Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Afraid of Islam

Here's a good indicator of one reason why American churches are so pitifully inept.

At the 57m31s mark of the latest episode of the Dividing Line, James White takes a call from someone who seems to be a pastor, asking in essence if it would be OK for him to expose his congregation to a scenario in which they would be reaching out to and coming into substantial contact with Muslims. He doesn't want to "open (his) congregation up too much to (Islam and the influence of the imam he just met)".

Are you kidding me? What are you afraid of? What power does Islam have? What truth does it possess that it didn't rip off the Bible? Who will bring these people the Gospel if not you?

And why don't you have confidence in your people? Why aren't you leading them to be strong in the faith and contend earnestly for it? How is it anything other than near-total failure on your part that you don't feel they are prepared to come into contact with lost people and talk to them about their religious beliefs? How do you think people grow in their ability to defend and explain the Bible if not through practice (Hebrews 5:13-14)? Do you think that if you don't do this, the people of this congregation won't be exposed to false religion and false worldviews in some other way that you can't hover over and sweep away with your cowardly hand-waving? What sort of example have you thus set for those who DO encounter the enemy's lies? Some will flee the battle. Others will scratch their heads and wonder why their pastor is so nervous about entertaining open and frank discussion about the defensibility and truth of the Christian faith.

And so what if exposure to a false religion is the provocation for some of "your people" to fall away? Wouldn't that mean they were never regenerate to begin with? Isn't it better that they leave your fellowship in open and visible rebellion to the King rather than stay in concealment as a false brother and a hidden reef at your love feasts (Jude 12) (that is, if you even do love feasts at your church) (hint: you should be)?

SO MUCH wrong with that call and that caller. God help him. He is walking in fear instead of walking in faith.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Mohler on Not Penalizing Moms Who Kill Their Kids

*Editorial Note: Pulpit & Pen continues in unrepentant sin and enabling of the ongoing sin of Jordan Hall. While it is my understanding that P&P does not plan to take down the content I contributed, any role I can play in reducing their traffic until they repent, I will. Thus I migrate this article here.  

President of Southern Seminary, Al Mohler, can usually be counted on to give measured, reasoned responses to world events and questions. Sadly, he is in grave error on the issue of abortion and abolition.

Take his commentary on the Trump abortion fiasco on the April 1, 2016 issue of The Briefing. Nothing he said therein would lead anyone to believe he is trying to joke around for the sake of April Fool’s Day. Unfortunately, Mohler is being very, very serious.

Al Mohler wants to make it clear that the pro-life movement has never, ever called for the criminalization of abortion when it comes to the mother.
From Transcript: The big background of [the Trump] story is the fact that the pro-life movement has never, ever called for the criminalization of abortion when it comes to the woman. The pro-life movement actually emerged out of the early feminist movement, something that many people in modern America do not remember. The early feminists argued among other things that abortion was something that was inflicted upon women by men at their own convenience and women, argued the early feminists such as Susan B. Anthony, were the victims of abortion along with the unborn children who were aborted.”
Basing his rhetoric on solidarity with historical feminist pro-life figures such as Susan B Anthony, Mohler asserts that men inflict abortion on women for the man’s convenience. He then approvingly cites pro-life luminaries for backup. Let’s check on what they said.
First, Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life. Mohler cites her comments approvingly:
No pro-lifer would ever want to punish a woman who has chosen abortion. We invite a woman who has gone down this route to consider paths to healing, not punishment.
More on that in a moment, but let’s consider the source for a moment.
Jeanne holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from James Madison University and a Masters degree in the theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family… Previously Jeanne worked with the Family Research Council (FRC), where she focused on issues related to the inherent dignity of the human person, including abortion, women’s health… Before working in public policy, Jeanne worked for the Catholic Church in a variety of positions involving educating on life issues, human sexuality, marriage, and family.
Judging by her Twitter feed, which is littered with papist RTs and oh-so-sad “We’ll miss you”s directed toward the recently-deceased Mother Angelica, Mancini is Roman Catholic. What, was Mohler unable to find a juicy enough quote from Russell Moore or Joe Carter, that he had to resort to quoting outspoken enemies of the Gospel?

At least Mohler lands on the right side of the Tiber in his quote of Peggy Nance of Concerned Women for America: “Trump doesn’t understand pro-life people or the life issue,” in that his initial comment that caused all this in the first place indicated he thought abortive women should be legally punished for murdering their offspring.

The position being forwarded here by Mohler and others is this: Women are brought to abortion by men. Abortion is inflicted on the woman, usually by a man. Trump’s statement misunderstands the pro-life position. Only the abortician and his staff should be held criminally responsible for killing the child. The guilty party is the person who brings about the death of the child, and the woman is not the one bringing about the death of the child.

Let’s step back, take a deep breath, and expose this inane insanity for what it is – insane inanity.

First, I suspect nobody has any reasonable doubt that Donald Trump has a profound understanding of much of anything, except possibly manipulation of the media specifically and people in general. So let me just get that out of the way – Trump’s initial statement, even before he later backpedaled, was nothing close to the right thing. Here’s the right thing.

Second, absolutely aborticians and their staff should be prosecuted in a court of law on the charge of first-degree murder.

Third, absolutely any man with any involvement in an abortive woman’s decision to murder her child bears a very real responsibility and guilt for that baby’s death, especially the father of the child or the father of the complicit woman.
But this position, which reduces women to passive agents, mere puppets in the hands of men who are able to ply and bend their women so easily into murdering their own offspring, must be opposed. It is ironic that the feminists and the pro-lifers (and the feminist pro-lifers) join with the pro-abort crazies in crying so loud for “women’s rights” that they actually end up implicitly affirming that which they deny out loud.

Women are in fact moral agents, just as men are. Women are capable of making choices, even of momentous import, just as men are. Women can understand things, especially such things as basic biology like “Babies grow inside mommy’s tummy” and “If someone jams a suction hose inside a pregnant woman, especially if they have a lot of experience doing so, they can suck out whatever is in that woman’s tummy. Like a baby. While very possibly sterilizing that woman or causing a fatal h√¶morrhage.”

Women are capable of comprehending at least some of the consequences of their actions. They can understand the words comprising a message of repentance, like “Please don’t kill your baby. There is help for you free of charge. God hates the hands that shed innocent blood. Turn back now.” Mohler and the other pro-life elements with the loudest voices in America today would have us think that it’s the man in the woman’s life who is the main driver behind the sacrifice of the child, up to the man who actually wields the weapon to commit the murder.
Perhaps Mohler and these others ought to open their eyes and spend some time at their local abortion mill. I know some men who’d be thrilled to have Mohler join them on Saturdays at the one in Louisville. I’d be happy to arrange their acquaintance. When one goes to the murder mill, yes, one sees men accompanying women inside. One occasionally sees a man in a pretty apparent dominating position over the woman. One often sees mothers (who are not men) bringing their daughters to murder their grandbaby. One often sees women accompanied by “supportive” friends, usually female friends. One occasionally sees women in distraught emotional states. More often, one sees women in stony silence. Often, the women salute the sidewalk counselors with upraised middle fingers and shouted obscenities. One also is frequently told that the woman’s pastor said it was OK and that God forgave the murder ahead of time.
So yes, in many cases, women are brought by men to abortion mills. How does that absolve them of guilt? Those that are pressured to do so still bear responsibility not to murder a baby.

If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her. –Deuteronomy 22:23-27

If the woman is being literally forced to go in, she should cry out! She should alert the sidewalk counselors, the death mill staff, the other murderous women and men inside the abortuary. She should struggle with all the vigor with which she would struggle if someone were seeking to stab her beloved three year old child! That she doesn’t do that shows that she has murdered her preborn child in her heart already.

That Mohler and other pro-lifers don’t speak the same way about preborn children that they do about born humans shows that they too are guilty of dehumanising the preborn child.

It is still murder even when someone pressures you to pull the trigger. Women are responsible moral agents, not robots and not silly putty. Are Mohler, the pro-lifers, and the pro-aborts ready to reap the whirlwind when they sow these powerful seeds that indicate that women are inferior to men?

The claim is that the guilty party is the person who brings about the death of the child. The mother is not the one actually bringing about the death. Oh really? She didn’t go to the mill? She had nothing to do with getting pregnant? She didn’t express every confidence that this baby is her flesh and blood and that she will love her neighbor as herself? She didn’t contribute anything to the payment of the fee? The abortician worked for free? She didn’t walk in under her own power? She didn’t compliantly lie down and expose her private parts to this man she’d met maybe one time before?

Please. In reality, the difference between the abortician and the mother (and participating father) is the difference between the hit man and the one who hires the hit man. There is no real moral difference. The culpability cannot rest solely on the “provider” of the service; it must also rest on the “provider” of the fetus.
Perhaps next Mohler will propose that only the Nazi who pulls the switch that releases the toxic gas should be punished, but not the citizen who turned them in or the official who ordered the death or the workers who knowingly and willingly constructed the camp in which the murder would happen.
Being this kind of “pro-life” is worse than being pro-abortion. At least those who are pro-abortion don’t claim to champion the rights of the unborn and don’t, in the process of making excuses for women, sow the seeds of male supremacy. Seriously, you should just be pro-abortion if this is how you’re going to talk.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” –Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as cited in Revelation 3:15-16

But far better to be an abolitionist.

Steven Furtick is pretty sure God sinned

*Editorial Note: Pulpit & Pen continues in unrepentant sin and enabling of the ongoing sin of Jordan Hall. While it is my understanding that P&P does not plan to take down the content I contributed, any role I can play in reducing their traffic until they repent, I will. Thus I migrate this article here.

“Pastor” Steven Furtick just plain doesn’t understand such central truths about the Christian faith, like what Jesus Christ was doing on the cross. Apparently, and to the surprise to every single person familiar with the Bible throughout human history, “God broke the law for love” when Jesus died on the cross.

To be fair, though, what else should one expect from the man with such a well-established pattern of frequently saying nonsense, like “having faith in doubt“, and partaking in fruitless deeds of darkness like giving TD Jakes’ church $35K (which is, actually, pretty disappointing and a pittance compared to Tyler Perry’s publicly being “touched to give a million dollars”, but we can’t all be rock stars)?

I was friends with a guy in college who had a younger brother who had expressly abandoned the faith in which he had been raised. He had objections I wasn’t necessarily prepared at age 20 to defeat, one of which being that Jesus broke God’s law when He healed on the Sabbath. Furtick trumpets in this video that the Gospel is good news to the world, implying that he and his church preach it. One is left wondering when they do so, and if confronted with challenges and objections (which pretty much always happens if you’re actually preaching the Gospel to lost people, rather than just talking about it in the comfortable confines of your multi-million dollar building on Sunday morning), one wonders if Furtick would recommend we just shrug and agree with the skeptic. I mean, hey, we should just love people, right?

The likes of Deuteronomy 21:23, Galatians 3:13, Isaiah 53:10, Psalm 7:11, and Psalm 18:30 are enough to put this matter to rest.

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” –Matthew 5:17

Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. –Romans 3:27-31

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. –Romans 8:3-4

And if those don’t do it for you, consider that sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4-5). If God broke the law, then…doesn’t that mean He sinned?

At this point we should all be shocked and amazed when men such as Furtick get something right.