Category archives: Social Commentary

Why I, as a Christian, Cannot Vote for Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Portland, Maine.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The nation is in peril. It would seem the only recourse would be to choose the lesser of two evils to preserve the future of the State. Instead of trusting God, Asa the king of Judah aligned himself with the king of Syria in order to break the economic stranglehold threatened by his long time enemy Baasha king of Israel (2 Chronicles 16:1-9).

The rebuke of the prophet Hanani to King Asa and the foretelling of future calamity (vs. 7,9) is just as applicable today for Christians as it was to Asa who chose a “lesser evil” (like Trump) than a known immediate threat (like Hillary). To paraphrase the words of the prophet: you have relied on [Trump], and not relied on the LORD thy God.

Hanani argued that the Lord had delivered the kingdom of Judah in the past against overwhelming odds and could have easily done so again (2 Chron. 14:9-12). As one reads the context of Hanani’s indictment against Asa several things stand out as it concerns Christians in this ominous 2016 presidential election…

1. God is Sovereign and deserves our trust no matter how dire the circumstance… “LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power” (2 Chron. 14:11)

2. The faith of a Christian should rest on God, not a politician or a political party… “help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee” (2 Chron. 14:11)

3. There are consequences to forsaking biblical principles… “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chron. 15:2)

There is no question that a Christian should not vote for a pro-abortion, unethical, wicked candidate like Hillary Clinton. The taking of the innocent life of the unborn is an evil accepted by far too many people and it is especially vile that Hillary not only supports abortion on demand but also abortion just hours before delivery. In addition, her professional and political career is replete with scandals, corruption, incompetence, lies, and cover-ups. Her failures that led to the deaths of four American citizens in Benghazi, use of a private e-mail server in her home for classified information, and the likelihood that the Clinton Foundation received multi-million dollar donations from foreign nations in exchange for positive treatment from the State Department should all disqualify her from being elected president. The reasons not to vote for Hillary seem endless. However, as a Christian, I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump either and will therefore vote third-party. Below are the scriptural principles that have influenced my decision. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me, rather, I believe we as Christians should base our decisions on the word of God and not from emotion, fear-mongering or misplaced hope.

“The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” Proverbs 11:3

Ideally a president would be guided by biblical principles. At a minimum, there should be moral ideals that govern the decision making process of the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world. However, Donald Trump does not appear to be guided by integrity, moral ideals, character, or core values but rather by no higher authority than Donald Trump himself.

John Adams, Founding Father and second President of the United States, said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” As such, we have seen the disastrous results of immoral presidents breaking their oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Not only has Donald Trump evidenced a gross misunderstanding of the Constitution but also he has proven himself to be unethical and immoral and one in whom the American people cannot expect to uphold the supreme law of the land. [1]

Donald Trump has proven that he will enrich himself at the expense of others. Throughout his campaign he has repeated his support of, and attempts to use, eminent domain in which the government confiscates private property. [2] In the first presidential debate when he was accused of rooting for the housing crisis so that his real estate firm could benefit from the financial loss that affected over 9 million people, Trump retorted, “That’s called business, by the way.” [3] In 2005, Trump announced the launch of Trump “university” which promised to teach students his real-estate development secrets. The school shut down in 2010 over complaints that it was a scam. The litigation continues as the State of New York alleges Trump bilked students out of $40 million [4] [5].

The list of unethical practices of Trump and allegations against him are numerous: tenant intimidation, four bankruptcies, taking advantage of undocumented Polish workers, openly advocated for revenge “as viciously and as violently as you can,” allegedly raping his first wife Ivana, antitrust violations, refusing to pay workers and contractors, using the Trump Foundation to solicit money from others then give it away as though from himself, and the list goes on. [6]

Beyond his selfishness, narcissism, and egomania, what has disturbed me from the beginning has been the immorality and perverseness embraced by Donald Trump and his degradation of women. He has openly bragged about his sexual exploits, has a history of groping women, was the first to bring a strip club to the Atlantic City casinos, as a frequent guest on The Howard Stern show Trump often reveled in his sexually immoral lifestyle and even allowed Stern to debase his own daughter Ivanka. He himself said he would date Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter. He has publically called various women “dogs,” “pigs,” and vulgar words that I will not reference. [7] The most recent revelation came from a tape made in 2005 in which Trump openly talked in the most coarse and vile way about having sexually assaulted women and openly approved of adultery. I have been surprised by Christians repeating the narrative that Trump’s reprehensible words were merely locker room talk. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” As my wife likes to say, “you are your words.”

Initially, Trump did not offer a genuine apology for how he was caught talking about women. He said, “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. I apologize if anyone was offended.” Notice his “apology” was not for having said those vile things but rather if “anyone was offended.” He later offered what appeared to be a more somber apology. Was it genuine? Scripture speaks of two kinds of sorrow: “godly sorrow” and “the sorrow of the world” (2 Corinthians 7:10). The difference being the former is a contrite spirit for having sinned against God whereas the latter is regret for having been caught and the shame that it brings before the world. If Trump were genuinely sorrowful you would think that when asked by moderator Frank Lutz if he had ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions at the Family Leadership Summit (Ames, IA July 2015), he would have replied something like, “There are many things that I have done and that I have said of which I am ashamed and for which I have asked God to forgive me. I’d rather not go into the details.” Instead, however, Trump replied that he could not remember having ever asked God for forgiveness. He said, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture.” [8] If he were truly sorry for his behavior he would not have bragged about his affairs with married women in his book The Art of the Deal, which he has continued to uphold as his “second favorite book” after the Bible throughout his campaign. There is a difference between forgiveness and trust. As Christians we are commanded to forgive those who trespass against us however trust is something that is earned over time. For example, a convicted child molester who is repentant can be forgiven and restored in a church but that does not mean he should be trusted in a children’s ministry. Trump can be forgiven but he has shown a continued disregard for humility and has continued to debase women on the campaign trail and at this point I see no reason to trust him to govern with integrity.

Dear Christian, what guiding principles in Trump gives you confidence that he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” and appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court? Does he have a history of conservative values that guide him? [9] Did he mention abortion one time in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August? [10] Trump is not one to swim against the tide of corrupt times.

In the words of Samuel Adams, “Father of the American Revolution” and signer of The Declaration of Independence:

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public office, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to chose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded if a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” [11]

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4

The election of George W. Bush was a referendum on the scandals and immorality of Bill Clinton. The mantra of the time was that character counts. How things have changed.

In his book The Art of the Deal, Trump boasted about his affairs with married women. He wrote, “If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller.” [12] Trump has been married three times to different women, he left his first wife after having an affair with the woman who would become his second wife.

Jane Eisner, journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the Forward, wrote an article titled “Sorry, Evangelicals, You Can’t Play the Trump Card and the God Card at the Same Time”. In her last paragraph of the article she wrote:

If character and behavior don’t matter to you and your candidates, they shouldn’t matter in judging me, or people like me. This year’s embrace of Trump robs white evangelicals of any justification for judging others’ behavior, for legislating against us, for preaching about family values and the necessity of maintaining religious tradition. If they want to be unabashedly pragmatic voters who don’t walk the walk, fine. But they’ve lost the moral high ground. I don’t know what their gospel looks like anymore.” [13]

For all the talk about the Supreme Court and religious liberty being preserved by a Trump administration, should Christians not consider at what cost it will be to the ministry of the gospel? Furthermore, at what cost will it be to instructing our children? How can I tell my kids the ends do not justify the means if I’m willing to ignore a man’s lack of character in hopes of what he might do for the country? How can I teach them to stand on principle even if it means standing alone if I see voting third party as just throwing my vote away?

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

God hates pride (Prov. 6:17). Trump constantly beats the refrain “Only I can fix it.” If his moral failings were not enough this pride from a ranting egomaniac would give me grave concern for the nation as it is a challenge to God’s sovereignty. It was Lucifer’s pride that caused his fall, as five times he said “I will” in attempt to make himself “like the most High” (Isa. 14:12-15). Nebuchadnezzar’s pride led to the loss of his throne until finally he concluded that “those that walk in pride he [God] is able to abase” (Dan. 4:37). Herod’s pride led to his sudden death because “he gave not God the glory” (Acts 12:23). What will the result of Trump’s pride be for America?

The solution for America is not in the White House but in God’s house. Only the Lord can heal the land and it will come only through humble contrition, not self-sufficient pride or the Republican party: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Yoni Appelbaum wrote an article in The Atlantic titled “I Alone Can Fix It” on July 21, 2016 in which he aptly portrays the prideful boasts of the Republican nominee compared to his predecessors. He writes:

Has any American political leader claimed so directly to embody the nation, to speak for it, to be its sole hope for redemption?

In 1968, Richard Nixon spoke of a nation torn apart by crime at home, and by wars abroad. But, he promised, better days were ahead. ‘Without God’s help and your help, we will surely fail; but with God’s help and your help, we shall surely succeed.’

In 1980, Ronald Reagan painted a similarly dark picture of a troubled nation, and offered a similar message of redemption. But his acceptance speech called on Americans to work together to solve their problems. ‘I ask you not simply to ‘Trust me,’’ Reagan said, ‘but to trust your values—our values—and to hold me responsible for living up to them.’

In 2000, George W. Bush called a troubled nation to renewal, and ended with a note of humility. ‘I know the presidency is an office that turns pride into prayer,’ he said, ‘But I am eager to start on the work ahead.’

In 2016, Donald J. Trump mounted the stage, and told America that the nation is in crisis. That attacks on police and terrorism threaten the American way of life. That the United States suffers from domestic disaster, and international humiliation. That it is full of shuttered factories and crushed communities. That it is beset by ‘poverty and violence at home’ and ‘war and destruction abroad.’

And he offered them a solution.

I am your voice, said Trump. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order. He did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.

He broke with two centuries of American political tradition, in which candidates for office—and above all, for the nation’s highest office—acknowledge their fallibility and limitations, asking for the help of their fellow Americans, and of God, to accomplish what they cannot do on their own.” [14]

As I have sought the Lord’s direction regarding my vote there has been the resounding voice of Scripture warning me not to compromise my integrity and testimony by aligning myself with this man (Amos 3:3). In addition to my concerns mentioned above, Trump has shown a long history of lying and exaggeration (Proverbs 19:9), volatile and vengeful anger (Proverbs 14:17), recklessness with his words (Proverbs 29:20), and double-mindedness (James 1:8) in his policies. He is an unprincipled and incompetent man who I believe does not have the right temperament to protect the Republic [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. Certainly Hillary shares in many of these same undesirable attributes and many more. It should cause us to pause for reflection why these two horrific candidates are the two main choices for the highest public office in the land. We are in this predicament because too often we have settled for the “lesser of two evils” and each election cycle seems to produce a lower standard of what is acceptable.

Thousands of years ago King David desired the ark of God to be moved to Jerusalem. Rather than obey the prescribed method to move this symbol of the presence of God, David adopted the method of the Philistines and moved it upon an ox cart. When the ox stumbled, Uzzah put out his hands to steady it, even though it was forbidden to be touched, and God struck him dead. Instead of obeying and trusting God, Uzzah was punished for his disobedience. Humanly speaking his motives seemed genuine and reasonable, he only wanted to do the “right thing”. Would God have let the ark fall to the ground because David had compromised in the method of its transportation or would God have miraculously held it up? I don’t know. Nor do I know what will happen if Trump, or Clinton for that matter, becomes the next president. I do know that God is sovereign and it seems like many think that Trump is the only one that can save the nation from falling into the abyss (2 Samuel 6).

I have read post after post and article after article on Facebook that is designed to scare me into voting for the Republican nominee. The scenario is usually something like this: Trump is far from perfect. I know what we’ll get with Hillary and at least I can hope that Trump will do the right thing. If elected he will nominate conservative Supreme Court justices and our religious liberties will be protected under his administration.

I would like to offer up a different scenario: Trump wins and is so hated that many Republicans in Congress lose their election and the Democrats increase their numbers in November. He shows no restraint during his presidency, makes a mockery of the office, does what is best for Trump and proves to be a disaster. As a result, the Democrats win the mid-term election in a landslide thus taking over both houses of Congress with the largest majority they’ve had in recent memory. Trump is unable to get conservative judges approved through Congress and leaves the country and the Republican Party in shambles at the end of 4 years and the Democrats in control of the government without any checks and balances.

What scenario will play out? Only God knows. It is a fact that Democrat presidents get their judicial nominees appointed with relative ease whereas Republican presidents usually get less than 50% of who they first nominate [20]. Reagan nominated liberal Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. George H.W. Bush nominated liberal Justice David Souter. It was George W. Bush’s nominee, Justice John Roberts, that sided with the court’s liberal bloc to uphold Obamacare. It was during Nixon’s presidency that Roe vs. Wade occurred legalizing abortion. It was during Reagan’s presidency that the first partial-birth abortion was performed. It was during George W.’s presidency that the first same-sex marriage occurred. Why do Trump’s supporters believe he will get a conservative justice appointed? Why do they think he will be a lion for conservative causes when he has been a liberal most of his life?

God alone knows the future. He is in control, whoever wins in November. Instead of being like “Uzzah” and trying to help God out, why not stand on biblical principles and trust him with the results?

 

[1] http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-donald-trump-constitution-guide-unconstitutional-freedom-liberty-khan-214139

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/08/19/donald-trumps-abuse-of-eminent-domain/?utm_term=.af34e8209ea8

[3] http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/trump-housing-collapse-228708

[4] http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think

[5] http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-university-fraud-suit-to-go-to-trial-judge-rules-1461707442

[6] http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

[7] http://townhall.com/columnists/rebeccahagelin/2016/02/28/meet-donald-trump-the-king-of-sleaze-n2126157

[8] http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/

[9] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435273/donald-trump-liberal-conspiracy-theorist

[10] http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/07/22/the_2016_republican_convention_was_strangely_silent_on_abortion_and_religion.html

[11] http://restoreamerica.org/pastors/quotes/

[12] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marriage-rules-according-to-donald-trump_us_576c3886e4b0dbb1bbb9e5a8

[13] http://forward.com/opinion/345668/sorry-evangelicals-you-cant-play-the-trump-card-and-the-god-card-at-same-ti/

[14] http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/trump-rnc-speech-alone-fix-it/492557/

[15] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/trump-lies/)

[16] https://askdrbrown.org/library/donald-trump-anger-and-violence

[17] http://fortune.com/2016/09/30/trump-twitter-rant/

[18] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/30/why-donald-trump-tweets-late-at-night-and-very-early-in-the-morning/

[19] http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/full-list-donald-trump-s-rapidly-changing-policy-positions-n547801

[20] https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-a-thiessen-why-are-republicans-so-awful-at-picking-supreme-court-justices/2012/07/02/gJQAHFJAIW_story.html?utm_term=.ab98dfe2acad

As a postscript, I would like to thank my wife Sandy for being such a tremendous editor. I am grateful for your insight and wisdom. I would also like to thank my friends Chris Blackwell and Brian Nibbe for reviewing my blog and giving their feedback. I respect you both greatly and appreciate your character, investment in your families, and boldness of faith.

Unholy Matrimony

God is holy. It is impossible to think of God rightly without separating from him all things that are impure, both in his essence and in his actions. The holiness of God is absolutely perfect and unspotted with any evil. He not only loves that which is just but abhors with a perfect hatred all things contrary to his righteousness. Since he is infinitely holy, he infinitely hates wickedness. Ex. 15:11; 1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 5:4; Hab. 1:13

God values purity in his creatures and detests all impurity, whether inward or outward. He is so holy that he can not approve of any sin, which is contrary to his nature, no matter how trivial we may think it to be. Every act of sin is a spiritual adultery, denying God to be the chief good and object of our heart and instead giving that honor to some selfish desire or vile act. Ps. 11:7; Zech. 8:17

We prefer certain attributes of God to others because they seem more favorable to us. We esteem his mercy that relieves us rather than his justice that punishes us. We emphasize his love while ignoring his holiness. However, no other attribute is sounded out so loftily or emphasized so frequently than his holiness. God’s justice is a holy justice, his wisdom is a holy wisdom, his power is a holy power, his love is a holy love, etc. Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8

WhatGodSayAboutH

The moral law given in the Old Testament transcribes God’s infinite detestation of sin, manifesting his holiness in the daily sacrifices. Since it outlines his own character everything the Old Testament says about commitment to our family, loving our neighbor, caring for the poor, and social relationships is still in effect. The New Testament continues to forbid killing, lying, theft, hating without a cause, vengeance, adultery, incest, and sodomy (the biblical term for homosexuality). If the New Testament reaffirms a commandment then it is still applicable today. Man has an awareness of God’s moral laws written on his heart and every violation gives evidence of his sinful nature and the just condemnation of a holy God. The ceremonial law, with all its sacrifices, washings, and talk of defilement to the outward body, was given as evidence that everything that had a resemblance of evil was loathsome to God and that man must be clean in approaching him. Add also the prohibition of eating certain creatures considered unclean such as pork and shellfish that feed on waste, which had the moral significance of both the disgust God has to sin and the aversion the Jews ought to have under the law to everything that was filthy. The ceremonial law is no longer in effect as Christ fulfilled the law, having nailed the charges against us to his cross, and thus he became the way into the presence of God. In short, the lesson to be learned from all the sacrifices, rules, and rituals of the Old Testament was that God is uncompromisingly pure, sin is exceedingly wicked, man is a sinner too broken to save himself, and without a sacrificial substitute the sinner stands in judgment of God. Rom. 13:8; Matt. 5:27,28; 1 Cor. 6:9,10; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; Lev. 18:22; 19:11,13,16,17,18; Lev. 20:10-14; Rom. 1:24-32; 2:15; Col. 2:14-17; Eph. 2:15; Heb. 10:1; Jn. 14:6

Nothing demonstrates God’s hatred of sin as much as his wrath let loose upon his own Son. He allowed Jesus to be sin for us and die on a cross that sin, the enemy of God’s purity, might be destroyed and the image of God’s holiness might be repaired and fulfilled in fallen man. Christ fulfilled the law’s holy demands as the Lamb of God, being himself the sacrifice, taking away the sin of the world. Through his resurrection he not only demonstrated his deity but also his ability to impart his righteousness and eternal life to “whosoever” will receive it through faith. 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 10:4,11,12; Jn. 1:29; Jn. 1:12; Rom. 10:9,10,13; Eph. 2:8,9

God’s desire is that we might live in the power of Christ’s resurrection, reflecting his glory in our attitudes, actions, and relationships. He established the importance of the marital relationship in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible as he inspired the writer to pen, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The fact is that God used Moses to write this practical lesson for all of humanity and he chose this occasion to teach the importance of marriage between one man and one woman so it would be clear to all that this was God’s plan from the very beginning, as Jesus Himself noted in Mark 10:6-9 while addressing the issue of divorce: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Phil. 3:10; Rev. 4:11; 1 Pet. 1:16

What is the significance of “cleave unto his wife” and “one flesh”? Certainly while the physical relationship is implied here the far deeper meaning is revealed through the writings of Paul as he relates marriage to the sacred relationship between Christ and his church. When a man and a woman enter holy matrimony they illustrate the complete union that exists between the second person of the Godhead and believers. We are to consider the marital relationship on this lofty plane. Like many marriages, all too often we only see the spots, blemishes, faults, and failings within local churches. We do not yet see the church as Christ has always seen it, perfect and complete. He sees the church as it will be when his transforming work is done. He sees it as the mirror image of himself, he sees it as holy. 1 Cor. 6:15,16; Eph. 5:29-32

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States attempted to redefine God’s definition of marriage when they legalized the unholy “matrimony” of same-sex couples. My newsfeed on Facebook has been filled with blogs and articles addressing the topic. Of which, I have included links to some in the postscript that I found to be helpful. I have spent a good amount of space already addressing, albeit indirectly, what grieves me the most regarding sodomite “marriage” and those who approve of it, in that it is an affront to the holiness of almighty God. I am ashamed that some professing Christians would approve of a sodomite relationship in the name of love while turning their back to God’s righteousness. I am disturbed by the misuse of scriptures among unbelievers, the attempted belittling of God’s word, twisting passages out of their proper context and willfully ignoring God’s appeal to impart to them his holiness and eternal life. The former is inexcusable ignorance, the latter is prideful blasphemy. God is holy, eternity itself will be too short for his redeemed to proclaim it.

Postscript.
Below are a few links I found helpful regarding the recent ruling on “Gay Marriage”:

40 Questions to Christians Now Waving the Rainbow Flag. Click here.
Five questions I found particularly salient:
2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?
4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?
30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?
37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?

Jesus Never Said Anything About Homosexuality. Click here.

Audacity Movie. Click here.

Should Marriage Be Limited To One Man and One Woman. Click here.
1. Natural marriage of one man and one woman should be promoted for the perpetuation and stabilization of society
a. Creates children: natural marriage encourages an adequate replacement birth rate, resulting in enough productive young people to contribute to society and provide for the elderly.
b. Best raises children: children from natural marriage homes are 6 times less likely to commit suicide, half as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock, and less likely to drop out of high school.
c. Protects women: who often give up or postpone their careers to have children from being abandoned and harmed economically by uncommitted men.
d. Civilizes men. Married men are more likely to be employed, cause fewer crimes, less likely to be in jail. How often do married men roam the streets in gangs?
e. Lowers crime, poverty, and welfare – which reduces government spending and deficits: children from natural marriages are 7 times less likely to live in poverty, half as likely to commit crime, and are stronger academically and socially. They’re also healthier physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood.
f. In short, natural marriage perpetuates and stabilizes society from which every one benefits, even those who don’t get married
2. What benefits do same sex marriage provide to society as a whole?
a. No benefits for society as a whole. In fact, it hurts us.
b. Promoting same sex marriage changes the purpose of the civil institution of marriage. Natural marriage center on bringing up the next generation – on raising children to become good citizens. Same sex marriage merely validates sex partners.
c. We know statistically that natural marriage creates the best possible family for children. If we alter the primary purpose of marriage the losers will be the children.
3. What about natural marriages that don’t create children?
a. They are the exception not the rule.
b. The only relationships that do create children are between a man and a woman.
4. Wherever same sex marriage is promoted, schools subject your kids to mandatory homosexual curricula, your business and taxes fund homosexual relationships (e.g. lawsuits), your freedom of speech is gagged, and your religious freedom is overruled.
5. The government has no compelling interest in legally promoting same sex marriage.
6. What about equality?
a. The law already treats everyone equally. Every citizen can marry someone of the opposite sex.
b. Is it fair to promote natural marriage and not same sex marriage? Yes, the law treats all people the same but it doesn’t treat all behaviors the same. Same sex marriage and natural marriage are different behaviors, with different outcomes, so the law rightfully should treat them differently.
c. Isn’t this discrimination against homosexuals? No, this discriminates against behaviors not people. For example, are you being discriminated against when the government promotes police work but you never become a police officer? No, we all benefit when police work is encouraged. In the same way, people who don’t marry someone of the opposite sex are not discriminated against when our government promotes natural marriage. In fact, we all benefit when natural marriage is encouraged.
7. What about tolerance? Yes, same sex marriage advocates need to be more tolerant.
a. Homosexual relationships are already tolerated. They can already commit themselves to each other until death do them part without government endorsement.
b. Only the union of one man and one woman should be promoted because it alone is the foundation of a civilized society. That’s not bigotry, that’s biology.

My Open Letter of Apology to the Gay Community (From a Christian). Click here.

Post of Benjamin Watson, professional football player, on his Facebook page. Click here.

Why Two? The Question Gay Activist Cannot Answer. Click here.
1. If “love is love” and “marriage equality” is the mantra, then why can’t any combination of loving adults form a “marriage”?
2. Specific acts of homosexual sex, especially among males, increase health risks
3. A man and a woman are physically and biologically designed for each other
4. The man and woman also share a unique complementary emotionality and spirituality which is why the union of a man and a woman is special, distinctive and even sacred.
5. When marriage becomes “something else” other than the union of one man and one woman it can become virtually “anything else”

Claim: Homosexuality Exists in Nature. Click here.
1. Do gays really want to point to the animal world and “homosexual behavior” among animals to prove that their romantic attractions and sexual desires are “natural”?
a. Some animals kill and eat their young; others kill their mate after sex
b. In the vast majority of cases, animals don’t form lifelong relationships
c. Many animals are wild and dangerous by nature
2. The entire animal world is driven by heterosexual desires and acts, and it is fueled and sustained by heterosexual reproduction
3. There appears to be a wide variety of explanations of same-sex behavior in the animal world, including:
a. Acts of dominance
b. Acts of sexual release

It is estimated that only 3% of the US population are sodomites. Of which, one would imagine a significant few will actually marry, which begs the question as to why the government is so invested in dividing the country over such an issue? Click here  and here.

The effects of the SCOTUS decision on “gay marriage” is far reaching, affecting freedom of speech, religious liberty, as well as promoting perversion. Click here and here. I will not share links that came across my newsfeed on Facebook to the perversion that takes place at gay pride parades.

Battling Depression

robin-williams

I was saddened to hear this morning about Robin Williams taking his own life. The oscar-award winning actor/comedian had a talent for making others laugh in spite of the fact that he battled severe depression for many years. I have thought about him much of the day and I am certainly heavy hearted that he quite possibly entered eternity without a saving faith in Jesus Christ (based on accounts of his religious beliefs which I hope to be wrong). Sandy and I spent a lot of time discussing his life as well as the depression that led him to end it.

Depression is a darkness that can envelop both unbelievers and Christians alike. Several examples stand-out in scriptures of men of God who despaired of life. We find Jonah, sun-beaten and nearly faint, who “wished in himself to die and said, It is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:8). Elijah also comes to mind as he sat despondently under a juniper tree and “he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life” (1 Kings 19:4). In the New Testament we find Paul describing his mind-set during his troubles in Asia Minor, “we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). In recent centuries we find the great British preacher Charles Spurgeon who had recurrent battles with depression. He wrote “My spirits were sunken so low that I could weep by the hour like a child, and yet I knew not what I wept for.” This “causeless depression” that he described as “shapeless, undefinable, yet all-beclouding hopelessness,” in his estimate, could not be reasoned with.

Unfortunately I have heard many Christians sneeringly dismiss people who struggle with times of despair. They appear to these spiritual elitist as nominally saved, whose apparent lack of faith is the true source of their ill frame of mind. The standard prescription often includes peppering the poor soul into outward submission and a plastic smile with a few verses of scripture. As Sandy said to me earlier, “It is easy to show sympathy at a funeral it is much more rare to show empathy in life.”

Given Sandy’s educational background and personal experience with those suffering from depression, I listened intently to her as she responded to my many questions about the subject. Here are a few things I gleaned from our conversation regarding the potential causes and suggested helps for this condition.

Potential Causes of Depression

  1. Physiological: blood sugar levels have been implicated with depression due to the brain’s dependence on an even supply of glucose. Refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are also linked to depression as they use up the mood enhancing B vitamins. Another example of physical causes of depression is mood-related chemicals such as serotonin that have been found by researchers to be low in the brain during major depression episodes, i.e. chemical imbalance.
  2. Sin: without a proper understanding of the nature of God and the removal of guilt at Calvary, many feel that they are “unforgivable” and the sense of hopelessness is overwhelming.
  3. Another’s sin: tragically many fall victim to the sinful actions of others (e.g. sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse) and become emotionally enslaved.
  4. Persistent negative circumstances: death of loved ones, financial problems, family problems, etc.
  5. Drug/Alcohol abuse: depression can be just one of many consequences to an individual’s choice of substance abuse.
  6. Spiritual attack: Satan and malevolent spirits seek to destroy those made in God’s image. The Bible says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Suggestions to help those Depressed
Herbal/holistic approach
For the physiological, a personal decision for our family would be to avoid prescription drugs due to adverse side-affects and focus on herbal/dietary/holistic alternatives.

Bible reading and prayer
This cannot be overstated. How often does the Lord provide comfort and deliverance from His word. Often the depressed person is tormented with unbelief and fear not realizing that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Spurgeon concluded that “there is no remedy for [despondency] like a holy faith in God.”

Where does this faith come from to pull someone out of the slough of despond? How can we think rightly about God? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). As the psalmist wrote, “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God” (Psalm 42:5).

Unconditional love
The depressed person should be reminded that they are valuable in God’s sight (Romans 8:32; John 3:16; Matthew 6:26) but sadly, in a state of depression, God can sometimes feel far away. David wrote, “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” as well as “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalm 13:1; 22:1).

When Christ walked this earth He consistently communicated a single theme: His identity. He said to the people lost in the darkness of this world system and sin: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). People who follow Jesus do not spend their lives in the dark spiritually. Jesus passed the torch to His spiritual offspring. He said, “Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). Our distinction as Christians should be demonstrated by the three pillars of faith, hope, and charity (1 Corinthians 13:13). To the degree that our lives are, in fact, constructed on these three pillars, we are light. The Lord uses people as instruments to demonstrate His love to those in despair. Our lives communicate our faith to others as we exhibit faith, hope, and charity (unconditional love).

A depressed person often feels isolated, lonely, hopeless, and worthless. Although a depressed person cannot see God or feel His arms around them, the body of Christ can be His arms and speak for Him, affirming the truths of His word through their unconditional love, unfeigned faith, and undaunted hope. This does not mean to treat the person suffering as a project or to feel compelled to help because it is “the Christian thing to do.” The depressed person needs someone to sincerely believe in them, encourage them, and help them to see that they have something to contribute to others with their life and the special gifts God has given them. This takes patience and is a labor of love but as the wise man wrote, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

Be kind to everyone
You might not be that one person, or part of the core group of people, that is influential in the depressed person’s life but a positive, casual interaction with someone can be an encouragement. A smile and a kind word can go along way. Solomon wrote, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).

No man is an island
Demonstrate that there is someone that desperately needs them… a child, grandchild, spouse, or friend. A severely depressed person sometimes thinks everyone would be better off without them and if they consider those that depend upon them then most likely they’ll step back from hurting themselves.

Listen
Listen. Be sincere. Be empathetic. Often the cry is for someone to feel what they feel. Don’t act like you have all the answers. Don’t be preachy. Job’s friends were probably a blessing as they wept and “sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights” for they saw that his grief was great. But then they opened their mouths and became “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2).

Don’t betray trust but be balanced
A depressed person needs to trust you. They are vulnerable. However there may come a time that you are seriously concerned the person is suicidal and have no alternative than to get help.

Specialized care
Complex problems need specialized care, e.g. substance abuse

The ultimate need is Christ. Opportunities for the gospel often present themselves as we live out our faith with a sincere concern and love for others. As missionary/author Jim Petersen wrote in his book Living Proof, evangelism is not merely an activity; it is a way of living. We are the first account of the gospel most people will ever read, and having read us, they will either desire more or they will decide that there is nothing there for them.

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