Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Christian Free Speech Rights Violated...Yet Again!

How ridiculous anti-Christian people are becoming when it comes to the free speech rights of Christians. Take this latest incident. An award-winning portrait painter in a Colorado city had two paintings removed from public display just because they include Bible quotations!

Excerpt from World Net Daily article, "City bars paintings with Bible verses":

"It is absolutely absurd to say that a piece of art cannot be displayed in a public forum because the artwork contains a Scripture verse," said ADF Legal Counsel Brett Harvey. "So much for art as the free expression of ideas."

Harvey pointed out many of the greatest works in the history of art have had religious themes.

"The city does not have the legal right to censor the creative content of a painting simply because it has a religious viewpoint or because city officials think someone could be offended by it," he said.

Marolf's painting "Big Black Umbrella" depicts her granddaughter holding an umbrella. At the bottom of the painting is a quotation from Psalm 127:3: "Children are a heritage from the Lord: A reward from Him."

Please tell me. Who in the world could possibly be offended by that verse?? Incidences like this just goes to show that it really isn't the individual messages from Bible verses that are being targeted. It is the entire message of the Bible that those who disagree (or, more likely are unbelievers) want to squelch any and all references to God, Jesus, and God's Word. It is inane cases like this one that truly shows their bigotry, intolerance, hatred, and hypocrisy when it comes to free speech rights for Christians.

ADF said the complaint [pdf file] was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado after city officials refused to allow Marolf to redisplay her paintings despite having received a letter from ADF attorneys explaining the violation to her constitutional rights.

So. Even when these city "officials" are legally shown that they were wrong to do what they did, it doesn't matter! Yeah. Spend more of the taxpayers money to fight a losing case you Colorado city idiots!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Google Censors Free Speech

The liberal bias of the search engine "Google" came to my attention a few months back when I discovered that they would not accept a conservative ad but allowed a similar liberal ad.

Since then, I have noticed dozens of separate incidences where conservative and/or Christian viewpoint ads are censored, banned and labeled as "hate speech". But Google continues to run porn site ads.

What's wrong with this picture??

I'll tell you what's wrong. It's downright discrimination and censorship and a blatant snub to the First Amendment right to free speech.

Had enough?

Well then change your search engine! New Media Journal has an anti-google search engine index with many search engines to choose from. Plus, you can add a search engine that you like if it is not already listed.

Here's a quote from New Media Journal website:
(HT: The Conservative Voice)

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." - Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that all entities, whether government or free-market, need to protect the sanctity of free speech. This is a basic civic responsibility. Those who do not are cowards. Sadly, we live in an era where civic responsibility is disposable, considered a burden instead of a privilege." - Frank Salvato, publisher of The New Media Journal

They banned The New Media Journal. They banned They banned The Jawa Report. Google News and Google Search Engine are on a campaign of political correctness that sees them denying access to their service to any website - be it news, opinion or a hybrid of both - that dares to address the subject of radical Islam.

Click here to read the original, unedited email.

This sets a dangerous precedent. What will the next subject be that serves as a catalyst for Google to promote their unique brand of corporate censorship? Which website will be the next to have it's Internet presence diminished at the hands of Google's "progressive" ideological agenda? WorldNetDaily? JihadWatch? NewsMax?

It is because of this - and our dedication to American Free Enterprise and the free market - that we have established The Anti-Google Search Engine Index. This index offers an ever-expanding list of search engines, many more comprehensive and many who do not manipulate content based on the ideology of political correctness.

We urge you to switch from using Google as your search engine and try the ones listed below. If you would like to suggest a search engine for inclusion on the list click here.

We may not be able to force Google to stop censoring free speech, but we can affect their bottom line.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remarkably Good News From Iraq

Unprecedented religious freedom has finally come to Iraq because of U.S. military action there, and more Iraqi Muslims are becoming followers of Jesus Christ today than at any other time in the history of the country.

That was the message delivered by retired Iraqi General Georges Sada last night at a private dinner just outside of Washington, D.C., and then at McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia where Sada spoke to more than 1,000 people.

What an awesome and powerful story! This is the best news yet that, of course, most of the mainstream media does not want to report. They totally miss the importance and significance of the spiritual transformation of people from the Muslim religion towards the One Truth which can only be found in Jesus Christ.

God's Word tells us that we do not only fight against flesh and blood, but also powers and principalities in the spiritual realm.

Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

The Holy Spirit is alive and active in Iraq; quickening the hearts, minds, and souls of the people!

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15 [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Sada concluded the evening with a heart-felt message of thanks to the American people for liberating his country and said all peace-loving people should "kneel down and thank the [American] mothers and fathers who have sacrificed their sons and daughters for the sake of freedom in Iraq." He asked for patience as Iraq's fledgling democracy builds a foundation and finds its way. But he also said there is far more good news in Iraq today than is being reported by the national news media.

Why is he taking such risks to share the good news? I asked him. "There is an Arab proverb which says, 'Don't be a mute Satan,'" he told me. "If you know the truth, you have an obligation to tell everyone."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ditsy Chicks Foul the Nest

I saw a broadcast last night that was quite similar to the one described in Pat Boone's article, Ditsy Chicks foul the nest. What an accurate description! They truly are blatantly placing themselves in a position that screams disloyalty and hatred towards America and thus add to the grief of (and place them in more danger due to their stupid rhetoric) our troops, their families and friends. No matter how they try to spin their disgustingly mindless tripe, their outward expressions are totally disgraceful! They should be so ashamed of themselves! But of course someone as shallow as that Natalie Mange can see nothing but her own self-promotion.

As a patriotic American, I am so angry at them...and so embarrassed for our country! Forget Tokyo Rose...these Ditsy Chicks are more like Baghdad Thorns in the sides of our brave men and women of the military.

It's bad enough that they are putting out an anti-war CD, mostly with the purpose in mind to bash President Bush (even they have to admit that much). The worse part is that they did this on Memorial Day Weekend...a time when the minds of all Americans should be focused on thanks and remembrance of those who gave their lives throughout all the wars of history; including the current Iraq war!

Pat Boone called it right when he described what the Ditsy Chicks are really doing:

Why, that would be almost like … well, almost … like Tokyo Rose during World War II! While our brave young men and women were putting their lives on the line to defeat the perpetrators of Pearl Harbor, the worst attack on American soil until 9-11, a young Japanese woman was broadcasting every day where our soldiers would hear her, trying to demoralize and discourage, and hopefully defeat them.

Our Ditsy Chicks are too young to remember Tokyo Rose, but they are her inadvertent descendants.

An Internet acquaintance, Ashton Hardy, reminded me that Tokyo Rose's constant message, drafted for her by psychological warfare experts, always contained three main points:

Your president is lying to you.

The war is illegal and wrong.

You cannot win.

Interesting, isn't it? Oddly familiar, too. Of course, currently the Chicks have our own American media to do the broadcasting, which they do enthusiastically in the guise of "reporting the news." And the reporting, usually very favorable to the Chicklets, goes immediately around the world, translated into many languages for the Muslim world – and in English, to our GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Oh, our fine-feathered femmes insist they "support our troops" – while they demoralize them – but that's what Tokyo Rose did, too. She told our soldiers, sailors and Marines she was "on their side," too!

The Creeping Vine of Compromise

Weeding the garden rosebush area in our yard is not one of my favorite things to do. If I keep up with it on a regular basis, it usually doesn't take too long to get it done. However, after the past few rainy winter months, I made the mistake of allowing one area to get overun with the creeping vine.

Even garden expert Bob Vila warns against them when he stated:

"When I first designed the garden, I thought a nice creeping vine of variegated euonymus up one tree would be interesting. A big mistake! For lo these many years I have regularly been pulling it out, again and ever again.

Finally I decided to eradicate it once and for all which is easier said than done. I started and yanked. Long fat rooted tendrils had spread everywhere under the myrtle, far and wide. The more I pulled, the more there seemed to be. I filled a large garbage can with rooted sections. To buy just one of these choice plants would cost several dollars. Yet here I was throwing out a hundred that had become invasive weeds."

That was exactly what I had to do yesterday. And I'm not done! Already filled one 32 gallon garbage can with creeping vine! What a chore!

With all that time consuming pulling and yanking of the weeds, I starting thinking about the current tide of compromise going on in our nation; even within many denominations of churches. Just like the creeping vine plant, the creeping vine of compromise gradually encroaches upon our land and attempts to choke out the life of the Truth of the Bible. Such compromise often starts out very slowly. Then, the infiltration stifles the true work of the Spirit in God's people and smothers the Gospel in the twisting vines of a weak, watered-down, worldly message. This isn't done in an obvious manner. No. Such a sudden diversion into error, would be too obvious and the church would react against it. Those who lead others into compromise are often very likable. They may even seem genuine and "loving." However, all the while they are putting forth a philosophy that is leading the faithful into a deeper, choking grasp of compromise with the world. Jude warns us to "contend for the faith" because "certain men" have "crept in unawares."

Jude 1:4 - For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

How are the faithful to guard against such pervasive, "progressive" philosophy?

We must know the pitfalls in order to avoid them or if already noticably found to be working within our lives and churches, seek to weed them out.

One pitfall is discontent. Eve's seed of rebellion was brought on by satan's questioning God's Perfect Will and goodness towards her. Satan's sly statements led her to believe that God was holding out on her. The seed of discontent was planted.

What are the current ways that discontent is aroused? Being told that God's ways are narrow-minded? Being convinced that we are missing out on something? Being brain-washed (or, more specifically brain-dirtied) that following Jesus and God's Word is too negative, too confining, too unloving.

That "unloving" claim against Bible-believing born-again Christians is a big one. Just as with any other derogatory name that could be hurled at believers (bigoted, homophobic, holier than thou, intolerant, etc.) no Christian wants to be deemed unloving. But if you fall for such conspiracy, then the roots of compromise have already settled in. God is not only concerned with love, he is concerned about the kind of love that is being projected by believers. His Word tells us that he is concerned about our knowing the Truth, and that Truth is the Person of Jesus Christ. He is more concerned about our holiness, which is not to be compromised by our sins which are often disguised by Satan as "happiness."

When someone claims that their particular sinful way of life makes them "happy" and you think in the back of your mind that you don't want to trample upon their "happiness," remember that they one day may be in danger of the Lord Jesus Christ saying to them:

Jesus speaking:

I Never Knew You
(see also Luke 6:46; 13:26, 27)
Matthew 7:21 - 23 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

The Narrow Way
(see also Luke 13:24)
Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 *Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

God's Word never changes. But man's perception of His Word (e.g. compromise) often does which leads to heresy and apostasy. The entire book of Jude warns us of this happening...especially in the last days.

Another pitfall is when others attempt to fault the faithful for preaching the narrow path to salvation. Many of the new movements out there in the churches want to appease those who desire a progressive view to Christianity instead of sticking with the orthodox view of the necessity towards holiness. Thus, such "leaders" strive to balance the message of the Gospel which usually means compromising one or more parts of it. This often can be just a subtle, yet very dangerous deception. One example is the emphasis on love, grace and mercy without the need for repentance for sin (meaning, not only asking for forgiveness but also turning away from former sins). This skewed view of the Gospel is (knowingly or unknowingly) sending people into a dangerous place for their souls!

I have found that people who believe this way take only a portion of Galatians and apply it:

Galatians 2: 14-15 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, *why do you compel Gentiles to live as *Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

But they leave out the following:

Galatians 2:17 "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

This is in keeping with what Jesus said:

John 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.

It is because of love for our Lord Jesus that we no longer desire to be transgressors! There is a difference between just being remorseful (usually, the "sorry I got caught" attitude with the accompanying love for "self" motivation) and true sorrowfulness accompanied with repentance (love for Jesus motivated). With the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells the hearts of born-again believers, our spiritual rebirth helps to lead us away from sin and self and towards Christ's will for our lives.

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
(see also Matt. 12:33; Luke 6:43-45)
Matthew 7:15-20 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Compromise is the work of many who would come to you in sheep's clothing. But Jesus warns us that inside they are ravenous wolves.

Another compromising pitfall is intellectual pride. Those who think they know better and are above "believing the Scriptures and Whom they testify of" will not likely seek practical application of God's Word to the masses. Biblical wisdom sought and applied is far more valuable than man's wisdom sought through intellectual pride.

Another compromising pitfall is muffling the message. If your church leadership appears to be bringing in assistant pastors who have been indoctrinated with a "kinder, gentler way of ministry," my suggestion is run!

The true Gospel message gives us the warning of dying with your own sin upon your soul and that you will end up in hell if you choose that option. You just have to wonder if the man is really sincere about Christian faith if you are in a church where the pastor does not sound the alarm bell regarding the reality of a place called hell.

When a man is afraid of offending those in error, when he lacks a definite biblical stand on issues, when he seems reluctant to warn of sin and compromise, and when he seems too kindly disposed toward those so involved, watch out. The strangling vine has silenced the clarion call.

Another compromising pitfall goes hand in hand with the previous one: if a man or pastor endorses worldly views, entertainment, or the "pop culture" in the interest of "relating" to the lost, he is in error.

In notes from a Bible study, the leader shared:

"If you notice a gradual decline in emphasis on truth and an increasing emphasis on love, perhaps stated as a need for balance between the two, look for the fatal flower of faulty doctrine. Scriptural love is always firmly rooted in and grows out of Truth. If there is a flaw in our love, it is because of a flaw in our stand in the Truth."

This is precisely why there is such a rift between liberal churches and fundamentalist churches. The crux of the matter rests on the promotion of faulty doctrine or God's absolute truth as revealed in the Scriptures. One cannot be for both the liberal doctrines floating on a breeze out there while at the same time adhere to the fundamental moorings of Biblical ministry and doctrine.

I once asked a question similar to the following:

How do we reconcile the differences between the liberal leftist churches and the Bible-adhering, born-again believer churches on moral issues such as abortion, homosexuality, euthansia, cloning etc.?

Not one person wanted to answer it!


Because the answer is that they cannot be reconciled because they are polar opposites! One or the other must compromise on any given issue. IMHO, to compromise God's Word on any of those issues is to raise man's wisdom above God's wisdom. So, the answer to this dilemma rests in choosing between those who would compromise the Biblical worldview vs. those who staunchly and steadfastly adhere to it.

We see compromise on these very same moral issues day in and day out. In the media, from Hollywood, in the biased news programs, in schools and colleges, in various political organizations and lobbies. Political correctness and that good ole' buzzword, "tolerance" is allowing so many people in many professions to promote wrong, compromising programs and positions to our impressionable children.

David Kupelian's bestselling book, "The Marketing of Evil" demonstrates all too well how compromise has led to an onslaught of self-destructive madness. What is truly scary is that such "marketing of evil" techniques have already infiltrated some churches. Many of the unsuspecting are being brainwashed (brain-dirtied) into not realizing that the compromise that they are being taught and subjected to is actually corruption disguised as freedom.

Jhn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

The lying lips of such marketers of evil have taken its toll upon our society. As Christian believers, we are called to be salt and light in this world and not let them bulldoze over us in their attempts to steal, kill and destroy our children!

Another compromising pitfall is to allow ourselves to grow weary of the battle. Don't let that happen!

When I was weeding, I thought to myself, "I just did this a few months ago and look at the re-growth of weeds attempting to steal the water and nutrients from my rose bushes, trying to kill my rose bushes so that they can't thrive, and thus reaching the end result of trying to destroy the beauty of my garden!"

It's true. Weeds will never stop popping up somewhere. However, does that mean we give up because it's tiring and unpleasant to pull them out? Do we let them overun and trash the garden? Of course not! Weeding is necessary for a healthy, productive garden.

The same is true for the growth of our children and grandchildren. Don't let that "creeping vine of compromise" have its way with them! Don't let vines of compromise overun our nation and churches either!

Yes. It will often take discernment to weed the false converts out from among the true born-again believers and friends of the Faith. There is no doubt that when you cross the compromisers, you can expect opposition, conflict, even lies about you and your motives. But God's Word is clear when it says that it is our duty to "contend for the Faith once delivered to the saints."

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

There is no mention of the word "compromise" in that verse. There is no room for the creeping vine of compromise in Biblical Christian faith.

Build on the Rock
(see also Luke 6:47-49)

Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

Friday, May 26, 2006

ADF Comes to the Defense - Against the ACLU

TO: Christine
FROM: Alan Sears, President
ADF Comes to the Defense – Against the ACLU – of Memorials to Our Fallen Heroes…

This Monday, Memorial Day, America honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our First Liberty – the brave individuals who have given their lives on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord, Normandy, and so many others – so that we can all live in freedom.

For the thousands of mothers and fathers who grieved over the loss of a child, for the wives who received the ominous message, “We regret to inform you…” from the Defense Department, and for the child who will never again see their father or mother, there is a void that seemingly can never be filled. But thousands have found their peace, their solace, through the memorials scattered across our land to our fallen heroes – the men and women who paid the ultimate price for their country.

Sadly, if the ACLU and its allies have their way, these families will no longer have the source of comfort represented simply by a war memorial cross, such as the one above at the Mt. Soledad Memorial in San Diego, California. This simple cross has been under legal attack by the ACLU, and a single atheist, for seventeen years. (To read the timeline of this case, go to Case Timeline).

And, despite the fact that over 75% of San Diego voters expressed their desire to have the cross remain by transferring it to the federal government and a subsequent act of Congress approving the transfer and designating Mt. Soledad as a federally registered memorial, the ACLU has continued its legal efforts to have the cross removed, and has found a willing judge to comply with their demands.

One parent caught the irony of the so-called guardians of “tolerance” actions, commenting: “How on earth do I teach [my children] tolerance and diversity when we want to smash a cross down? Can any of you explain that to me? It is not an offensive symbol.”

Just this month, ADF has joined with the American Legion of California to stand up to the legal challenges of the ACLU and its allies to war memorials by launching a statewide Defense of Veterans Memorial Project. As part of the defense of the Mt. Soledad cross, ADF attorneys are planning to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the American Legion Department of California in the ongoing litigation surrounding the memorial. Pray we’re not too late.

ADF Senior Vice-President Joe Infranco says: “Veterans memorials, such as the one at Mt. Soledad, are a tribute to heroes who understood the great responsibility and sacrifice required to protect freedom. The ACLU is attempting to rob the freedom of families to duly honor--in the way most meaningful to them--the memory of their loved ones who have died in service to their country. In this case, the cross holds utmost meaning for them, and it should not be cleansed from the landscape by social engineers pursuing their secularist agenda.”

This Monday, please give thanks to those who have died for our country, so that we all may enjoy our First Liberty – religious freedom. ADF and its allies will do all we can, with God’s grace, to guarantee that future generations will not forget the sacrifices made by so many who went before. And pray that ADF’s resources will continue to expand so that we can help courageous men and women stand in more and more critical cases that we cannot allow to be lost by default.

Alliance Defense Fund
15333 N. Pima Road Suite 165
Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480)444-0020


1 John 5:9-13
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of *God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has *life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5:19,20
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Legion challenges ACLU's 'secular cleansing'

What an accurate description for the ACLU and what it's real motives and goals are...'secular cleansing.' It reveals the true colors of the ACLU. Their not-so-subtle lawsuits against anything Christian in the public square is so blatant that anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear will recognize their antics as a deluge of religious bigotry in America. They are most often prejudiced against religion in general, and Christianity in particular. What they don't get is that our nation was founded upon the concept of FREEDOM OF RELIGION, not from religion! Thank God for the American Legion, the Alliance Defense Fund, and Christians who are willing to stand up to, and against the powerful bullies of the ACLU!



Thursday, May 25, 2006

Legion challenges ACLU's 'secular cleansing'

Announcing project at San Diego cross to protect war memorials
Posted: May 25, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2000>© 2006

Mount Soledad crossCalling it an effort to stop the ACLU's "secular cleansing," the American Legion of California is launching a campaign to defend veterans' memorials, including the embattled Mount Soledad cross in San Diego.

American Legion officials will be at the Mount Soledad memorial today, the center of nationwide controversy after U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson – in a case brought by an atheist represented by the ACLU –ordered the city of San Diego May 3 to remove it within 90 days or face a fine of $5,000 a day.

Thompson ruled in 1991 the 29-foot structure violates the so-called "separation of church and state," but the case has remained in courts.
"America's veterans memorials have become a casualty of litigation wars as atheists and special interest organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union pursue their fanatical secular cleansing agendas," said American Legion California Department Commander Wayne Parrish.
Parrish said the Legion intends to "fight back" through its new California Defense of Veterans Memorials Project, which will be directed by a former ACLU staff attorney, Legionnaire Rees Lloyd.

The project will include involvement in litigation through cooperation with the Alliance Defense Fund, a public-interest legal alliance with more than 850 attorneys.

The American Legion Department of California has about 130,000 war-time veteran members. About 2.7 million veterans are members of the Legion nationwide.

American Legion National Commander Thomas Bock has joined Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders in calling on President Bush to use his executive powers to save the cross at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial by making it make the part of the federal park system.

Before the court issued its order to tear down the cross, 76 percent of San Diego voters chose to save the memorial by transferring it to the federal government.

Sanders met with White House lawyers in Washington, D.C., earlier this week to ask Bush to issue an executive order. Hunter, R-Calif., also discussed the issue with Vice President Dick Cheney.

The American Family Association has launched a campaign asking citizens to send an e-mail to the president to effectively take "the case out of Judge Thompson's hands" by signing an executive order transferring the land to the National Park Service.

A group formed last year to save the cross, San Diegans for the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial, has filed papers in the U.S. District Court in San Diego asking to intervene in the case, the first step in an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Yesterday, Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Fund and Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council planned a press conference at the Soledad site to urge supporters to come to San Diego to help save the cross.

Mahoney said in a statement "it must be constantly stressed that the Constitution promises freedom of religion not freedom from religion."
"Therefore, we are issuing a national call for the faith community and people of good will to come to San Diego and peacefully intervene to prevent the removal of the cross," he said. We can no longer be silent as our freedoms and history are being stripped away."

Related special offers:
EXTORTION! How the ACLU is destroying America using your money
Tick off the ACLU!
"Betrayed by the Bench"

Previous stories:
Cross battle goes to Washington
Citizens prepare appeal to save cross
American Legion joins cross fray
Bush urged to save San Diego cross
Lawmaker denounces cross removal
Judge orders San Diego cross removed
San Diego to appeal cross decision
San Diegans vote to save cross
Judge denies atheist's bid in cross case
ACLU threatens talk-show hosts over cross
Voters to decide on historic cross
Congress gets into ACLU cross brouhaha
Vet sues to save mountaintop cross

This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows. To view this item online, visit Legion challenges ACLU's 'secular cleansing'

Your Prayers and Calls Helped!

Thank God for the veto! And thank Jesus for the timely replacement of our former governor. Having a Republican Governor who sees the legitimate concerns of parents and grandparents has made all the difference regarding this issue. Gov. Arnold has promised to veto this awful bill! His decision has been key to ending the threat of what would have been the disastrous implementation of SB1437!

However, the war going on within our state (and the country, for that matter) between two conflicting worldviews is certainly sure to rage on. We cannot rest and still need to press on against those who wish to take away parents rights to raise their children as they see fit! We need to encourage Gov. Arnold to also pledge to veto AB 606 and AB 1056. The sexual indoctrination tactics of the far left Democrats in our state legislature have become so insane and ridiculous! Let us also pray that the Lord will raise up more pro-family, conservative leaders in our state!




CCF calls upon California Governor to announce he’ll veto two remaining bills

Sacramento, California -- According to today’s Sacramento Bee , Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has promised to veto SB 1437, one of three transsexual-bisexual-homosexual “education” bills in the California State Legislature.

The newspaper, which contacted Campaign for Children and Families for response late Wednesday, wrote in Thursday’s edition that, according to the Governor’s communications office, Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto SB 1437 if it reaches his desk.

“We’re very pleased that Schwarzenegger is listening to the concerns of parents,” said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), a leading California-based pro-family organization that strongly opposes SB 1437. “Now the Governor needs to pledge to veto the two remaining sexual indoctrination bills, AB 606 and AB 1056. Parents and grandparents are demanding it.”

All three bills rely upon the strange definition of “gender” in Penal Code, Section 422.56, reading: “Gender” means sex, and includes a person's gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth. “This terrible trio of bills would promote cross-dressing and sex-change operations to children as young as kindergarten,” said Thomasson. “Schools should be about academics, not about promoting alternative sexual lifestyles to impressionable schoolchildren.”

SB 1437 would prohibit textbooks, instructional materials, and school-sponsored activities from “reflecting adversely” on transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality; it requires positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles in curriculum in all grades in all public schools. Consequently, schools would have to promote “same-sex marriages” and even sex-change procedures.

STATUS: Assembly Education Committee, no hearing scheduled.

AB 606 would authorize the California Superintendent of Public Instruction to arbitrarily withhold state funds (around 2/3rds of a school district’s budget) from any district that does not adequately promote transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality in its school policies. AB 606 repeals the current state law prohibiting transsexual, bisexual, and homosexual curriculum from being forced upon local schools, and authorizes the state Superintendent to develop new curriculum that affirms transsexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality in all its forms.

STATUS: June 21 hearing scheduled in the Senate Education Committee.

AB 1056 would spend $250,000 in taxpayer dollars to promote transsexual, bisexual, and homosexual lifestyles under the banner of “tolerance education.”

STATUS: On the “suspense” file in the Senate Education Committee.

-- end --
CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (CCF) is a leading West Coast pro-family organization empowering citizens to live out their values. Sign up today for CCF's FREE Email Bulletins at

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Born Again" Spiritually

I found an enlightening article over at In Touch Ministries that goes into more detail regarding what Jesus meant, (as well as what the terms commonly meant to first century Jews) when He told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that he must be "born again" in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven.



"Born Again"

Though some people regard the phrase, "born again," as modern lingo denoting enthusiastic Christians, Jesus Himself used the expression to describe those who have experienced genuine salvation. However, the idiom didn't originate at His encounter with Nicodemus in John 3.

To the first century Jew, "born again" was a commonly understood term for certain rites of passage in a man's life. Six different events were so labeled in Rabbinic Judaism. The first was the bar mitzvah (literally, "son of the commandment"), a confirmation ritual whereby 13-year-old boys entered manhood and shared the moral and religious responsibilities of the adult community. A man was said to be "born again" a second time when he married, and the expression was also used if he was ordained as a rabbi. Becoming the head of a rabbinic academy—a position open only to rabbis who were married—was a fourth time the term applied. The final two usages of "born again" were a Gentile's conversion to Judaism and a man being crowned king.

In light of this, the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-21 becomes more understandable. Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council known as the Sanhedrin, is identified as a "ruler of the Jews" and "the teacher of Israel" (vv. 1,10). As such, he was obviously considered "born again" in the first four ways listed, namely, he was bar mitzvahed, married, ordained, and a rabbi in leadership.

So when Jesus said to him, "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (v. 3), Nicodemus was naturally confused—he had already been "born again" in all of the four ways available to him. Notice his response: "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" (v. 4) He was thinking that the only way to go through any of those rites of passage would be to start physical life over as a baby.

The Lord met Nicodemus where he was and then broadened his understanding to include the spiritual: "...Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (vv. 5-6). Though his comprehension was incomplete that night, Nicodemus later showed evidence he understood another way to be born again. (John 7:50; 19:39)

This article is based on the manuscript Nicodemus—A Rabbi's Quest by Arnold Fruchtenbaum. For more information, visit

Monday, May 22, 2006

Situation Ethics is a Trap (Part 4)

In the last segment, I mentioned Ridenour's comparison of a swamp and a river. Picture in your mind the differences between a stinking, slimy, stagnant swamp and the clean, refreshing, flow of running river water. If you were forced to choose, which one would you rather step into? Which one would be more pleasant to live near?

Of course, that particular choice isn't a difficult one. Most people are automatically repelled by the stench of a swamp and would not choose to enter into or live near one. The fact that a river has borders (restraints) and the swamp has none, (just a lot of confusing turns, twists and dead ends), illustrates quite well the trap that is known as the typical 'situation ethics mentality.'

However, people often fall into the situation ethics 'swamp' and do not see or realize the slavery that has ensnared them. It is only when they experience the Supernatural point of view regarding morality where they can see, then, ultimately understand, what Paul was discussing in Colossians 3:5-9.

As Ridenour shared, sometimes it is difficult to stay out of the 'ethical swamps'. Most of the crowd likes it there. They think that living without "restraints" is freedom. But it isn't. In fact, it is the worst kind of slavery with 'self ' as the master.

Paul talks about "mortifying the flesh" and "deadening evil desires lurking within." Barclay quotes C.F.D. Moule who says the Christian must kill self-centeredness.9

The motive for killing self-centeredness is Jesus Christ. Verses like Galatians 5:16; 1 Peter 2:11; 4:2; James 4:1 make good sense when compared with Matthew 16:24; Romans 8:12-14; Galatians 5:24.

Ridenour states:

So, when Scripture warns against fornication and adultery (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; Matthew 5:27-29) coveting (Exodus 20:17; Jeremiah 6:13), anger (Matthew 5:22), slander (1 Peter 2:1), just to name a few, the purpose is not to saddle Christians with legalistic burdens but to warn them against the quicksand of self-centeredness that can so easily suck you under - into a life of using (and abusing) others, rather than loving them.

There are probably dozens of individual examples that could be given where individuals have been rescued from former bondage to sin through being born again in Jesus Christ. However, one of the most startling evidences of a person becoming a "new man or woman in Christ" has to be formerly homosexual individuals.

In the six years since I became aware of the homosexual propaganda agenda currently being relentlessly forced upon children in public schools, I have also met several individuals who identify as ex-gay. The more that I learned of this group of people, the more I had seen that they are often vilified by homosexual activists just because they have successfully changed and have been released from the bondage of homosexual behavior and identity.

It is truly a sad fact of our society, but formerly gay people are often negatively targeted by gay activists (how ironic that a group who insists on "tolerance" has none for formerly gay people?). Why is it that ex-gays are consistently disparaged, ridiculed, debased, called liars and "fakers;" being told that they "do not exist" by gay advocates? How hurtful is that?

The reasons for this are numerous. It involves the social, political, psychological, and intellectual motives of man. However, Jesus tells us the spiritual motives behind it all and that believers in Him would be especially targeted.

John 7:7 - The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

1Cr 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Cr 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1Cr 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1Cr 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Cr 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

1Cr 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

So, the ex-gays who have repented, turned away from their former behavior and identity and now have a ministry goal to speak out about such change (and the hope that Jesus Christ can offer others trapped in homosexual behavior bondage) are criticized, mocked and told to shut up.


Because the gay activists don't like this new-found freedom that the former members of their community have experienced through Jesus' saving grace. Ex-gays threaten them simply because they have successfully left the "ethical swamp" (where so many others are currently still living) and have entered into the Living Water of freedom that is Life with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

You could take other "politically correct" hot-button issues (like abortion, promiscuity, porn, drugs, euthanasia, etc.) and see the differences between those who adhere to the 'situational ethical swamp' vs. those who stand on the Living Water of Truth - Jesus Christ.

Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Look at what Scripture says regarding the Christian being a new man or new woman. (See Colossians 3:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:21-24). Look at how Scripture describes renewal through the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:12; Titus 3:5). Look at how Scripture describes being the possessor of spiritual knowledge (John 7:16,17; 8:31,32). Scripture tells us that once a man be born again he is remade in the image of his Creator - Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2).

When you read just some of the Scriptures that describe what happens through conversion through Jesus Christ, we see and understand that it is spiritual in nature and not something that can be achieved by man himself!!

There are alcoholics that try and fail to change their behavior. There are people who are hopelessly addicted to porn. There are people who are promiscuous and have had several abortions as their way of birth control.


Let's face it. Much of secular society is in the grip of hedonistic philosophy.

Marcus Aurelius once said, "The mind is dyed the color of its habitual thoughts."

Where is your mind? Is it on self or God?

Why choose God over self? Because when a person counts only on themselves (carnality; self-centeredness) and do not have, nor rely on, the power of the Holy Spirit to bring them out of their immoral decision making on through to the other side, they are lost within self-centered oblivion. They are lost! Their souls are not right with God! Colossians 3 tells us not to live carnality, but to live for, in and through Christ!

Colossians 3:2,3
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Setting our hearts 'on things above' means striving to put heaven's priorities into daily practice. Setting our minds 'on things above' means concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal. See Philippians 4:9 and Colossians 3:15 for more on Christ's rule in our hearts and minds.

3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

"For you died" means that we should have as little desire for this world as a dead person would have. The Christian's real home is where Christ lives (John 14:2,3). This truth gives us a different perspective on our lives here on earth. To "set you minds on things above" means to look at life from God's perspective and to seek what he desires. This is the antidote to materialism (and self-centeredness); we gain the proper perspective on material goods (and self) when we take God's view of them. The more we regard the world around us as God does, the more we will live in harmony with him. We must not become too attached to what is only temporary.

What does it mean that a believer's life in "hidden with Christ"? Hidden means concealed and safe. This is not only a future hope, but an accomplished fact right now: Our service and conduct do not earn our salvation, but they are results of our salvation. Take heart that your salvation is sure, and live each day for Christ.

God's Word tells us what we need to "put to death."

Colossians 3:5-11

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

We should consider ourselves dead and unresponsive to sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. Just like diseased limbs of a tree, these practices must be cut off before they destroy us. We must make a conscious, daily decision to remove anything that supports or feeds these desires and to rely on the Holy Spirit's power.

6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

The "wrath of God" refers to God's judgment on these kinds of behavior, culminating with future and final punishment of evil. When tempted to sin, remember that you must one day stand before God.

8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

We must rid ourselves of all evil practices and immorality. Then we can commit ourselves to what Christ teaches. Paul was appealing to the commitment the believers had made and urging them to remain true to their confession of faith. They were to rid themselves of the old life and "put on" the new way of living given by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit. If you have made such a commitment to Christ, are you remaining true to it?

What does it mean to "put on the new self"? It means that your conduct should match your faith. If you are a Christian, you should act like it. Every Christian is in a continuing education program. The more we know of Christ and his work, the more we are being changed to be like him. Because this process is lifelong, we must never stop learning and obeying. There is not justification for drifting along, but there is an incentive to find the rich treasure of growing in Him. It takes practice, ongoing review, patience, and concentration to keep in line with his will.

God's Word tells us the character of the new man; as the elect of God through the saving grace of Christ Jesus our Lord:

Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven you. Is it difficult for you to forgive someone who has wronged you a little when God has forgiven you so much? Realizing God's infinite love and forgiveness can help you love and forgive others.

14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

All the virtues that Paul encourages us to develop are perfectly bound together by love. As we clothe ourselves with these virtues, the last garment we are to put on is love, which holds all of the others in place. To practice any list of virtues without practicing love will lead to distortions, fragmentation, and stagnation (1 Corinthians 13:3).

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Christians should live in peace. To live in peace does not mean that suddenly all differences in opinion are eliminated, but it does require that loving Christians work together despite their differences. Such love is not a feeling, but a decision to meet others' needs (see 1 Corinthians 13). To live in love leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Paul offers a strategy to help us live for God day by day:
(1) imitate Christ's compassionate, forgiving attitude (3:12, 13)
(2) let love guide your life (3:14)
(3) let the peace of Christ rule in your heart (3:15)
(4) always be thankful (3:15)
(5) keep God's Word in you at all times (3:16)
(6) live as Jesus Christ's representative (3:17)

And, for those who still believe that they are "O.K. living in the situational ethics swamp," Jesus himself admonishes us in Mark 8:36 -

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? "


As our Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about. He asks for submission, not self-hatred; he asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.

Many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that a world of pleasure centered on possessions, position, or power is ultimately worthless. Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul. You may spend all of your days working hard and having a "pleasurable" life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty. Are you ready to take Jesus' admonition seriously and be willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuit of pleasure?

Follow Jesus. Then, you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life with Him as well.

9 See The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, William Barclay (philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1958), p. 180.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Situation Ethics is a Trap (Part 3)

One suggestion for making a systematic stab at the "sticky" decisions - in fact- at all ethical decisions that you may face is to ask yourself five specific questions. What these questions can do is help you evaluate the situation analyze it, take it apart and get a better perspective based on God's wisdom, not just your own.

Ridenour labels a Christian who possesses "the mind of Christ" (see 1 Cor. 2:9-16) one who adheres to Supernatural Christianity. Perhaps this is an old-fashioned description in and of itself, but it also could be regarded as highly descriptive of what it means to be a born-again Christian with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God.

The first question that Ridenour suggests you ask yourself in any given ethical and/or moral decision and/or dilemma is:

1. "Am I being a thermometer or thermostat?

One of the greatest challenges to being a Christian in an unchristian world is to handle the morals and ethics of your peer group - that is, not letting them handle you. Do you let other people run your life more than you might care to admit? If so, you are an ethical thermometer capable only of reacting to your environment. You have no inner strength, no moral self-starter mechanism. Church may make you pious; but when you are around godless people you can suddenly become profane, or at least a lot more tactful about sounding or looking too religious.

You say you don't run with "that kind of crowd"? It's still easy enough to be a thermometer. Return evil for evil, and you are plastic, motivated by the circumstances. Repay bitterness with bitterness and you are just as out of control as the other person. There are countless ways the environment can make your ethical life go up and down just like the temperature on a thermometer.

Of course if you don't like the idea of other people running your life or controlling it, you can let God run your life. Then, instead of being a thermometer you can be a thermostat. You can have a control center of power and strength that helps you determine and create conditions, not just respond to them.

So, the first thing you need to decide in any situation is which decision will make you act like a thermometer and which will make you act like a thermostat? In this unchristian world, if you aren't interested in trying to be a thermostat, you might as well forget it when it comes to practicing Christian ethics.3

2. "What is the fair and loving thing to do in this situation?

Who is really going to benefit from the decision you make? All questions of ethics and morals start here. Everybody is pretty well agreed on wanting fair play. Everybody wants justice - at least for himself.

Joseph Fletcher's Situation Ethicsis build on this question. This is where he starts. Trouble is, he doesn't go much farther and Christian morality lies somewhere beyond. Don't bypass this question, however, and take it for granted. One reason a lot of Christians aren't too convincing to an unchristian world is that when it comes right down to it, they don't always play that fair.

3. "What is my duty-moral obligation? Do I even care about my duty in this situation?"

With this question things get a little tighter. You are starting to think about what kind of a person you really are-on the inside. You must face yourself and ask yourself if you even want to be fair and loving in making this decision, whatever it might be.

Joseph Fletcher puts heavy emphasis on "doing the loving thing within the situation." He makes a strong plea for a sense of responsibility and a mature facing up to the difficulties in life. But Fletcher's heavy emphasis on autonomously deciding for yourself about what is loving leaves you in a leaking ethical boat. It is interesting to note that in his book, Situation Ethics, Fletcher does not have the word sinin the index. A reading of the book will bear out that sin just doesn't come up that often. When everyone is free to decide for himself what the "loving thing" is, it is easy to confuse duty with self-interest. Christian morality lies still farther down the ethical path....

4. "What do the Scriptures teach concerning this situation-in general or in particular?"

Joseph Fletcher would say that all the Scriptures teach is "the law of love." Fletcher believes that the two great commandments of Christ (see Matt. 22:37-39) are a distillation- "That the essential spirit and ethos of many laws has been distilled or liberated, extracted, filtered out, with the legal husks, or rubbish, thrown away as dross."4

Fletcher then goes on to grind up a few of these "husks," namely the Ten Commandments. By the time Fletcher gets through, you are left feeling apprehensive about reading the Bible too much, lest you become what he calls a legalist. By legalists, Fletcher really means "those who disagree with my theology."

In a debate with Fletcher*, conservative theologian John Warwick Montgomery said " is manifestly clear that Professor Fletcher's understanding of love and morality does not derive from the bible in general or from Jesus' ministry in particular...moreover, his acceptance of radical techniques of New Testament criticism removes any real possibility of his identifying the ethic of Jesus: were he to take the entire New Testament picture seriously, he would find-as any number of his critics have shown-that the New Testament, no less than the Old, insists on absolute moral standards."5

As a brief look at Col. 2:16-23 reveals, "legalism" is a matter of putting man-made rules, traditions and concerns ahead of God's Word. That's what the Gnostics were doing at Colosse. That's what the Pharisees were doing when Jesus put them in their place (Matt. 23:13-36). If you are enjoying a deepening relationship with Christ (spiritual intimacy) it follows that you will be in God's Word. Christ will be guiding and molding your life through His Holy Spirit. There is no better way to escape legalism, because in truth the legalist is the one who is far from Christ trying to exist on his own power, and above all, on his own merit.

As for being able to know what the Scriptures say-in general or particular-about ethical problems you face, all kinds of lists of Scripture verses on "what to do if..." are available, but it is far better to program your computer (brain) with God's Word continually. Christian morality is not so much a case of being able to punch the right ethical button and come up with the precise solution each and every time; it is more a case of hearing the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as He tells you what is right or wrong.

5. "Which choice in this situation will strengthen my relationship to Christ? Which choice will weaken it?"

Jesus said, "You can know the Truth (Me) and I will make you free" (see John 8:32). The key to understanding this is to realize that Jesus doesn't offer freedom from restraints, or even laws and rules. Naturalist man wants a freedom of no restraints, no laws and no rules-because he thinks this world is all there is and that he is (or should be) in charge of his own life.

But for the Christian, Jesus offers freedom to. This is a Supernatural freedom to live in God's world, to become what He created you to be.

Jesus also said, "The one who obeys Me is the one who loves Me..." (John 14:21). Freedom in Christ means obedience to Christ. There are many differences between a stinking, slimy swamp and a clear rushing river. One big difference is that the river has borders (restraints), and the swamp has none. 6

It isn't easy to stay out of the ethical swamps. Swamps have many confusing turns, twists and dead ends. One thing is for sure: you will never find your way out of the ethical swamp if you follow the ever-lovin' crowd. Most of the crowd likes it in the swamp. They like the freedom of "no restraints," or so they tell themselves.

But swamps are full of quicksand, not to mention snakes and alligators. To live without "restraints" isn't freedom. It is the worst kind of slavery with self as the master.

The Christian's Master is Jesus Christ. We submit to His authority (not authoritarianism) and by submitting we find (as He promised) that we are free indeed! (See John 8:36.)

John Stott illustrates freedom in submission by pointing out that "To express himself freely, a pianist must accept the discipline that the keyboard imposes on him. His greatest flights of freedom and self-expression are not in defiance of this but in submission to it."7

Stott goes on to say that he "...finds freedom in knowing God's Mind, thinking God's Thoughts after Him. My will finds its freedom in obeying God's Will-doing God's Thing, not my thing."8

And that brings you right back to the first question: thermometer or thermostat? If you commit yourself to being a thermostat, you will be an instrument that determines and creates better moral conditions. But there's more to it than that. A thermostat needs energy of some kind to operate. The mighty energy at work within the Christian is the Holy Spirit-the One whom Christ has sent to live in and empower all Christians. It is the Holy Spirit who takes you beyond mere wishful thinking about love and fair play. He can give you the desire to want to be fair and loving. he can guide you into all truth. (See John 16:13.) He will tell you what is taking you away from Christ and what is bringing you closer to Him.

Questions concerning morals and ethics come from everywhere: to lust or not to bed or not to hate and lie or love and tell the worship power and self (idolatry) or worship God.

Your only chance to be a thermostat in a world choking on thermometers is to take God's Word for it: "You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you."


In Part 4, we will discuss taking a look at your life-style and focusing in on the Supernatural point of view regarding morality.


3 Concept of choosing between being an ethical thermometer or thermostat adapted from The Way (vol. 15, no. 3) 2850 Kalamazoo S.E.; Grand RApids, Mich.

4 Fletcher, Situation Ethics: The New Morality, p. 71

5 "Situation Morality: The Ethics of Immaturity," John Warwick Montgomery, EPA syndicated article, 1971. Montgomery's remarks were extracted from his debate with Joseph Fletcher at SDSU in Feb., 1971.

6 Myron Augsberger, Faith for a Secular World (Waco: Word Books, 1968), p. 39.

7 John Stott, "Christ: Lord and Liberator, " His magazine, June 1971, p. 4.

* In this same debate, held on the SDSU campus in Feb. 1971, Fletcher made the remark that Jesus was a Jewish peasant with no more philosophical sophistication than a guinea pig.


Scripture references:

1 Corinthians 2:9-16

9 But as it is written:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."*
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the *Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?"* But we have the mind of Christ. (NKJV)


Matthew 22:37-39

37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'* 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'* 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (NKJV)

Deuteronomy 6:5
Leviticus 19:18


Colossians 2:16-23

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has *not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
20 *Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- 21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22 which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. (NKJV)

NU-Text omits not.
NU-Text and M-Text omit Therefore


Matthew 23:13-36

13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that *sanctifies the gold? 18 And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.' 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who *dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and *self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.'
31 "Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. (NKJV)

NU-Text omits this verse.
NU-Text reads sanctified.
M-Text reads dwelt.
M-Text reads unrighteousness.


John 8:31,32

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (NKJV)


John 14:21

21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (NKJV)


John 8:36

36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (NKJV)


John 16:13

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (NKJV)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Situation Ethics is a Trap (Part 2)

If you have read The Effect of Situation Ethics Upon Moral Values by Burt Thompson, Ph.D., then you will have a greater understanding of what is being discussed here in part 2 in this series of posts.

In Part 1, we established that situation ethics is a trap for two reasons.

1. It leads to moral and ethical dead ends.
2. Situation ethics leads to spiritual dead ends.

Ridenour continues:

Of course, Paul tells the Colossians to cool it on dirty sex, cheating, hating, filthy talk. These and similar pastimes are definitely no-no's because of the big YES - Jesus Christ.

As Paul puts it: "You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you" (Col. 3:10)

To this most Christians reply: "Yes, that's what I want...a new kind of learn more of what is be like Jesus Himself. But...HOW? JUST WHAT IS MORALITY? WHAT MAKES SOMEONE OR SOMETHING MORAL OR IMMORAL?"

According to Webster, to be immoral is to fail to conform to a standard of what is good and right. Scripture says the same thing, but in more graphic terms: "All have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal" (Romans 3:23).

Scripture defines sin in an active sense: "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4); and in a passive sense: "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).

If you wanted to sum it all up in one sentence, you could say:
"Immorality is the use and/or abuse of God and others in a selfish, calculating, unloving way."

Thompson's paper gave examples of "sticky situations" in which he indicated what author Fletcher felt could be solved only through the use of situation ethics. (See pages 7 and 8 at the link above). Fletcher's views include the belief that there are some circumstances that militate against absolutism. However, Thompson answers back most forcefully when he asks,
"How can the situation determine in one instance what is “right or wrong” while at the same time allowing the individual to remain “autonomous” by determining for himself what is “right or wrong?”

As was demonstrated in a quote from Gilbert in Philosophy and New Testament Faith:

"It is not too difficult to see that, on the subjective view, there cannot be clear right and wrong. Two apparently contradictory judgments both can not be correct. All we can say is that one judgment arouses a feeling in us of approval while the other arouses the emotion of disapproval. There is no real basis for absolute right and wrong, only feelings conditioned by unseen influences. This leaves man floating around in a turbulent sea of moral uncertainty (1977, p. 44).
(bold mine)

Courts have to grapple with situation ethics all the time. No doubt about that. A jury could be swayed one way or the other based on their subjective opinions on what is right or wrong in any given situation. They are admonished to follow the law, and most law-abiding citizens involved in the difficult task of making "guilty or innocent" decisions, do all that they can to follow that law. However, personal convictions can often be at play and determine an outcome that others would not agree with.

For instance. The Moussaoui trial. It is now known that only one juror disagreed with sentencing him to the death penalty. Because of that one juror, Moussaoui will spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison rather than facing a lethal injection for his crimes.

In the Michael Jackson child molestation trial, it is now known that the mother of the child is alleged to have participated in welfare fraud. When this came out in the trial, several jurors used that information in deciding that she was not a credible witness regarding her son's alleged molestation. Jackson went free.

Just last night I watched an episode of Law & Order, SVU. The story was about a "female" who was attacked during an attempted rape by her boyfriend's brother in the bathroom at a party. The brother was killed and the boyfriend came into the bathroom to see what the commotion was all about. The "female" said his brother raped her and in her struggle with him, she killed him. The boyfriend fled out the bathroom window.

During questioning, the SVU group discovered that the "female" was a transgender person who had female breasts, but did not yet have the sex-change operation. (Yeah...very complicated...and tragic). It is difficult to shorten this story without leaving out important details.

When the boyfriend (who had been going out with the "female" for two months but hadn't had intercourse yet) found out she was transgender, he overdosed on his heart pills due to the stress and grief over the entire situation. He lost his brother because his "girlfriend" killed him. The only reason she felt the need to kill the brother was so that he wouldn't tell the boyfriend the truth about his/her male to female sex change plans. She/he thought she/he would lose the lover if he ever knew. She wanted to have the operation before the boyfriend discovered the truth so that he would (perhaps) never need to know. Talk about a complicated situational ethics dilemma!

Throughout the trial, the defense lawyer tried to gain sympathy for the transgender person who murdered the brother to conceal her identity from the boyfriend. When details were shared, anyone with a heart could not help but have sympathy, empathy and sorrow for what this person had to go through in his/her life! However, the fact remained that she killed someone. Justice needed to be done. The jury would need to decide.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor developed much sympathy for the defendant. She met her at a restaurant and asked her why she didn't take the lessor charge (second degree manslaughter, I think) that she offered through her lawyer. We find out that the lawyer never told the defendant about the offer! The defense lawyer was confronted by both of them, and after a lawyer fight, the defendant said she wanted to take the plea deal. It meant 5 years in prison rather than 15 to life (if I recall correctly).

The jury verdict came back guilty. The defendant was sent to prison. "She" requested that she be sent to an all-women's prison, but because she is actually a male, this request could not be granted and added to the dilemma. In the final scene of the show, the SVU group gets a phone call. We find out that he/she was gang raped in the cell block. We see his/her battered, beat up body being wheeled away on a gurney.

This story is truly tragic...just awful! I realize that it's only a T.V. show, but many of the episodes are often similar to real life situations. It certainly tugged on my heartstrings and made me realize what horrible circumstances can occur when people go through such tragic dilemmas in life.

I am curious whether or not any readers here would like to comment on this story. Do you see this as an example of the need to rely on situation ethics? Or, is it an example (tragic one, to say the least) of the need for moral absolutes?

(Please note: I am not using this example to bash any person or group of people. If my choice of words for identification seem offensive, please understand that I was only trying to be descriptive.)

A while back, I got into a discussion about the illegal Mexican immigrant who brutally beat and killed a transgender man who was made up like a woman. He got a far too light sentence (IMO) because his lawyers used the "gay panic" defense. I think that THAT law and defense argument should be changed! As I stated back then, yes, the hispanic man was deceived into thinking that a "woman" whom he wanted to have sex with was actually a man. But he didn't have to kill him!!

Since I am personally against "hate crimes" laws precisely because they can be easily misused in many instances, I must say that there are certain laws on the books that need to be changed and/or strengthened. The "gay panic" defense excuse and the implementation of Jessica's Law in every state are two examples.

I didn't intend to go so far off topic. But I felt the need to explain my position a bit more thoroughly.

In the next segment, I will share more regarding what a Christian should do with what the public sometimes deems those "sticky, neither black nor white" situations. We will examine: What is selfish?" What is calculating and unloving? What is impure? What is dirty?

Ridenour tells us that there is no guarantee that you will always have the right answer for every situation. But he does share the fact that there are five specific questions that can help you evaluate the situation, analyze it, take it apart and get a better perspective based on God's wisdom, not just your own.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Situation Ethics is a Trap

Our local town library has a "Friends of the Library" used bookstore. When I visit, I have often been able to add to my extensive Christian book collection. One book that I started reading months ago is Fritz Ridenour's "How to Be a Christian in An Unchristian World." The book was originally published back in 1971. The copy that I have is from the fifteenth printing in 1982. The ninth chapter caught my attention today. The chapter title asks the question, "Are you a thermometer or thermostat?"

The chapter starts off with a quote from an anonymous coed at a New Jersey school,1:

"All formulas, rules and regulations, should be left unsaid. All decisions depend to some extent on the individual and the situation and his relationship to God. There are no pat answers."

Such a quote may appear to sound like a "real life" comment that some may deem to be quite wise and contemporary. One might certainly agree that back then, as well as today, it is perceived that there are no pat answers.

Ridenour: "Why, even Paul might concur. According to what he says in Col. 2:16-23, he is down on rules, regulations and playing games to earn Christian brownie points (see chapter 7). and in Col. 3:1-4, he is up on relating to Christ and letting heaven fill your thoughts (see chapter 8).

And, didn't the girl say that all decisions depend on you, the situation and your relationship to God?

But wait...what's this in the next paragraph of Paul's letter to Colosse?...

"Away then with sinful, earthly things; deaden the evil desires lurking within you; have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust and shameful desires; don't worship the good things of life, for that is idolatry. God's terrible anger is upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world; but now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing and dirty language. don't tell lies to each other; it was you old life with all its wickedness that did that sort of thing; now it is dead and gone" (Col. 3:5-9)

What is Paul doing? He just finished putting down legalism (back in Colossians 2) and now he comes up with a big list of no-no's. Isn't the Christian supposed to be free from the law? the codes? the life of legalistic games?

Joseph Fletcher, a leading advocate of what is called "situation ethics," has gone to great lengths in his riting and speaking to assure Christians they are free from all laws - except for the one he calls the "law of love." In brief, Joseph Fletcher says:

The only thing that really matter in life is love. You should alsways distrubute your love according to what you decise is most loving in those circumstances, and never allow a list of prescribed rules or laws to be the fianl authority for making you deciesion. You might consult lists of laws and rules, but you have the last word.*

*[Note: For a complete presentation of Fletcher's views, read his books Situation Ethics:The New Morality, Westminister Press, Copyright 1966. Also see Fletcher's book, Moral Responsibility: Situation Ethics at Work, Westminster Press, Copyright 1967.]

All of this sounds very much like the coed whose comment opened this chapter. Forget the formulas, rules and regulatinos and let the individual work out his own decision according to the situation and "his relationship to God." For Joseph Fletcher the Ten Commandments aren't a list of authritative laws. In fact, he says that "For the situationst there are no rules - non at all." If situation ethics "has any rules, they are only rules of thumb."2

Joseph Fletcher's situational ethic seems to make perfectly good sense. It sounds so mature, so responsible, so free to say you want to make each moral decision according to what is "most loving for that situation." It all sounds like a perfect way to go beyond a life of legalistic games.

Except for one fairly important item.

You aren't perfect (i.e., God).

Situation ethics is a trap for two reasons.

1. It leads to moral and ethical dead ends. There is alwasy the sticky problem of coming to some situations and not wanting to do the loving thing or not being abel to. Fletcher almost ignores the problem of sin, which all of us still have to cope with. Without moral absolutes the practice of situational morality, with each person doing his own loving thing, quickly turns into a sick, very confused joke. Because Fletcher accurately labels legalism as sick and confused does not make his system the answer.

2. Situation ethics leads to spiritual dead ends. Intimacy with Christ - living in Him and He in you - does not make you autonomous; indeed you don't want to be. For the Christain who takes the Bible seriously (not, in Fletcher's terms, as "rules of thumb") the existence of the Big Absolute - Jesus Christ - leads to other absolutes or the concept of "absolute" means little.

I will return to finish this post later. Meanwhile, I found a great PDF paper called The Effect of Situation Ethics Upon Moral Values. Although it is long, I recommend that you read it. I personally found it to be an excellent piece that goes in depth and supports why belief in situation ethics is a trap for all, including some Christian believers who may have fallen into such a mindset.


1 Larry Richards, What's in It for Me? (Chicago: Moody Press, 1970), p. 104

2 Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics: The New Morality (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966), pp. 36 and 55.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"Hate Speech" Hotline?

Boulder now has a "hate hotline." I don't know how you feel about this, but it makes me realize even more how unnecessary, non-productive, and even downright dangerous "hate crimes" laws would be!

Note the following excerpt from the article link:

"Golden says the agenda item on the hotline is "extensive" and a "real dilemma" for the ACLU. There are some very "broad standards" laid out in the resolution.

There is, for instance, the policy statement condemning the usual individual or collective acts of racism and bigotry. Great. But it also condemns those who attack "personal beliefs and values."

"Well, for the ACLU, that goes over the line," Golden says. "You can object to free speech just because someone is a Republican or a Democrat."

What would happen to the bumper- sticker industry?

So, it seems that since purifying our thoughts is still beyond technology's reach, Boulder will now attempt to achieve politically correct speech codes in other ways."

This "hate speech" hotline demonstrates the possible far reaching effect of any kind of "hate-crimes law." It would go as far as to criminalize the free speech rights of millions of Americans. Do we really want that?

I dislike many of the ridiculous, vulgar and/or disparaging comments that are often hurled at Christians. But would I really want a law to shut them up? Once started, where does it end?

Of course, physical violence should never be condoned (unless the person is in a war zone or attempting to protect life, limb and family). But let's look at one case in point. The Matthew Shepard murder was awful and tragic...terrible in fact. Many TV movies and even a play was written to honor his life and untimely death. But as time went on, we found out that he wasn't beaten and killed because of his sexual orientation. He was actually killed so the perpetrators could get his money.

The article sites a similar case involving a physical assault:

Phillip Martinez beat up a 22-year-old African-American mechanical-engineering student named Andrew Sterling last year in Boulder. He was sentenced to the maximum of 16 years in prison. The jury wisely decided to drop "ethnic intimidation" charges.

Would a hate-line have helped Sterling? Martinez was from Lafayette, not Boulder. He was drunk. He may not have even cared that Sterling was black.

The article brings up a very important point:

Should everyone keep the hate-line number on their cellphone speed dial from now on? And remember, only call if your attacker uses racist or insensitive language while beating you to a pulp. After all, according to hate-law advocates, it's not genuine hate unless the perpetrator makes fun of your heritage.

Hate-law advocates. Sounds like a new buzzword for the intimidation, jamming, desensitizing, indoctrination and conversion crowd! That's the problem. Most (admittedly not all) hate-law advocates are from the liberal left side of the political spectrum.

Why is that?

Perhaps the Scott Savage case can shed some light on why this is so. In his latest rebuttal against OSU professor Christopher Phelps, Mr. Savage recommends:

As a librarian, I have a reading suggestion for the professor: The American
Association of University Professors' statement on academic freedom, which begs
to differ.

It says that, "Institutions of higher education are conducted for
the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition." That really says it all.

I was pleased to read that librarian Scott Savage is fighting back against those who attempted to brand him with bogus "hate speech" and "sexual harassment" claims just for recommending a conservative book for incoming freshman at OSU's Mansfield campus.

Finally, David Harsanyi ends his column with a short paragraph that tells us why criminalizing perceived "hate speech" by those on the opposite side of the politically correct crowd is just a disguised version of quelching the free speech rights of those who disagree.

"These things have come up with attempts to criminalize hate speech on campus, those kinds of situations," explains Golden. "Certainly, if it just provides an opportunity to call and have a welcome voice and some kinds of soothing response to their concerns, that would be fine. Speech is good."

Speech is good? Well, not always. But it should generally be free.


Added on at 11:44 a.m.

David Limbaugh has a good article on the radical homosexual lobby aggressively pushing its agenda on society. He offers us a different perspective on Gay 'rights' – who is harassing whom?