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Posts Tagged ‘society’

students walking to schoolThere is a lot of concern today about bullying.  I remember being bullied when I was in elementary and middle school.  Most of my friends were bullied in one way or another, too.

But bullying has become a political buzzword used by people with a view of children, marriage, family, education, law, and society that opposes God.

In Minnesota, pastors are rallying to speak against a potential “anti-bullying” bill currently under consideration. A close friend of mine is part of this group of men who not only stand upon the wall but, after sounding the alarm, come down to enter the fray.  My friend is a former missionary to Brazil.  He recognizes spiritual warfare.  He serves today as a missionary to former Soviet-occupied countries in Eastern Europe and Russia.  He is aware of manipulative tactics.  My friend knows how societies can collapse upon themselves when evil is not resisted.

What follows is a portion of the letter being sent to pastors in Minnesota.  Would you please take a moment to read it?  I know it matters to me.  Why?  Because my younger son and daughter live in Minnesota with their young family.  Because many young friends of mine have children in the Minnesota public schools.  And because the state now facing an “anti-bullying” law is neither the first nor the last.  Here’s the letter:

We are accustomed to a culture that has historically supported morality and ethics that have flowed out of our Judeo-Christian heritage.  As we are painfully aware these values are crumbling fast. Perhaps out of some discomfort or habit or fear of upsetting some of our members we have remained silent regarding these issues.  Our silence is now being construed as condoning these issues and of having our young students indoctrinated with yet another destructive immorality.

On the morning of January 30, 2014, a group of pastors will gather to become more educated about the “anti-bullying” bill that will come before our legislators in February of 2014. This educational opportunity is designed for our clergy to get first hand knowledge about a proposed law that will directly and profoundly affect our church members as well as our teachers and administrators in both public and private schools.

Many of us were bullied when we were in grade school, middle school and high school. It really didn’t matter if you were tall or short, fat or skinny. Whether you did or did not wear glasses or braces it really didn’t matter. If you were shy or nerdy, pimple faced or buck teethed you were a target for the bully. Most everyone growing up, for one of these reasons or another, was occasionally harassed, intimidated and in other words bullied.

Today, the word bully is the newest political buzzword. Daily, our teachers and school administrators are bombarded with a barrage of a variety of bulling accusations. A new “anti-bullying” bill has already been written and will most likely be brought before our legislators in February of 2014. However, this bill is NOT about stopping bullying. In this legislation it intentionally excludes traditional bullying and only protects those students who are LGBT (an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender). This proposed “anti-bullying” legislation does little to address the universal problem of bullying. Rather, it is disguised as a protection for your child but in reality is just more pressure from the homosexual community pushing their agenda on our culture. You can go to this website and watch a video that will help you better understand what this bill is really about. http://mnchildprotectionleague.com/activist-central/

I have seen the pictures and held the book, It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robbie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, proposed as a part of a curriculum for K-12. You can find it on amazon.com. It has cartoon pictures of grade school children masturbating, naked pictures of young boys and girls, a couple having sex. Why should a 3rd grade boy or girl be exposed to this pornographic material? A pastor would be dismissed if this material were found on his computer.  Yet, Governor Mark Dayton has already agreed to sign House File 826 (HF 826), the proposed “anti-bullying” legislation. Why? Could it be that his real intention is to redefine bullying and to “transform” our educational system? 

Minnesota law already requires schools to implement anti-bullying policies and we have several laws in place to protect every child in our schools. Teachers do not need    another law to follow. Our teachers already have enough to do in the classroom. This bill will only serve to handcuff teachers more and to pit our parents and students against our teachers. What’s more frightening is that this is all done in secret as the parents are not to be informed when their child has been pulled out of the classroom and disciplined for bulling another student. Can this really be true? Yes. I read the proposed bill and that is exactly what it says.

I’m not a citizen of Minnesota.  I suppose I could say that what happens in Minnesota stays in Minnesota.  But I know better, don’t you?

So, I am speaking up… not against people but against ungodly ideas.  Followers of Christ are not called to change the world, but we are called to resist evil and choose life.  The impact is generational.

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bride & groom at altarDefenders of marriage at the Family Research Council recently posted a blog entitled “Why Marriage Should Be Privileged in Public Policy.”  What follows is a brief excerpt.

Marriage is the most important social act, one that involves much more than just the married couple. To begin with, extended families are merged and renewed through a wedding. It is also through marriage that the community and the nation are renewed. A new home is formed when a couple marries, one open to the creation of new life. These children are the future. Marriage also has beneficial social and health effects for both adults and children, and these gifts benefit the community and the whole society. Conversely, it is through the breakdown of marriage that society is gravely harmed. The future of the nation depends on the creation of good marriages and good homes for children.

Among marriage’s many benefits to society is an increased respect for and protection of human life, since married women are less likely to abort their children than are unmarried women. Married-parent families contribute to safer and better communities with less substance abuse and crime among young people, as well as less poverty and welfare dependency. Also, married parents help prevent young people from engaging in premarital sex and having out-of-wedlock births; they are also likely to produce young adults who view marriage positively and maintain life-long marriages. Marriage brings many health and economic benefits to society and helps citizens to be more involved in communities.

Because marriage serves a public purpose–namely, procreation and the benefit of children and society–government can legitimately privilege marriage and seek to strengthen it in its policies. Other relationships such as cohabitation and homosexuality do not benefit children and society, and, therefore, should not be supported by government. There is no evidence showing that these relationships have the same positive effects as marriage. In fact, there is considerable evidence that they have detrimental effects on both children and adults.

Please read the entire post on FRC’s blog.  There are a great many reasons for the government to guard marriage.  All of them have to do with the health, welfare and defense of our nation and civilization as a whole.

(Thanks, Bob, for being part of the FRC team!)

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Tom lives in the neighborhood.  Most of us see him as a quiet, non-troublesome kind of guy.   He “minds his own business.”  But, those of us who live a little closer to Tom see him making some choices that, while seemingly private, are affecting his neighbors.   It isn’t my right to tell Tom what to do in his own home, or to tell him who he should invite into his home.  But, when how he chooses to live his life encroaches on my life in a less than helpful way, then should I voice concern?

Conversations of the past have revealed that Tom and I don’t share the same faith or character.  We have built our lives on very different foundations; therefore, we not only see the world differently, we respond to the things of this world differently.   I’ll be honest.  I’m concerned about my neighbor.  I’m concerned for Tom’s sake, but also for the sake of other neighbors whom he influences. 

I don’t believe I should question my neighbor’s faith and character.  I do believe, however, that I can ask questions about his perspective on life.  His worldview.  Every caring neighbor should ask another neighbor questions about their worldview.  If we don’t ask our neighbor why he does what he does, says what he says, or lives the way he lives, then what kind of neighbor are we?  What kind of neighborhood will we jointly build up…or tear down?

Rick Santorum was recently understood to have questioned President Obama’s faith.  When criticized for his remarks, Santorum explained that he was questioning the president’s “radical” environmentalist view that “elevates the Earth above man.”  Santorum explained that he wasn’t questioning that President Obama is a Christian, but that his worldview on natural resources and how they can’t be tapped because to do so will harm the Earth is a “phony ideal.”  Santorum has also questioned the president’s worldview on the issue of abortion; most recently, in the area of insurance coverage for prenatal tests that can identify problems in unborn children.  Santorum knows for a fact that doctors “more often than not” recommend abortion when problems are discovered.

I believe that any presidential candidate – or American citizen — should be able to ask questions about their neighbor’s worldview.  In kindly doing so, he or she is simply and fairly asking: Why do you believe what you believe?  What is the source of your belief?  How does your belief serve other people?  How does your belief help us all build a better society?  After asking such questions, it is fair to say:  Here’s what I believe and why.  Here is the source of my belief.  Here is how I try to live my belief.  Now, please feel free to question me about my worldview.  Why I say what I say and do what I do.

Too many of us seem unwilling to dialogue about worldviews and how those worldviews affect neighborhoods and society as a whole.  When a person is concerned enough to speak up about health care, marriage, sexual behaviors, abortion, euthanasia, or ethics of any kind, they are quickly labeled as “judgmental.”  Care and concern are not judgmental.  Contrasting one worldview with another is not “judgmental.”  Laying something counterfeit next to the real thing is not “judgmental.”  And, you know what?  Calling something harmful or dangerous is not “judgmental.”  If it is, then every “bridge out” or “stop ahead” or “wear your seatbelt” sign should be torn down.

I’m not sure that I’ll be given the opportunity to dialogue with Tom about important matters of life.  But, if I am, I promise to take care.  To not question his faith (or lack of it) or demean his character.  Instead, I will try to ask questions.  Questions that show my interest in him as a person.  But, also questions that help Tom think about being a good neighbor.

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The word “male” (Genesis 1:27), from the Hebrew word zakar, could be translated: “the remembering one.  Isn’t this a strange description for the male?   What is it that God wants man to remember?

God’s wants man to remember His Story (history).  His instructions for life.  His warnings away from death.  Just as Adam passed on God’s Word to Eve, so is man to pass on God’s Word to his family today — sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters.  Whoa.  Stop.  Adam passed on God’s Word to Eve?

Based on Genesis 1:27, I used to assume that God made man and woman at the same time.  That God instructed them both not to eat of the one tree.  That in choosing to do so, they would know good and evil… and die.  I was ignorant of God’s Word.  I was guilty of reading one passage, but not another.  God uses the first part of Genesis, chapter 2, to give more detail on His creation.  God didn’t create man and woman at the same time — or in the same way or for the same purpose.  Eve had not yet come to be when God gave the man His instructions for life and warnings against death.  She learned of God’s Word from man.  And, in God’s order of things, she would be privileged to help him remember it.  Trust it.  Use it.

One day, Satan slithered right past the man to deceive the woman.  The twister of Truth knew that Adam was entrusted with the responsibility of remembering God’s Word so he flattered the woman.  Put her in the role of leader.  Perhaps intoxicated by this attention, she disobeyed God and doubted His Word.  In doubt, she was foolishly emboldened to not only speak for God but add her own words as if they were His.  Eve’s words should have been to her husband.  She should have beseeched him to remember God’s Word and use it to engage the enemy.  Instead, she chose to tempt man to also eat of forbidden fruit.   Adam could have resisted.  Turned Satan on his tail.  But, failing to remember God’s Word and use it, the man was ill-equipped to cover his wife.  Lead away from danger.  God held man responsible because he failed to remember.  To act.  To engage the liar with Truth.  To bring order out of chaos.

It all could have ended there.  But, God’s love for His creation endures forever.  He promised that another Man would come.   The Man who would remember the Word and use it to cover every sinful man, woman, and child.  That Man is the Word.  The Word sent from the Father to be the Savior from sin.  In Jesus Christ, man has new opportunity to remember the Word and use it.  And woman remains privileged to help man remember.

How does she do this?

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tear it down (Proverbs 12:1).

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life . . . she opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue . . . the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31).  (Note: She deserves to be praised not because she is so amazing, but because she is not deceived by the world.*)

She is reverent in behavior, not a slanderer or slave to much wine.  She teaches what is good, and so trains the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands [as to God], that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5).

Even if her husband doesn’t obey the Word, she may win him by her behavior when he sees her respectful and pure conduct . . . when she lets her adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious . . . likewise, her husband lives with her in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since she is an heir with him of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:1-7).  (No offense here!  God expresses care, not disrespect, for women because physically, women are typically smaller in size and weaker in strength which could make them vulnerable to abuse.  Husbands are not to exploit their size and strength in unkind ways.*)

A husband needs a wife who will patiently help him remember God’s Word.  Use it and pass it on.  On this earth, there is no more powerful union — for the benefit of children.  Society.  A future of hope.

*With appreciation for commentaries
from The Lutheran Study Bible

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June is the traditional month for weddings.  Marriage expectations are high.  Most brides and grooms expect to have all their hopes and needs met by the other.  Is this possible?

In God’s perfect world, yes.  In a fallen and sin-filled world, no.

Marriage was instituted by God.  It is a union of two completely different people — male and female — for the benefit of children and society.  It is a relationship that models the agape love of patience, kindness, selflessness, and faithfulness.  It builds family and community.  It mentors the vibrant and compatible roles of manhood and womanhood for generations to come.

History explains.  After God created man, He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.  I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18).  God wanted man to know that he was not yet complete.  He had no mate appropriate for him and he had no means of procreation.

Fit for him” literally means “like his opposite.”  Imagine that.  She fit perfectly with him, yet they were not the same — anatomically, hormonally, or psychologically.  With God, they would procreate new life.  She would be the vessel for the young one he would protect.

Equal, but different, the man and woman would unite in a partnership.  Their unique character traits and personalities would harmonize.  In God’s order of creation, a “helper” (Hebrew: ezer) would be an “assistant” and “ally.”  The ezerwoman would not be dissimilar from the “Helper” sent by Jesus to the disciples.  That Helper, the Holy Spirit, was called a “comforter,” “advocate,” and “encourager.”

The woman would know joy and contentment in her role of “helper.”  She would find limitless possibilities in her multi-faceted vocation.  She would help man to be a better steward over all creation.  She would help nurture all the living.  The  man would rejoice in his completeness.   He would love the woman built from his rib and guard her life as if it were his own.  He would serve not his own glory, but the glory of God (to her benefit).

In the first marriage, there was no fear.  Resentment.  Envy.  Frustration.  Anger.  Heartache.  Disappointment.

Everything changed when the first husband and wife sinned against God.  They were equally guilty, yet the consequences of their sins were as different as their natures.

Today’s bride and groom may expect to have all their needs met.  But, in a fallen and imperfect world, no person can do that for another.  Only God can and will fulfill our deepest needs.  At the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Bishop of London noted, “As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life.  This is to load our partner with too great of burden.”

Let us ease the burden with encouragement.  Sin distorts God’s perfect plan, but the original design is still in place.  It serves well when trusted.

  • A woman “fit for him” remains a husband’s opposite.  She is made to think, act, and love differently.  Sin complicates those differences.  Not only are they male and female, they have contrasting personality traits, quirks, familial histories, and experiences that may threaten to tear the marriage apart.  But, there is another choice.  With forgiveness and practice, husband and wife can merge their best qualities for the benefit of a stronger marriage.  They can stop playing “me against you” and become “we.”  They can unite as a team for the sake of their children.
  • A woman’s role still complements the man’s.  She is his “helper.”  Regardless of sin and circumstances, she has a choice: to help him be a good or poor steward; to encourage or discourage; to build up or tear down; to connect him to children or disconnect.  He has the choice to use God’s Word for life, warn against death, and cover his wife and children with his faithfulness — or not.

Equal, yet different, husband and wife have an example to follow.

Jesus is equal to God.  He is God yet, in His role as the Son, He submitted to His Father’s will in order to be the Savior of the world.  A wife who respects her husband and submits to his appropriate leadership is really submitting to God.  A man who loves his wife as Christ loved the Church is submitting himself to God.

Marriage expectations?  On this earth, husband and wife won’t make each other completely happy.  Won’t meet each others every need.  Warm fuzzies will fade.  But, Jesus in a marriage makes two “better than one.”  Opposites who glorify God rather than self change the environment.  Root deeper.  Build stronger.  Persist against every foe.

A threefold cord (God, man and woman) is not quickly broken” (Eccl. 4:12).

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Twisted feminism is foolish.  It puts civilization in harm’s way.

It is foolish to believe that a woman can have freedom only if her child is aborted.  It is foolish to believe that men and women are the same.  It is foolish to fantasize women warriors.

“The ancient tradition against the use of women in combat embodies the deepest wisdom of the human race.  It expresses the most basic imperatives of group survival: a nation or tribe that allows the loss of large numbers of its young women runs the risk of becoming permanently depopulated,” writes George Gilder in Men and Marriage.

“Beyond this general imperative is the related need of every society to insure that male physical strength and aggressiveness are not directed against women . . . All civilized societies train their men to protect and defend women.  When these restraints break down . . . the group tends to disintegrate completely and even to become extinct.”

What about the so-called successful use of women in today’s military?  It, writes Gilder, “depends on men overcoming their natural impulse to treat women differently and more considerately.  The consequence of this latest demand for equality would be nothing more or less than a move toward barbarism.”

I like George Gilder.  Again and again I return to “Men and Marriage” because, from a purely sociological and economic perspective, Gilder explains how the foolishness of women competing with men ravages family and destroys harmony.  If my sources are correct, Gilder became a Christian later in life.  (What God has created is naturally revealed unless our eyes are shut and minds are closed.)

“Women in combat” is one of the “hot button issues” discussed during a Titus 2 Retreat.   The topic stirs mixed feelings.  Some believe women don’t belong in combat because they don’t have the physical capacity to endure the rigorous standards of training or the hardships of war.  Some believe it’s a woman’s “right” to defend her country and that she can do so as well as a man.  Others note that “modern” warfare is more technological than “front-line.”

Generally speaking, there is significant difference between male and female bone and muscle structure.  This reality has undermined the rigors of basic training and is why Stephanie Gutmann titled her book A Kinder, Gentler Military.  Of course, the physical strength argument can be countered with examples of women who have developed body strength and can keep up with men.

There is also sexual attraction between men and women.  Putting men and women together for training and in combat creates an environment in which each are vulnerable to sexual misconduct and abuse.  But, this argument can be countered with the practice of self-control.

So, for me, the question isn’t, “Can women be in combat?”  The question is, “Should women be in combat?”  I enter this discussion from my vocation or role of “helper” (Hebrew: ezer).  That’s what God created woman to be.  I am a helper for man and, therefore, for all that man is called by God to do.  Will I help for good, or for harm?  Away from temptation, or into?  With focus on others, or self?  Nurture life, or put it at risk?

I pause to let you ponder.  But, there’s much more to consider… in another post.

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“The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing . . . she takes a seat on the highest places of the town” (Proverbs 9:13-14).

“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down” (Proverbs 14:1).

These verses, inspired so long ago, describe the feminist movement of today.  As a  young wife and mom, I know some of my thinking was shaped by twisted feminism.  But, my eyes were opened by a variety of experiences: my own and those of other women who had taken me into their confidence.  Today, my eyes more easily see the vivid contrasts between the woman God created me to be and the woman deceived feminists think I should be.

My library contains the work of many women who’ve left the feminist movement because it was foolish.  I’ve listed a few recommendations below.   Be prepared not only for a courageous read, but to have some of  your own illusions shattered.

All of my reading tells me that the early suffragettes would find little in common with today’s feminists.  Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were pro-family (not anti-male) and were strongly opposed to abortion.  Compare them with the National Organization of Women (NOW), or the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), or Planned Parenthood (PP) whose women consider abortion their cornerstone.

Betty Friedan, author of The Feminist Mystique, never found joy: not as a girl, a daughter, a woman, a wife, or a mother.  Certainly she had choices, as we all do, but she chose to speak ill of everything womanly.  Rather than leave dysfunction behind and seek healthy mentors, she blamed society for woman’s woes.   She was “loud,” “seductive,” and “knew nothing” about the created beauty and purpose of women.  Knowing nothing, she “took a seat in the highest place of town” and led women of my mother’s and my generations into foolishness.  “It was easier for me,” Friedan wrote in her book, “to start the women’s movement than to change my own personal life.”

Folly — the woman captivated by modern feminism — has not built a house, but “with her own hands tears it down.”

Did the women who followed Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem find contentment?  Did they help women adjust attitudes away from “me” toward others?  Did they raise — or lower — the standard for women?  For men?  For children?   Did they help younger women find joy in their beautiful design or turn them against their created nature?  Did they soften or harden hearts?  Did their demand for an “equal playing field” produce victory — or defeat — for family and society?

All that I see (and that’s no exaggeration) tells me that the foolish women of the modern feminist movement opened the door to promiscuity and “friends with benefits,” girls less protected by boys and men, depression, increased vulnerability to STDs (how cruel not to tell young women that their very anatomy makes them more susceptible to sexual diseases), mothers turning hearts against their own children, an explosion of weary and lonely single moms, and no-fault divorce.

Had it with Folly?  Then, turn to Wisdom.  Wisdom is Jesus Christ.  Look up all the verses in Scripture that describe Wisdom.  The wisdom of Jesus Christ is life-changing.  Problem-solving.  Creative.  Hopeful.  Pregnant with promise.

Was feminism a mystique or a mistake?  (Read Diane Passno’s book Feminism: Mystique or Mistake?)

Who distorted what the early suffragettes believed?  (Read Christina Hoff Sommer’s book Who Stole Feminism?)

Did our own mothers forget — or refuse — to tell us something?  (Read Danielle Crittenden’s book What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us)

Is modern feminism built on a lie?  (Read Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly’s new book The Flipside of Feminism)

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