some European nations,
Christian clergy have been prosecuted for preaching Biblical norms against the practice of
homosexuality. New hatecrime
laws in America raise the specter of the same practice here.
In recent decades a growing body of case law has paralleled the decline in respect for religious
values in the media, the academy and political leadership, resulting in restrictions on the free
exercise of religion. We view this as an ominous development, not only because of its threat to
the individual liberty guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her faith, but because the
trend also threatens the common welfare and the culture of freedom on which our system of
republican government is founded. Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to
hire people of one’s own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions, for
example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer
against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism Tocqueville so
prophetically warned of. 1 Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.
As Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obey those in authority.
We believe in law and in the rule of law. We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we
happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to
do something unjust or otherwise immoral. The biblical purpose of law is to preserve order and
serve justice and the common good; yet laws that are unjust—and especially laws that purport to
compel citizens to do what is unjust—undermine the common good, rather than serve it.
Going back to the earliest days of the church, Christians have refused to compromise their
proclamation of the gospel. In Acts 4, Peter and John were ordered to stop preaching. Their
answer was, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.
For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Through the centuries,
Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required.
There is no more eloquent defense of the rights and duties of religious conscience than the one
offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Writing from an explicitly
Christian perspective, and citing Christian writers such as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught
that just laws elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose
ultimate source is God Himself. Unjust laws degrade human beings. Inasmuch as they can claim
no authority beyond sheer human will, they lack any power to bind in conscience. King’s
willingness to go to jail, rather than comply with legal injustice, was exemplary and inspiring.
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports
to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryodestructive
suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife
act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force
us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from
proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.
We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances
will we render to Caesar what is God’s.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson is urging the more conservative Lutheran churches to refrain from divisive activities like separating from the now apostate Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Many conservative pastors and congregations are leaving the denomination because of their vote this summer to ordain practicing homosexuals.
AND WHAT DID YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN?!
NOTICE first of all, that nobody is calling the homosexuals in the Lutheran church divisive; it is only those who actually believe the Bible and seek to follow it that are labeled as divisive. This is typical of Liberalism everywhere, not just amongst Lutherans. Liberals act according to their perverted desires and then start calling conservatives names when they react negatively to the liberal/homosexual agenda.
EXCUSE ME! Who did what to whom first? IT IS THE HOMOSEXUALS, A TINY MINORITY, WHO ARE DIVISIVE AND WHO ARE SEEKING TO IMPOSE THEIR VALUES ON OUR SOCIETY AND IN DENOMINATION AFTER DENOMINATION. The Libtards who run the ELCA are the divisive ones. They are the ones who set a course that runs counter to the Scriptures and all of Church History. They are the ones who put the Bible believers in the position of choosing between Scripture and continuing to fellowship in a religious society that is no longer a church.
“I am disappointed that some are encouraging congregations and members to take actions that will diminish our capacity for ministry,” Hanson stated Wednesday.
Oh PULEASE Spare Me. Why not rather grieve over the grotesquely sinful decision to call what Scripture says is an abomination something to be celebrated? Where is the mourning over that sin? This is the leader of so-called Christian denomination and he is disappointed that some churches want to be biblical?
“Our attentive listening to one another and patient waiting for the Spirit’s work in these conversations will be a powerful witness,” Hanson added.
Make me vomit, sir! I am done with attentive listening and patient waiting. It is rather a time for the godly to come out from among them and be ye separate. It is time for the godly Lutherans to boldly pronounced, “Thus saith the Lord, Repent and Believe!”
Conservative Lutherans from congregations throughout the country voted on Saturday to begin deciding on whether to go their separate ways from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Arguing that the ELCA has fallen into heresy, the traditional group has essentially initiated a process that they hope will lead to a reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America.
“We are forming a churchly community because our prior churchly community has walked away from the faith off the one holy catholic and apostolic Church,” said Ryan Schwarz, a member of the Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) steering committee.
Thank you, brother Schwarz, for a good solid response.
The Rev. Paul Ulring, a member of the CORE steering committee, insisted that they are not dividing the church. The church is already divided, he said, and they are just “mopping up what the church did.”
Now that’s what I am talking about! The real division is not when the conservatives vote to leave and start a new denomination of Lutherans; the real division is between those who believe the Bible and those who do not, those who are seeking to follow Christ and those who are following the devil (yes I said that and meant it). The church will always have tares, but if you are the wheat and in a field of tares, you need to leave and find a field of wheat.
Community Church of Joy in Glendale, AZ. was the 10th largest church in the ELCA, until last Sunday when they voted to leave the denomination. www.joyonline.org/
Where has this mess come from? It started long ago, in the early 20th century or even late 19th, when seminaries, professors and pastors, began allowing the Word of God to be denied with higher criticism. Once the Word of God is cast aside any number of heresies will flood in. The sexual revolution of the 1960’s allowed for immorality to enter the church and be legitimized and then followed the homosexual revolution in the ’70’s-80’s.
Once that kind of onslaught enters the church, the godly are left playing defense, and that never works for long. What Southern Baptists did back in the 1970’s, was to go on offense within our denomination and chase out the libertards. Liberalism began creeping in to SBC life in the 1950’s in the seminaries. To my knowledge, the SBC is the only denomination to halt liberalism in its tracks and remove it and return the denomination to its biblical moorings.
Here are the links to the Lutheran story:
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Dr. Al Mohler’s column this morning raises the question- Are We a Nation of Hindus?
Dr. Mohler is referencing a column by Lisa Miller of Newsweek that states, “We Are All Hindus Now” and claims “America is not a Christian nation. …recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.”
Dr. Mohler begins by stating, “Those who argue that all religions are essentially the same reveal the fact that they know little about these very different belief systems. The worldview of Christianity is, for example, radically different from the belief structure of Buddhism (some forms of which may actually claim to resist the very idea of beliefs).”
I get this line all the time when I am witnessing and it seriously irritates me. 1) I find it ignorant, it shows the speaker does not know a thing about any of the religions. Most of the world’s religions are so very different that they are logically mutually exclusive- if one is right the others are necessarily wrong. 2) I find it incredibly arrogant of people to self-rigteously proclaim that “All religions are the same”. And yet it is THEY who accuse US of being arrogant in assuming that our religion is the only true religion. 3) People who make that claim tend to be intellectually and morally lazy.
“The Rig Veda, the most ancient Hindu scripture, says this: “Truth is One, but the sages speak of it by many names.” A Hindu believes there are many paths to God. Jesus is one way, the Qur’an is another, yoga practice is a third. None is better than any other; all are equal. The most traditional, conservative Christians have not been taught to think like this. They learn in Sunday school that their religion is true, and others are false. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
This is her key point, this is why she is saying America is now Hindu. More people are now saying that THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO GOD. While I would agree that more people in America are now agreeing with that, and it is a Hindu concept, I think it has more to do with American Pragmatism than it does Hinduism. Although, the influence of Hinduism on the Transcendentalists of the mid 19th century is well known and in the 1960’s the Beatles brought it some of that thought with their music and the Star Wars movies popularized it some more in the late ’70’s-80’s. The influence of yoga and Transcendental Meditation has also played some role.
So I would say that Pragmatic, intellectually lazy America rather shares a few concepts with Hinduism instead of saying we are becoming Hindu. Hinduism has a lot of other beliefs that most Americans would find silly. For one, Hindu religion does not really believe in one God who is personal. Americans are overwhelmingly monotheistic and believe in a personal God who hears and answers prayer.
“Then there’s the question of what happens when you die. Christians traditionally believe that bodies and souls are sacred, that together they comprise the “self,” and that at the end of time they will be reunited in the Resurrection. You need both, in other words, and you need them forever. Hindus believe no such thing. At death, the body burns on a pyre, while the spirit—where identity resides—escapes. In reincarnation, central to Hinduism, selves come back to earth again and again in different bodies. So here is another way in which Americans are becoming more Hindu: 24 percent of Americans say they believe in reincarnation, according to a 2008 Harris poll. So agnostic are we about the ultimate fates of our bodies that we’re burning them—like Hindus—after death. More than a third of Americans now choose cremation, according to the Cremation Association of North America, up from 6 percent in 1975. ”
Again, I think the fact that we are sharing some concepts with Hinduism does not mean we are Hindu. The popularity of cremation does not in any way contradict Christian theology proper, though it may seem to contradict Christian practice. Christians did practice burial because of a link with the doctrine of resurrection, while the ancient Greeks did often burn their dead. But, in my study of the Scriptures, there is absolutely no scriputral requirement for burial, nor is cremation prohibited. Theologically speaking, the cause of death and the condition of the corpse has nothing to do with the resurrection. Cremation increasingly makes sense due to the cost of caskets, graves and headstones. Again the practice is more pragmatic than Hindu.
However, the widespread and growing belief in reincarnation as opposed to resurrection IS a disntively Hindu idea and here Miller may have a point. But again, one of the characteristics that mark Pragmatism is an eclecticism. We Americans like the Luby’s Cfeteria approach to all of life- we a little bit of lots of things. Latching on to reincarnation is a good way to avoid dealing with death and the judgment that is to come. It is really quite American- if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Mohler says, “So what is Lisa Miller’s point? She suggests that contemporary Americans, including many who consider themselves Christians, are abandoning the exclusive truth claims of Christianity for a form of theological pluralism or relativism.”
Here I have to agree with Mohler. Americans ARE abandoning exclusive truth claims in Christianity. Within Baptist churches I have met many who no longer view John 14:6 as really being true. With a lot of Baptists, sincerity matters more than truth. If people mean well then they will go to heaven when they die.
Mohler’s best point is, “Another aspect of the story is this: Many Americans have such a doctrineless understanding of Christianity that they do not even know what the Gospel is — not even remotely. A greater tragedy is that so many who consider themselves Christians seem to share in this confusion.”
In the last month of my pastorate, in January of 2007, we were in the Fellowship Hall for a funeral meal and as I was sitting with the kitchen crew, they were talking about their favorite TV preachers. These three ladies who had all spent their entire lives in Southern Baptist Churches and whom I had pastored for 15 years and preached biblical, doctrinal sermons to, and they all agreed as to who their favorite TV preacher was. Joel Osteen. These women were all over 70 and had heard Baptist preaching and Baptist Sunday School lessons for over 70 years each. And now, in their golden years, they like Osteen.
Osteen has good karma I guess. Maybe we are all becoming Hindu.
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On Friday, August 21, 2008, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted out the Scriptures and voted in practicing homosexuals at their 2009 Church Assembly. In a two-thirds majority the group approved “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” which basically approves of homosexual relationships that are monogamous, committed, trusting relationships. In further action to violate Scripture, the Lutherans voted 559-451 to allow practicing homosexuals into the clergy.
The discussions on these measures seemed to focus on how to balance the great commandment, to love God, with the second, to love your neighbor as yourself. It seems to me the Lutherans took that second commandment a little bit too literally.
This would be the second denomination this summer to apostatize from the Faith, abandoning Scripture to appease the homosexual radicals. The first was the Episcopal Church in America.
It was good to hear a humble rebuke from the leader of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Reverend Gerald Kieshnick.
The conservatives in the ELCA CORE (Coalition for Reform) severed ties with the ELCA and will soon be holding meetings to form their own denomination. Good for them!
Of the many things wrong with these decisions, it seems to me that their understanding of history certainly lacks. In the discussions by the Lutherans it seemed that they considered that times have changed and that people are not as sure today that homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, the loving thing to do is to give full biblical sanction and approval to homosexuals. As if homosexuality is something new. Paul ministered in a day where homosexuality was acceptable behaviour in ancient Greece. But he wrote against homosexuality. There is NOT ONE POSITIVE REFERENCE to homosexuality in the Scriptures and has been universally condemned by the Church until the last 50 years. For the Lutherans to now approve it is going directly against Scripture and history/tradition.
This is a sad day for the Church. Look forward to some other denominations following the lead of the Episcopals and Lutherans.
The question I have for the churches and the homosexuals is this: what other sins can we get a special dispensation to allow to be practiced and receive the blessing of the church on? Can the Church legitimize polygamy? After all, there is way more biblical evidence for allowing that than there is for homosexuality? Or how about slavery? Slavery was acceptable in ancient days, even in the Church.
The bottom line is that homosexuals think their sin is “special” and that they don’t need to repent like the rest of us. This is anti-gospel.
Homosexuals and their sympathizers think that it is unjust to not allow them to marry. Every homosexual has the same rights as I do in marriage. They are absolutely free to marry. But they want special rights. They want their men to marry men and women to marry women. That inherently changes the definition of marriage, and therefore cheapens and denigrates all heterosexual marriage. In order for the homosexual to gain their “special rights” we must lose some of the value of our God given rights. Providing for homosexual marriage, or allowing gays to “minister’ in a denomination inherently cheapens what others have. It is a zero sum game, it is not a “win, win” situation. This is a TYRANNY by the MINORITY.
I am starting to believe that what is going on in our churches in America, in our denominations, is not only symptomatic of the state of our nation but may also now be pointing to what lies in our future. Denominations are splitting over the issue of homosexuality in a big way that has not been seen since the 1920’s with the modernist-fundamentalist splits. When you look at the broader political landscape of America you see the lines of division between conservative and liberal growing deeper and the anger is building. Have you seen the town hall meetings that Congressmen and Senators are having this summer?
I believe that America may be headed for a division every bit as vitriolic as the Civil War. Conservatives are waking up and realizing that the compromises in our churches and in our courts and in our state houses and legislatures have been one sided for too long. The libtards have taken us too far down a road we did not intend nor want to travel. It is time to “come out from among them and be separate”. I am afraid there is a day coming, in the not too distant future, where minute men must once again come to the fore to defend liberty against the tyrants amongst us. When the Law of the Land begins to compel the righteous to do that which is evil, or prevents the righteous from doing the good we are commanded to do, the blood will begin to flow.
I see violence in our future.
Come Lord Jesus!
In the last two weeks the Episcopal Church met in Anaheim for their 76th General Convention and called personal salvation a “western heresy” and agreed to ordain homosexuals as priests and bishops. These kinds of decisions brought rejoicing in some quarters, and harsh words from others. But the official Anglican response seems to be the “middle way” upon which Anglicanism was founded.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is proposing a “two-track” system in order to avoid a “full blown” schism. On Monday the 27th, Dr. Williams proposed this two track model so that those who wanted to stay orthodox could still remain in the Anglican Community, and those who wanted to embrace homosexuality and other heresies could also remain Anglican. I think it is safe to say the “Big Tent” model is in vogue in the circus that is the Anglican Church. He described it as “two styles of being Anglican”.
For those not familiar with the history of the Anglican Church let me just say that they were formed in compromise and “The Anglican Way” has always been a middle path of trying to be one thing and another at the same time, in the same relationship. Keeping Catholic worship forms and the bishopric while holding to some Reformer doctrines has resulted in much back and forth in Anglican history. Now, today, in the great age of heresy and compromise that is the 21st century church, they once again are wanting it both ways, hetero and homo. Does this make them the first bi-sexual denomination?
I think that this experiment in compromise is doomed to failure. The conservative resurgence in the greater Anglican Church in Africa, combined with the conservative dioceses in America will ultimately depart. The Call of God’s Word is too strong for orthodox believers in the Anglican Community to limp along with the heretics for much longer.
Now, admittedly, I am not Episcopal, Anglican or Church of England. I am a Baptist simply watching the goings on from the outside. As a Baptist I am fairly well versed on internal drama within a denomination and reading/watching it in the media. All this to say that my criticisms/suggestions or interpretations of the Anglican/Episcopalians are from the outside looking in. However, as a fellow Christian, and as one whose own denomination has had wayyy tooo much drama over the years, I am concerned. I have fellowshipped with some godly, Reformed Episcopalians and read some good books and commentaries from godly Anglicans; they have blessed me. So I am concerned for the health of their denomination.
From my understanding of Scripture and from the little bit of research I have done, I would suggest that it is time for those who want to obey Scripture and follow Christ to leave the Anglican Church, separate from the Episcopals and the archbishop of Canterbury, and form a new, biblically conservative denomination.
The two tracks proposed by Dr Williams are unbiblical. There is the “narrow path” that leads to salvation and there it the broad way that is easy and leads to destruction. Flee the city of destruction!
Here are the stories:
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Meeting at their triennial convention in Anaheim, the Episcopal Church on Tuesday voted to cease all restrictions on homosexuals in their denomination, thus opening the way for practicing homosexuals to be priests, bishops and even the head bishop. The House of Bishops first approved the measure and then the House of Deputies, laymen, also approved it. The vote wasn’t even close in the House of Deputies, voting 78-21 in favor of the measure that will, undoubtedly, divide the 2 million member US protestant body even further. Many other Anglican groups around the world had warned the Episcopals not to take this divisive action.
The measure taken by the Episcopals was not directly repealing BO33 which vaguely hinted that the Episcopals should exercise “restraint” in who they make bishops, but it indirectly addresses the matter by saying that ordination is open to anyone in the Church.
I find all of this indirect language in these resolutions in the Episcopal Church to be very, well…Episcopal like. Don’t really take a firm stand, be nice, be vague, warm and fuzzy. If they are going to be heretics they ought to sin boldly. They should say, “Hey world! Hey God! We are going to ordain homosexual guys and lesbian girls. Get over it! God made gays this way so let us celebrate it by making them bishops over the church!”
It will be interesting to see what kind of a reaction they get from the World-wide Anglican Communion. Will they be excommunicated? I seriously doubt it. Expect more vague language. Will there be a Church Trial for Heresy? Not on your life. Will they merge with the Metropolitan Community Church denomination? Hmm, that might benefit both religious clubs, errr.. I mean churches.
Here is Dr Al Mohler’s blog about the mess in the Episcopal Church:
In the NYTimes piece below there is an interesting take on this whole story: they say that other protestant bodies in the USA are watching the Episcopals to see how they manage the damage from opening up every office to homosexuals. If the Episcopals survive with only minor losses, then other denominations will follow their lead. Great! I think all the denominations who want to “legitimize” homosexual practices and marriage ought to go ahead and get it out in the open. There needs to be a division here. This is a classic case where division can be good. If this doesn’t drive people out of weak churches, then they are indeed where they belong.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I think it is a bad thing to cave in to the homosexual movement this way. Churches ought to be about helping people find God’s grace to leave sin and cling to Christ by faith instead of helping confirm people in their sins. So this is a tragedy for America and for the Church in America. But it is a good thing in the sense that it will make weak churches weaker and drive the remnant out to find biblical churches in which to serve and worship.
Here is the money quote from the NYTimes:
Many delegates to the church’s convention here characterized the action not as an overturning of the moratorium, but as simply an honest assertion of “who we are.” They note that the church, which claims about two million members, has hundreds of openly gay laypeople, priests and deacons, and that its democratic decision-making structures are charged with deciding who merits ordination.
Another good quote from the Times reveals the real agenda here is not about people being born gay or not, it is about being able to do whatever perverted sexual act you want. Here’s the quote:
Pamela Reamer Williams, a spokeswoman for Integrity USA, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the church, said: “The church has stated very clearly that all levels of the ministry in the Episcopal Church are open to the L.G.B.T. baptized. It is a change in the sense that it supersedes the effective moratorium.”
When gays say that they are born that way and God doesn’t make junk, and Jesus loves them just the way they are, and the loving, compassionate thing is to allow for gays to marry, it all amounts to excuses for sin. Here is the proof- why do gays ally themselves with bi-sexuals as the above quote notes? Bi-sexuals want to have sexual relationships with people from both sexes. Multiple partners is part of being bi. Are bisexuals born that way? Should they have three way marriages blessed by the Episcopal Church? Why not? And what about the Trans-sexuals? Many of them never get the full sex change operation, some just cross dress and some go half way. How is that going to work for the Episcopals? And yet people freak out over the LDS fundamentalists who have multiple wives. Voof! Surely the Episcopal Church has become the Church of Anything Goes!
An honest assertion of “who we are”. Yep, that says it all: Homosexuals R Us!
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The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopalian Church, the Right Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, has convened the triennial meeting of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Los Angeles by proclaiming individual salvation to be “the Great Western Heresy”. See the AmericanSpectator article below and the link to her speech below that with the money quote.
The crisis of this moment has several parts, and like Episcopalians, particularly the ones in Mississippi, they’re all related. The overarching connection in all of these crises has to do with the great Western heresy – that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God. It’s caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of being. That heresy is one reason for the theme of this Convention.
Ubuntu doesn’t have any “I”s in it. The I only emerges as we connect – and that is really what the word means: I am because we are, and I can only become a whole person in relationship with others. There is no “I” without “you,” and in our context, you and I are known only as we reflect the image of the one who created us. Some of you will hear a resonance with Martin Buber’s I and Thou and recognize a harmony. You will not be wrong.
Here is another article about the “heresy” in ChristianPost:
Now for a little perspective. The Episcopal Church authorized the ordination of women in 1976, a significant departure from Scripture and tradition; and in 2003 the Episcopal Church elected their first openly gay Bishop, V. Gene Robinson, another huge departure from Scripture and church tradition. Now we have a proclamation that the individual salvation that is at the core of the Gospel message in the New Testament is a HERESY. For the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to use the term heresy, in this context, to refer to individual salvation as a heresy, is astounding. Heresy is a strong word. It goes beyond bad doctrine to something that compromises the essentials of the faith.
Does she mean that the New Testament does not teach that Jesus died on the cross as our substitute to atone for our sins so that we can, as individuals, come to God by faith in the completed work of the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ with repentance and be saved from our sins and from the just punishment that our sins incur? That’s what it sounds like to me.
If that is what the Right Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori believes and teaches, then it is further confirmation that the Episcopal Church is APOSTATE, they preach an ANTI-GOSPEL and worship a false god.
From reading her address and sermon, both linked below, it seems that salvation for her and the Episcopal Church is a group thing that is all about loving their neighbors and the earth and making this place a nicer place to live. It is not about having a personal relationship with a Holy God through faith in his Son Jesus. It is definitely not about Grace it is about being nice.
This group-think, group-salvation that the Bishop is speaking about sounds suspiciously like the politics of group identity, anti-individual, collective-statist thought that is popular in our elites and in our various dependent-victim groups. And university professors. Hmm, could it be that the Episcopal Church has imbibed of the Spirit of the Age here?
Many of the Episcopal churches have broken away from the main body in recent months over the homosexual ordination issue. Hopefully, many more will break away now that salvation has been anathematized.
The Episcopal Church is definitely a post-christian religion. May their numbers continue to decline as they retreat into irrelevancy.
UPDATE: Dr Al Mohler’s column on Friday, July 17, speaks to this issue. Here is the link:
In his blog, Dr. Mohler begins by referring to Dr. Thomas C. Oden who wrote that he cannot find any church or seminary that is earnestly dealing with heresy. Dr. Mohler defines heresy as
“The word heresy should properly be reserved for teachings that directly reject what the Bible reveals and the Church has confessed concerning the person and work of Christ and the reality and integrity of the Trinity. There are any number of false teachings and erroneous doctrines, but the term heresy should be restricted to those most central to the Gospel itself.”
Then he goes into a discussion of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori. While he covers much of the same ground I did above, he adds this:
Indeed, her assertion of heresy was directed to the very idea of individual conversion to faith in Christ — the faith that has always and everywhere defined authentic Christianity.
Don’t miss this — the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church openly lamented a focus on evangelization that would seek conversions for such a focus would divert the attention of her church from ecological, economic, and other political imperatives. This was the main thrust of her address, with this central theme indicative of her larger episcopal agenda.
The bishop is simply not concerned with seeing persons come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. She has made this clear over and over again and her convictions were well-known when she was elected as the denomination’s Presiding Bishop. Shortly after her election, she spoke to TIME magazine concerning Jesus Christ: “We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.” She explicitly denies that conscious faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, and has done so on multiple occasions.
The irony of all this was not lost on many Episcopalians and other observers. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church finally summoned the determination to apply the word heresy — and then applied this most serious term of odious rejection to the Gospel itself.
May the Lord cause a revival amongst the Episcopalians so that the True Gospel of Jesus Christ would once again be preached and believed. Or may the Lord cause their heretical religious club to dwindle into insignificance. Preserve me, O Lord, from unbelief and disobedience by Your Grace!
The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, Florida, has figured out a way to bring the world to their church: post a large sign beside the road that says, “Islam is of the Devil”. Now, atheists, liberal Christians, Jews, agnostics and muslims are lining the road to protest the church’s right to free expression.
Here are the money quotes for discussion from the news article:
“It creates hate,” said Shahnaz *****, who described herself as someone who is proud to be a Muslim.
“This church is condoning what should be condemned,” said Logan ****, who described himself as a “diehard atheist” and a soon-to-be freshman at Santa Fe College.
“It’s persecution of religion and that’s why our country was founded — to get away from religious persecution,” said Barbara ****, the school nurse at Terwilliger Elementary School and member of the First Baptist Church of Alachua.
Now let’s take these quotes one by one.
“It creates hate,” said one muslim. The sign is an inanimate object that is unable to create or do anything. As an expression of faith by the Dove church it cannot create hate in anyone. According to the pastor, Terry Jones, it is actually intended to show a love for the souls of muslims by challenging their beliefs and getting them to think. Hate is not a creation of someone else, it is the emotional response, a decision even, by someone for a variety of reasons. This sign does not create hate; it may bring out the hate that is already in the hearts of a muslim or a liberal wh disagrees with the theology of the Dove church, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for the sign or even the message from the church to create hate.
This concept of free speech becoming “hate speech” is a method for liberals and muslims to slowly eradicate our 1st Amendment right to Free Speech, a Free Press, and Freedom of Religion. Already in Europe hate speech has been criminalized and used to silence Christians, ministers of the Gospel, and conservative politicians like Geert Wilder in Hollland. There is a bill in Congress that is designed to do the same thing here. Those who complain of “hate speech’ are intolerant tyrants who are going to take away our liberty. If an atheist group had placed a sign up that read, “Christians are all Fools- There Is No God” nobody would have complained.
2nd- “This church is condoning what should be condemned,” said Logan ***, who described himself as a “diehard atheist” Now I find it a bit strange that a “diehard atheist” would choose sides here. He is saying that the church’s position that Christianity is the only true religion, particularly as opposed to Islam, should be condemned. Why would an atheist defend Islam against the claims of Christianity?
But for now, ignore the fact of his atheism, notice the double standard that may be rooted in ignorance. What offends this individual is that the Church is making a truth claim that says Christianity is right, true and good and Islam is wrong, false and evil. Yet Islam ALSO claims to be THE ONLY TRUE RELIGION. Islam is notoriously intolerant, indeed, after communism and liberalism, is the most intolerant of faiths. So the statement, This church is condoning what should be condemned, is a nonsensical statement. If the atheist had said, “Both Christianity and Islam should be condemned for being exclusive in their belief systems” then the statement would make sense. It would still be value judgment by a person who, as an atheist, has no grounds for making a value judgment.
3rd statement:“It’s persecution of religion and that’s why our country was founded — to get away from religious persecution,” said Barbara ******, the school nurse at Terwilliger Elementary School and member of the First Baptist Church of Alachua.” If you want to know what is wrong with our education system today, here it is. the school nurse cannot tell the difference between a publicly stated opinion and persecution. The sign, nor the church behind the sign, cannot persecute anybody. It merely states an opinion out in the public. The persecutors would be the local authorities who might try to force the church to take down the sign, or the lawyers and judges and plaintiffs who might sue and try the Church for stating their opinion.
Notice that this particular libtard is a Baptist. I am a Baptist. I can attest to the ignorance of many a Baptist. Libtard Baptists of the Jimmy Carter variety really, really irritate me. This Baptist obviously doesn’t know her history. The first Baptist in the country was Roger Williams who was run out of Massachusettes Bay Colony because of his beliefs. Baptists were arrested and fined and jailed in many of the early colonies. Yes, the Puritans came to America to escape the persecution in England, but they in turn persecuted others. And by persecution I mean not merely expressing of harsh opinions, I mean imprisoning, fining and even executing those who disagreed.
What Dove World Outreach is doing is in no remote way persecuting muslims and anyone who thinks so is an idiot.
Here are some of the signs held by the protestors:
Several protesters carried or wore signs that hung by lightweight twine or cords from around their necks. One sign depicted a frowning face with tears falling from one eye. A few included Bible references, such as Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Another, carried by 8 1/2-year-old Talbot Elementary student *******, bore an equation “God = love.”
Without getting into a very lengthy and detailed exegesis of the Bible texts cited by the protestors, let me just say a few words. Matt.7:1 cannot possibly mean that we should just ignore the differences in all the world religions. Hello, Jesus was directly confronting the Jews with the sermon on the mount. The entire Bible confronts all other religions. What was the point of Paul and the other apostles suffering all they suffered for the gospel if they weren’t confronting the false beliefs of the Jews and the pagans? When people mis-apply Matt. 7:1 like this they are saying that the message of the Bible, the message of Christ, is to accept all religions as equal. That is devilish idiocy.
Likewise with the child holding the sign saying, “God = love” referring to 1John 4:8 “God is love”. Does the sign holder, or in this case, the 8 1/2 yr old’s mother/father, mean that God loves all people of all religions equally and that all will be saved? That is not the message of the Bible. Yes, for God so loved the world…but it also says, that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves the world, but there is a huge qualifier here, whosoever believeth on him…if you don’t believe in Jesus you will not be saved.
Guess what? Muslims do not believe in Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior of men. Therefore they are not saved and will not have everlasting life.
Now to the sign itself. “Islam is of the Devil” This is a reference to 1Corinthians 10:20 “I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God.” and 2Cor. 11:14 “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Christians not only believe in a real spiritual being called the Devil/Satan, but we believe that all false gods are in reality demons or the Devil. Islam is a false religion that worships a false god, allah, and therefore, Islam is of the Devil.
In conclusion, I absolutely agree with the message of the Church sign and even congratulate the church on its boldness in creating a conversation on this difficult but important topic. Americans have been fed pablum for way too long. If the God of the Bible is god then follow him. If Allah is God, then follow him. But you cannot have both. For the average American libtard who wants to say all religions are true equally, you need to do some serious thinking. All religions might be false, but they all cannot be true. They are logically opposed to each other and mutually contradictory.
Here are the links:
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