There was an intriguing article on USAToday.com addressing the issue of a federally funded ad campaign to promote the value of marriage in our society. Looking past the dominant theme of where out tax dollars go, I tried to soak up how the topic of marriage was being handled by the author. She claims that recent preliminary studies show that about 30% less people per 1,000 are getting married now than in 1986. This is surely a result of the “test drive” mentality of marriage which has developed in the last 50 years or so into living together as a prerequisite to marriage itself. As a Christian it is sad every time I hear more news about failing marriages in our country, but if anything it does encourage me all the more to be a more Christ-like leader and lover to my family with the expectation that someday marriage will be perfected when the ultimate Groom will come for His bride and set all things right.
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After all, what better to fix the ailing economy than a giant, cumbersome product of questionable value and exorbitant expense?
Genesis 15:6 – “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
“Since the verb to ‘believe’ in Genesis 15:6 is the Hebrew hiphil form of the verb ‘aman (cf. English ‘amen’), Geerhardus vos pointed to the ‘causative-productive sense’ of the verb and to the preposition. Both, in his judgment, showed that faith had its source and its object in the personal Yahweh. For Abraham, it meant he had to renounce all his human efforts to secure the promise and depend on the same divine person who spoke of the future to work in the present and the future to accomplish what He said He would do. Thus Abraham possessed the promises of God as yet unrealized when he possessed the God of the promises and His trustworthy word.“
Found in Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Toward an Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978), 92.
This is great stuff:
Yesterday, at 3:50 pm, Kyle Wagner joined the chorus of the saints who have gone before us. I must say that I have never looked back on the life of any individual with as much gratitude as I do with Kyle. I am grateful to God that I was able to know Kyle, for the conviction that he often gave me, and the encouragement that he always was to me. Although he wasn’t convinced by all of my theology (he told me that I wasn’t making any sense) he willingly suffered for the glory of God.
Kyle regularly sent emails out to his church family and friends. In recent days, his emails grew shorter and shorter. Here is the final email he sent out. Be blessed by it:
By grace now I’m saved—Hallelujah!
Praise God, and through faith it’s been done;
Naught of myself, but believing
In the finished work of His Son. —Gladwin
We are saved not by what we do but by trusting what Christ has done.
I am weary of talking about this issue. I am weary of the tired rhetoric of homosexual activists. I am weary of Keith Olberman’s polarizing caricatures of conservatives. Most of all, I am weary of the liberal intolerance (interesting article here). There will be a powder keg issue on the ballots for the next 12 years. No, sadly, we cannot vote on propositions to halt the murders of unborn children. The issue will be homosexual marriage. There is a militant drive to adopt such legislation across the United States seen just recently in the Pan-American protests in lieu of the majority’s acceptance of Proposition 8 in California.
When gay marriage is accepted in America, we will lose something which Americans have treasured since we founded this nation – separation of church and state. Incidentally, Separation of Church and State began as a Baptist doctrine. Read on the life of early Baptist pastor James Leyland if you don’t believe me. Separation of church and state is something the liberals don’t even understand, and the evangelicals hate the “wall of separation,” not realizing that they should be grateful for it and support it! This is because both are working from the same understanding of the idea. Incidentally, godlessness and atheism is as much a “church” as Christianity and Islam, and the state must be separated from such control.
I slap my forehead when I hear the protestors chanting “Separate Church and State!” Oy vey! When gay marriage had been legalized in California they immediately began to pressure the Methodist church telling them to “live up” to their slogan (“Open hearts, open minds”) by performing gay marriages. School children had to sign pledges to accept gay marriage. Similarly, a pastor in Canada (where gay marriage is accepted) was arrested in the last year for preaching that homosexuality was a sin. So the state has begun to make hermeneutical interpretations for the Church up in Canada. Also of note, a Christian adoption agency was shut down in Great Britain because it was their personal conviction not to allow homosexuals to adopt. There were plenty of other orphanages and adoption agencies through which homosexuals could achieve this, but they specifically targeted the Christians. Shutting down orphanages to achieve one’s own agenda… classy. Article here.
We will eventually see homosexual marriage adopted in America on the Federal level. This will be a grave time for the Church. Preachers of the Gospel will be indicted for hate crimes, but hopefully this will not go too far before our leaders see their hypocrisy. I expect then that, like in the case of abortion, free speech will be allowed to everyone except to Christians in the vicinity of a metropolitan church performing a gay marriage. In view of such dark times, Christians should take hope in and be reminded that we are citizens of a Kingdom far greater than America. Build that Kingdom: Preach the Gospel, though the pagans demand your blood, and Herod rages against the children!
Great Britain has reached a new level of secularization as the government is beginning to move and remove older gravesites because of supposed land limitations. Apparently “burial space in England and Wales will be full in 30 years, while some urban boroughs are already out of room.” The problem is clearly not a space issue as one scan over Great Britain on Google Maps shows that they aren’t running out of space any time soon. The issue is that culturally they have lost any regard for the human body after death. “Human remains are to be dug up and re-buried deeper in the ground in double-decker graves to tackle a shortage of space for new burials.” The fact that two-thirds of the English get cremated each year demonstrates that they are loosing all contact with the past as they stack and rack corpses. This is the natural progression of hedonistic thought. Once the body looses its value it is only a matter of time before the dead are longer regarded. It is only a matter of time before this disregard for the dead will eventually permeate all areas of life, no only in England but in America as well. It will be the responsibility of the living to plan on eliminating themselves after death. The Christian community has historically valued the saints who have gone before as the church looks forward to the resurrection of the body despite death. The church must therefore clearly hold to its veneration of the dead, as it looks toward the resurrection and reunion of the soul with the body in the psychosomatic unity that is the composition of man.