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Friday, September 30, 2016

Baltimore Ravens Tight End Benjamin Watson: Christianity Not Privatized, But Is Wholistic Reality-Oriented Commitment

By Rick Pearcey • September 30, 2016, 10:27 AM

When Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson was on radio and asked by Glenn Beck, "How hard is it to keep your faith in the world you live in?" Watson replied:

When you go to work, you are a Christian at your workplace. You're not a broadcaster who happens to be a Christian -- you're a Christian who does broadcasting and writes and those sorts of things. Same thing for me as an athlete. So everything I do, even just who I am . . . whatever the trials are and the temptations are in any job is not anything that is not uncommon.

The view expressed in our regressive politically correct culture today is contrary to what Watson has expressed and is the exact opposite of the humane and intregrated emphasis set forth in the Biblical data.

Secularists such as Obama, Hillary Clinton, and many Republicans, seem to want a tamed Christianity that is satisfied with forever sitting in prayer closets and having a totally privatized relationship with Jesus. Just don't bring "my faith" out into public life, as if that "faith" had anything to do with the real world of politics, public policy, social life, and all the rest.

What these regressives fail to appreciate is that the Biblical data concern the whole human being in the wholeness of life. What is given in the Christian worldview is a wholistic approach to life that sets people free to experience integrated, non-hypocritical lives in all that they do -- and not on the basis of a private "faith" but on the basis of verifiable truth-claims that can be considered, discussed, evaluated, and then applied with authenticity (not perfectly, but authentically) in the totality of the real world.

As an NFL tight end, Benjamin Watson has to make great moves on the field. But the real game-changers are the patterns of his life, made on the basis of truth that is humane, wholistic, and liberating. Not just for him, for also for the world around him.

For further reflection on these themes, please see my "Christmas in Space and Time" and my "Test Everything" Foreword to Nancy's most recent book, Finding Truth.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Government Orders Church: Take Down Those Pro-Life Signs

By Rick Pearcey • May 7, 2015, 11:46 AM

The Valley Church of Christ in Harrisonburg, Va., and its legal representation the Rutherford Institute said no. And won.

"Zoning officials . . . backed away from demanding that the signs be taken down after attorneys with the Rutherford Institute stepped in and argued that the First Amendment bars content-based discrimination when it comes to signage, according to a press release," Billy Hallowell reports at The Blaze.

Related
Anti-Freedom Extremists Force City to Remove Sculpture of Soldier Kneeling Before Cross
Ben Stein: America's Cross -- The ACLU at It Again



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Denzel Washington: The Bible Is the "Answer People Are Looking For"

By Rick Pearcey • April 15, 2015, 09:06 AM

Michael Chapman reports at CNSNews.com:

In explaining why the Bible is a best seller year after year, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington said there is something "tugging" inside of us, "telling us to believe in something," which is God, and that the Bible provides the "answer people are looking for" even if they do not realize it at first.

To help see how what is given in the verifiable Biblical message provides the "answer people are looking for," readers may want to take a look at Nancy's new book, Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasksing Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes. There is more information at her new website, nancypearcey.com

Related
Christmas Spirit in Space and Time



Friday, February 6, 2015

Freedom! Breakaway Diocese Wins Big in Battle Against Homosexualist Episcopal Church

By Rick Pearcey • February 6, 2015, 10:25 AM

Billy Hallowell reports at the Blaze:

Property battles that result from churches and dioceses splitting with denominations can become contentious, especially when there are millions of dollars on the line -- and as the battle over homosexuality continues to cause theological rifts, additional separations are likely.

In the latest property war, a court ruled Tuesday that the Episcopal Church no longer has rights to the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina’s property, nor can the Episcopal Church use or control the diocese’s associated names or symbols.

"We are grateful that Judge Goodstein’s decision protects South Carolina churches from being added to the long list of properties that [the Episcopal Church] seized then either abandoned or sold-off," Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary, is quoted as saying. 

"The decision protects our freedom to embrace the faith Anglicans have practiced for hundreds of years -- and not the new theology being imposed on [the Episcopal Church's] dwindling membership," Lewis is also quoted as saying.

"According to Charisma News, theological differences were cited as the reason for the split, including disagreement over the traditional definition of marriage, as the Episcopal Church now supports same-sex relationships," Blaze reports.

"Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence said that the split was a long time coming," according to the Blaze.

"We’ve been on a collision course with the Episcopal Church for 20 years for issues such as trustworthiness of the holy Scriptures, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, issues of anthropology -- including what is a human being -- questions of marriage and who receives the sacraments. All of those things are of theological concern to us," the Blaze quotes Bishop Lawrence as saying.

"This in mind, the Diocese of South Carolina sued the Episcopal Church in January 2013 to obtain the rights to its property. And with the conclusion of the court battle this week, 36 churches that are a part of the Diocese of South Carolina were officially granted an exit from the church, granting the diocese the rights to $500 million in property," the Blaze reports.



Friday, January 16, 2015

Boy Who Claimed He Visited Heaven Recants His Story

By Rick Pearcey • January 16, 2015, 09:50 AM

Vincent Funaro reports at Christian Post:

LifeWay Christian Stores has come under fire for selling a book based on a boy who claimed he visited heaven and who is now saying that the story is false.

The book, titled The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, has been available since last year and tells the story of 6-year-old Alex Malarkey who suffered a horrific car accident in 2004. The crash paralyzed Alex and it was unlikely he'd survive after slipping into a coma. He awoke two months later and claimed that angels took him through the gates of heaven to meet Jesus.

Malarkey addressed the validity of the story in a letter titled "An Open Letter to LifeWay and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven."

"I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible," he explained. "People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough."

"Malarkey's mother, Beth, addressed the matter last April in a blog, arguing that the book was not biblically sound and that it has hurt her son 'tremendously.' She also stressed that he has not made any money from book sales," according to the Christian Post.

"Alex first tried to tell a 'pastor' how wrong the book was and how it needed stopped," his mother writes in the blog. But "Alex was told that the book was blessing people." Later in the blog, she states, "Alex did not write the book and it is not blessing him!"

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven is published by Tyndale House. Looking at the Tyndale website today, it says the book is the "true story of an ordinary boy's extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex's eyes, you'll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father's love."

The cover of the book presents Alex as the co-author of the book, even though, as noted above, his mother states flatly, "Alex did not write the book."

Conclusion: The boy who came back from heaven actually never got there in the first place, according the boy himself, who is credited by a Christian publisher with co-authoring a book that the boy's mother says the boy did not author.

And apparently there is a "pastor" out there whose notion of Christian leadership is to advise that falsehoods are OK as long as people are being blessed. Perhaps his Bible states, "Blessed are the liars, for they shall inherit the earth."

Surely, we can do better than this, can't we? Of course we can. A little pruning may be needed, however.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Feminist Christmas Tale: God Raped Mary

By Rick Pearcey • December 23, 2014, 10:27 AM

Kristine Marsh writes at Newsbusters:

Salon and Alternet seem to exist only to provide click-bait for kooks. Alternet certainly succeeded with their Sunday article entitled, "Why rape is so intrinsic to religion" which was also cross-posted on partner site Salon. In the article by Valerie Tarico, she tries to argue that the virgin birth of Jesus Christ was God raping Mary, similar to Greek and Hindu tales of gods raping women. "It's a common theme in the history of religion, and it's more than a little rapey," Tarico claims.

"'Rapey' is not exactly an adjective most would use to describe the Christmas story, but never underestimate what an Alternet writer can come up with!," Marsh writes.

"Tarico even manages to tie it all in to 'the shocking prevalence' of rape 'on college campuses and in society at large. I guess she completely ignored the Rolling Stone apology and media blow-up, showing that one student’s account of shocking gang rape might've been false. Not to mention, the most recent comprehensive study from the DOJ which shows, 20 percent of college-age women are not raped on campus, more like 0.6%," Marsh observes.

Comment: Feminism despises Christianity, for an unholy slew of reasons. Perhaps one of them is that feminism despises truly strong women. Mary, of course, could have said no, and there is no indication that God would have forced her (see Luke 1:26-38). Instead, she made an informed choice: "May your word to me be fulfilled" (Luke 1:38).

The Bible affirms the significance of human beings, that we can make decisions and change history. Choice is crucial, but it is not a blank check that lets one class of humanity (pregnant women) decide whether another class of humanity (preborn human beings) lives or dies.

Yes, Scripture does not look kindly upon abortofascism. Yet another reason some might choose to despise a God of truth and love who acts into verifiable human history to overcome evil with good.

Folks who are truly concerned about rape might note that trying to rape truth to bend it to their inhumane social and political agendas is not a sign of good faith. Let it not be done according to their word.

Related
Christmas Spirit in Space and Time



Monday, December 22, 2014

Satanic Temple Erects "Snaketivity Scene" at Michigan Capitol

By Rick Pearcey • December 22, 2014, 08:17 AM

AP reports,

Christians and Satanists put up competing displays Sunday on the Michigan Capitol grounds as Christmas week got underway.

The Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple set up its "Snaketivity Scene" featuring a snake offering a book called "Revolt of the Angels" as a gift. The snake is wrapped around the Satanic cross on the 3-feet-by-3-feet display. Capitol rules require that displays have to be taken down each night.

"Word of the Satanic Temple's plans led state Sen. Rick Jones, a Grand Ledge Republican, to erect a Nativity scene on Friday featuring baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary. He put it back up Sunday morning," AP reports.

"Jones said he was happy to 'represent the light and not the darkness'," according to AP.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Church Welcomes Doubters as Atheist Christmas Billboard Attacks "Fairy Tales"

By Rick Pearcey • December 12, 2014, 11:52 AM

American Atheists (AA) last week launched a "billboard campaign featuring a young girl writing a message to Santa Claus that reads: 'Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales'," reports Stoyan Zaimov at Christian Post

"The AA billboards have gone up in major cities like Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis and Fort Smith, as well as in more residential areas near churches and schools," CP reports.

A church in Alma, Ark., responded with its own billboard ad, which states, "Questions, Doubts, Curiosity? All welcome at Grace," according to CP.

"Our goal is not to oppose their message, but rather to respond with love and support. We actually welcome their desire to support those who have felt alienated by believers and start discussion between and among the Atheist and Christian communities," Grace Church states on its website. 

Two comments. First, the church does well to welcome those with doubts, who question, and are curious. The Biblical worldview affirms the human mind as sourced in the rationality of the Creator. Therefore, churches and the Christian community in general ought to be safe places for those who want to consider and discuss whether Christianity is true and therefore warrants their commitment. 

Second, there is no need to think "love and support" is somehow an alternative to opposing the message of atheists. If atheism is false and harmful to human freedom and dignity, to "love and support" includes refuting that unfortunate message. "Speaking the truth in love" is how Ephesians 4:15 puts it.

Jesus epitomizes love, and yet his Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) directly challenged the settled opinion and cultural powers of his day, even as it now challenges the settled opinion and cultural powers in our own day. This is good news for thinking human beings, but not so good news for the fairy tales and superstitions of atheism.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Atheists Tell Town to Keep Christ Out of Christmas Parade

By Rick Pearcey • December 5, 2014, 11:18 AM

The town of Piedmont, Alabama "wanted to honor the reason for the season" during their annual Christmas parade, "and that landed them in a world of trouble with a group of out-of-town atheists," Todd Starnes writes. 

"The parade committee selected 'Keep Christ in Christmas' as the theme of Thursday night’s parade. Seeing how there’s a church on nearly every street corner in town -- no one gave it a second thought," Starnes explains.

"I was totally shocked when I received the letter. It’s a small town. It’s a small Christmas parade. We didn’t think there would be any problems at all," Starnes quotes Mayor Bill Baker as saying.

"Little did the mayor know that his town was about to be infested with an ill-tempered gaggle of atheists from Wisconsin -- the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)," Starnes continues. "They alleged that a single person in Piedmont had complained about the parade theme -- and the FFRF sent the mayor a threatening letter." 

According to Starnes, the letter complains that the theme of the Christmas Parade "alienates non-Christians and others in Piedmont who do not in fact have a 'strong belief in prayers' by turning them into political outsiders in their own community." Furthermore, the "sentiment of 'Keeping Christ in Christmas' does not qualify as a secular celebration."

Comment: The atheists are absolutely wrong. Nothing in the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution forbids the free people of the United States from freely and publicly exercising their respect for and commitment to the truth of Christianity.

The 1st Amendment places a prohibition on the Congress of the United States, not on the people of the United States, and that amendment forbids the Congress from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

This atheist organization is extremist in nature. Christians in America, as well as all others who value truth in governance and freedom in their corporate and individual lives, would do well to insist on practicing what is the mainstream of America -- that is, the public recognition of the Creator as the integration point of civil life in the United States.

After all, the Declaration of Independence states, "All men are created equal" and "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
. . . among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Furthermore, "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men."

Live free, people of Piedmont. Reject the chains of atheists.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

IRS Sued for Monitoring U.S. Churches

By Rick Pearcey • November 25, 2014, 10:19 AM

Bob Unruh reports at WND:

In a lawsuit settlement with the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation [FFRF], the Internal Revenue Service admitted it had monitored churches for allegedly illegal political activity, but the details never were released because the group withdrew its complaint.

Now, Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS seeking any records relevant to IRS monitoring of churches and other tax exempt organizations regarding alleged political activity. . . .

"The atheist organization filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging the IRS ignored its complaints about the speech of churches that cite the Bible regarding issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage," Unruh reports. FFRF said the "statements violate the law, because the moral issues were being addressed in a political arena."

According to WND, "The atheists also complained of what they called 'blatantly political' newspaper ads on the religious and moral issues. Then, in June, an agreement was reached in which the IRS admitted it had been monitoring churches and other houses of worship for 'electioneering and other political activity'."

"Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Americans have 'the God-given right to both express their religious views and to engage in the political process'," WND reports.

"It is troubling that the IRS seems set to rely on a group of atheists to point them toward churches that might have criticized politicians," WND quotes Fitton as saying. 

"It is even more disturbing that the IRS would violate federal law, The Freedom of Information Act, in order to keep secret its monitoring of Americans praying together in church," Fitton also reportedly said.

"To be clear, the very IRS that abused tea partiers for Obama’s election now purports to be able to 'audit' houses of worship in order to protect politicians from criticism. I am sure the Obama administration is more than happy to use the excuse of a lawsuit by a leftist group to use the IRS to punish churches that oppose Obama’s war on religious freedom," Fitton said, according to WND.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Christian Extermination in the Middle East

By Rick Pearcey • November 12, 2014, 08:33 AM

Raymond Ibrahim writes at Frontpage: 

Among other things, a Christian church that had stood on the ground of Iraq for 1,800 years -- a church that was erected less than 200 year after Christ -- was reportedly torched by the Islamic State, according to numerous news agencies, including Al Arabiya.

Islamic State jihadis also stormed and took over an ancient monastery in northern Iraq and expelled its few monks, telling them "You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately." The monks plead to be allowed to save some of the monastery’s ancient relics but the jihadis refused and ordered them to walk many miles along a deserted road with nothing but their clothes. (St. Behnam monastery had stood since the fourth century and was one of Iraq’s best-known Christian landmarks.  It was built by an Assyrian king as a penance for executing his children Behnam and Sarah for converting to Christianity.)

Go here to read the rest of Ibrahim's July 2014 report on persecution that spans "different ethnicities, languages, and locales -- from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East."

Ibrahim concludes: "It should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam -- whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it."



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Black Pastor: Homosex Mayor's Attack on Christian Pastors "Truly the Next Civil Rights Movement"

By Rick Pearcey • October 29, 2014, 10:24 AM

Penny Starr reports at CNSNews.com

The Reverend Bill Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, said the attack on Christian pastors by the openly gay mayor of Houston, who subpoenaed their sermons and other communications after they opposed a city ordinance that allows transgender people to use any public restroom, signals the need for "the next civil rights movement."

Owens, speaking from Houston, told CNSNews.com that he and other pastors in his coalition held a press conference on Tuesday to support the Houston pastors and express their concern about this threat to religious liberty.

"Attacking ministers about what they preach is way over the line,” Owens is quoted as saying.

According to CNSNews, Pastor Owens "thinks the action taken by Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian, and the city attorney is a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion, and church leaders need to fight back."

In addition, "Owens said the gay rights movement is trying to make expressing one’s Christian views on homosexuality 'hate speech'," CNSNews reports.

"It’s not hate," Owens is quoted as saying. "We don’t hate anyone. It’s expressing our religious beliefs."

Owens also "thinks this new civil rights struggle will require the same investment by churches and church leaders that was made by Martin Luther King Jr. and others who fought to gain equal rights for all Americans regardless of their race," according to CNS.

“Churches need to rise up,” CNS quotes Owens as stating, "adding that all faiths should be concerned about efforts to silent religious speech."

"I may not agree with all religions but I will defend their right to speak," Owens said, according to CNSNews.

For more information on the Coalition of African American Pastors, see this website.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ted Cruz "Booed off the Stage" at "In Defense of Christians" Event

By Rick Pearcey • September 11, 2014, 10:15 AM

Matthew Boyle reports at Breitbart.com:

Reports surfaced Wednesday night that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was "booed off the stage" at an event hosted by a purportedly Christian organization.

Cruz, the keynote speaker at the new "In Defense Of Christians" [IDC] organization's dinner in Washington DC, had offered the crowd -- a number of whom were Christians from the Middle East, including Palestinian Christians -- public support for Israel.

After doing so, some members of the crowd booed at Cruz, and they persisted until he left the stage, noting their hatred and saying he can't stand with them if they don't stand with Israel.

"Tonight’s injection of politics when the focus should have been on unity and faith, momentarily played into the hands of a few who do not adhere to IDC’s principles. They were made no longer welcome," said IDC President Toufic Baaklini in a press release published after the "disruption at the IDC Gala Dinner."