Unfortunately, someone took the scrolls from the cave years ago.  We can only wonder where those scrolls are now.

defundThose who are opposed to state and federal defunding of Planned Parenthood argue that these dollars are not paying for abortions, but contraception and other female-related health services.  So why would pro-lifers want to defund this?  Do we just hate women?  Do we want to ensure that more women are “punished” for premarital sex by getting pregnant?  Of course not.  What we understand is that the grants Planned Parenthood receives for their non-abortion services indirectly funds their abortion business.  To see why, imagine for a moment that the government provided grants to churches to pay for all of their office supplies, marriage counselors, city permits, and building repairs.  Would the pro-Planned Parenthood-funding crowd agree with the government that this is not supporting religion?  Of course not!  They realize that the money a church saves by not having to pay for those government-funded items will be redirected to evangelistic efforts.  So while the government’s funds would not be directly funding Christian evangelism, they are indirectly funding it.  The same is true of federal funding of Planned Parenthood.  While these funds are not directly responsible for aborting babies, they are indirectly responsible because Planned Parenthood can use all of the money the government saved them and direct it to their abortion business. And when 41% of their revenue comes from government, that’s a lot of money to redirect to their abortion business.

smoking-nuns11Most American Christians have identified smoking or chewing tobacco as sinful, but what is the Biblical basis for this conclusion?  There is no verse that says “Thou shalt not smoke.”  So why should we think it’s morally wrong?

The two reasons I typically hear are related to (1) health and (2) addiction.  Regarding health, the verse appealed to is often 1 Corinthians 3:17 in which Paul says God will destroy those who defile the temple of God.  The temple is understood to be the human body, so anything that destroys the human body is sinful.  I’m not convinced this is the right interpretation of the verse, but let’s run with it for the sake of argument.  There’s no question that smoking cigarettes is not good for the body.  It’s unhealthy and thus unwise, but is this enough to warrant considering it sinful?  How many other things do we consume that are unhealthy for us?  Are we prepared to call too much consumption of chocolate, ice cream, soda, red meat, and the like sinful as well?  These are also unhealthy when consumed too much.  One may object that while these things are unhealthy, they do not typically kill the person who consumes them.  That may be true of each item individually, but not necessarily as a whole.  A person who consumes too much sugar, fat, etc. often develops diseases such as diabetes or cancer, and some die as a result.  If we’re not prepared to consider it a sin to eat too much ice cream  or drink too much soda, then why are we so quick to consider smoking a sin?  Perhaps we should consider both to be sin, but I doubt most would see it that way (you can pry my ice cream container away from my cold, dead hands!!).

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gender-neutral-parentingGreat op-ed piece in the LA Times about the futility of gender-neutral parenting.  Liberals think it’s a great idea, but kids have a way of exposing a stupid idea for what it is.

testing_the_spiritsBeloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… (1 John 4:1a)

… for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4b)

Portions of 1 John 4:1-6 are often cited in discussions of spiritual warfare.  John’s admonition to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (4:1) is cited as evidence that we need to exercise spiritual discernment to distinguish between angelic and demonic spirits, or even good and bad human spirits.  “Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (4:4b) is typically quoted in the context of overcoming the Devil.  But are these passages being interpreted correctly?  Are they referring to spiritual warfare?  To find out, let’s look at the context. (more…)

Doctors have found a way to communicate with locked-in patients.  Perhaps surprisingly to some, most report being “happy” despite having what most would considerable to be a miserable existence.  We often think to ourselves that life would not be worth living if we had X debilitating condition, and yet, those in such a condition usually want to go on living.  We need to be very careful about making value judgments considering how worthwhile one’s life is.  While we may not be able to imagine how life would be worth living if we were to experience some major illness like locked-in syndrome, it’s amazing how those who experience such conditions continue to find meaning and value in life.  Every life is valuable, and even those who are experiencing terrible suffering still prefer life over death.  Life is precious.

First it was the approval of homosexuality. Now it is the approval of transgenderism. The Boy Scouts have jumped ship, and now it’s time for Christians to jump ship as well.  An organization that was based on teaching boys to be “morally straight” has lost its way, capitulating to political correctness.  Sad.