Jonah and the Child Killers

JonahWhen I read stuff like this, doing something to generate endorphins helps control the blood-boiling anger. Praying helps, too. I find the story of Jonah most helpful. Are you familiar with him?

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the people of his judgment if they didn’t repent, but Jonah didn’t want the Ninevites to receive God’s wonderful redemption. Did he hate them that much? Had to.

I feel pretty much the same way about people who hurt and kill children and babies, including the unborn. I want the perpetrators, who know very well what they’re doing, to feel just a fraction of what God has in store for them or even to feel the pain an unborn child has to feel when he’s torn apart in the womb.

But if they repent and accept, they’d avoid the wrath. And there’s the rub.

FYI…I am a sinner. Surprise! And I will be a sinner as long as I’m living in this fallen world in this fallen body. The difference between Christians and non-Christians is that Christians are forgiven sinners. We believe Christ sacrificed himself to save us. He paid for our sins with his own blood. Sinless, he took on my sins so I wouldn’t face the terrible and righteous wrath of a God whose laws I break.

My duty as a Christian is to spread this message wherever I go, so that others can also benefit from this gracious gift. Sometimes, I don’t feel like sharing. I pull a Jonah and flee in the opposite direction, stiff-necked and refusing to warn the people. This isn’t God’s fault. It’s mine. I’m overly prideful and, as my mother has told me my whole life, stubborn.

But it is not my place to judge who does or does not deserve salvation. I don’t deserve it, and neither do people who murder infants.

But God can and does save people who murder infants.

I must remember that.

Makes for calm blood.

Christian Adoption Hits Social Networking

babyAdoption 2.0!

Pregnant women out there in the audience who don’t want your babies, consider adopting them out to Christian families instead of killing them. You can even adopt out Down Syndrome babies. If you choose to endure the physical, emotional, and financial “inconvenience” of carrying an unwanted baby to term, you’ll be saving a precious child’s life and enriching a family’s life.

Bethany Christian Services is just one of many adoption agencies for Christian families who want to give orphans and unwanted babies a loving home. Bethany has joined the social networking trend and established its presence on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and other sites. (Follow Bethany on Twitter.) Bethany strives to make families aware of what they do and help them find orphaned and unwanted children.

Please let your unborn baby live. Give him a chance to love and to be loved, and experience the bittersweet joy of this sometimes chaotic and confusing yet amazingly wondrous thing called life.

Good Memorial Day

Freedom!Remember the men and women who died defending this great country and protecting our enviable freedom, worth dying for in any era. Always. We may take our freedom for granted, because most of us have never lived any other way. America is unique. Special. Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to face fines or prison or death for bad-mouthing the government or for sharing the Gospel. What if we were forced to worship in secret and hide our Bibles?

May we never forget that our freedom isn’t free. It costs something. It must be defended. It must be fought for. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than convinced it’s worth the fight. I support our military’s commitment to keeping America safe and free.

Good Memorial Day to you all.

Why I Oppose ‘Year of the Bible’ Resolution

MacArthur Study BibleLast year, I found myself agreeing with Christian parents who raised concerns about Bibles being distributed in government schools. They called it unconstitutional, but I don’t think it was.

My concern wasn’t whether it passed constitutional muster. The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses don’t prohibit religious books in government schools. It restrains the government from establishing a national religion and interfering with the people’s right to practice their religion.

Here’s my problem with Bible distributions and lessons in government schools: America’s freedom of religion makes me nervous in the sense that any old group calling itself a religion would get equal time, as it were, with Christianity. As far as I’m concerned, people may worship whomever and whatever they want, but I don’t want people pushing those doctrines and beliefs in tax-supported schools.

For instance, I oppose distributing Korans to children in government schools. Wicca pamphlets, too, or whatever they read. I wouldn’t want my tax dollars paying for Koran lessons. In a previous post I wrote:

[L]et’s look at this a different way. Although a majority of Americans would identify themselves as Christians (as opposed to Muslims), the country isn’t religiously homogenous anymore. How would you feel about Muslims distributing Korans in public school classrooms? If a Muslim teacher visited your kid’s classroom every week to give a Koran lesson, what would you do? I wouldn’t like it. I’d probably file suit.

I oppose the so-called Bible resolution for similar reasons. Republican Paul Broun recently introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives in an attempt to honor the Bible’s influence in shaping our country and to declare 2010 the “Year of the Bible.” The resolution is non-binding, which means it can’t become a law. It merely expresses the sentiment of Congress. The resolution is a noble sentiment, for sure, but one that leaves open the door for a “Year of the Koran” resolution. The Koran wasn’t influential in shaping our great country, but that’s beside the point. On what grounds could we allow one but disallow the other? Would we disallow the other?

I don’t want my tax dollars paying congressmen to declare 2011 the “Year of the Tripitaka,” would you?

I wish every American were a Christian, but that’s not the way it is. America is no longer religiously homogenous, either. To be logically consistent in opposing a “Year of the Koran” resolution, which I wholeheartedly would, I must also oppose a “Year of the Bible” resolution.

(Concerning handing out Bibles and receiving biblical instruction in government schools, Christian parents can provide such instruction in the home, or send kids to Christian schools, or home-school their kids, which I highly recommend for Christian parents in any case.)

Mealy-Mouth Apology Makers Make Me Sick

Carrie PrejeanBut Miss California is good for my health.

When asked a question about homosexual “marriage” by a homosexual gossip blogger “Perez Hilton,” who, inexplicably, was a judge in the Miss USA pageant, Carrie Prejean provided a “controversial” answer:

“We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. [Nope, and that’s the way it should remain. She meant relationships, which is true.] And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

She was a little wobbly, but I’m sure it’s because the question caught her off guard. Despite her nervousness, she said what she believes. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Watch her Today show segment: “[B]iblically correct, not politically correct…I was true to myself.” And she talks about speaking to young people and being able to tell them to stand up for what they believe. On NATIONAL TV, no less. Love you, girl!

“Perez Hilton” has been on almost every network morning show and cable news show. That they gave the hypocrite a platform for his rude, crude, and moronic ramblings is most frustrating. But ratings rule.

This is sort of old news, but I’m blogging it now to reiterate a point. Apologize if you accuse someone of something and find out later you were wrong about the facts. Do not apologize for stating your beliefs and opinions or if someone is “offended” by them. I so admire people who stand by their convictions in the face of ridicule, criticism, and jackassery. This may be vulgar of me to write (let alone say out loud), but over the years I’ve been tempted to offer my backside to people who’ve sent me hate e-mail informing me of how “offended” they are by my views.

God has graciously exercised a restraining hand, tempering the snark and channeling it into more productive and edifying pursuits.

Again, don’t apologize for holding or stating your opinions. You think the other side even thinks about doing the same? Stand firm. Be strong. The truth will out, indeed.

Related posts:

Joel Rosenberg is Awesome

The Ezekiel OptionI’ve been under the weather for a couple of weeks. Wicked cough, constricted breathing. Doc says it’s probably just a bad cold. Meds are helping a bit. Man, I hate being sick. 🙁

But I’m getting a lot of reading done. 🙂

Last month, I blogged about Joel Rosenberg‘s non-fiction book, Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East will Change Your Future. I was curious about it, so I picked it up from the library. Couldn’t put it down. See Joel Rosenberg and the Scriptural Lens.

Now I’m reading his novels, which are political thrillers based on biblical prophecy. Just finished The Ezekiel Option, which ended with a wild cliffhanger, and will start reading The Copper Scroll this weekend. Next week, Dead Heat.

Christian Fathers of Daughters

What He Must BeUnfortunately, too many children grow up not knowing their fathers or visiting them only a few times a month. Children with fathers who not only love them and live under the same roof, but who love their mothers, are fortunate indeed.

No matter what your marital or residential status is, you can still do the right thing by your children, especially daughters. A long time ago and far, far away, fathers used to serve as a filter, so to speak, something or someone a boy/young man had to pass through to get to the girl/young woman.

In those ancient of days, young men were intimindated by fathers, and rightly so. They had to present their case and listen to fathers lecture them about how they expected their daughters to be treated. Do fathers still do that? I know, I’m so retro.

For Christian fathers of daughters looking for guidance, help has arrived in the form of What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter, by pastor and author Voddie Baucham, Jr. God has a clear picture of the role a father and husband plays in the home. Baucham breaks down the picture into 10 godly qualities fathers should look for in a future son-in-law. Among these are:

He must be a Christ follower;
He must be prepared to lead;
He must lead like Christ;
He must be committed to children (which includes a commitment to have them, invest in them, and support them).

In each category, Baucham includes arguments for these propositions and provides biblical answers to the most common objections. What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry My Daughter is based on the author’s research and interviews, and he included personal anecdotes about being a father to four children. By the way, the book also serves as a guideline on how to raise godly sons…extremely important

North Dakota Lawmakers Say Fertilized Egg is Person

It’s too good to be true and likely won’t become a law, but for now, it’s golden. North Dakota lawmakers just passed a bill (51 to 41) that defines a fertilized egg as a human being with all the rights of a “person.” (Source)

While it didn’t take a bill to declare a fertilized egg human (because it is human, as opposed to canine), the language of the measure directly challenges Roe v. Wade.

If the state senate passes the bill, it won’t become law unless the governor signs it. The bill outlaws abortion; that’s why the governor won’t sign it. Selfish, irresponsible, and amoral men and women will fight like hell to keep child killing legal, and too many judges (and governors) agree with Roe‘s tortured ruling. Supreme Court justices found a way to justify murder by declaring that the Constitution contains a “right to privacy” (which it does not) that includes killing babies in utero.

fetus 6 to 8 weeksIf I were queen of the world, I’d outlaw child killing at all stages of pregnancy. Once a woman made the decision to have intercourse, her choices were made. The choice she has once a human being is growing inside her is to carry the baby to term, be a parent to him, or give him to an intact family.

Since I’m not queen of the world, the best I hope for is: 1) Roe is overturned; 2) people will give generously to pregnancy crisis centers that talk women out of killing their children and offer financial and psychological help. Most of all I hope: 3) churches make this a high priority issue; 4) Christ followers warn these lost women of the consequences of this and other sins and; 5) Christ followers tell them how to avoid God’s just punishment.

Joel Rosenberg and the Scriptural Lens

Epicenter***Scroll down for updates***

I’m embarrassed to admit I only recently heard of Joel Rosenberg, a Jewish evangelical Christian who writes biblical speculative political thrillers in the “what if” fashion. I haven’t read his novels, yet, but I’m fascinated by his non-fiction book (can’t put it down!), Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East will Change Your Future. (Israel is the epicenter of the world, Jerusalem is the epicenter of Israel, and the Temple Mount is the epicenter of Jerusalem.)

Rosenberg’s novels seem to stay one step ahead of events in the Middle East. In fact, some call him a modern-day Nostradamus. For example, the day Islamofacists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, Rosenberg was working on a novel about Islamofacists attacking an American city.

He’s not a genius or a psychic; he reads and understands biblical prophecy.

In Epicenter, Rosenberg tells the story of how he came to write fiction based on biblical prophecies. In 1992, he read Coming Peace in the Middle East, by Tim LaHaye of Left Behind fame. The book was about the future rise of a military alliance between Iran and Russia and a period of peace and prosperity in Israel. As Rosenberg notes, the former seemed ludicrous. In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union was no more. With its missiles dismantled, it was hardly a threat to anyone, especially Israel. Where did Tim LaHaye get such an idea?

Ezekiel 36 and 37.

Allow me to digress. Even if you only scan defense news headlines, you know Russia is resurgent, and something’s brewing between the former Soviet Union and Iran. Additionally, the U.S. has signed agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic to build missile defense shields in those countries to protect them if Iran attacks. Russia has threatened to deploy missiles to the Polish border if the U.S. continues its course of action. So far, President Barack Obama, unlike President George Bush, appears ready to appease Russia.

I’ll bet you didn’t know Cold War II was underway, did you? I ghost-blog about missile defense, so I’m knee-deep in the muck.

Back to Rosenberg. People are accustomed to analyzing world events through the lenses of economics and politics, he says. But there’s a third lens we can’t afford to ignore: Scripture. Bible-believing and reading Christians know what God teaches about the fate of Israel and her enemies. God promised that Israel would become a nation again, and a prosperous one, and that’s exactly what happened. In 1948, after 2,000 years of dispersal, the State of Israel was established. Jews from all over the world poured into their homeland. The nation is rebuilding former desolate cities and has become wealthy.

Ezekiel prophesied that Israel would be wealthier than even King Solomon. LaHaye speculated that Israel would discover oil. Rosenberg thought it was ridiculous, but in 2000, LaHaye’s prediction came true.

Much, much more to say on this, of course, but I want you to read it for yourselves. Looking through the lenses of economics, politics, and Scripture, Rosenberg lays out and analyzes ten future headlines about events in the Middle East. He isn’t the first to look to Scripture to understand world events, of course, but his foreign policy experience and engaging writing style makes it all the more…interesting, to use a generic word. Buy a copy of Epicenter today.

Update: More stories like this, please: Tass Saada, a former Muslim and hater of Jews and Christians, was redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. (Hat tip: Digital Karen via Twitter)

Christian Thinking Bad Thoughts

murdererChristians aren’t supposed to wish that certain people were going to hell or to show hostility in public, lest it might ruin our testimonies and/or turn people away from Christ. At the risk of ruining mine and repelling the unrepentant, let me say publicly on this blog that I wish something very, very bad happens to the heartless idiots involved in throwing away a living baby born during a “botched” abortion. (Source)

I’m late on this, and you probably know the facts. An 18-year-old exercised her “right” to kill her unborn child. Sycloria Williams was 22 (or 23, depending on the source) weeks pregnant. She’d met with the “doctor” days before, and he gave her drugs to dilate her cervix for an easier kill. The next day she went to a clinic for the slaughter. She was given meds to induce labor.

Five hours later, with no abortionist present, she gave birth to a girl. Employee Belkis Gonzalez (Oh, the language I want to use right now!) cut the umbilical cord and didn’t clamp it. I read somewhere that the baby was writhing and struggling to breathe. Good Lord. Gonzalez put the living child into a biohazard bag that contained a “caustic chemical.” You can read the rest. I’m trying not to lose my religion.

It doesn’t matter whether a 23-week-old fetus is viable. The point is there was chance for that baby to live. Former labor and delivery nurse and blogger Jill Stanek has more.

baby at 23 weeksBlah, blah, blah, the doctor didn’t have a medical license. He was sued for medical malpractice. Frankly, I don’t care. Here’s what I don’t get: Williams went to the clinic for an abortion, but she’s now suing her abortionist for murdering her child. Wait…what? So if the killer had torn the baby to pieces vacuuming her out of the womb and rinsing her down a sink, that wouldn’t have been murder? Murder committed in the womb is choice, but murder committed outside the womb is…?

(Pictured: baby at 23 weeks)

This child killing is a bad business, to understate it, and I’m sickened every time I hear the freaking word choice in the context of this heinous act. Yeah, I know I’m supposed to say, “May God have mercy on your soul” or share the Gospel with these lost souls or something sweet like that. But you know what? I’m going to spend the next few hours imagining these people stuttering before God as they try to explain themselves.

“Well see, God, what had happened was…”

The thought gives me pleasure. Wrong? Probably. But the truth stands: There will be an accounting.

I, too, am a sinner and undeserving of God’s forgiveness. But God saw fit to send his Son Jesus Christ to bear the punishment for my sins. Because of his blood, I won’t get what I deserve. Perhaps he’ll have mercy on the fools involved in this case. Sin is sin.

Why did he choose me? I don’t know. I’ll ask him one day.

Addendum: A Twitter follower writes: “Deut 27:25 ‘Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.’ – No need for us to wish bad for them.”

Conservatives and Christians in Hollywood

Patricia HeatonBruce WillisHollywood leans left. It’s as certain as taxes and death. But I’m convinced there are enough influential right-leaning folks in Hollywood (Clint Eastwood, Kelsey Grammer, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Jon Voight, Gary “Sirius Black” Oldman, Gary Sinise, and James Woods, to name a few) with the power to push “conservative” projects. In fact, the task might be easier if more Hollywood conservatives came out of the closet.

Right-leaning actors and decision-makers do exist, though they’re not as vocal as their liberal counterparts. Perhaps Big Hollywood will encourage conservatives in Tinseltown to talk about their views loud and often. Just shut up and entertain, you say? Like it or not, political ideologies shape the entertainment culture and influence what’s produced in Hollywood.

Read the rest.

Update: Related: A Wall Street Journal article titled, “What Christians Watch.”

Doug TenNapel on the Meaning of Tolerance

Fireproof Facing the Giants Flywheel

As reasonable people know, “tolerance” doesn’t mean acceptance. For example, I tolerate — or “put up with” — the fact that people are free to do whatever legal thing they wish to do, but I don’t accept whatever they choose to do. I tolerate differences, but that doesn’t mean I consider all differences good or worthy of appreciation.

In our relative-rubbish society, the definition of tolerance has shifted. It now means acceptance of any and all behaviors and lifestyles. Ironically, the new meaning of tolerance doesn’t extend to Christians or conservatives. Graphic novelist and artist Doug TenNapel, writing for new conservative site Big Hollywood, says it better than I do:

“I once had a meeting with an executive regarding one of my graphic novels that had been optioned. This exec started the writer’s meeting with a few notes to change some rough spots in the story. This is normal procedure with my work. I have no problem with making these changes, since it’s part of the game given where I’m at in my career. They pay me lots of money so I like these execs when I’m sentenced to work with them. I was taken aback by the first round of notes that went something like this, ‘For starters, we’re gonna get rid of all this Christian shit from the story, right?’

“The exec informed me that religious imagery didn’t sell to American audiences, that it was intolerant and it definitely didn’t export. This was before ‘The Passion of the Christ’ so I can forgive his ignorance of the world’s most popular religion, but it was the word intolerant that struck me. How was the inclusion of religion not tolerant while the removal of it was?

“This is my baptism into the myopic view of religion by most of my friends in Hollywood. For being multicultural, the lack of humility regarding a religion they didn’t know or understand is…is…well, these days it’s typical.”

Now that I’m living so close to Hollywood, I plan to write more about Christians in the industry and how they’re treated. Since I briefly mentioned Christian entertainment in Hollywood, readers have sent lots of links to valuable resources: groups for Christ-following screenwriters, producers, actors in Hollywood…a whole world I never knew existed.

Big Hollywood and Off-Blog Stuff

***Scroll down for updates***

By now you’ve probably heard about Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood” project, which he hopes “will help challenge the status quo in what he believes has been a one-party, left-tilting town.” (Source)

Conservative, moderate, and libertarian folks in Hollywood will offer their commentary on the industry. Big Hollywood probably will look like a right-leaning Huffington Post. Speaking of HuffPo, Breitbart, an editor for The Drudge Report, also helped create Arianna Huffington’s left-leaning site. Hey, business is business!

Kirk Cameron in 'Fireproof'Right-leaning actors do exist, though they’re not as vocal as their liberal counterparts. Perhaps Big Hollywood will bring more of them out of the closet.

What I’d really like to see, however, is more Christian entertainment in Hollywood. Why, you may ask, would Christians want to be part of an industry that is anti-Christian? I submit that instead of retreating, Christians should be salt and light, even in Hollywood, and smuggle in the Gospel.

Come to think of it, the message doesn’t have to be subtle. Look at Kirk Cameron’s “Fireproof.” The message of Jesus Christ was overt, and that film, with a budget of $500,000, raked in $33.1 million at the box office. (Also see Cinematic Christian soldiers in S.A.)

Is La-La Land any less a mission field than Africa? A heathen is a heathen, whether or not he’s got indoor plumbing and plenty of food and clean water.

I’m working on a related piece for Pajamas Media. In the meantime, check out my recent contributions to Pajamas Media and Townhall. More to come.

Update: A reader sent a link to the Hollywood Prayer Network.

I linked to an article about a Christian film festival. Christian homeschooling blogger Laurie Bluedorn writes: “My kids just got back from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Our sons’ web site was one of the sponsors.”

See Christian Filmakers and festival photos here and here.