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What I Read Online – 11/08/2012 (a.m.)

08 Nov
    • It marks a meteoric rise for the former oil executive who has been a bishop   for only a year, but insiders described Welby as “the outstanding   candidate”.
    • The problem with this approach is that the moral degeneracy of America did not happen in the voting booth but in the living room, the classroom, and the marketplace. I would urge that alarm over the moral catastrophe of this recent election should be expressed not in the Christian political posture but in the way actual Christians relate to the culture and to non-Christian people we know.
    • Make an increased effort to get to know your non-Christian neighbor and co-worker
    • Refuse to compromise on Christians standards even at the cost of persecution.
    • Speak more pointedly to the true moral and spiritual issues at work destroying America
    • Begin making a serious commitment to pray for the Church and for America
    • Recommit yourself as a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ
    • Like so many areas of the Christian life, the Lord gives us freedom to choose how many children we will have. He gives us the principles we need to know how to live in this world for his glory, and having done that, he now grants us freedom to apply those principles very differently from person to person and couple to couple. And in all of this he is good.
    • Many of us have some disagreements with the President. As a conservative Christian, I believe unborn children have certain inalienable rights, including the right to life, and I wish President Obama would work to protect them. I believe freedom of conscience is the preeminent right in a civil society, and the Administration’s incursions on religious liberty are troubling. I don’t plan to back down one bit on these matters, even as our forefathers Isaac Backus and John Leland relentlessly stood up to the founding generation of leaders on behalf of religious freedom and human dignity.
    • Honor doesn’t mean blanket endorsement
    • But, it didn’t work.  Despite Obama’s awful economic performance, he was re-elected.  How did that happen?  No doubt, there are many answers to that complex question.  But, I might suggest one answer: people did not vote on the basis of their wallets but on the basis of their morals
    • .  In the 1980’s it was the political right that was driven largely by morals—the “moral majority” led by Falwell, Robertson, and others.  But now, ironically, it is the political left in this country that is energized by a moral cause. They are driven by a vigorous, unwavering commitment to abortion rights, homosexual marriage, extreme environmentalism, etc.  This borne out by the (unprecedented) fact that many of the pro-homosexual ballot initiatives prevailed in last night’s election (see article here).
    • The reality is that America has changed drastically since the 1990’s.   It’s hard to believe that the Defense of Marriage act was signed by Clinton in 1996 and supported by the vast majority of Congress.  Such a thing is unthinkable today.   There is a new moral majority.  And it is decidedly on the left.

       

    • What is needed is something that can change the hearts of people.  What is needed is the gospel message.  It is the message of Christ alone that can turn around the worldview of individuals, and thereby turn around the way they vote.  So, if nothing else, the discouraging results of this election remind us of the importance of the work of the church.  The political campaigns are over.  But the gospel campaign continues.  That is the way this nation, and the world, will be changed.

       

       

       

    • Virtually every church historically that has a creed or a confession has agreed that something very serious happened to the human race as a result of the first sin—that first sin resulted in original sin
    • In the Reformed tradition, total depravity does not mean utter depravity. We often use the term total as a synonym for utter or for completely, so the notion of total depravity conjures up the idea that every human being is as bad as that person could possibly be
    • I like to replace the term total depravity with my favorite designation, which is radical corruption. Ironically, the word radical has its roots in the Latin word for “root,” which is radix, and it can be translated root or core. The term radical has to do with something that permeates to the core of a thing. It’s not something that is tangential or superficial, lying on the surface. The Reformed view is that the effects of the fall extend or penetrate to the core of our being. Even the English word core actually comes from the Latin word cor, which means “heart.” That is, our sin is something that comes from our hearts. In biblical terms, that means it’s from the core or very center of our existence
    • Our good, gracious, and sovereign God, we pray for the the President of the United States.

       

      Grant him wisdom, courage, and integrity as a man and as a leader.

       

      Keep him faithful, kind, and loving as a husband and father.

       

      Give him a heart for the poor, concern for the powerless, and compassion for the weak.

       

      Put before him the best information and the most intelligent counselors so he can make good decisions about economic policy and judicial appointments.

       

      May he be guided by both courage and restraint as he commands our armed forces.

       

      Make him a defender of the unborn, a protector of marriage, and a champion for religious liberty.

       

      Make him a man of prayer and a daily student of the Scriptures.

       

      Give him humility to admit his faults, forgive his enemies, and change his mind.

       

      Lead him to a firm understanding of the truth of the gospel, a resolute commitment to obey the Word of God, and a passion to promote what accords with your truth.

       

      By your grace, heavenly Father, may our President be a better man than so many expect and a better man than we deserve.

       

      In the name of Jesus our Lord, let it be.

    • Christians must now pray for our President. As the Apostle Paul instructs us, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV) We should eagerly and urgently pray for our President. We should pray for his health and his family, for his stamina and his character. We should even pray that he and his administration will be remembered as one of the greatest of our nation’s history, measured even by the convictions that are most important to us.
    • We are rightly and deeply concerned. We must pray that God will change President Obama’s heart on a host of issues, ranging from the sanctity of unborn life to the integrity of marriage. We must push back against his contraception mandate that tramples upon religious liberty. Given the trajectory of his first term in office, we are urgently concerned about a second term, knowing that the President will never again face the electorate.
    • Evangelical Christians must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns. The election of President Obama returns a radically pro-abortion President to the White House, soon after he had endorsed same-sex marriage. President Obama is likely to have the opportunity to appoint one or more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they are almost sure to agree with his constitutional philosophy.

       

    • Furthermore, at least two states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex marriage last night. Washington State is likely to join them once the votes there are counted. An effort to pass a constitutional amendment preventing same-sex marriage went down to defeat in Minnesota. These came after 33 states had passed some measure defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. After 33 victories, last night brought multiple defeats. Maine and Maryland (and probably Washington State) became the first states in the union to legalize same-sex marriage by action of the voters. There is no discounting the moral shift that momentous development represents.

       

      Other states considered issues ranging from abortion and marijuana to assisted suicide. While not all were lost, the moral shift was evident in the voting patterns.

       

      Clearly, we face a new moral landscape in America, and huge challenge to those of us who care passionately about these issues. We face a worldview challenge that is far greater than any political challenge, as we must learn how to winsomely convince Americans to share our moral convictions about marriage, sex, the sanctity of life, and a range of moral issues. This will not be easy. It is, however, an urgent call to action..

    • Christians must never see political action as an end, but only as a means. We can never seek salvation through the voting booth, and we must never look for a political messiah. Nevertheless, Christians do bear a political responsibility, established in love of God and love of neighbor. We are rightly concerned about this world, but only to a limited extent. Our main concern is the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 08/11/2012 in Current Issues

 

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