Tag Archive for: Biblical Worldview

God Is Love: Do You Realize How Amazing That Is?

Unbelievers all seem to have their own ideas of who or what God is. For many, they claim He doesn’t exist. For others, He does exist, but He’s not active in creation in any personal way. Then there are some who believe, if He exists, He would have to be some kind of tyrannical, destructive, selfish, mean dictator — otherwise how do you explain pain, disease, natural disasters, starvation, and human suffering?

At least, that’s what I’ve heard on more than one occasion. But I think it goes without saying that no unbeliever can be faulted for their view of God — whatever it may be — because they don’t know Him. And they don’t understand sin.

Romans 1 says all are “without excuse” in terms of the existence of God, but a tree isn’t going to transmit the Gospel of John or the Old Testament into anyone’s soul. Considering the pretenses of the unconverted, it also goes without saying that God is not going to seem loving to them. After all, “A god that allows any kind of evil could not possibly be loving.” Moreover, “A god who sends people to hell could not possibly be loving.”

Unpacking those arguments against God would require their own articles. However, reflecting on how unbelievers define Him made me realize something: How amazing is it that God is not like that? That He is just toward the wicked, and wrathful toward sin, and yet, He is a loving Father. You don’t know this until you know Him by being in a relationship with Him. And even then, I believe we undermine how significant this truly is.

R.C. Sproul, pastor and theologian, once said, “[A]n evangelist can always get a crowd if he continually speaks in meaningless terms about the love of God.” In other words, it’s easy to be flippant because, as he continued to say, “I don’t think there’s any word in the English language that’s been stripped of the depth of meaning such as that word love.” These statements are pulled from his sermon series, “Loved by God,” in which he emphasized the crucial distinction between secular love and biblical love — more specifically, the slippery slope of viewing biblical love through the lens of secular love. It’s a conflation we ought to avoid.

When we view the love of God by any secular standard or definition, we flatten it. We strip it of its magnitude, and we only do ourselves a disservice in the process. Yes, to some extent, our perspectives will always be tainted by our finite understandings, but we (particularly believers) should strive to understand Scripture as it pertains to its holy Author, not by its flawed readers. The reason why Sproul emphasized the common misuse of the word “love” is because, in relation to God, it should cause us to be dumbfounded. Truly analyzing the love of God should leave us breathless and in awe.

God could have been all wrath, all fury, all judgement, and all the things many unbelievers make Him up to be. But instead, even before the foundation of the world, He is (and will always be) love. He didn’t need to create us, because even before us, He, the Son, and the Spirit all had their being within one another — the perfect and holy Trinity. However, He chose to create us. And the Garden of Eden was one of His first depictions of love toward us because it was a depiction of how things were supposed to be. Work was not laborious but enjoyable. Adam and Eve could walk with God, unhindered, in the cool of the day. Sin had not flooded into the earth, which meant there was no separation between the Creator and His created beings.

But God also showed us His love by giving us free will, even though Adam and Eve used that free will to rebel against Him. However, their rebellion is what led to the most perfect display of love we could ever fathom both in the macro and the micro sense of the term.

In love, God made a plan to redeem us. He sent down His Son, who then walked among us, despised and rejected. The Son of Man was mocked, beaten, and scorned by the men of earth. He stripped Himself of His glory, faced the complete wrath of His Father, and died an indescribably painful death. He suffered in more ways than one, but in no way greater than by taking on the sins of all mankind to make us right with God. He rose again on the third day and shortly after ascended to the right hand of the Father.

And still, we were not left alone.

The Spirit of God flooded the earth and now dwells in those who believe. So, even amid the horrors of this life — the pain, suffering, illnesses, disasters, wars, and persecution — we have never been left alone. The unbeliever could never understand how these evils only exist because of sin. Nor could they understand how much they reveal God’s love and goodness.

But you see it, right? Even before the fall, God already had a plan to restore the perfect union represented in the garden to an even greater capacity. He has never stopped pursuing His people. All of time portrays the message of Romans 8:35-39:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

My God is Love. He sent His own Son to die for me. He is faithful, merciful, and gracious to ensure nothing could separate us from Him. The God I serve is patient when I fall short. He is tender and kind. My God is sovereign and holds me in His righteous right hand. He walks me through the valley of the shadow of death. He keeps me afloat in the bottomless pool and unscathed in the middle of the fire. He disciplines and guides me when I go astray. Even when I ignore or disobey, He remains planted with arms wide open, ready to embrace even the most dreadful of sinners.

All of this is true because my God is love.

Sproul said no word is more stripped of its meaning than the word “love,” because there are no number of words that could do it justice. But this I know: If you really pay attention to the love of God and it doesn’t leave you starstruck, then you’re either reading it with too much of a secular understanding or you’re simply serving the wrong god.

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: CDC: Teen Girls Say Their Faith Is the Top Reason They Haven’t Had Sex

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Plague of Subjectivity Causes the ‘Death of Truth’

The “my truth” movement is merely subjectivity cloaked in a title I assume is meant to be empowering. But what “my truth” means is that nothing is objective, rather, everything is up to our own interpretations. It’s not empowering. It’s foolishness. A society living under such a mentality makes objective truth impossible. Anything is offensive if deemed offensive, anything is wrong if deemed wrong, and anything is hateful if deemed hateful. Yet, this same movement proclaims, “You can’t tell me I’m offensive, wrong, or hateful because it is my truth.”

I’ll tell you what “my truth” is, because, ironically, my argument is that its definition is objective: “My truth” is a plague, reflecting nothing other than the fleshly desire to govern oneself.

Gabriel Fluhrer, pastor and author, outlined the issue with “my truth” as it relates to autonomy, which comes from two Greek words that translate to “self-law.” In his book, “The Beauty of Divine Grace,” he wrote, “Our age is one that prizes unfettered autonomy” more than any other, and Jean-Paul Sartre “gave expression to autonomy’s basic creed in a 1948 speech when he cried, ‘Shape your own destiny!’”

In other words, autonomy preaches from the pulpit of the flesh, and we are vulnerable to idolizing it. As Fluhrer wrote, we were created “to be in covenant with” God, and “once we sever ourselves from Christ’s unlimited demands on our lives and pursue our own definition of happiness, things fall apart.”

As Fluhrer put it, “autonomy is the funeral of Truth with a capital T.” He deemed it the “death of truth,” because walking away from God and His word inevitably leads to relativism that states “Truth is up for grabs.” I believe it goes without saying that actual truth is only so because it does not change. It is not based on our emotions, feelings, or preferences. Real truth is objectively stagnant. But relativism throws that out the window, making us the “supreme authority” of our own lives. Fluhrer stated that “anarchy is the only logical conclusion of such thinking.”

Progressivism is the perfect example of what it looks like to stray from objectivity found in God’s Truth and cling to the subjectivity found in “my truth.”

Here are some (paraphrased) things I’ve heard the “my truth” movement claim:

There are infinite genders, and you get to choose whichever one you want to identify with.

A baby is not a baby if it is still in the womb. But even when it’s out, it’s up to you to decide if it has value.

You shouldn’t believe in an all-powerful God since that’s oppressive, but you are welcome to worship Satan, rocks, and stars.

So long as we live in this fallen world, the list will never end. But do you see the pattern? What autonomy or “my truth” proclaims is rooted in self-glorification which directly contradicts sacred Scripture. And things really do fall apart.

Blurring the reality of gender has corrupted self-image. It’s no longer that we have insecurities because we are human, but because “we are born in the wrong body.” So permanently mutilating it in the face of “gender-affirming care” is the path the world advocates. Never mind the fact it has proven to lead to further depression and anxiety, increased suicide rates, an inability to get pregnant later in life, or constant rashes, infections, and pain.

The LGBT movement destroys the purpose of marriage and parenthood. “Love is love” is an explicit mockery of God, Who is love. “You do you” is a mantra that leads to a life devoid of eternal purpose and wasted time — time perhaps filled with sex, drugs, or alcohol. Flippant premarital sex leads to broken homes and aborted children. Death and destruction are the result of straying from God’s perfect order, but society worships that death and destruction in the name of autonomy.

“It’s my life! My truth! My, my, my,” they cry.

As Fluhrer wrote, “The war is between God and self.” James asked, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:4). And Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters.” If you read Scripture, it’s blatant God’s commands oppose all desires of the flesh — it’s one of the multiple distinctions Christianity has from all other world religions.

Here are some examples of concrete Truth:

Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before me.”

“All of us must make our choice,” Fluhrer wrote. “We will either bow the knee to Christ or continue in the delusion of autonomy, which ultimately leads to judgment.” But he added that, thankfully, “this is the triune God’s world, and autonomy can never succeed against the Creator, no matter how many times it is tried by individuals or societies.”

In fact, for Fluhrer, the further culture strays from the true gospel, the more opportunity Christians have to “show how true biblical faith stands apart from the various spiritualities offered today.” He continued, “At the center of biblical faith is the life that Christ offers us, both now and after we die. Life in Christ is immeasurably rich, intoxicatingly meaningful, and infectiously contagious.”

Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, (John 14:6) and the darker the world becomes, the brighter He shines. It’s quite beautiful, should we seize the opportunity to share our faith to a world that desperately needs it. To a world that needs to surrender “my truth” for Him, who is Truth.

Fluhrer’s summary is this: “Christ alone provides the only true understanding of reality.” The plague of subjectivity can only bring death to any sense of truth or reality. Christ is the only way to a life that makes sense because, unlike the world, He is not subjective or a product of relativism. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The search for truth apart from Christ will forever fail, and any “truth” that stands today will quickly fall. That is what yesterday has repeatedly taught us.

“Where can we find refuge from the stormy seas of relativism?” Fluhrer asked. “Jesus offers us a port.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Mohler: Left-Wing Anti-Semitism Motivated by ’Hatred of God‘

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday took the rare step of rebuking his own party’s left flank for anti-Semitism, criticizing them for believing that the principle, “Injustice against one oppressed group is injustice against all … does not extend to the Jewish people.” Schumer usually deploys his speeches to benefit Democrats at Republicans’ expense, but an increasing tally of violent anti-Semitic incidents in progressive strongholds has grown too glaring to ignore. In a Thursday conversation on “Washington Watch,” Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler said left-wing attacks on Jews ultimately boiled down to their “hatred of God.”

Left-wing anti-Semitism is ironic because America’s Jewish community has “been clearly situated in the Democratic Party, most importantly since 1948, when Harry Truman, a Democratic president, recognized Israel,” noted Mohler. “You also have a concentration of Jewish population in a lot of the northern urban centers, which are predominantly Democratic,” and “Jewish culture in the United States very much associated with liberal causes.”

But Mohler wasn’t surprised by the display of anti-Semitism, ironic though it is. He described it as “deep-seated anti-Semitism that has just arisen to the surface.” Anti-Semitism is “one of the world’s oldest and certainly its most deadly hatred throughout all of human history,” said Mohler. “There’s something that is unique in terms of the hatred of the Jewish people. And you see this in the Old Testament.”

Mohler identified the root cause of anti-Semitism in the Jews’ special status as God’s chosen, or “elect,” people. “Israel is God’s elect nation. … This was the scandal of the Jewish people,” he said. And because of that, they have “basically had the antipathy of the rest of the world” directed at them since the exodus. “we see that in the anti-Semitism that has so characterized human history, even Western civilization,” Mohler continued.

“This is not, to me, just about anti-Semitism … against Jewish people. This is a spiritual issue,” said Family Research Council Action President Jody Hice, guest host of “Washington Watch.” “It is much deeper than just hatred for Jews. It is a hatred towards God. It is a hatred towards the people of God.” Mohler agreed, “By extension, yes, this is a hatred of God.”

Motivated as it is by a hatred of God, left=wing anti-Semitism would proceed to expressions of hatred toward God’s other chosen people, the Christian church, Hice predicted. “This is not going to end … with anti-Semitic behavior towards the Jews. It is going to go from there to expressions of hostility and hatred to people of faith, period. I mean, we saw this reaction to Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House most recently,” he argued. In another recent incident, “[progressive Senator] Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.] basically told [former Trump administration official Russ Vought] in a hearing, ‘You have no right to be involved in politics because of your Christian faith,’” Hice offered.

Mohler agreed that left-wing anti-Semitism will spill over into anti-Christian bias and offered yet another example to suggest it is already happening. “I saw just this morning, where there are people saying, we’ve got to forbid these Christian parents from influencing their children.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued  a proposed rule that would require foster parents to affirm the gender identity of children in their care, which critics say would exclude many Christian families from participating.

Hice noted the inexplicable phenomenon of “Democrats who seem surprised, perhaps even disappointed, by the anti-Semitism in their own party or on the Left, but they never say a word about anti-Christian sentiment.” He wondered how these Democrats could not see the connection.

“The Left consumes itself,” Mohler offered in response. “The most [vulnerable] person in America right now … is yesterday’s liberal because tomorrow’s liberal will chew him up.” His point was that today’s anti-Semitism will turn into tomorrow’s anti-Christian hatred, and the switch will leave many old-school progressives to wonder what happened. “It’s kind of like the nature of sin,” suggested Hice. “It never is content with where it currently exists. It always is going to take a step further.”

One reason why some progressives, like Schumer, don’t see a connection between anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity is because “they define a Jewish identity largely in ethnicity, which is, of course, the one thing Christians can’t do,” said Mohler, as Christianity is “made up of every tongue and tribe and people and nation.” Revelation 7:9 describes “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes.”

“I don’t think that’s legitimate,” Mohler argued. “If [Schumer] had been aware of what was going on the Left — and it’s hard for me to believe he wasn’t — then he would have to know that the cultural Marxism on the Left was turning into deep antipathy to the nation of Israel first of all, deep antipathy to the very existence of Israel … and thus opposition to Judaism.”

But Judaism is not the only religion for which cultural Marxism fosters hostility, Mohler continued. “It’s a deep antipathy towards any form of theism.” To support this contention, he noted the targets of the Left’s cancel culture. “Nobody is trying to cancel New Age prophets. No one is going after the neo-pagans of this age. They’re going after theists,” he declared.

Then, Mohler zoomed in to be even more specific. “The part of Judaism that’s most hated is Torah. It’s the law of God: ‘Thou shalt. Thou shalt not. God created human beings in his image. Male and female created he them.’ A secular progressivist Left just has to hate that,” he argued. “And they hate any form of theism because theism comes with, ‘thou shalt, and thou shalt not.’ And that’s just as true of Christianity as it is of Judaism — a very important worldview issue for us to recognize.”

This hatred does not result in mere disagreement or vigorous political debate, Hice reflected. Rather, the Left wages campaigns of censorship, character assassination, and intimidation against those expressing viewpoints they dislike. “The radical Left actually wants religious freedom for no one. They want to dictate what we believe,” Hice complained.

“I don’t think they would say that,” Mohler responded cautiously, without disagreeing. “I think they’re sly enough to say that they’re for the toleration and liberty of ‘safe’ religions and ‘safe’ religious people. That means [religious beliefs that pose] no threat to the Left, no threat to its agenda.” He added, “when it comes to biblical Christianity … we are the main obstacle to the Left delivering on its goals. And they know that.”

The question is, do Christians know that? “So many churches refuse to get into these issues and equip their church family with a biblical worldview,” lamented Hice. “It is one thing to teach biblical principles from the pulpit. It is a different level to teach a biblical worldview and how to live out those biblical truths.” Paul urged believers in Ephesus to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

“You’re going to be ‘mugged by reality’ if you don’t understand the responsibility,” Mohler agreed, adapting an Irving Kristol quote. “A lot of Christian pastors are going to end up saying, ‘What in the world happened? How did this happen? How is this showing up in my church? How is this going uncontested in my community?’ Well, hey, it’s about time you wake up and see the challenge here and understand your responsibility as a pastor.”

Mohler also pointed to the role Christian families play in raising up their children in a counter-cultural, Christ-honoring manner. “The most important thing that goes on here is what goes on in Christian homes and in Christian churches,” he said. Lest any fall victim to the conceit that this duty is easy, Mohler added, “it’s going to bring opposition. You can count on it.”

“In the United States, we have a tremendous political stewardship,” concluded Mohler. “That doesn’t mean we translate the church’s ministry into politics. It does mean we tell Christ’s people how to be effective in contending for Christian truth out of love of neighbor.”

Mohler urged believers “to be praying that the American nation will continue to stand for righteousness around the world. He also urged prayer “that the American people and the American government will continue to stand with the nation of Israel.”

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘The Dark Clouds of Hamas Are Still Over Us’: Israeli Major

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Lose—Lose: Mike Johnson, Pornography, and the Scorn of the Left

Pornography is one of the Left’s favorite political tools. It can be used to cudgel, browbeat, castigate, and shame conservatives into silence — a potential that leftists capitalize on every chance they get. The best part about it — for leftists, at any rate — is that it’s a double-edged sword, as the case of newly-minted speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) makes evident.

Most of the time, lefties berate conservative leaders who get busted using pornography. Look at Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) back in 2017: when Cruz’s Twitter account “liked” a pornographic tweet, leftist media outlets began their bullying, including trying to link Cruz’s political career and personal history to an obsession with the porn industry. It was later revealed that a staffer with access to the Twitter account liked the video, but the cudgeling, browbeating, castigating, and shaming had already begun.

This is the most effective use of porn as a political tool, as it not only isolates the outed conservative from his typically-not-fond-of-porn voter base, but also labels him a hypocrite, as the conservative ideology (and even the Republican Party platform) condemn porn use. But this time around, leftists are taking Johnson to task for… not watching porn.

That’s right, in a recently-resurfaced video clip, Johnson stated that he uses Covenant Eyes, an online filter and accountability program that blocks porn from laptops and cell phones and sends a designated accountability partner a regular update on websites visited. During a panel discussion entitled “War on Technology” hosted last year at Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana, Johnson explained that Covenant Eyes had been suggested to him at a marriage conference called “Promise Keepers.” Conference speakers also suggested fathers sign up their sons once they hit the teenage years and serve as their sons’ accountability partners. Following this advice, Johnson signed up his teenage son for Covenant Eyes and the two have been one another’s accountability partners, receiving daily reports on what websites the other visited. He quipped, “I’m proud to tell you my son has got a clean slate.”

Left-wing media pundits and publications have, predictably, piled on Johnson for his position on porn. The vociferously pro-LGBT outlet “Pink News” wrote, “The revelation is yet another example of Johnson’s conservative views, which include him making a number of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-abortion statements.” The online magazine also asked, “Should House Speaker Mike Johnson allow third-party surveillance apps on his personal devices?”

The far more mainstream Rolling Stone piled on, “Since he was elected Speaker of the House in October, Johnson’s history as a faith-obsessed, election-denying, far-right Christian nationalist has come under the microscope…” and referred to using porn-blocking and accountability software as “creepy Big Brother-ness…” The “Receipt Maven” Twitter account, which resurfaced the original clip, quipped, “[S]o basically don’t watch porn or your son/dad will know…”

Thus far, pornography has been declared a public health emergency in 16 different states: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. The detriments of pornography are myriad — physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. This quadfecta affects practically every aspect of the human experience.

Physically, pornography has been shown to cause severe erectile dysfunction in men and reduce sexual activity among couples; coupled with psychological effects, which include depression, anxiety, irritability, decreased self-esteem, decreased motivation, neglect for responsibilities and deadlines, and the altering of the brain’s chemical makeup, these first two categories alone are enough to label pornography detrimental. The effects of pornography on emotions are equally alarming — if not more so. Increased aggression and violence, a deep sense of shame and guilt, and an inability to see other human beings as anything but objects are just a few examples of the emotional toll porn use can take.

As horrific as all of this is, pornography may be most destructive in the spiritual quadrant. Porn use dulls and dims the soul’s ability to see others as being made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and instead encourages the soul to turn inward upon itself, consuming others as meat instead of giving of oneself lovingly. Porn use destroys discipline, which impacts everything from fulfilling one’s professional and household duties to making time regularly for prayer. The sense of shame and guilt which accompanies porn use may also drive a soul away from God, too ashamed to seek His forgiveness.

Scientists have often noted that porn use typically progresses into more and more depraved categories. Scientifically, this is because the brain has become so desensitized to the images it sees that, in order to produce the dopamine the porn addict seeks, more extreme imagery must be viewed. In his novel “That Hideous Strength,” the great Christian author C.S. Lewis described this depraved progression of lust:

“It is idle to point out to the perverted man the horror of his perversion: while the fierce fit is on, that horror is the very spice of his craving. It is ugliness itself that becomes, in the end, the goal of his lechery; beauty has long since grown too weak stimulant.”

Spiritually, this seeking out of the more and more depraved, the more and more perverse is even more startling. As most Christians know, virtue is the bending of one’s own will to align with God’s. Those whom we consider holiest, noblest, and most saintly are those whose wills are so in accord with God’s that there is little discernible difference. Cultivating such virtue, of course, is an arduous and even a lifelong task — it is no mere matter of wishing or wanting, and its demands are often high. The martyrs are prime examples of this: from Peter and Paul to Maximilian Kolbe and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the ardently virtuous offer their wills to God so completely that their very lives come along with them. Although all are, of course, made in the image and likeness of God, the virtuous are those who clarify that image and let it shine brightly and colorfully forth.

Conversely, those who live according to vice turn away from the image of God and remake themselves in the image of Hell. They bend their wills so far away from God’s own that they actually run in the opposite direction. Pornography is a horrifically illustrative example of this principle. God, of course, created sex. He made it to be something beautiful, intimate, loving, life-giving, and self-sacrificial. In fact, sex is itself also made in the image of God: God’s love is so great, so filled is He with love in each of His three persons, that He had to make that love flesh, it had to spill over into new life: mankind.

So also did God create sex to be a blessed marital act mirroring the love of the Trinity, a spilling over of a joyful, self-giving love that bears both spiritual fruit and, if God wills it, the physical fruit of a child. Porn warps and distorts this beauty, it takes the image of God out of sex and turns the whole act inwards upon itself, becoming a matter only of predatory self-satisfaction. No longer the giving of oneself in love and the openness to new life, porn is simply the consuming of others, stripping them of not just their clothes but their God-given dignity, their very humanity.

The progression of the pornographic perversion from one dehumanization to an even greater and more vile dehumanization is indicative of the soul’s turning away from God and remaking itself more and more nearly in the image of Hell, where, without sincerely repenting and accepting God’s grace and forgiveness, it will surely spend eternity.

Before his execution, Ted Bundy — the notorious serial killer who confessed to the kidnap, rape, and murder of 30 women — spoke to Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family about the link between his depraved crimes and pornography. Bundy told Dobson that between the ages of 10 and 13, he began a fascination with “soft-core” pornography. He explained, “I would keep looking for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of materials. Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder, harder. Something which gives you a greater sense of excitement. Until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far.” Bundy stressed that, to all those around him, he was the image of a “normal person,” even the “All-American boy.” But, he said:

“I think people need to recognize that those of us who have been so much influenced by … pornographic violence are not some kinds of inherent monsters. We are your sons, and we are your husbands. And we grew up in regular families. And pornography can reach out and snatch a kid out of any house today. It snatched me out of my home 20, 30 years ago, as diligent as my parents were, and they were diligent in protecting their children.”

Bundy was executed in 1989, back when pornography was only available in magazines and on VHS tapes bought at seedy downtown shops or smuggled from friend to friend at school. The pervasive nature and instant accessibility of internet pornography was something Bundy never witnessed. If pornography could “snatch a kid out of any house” in 1989, it now invades homes and devours children alive through their phones, tablets, and laptops. A recent survey by Common Sense Media found that 73% of teens reported they watch online pornography and over half reported that they had been exposed to pornography by the age of 13. Sadly, 15% admitted that they had seen porn before the age of 11.

As a devout Christian, Mike Johnson knows that it is his fatherly duty to protect his children from the soul-sucking scourge of pornography. Holding his son accountable through using Covenant Eyes in order to cultivate the virtue of chastity is not freakish, backwards, repressive, or controlling — it is noble, loving, caring, and truly masculine. What father would want to condemn his son to a life suffering from erectile dysfunction, emotional instability, an inability to experience emotional and sexual intimacy, a crippling addiction, exponentially-worsening depravity, and spiritual suicide?

It should be no surprise that the same mob which shows no concern for the blood of untold millions of unborn babies would deride a father for shielding his son from the horrors of pornography. Instead, leftists’ mockery of Johnson reveals their obsession with pornography. While they may take a flippant “lose-lose” approach to conservatives and porn — conservatives lose for getting caught looking at porn and lose for actively avoiding it — Johnson clearly takes the Christian approach: recognizing that both he and his son have lost if he doesn’t protect his son from the perverse cancer of pornography.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

New Speaker Mike Johnson Attacked for Believing Basic Christian Doctrine

On Wednesday, after three weeks of dysfunction following the ouster of former-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected as the 56th Speaker of the House. Johnson’s elevation to the office caps a frenetic period in which Republicans considered multiple candidates before coalescing around the four-term congressman. Although Johnson’s unexpected rise to the speakership was welcomed by conservatives, the Left has predictably been apoplectic in denouncing Speaker Johnson’s long-standing social conservative views.

Although progressives routinely castigate those who hold convictions rooted in a biblical worldview, the sharp criticism directed toward the new speaker for his Christian faith is nonetheless revealing.

For example, some House Democrats took exception to the portion of Johnson’s speech on Wednesday in which the new speaker referenced God. “Welcome to the Republican Era of not even pretending they aren’t forcing their religion on Congress and the American people. This is a slippery, dangerous slope to theocracy,” warned Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.). Another Democrat, Jamie Raskin, tweeted, “Speaker Mike Johnson? Anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-gun safety, anti-democracy. This is what theocracy looks like.”

Although allegations of Republicans wanting to install a theocracy are not new, the dire warnings of Huffman and Raskin, and the parroting of these claims by some in the media, reveal remarkable ignorance of basic Christian beliefs. Significantly, Johnson has said nothing about theocracy or forcing his religious beliefs on anyone. Rather, the new speaker simply articulated the commonplace Christian perspective that God providentially raises up leaders.

In his speech, Johnson stated, “I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible is very clear that God is the One that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us. And I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment and this time.”

Far from advocating for a theocratic takeover of the House of Representatives, Johnson’s comments merely reflect well-known biblical passages such as Daniel 2:21 which states, “He changes times and season; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” and Psalm 22:28 where it says, “For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.”

Other passages that affirm God’s role in raising up civil leaders include Isaiah 40:22-23, which says, “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.” Likewise, Proverbs 21:1 teaches “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”

To put it simply, Johnson’s understanding that “God is the One that raises up those in authority” is a widely-held Christian belief that has been taught for centuries. The fact that articulating this basic conviction triggered ominous warnings of an impending theocracy demonstrates the ever-widening gulf between those with a biblical worldview and those without one.

Second, Johnson’s elevation to the speakership prompted scores of opposition researchers to investigate the congressman’s past writings and speeches for potentially damaging material. Johnson’s past comments on same-sex marriage, abortion, and homosexuality were immediately targeted. For example, within hours of Johnson’s election, CNN investigative reporters Andrew Kaczynski and Allison Gordon published a piece provocatively titled: “New speaker of the House Mike Johnson once wrote in support of the criminalization of gay sex.” According to the reporters, Johnson once supported an amendment to Louisiana’s constitution that defined marriage between a man and a woman.

Moreover, in a 2004 op-ed, Johnson described homosexual relationships as “inherently unnatural.” After mentioning other examples of Johnson’s purported extremism, the authors note, “Now, Johnson is the speaker of the House at a time when a majority of Americans are strongly supportive of gay rights.” Of course, CNN was not alone. Hours after his election, ABCNBCNew York TimesVanity Fair, and other outlets published stories that highlighted Johnson’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

On abortion, media outlets and Democratic campaign operatives seized on Johnson’s past statements. Politico noted that Johnson once served as a senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, “the conservative legal powerhouse behind the case that overturned Roe v. Wade.” The article specifically highlighted the congressman’s support for a federal heartbeat law. Other criticism came from DNC Chair Jamie Harrison who released a statement describing Johnson as a “anti-abortion MAGA extremist.” Harrison also noted Johnson’s sponsorship of what he characterized as “an extreme abortion ban nationwide.” Sarah Posner, a contributor for MSNBC, also pointed to Johnson’s pro-life record as proof that he is the “most unabashedly Christian nationalist speaker in history.”

From a worldview perspective, the criticisms and denunciations of Johnson are predictable. We live in highly partisan times, and the reality is that whoever Republicans elevated to serve as Speaker of the House would be portrayed in the worst possible light. However, it is still significant that much of the initial criticism hurled at the new speaker overlaps with basic Christian convictions.

From the first century, Christians have affirmed the personhood of the unborn and opposed abortion. Likewise, Christians have believed marriage is the relationship between one man and one woman and taught that homosexual behavior is outside of God’s design and purpose for human sexuality. The fact that convictions held by Christians for millennia are now openly mocked and disparaged by so many speaks to the rapid secularization of the times.

The newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is a Southern Baptist who subscribes to the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Like tens of millions of Americans, Johnson’s views on a range of issues are informed by Scripture, science, and reason. Although the news media and opposition party are working overtime to convince the nation that Johnson is a “Christian nationalist” with outdated, subversive policy views, that characterization could not be further from the truth.

Johnson’s views are in line with an overwhelming percentage of American Christians who share the speaker’s worldview. As we will soon find out, this is good news for Republicans, but more importantly, good news for America at a time when convictional, principled leadership is sorely needed.

AUTHOR

David Closson

David Closson is Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘There Is a Palestinian Refugee Crisis Today Because of Arab Nations’: Expert

How should we approach Israel’s ongoing conflicts from a historical perspective? Dr. A.J. Nolte, chair of the Government Graduate Program and director of the International Development M.A. Program at Regent University, sat down to discuss this and more on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on October 19.


TONY PERKINS: Many of us know our Old Testament history. God gave the land to Israel, but [we know] less about the 20th century history of Israel and the actions and decisions that brought us to that point. Help us understand the more modern history of Israel, the Palestinian Mandate, and how we arrived [here].

A.J. NOLTE: Okay, very good. And I will try to be as succinct here as possible. There’s a lot of history, and it can get dense, but I do want to start, actually, with a brief dip into the 19th century, because one of the terms that you’ll often hear thrown around in this discussion of modern Israel is “Zionism.” And especially with the U.N. often talking, and some of the Palestinian activists talking, about Zionism as racism. I think we need to quickly define that, because it’s hard to understand the story of Israel without it. So Zionism, at its core, is the idea that the Jewish people ought to have their own nation state. So it is a subspecies of nationalism. That aspect is true, but it’s a nationalism that is, I would say, in many ways kind of civically oriented. And … it is trying to answer the question of “What does it mean to be a Jew in the modern world?” And this question is actually first prompted — not by pogroms and not by the ghetto — but by the fact that Jews in Europe were emancipated, that they’re given their full civil rights in many European countries.

But this then leads to the question for a lot of Jews, “Okay, so we’ve been, a people that were apart in a largely Christian context. But now that we have secularism, now that we have nationalism, what does it mean to be a Jew? Do we assimilate, or do we seek for our own national identity as all these other groups — the Italians, the Germans, the French are seeking for their own self-determination? Is that a path that we should go down?” And so Zionism is the answer that takes that second option. And so, Theodor Herzl, of course, is one of the thinkers who’s the most integral into that. There’s also another thinker, [Leon] Pinsker, and he argues for what he calls auto-emancipation. This is really important in understanding Israel. Pinsker’s idea is, regardless of what anybody else does, no one will free the Jews except for the Jews. We must emancipate ourselves. And so it’s a real sort of self-determination, self-reliance idea. And that is fundamental as well to Zionism. So we ought to have our own nation, our own state, and it’s something that we ought to build ourselves.

PERKINS: Along the way, though, they had the support of Christians in this idea of Zionism, did they not?

NOLTE: Yes, they did. And particularly, I would say, Christians in the Anglo-American world, Anglo-American Christianity — in particular, Protestantism, but the Catholics have kind of come alongside this as well — have always had a very strong emphasis on the Bible. Have always taken the Bible seriously, and have always taken the Old Testament seriously, even going back to the Puritans. And so it’s not surprising that some of the earliest — what we would now call today, sort of anachronistically, but not entirely — “Christian Zionists” come from the Anglo-American tradition.

One book I would recommend to your readers is “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: A History of the U.S. and the Middle East” by Michael Oren. And Oren talks about how some of the first American missionaries, Levi Parsons is one, who are going into the Middle East, are going in with the idea that it is God’s will that there should be a Jewish state restored in what is then Ottoman Palestine. Keep in mind this is the 1820s. So for you theology and history nerds, that is before John Nelson Darby and Premillennial dispensationalism, and that is before the Scofield Study Bible. So this isn’t just an end times thing. This is something that is deeply within the DNA of American Christianity, going back as far as the 1820s.

PERKINS: It’s just in alignment with God’s word. I mean, we see God’s promises for these people, and we come in alignment with God’s promises, is it not?

NOLTE: Yes. And so, that’s the argument from a theological perspective. And one of the people who I’ve heard make this very eloquently is Father Gerald McDermott, who is an Anglican priest. And he says, “Show me in the New Testament where the promise of the land is abrogated” — in other words, where the promise of the land is taken away. And the answer that people have is: you can’t unless you’re going to sort of stretch and twist Scripture outside of its original meaning. And so, that is the theological justification. So both in Britain through the Anglican Church, through the Church Mission to the Jews, or CMJ, through many passionate evangelicals in England and in the United States, there’s a strong reservoir of Christian support for what ends up becoming a Zionist project. In fact, I’ll give you one quick anecdote and then we can move on to the 20th century. But Benjamin Netanyahu, in his memoir, talks about how when Theodor Herzl was dying, at his bedside was an Anglican priest who was committed to this Zionist project. And actually Netanyahu’s book, when he talks about Christians, he really gets this, and he really understands this history in a way that oftentimes people don’t.

PERKINS: Even the Christians today, many in the church today, don’t understand this history and its alignment with Scripture. But they’ve listened too much to the critics on the Left thinking this is just some kind of radical sect within the evangelical movement.

NOLTE: Yes, absolutely. And it’s not.

PERKINS: So bring us up to what we see unfolding today.

NOLTE: So briefly, you start seeing immigration as far back as the 1880s. Of course, there’s always a Jewish population in that area of what is today the modern nation state of Israel — what, at the time, is Ottoman Palestine. But there’s always been a Jewish population there. And you see some Zionist immigration. Then, of course, after World War II, it falls into the British Mandate. And during the British Mandate, there’s the Balfour Declaration, which is a declaration made by Lord Balfour that the Jews ought to have their own state within the land of what is then Ottoman Palestine. Now, one of the problems that you have with the British Mandate is the British somewhat promised the land to different British officials — promised different chunks of the land to different people at the same time. And so I would say the British never really had a coherent policy for what they were going to do with the mandate. But then, of course, you have the second major event that is formative and foundational for modern Jewish identity: the first was the emancipation, which led to Zionism; the second was the Holocaust. And … we all know what the Holocaust did in raw terms, you know, six million Jews exterminated for the crime of their ethnic descent — which is no crime at all. But this is the reason why they’re killed.

And so the Holocaust does a couple of really important things. One, it creates as a moral imperative [for] the idea that the Jewish state must be created now on the international sphere. Harry Truman, of course, a devout Baptist, the American president at the time [and] a Democrat, I would note as well … is very passionate about this idea and supports it as one of the first world leaders. Second, for Jews and for Israel themselves, Zionism becomes not just a like, “How do we deal with the challenges of modernity?” It becomes an existential necessity. The impact of the Holocaust and Zionism [says], we must have a place where this can never happen to us again, where we will be protected from the possibility that anyone will ever try to exterminate us as a people. And so that is what Israel becomes. It becomes, in essence, a lifeboat, a place where any Jew, no matter how bad their circumstances in the other countries of the world that they’re living in, has a place where they can go. And so, that idea is fundamental to Israel. Whenever Israel is talking about security, there’s a possibility that we flip a switch and it becomes an existential issue where it becomes an existential threat. And … you’ve got a nation that, at their foundation, there is the Holocaust and the trauma that’s associated with that. And so that creates a resolve that anything that becomes an existential threat, Israel cannot rest and must be united in removing that threat.

PERKINS: And so, with the British or the Palestine Mandate, the British having control, they were reluctant to actually pull the trigger on anything. And so we come back to 1948, and it was that auto-emancipation that really triggers in because Israel took the initiative.

NOLTE: Absolutely. So you have the U.N. resolution that creates two states. Israel accepts it. And I forget which Israeli founder, but one of them said, “You know, I would accept an Israel the size of a tablecloth.” And so, they accept the mandate, even though it’s not advantageous to them. The Arab states reject it, and they reject it because they’ve … got their own nationalist idea. And this is the idea of Arab nationalism. Very briefly, Arab nationalism is the idea that all the Arabs of the Middle East ought to be united into one nation. But what is different about Arab nationalism is that there’s kind of an ethno-supremacism that is, I would argue, kind of intrinsic in Arab nationalism. In other words, it’s not just Jewish identity that they’re objecting to. It’s Kurdish identity. It’s the identity of other ethnic and religious minorities that is being squashed by Arab nationalism, because they can only support this one ethnic identity. And so, the Arabs automatically, you know, for nationalist reasons, in many ways reject the creation of the Jewish state. And so the message that all of the Arab states decide [is], “Okay, we’re going to all work together and try to wipe out this new Jewish state.” And what they tell a lot of the Arabs in the territory is, “We’re going to go in, and we’re going to crush this, and we’re going to put an end to this Jewish state. So we want you to leave. And then once we’re done crushing Israel, then you can come back.” And then, of course, they lose the war.

And just to give your listeners an understanding here what I mean by when they lose the war, the Arab armies were better trained. They were better armed. They were often Western trained. They were often advised by Western officers, many of them German. Their equipment was often British. You have a very ragtag group of folks that are unevenly armed defending Israel, many of whom are armed with surplus AK-47s that they bought third hand from the Czechs at the time. And they won. And it is, historically — let’s just put it this way, as somebody who studies military strategy in politics — it is historically unlikely, improbable (as a Christian, I might say miraculous) that this is in fact the outcome. But keep in mind that the promise that was made to the Arab population that, “We’re going to go in, we’re going to wipe out the Jewish state, and then you can move back” is made by the Arab countries. And I will argue — and this is a controversial opinion — but I will argue that the reason that there is a Palestinian refugee crisis today is because of the Arab countries. And if you want, I can unpack that a little bit more.

PERKINS: I mean, I think that when you look back to the United Nations creating what we’ve talked about here on this program, UNRWA which is a funding for Palestinian refugees, and we see even today where these other Arab countries are refusing to take the individuals from Gaza, because that would be an admission of defeat in terms of what they promised to do. Would it not?

NOLTE: One thing that not a lot of people remember is that the immigrants that came to Israel weren’t just coming from Europe. There are also Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. These are Jews of Middle Eastern origin, many of whom — 700,000 of whom, if I’m remembering the number correctly — but hundreds of thousands of whom are expelled from the other Arab countries. There are large Jewish communities in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Morocco. All of these Jewish communities are expelled, and the Jews take them in. These are people that would ethnically you would say, are pretty much Middle Eastern. The Jews take them in when the Arabs were expelled — oftentimes, not exclusively, but mostly because the Arab states said, “Hey, leave your homes, and eventually we’ll give them back to you.” For ideological reasons, the Arab nationalist states did the opposite, because they’re saying, “We have to keep these people as sort of a nation. … Basically, we’ll keep them as refugees, because if we integrate them, then we are acknowledging that we’re never going to be able to take Israel back, and we’re never going to be able to take them out.” They try twice more in 1967 and 1973, [but] they fail. And it’s really in the process of that, that this goes from an Arab nationalist thing where the idea is we’re going to have one unified Arab nation of which this is going to be a province, and then you start to see the birth of a separate, distinct Palestinian nationalism. But I would argue, that kind of happens as Arab nationalism, as an ideology, just fails.

PERKINS: So that brings us up to today. And unfortunately, Dr. Nolte, we’re out of time. We’re going to have part two of this conversation and how we look at this going forward next week.

AUTHOR

TWS Staff Report

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Tucker Carlson Declares Abortion a ‘Spiritual Battle’

Veteran reporter and cultural-cum-political commentator Tucker Carlson is declaring that the fight against abortion is in fact a matter of spiritual warfare. Speaking at a gala hosted by The Center for Christian Virtue last week in Cleveland, Carlson stated that abortion is not a “political debate” but a “spiritual battle.”

The ex-Fox News host said that for most of his life and career “the debates that we had in the political sphere were over competing visions for how to improve people’s lives.” Referring to debates over issues like minimum wage, Carlson said, “I was on one side of it, but I could also sort of see the other side. Both sides were at least pretending to try to improve the lives of the people who voted for them.” The prevalence of abortion as a political issue is, argued Carlson, a departure from the sort of debate he and much of America has long been accustomed to.

Carlson pointed to two Ohio ballot initiatives — one enshrining abortion in the state constitution and the other decriminalizing recreational drug use — that he found especially distressing and disturbing. He asked, “When you wind up in an election where the two top ballot initiatives are 1) encouraging people to kill their own kids and 2) encourage their kids to do drugs, who’s benefitting here?” He then extolled the joys of being a parent and raising a family, saying, “I’m serious. The one unalloyed source of joy in your life is your children, the point of life is to have children, and to watch them have grandchildren. Nothing will bring you joy like that will — nothing comes close, nothing comes close.” Carlson continued:

“So anyone telling you, ‘Don’t have children, kill your children,’ is not your friend, it’s your enemy. And by the way, it’s a very recognizable promise that they’re making to you, because it’s as old as time and it’s chronicled in great detail throughout the Hebrew Bible — it’s human sacrifice, which rears its head about every four chapters, and which is singled out for approbation every time. Of all the sins the ancient committed, that sin, every single time it’s described, is called detestable… Detestable. God singled that out.”

“Why were people doing that?” he asked. “Because, of course, they believed that they were getting power and contentment and happiness in return.” Carlson explained that child sacrifice was not a practice relegated to the Mayans or Aztecs but was practiced by practically every major civilization or peoples from antiquity. “Human sacrifice, the sacrifice of children, the killing of children is the one constant in human civilization.”

He continued to note that all these various ancient civilizations, spread across different regions and continents across the globe, all reached the same conclusion: that child sacrifice might provide happiness or safety. Carlson said that conclusion couldn’t be reached “organically,” pointing out that it contradicts evolutionary biology and the instinct to preserve and continue not just the species but the family.

So where did human sacrifice come from? “That’s an idea, an impulse that was introduced,” Carlson explained. “Outside forces are acting on people at all times throughout history in every culture on the planet to convince people that if they sacrifice their children they will be happy and safe.” He continued:

“And that’s exactly what this is. This is a religious rite. This is not a policy debate, they’re not telling you that some girl got raped at 13 and she needs to go to college and therefore, unfortunately, we need to abort the child. No. That was 20 years ago. Now they’re saying, ‘Abortion is itself a pathway to joy.’ Really? So this is not a political debate, this is a spiritual battle. There is no other conclusion.”

Addressing the other ballot initiative promoting recreational drug use, Carlson quipped, “Take more drugs and be happy? Right, okay.” He expounded that the results of that initiative would essentially zombify the population. “Less conscious, less aware, give your soul over, dull yourself, become a robot. Really? Those are the promises they’re making?”

The bulk of Carlson’s speech last week is reminiscent of a speech he delivered earlier this year at The Heritage Foundation’s 50th anniversary gala. In that speech, Carlson said that American debate used to center on differing policy plans for achieving what was generally an agreed-upon good outcome. But now, he said, “people … decide that the goal is to destroy things — destruction for its own sake — ‘Hey, let’s tear it down’ — what you’re watching is not a political movement, it’s evil.”

Referring to abortion, he reiterated that abortion advocates have gone from claiming that abortion is “sometimes necessary” to foaming at the mouth for abortion on demand anywhere, any time, for any reason. “If you’re telling me that abortion is a positive good … you’re arguing for child sacrifice.… That’s like an Aztec principle, actually.” He argued that the era of policy paper debates is over and America is now in a period of “theological” war. Days after delivering that speech, Carlson was removed from Fox News, reportedly because then-Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch thought the speech was too Christian and was unsettled by its theological overtones.

Last week, though, Carlson did more than just highlight the reality of America’s present spiritual war. He asked, “So how do you respond to this?” The answer, he suggested, is to remain courageous. Citing St. Paul as a hero of his, Carlson said:

“This is like the bravest guy ever. There’s not a letter he wrote where he didn’t have a sword hanging over his neck, he expected at any moment to be murdered, and I think the consensus among historians is, in the end he was. He was murdered. … But he lived with the certainty that he was going to be killed for his beliefs every day. And he was totally unbothered by it, completely. … He was never afraid.”

“And by the way,” Carlson asked, “why would he be afraid? He believed his fate was sealed. He was going to join Jesus. He was going to Heaven.” Carlson proclaimed that courage is the “marker” of the Christian faith, adding that if a Christian is afraid, then “you’re kind of not doing it right, are you? There’s no excuse for being afraid.” Whether facing the threat of a worldwide “pandemic” with a 99% survival rate or facing a firing squad for being a Christian, Carlson’s exhortation was clear: be not afraid.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


he Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

An America with God on the Outskirts

Our nation is in crisis. It isn’t a gun crisis. Or fentanyl crisis. It’s not a border crisis — or even a government funding crisis.

It is a moral and spiritual crisis.

A sickening video that went viral last weekend fully displays it. The video was of two 17-year-old males, who were apparently identifying as heartless, demon-possessed thugs, recording their joyride in a stolen car. The video shows the two cheering as they ram and force one car off the road.

Then they spotted 64-year-old Andreas Probst, a retired police officer, taking his morning bike ride. The driver asked his passenger if he was ready to capture their feat on camera.

Swerving into the bike lane behind Probst, they blew the horn and then plowed into the back of him, throwing him onto the windshield, over the car, and onto the pavement as they accelerated. The punk in the passenger seat turned to catch on camera Probst bounce onto the road, who died of his injuries that day.

The driver was arrested shortly after and taken to the juvenile detention center. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has announced it will try the teenagers as adults.

Don’t expect the White House or others, who see violent crime as little more than justification to grab more power over law-abiding citizens, to pay any attention to a drive-over killing. However, this crime is so shocking some are asking how we arrived at such a place where cold-blooded murder is callously carried out like a virtual video game.

But should we really be surprised? As a nation, we’ve pushed God to the outskirts of society. Instead of teaching our children that they are created in the image of God and therefore have value, we are telling them they come from animals, and then we are shocked when they act like animals.

This is a moral and spiritual crisis. But don’t expect political leaders, especially on the Left, to acknowledge that fact because they refuse to look beyond the symptoms.

Take the Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, who is calling for city-owned grocery stores to be placed in neighborhoods that have become what he calls “food deserts” after Walmart and Whole Foods shuttered their stores because of unsustainable losses.

Retailers nationwide are going under and shutting their doors because of a $100 billion-dollar shoplifting epidemic. It’s gotten so bad here in Washington, D.C. that almost everything is behind locked plexiglass.

Commentators and conservatives point to lax policies like California’s Prop 47, which reduced theft from a potential felony to a misdemeanor. These lenient policies only compound the lawlessness fostered by depleted and demoralized police departments in the wake of the Left’s Defund the Police movement.

But it’s not just civil government that has facilitated this moral and spiritual crisis that threatens the future of our country. I’ve often been asked this question while in conversation with political leaders. “Tony, why do pastors want us to vote on and speak about issues they won’t preach about from the pulpit?”

To be sure, many pastors are preaching on these issues; some were at Family Research Council’s recent Pray Vote Stand Summit: Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Cornerstone Chapel’s Gary Hamrick, Bishop Vincent Mathews, and others. But far too many fail to see their God-given role to not just preach the truth but challenge people to live by the truth in every area of life. In the church, pastors must rediscover their prophetic voice to address this moral and spiritual crisis.

Yes, the lawless, anti-God policies of government have fostered this violent and deadly environment, and the church has, for the most part, only whispered its objections. But where are the parents?

I know the government has usurped the role of moms and dads in many ways, hiding critical information from them about their children’s mental and spiritual well-being at school. In some cases, they’ve refused to allow parents to get counseling for their children if it is not in lockstep with leftist ideology.

But a recent report from King’s College London suggests parents in the United States are not concerned with their children being civil or even obedient. Coming in nearly dead last in the two dozen surveyed countries, only 21% of American adults said obedience was a priority for children. What did rank near the top of priorities? Tolerance.

There was little tolerance for Mr. Probst.

To 21st century ears, it is archaic to quote a Founding Father. But considering that they did craft what has become the longest-surviving written charter of government in the world, maybe we can learn from them how to keep this experiment in liberty going.

John Adams, America’s second president, warned, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In other words, if we don’t go beyond the litany of crises facing our nation, which are just symptoms — whether it be the border, fentanyl, guns, or stolen cars used to run over innocent people — to see what is truly at the heart of this crisis, we will lose this country as we have known it, because we will miss the moral and spiritual crisis confronting us.

We must return to God and to His word.

AUTHOR

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Kevin Sorbo’s New Children’s Book Promotes Biblical Masculinity

In a world increasingly opposed to masculinity, actor, writer, and producer Kevin Sorbo has entered the fight in defending it. In his recently published children’s book entitled, “The Test of Lionhood,” Sorbo addresses the topic of gender identity while promoting biblical masculinity. “The attack today on masculinity is a call for us to stay vigilant right now,” he told Fox News. “Let’s let boys be boys and let girls be girls. And let’s stop this whole thing about chopping down the men in the world.”

Sorbo further expressed how being brave and “manly” are not bad attributes, and stated young boys need to understand this. “They’re going out there and protecting people — and they shouldn’t be afraid to confront things that are dangerous,” he said.

Sorbo has been criticized for years as a man who promotes conservative and Christian values in Hollywood, from which he was booted out several years ago, he says. In an interview with The Washington Stand, Sorbo shared further insight. “I guess people are afraid of the truth,” he said. “I’ve always said we need to wake up the lions out there. And all these people talk about the quiet silent majority. Well, when are they going to wake up?”

He went on to say how the Left can cancel whoever they want, whenever they want. “We’re losing free speech more and more all the time,” he said. Between the Left’s constant hypocrisy and the cultural war on gender, Sorbo felt called to write this book. But despite the opposition who want to deem Sorbo’s book as evil, he stated that he simply wants to help boys to understand the importance of their role as boys who will one day be men. “Kids are growing up realizing how the father is not that important to the family unit,” he shared. “And that’s what Hollywood has done. And they’ve done it on purpose.”

But this issue expands beyond Hollywood and what people see on the big screen. For years, experts have acknowledged the crisis of fatherlessness as an increasing one, which negatively impacts the development of boys, and contributes to poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and the crumbling of society at large. “No matter what I put out there, I’m gonna get backlash,” Sorbo shared. But regardless of inevitable backlash, he stated how he is going to keep making movies that promote masculinity, family, and “good messages.” Movies that aren’t “celebrating evil, hate, anger, sex, and violence,” Sorbo emphasized — the themes Hollywood often promotes.

Sorbo made it clear he wants to use his films to bring back the kind of movies Hollywood used to put out. “You know, movies that make you laugh, think, react, maybe relate to somebody on the screen. … Give them hope, Give them redemption. Give them a chance to live in a more positive world instead of a negative one. I want to live in a world that’s got light in it, not [a] world that lives in darkness.”

Sorbo concluded by offering encouragement for those who need it. “You have to work hard to have success in life,” he underscored. “Most people do not have the strength to do it because they’ve learned just to give up and let the government take care of them. … [But] don’t let anyone set your limitations.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Classical Christian Schools See Enrollment Explode

Since the beginning of 2020, when the COVID pandemic caused widespread and lengthy public school shutdowns and vaccine requirements that proved to be immensely controversial, a growing number of parents are removing their students from public schools and enrolling them in private ones. Among the private schools that have seen substantial growth are classical Christian schools, which focus on instilling students with a biblical worldview through the wisdom and traditions of Western civilization that have been established for centuries.

With 1.2 million students leaving public schools since 2020, many are enrolling in private schools, which have seen enrollment increase by 140,000 students since 2019. As a result, classical Christian schools have seen enrollment mushroom over the last three years. As David Goodwin, president of the Association of Classical Christian Schools, told guest host Jody Hice during Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” classical education is about getting back to the basic building blocks of education that have already been established for centuries within the church.

“For over a thousand years it was the churches that did the educating,” he underscored. “… It’s only been the last hundred or 150 years that that’s moved away from the churches and into the public school system. So what we’re calling for is a form of Christian education called classical Christian education, which seeks to restore that form that was existent before the American public school system developed.”

Goodwin further observed that classical education is rooted in the founding of Western civilization and of America.

“It was a form of education developed in the church after the fall of the Roman empire,” he explained. “It sustained the church as the primary form of education up until about 1830. It developed most of our Founding Fathers.”

Goodwin continued, “It studies what are sometimes called the ‘Great Books,’ it looks to the wisdom of the past, it studies a lot of theology. The students in our schools often learn Latin and Greek as avenues to the past to be able to read original manuscripts. But it’s really for everybody. We’ve got people from every walk of life. We have inner city schools, schools across the suburbs and in metro areas. They all have in common a love for the lordship of Jesus Christ and an establishment of the Christian worldview, which is really when you think about it what school does. In the Bible it’s called ‘paideia,’ it’s the Greek word. We now call it worldview. … That’s the primary function of classical Christian schools.”

Goodwin went on to illustrate how classical schools are expanding, and encouraged churches to join the growing movement.

“Before 2020, we were [seeing] 20-30 new schools a year,” he noted. At present in the last two years, we have brought in about 200 new schools. … [W]e would love to have churches across the country join with us in building those schools. We have about 500 right now in our membership. We’ve been operating for the last 30 years, and the demand is … going so high at this point that we’re dependent on church buildings and church resources to get these schools started.”

Goodwin further emphasized that churches should not be intimidated at the prospect of starting a classical school.

“This may seem daunting, but really education has been made a little bit overcomplicated by all the bureaucracy and all the systems that have to be there for things like public schools,” he commented. “Really all it takes is a room, a teacher, and some kids. Of course, the teacher has to be gifted at teaching — it’s a spiritual gift. But don’t think too small is too small. Most of our schools start with between three and 12 students the first year. And you can blend classrooms, you can use what are called ‘pod schools’ where you get a single teacher that teaches across multiple ages. There’s a whole lot of ways you can do this.”

“My hope and prayer is that parents will — in this cultural moment where things are so challenging, so many evil things are going on in the public sphere — it’s time for us as Christians to come back to the kingdom, to come back to Christ, to dedicate all of the universe, all of the world to his service and his glory,” Goodwin concluded.

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Vladimir Putin, Man of Faith?

At an Orthodox Easter service in April, a “somber looking” Vladimir Putin joined with other worshippers in saying, “Christ is truly risen.”

He probably believes this. Mark Hollingsworth has detailed how Putin’s religious allegiance has infused his life. He concludes that his Russian Orthodoxy is an essential part of his intense nationalism. For Putin, he writes, “promoting the mystical belief that Russia is the Third Rome, the next ruling empire of the earth, has been part of his appeal to the masses.”

This mystical belief has caused Putin to believe he, himself, is imbued with the spirit of his nation. Shortly before Lent, one of his business associates asked Putin about asking forgiveness before a priest. Putin responded, “‘I am the President of Russia. Why should I ask for forgiveness?’”

When a leader believes he is the personification of the state itself, specially chosen by God to lead his country to conquest and triumph, trouble looms — as the people of Ukraine have learned with great pain.

The German philosopher G.F. Hegel claimed that the state — a centralized government with power over every institution and person within the borders it controls — “is the march of God on earth.” This is precisely the approach taken by the Nazis concerning Adolf Hitler. The so-called “Fuhrer (leader) principle” was made clear by one of Hitler’s lapdog apologists, Rudolf Hess: “Hitler is Germany and Germany is Hitler. Whatever he does is necessary. Whatever he does is successful. Clearly the Führer has divine blessing.”

This is why negotiating with Putin has proven so difficult. If he is filled with the spirit of his nation, and if Russia is uniquely a Christian space, then how can he be held accountable for anything he does? Using his reasoning, his purity of vision and action is axiomatic. He is incapable of error, a secular pope speaking from a place of political ex cathedra.

How does this factor into the invasion of Ukraine? That nation, Putin said in a speech last year, is “an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.” It is true that the leader of Kyiv “accepted Christianity in 988 and established a devout kingdom that became the predecessor to the modern states of Ukraine and Russia.” But it is not true that Ukraine has always been part of Russia, nor does it follow that Russia’s affirmation of Eastern Orthodoxy for 1,000 years justifies the violent and vicious assault on Ukraine today. This last proposition is so illogical it does merit lengthy refutation.

Putin gets heavy political backing from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I. Kirill, reportedly once a KGB agent under the guise of his priest’s habit, has done quite well for himself for a man of the cloth. In 2006, prior to his accession to his church’s highest position, the Moscow News estimated he had a personal fortune of about $4 billion. As journalist Jason Horowitz reports, “Kirill has in recent years aspired to expand his church’s influence, pursuing an ideology consistent with Moscow being a ‘Third Rome,’ a reference to a 15th-century idea of Manifest Destiny for the Orthodox Church, in which Mr. Putin’s Russia would become the spiritual center of the true church after Rome and Constantinople.”

Late last year, Kirill said in a sermon of those Russian soldiers dying in Ukraine: “sacrifice in the course of carrying out your military duty washes away all sins.” This is not unlike the Islamic promise that to die for Allah gets you into the Muslim heaven, a promise used to induce terrorists to tie bombs to their bodies and fly planes into buildings.

A “third Rome?” Putin’s enablers in his church benefit right along with the Russian president. “Putin has allowed the (Russian Orthodox) Church to return to prominence and supported it in a way unheard of since the Revolution,” writes religion scholar Ben Ryan. “The Church has, in turn, provided some of the intellectual and cultural backing for Putin’s Statist vision for Russia and the wider Russian sphere of influence.”

Putin could well believe in essential Christian teachings and even practice the rites of his church. He speaks fondly of his mother. “Mama gave me my baptismal cross to get it blessed at the Lord’s Tomb,” he once reported. Yet his faith is not the faith of the New Testament. It’s a perverse version of what Scripture teaches, one that “has a form of Godliness but denies the power thereof” (II Timothy 2:6).

Putin’s affirmations of certain biblical truths do not mean he has ever personally come to repentance and trust in a Savior Who alone can redeem. Until he does, he can, like the Pharisees of old, perform all the rituals and recite all the creeds of his tradition, but “neglect the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23-34). The suffering people of Ukraine can speak potently of this truth.

AUTHOR

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Huge Mistake’: Anheuser-Busch and Other Brands Continue to Face Worldwide Boycott

The year 2023 has been full of breaking news stories and madcap headlines. So far, it has entailed a bank collapse, four indictments of a former president, an AI revolution, investigations into the weaponization of the federal government, Hunter Biden’s controversial business dealings, and the list goes on.

In the midst of the political frenzy, one story continues to take the front page as more details are uncovered: the national boycott of several woke companies. The most recent development in this saga includes influential heirs and publications pointing out how far these companies have drifted from the values established by their founders.

Anheuser-Busch was the first to face a national boycott after Bud Light partnered with trans-identifying activist Dylan Mulvaney, ultimately costing the beer company $395 million in North America alone. Soon after, Target, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, and Sports Illustrated “decided to follow transgender advocacy straight to financial insolvency.” Although one would say that the ultimate goal of these retailers is to provide goods and services in exchange for currency, some experts argue that their priorities have shifted.

“Nothing big changes quickly. Corporations started caring more about virtue signaling than serving customers when they started to be led by people who cared more about virtue signaling than serving customers,” Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview, told The Washington Stand. “It’s just a fixation with feelings caused by a lack of adult leadership.”

With the collapse of Anheuser-Busch still in full swing, Billy Busch — the great-grandson of Adolphus Busch — weighed in on what he thinks his ancestors would have to say about the direction the company has taken.

“I think my family, my ancestors, would have rolled over in their graves,” he said. “They believed that transgender, gays, that sort of thing was all a very personal issue. They loved this country because it is a free country and people are allowed to do what they want, but it was never meant to be on a beer can and never meant to be pushed in people’s faces.”

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Busch noted that his family “wouldn’t have ever gotten as political as this.” He said that his family lived by the motto “making friends is our business,” which entailed bringing people together, making for a fun drinking experience. He later added, “people that drink Bud Light — that drink beer — really don’t relate to that kind of advertising,” calling the Dylan Mulvaney partnership “a huge mistake.”

As Anheuser-Busch sales continue to plummet over their LGBT advocacy, another massive corporation has walked away from their foundational values, also resulting in a financial crash.

Disney was next to be pummeled by the boycott wave, eventually resulting in the entertainment behemoth taking a monetary beating earlier this year. Not only did two of their recent films, “Lightyear” and “Strange World,” cost them $258 million, but Disney’s “crowds are getting smaller” this summer. Management’s ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has also proven unsuccessful, as they recently announced the cancellation of their $1 billion construction complex in Florida. Some are attributing their recent downfall to their woke, political agenda, which contradicts the founder’s values.

“Roy and Walt Disney would be shocked to see how Disney’s values have changed, which I believe is the foundation of Disney’s downward spiral in the last few years,” Melissa Henson wrote in an opinion piece published by The Washington Times. “Disney’s shift over the past few years — from broken promises about keeping R-rated content off Disney+ to content that sexualizes children — may have a lot to do with the company’s dismal performance these last several months.”

While speculations have been made as to why so many corporations have been abandoned this year, Backholm addressed the morality of boycotting from a Christian perspective.

“When it comes to boycotting, I think Christians are prohibited from encouraging evil. It’s hard to know where that line is because we live in a sin-filled world, and you can’t ever escape connections to it. But if we become convinced that one action is likely to lead to evil, we can’t take that action.” Ultimately, Backholm concluded, “We should all have a line that we are unwilling to cross.”

AUTHOR

Abigail Olsson

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘What Is a Woman?’ Katie McCoy’s New Book Provides Biblical Clarity

Conversations surrounding gender and sexuality are seemingly inescapable these days, and Christians today are increasingly being labeled as “hateful” by those who disagree with a biblical worldview. In these contentious times, it is more necessary than ever that Christians approach these topics both biblically and lovingly.

Despite the ubiquity of these topics, many Christians shy away from the conversation for fear of being “canceled” or for lack of knowledge about what has become a complicated battlefield of ideas. However, Christians must join the discussion because gender ideology is causing real harm to the most vulnerable among us: children.

Although gender ideology has a detrimental effect on children of both sexes, it is having an outsized effect on young women. As our culture’s answer to the question “What is a woman?” becomes more and more uncertain, young women are being inundated with contradictory ideologies that lead to harmful physical consequences. At her March 2022 confirmation hearing, Ketanji Brown Jackson epitomized our culture’s confusion when the future Supreme Court justice declined to define the word “woman.”

Katie McCoy’s new book “To Be a Woman” is an important contribution to the conversation about how Christians can answer the day’s toughest questions about sexuality and gender with love, compassion, grace, and wisdom. McCoy sheds light on what has become a difficult topic, specifically addressing how young women are disproportionately affected.

If we are going to respond to our culture with love and knowledge, we must first properly understand the basics of the conversation we are undertaking. McCoy seeks to explain the “confusion over female identity and how Christians can respond” with a five-part model: the How, the Why, the Where, the What, and the Who.

The How addresses the social catalysts that have created an environment that cultivates disorder and confusion about gender and sexuality. The “epidemic” that has become known as rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) affects young women more frequently than young men, and the influence of online resources that encourage ROGD means that the standard of care is causing increasingly more harm.

The Why analyzes the ingredients and ideologies that have combined to create a world that sustains these influences and discussions. From the rise of the postmodern worldview to the growing distrust of society and authority and, more importantly, the separation of God from culture, our society has broken down the fundamental attributes of gender, and this has become a harmful recipe that results in “toxic, dangerous, and corrosive” behavior.

The Where presents the science behind “treatment” for rapid-onset gender dysphoria and how the validation of gender identity leads to harmful physical consequences that society views as “loving treatments.” However, these validations, ranging from fake periods to new pronouns, attempt to separate the connection between biology and gender, to which McCoy responds well by clarifying, “Gender is distinct from biology, but it is still derived from biology.”

The What breaks down the biological differences between the sexes that are so stark they cannot be ignored. Contemplating the many physiological and neurobiological differences present in human anatomy helps readers navigate the labyrinth of gender topics and remind us that we should be in awe of and not overwhelmed by the complexity that God created in us.

The Who connects the meaning of gender and womanhood to the context of the Bible and the healing that society needs to undergo in order to repair women’s relationships with their physical bodies. Commenting that “maleness and femaleness have a purpose,” McCoy brings the discussion back to God’s plan for humanity and reflects on the deeper meaning of being “made in His image.”

Chapter Six rounds out the conversation by offering more evidence on why the topic of womanhood ought to be important to Christians and places this conversation in the reality of the family unit and everyday life.

In the final chapter, McCoy charges Christians to have compassion and love for others. God commands His people in Leviticus 19 to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Christians are called to follow these commandments given by God even when it is difficult.

With so much confusion and ambiguity plaguing our society’s conversations about gender and sexuality, it is important for Christians to maintain a solid understanding of the battle of ideas that is taking place. Katie McCoy provides a straightforward and clear introduction to the topic that can help believers navigate these conversations effectively and graciously.

AUTHOR

Abigail Odom

Abigail Odom is an intern at Family Research Council.

RELATED PODCAST: Confusion, Feminism, and What it Really Means to Be a Woman

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Gallup Polls Show Increase in Unbelief and Uncertainty, and It’s Not Surprising

Since 2001, Gallup News has polled Americans on their belief in five prominent “religious entities” — God, angels, heaven, hell, and the devil. After their fifth poll, which took place in May of this year, Americans seem to be straying further from belief in religious entities, and thus, closer to uncertainty or even complete unbelief.

According to the poll, “74% believe in God, 69% angels, 67% heaven, 59% hell, [and] 58% the devil.” When comparing these results with the initial survey conducted in 2001, Gallup concluded that “belief in God and heaven is down the most (16 points each), while belief in hell has fallen 12 points, and the devil and angels are down 10 points each.” In addition to this information, a 2023 study done by George Barna at the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University found that only 4% of Americans hold a biblical worldview, which has only recently dropped from the previous 6%.

Clearly, we are living in a time of depravity. Not in the sense of how humans are depraved on account of the fall in Genesis 3, but in the sense that Americans are deprived of truth while constantly being fed lies. Whether viewing these statistics from a biblical or secular worldview, the results shouldn’t be surprising.

From a biblical worldview, Christians see the enemy at work in the LGBT agenda, abortion industry, war on (biological) women, indoctrination of children, and many other aspects of society. In a short amount of time, these narratives crept their way to the surface of politics, education, and everyday life. Corrupt ideology is rampant among us, and it is difficult to escape from its gaping jaws without Scripture’s guidance.

But even from a secular worldview, the leftist agenda has been so loud that even those who were once neutral are now being swayed to adopt a distaste for religion. Again, not so surprising. Imagine straddling the fence of societal opinions when an army of “my truthers” come shouting their beliefs directly at you. The mere amplitude of their cries is enough to shove the indifferent onto the side of “inclusivity” and “acceptance,” even if solely out of fear of being hated or rejected.

“My body, my choice,” they scream.

“Gender and sexuality are subjective,” they proclaim.

“If you aren’t for us, then you’re against us and worthy of being canceled,” they threaten.

The list goes on for how these people tantalize those who disagree with them. They use the same tactics on the ones they see as vulnerable prey, just waiting to seize them with the bonds of worldly manipulation coordinated by Satan and his demons. To exasperate the matter, a sense of purposelessness plagues the unbeliever and often tempts the one who does believe. The 2023 Gallup poll only affirms this notion.

Regardless of what worldview one holds, it remains true that no human being enjoys feeling like they have no purpose. And yet, this is a common conundrum. If one does not find their purpose in Christ, Ecclesiastes makes it clear that all is vanity. For the one without God, purpose is impossible to find. So, when we see these statistics that say more Americans are committing to unbelief, or are trapped in uncertainty on what to believe, it is reasonable to attribute much of it to this desire of having purpose.

A biblical worldview comes with an agreed-upon objective of purpose found in Christ. Of course, the secular worldview has no objective truth, but rather a stream of various definitions of what purpose entails. David Closson, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Biblical Worldview, put it this way: “A fragmented worldview leads to confusion.” And this confusion is only becoming more prominent. As a result, we can expect the numbers of those who believe in spiritual entities to continue dropping as the heritage of biblical worldview becomes increasingly forgotten.

When discussing how Christians can respond to this reality, Closson noted two major obligations: to remember we live in a post-Christian world and to not take basic Christian doctrine for granted. “Even a lot of Christians probably don’t do well on these polls,” he said. “Why is that? Because people are not reading their Bibles and pastors are not giving theologically [rich] sermons.”

As Closson phrased it, Christians need to “re-double efforts in New Testament discipleship 101,” which he concluded is to preach the word, study the Bible, engage in Christian fellowship, and strive to strengthen our faith in and out of the church walls. Ultimately, if Christians don’t do what we know we are called to do according to Scripture, no one else will.

It is unlikely this poll will be the last of its kind conducted by Gallup. And it is likely the numbers will continue to fall. But rather than allowing it to serve as a hindrance to the Christian calling, may it fuel our hearts to good works, bold faith, and godly witness.

Christ’s church is being built as we speak — don’t you dare pull back now.

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

President Biden’s Disqualifying Filial Affection

The adults are back in charge, and normalcy is restored to Washington. White House evacuations, profanity-laced rants, disavowal of family members, corruption of justice, hard drugs — that’s what normal means, right?

The U.S. Secret Service evacuated the White House last Sunday evening after a small bag of white powder, later determined to be cocaine, was discovered. At least three different locations have been suggested as the place where the bag of powder was found. On Tuesday, the Secret Service informed Bloomberg Business investigative reporter Jason Leopold that they could not, in fact, disclose records “referencing the cocaine found in the West Wing of the White House,” as “disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

But if investigators have a lead on who left cocaine in the White House, they haven’t tipped their hand. Last Wednesday, Politico quoted an unnamed law enforcement official suggesting it is unlikely the culprit will be caught. “Even if there were surveillance cameras, unless you were waving it around, it may not have been caught” by cameras, the official said. “It’s a bit of a thoroughfare. People walk by there all the time.”

But entering the White House is not like crossing the southern border. Federal law enforcement performs a prior background check on every staffer, intern, and visitor. Those with security clearances face a more strenuous investigative process — and using hard drugs would be grounds for immediate revocation and termination — while even interns are fingerprinted and tested for drugs. Security for the West Wing is even more stringent; visitors (restricted to certain times and numbers) and interns (thanks to President Clinton) are not allowed to waltz through without a staff escort. Meticulous record-keeping and visitor logs should enable the Secret Service to rapidly narrow the pool of suspects.

Unless, that is, the culprit was a member of the executive family — exempt from visitor logs and the usual screening protocols. That would make the investigation, if not harder, a more sensitive affair.

One member of the president’s family has a public history of cocaine use: Hunter Biden, the president’s son. The younger Biden (who is in his 50s) wrote in his memoir about a low point in his life when he was “smoking crack every 15 minutes.” His laptop, abandoned at a Delaware repair shop, also provides evidence of his addiction, among other crimes and immorality. He was kicked out of the Navy in 2013 and out of a strip club in 2019, both for drug use. (In 2018, he answered the question, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” in the negative, on a form to purchase a handgun, which he subsequently lost after his girlfriend — also his brother’s widow — threw it in a trashcan across the street from a high school.)

That isn’t to say that the cocaine found in the White House belonged to Hunter Biden. There could be other suspects, another cause, or a bulletproof alibi. But National Review’s Jim Geraghty has pointed out that he is at least a natural target for suspicion. In response to a question along that line, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that even asking if the cocaine belonged to Hunter or another Biden family member “is actually incredibly irresponsible.” At the very least, this response does not incite public confidence that the investigation is going forward with the open-mindedness required to maximize the likelihood of success.

In fact, Geraghty also noted that Hunter Biden somehow avoided prosecution for the near-constant possession and use of cocaine (federally and locally illegal) during years in which his father’s high ranking public offices placed him in frequent proximity to law enforcement. “We have this odd situation of a top government official’s son who, in his own description, was constantly doing drugs, and regularly around law-enforcement agents with drug-sniffing dogs, who somehow never got caught,” he wrote. “Remarkable luck!”

Hunter’s “luck” rolls on like a casino’s. Last month, Hunter Biden was facing decades of jail time, as an investigation the Justice Department (DOJ) could no longer slow-walk found itself in possession of strong evidence that Hunter had committed multiple felonies — in addition to lying on the firearms form, Hunter Biden also failed to pay his taxes for multiple years, not to mention his influence peddling in foreign countries. Instead of charging him with any felonies, the DOJ allowed Hunter Biden to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and avoid jail time in a probation deal that suspends any other prosecution while he abides by his probation terms.

Of course, there is an obvious conflict-of-interest in officials who serve at the will and pleasure of President Joe Biden supervising the criminal prosecution of his son. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy wrote that Attorney General Merrick Garland was “duty-bound” by law to appoint a special counsel in the Hunter Biden case, yet he did not do so. Instead, Garland delivered an “intentionally provocative” sweetheart deal for the president’s son just as the DOJ was unveiling a politically inflammatory prosecution of a former president and current presidential candidate.

In an added twist, the DOJ unsealed an indictment this week against Gal Luft, believed to be a witness in the U.S. House investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign influence-peddling, charging him with violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The DOJ seems determinedly uncurious about the foreign business dealings of the Biden family, despite a suspicious number of large bank transfers. Luft advised a now-defunct Chinese energy company for four years, while Hunter Biden had business dealings with the company. Luft contacted the FBI and DOJ as early as 2019 and offered to provide them with evidence of Hunter Biden’s misdoings.

Throughout the scandals, President Joe Biden has stuck by his son Hunter, categorically declaring in May, “my son has done nothing wrong,” even though he authored the gun law Hunter violated. Only days after pleading guilty to misdemeanors, Hunter appeared at a White House state dinner. Could these public declarations of support have any influence on the conduct of government officials who report to the president?

The optics are so poor that even NBC News is concerned:

“The public displays of parental support, to the dismay of some Democrats, aren’t just about a loving father or a stubborn president’s defiance. For Biden, keeping his son — a recovering drug addict — close means keeping him safe, people close to the president say. Behind the Hunter Biden photo-ops and the state dinner invitations, they say, is an existential concern that weighs on the president daily: If he loosens his grip on his son, who or what will replace it — and to what end? ‘It’s consumed him,’ a person close to the president said.

Of course, helping a recovering drug addict to make good choices is not a bad thing. But President Biden seems to have taken the concept a bit too far. President Biden reportedly refuses to hear advice about Hunter from well-meaning aides. Again, from NBC:

“President Joe Biden has made it clear to his closest aides in no uncertain terms that he not only will reject any political advice that he try to limit his son Hunter’s public visibility but that he also doesn’t want to hear such suggestions, according to three people familiar with the discussions. His message, as one of the sources described it, was: ‘Hands off my family.’”

The aides would do well to heed the warning. Axios recently reported that, “behind closed doors, Biden has such a quick-trigger temper that some aides try to avoid meeting alone with him.” His go-to admonitions are too laced with profanity to be reprinted here. Out of the media’s eye, the ice cream-licking back-slapper is a different person altogether.

Loyalty to one’s family is not a bad quality, but Joe Biden only extends it to some family members. In fact, President Biden has refused to acknowledge his relationship to one of his grandchildren so often that even the mainstream media is starting to notice.

An affair between Hunter Biden and a former stripper produced a little girl, Navy Joan Roberts, born out-of-wedlock in 2018. A 2020 paternity test (which he tried to dodge) proved he is her father. After he was sued for child support, Biden continued to fight a losing legal battle in Arkansas family court. Eventually, he gave the child’s mother some of his overpriced paintings in exchange for denying his daughter the right to use the Biden family name (can you imagine your own father doing that to you?).

Navy Joan is Biden’s seventh grandchild, yet Biden insisted again, recently, that he has “six grandchildren, and I’m crazy about them — I speak to them every single day; not a joke.” At least he doesn’t send mean tweets.

There’s loving and defending your family, and then there’s the way that Joe Biden treats Hunter. When it comes to Hunter, Joe Biden seems to lack proportionality, propriety, or the ability to take advice. Proverbs 13:10 warns, “by insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.”

But family loyalty should not be a trump card to all other values. In Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Moses instructs the Israelites that if a son is persistently stubborn and rebellious, the penalty is death, and his own parents should initiate the legal proceedings against him. The stated purpose is, “so you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” Such a drastic law demonstrates the importance of righteousness. In America today, we live in a different context where disobedience is not (and should not be) a capital crime. The lesson for us today is that righteousness and justice are more important than even the closest familial ties.

The jury is still out on how closely Joe Biden was involved in Hunter’s foreign business dealings as vice president, but he has clearly used his position as president on his son’s behalf. And even if this isn’t corruption in a legal sense or serious enough to warrant impeachment, everyone understands this is a political issue. That is why the DOJ leaned on social media companies to suppress the New York Post’s original reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop. That is why a Biden aide said last week, when asked whether the White House cocaine belonged to Hunter, answered, “I don’t have a response to that because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act” (the Hatch Act prevents federal officials from using their official positions for campaign purposes). And that is why Hunter Biden will continue to make news as long as his father remains in the White House.

That Joe Biden seems unable to keep this perspective with regard to his son Hunter cast doubt on his ability to faithfully execute his office, or even uphold his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. Is there nothing he won’t do for his son?

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


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