Wednesday, April 28, 2021

100 Fails in 100 Days: Tracking the Biden Administration

The following comes from the Family Research Council:

As President Biden marks his first 100 days in office, it is an important milestone that will set the tone for the Biden administration's next four years in charge. Unfortunately, Biden's first 100 days has featured an onslaught of executive actions and policies that harm life, family, and religious freedom.

Family Research Council has been diligently tracking the Biden administration's moves every step of the way.

To keep you informed about what the Biden administration has done during the president's first 100 days in office, FRC Action released a new resource, "Tracking the Biden Administration."

On this web page you will find:

  • A list of executive actions Biden has taken against social conservative positions on life, family and religious freedom.
  • Full bios and past records on abortion/family issues for each of his key nominees.
  • A document with both Biden and Harris's past records in Congress.
  • A final Trump Administration Accomplishments document -- which can be compared to Biden's record (as well as set the bar for the next Republican administration).
  • A visible reminder of all the money that will go to abortion under Biden. In calculating this number, we chose to count any funds that either lack key pro-life protections (Hyde/Helms) or directly subsidize abortion/abortion providers. We will track this growing number throughout the remainder of his term; it's already at $479 billion.



Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Left-of-Century: Biden's 100 First Days

Joe Biden hasn't even been president for 100 days, and it already feels like an eternity. In just three months, the man absurdly dubbed a "moderate" has emerged from his campaign basement and dispelled that notion -- to the delight of the party's radicals. He has embraced the far-Left's all-out war on every pillar of democracy. Shell-shocked, Americans have watched this White House spend us into insolvency, inflame our divides, and lead a charge to radically makeover the Supreme Court, our states' election laws, the U.S. Senate, immigration policy, religious freedom, and human biology. He's exceeded expectations to be sure -- just not in the way most voters had hoped.

I
t's no wonder, in this flurry of leftist wish-granting, that most people in this country aren't giving Biden high marks. In a new ABC/Washington Post poll, the 46th president's approval rating at 52 percent is the lowest of any modern president except Donald Trump and Gerald Ford. "For the 14 presidents from Truman to Biden, the 100-day average is 66 percent." Biden's highest marks, ironically, come from COVID successes he can't even claim credit for, having been in set in motion months earlier under Trump's Operation Warp Speed. And yet still, the mainstream media -- the informal arm of Biden's PR team -- is even trying to spin the public's response, claiming that 52-percent approval "is the new 60."

"Any time you're over 50 in this polarized environment, that's really solid," NBC's Chuck Todd argued. "It's sort of the new 60 percent of the way when you and I grew up in the 80s and 90s." But unfortunately for him, there's no way to gloss over other numbers -- like Biden's glaring underperformance on foreign affairs, the border, and race relations. In results that are sure to be ignored by the press, Pew found that 54 percent of Americans say they disagree with the president on "most or all issues." Only 44 percent agree. A plurality think he's spending too much (48 percent), Quinnipiac points out, and on immigration, his numbers are at crisis levels -- even as he insists the actual problem is not.

Read the entire article by Tony Perkins here at FRC.


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Standing Strong Against Godlessness

 

When I was younger, it was not uncommon to hear people say, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it.” As a nation, we fundamentally believed in liberty—in freedom of religion, speech, and thought.


Today, however, a radical movement is racing across our country, the United Kingdom, and many other nations, to censor and erase anyone or anything that a vocal minority finds offensive. This “woke” movement has no problem with blatant forms of sin being displayed publicly on television and the internet. But they want to ban expressions from people who embrace traditional views of morality, family, and religion. This “cancel culture” doesn’t allow for free speech. When they find a sports team, a politician, or an entertainer who stands for Biblical values, they immediately want to silence and remove them.

We experienced this in Blackpool, England, when a small but influential group of activists protested our 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope, where I was going to be preaching the Gospel. When LGBT activists piled on Twitter, complaining about the evangelistic event because they disagree with my convictions about marriage, they pressured the local bus company to remove our ads from their vehicles. After the Festival, we filed a case in the court system to fight this injustice.

Read Franklin Graham's entire letter from April 2021 here.


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Heroes Needed

The following is my column for The Clinton Chronicle for April 14, 2021.

Our world needs heroes. For such examples, sometimes we look backward.

My youngest son and I are reading Eric Metaxas’ book, 7 Men and 7 Women and the Secret of their Greatness. I highly recommend it. One model is Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the German theologian and pastor who protected German Jews and participated in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. For such actions he hung at Flossenburg concentration camp.

Born into an extraordinary family, his parents taught their children to love learning of all kinds and to think logically, acting upon their beliefs. Dietrich “understood that ideas were never mere ideas but the foundations upon which hone built one’s actions and ultimately one’s life.”

A sort of epiphany during his eighteenth year while attending a Palm Sunday Eucharist at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome forged a deep conviction with far-reaching consequences: the church transcended race, nationality, and culture, and that extended beyond German Lutherans.

While a seminary student in America, he participated in the country’s largest church – an African American one in Harlem, New York. He witnessed a people whose God was real and personal – not just philosophical or theological – in spite of their often-hard lives. The pastor, Adam Powell, Sr., challenged hearers to have a genuine relationship with Jesus and to put their faith into action in how they treated others: “Bonhoeffer seemed to link the idea of having deep faith in Jesus with taking political and social action.”

Returning to Germany in 1931 to teach at Berlin University, his friends noted a marked change. His faith now was a wedding of both intellect and heart. The seeds of theological liberalism were sprouting in Germany, including the higher criticism movement. In contrast to many Berlin theological circles, he “referred to the Bible as the Word of God, as though God existed and was alive and wanted to speak to us through it. The whole point of studying the text was to get to the God behind the text. The experience could not be merely intellectual but must also be personal and real.” The young teacher discipled his students to meditate on the Bible, pray, and love Jesus.

Adolf Hitler stepped into a vacuum of leadership in Germany, reeling from their defeat in World War I and lacking the experience as a country with governing themselves democratically. He brilliantly played to their felt needs, promising moderation and peace and claiming internal betrayal from Communists and Jews. This false idea of treachery – the Dolchstoss (stab-in-the-back) was the “fake news” of 1930’s Germany, and many accepted it as truth.

Historically, a prophet has divine insight to see beyond public rhetoric – and to distinguish between true and false. Prophets often go unheeded and receive gross mistreatment because their warnings seem out of sync with popular discourse.

Bonhoeffer saw things would get much worse for his country, and he realized Hitler’s Nationa


l Socialists would lead the nation into catastrophic results. Two days after Hitler became Germany’s chancellor, the theologian delivered a radio speech chastising Hitler’s perverse idea of leadership. He warned the Germans the chancellor would mislead the people: he “saw from the very beginning what no one else seemed to see – that Hitler and the philosophy he represented would end tragically, and that Nazi ideology could not coexist with Christianity.”

Though Hitler pretended to be a Christian, he secretly despised it, wanting to slowly infiltrate the church with Nazi theology, unify German churches around his ideology, and “create a single state church that submitted to him alone.” He did so incrementally so most people wouldn’t be alarmed until it was too late.

Bonhoeffer, whose father taught him to think ideas through to their consequential ends, tried to warn fellow Germans. Convinced true Christians had to fight the Nazi movement with all their strength, Bonhoeffer sounded the alarm about the radical growing evil. He knew a “slumbering church would be no match for the Nazis.” Sadly, many German Christians did not understand or acknowledge what was at stake and were unwilling to fight the movement.

By the late 1930’s, Nazis increased the scope of government with many laws and regulations, limiting the freedoms of citizens and especially serious Christians. They eventually prohibited Dietrich from teaching and speaking publicly. As the Third Reich took complete control of society, he and other believers faced incredible ethical-moral choices. How does a Christian act under a government that enforces laws diametrically opposed to God’s Word?

Some of Bonhoeffer’s family were involved in a conspiracy against Hitler. Through immense, prayerful consideration, they agreed with the motto referenced in the American Revolution: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” As Adolf consolidated his power, underground conversations continued about how to stop the Fuhrer. They “believed that to do anything less was to shrink from God’s call to act upon one’s beliefs.”

As World War II began, Dietrich became a double agent, openly pretending to be a part of the Third Reich, while secretly working with the wide network of conspirators to destroy it.

While working underground to save the lives of seven Jews, Gestapo leaders discovered the plan and arrested Bonhoeffer at his parents’ home. At Berlin’s Tegel military prison, he wrote his famous Letters and Papers from Prison. Fifteen months after his arrest, conspirators enacted the Valkyrie plot  - a failed attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer with bombs. The vast conspiracy now exposed, names were revealed, including Dietrich’s.

Taken to an underground high-security prison, he prepared for death, which he called “the last station on the road to freedom.” Later transferred to Flossenburg  concentration camp, under direct orders of Hitler, Dietrich was executed on April 9.

The cost of discipleship for Bonhoeffer was great. Metaxas summarizes, “he lived his whole life to illustrate . . . that anyone who pays a price or who suffers for obeying God’s will is worthy of our celebration.”

 

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Friday, March 26, 2021

They're Coming for Oral Roberts University, and that Means They Are Coming for You, Too


Will Christian colleges survive? Will colleges and universities that hold to historical biblical definitions of gender and sexuality and marriage be forced into the academic wilderness? What about American collegiate sports? Will conservative Christian schools be ruled out of bounds?

These are real and urgent questions. Christians in the United States now face the reality that open hostility to our convictions is now leading to public calls for Christian colleges and schools to be marginalized and excluded from organizations such as the NCAA. . . .

Make no mistake, this may be about Oral Roberts University today, but the same will be said about you and your school, your church, and your organization tomorrow. You can count on it. All the scare words in this article, about bigotry and phobia and regressive sexist policies and fundamentalist morality and “wildly out of line with modern society and the basic values of human decency,” will soon be directed at any Christian institution that dares to defy the new moral order.

Read the entire article by Albert Mohler here.


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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Do Not Surrender, and Do Not Pivot!

 

This legislation would massively change our moral landscape and silence people of faith who do not agree with the secular values of the Left. But more than muzzling us, they want to force us to pivot—to change direction—instead of trusting God and standing on His Word. If we begin compromising on basic Biblical truths, it will lead to the end of Christianity in this country. We cannot surrender on our watch. We must not remain silent.

The Apostle Paul faced significant opposition and criticism while he ministered in the city of Corinth. The resistance could not stop him, however, and he continued sharing the Word of God. The Bible says many Corinthians heard the Gospel, believed, and were baptized. During that time, the Lord spoke to him, saying, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you” (Acts 18:9–10, ESV).

In difficult days, we must remember God promised He would always be with His people—those who believe in Him, according to the Scriptures, repent of their sins, receive Him into their lives, and follow Him in obedience. As our country continues to turn further away from God and the Bible, followers of Jesus must work to preserve His truth for future generations.

Read the entire article by Franklin Graham here.


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Sweeping Madness


The following is my newspaper column for the week of March 21, 2021 . . .

“Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22 HCSB).

Perhaps no statement better describes our elite culture.


Rev. Franklin Graham warns, “Madness is sweeping our country. I am referring to the ever-widening spread of what has been dubbed cancel culture, the suppression and intolerance of people whose viewpoints differ from what our godless society has deemed fitting and appropriate. Not surprisingly, the overwhelmingly left-wing cancel culture has aimed its most vicious verbal darts squarely at Christians who hold a Biblical worldview founded on the authority of God’s uncompromising Word.”

Here's one recent example. A private, Episcopal, New York K-12 school released a 12-page “inclusive language” guide, recommending students stop using such potentially-insensitive terms like “mom,” “dad,” “parents,” and “traditional family.” Teachers likewise are not to address students as “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen,” but instead “friends,” “readers,” or “mathematicians.”

Yet another case in the downward spiral of abandoning reason, logic, and truth for feelings, irrationality, and the intolerant “woke” Left.

General Michael Flynn writes in his recent article, 5 Lessons I Learned when the Deep State Came after Me and My Family, “There is a reason why the forces of darkness are trying so hard to eradicate the family as we know it. They see how powerful the bond of family can be, so they want to redefine it, water it down and replace it with a dependency on the state. . . . Do not think of the fight to protect our families as distinct from our fight to save America. The fight to protect the family is the cornerstone of our fight to save America.”

As I write, the House of Representatives recently passed, by a narrow margin, a dangerous piece of legislation called The Equality Act. The name deceives. For decades, the outer-fringe proponents of the sexual revolution said, “Please just accept non-traditional forms of sexual choices and we can all get along.” What we see today is the “get along” means submit to an alternative way of thinking. Don’t even dare admit you agree with the view of sexuality held by most of history and every major world religion prior to the last few decades.

Scott Powell shares, “The Equality Act would override our Constitution and tear down a number of norms that are essential for the majority of our society and its institutions to function reasonably well. Fundamental First Amendment rights, such as the rights of free speech and individual conscience that have been the cornerstone and bedrock of our country and its people, would be overridden and forced underground with the passage of the Equality Act”(The Equality Act: The Next Step for the Cancel Culture?).

Just a few of the implications of this act: the government could force their positions of sexual orientation and gender identity on schools, churches, and healthcare organizations, threatening freedom of speech in everyday communication. Schools could be forced to teach that sex is not established by biology but a person’s choice. People would be forced to pretend some biological males are actually females.

Religious organizations could be stripped of their right to hire people who share their faith and values. Colleges and universities could lose their accreditation – and students not allowed to receive federal grants and loans – to schools that do not submit to the new “collective identity.” Medical professionals and hospitals could be forced to deliver treatments with which they fundamentally disagree – and hold back wisdom and advice they actually do believe. And, anyone or group who does not submit could be punished by the new Leftist government. (Remember Star Trek’s the Borg? “Resistance is futile.”)

Our Founders built “the structures and functioning of government on natural law. Law used to be thought of as a civilizing force to protect society. Now with society becoming increasingly unmoored from its moral heritage, new laws have focused more on new-found minority rights and less on protective obligations to the majority. And it seems with this unmooring, the legislative and legal agenda has been more driven by emotional appeal and experimentation than in circumspection more common in prior times. . . . As a result, if laws like the Equality Act come into being, they create uncertainty and unrest by undercutting long-held fundamental norms. What should also be clear is that when law requires the transformation of the peoples’ moral norms, it brings on mass confusion and social psychological dysphoria, which weakens society and even erodes the underpinnings of civilized behavior. Cancel culture has already done enough harm.”


We live in dangerous days with alarming ideas and hazardous leaders.

We need Gideons and Deborahs to arise, people of truth, conviction, compassion, and courage. We need people like Winston Churchill, George Washington, William Wilberforce, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and King David.

Again, Flynn writes, “America needs fighters today. We need those who will say as President Andrew Jackson did, ‘I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me.’

We need those who will stand against failed Marxist ideologies that have invaded the mainstream of our consciousness like a network of choking vines seeking to strangle the mighty American oak tree.”

 

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.