I don’t typically do this.
In fact, I go through great lengths to not bring my personal life into this blog. Unfortunately I need to use this blog as a medium to reach out for prayers.
My cousin Jillian is one of the must humble & upbeat people I know. Seriously. This girl always has a smile on her face. Even when she cries she smiles. Unfortunately she has great reason for tears over the past few years. Her grandfather died quite suddenly from cancer. My cousin Lisa, her older sister, passed away less than 2 years later after a decade long battle with cancer. The following year their father, my uncle, passed away…from cancer.
A year later Jillian’s family was blessed with a beautiful little boy Corey. It seemed that God had given her this miracle to bring joy back into her life after so much tragedy. For 2 years Corey has been the light of the family. He is so much like his mother, always smiling, always making others laugh.
Then a few months ago Corey started getting sick. At first no one knew what was causing it. Soon enough Jillian recognized the symptoms, she had seen her sister struggle through the same symptoms growing up. We all prayed that it wasn’t that, prayed that her assumptions were wrong, prayed for a miracle. Our prayers were not answered. 2 months ago Jillian received the verdict: Corey was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, the same form of cancer that took the life of his aunt.
Since his diagnosis the doctors have removed his adrenal gland. He is being treated at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. They are constantly running scans to see how far the cancer has progressed. Further testing has shown that it has spread to his shins. Due to his young age and the complicated nature of this form of cancer, chemotherapy is being put off as an absolute last resort as it can do more harm than good.
All that being said I’m here asking, begging, for all of you to share Corey’s story to reach out to others, to share in your churches…do all these things to lift him up in prayer.
I came across this article, "Marriage is a Mess And Homosexuals Didn’t Do It" by Rebecca Hamilton, and found myself saying “Amen” nearly all through it. Her writing forces our society to face the hard facts...homosexual marriage won’t do anything to destroy marriage that heterosexual marriage hasn’t already done.
Homosexuals didn’t set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals didn’t create the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses. Homosexuals don’t break into our homes and yell and curse at our families. They aren’t the cause of the rising number of unwed births and the global pandemic of abortion. We did these things. Marriage is a mess and it was heterosexuals who messed it up.
We live in a society where nearly 50% of marriages will end in divorce. That statistic is thrown around all the time yet for some reason we have not done much to change things. Looking around our country it is easy to see the damage that divorce leaves behind. If people are fighting so hard to keep the traditional definition of marriage in place, one has to ask, is it worth fighting for?
Christians want to say that the fight is to keep the Biblical definition of marriage in tact. Let’s be honest though, God’s intent for marriage has been falling apart since Genesis. Throughout history we have seen men marrying many women (Solomon anyone?), defile the marriage bed by sleeping with a concubine (Yep Solomon covered that too, but long before him Abraham did), and divorce their wives for a plethora of frivolous reasons. Even when Jesus was walking the Earth divorce was a serious issue. Men were cheating on their wives with prostitutes and young men. This is nothing new people.
I’m not say God’s definition of marriage should be tossed to the side and our government should change its laws. I am saying that we need to focus on marriage as a whole rather than attacking same-sex marriage as if it is the major issue. Divorce among Christians is a major issue. How can we as followers of Christ talk about what marriage shouldn’t be when our pews are full of people ignoring what God has called marriage to be?
But the truth is that serial monogamy is NOT monogamy. Serial marriage is not marriage between one man and one woman. And heterosexuals, especially Christian heterosexuals, have a responsibility before God to care for and raise their children, cherish their spouses and build enduring stable homes which can nurture a true family. Heterosexuals who have failed to do this are the root cause of most of the social problems we face today. They, not homosexuals, are the ones who have brought marriage to the sorry state it is in now.
It is time for us to step up and face the issues that heterosexuals have created. Lets acknowledge the fact that people are trading their spouses out like last year’s car once the new model hits the car lot. Let us focus on counseling struggling married couples in our church. Remove the word “divorce” from our vocabulary when giving advice to a sister or brother in Christ. Tackle the plague of pornography that is ravishing men in the pulpit and the pews. Encourage the singles in the Church who are trying to stay pure for their future spouse. We need to fix things from the inside out.
There is so much we need to be doing in our own backyard before we start trying to conquer the next issue. How can we stand before the World, say that same-sex marriage will ruin America, when issues in heterosexual marriage have already done just that? Why aren’t we out there trying to change legislation on no-fault divorce? Could it be because it is easier for us to stand up against something that doesn’t directly effect us?
We need to spend more time fixing what is wrong inside of the Church than we do speaking out against same-sex marriage. God’s plan for marriage needs to be honored by Believers so that we can show the World how truly wonderful His plan is. We need to show them what is so great about heterosexual marriage.
[And yes, this week I will be writing about how God’s plan is perfect & great]
Interview from Christianity Today with Pastor David Platt, author of Radical, Pastor of Church at Brook Hills.
All good evangelicals affirm the centrality of the Word. Still, we have a severe problem of biblical illiteracy. How do we go from knowing the Word is important to knowing what the Word actually says?
We have severely dumbed down the Word, and shown a lack of trust in the sufficiency of the Word in the way we preach. We find it necessary to supplement it with entertaining stories and quips or good practical advice for living the Christian life that are not based in the Word. This deficiency transfers into people content with a little “Word for the Day,” in a devotional book at best, as opposed to deep knowledge of Scripture.
We’re trying to hit at the problem from a variety of angles at Brook Hills. First of all, in worship we’re quoting the Word, singing the Word, and engaging in intensive study. We’ll study 55 minutes to an hour. We try to really saturate the community of faith with the Word when we gather together.
I go to other places, such as house churches in Asia, and they study for 11 or 12 hours, knowing they risk their lives. They’ll dive in deep. We came back and tried to do something similar here. We call it secret church and do it a couple times a year. We gather together for intensive study with no frills, nothing flashy, no entertainment value. The first time, about 1,000 showed up. We studied Old Testament overview from 6 p.m. to midnight, but usually it goes longer, supplemented by times in prayer for the persecuted church. It’s all ages, but the predominant demographic is college students and young singles. It’s grown to the point where we need to offer tickets at $5 for reservations and the cost of a study guide. We’ll do it again in October with 2,500 folks. It’s theological in nature. We’ve done a night on the Atonement, another on the doctrine of God. This time we’re doing spiritual warfare. It’s one of my favorite sights as a pastor to look out at 12:30 a.m. and see a room full of 2,500 people, their Bibles open, soaking it in.
We should all strive to be this deep in the Word. To crave God’s Word with such a hunger that we would gladly devote hours of time to learning it more deeply. Let us be a generation that is transformed by the Bible. Let us seek wisdom from the Holy Bible. Let us not approach church with the mind of consumerism but with the mind of a humble servant eager to hear from their Lord. Our brothers and sisters across the globe risk their lives to have someone read Leviticus to them in a dark, cramped basement. Let us thirst for the Word as they do, willing to risk our very lives to learn the story of redemption.
When it comes to certain topics in society lately the response tends to be “Don’t like it, don’t get one.”
For example "Don’t like gay marriage? Then you don’t gave to get one."
"Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one."
Does anyone want to take a guess as to when else the Don’t Get One motto was used in history?
Don’t approve of slavery? Don’t get one, don’t own one, don’t buy one.
Yep, common response from slave owners back when people in our country started fighting to abolish slavery. Just because some people didn’t think slavery was right simply meant that those people didn’t have to get a slave, in the eyes of the slave owners. It was a foolish reply back then just as it is a foolish reply now.
Used in the context of gay marriage, this motto is utterly ridiculous. Obviously someone who doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage wouldn’t marry someone of the same sex, as most of those people are heterosexual.
What the entire same-sex marriage debate comes down to is simple:
Marriage is a right…or it isn’t.
That is the topic. Lets stick to the topic and drop the rhetoric.
As I previously wrote, Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy have come under fire as the President of the business stated that he supported the traditional marriage in a recent interview with Baptist Press. One of the organizations calling for American’s to start boycotting Chick-fil-A is Human Rights Campaign, which has taken the time to write up a pledge that people can sign condemning Cathy for his beliefs.
Personally, I think H.R.C. has taken far too many liberties in their reporting of this story. In fact, I will go as far as to say that they are misleading readers who haven’t taken the opportunity to read the original article for themselves. Where do I get off making a statement like that? Here’s where I came up with my conclusion:
[The following statements are all from HRC’s website and can be found there in its entirety]
Chick-fil-A is boldly embracing one of the darker values that drives their organization: discriminating against LGBT Americans.
By claiming that Chick-fil-A supporting the traditional family is a “darker value” is to play on the emotions of the reader.
Stating that the organization “discriminates against LGBT Americans" is not accurate. In fact, nowhere in the article or in any of the interviews I’ve found with Dan Cathy, does he ever claim to be against members of the LGBT community. I have yet to read about him or the company discriminating about their employees who are homosexual/bisexual/transgender or anything of the sort. There is no discrimination going on here. The man simply supports marriage between husband and wife.
When questioned about Chick-fil-A’s donations in a recent interview, COO Dan Cathy replied: "Guilty as charged."
As you can read in the article from Baptist Press, Cathy was not talking about donations at all. He was responding to the company’s position of supporting traditional marriage. [Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.] He was not questioned about donations or any other funding issues when he replied with “Guilty as charged.” That line on HRC website is a fabrication and is misleading.
In a follow-up interview, Cathy continued: “We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say we know better than You as to what constitutes marriage.”
I have an issue with this “quote” because I have yet to find the interview where Cathy said this. In addition to not being able to find the origin of this statement, I haven’t found a reliable news outlet that has included this quote. If I do in fact find the original source of this statement I will post it on here. I refuse to comment on any quotes from the internet without verifying the source.
As support for LGBT equality grows, fair-minded customers now have the facts they need to decide whether they want to support a discriminatory company like Chick-fil-A.
By using language like “fair-minded customers" and "support a discriminatory company”, HRC is saying that if one supports Chick-fil-A’s stance they that person is not fair-minded and is also discriminatory. It is written in a manner to invoke agreement in the reader.
Here is the “pledge” from HRC that they want people to sign:
I am dismayed to see Chick-fil-A’s COO, Dan Cathy proudly touting his company’s business decision to discriminate against LGBT Americans. Cathy claims to run Chick-fil-A based on biblical principles — but he is ignoring the fact that the Bible calls us to treat all with love and respect.
In addition to the majority of Americans who support marriage equality, we know that a large majority of Christians — nearly 90 percent — say the very tenets of their faith lead them to reject discrimination against LGBT people.
As support for LGBT equality grows, fair-minded customers like myself have the facts they need to decide whether we want to support a discriminatory company like Chick-fil-A. While I respect Mr. Cathy’s right to his personal opinions, I strongly urge Chick-fil-A to stop using money from customers as part of a larger effort to oppress LGBT Americans. Until then, I will have to reconsider whether I spend my money at Chick-fil-A.
Lets review the issues with this pledge:
1- As I mentioned before, Chic-fil-A does not discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Not agreeing with someone is not the same as discriminating.
2-The Bible does call us to love and respect others. I have yet to see Chick-fil-A not do that. Again, not agreeing with same-sex marriage does not constitute being unloving or being disrespectful of someone.
3- “Nearly 90 percent”… I would like to see where HRC found this statistic. I am not aware of a study that was done that offers this statistic in its findings.
4-Even if that statistic is true, it is irrelevant. I do not support same-sex marriage but I reject discrimination against the LGBT community, or any other community. My faith does teach me to love others, to treat all people with respect, and with kindness. It does not teach that I have to hold the same beliefs as others.
5-Stating that one support’s Cathy’s personal beliefs in this pledge seems odd. The entire pledge is based on not supporting his personal beliefs. It is based on not supporting his personal beliefs and that of his company.
6-I strongly urge Chick-fil-A to stop using money from customers as part of a larger effort to oppress LGBT Americans.”- Again, never once did Cathy ever say he was using customers money to “oppress” anyone. In fact, there have been no actual instances where money from the business has been used for anything involving marriage issues in any way. If HRC has proof that Chick-fil-A has been using money to “oppress” anything I would really like to see it.
7-Speaking of “oppress”, what are they even talking about? Lets head to the good old dictionary to find the actual definition…
Oppress:[verb] Keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, esp. by the unjust exercise of authority.
Dan Cathy is not forcing anyone into hardship. LGBT are not living in hardship. Slaves, they were living in hardship. Being unable to legally marry someone is not severe suffering.
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect —regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
As you can see in the original interview, Dan Cathy was not trying to get into a debate about marriage nor he intending to make a public statement about the legalization of same-sex marriage. This has all stemmed from a few comments the business’s family-centered spirit and commitment to biblical principles.
For those of you who haven’t heard the news, Dan Cathy has come out. He has come out in favor of traditional marriages.The President & C.O.O. of Chick-fil-A has admitted that he does not support gay marriage.
For reasons that I don’t understand, this piece of information has apparently shocked people across the country. The news has created a media wildfire with newshows reporting on Cathy’s statements, bloggers debating out the topic, and the Human Rights Campaign calling for people to stop spending money at Chic-fil-A. What exactly caused all of this backlash? Lets get to the facts of the issue at hand rather than getting caught up in emotion inducing rhetoric.
The Baptist Press interviewed Dan Cathy this past Monday for an article in which the C.O.O. discussed the biblical values that has made Chick-fil-A what it is today. The company has always operated under certain standards that are based on their founder’s faith such as serving their customers with the highest quality as an act of service to God. Anyone who enjoys a trip to one of the company’s 1,600 locations knows that on Sundays getting some of those addicting waffle fries is impossible as they are closed.
The overwhelming majority of the content in the article was focused on the history of the company and the values they hold in their business dealings. In fact, Cathy only made 4 comments regarding marriage, which came in a natural progression following questions about different ministries that have been formed by the Cathy family.
Here are the actual comments from the article that are related to marriage:
"That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added.
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
"We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
"We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.
"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
As you can see Dan Cathy did not say anything about homosexuals and he did not mention advocating against gay marriage. All he simply did was say that he supports traditional marriage based on biblical principles. The company operates their entire business & all their community involvement based on their understanding of what the Bible teaches, why is it a shocker that they would support traditional marriage? Christians who turn to the Bible to make their decisions and turn to God to shape their beliefs tend to agree with Cathy’s stance. It isn’t based in hate or discrimination of members of the LGBT community, it is based in God’s Word.
Alright Ladies, tonight’s post is for you.
It’s time to get real. No, I mean really real. We live in a time when sex is all over. We’re taught to be sexy. We’re told that “friends with benefits” is empowering and satisfying. We’re equal to men, we can equally screw around the way they do. So let’s get real about being equal.
You both willingly get caught up in the moment, you both decide to not use protection. Oh let’s be real ladies, we all can walk down to Planned Parenthood, our own gynecologists, or even to the Health Center and get birth control pills almost as easily as a guy can grab a pack of condoms. We no longer live in a time where the responsibility is all on the guy to provide protection. We have responsibility too. We willingly have sex without being on the pill and without using condoms.
Women protest the idea of Planned Parenthood being de-funded because we need to have access to birth control. We have to be equal to men. We have to have equal access to our own protection.
So ladies, why then when the pregnancy stick turns up positive do we think we are superior to men? Why do we then think the man that helped create that life does not have the right to know about it?
I’m sure I’ll get the typical response of “My body, my choice” but really, it isn’t just your body. When we as women get pregnant we then have a new body that we’re carrying inside of us. There is a “fetus” (if we have to keep it scientific because “baby” is just far too offensive for some) that fetus has its own skull, brain, teeth, fingers…it is a growing body. So there’s now another body in a woman’s body. That body is a life and doesn’t get to voice it’s choice. You are choosing what will be done not only to your body, but to that other body growing inside of you.
Now let’s get back to equality. That man was a willing participant in having sex, he was aware that he wasn’t using a condom, and even if he did use a condom he knows the risks. If we choose to continue with a pregnancy ya’ll know darn straight that he’d have to pay his share to provide for that new life. It’s only right right? He should have to pay for the life of his child…otherwise he’d be a deadbeat dad. His DNA went into making that baby so he’d be held accountable for helping raise it…at least financially in our country.
So why is it that men don’t have a right to know about their child? Why can we as women choose to take the life of their child and not even get their opinion on doing so? Aren’t we equal to men? Better yet, aren’t men equal to us? Why don’t they have a voice in this decision?
This post isn’t related to apologetics or Christianity, it isn’t something I would typically write about. In the spirit of staying salty I felt the need to address the fact that for some reason there seems to be a significant increase in women in my area getting abortions. They do so without even informing the father that they created a life….and that the life is being taken. Where is the equality in that?
Ladies, if we willingly get into bed with a man, regardless of if that man is the love of your life or a guy you met at a party, we know the risks we are taking. We know that we can get pregnant. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have access to methods to prevent that from happening. We’re doing something wrong as a generation if we are using abortion as a form of birth control. We know how to protect ourselves, lets do that ahead of time.
And let’s be real, if we are responsible enough to make the choice to have sex we need to be responsible enough to handle a pregnancy. We sure as heck need to be mature enough to sit down & tell the men we’re sharing our beds with that a positive sign showed up a pregnancy test. And we’re being salty here, let’s recognize the fact that setting up an abortion appointment shouldn’t be done with the ease of scheduling a weekly nail appointment.