Subscribe:

Follow AforFaith on Twitter

MY OTHER BLOGS–RECENT POSTS:

Categories

-Rick Warren: “We Cannot Cave on This Issue”

by Dr. D ~ November 21st, 2014

220px-Pastor_Rick_Warren_Crop

          (Picture from Wikipedia)


Speaking before a Vatican-sponsored international conference on marriage, evangelical (SBC) pastor Rick Warren spoke out in favor of traditional marriage proclaiming: 

“…we cannot cave on this issue”

Here’s the story from LifeSite News:

Speaking at Pope Francis’ Humanum conference November 17, Evangelical pastor and author Rick Warren talked about God’s plan for marriage, and along with Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore, decried the ruin of marriage resulting from today’s sexual mores.

“To redefine marriage would destroy the picture that God intends for marriage to portray, and we cannot cave on this issue,” Warren said. “It’s a picture of Christ and his Church."

"What are we going to do about this?” he said, according to a report from Christian Today. “The Church cannot cower in silence. The stakes are too high."

Never give up and never give in, was Warren’s message, saying the Church cannot be salt and light in a crumbling culture if it caves in to the sexual revolution and fails to provide a counter-cultural witness.

Warren called it a “total myth” to have to compromise and give up on biblical truth and marriage in order to evangelize.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Pastor Rick Warren is completely correct on this. Churches in America must continue to teach Biblical truth and stand for traditional Christian standards or cease being true representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ. Already some of the more liberal mainline denominations have abandoned the faith on many different levels and their approach towards acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexual clergy is only one manifestation of their departure from Biblical teaching and authority.

On this website we have recently predicted that all churches and clergy in America would soon be forced to decide between Biblical teaching and traditional marriage or whether to join with the dominant culture in the  acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexuality.  The choice is really between obeying God and his teaching or cultural accommodation. There will be consequences either way. Bottom line, there will probably be some re-positioning and re-alignment of churches over the marriage issue. Particularly within the evangelical movement.             *Top

-Catholic Priests Choose to Disobey DC Circuit Court Contraceptive Ruling

by Dr. D ~ November 19th, 2014

pfl-hp-banner

A pro-life group of Catholic priests,  Priests for Life, has chosen civil disobedience rather than compliance to a court ruling to provide birth control and abortifacients through the insurance plans for its employees. Here’s the story from Christianity Today:

The United States DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a claim from Priests for Life that it should be exempt from the Obamacare legislation on grounds of religious freedom. A three-judge panel said that the regulations "do not impose a substantial burden on the Plaintiffs’ religious exercise."

A statement from the national director of Priests of Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, Father Frank Pavone, denounced the judgement as "absurd".

"Priests for Life will not obey the mandate! Not today. Not tomorrow. Now ever!" he said.

Father Pavone also told the Washington Times that "To ask a group of priests to cooperate in the government’s plan to expand access to birth control and abortion-inducing drugs is about as contrary to religious freedom as you can get."

<Read the whole article>

Response:The DC Circuit decision is the worst so far in the cases challenging the Obamacare HHS Mandate. The DC Circuit is considered the 2nd highest court in the land but SCOTUS has already ruled on this matter and released a couple of businesses from obeying the HHS Mandate for religious reasons in the famed ‘Hobby Lobby’ case.

The Obama administration has responded with an opt out to the mandate through filing a set of paper explaining ones wish for non-compliance for religious reasons. But still the mandated contraceptive coverage would be provided but supposedly in those cases ‘for free’ by the insurance companies. However, nearly all of the religious organizations that object to the Mandate do not wish to recognize the legality of it by filing.

In any case, if insurance companies end up providing contraceptives ‘for free’ then the cost of it all will eventually be spread out among every plan the companies provide. So in the long run the religious organizations who object would end up paying for at least part of the provided contraceptive and abortifacient coverage. The naivety and the business inexperience of the president and members of his administration is glaring in this case if they actually believe that the insurance companies will pay for this coverage out of their own pockets.

Obviously this case will be appealed to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the administration responds to the civil disobedience of the Catholic priests.            *Top

-7th Circuit: Pastors Can Keep Their Housing Allowance

by Dr. D ~ November 18th, 2014

Eagle7

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court decision that would  have denied pastors their traditional tax exempt housing allowance which is normally a major part of their compensation package. Here’s the story from Christianity Today:

Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s high-profile 2013 decision that the longstanding clergy housing allowance was unconstitutional. The 60-year-old tax break excludes the rental value of a pastor’s home from their taxable income.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) challenged the law last year in Wisconsin, and federal district judge Barbara Crabb agreed that the allowance violates the First Amendment because it provides “a benefit to religious persons and no one else, even though doing so is not necessary to alleviate a special burden on religious exercise.”

Her November 2013 ruling… ended up "sending shockwaves through the religious community," … The housing allowance is "the most important tax benefit available to ministers," according to GuideStone Financial Resources.

In response, a broad spectrum of religious groups and the Obama administration urged the appeals court to reconsider.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is good news for thousands of pastors and ministers. Also for church boards trying to find ways to fairly compensate them for the huge number of hours they usually put in helping others. It is also nice to see the atheist group-FFRF lose one for a change. Note that even the Obama administration came out against the original decision and pushed for it to be overturned.

The following is part of my response to the original ruling:

Many churches own the houses that the pastors and ministers live in. This is particularly true among the Catholics. How this would be accounted for under a new ruling is unknown.

Fact is one of the reasons that pastors and ministers receive the allowances in the first place is that the minister’s homes are not just strictly private residences but usually function as smaller church meeting venues for counseling, Bible and prayer meetings, and for leadership gatherings. Also many pastors have their offices in their homes and how all of these different uses would be accounted for when it comes to taxes could be rather problematic and in final analysis would end up putting pastors and ministers at a distinct disadvantage rather than the claimed ‘benefit’ that they now receive. 

Finally I really do question whether the writers of the Constitution envisioned that the First Amendment would ultimately be used to combat and diminish religion in America and put ministers at a disadvantage.

This issue may not be completely over if the FFRF tries to appeal it to SCOTUS. However, it is doubtful that the Supremes will take it on in which case this decision should stand.             *Top

-SBC President Pleads for Churches to Pray for Another Great Awakening

by Dr. D ~ November 13th, 2014

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is pleading and encouraging and calling the 46,000 churches in his denomination and beyond to “extraordinary prayer” for revival and another Great Awakening. Here’s the message from his blog:

book-pleading-page

<Read the whole message>

He has also made available his complete message in an 16 page e-book which can be downloaded for free:

Pleading-with-Southern-Baptists-Cover-Blog-209x300

Response: I would like to see and plead with other denominational leaders and non-denominational pastors all across America to follow Dr. Floyd’s lead.  We have long held that revival and a new Awakening is needed now in America as never before.

The nation is currently going through radical cultural changes that could make it very difficult for conservative Bible believing Christians in the future. Political power and pressure will never bring the nation back to its Biblical foundations. Our only hope now is that the Holy Spirit will sweep once more across our great nation and bring revival and another Great awakening.            *Top

-National Cathedral to Host a Friday Muslim Prayer Service

by Dr. D ~ November 11th, 2014

250px-WashingtonNationalCathedralHighsmith15393v

The National Cathedral in Washington DC is going to host a Muslim prayer service on Friday. About 100 Muslim leaders are expected to attend the service which will be  closed to the public. Here’s the story from the Washington Post:

Washington National Cathedral, known for presidential funerals and other major spiritual services, will host a Muslim prayer service for the first time Friday.

… organizers said Monday that they are seeking to make a statement by having Muslim leaders come and hold their midday service in such a visible Christian house of worship.

“We want the world to see the Christian community is partnering with us and is supporting our religious freedom in the same way we are calling for religious freedom for all minorities in Muslim countries,” said Rizwan Jaka, a spokesman with the prominent ADAMS mosque in Sterling, Va., one of the co-sponsors of Friday’s service. “Let this be a lesson to the world.”

…“This is a dramatic moment in the world and in Muslim-Christian relations,” (Ebrahim) Rasool (South African Ambassador) said in a prepared statement. “This needs to be a world in which all are free to believe and practice and in which we avoid bigotry, Islamaphobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christianity and to embrace our humanity and to embrace faith.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: I would like to say that this service is a good thing and marks cooperation between two faiths. However, the event will be viewed in a number of very different ways around the world.

In America and in Western nations it will be looked upon positively as an affirmation of religious liberty, and an example of cooperation between religions in the face of bigotry and prejudice. However there is another very different message that most Muslims around the world will receive from the event. After all the National Cathedral (even though it is an Episcopal church) represents the head church in America. They will see it as Islam progressing and finally receiving more power and influence in this nation. The symbolism is unmistakable. In some ways it will be seen as ‘planting a flag’ and claiming the land for Islam in the future.

The Muslim leaders claim that the service will be good example to Muslims around the world that religious freedom should be extended to religious minorities like Christians in the Middle East. Which sounds well and good to Western and American ears. If that was the real and complete intent than the ADAMS mosque would also be hosting a Christian service. That is not going to happen but would be a real demonstration of interfaith cooperation.

Why is it that cooperation only goes one direction when it comes to Islam? Churches and synagogues are asked to host Muslim prayer services but the opposite never happens? Christian and Jewish leaders are also invited to attend Muslim services and conferences but when did a Muslim religious leader attend a Christian service? Rare for sure and never in a synagogue. The answer to why is found in the Quran and its primacy doctrine that requires Islam to always be in a dominate position over other religions.

The Christian leaders involved are doing so with only the greatest intensions reflecting the teaching of Jesus even if they are somewhat naïve. The Muslims leaders on the other hand are undoubtedly fully aware of how it will be received by their people and seen as a victory for Islam.           *Top

-Sweden Has 55 ‘No-Go’ Muslim Zones Where Sharia Law Rules

by Dr. D ~ November 10th, 2014

EurabiaMap

Political correctness and ‘multiculturalism’ has produced 55 ‘no-go’ zones in Sweden that are essentially Muslim micro-states where sharia law rules. Here’s the story from Investor’s Business Daily:

…There are Muslim enclaves where postal, fire and other essential services — even police officers themselves —require police protection.

A police report released last month identifies 55 of these "no-go zones" in Sweden. These zones are similar to others that have popped up in Europe in recent years. They formed as large Muslim populations emigrating to politically correct and tolerant European states refuse to assimilate and set up virtual states within a state where the authorities fear to tread.

Soeren Kern of the Hudson Institute has documented the proliferation of these zones. They are de facto Muslim micro-states under Shariah law that reject Western values, society and legal systems. In these districts non-Muslims are expected to conform to the dictates of fundamentalist Islam or face violent consequences.  …

Muslim immigration to Sweden has been fostered by an open-border asylum policy.

<Read the whole article>

Response: These types of Muslim ‘no-go’ sharia zones are popping up all over Europe now. This story is about Sweden but similar zones are in nearly every European nation. They really do pose an actual ‘Trojan Horse’ threat to the future of the host country. With the indigenous European growth rate at near zero, in 20 or 30 years the fast growing Muslim population will begin to dominate the culture and governance of Europe. In Italy the Muslims are already talking about surrounding the Vatican and making it a ‘hostage’ island. If this trend continues where will that leave the USA internationally in the next generation?

This has not happened in the US yet and it should never be tolerated as long as our laws and Constitution are enforced. However some things happening in places like Dearborn, Michigan and in some neighborhoods in Detroit are disturbing with the Muslim ‘call to prayer’ blasting forth on load speakers for all to hear- believers and infidels alike.

In America we have freedom of religion guaranteed in the Constitution and everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. However, Islam brings with it a competing jurisprudence system called Sharia where men and women and children are all treated different. Also where Sharia rules, unbelievers have fewer rights and are expected to comply to the religious rules regardless. The point is, Sharia is obviously incompatible with American law and traditions. Muslims are free follow their religion in America but they must also follow American laws like everyone else.

Sharia should never be allowed to formally or even be informally imposed upon or rule in any town or jurisdiction in the USA. Even in areas where Muslims are the majority. A separate and competing system of law cannot be allowed to be established in America. Particularly the kind that we see in Europe where bands of thugs have created and enforced ‘no-go’ Sharia zones. Our future depends upon it.             *Top

-6th Circuit: The People Have a Right to Decide the Marriage Question

by Dr. D ~ November 6th, 2014

blackwhite

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in favor of four states which define marriage as between one man and one woman. The majority in this case believe that the people should have a right to decide this important social question rather than a bunch of lawyers and judges. Here’s the story from the SCOTUS blog:

Breaking ranks with a wide array of other federal courts, and coming close to setting up almost certain review by the Supreme Court, a divided federal appeals court in Cincinnati on Thursday upheld bans on same-sex marriage in four states.  Dividing two to one, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned lower-court rulings in cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.  …

The decision was based largely on the two-judge majority’s view that the question whether to move the nation toward same-sex marriage in every state is for the people or the states, and not for judges applying the national Constitution.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, the author of the main opinion, wrote:  “When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers.  Better, in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is a great decision. It should force SCOTUS to finally make a definitive ruling on marriage since the 6th Circuit resolution differs from the decisions of three other circuit courts.

If you read nearly all of the media accounts of this decision they claim that the ruling is against gay marriage. Actually the ruling merely supports and recognizes the democratic process involved in passing the laws in four states supporting traditional marriage.

This court and ruling is in agreement with my own long time contention that the definition or re-definition of marriage should be decided by the people and their duly elected representatives and not by activist judges or by judicial fiat.            *Top