The overall purpose of Brethren for Biblical Authority is to provide a networking opportunity for like-minded leaders & churches within the Church of the Brethren. The Theological viewpoint for "B4BA" can be seen on the Faith Statement & supporters tab above.

A B4BA goal is to move beyond the distractions & struggles of the denomination and THRIVE, in spite of what's happening in the COB.

Several like-minded Pastors are already contributing to this site, (See the Contributor's list in the left column) and the list of like-minded churches.

This site is independant & not affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, or any district.

Site Editor Contact:

revstiles@atlanticbb.net

The Roots of Radical Jihadist Islam

With all that's going on in Nigeria, I am posting some info on Islam on my personal blog.  Hope it is helpful, especially with our girls being involved & A.C. coming up.

www.pastoralgraffiti.com

Political Correctness hits a New High . . . or Low ?

When I heard about, Brendan Eich stepping down as Mozilla’s CEO last Thursday, following an explosion of political correctness, I was acrimonious.  The forces of political correctness smelled blood in the water, and set out to destroy this man.

To me this is a landmark example of persecution, and political correctness going into overdrive. This was not even a matter of free speech, it was a matter of privacy invasion.   Eich said nothing, that I am aware of, about marriage.

Back in 2008, he simply donated $1000 to support traditional family values toward marriage.  Also, in 2008, the current president of the United States clearly stated that it was his opinion that marriage was something between a man and a woman.
Let me restate, once again what political correctness actually is:

When that research is done, we find very deep and very disturbing roots to the movement we know as Political Correctness. Cultural Marxism would actually be a more correct term for what we see and call Political Correctness. Karl Marx, the father of communist thinking, had a very Anti-Western way to see the world. He had hopes of an ideal society with a level playing field for all people. It would be interesting to see what Marx would think of those who implemented his ideology.

To achieve that level playing field, traditional American faith  & family values must be crushed and silenced. While the mavens of political correctness howl for freedom of speech, in truth they only extend that freedom to those who buy into their twisted ideology.

As a pastor, I am wrestling a great deal about how to respond to this outrageous censorship that is picking up so much momentum.  As tempting as it might be, going on a screaming shouting counter attack would most likely not be helpful. It could actually help feed the stereotypes that are out there about angry, judgmental Christians.

To those who are engaging in a “culture war,” let me offer this:  the culture war is over and we lost.  As a Christian leader, it feels more and more like we are living in a Babylonian culture, that is hostile to our faith.

That feeling led me to study and do some sermons on the first five chapters from the book of Daniel. My goal was to answer the question, how do we survive in Babylon?

There are three primary take away points from Daniel:

1. He had a very big faith in God. Even though he was a slave to the Babylonians, he never let go of his faith. He trusted that God had a plan for the ultimate victory of his people. Also, Daniel never held back the truth.

**We can have this, as well. Perhaps, even more so, because we have the New Testament and we can look at the end of the book and we know, in the end we win

2  Daniel had humility.  It was a necessary thing for survival. While he spoke prophetically to the King, he did so in a humble manner. It would have been tempting to use harsh words, but you don’t find them in Daniel’s revelations to the Kings of Babylon.

3. Daniel lived as a servant. While he was a captive, he made himself a blessing to his captors.

So as we ponder our responses to what’s going on in American culture, we need to exercise our faith in a humble (not arrogant) way. We can also strive to have the heart of a servant. It worked for Daniel and it certainly worked for Jesus.

So I offer you this as a starting point. Your comments are welcome. Please post them here, rather than on Facebook. By keeping the conversation here, we can keep it intact.


Thanks for reading.

Abortion & Double Standards

This week's post on Pastoral Graffiti is: abortion and double standards. Reflecting on this year's March for life and the statements of New York's governor and New York City's mayor.

www.pastoralgraffiti.com
http://davidspastoralgraffiti.blogspot.com/

Preaching hate ?

Since my last blog post drew a strong knee-jerk reaction in which I was told I was preaching hate, I thought I would offer this anecdote this week.

In a recent small group meeting, one of the participants mentioned attending a revival service.  I found the depiction of the service to be very troubling.  As the message and the atmosphere of the event were explained to me,  the meeting  sounded like one of the worst cases of legalism, self-righteousness, superiority and even perhaps hateful preaching, that I have ever heard.

The atmosphere of the church hosting the event really sounded like religion to me, in a very bad way. They had lists for how you were to dress, how when and where women were allowed to speak and of course the biggie, the only acceptable version of the Bible is the King James version.

If you happen to be a big fan of the King James Bible, that’s fine, but you need to know  a few things. First of all, the King James Bible is not a translation of the original Greek,  Hebrew and Aramaic texts. It is a translation from Latin to English, it was done in a hurry because it had been ordered by a King James.

This King James only movement, in my opinion borders on idolatry, because it elevates one particular translation of the Bible and treats it like a precious heirloom personally delivered into our hands by Jesus. Also there are mistakes in the KJV.  For instance the name of God, “Jehovah. ”  That is just plain wrong. When God identified himself to Moses the word he used was Yahweh!

Beyond the atmosphere full of self-righteousness and piety, the content of the message my friends heard was very troubling. It sounded like a hate festival reminiscent of the kind of fury stirred up in George Orwell’s novel 1984.

The sermon contained a long list of businesses that Christians should not support.  And while he was at it, the preacher also made a lot of derogatory remarks about other churches and ministries.

"Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand." (John 15)

While the preacher did have Scripture to quote, he was doing what is called “proof texting.”  That does not involve the use of a cell phone. Proof texting is whenever you have an idea that you want to put forth and look for verses in the Bible that support your point of view.

This kind of “ministry” really helps contribute to the negative attitude that many people have about the church.  Also it creates what I call a fortress mentality. The great commission of Jesus tells us that we are to go into all the world and make disciples. We are not going to be too successful at that when we spend our time making long lists of people to stay away from.
In closing let me offer this Scripture from John 15:


12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Ducks & Political Correctness

The reaction of Americans to the situation involving Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, and his comments made in GQ magazine, remind me of the Chick fil A controversy in the summer of 2012. Both fiascos demonstrate how deeply polarized our culture is. My purpose in writing this post is to respond and offer my take as a pastor.

 Within the Christian community, I’ve always tried to be careful about what I say about other people who share their faith in a ministry of some sort. EX: Joel Osteen. I don’t care for his preaching & I have some concerns about his Theology, but I’m not likely to discuss that outside of my church; and he is reaching a large group of people. So, who am I to criticize? I’m reminded of the scripture: Romans 14:4 “4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

 Phil Robertson, in a unique way is also reaching a large audience. I see the obvious chord Robertson is striking, and many people are encouraged by him. We live in strange days, and God is using unusual people. As far as Duck Dynasty goes, I find it rather underwhelming. I’ve watched 4 or 5 episodes and my conclusion is, this is just another boring “reality TV show.” Honestly, I’m not a good TV critic. I just don’t watch much TV. I simply choose other forms of entertainment. The best thing I’ve seen from Phil Robertson is this message he gave at Saddleback church.
In these days I’ve adopted a little motto: Don’t judge someone God is obviously using.

 The Christian faith is not always something that cleans up well to conform to a politically correct society. 1 Peter 2:7-9: 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.

 Jesus love us all ! But, He came to set us free from sin, not to simply hand us a “get out of hell free card.” To a woman caught in adultery, Jesus forgave her AND said, “Go and sin no more.” In the Robertson case and the Chick fil a situation, progressive activists decided to take a swing at well- known American Christians. Their rhetoric articulated their outrage and offense at the words or private business decisions of others.

 This is the same general crowd that screams for “tolerance,” as long as you agree with their agenda. In both cases, the progressive attempts to gain support for their politically correct agenda seem to have backfired, somewhat. Perhaps they underestimated the reactions of American people out here in flyover country. The Cathy family (of Chick fil a) and the Robertson family (of Duck Dynasty) have platforms from which to speak. When they speak, what they say resonates with many straightforward American Christian people, even if Robertson’s words were a bit “off color.”

We live in a very off color world. Thus, I understand why so many people are reacting. There is a lot of anti-Christian ideology out there, and some powerful people who want to muzzle Christians. The climate in America right now just makes situations like this more intense. I will soon be 50 years old. Also, I have been in full-time ministry since I was in my early 30’s. During that time I have seen our country change drastically, and have become aware of the need to be careful with everything I say because someone might take offense. We can't be plain spoken folks like we were 20 years ago. I have learned the value of being “real,” instead of pious. People tell me they find that refreshing. I’m not perfect, and sometimes I say something that can be too edgy.

 When it comes to taking offense, as a Christian I could talk for the rest of my life about things in our culture that I find offensive. The entire tone of the GQ article about Phil Robertson is snarky, sarcastic, and demeaning. It was clear to me after a single reading that the author was mocking the Robertson family after being welcomed into their home.

 I haven't heard anyone mention that perhaps GQ should offer the Robertson family an apology. Make no mistake, I am NOT calling for that. As a matter of fact, I will actually make a case for not becoming offended. There is a magnificent book called “The Bait of Satan.” It was written by John Bevere. Put simply, the bait is offense. When we become offended with another person, especially another Christian, we open a door and invite Satan to walk in and wreak havoc.

 Here is my big concern: Political correctness has a strangle hold on America now. It is the biggest threat to our culture, because it opens the door and lets in many other problems. I am working on a much bigger piece on political correctness, so I beg your patience as I pull it together. It may even turn into an ebook.

 Every once in a while someone like Phil Robertson manages to rip the duct tape off of his mouth long enough to say something politically incorrect. When this happens, progressive types spring into action to stomp down the traditionalist, and once in a while the sleeping giant of traditional America pays attention and reacts. Surprise at the outcry is a little strange.

If you throw a rock at a hornet's nest, you could get stung. Progressive activists are hard at work changing the very structure of our culture. I know them all too well. I cross paths with them every summer at our church annual conference. Honestly, they have been pretty successful.

 Like many other American church denominations, you could say that mine has become two completely different churches trying to share the same name. The value system and biblical interpretation of the two groups are night and day.

 Conflict will always be a part of people groups. How we handle them is what matters.

 The duck dynasty situation never involved government intervention. But the situation with Chick fil A did. The mayors of Boston and Chicago both made statements telling Chick fil A they were not welcome to do business in their cities. A Chick fil a leader made statements in support of traditional family and marriage. I am not aware of any statements that attacked homosexuality directly.

 When it comes to political correctness, this is not the beginning of a slippery slope. We are already on a slippery slope and our culture is sliding downhill very quickly. I present the following to demonstrate how effective progressive activism is. And, I remind you, I wrote this piece as a response. I take no joy in mentioning homosexuality once again. It’s a sin, like all other sins.

 Homosexuality was classified as a mental illness until 1973.(1) The American Psychological Association made the declassification due to the presence of constant protesters at their conventions and the influence of “Sexologist,” Alfred Kinsey who was himself a very troubled individual. I’ll simply mention that Kinsey rendered himself impotent, due to his experiments with self-torture. However, Kinsey would be a topic for another day. I have a stack of information on him. (2)

 (1) –“Legislating Immorality,” George Grant & Mark A. Horne. – Page 117
 (2) – “Intellectual Morons,” Daniel J. Flynn. – Chapter 2

Jesus the Most Influential Person in History

A new book Who's Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank by Steven Skiena and Charles Ward places Jesus as number one on the list of history’s most influential people.

As we are knee deep in the Christmas season, this comes as an encouraging piece of news.  Honestly, I’m not really too surprised.  Whatever people think of who He is, overall their tendency is to hold Him in very high regard.

The theologian in me could go on a rant about how we “should” view Jesus, but in these days of media overload, I couldn’t say anything new.  My default position comes from C.S. Lewis, who offered the “liar, lunatic or Lord” illustration.  Basically, a man saying the things Jesus said would have to by an amazingly good liar (nobody could lie that well), or a crazed lunatic (insane people don’t change world for the better) or He would have to be exactly what He said He is:  The Lord God in the flesh.  This pap about being a great moral teacher is not an option.

Moving forward, from inside the church, this #1 ranking of Jesus causes me to see a disconnect.  If Jesus is held in such high regard, why are there so many empty seats in the churches across America?  Isn’t the church supposed to be the gathering place for people who hold Jesus in such high esteem.

The problem is obviously not Jesus.  He was perfect and most people have a favorable opinion of Him.  Could it be that in our churches, people aren’t seeing much of Jesus?  I could spill a lot of ink talking about the bad experiences people have had in various churches.  Rather than list them and rehash them, I’ll offer this thought:  Our churches are too focused on US and our preferences.  If people get around to checking out our churches, my hunch is they see way more of us, than Jesus.

Our presentation of Christianity can be heavily wrapped in traditions and agendas that mask Jesus and His message of grace, love and restoration.  We can really learn a lot from the mission of John the Baptist.  His mission was to point the way to Jesus and then get out of the way.  When John was asked about losing his audience, his response was, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

In the COB, what people may see pretty quickly is 2 or more sets of traditions locked in an ongoing power struggle.  Why would anyone find that appealing?

During the Christmas season, people around us may be a bit more open to hear about Jesus.  So, let’s stay on mission and show & tell about Jesus.  Merry Christmas.
For fun, here is the top 10 list:

 The Top 10 Most Significant Figures in Human History:
1. Jesus Christ
2. Napoleon Bonaparte
3. William Shakespeare
4. Prophet Muhammad
5. Abraham Lincoln
6. George Washington
7. Adolf Hitler
8. Aristotle
9. Alexander the Great
10. Thomas Jefferson

Why Can't we get it Together?

Disclaimer, this is not going to be a piece about politics ! I’m just using the current political climate in America to analyze the church’s plight. Let me define “church,” for the sake of this piece. By church, I mean those who believe that the Bible is the absolute Word of God and Salvation is through Christ alone. Studies disagree about the numbers, but one thing is clear, we are a significant MINORITY in America.

 It also looks to me like the church is suffering from a plight much like the Republican party in America. In both groups, there is a lack of unity. In the political party and the church there are a variety of relatively high profile leaders who are making some noise, but around each leader is a different “camp.” Differences can always be discussed and agreements can be made to disagree, but in the end, our mission needs to be the ultimate focal point, and we must be united on it.

This isn’t happening, and it partially explains why neither group can get any traction right now. We have enough “competition” from forces outside the church, in a culture where a Biblical worldview is no longer the norm. Our stumping for our set of doctrinal priorities is not painting an attractive picture.

Paul addressed this problem in the New Testament.

In 1st Corinthians 3, the Bible states: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?” 

There is nothing wrong with being a serious student of Theology, but that’s not mission number one. A single mom struggling to keep her head above water is not interested in a rousing discussion of Ecclesiology.

 I’m not advocating that we throw sound doctrine under the bus, but that is not what a hurting world that has all but written us off will take notice of. Jesus said, they will know you are my disciples by the love . . .” Doctrines, traditions and rituals were not mentioned.

Faith in Jesus is a relationship. How can we share that, if we don’t have good relationships with others in and outside of the church?

Girlie Hats for Marines

While the majority of America’s talking heads are focused on “The Affordable Care Act,” other things are happening, and can easily be missed in all the noise about healthcare. That could be just what those hostile to traditional American culture want.

The newly proposed hats for the United States Marine Crop have made some news, and many Marines have expressed outrage. While some may think, “ this is not a big deal,” I will disagree. These girlie hats are not an isolated issue. The hats are just another example of cultural Marxists working to emasculate the men of America. The men of the USMC have always been an example of a “men’s men.” Therefore, they are a perfect target for the androgenizing agenda of the P.C. Police. What’s next, pink camo for the army and bikinis for the Navy Seals?

In some of my previous posts, I have explained that a more accurate name for political correctness would be cultural Marxism. One of their big goals is to trash male leadership and the traditional family. Marxist ideology needs to destroy Western, Judeo-Christian culture.

We can also find male bashing in American television. Take the cartoon comedy of “Family Guy.” The father is portrayed as a bumbling idiot, and the smartest member of the family is the dog. Folks, we are need to connect the dots on all these force cultural changes. They are connected and their agenda is to destroy our culture.

Part 3 – The History of Political Correctness


My wife and I recently had a chat with our doctor.  The conversation shifted from her foot to the prevailing feeling that something is very wrong with our society.   We agreed that there is a strange but intangible difference in our society.  Pondering this sense of foreboding, I continued my work on these articles.

In my September 24th post, I told you that the correct term for political correctness would actually be cultural Marxism.  What we call “Political correctness” was actually developed at the Fankfurt School, in Germany in the early 1900's.

“PC” is a wicked child born from the marriage of Communist, Marxist thought and Freudian psychology.   The Frankfurt group of ideologues developed something called “critical theory,” to deconstruct conventional cultural paradigms.  To develop a Marxist society, the traditional elements of Western culture needed to be toppled.  So these thinkers targeted Christianity, capitalism, authority, the family, male leadership, traditional morality, sexual restraint, and patriotism, among others.

The people who are forcing this into our American society have been quite successful.  They're coming through the back door with the appearance of good intentions. It’s hard to argue with people who tell us we need to be sensitive to the feelings of others, and advocate for the rights of various groups of people. If establishing more civil rights and kinder conversation were truly the only goals, we would not be facing the Goliath in front of us now.

How can something that sounds “nice” and “caring,” be the root of some many problems? The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 11:14 -  “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

Cultural Marxists will tell you you're selfish & evil because you have been successful, while others have not had the same good fortune. But, they don't tell you that the ultimate goal of cultural Marxism is total destruction of the traditional society in which you live.

Political correctness is not about being nice or tolerant, it is about wiping out freedom of thought and expression and establishing a totalitarian culture controlled by an “enlightened” elite.

Under the banner of multi-culturalism, cultural Marxist have taken control of many of America's colleges and universities. 1960's student protestors are now radical, tenured college professors.

Using the same cover of multi-culturalism, educators and authors are changing the curriculum and ultimately the values that are being taught and America's schools.  We find this in revisionist history and radical sex education.

While this may seem like a modern problem to us, radical sex education programs where introduced by Marxist in Hungary as early as 1919.  Hungarian children were taught about free love, the irrelevance of religion which deprives people of pleasure, and that family values were archaic.

Stay tuned for more in my next post. However, understand that cultural Marxist want to radically change Western civilization. For them, the big enemy is Christianity. To those who are truly sold out for Cultural Marxism, Christianity must be eliminated. It is the one force that can stop the Marxist ideology of political correctness.


Ever notice that it’s totally ok to mock and belittle Christians in this era of “tolerance?”  

The Most Politically Incorrect Institution In America, The Family

The Bible tells us that God created all things. The pinnacle of his creative work was humanity. God was quite careful to make sure that he established the ultimate environment from which to populate the earth.

Human beings are born and nurtured by means of the institution of the family. At the heart of the family is a mother and a father.  In this setting, children learn all the basic things they need to know to survive.  By the age of 5, a person’s personality is nearly completely developed.

Parents are not merely caregivers they are teachers and role models. A child raised in a well functioning family environment has a much greater likelihood of living a successful adult life. Children born and raised in broken homes, where this parental team is not in place, are much more likely to experience every kind of dysfunction known to man.

This simple structure transcends all times and cultures.  It is a universal institution.

The people who populate a culture, all come by way of a family.   Therefore, a society can only be as healthy as the families who are bringing new people into the world.

For every proposition like mine, there are exceptions. However, when we see the repeated stories of anti-social behavior in the news, one common denominator appears time and again.  Perpetrators of crime & mayhem are more often than not children of dysfunction.  Family dysfunction, not race, economics or geography is what we find underneath negative social behaviors.

Troubled individuals almost always come from troubled homes.

Stable families breed stable people. Stable people create a healthy culture.  So as we look for the roots of today's societal struggles, we need to look no further than the foundation.

If a person or group of people desire to destroy a culture, their primary target for destruction must be the family.  If you bring down the family, you will succeed in bringing down the entire culture.


I challenge you to be on the lookout for things that mock and attack the norms of the American family. They are legion, and I will show them to you in my next post.

Update on Gay Wedding in Middle PA District

A piece from Christian Post

FYI - Trans-Gender speaker at COB congregation

Check this article out. Near the end of the piece, look for the connection to a COB church.

The History of Political Correctness - Part 1

When the topic of Political Correctness comes up, chuckles and shaking heads often follow. But, when we stop and realize how carefully we are required to speak in any kind of public setting, it's easy to see that this is no laughing matter.

 Political Correctness has become so mainstream in our society, without much struggle. It can sound nice. Most rational people like the idea of fairness and equal opportunity for all people. If that were the only true agenda of political correctness I would really not be that concerned. What is truly sinister, however, is the “fair & equality” ideology is only the superficial part of Political Correctness. To see where this entire concept came from requires some research.

When that research is done, we find very deep and very disturbing roots to the movement we know as Political Correctness. Cultural Marxism would actually be a more correct term for what we see and call Political Correctness. Karl Marx, the father of communist thinking, had a very Anti-Western way to see the world. He had hopes of an ideal society with a level playing field for all people. It would be interesting to see what Marx would think of those who implemented his ideology.

Everywhere communism has been tried, it has been a deadly disaster that has led to tyrannical leadership. There has never been a level playing field in Communist countries; only an elite ruling class and the common peasants. When put into practice, Communism has destroyed any middle class. In 1919, Marx said "Who will save us from Western civilization?" those who followed him got even more specific and aimed their sites at Christianity.

For Marxism to thrive anywhere, Christianity has to been attacked, because it’s the only force that stands in its way. There is much more to say and I am planning some follow up pieces. So, for now let me leave you with this... What is the one group of people that you can still mock, harass and degrade? Is it not Christians who are still in open season?

Christian chaplains are no longer permitted to pray in the name of Jesus in the United States military. Military personnel, who are Christians, are not allowed to discuss their faith. And yet the United States military will make accommodations for those who practice witchcraft as their religion.

Stay tuned

Not all Martyrs are Created Equal

Martyr is a word we probably don’t hear or use every day.  What comes to your mind, when you hear or see the word martyr? 

At first, my mind took me back to the days of the Reformation.   For the first time, people were starting to have access to the Bible in their own language.

Some Christians began to follow the lead of people like Luther and Calvin and turned to the Bible for answers instead of following establish church traditions.  In short, many people who parted company with what was then a very corrupt Roman Catholic Church were put to death.

The Martyrs of the Reformation gave their lives up for the truth of God’s Word.

To really understand martyrdom, we need to go the whole way back to Jesus.  In John 18, as Pilate was questioning Jesus, this exchange is recorded:  “ Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered,“You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

In bearing witness to the truth, Jesus laid down His life for the truth of God.  Most of His disciples met with similar grizzly deaths for refusing to abandon the truth they received from Jesus.

Over the centuries, many Christians have been put to death for refusing to give up on the truth of Jesus.

Still today, Christians suffer persecution & even death for upholding the truth of God as proclaimed by Jesus.  See The Voice of the Martyrs.  Even here in America, times for Christians aren’t great.   Political correctness is practically the law of the land.  Military Chaplains are no longer allowed to pray in the name of Jesus.

The meaning of martyrdom has drifted in modern times.  The Free Dictionary offers a second definition (without death) for the word martyrOne who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.  So, in our society, someone can make a martyr of themselves by simply standing their ground for a cause or movement that violates norms or laws of society.

For example, someone could be regarded as a martyr for being arrested and jailed for some act of “civil disobedience.”   If I were a Military Chaplain, one way or another, I would be on my way out.

I can admire someone who stands up and takes the heat that goes along with standing firm for the truth of God.  But, what about those who exchange the truth of God for a lie, and take some action to make a “modern martyr” of themselves?

At best, this kind of behavior would cheapen martyrdom to the level of a PR stunt, along the lines of the “Occupy” movement.

At its worst, dying for a lie is what inspires people to fly airplanes into buildings.

Jesus embodied the truth.  His truth is the only truth, and thus the only one worthy of self-sacrifice.

In a world of confusion, truth matters.

The Source of Marriage Licenses for Same Sex Couples

Same sex marriage is not recognized in PA, but here is an article that shows where the licenses were coming from.

Modifying You Church Constitution

The topic of "protecting" our churches from legal action, if we refuse to perform gay marriages, has been making some news.

In order to protect your congregation from potential future problems with same sex marriage, here is an example of what to get in your constitution ASAP:

"We believe that the institution of marriage, between a man and a woman, established by God in Genesis 2:24, and affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:5, is the only appropriate form for human sexual expression.

Therefore, we prohibit our licensed and ordained ministers to perform homosexual marriages on or off the church's property.  We also prohibit the church property from being used for homosexual marriages, celebrations receptions, or any type of gathering.

Additionally, we will not recognize the license or ordination of ministers whose sexuality does not conform to the above-mentioned institution of marriage."

This establishes what your "religious beliefs" are NOW.  So, if you are approached about a same sex marriage, you can point to your church constitution & explain that doing so would violate your religious beliefs.

Gay Wedding Getting Press

From WTAJ-TV - In Altoona PA.