Christians Chased from the Public Square?

Family.generationsFaced with anti-religious Supreme Court rulings, harassment from aggressive same-sex activists and head-snapping flip-flops from politicians, how are Christians to respond in the public square?

Do we do as the opposition demands and retreat to rehearsing our values and views only within the four walls of a church building or in our whispered prayers, while cloistered in our closets at home? How can we privately show grace to hurting, broken people who may oppose us and, at the same time, publicly “stand up for Jesus” with our words and actions, in our increasingly secular society?

Perhaps we should first affirm that our Christian values are not mere opinions. They do not change with the “times,” so we can be on the “right side of history.”

Rather, as followers of Christ, our values are to be biblically based and not quickly changed. Personal convictions can guide our lifestyles, but the common values of a Christian culture should come from immutable “thus says to the Lord” commands and teachings of Scripture (1). Our personal beliefs, norms and standards should flow from there.

Followers of Jesus Christ (Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life) are to be “truth tellers” who know well the truths of the faith and are prepared (even in the public square) to present them in a peaceable –yet persuasive—fashion, with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

(1) For example, read these chapters: Romans 12-14 and 1 Corinthians 5-9.

 

 

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Debate This!

ISIS-Coptic-Christians

The executions, persecution and uprooting of ancient religious communities in the Middle East are on-going human rights tragedies, which our world leaders have largely ignored.

Christian churches and sites of historic and religious antiquity in the Middle East have a long and noble history. The region was once the cradle of the Christian faith. Even as recently as 100 years ago, some 20% of the peoples of the Middle East were still Christian. But today, many fear these proud and resilient religious communities may soon disappear from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, North and Central Africa and throughout the region, in the face of new, Islamic extremists.

Yet, the world has been mostly silent on this pressing issue. World leaders have simply not spoken out in behalf of these, who are being persecuted and even butchered for their faith.

These Jihadist atrocities against religious minorities deserve our utmost concern and contempt. But they also deserve immediate and heightened attention, by our present and prospective leaders.

In the face of such religious violence and intolerance, will the U.S. presidential candidates—of either party—stand up and speak out in behalf of these religious minorities?

A revealing test of moral leadership right now, among the nearly 20 presidential candidates, may be who will take up the cause of the persecuted and make it a priority issue in these critical times. Let this be a discerning topic for questioning at the presidential debates, of both parties!

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This, too, is pro-life!

Have you heard of the recent rape and murder of Marilyn Pharis?

Marilyn was a 64-year old Air Force vet who was brutally raped in her own home in Santa Barbara County, beaten with a hammer and murdered by an illegal alien named Victor Martinez.

A week later, Marilyn Pharis died from her wounds.

This tragedy followed the July 1 death of Kate Steinle, who was murdered in broad daylight, in the “Sanctuary City” of San Francisco, by yet another illegal alien, who had been deported FIVE times previously. The city had recently had him in jail, but released him, after prosecutors reduced the charge to a misdemeanor and ignored a federal request by ICE officials to be notified before any release, so he could be deported for the sixth time!

These murders are only two out of hundreds committed each year in our country by illegal, criminal immigrants. It amounts to an illegal-alien crime wave.

In the seven years between 2008 and 2014, the Government Accountability Office has revealed that 40% of all murder convictions in Florida were criminal illegal aliens. Furthermore, if you add up all the murder convictions in California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and New York over the same timeframe, 38% of them were illegal aliens. These numbers do not include rapes, manslaughter, drunk-driving killings, and other violent crimes. When you consider that illegal aliens are only 5.6% of the population in those states, this becomes unconscionable!

News commentator Bill O’Reilly is calling for Congress to pass a “Kate’s Law,” in Kate Stienle’s memory. It would mandate that any “undocumented alien” convicted of a felony in the U.S.A. must be deported and, if they return illegally to this country, would serve a mandatory five years in federal prison, upon apprehension and conviction. A second offence would mandate a 10 year prison sentence.

So far, hundreds of thousands have signed this common-sense petition, posted on BillOReilly.com. It will be delivered to the Senate and the House, when they return from their month-long vacation, asking for Congress to pass “Kate’s Law. “

Though some are debating whether non-felon illegals, who also defy deportation, should be part of the bill’s procedure, the main concern right now is in keeping these felons off the streets of America. Bill O’Reilly believes there is congressional support for this measure and also to defund federal support for Sanctuary Cities, which perpetuate these crimes.

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Problems with Sexual Promiscuity

New Marrieds pixThe Bible says God will judge sexually active singles and sexually unfaithful marrieds (Hebrews 13:4).

It is not because He is a celestial killjoy. God invented sex! Rather, He wants to protect us from the harm sexual promiscuity will do to “consenting adults” and any offspring, which may result from unmarried sex.

Here are five reasons to avoid sexual promiscuity:

  1. Even today, sex often results in pregnancy. So there is the real risk that children will be born without the benefit of two, married parents.
  2. Monogamous, married sex is more likely to deliver long-lasting satisfaction than the quick thrill offered by infidelity. Studies show that monogamy produces the greatest satisfaction and pleasure.
  3. Sex is an emotionally bonding experience and women who have sex with multiple partners are significantly more likely to end up depressed, than women who do not.
  4. Sexually active singles or sexually unfaithful marrieds increase the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some STDs are passed through genital skin to skin contact, such as herpes, HPV, and cancroid.
  5. Open marriages put children at risk. According to a recent federal report on child abuse, children are more likely to be physically, emotionally, and especially sexually abused when they are exposed to a revolving door of romantic partners in the home.

Married couples, who remain faithful to one another, enjoy higher-quality marriages, lower rates of divorce, and higher levels of emotional satisfaction with their sex life.

Sexual fidelity also increases the odds that children, who are born and reared in a stable, two-parent home, statistically do better in school, avoid incarceration and even have higher lifetime earnings.

 

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Let You Light Shine!

Crossover-HollywoodHollywood is both a famous and infamous district of Los Angeles. The familiar HOLLYWOOD sign, left over from a real estate development promotion in the 1920s, can be seen for miles from the hills above Hollywood, itself. For some, it personifies the search for success of the talented and beautiful among us. For others, it symbolizes the sinful and sick depictions of life that is produced by the motion picture and pornography industries.

What many do not know is that the in those same Hollywood Hills, less than a mile from the world famous HOLLYWOOD sign, is a large lighted cross. It is located on a prominent knoll above the Hollywood Freeway, opposite from the famous Hollywood Bowl. “The Cross over Hollywood” dates back nearly a century to when it was originally erected above an amphitheater, where the Passion Play was annually performed. In the early 1990s, it was modernized and lighted, as a prominent witness to the world.

In 1997, a group of churches joined together to accept the spiritual and practical stewardship for this famous symbol, prominently placed over Hollywood. It is now perpetually maintained by an endowment, established through the generous gifts of the friends and members of these congregations.

Like the Hollywood sign, this lighted cross over Hollywood can be seen for miles and is even noticed in passing aircraft, as they land at LAX.

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14) and later, “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify the Father in Heaven” (5:16).

Friends, in these troubled days, let your light shine!

 

 

 

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Biased Reporting by CNN?

cnn-isrealAccording to a slide show on CNN’s website’s STYLE section, the Old City of Jerusalem is “on the verge of extinction.” This is crazy. Clearly the reporters or website copywriters on this subject have never been there.

If they had, they would have seen that the Old City is probably the most protected heritage site in the Middle East. All religious sites are protected by law and freedom of religion. Even the most disputed of those, the Temple Mount, is under the control of the Muslim Waqf, under an agreement to maintain the status quo.

That the Old City is on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger is no excuse for its inclusion on CNN’s slideshow. As with many UN bodies, that status can be attributed to anti-Israel politics rather than reality. The Old City has been incorrectly listed as such for over three decades. And yet it stands–with thousands of Arabs, Jews and international tourists peacefully and safely walking its streets each day!

In fact, the biggest threat to the heritage of the Old City is from the Arab Muslims themselves, who have carried out unsupervised excavations on the Temple Mount, destroying many priceless antiquities in the process.

CNN has again bought into a lie, which often leads to violence. By carelessly repeating this outrageous nonsense, it may well lead to needless violence and deaths, again.

Jerusalem’s Old City is certainly not “on the verge of extinction.” CNN has no business claiming that it is. Contact CNN and challenge their poor use of words and biased inferences.

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Defend Your First Amendment Rights

1st Amendment flag graphicIn the recent US Supreme Court ruling on marriage, the small majority (5:4) of the justices “legislated from the bench,” bypassed the Constitution, and created a “right” to same-sex “marriage”out of thin air. In doing so, they invalidated the decision of over 50 million voters and their elected officials, in the process.

Not only has this judicial activism thrown the historic definition of marriage aside, it has opened the doors to discrimination and possible persecution against those of us who believe in marriage as between one man and one woman. Before long, cases will be brought to penalize people and groups for not agreeing with the new, twisted view of marriage. In the process, Christian schools and other nonprofit and charitable groups, that refuse to go along, may lose their tax-exempt status.

The current Administration can be expected to be at the forefront of these attacks against your religious freedom. So, please, contact your Representative and both of your Senators and ask them to stand up for your rights of conscience, by supporting the recently introduced First Amendment Defense Act.

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