Climate Change and Noah’s Flood

The Judeo-Christian ethic has been nearly extinguished throughout much of the West, and political group think has taken its place.  Over the past fifty years, truth has been practically evicted from the public square, and “Everyone does what is right in his own eyes”, as it was in the days of Noah.

Ironically, many are now freaking out about the possibility of rising oceans due to climate change.  They are frantic that President Trump’s decision to drop out of the Paris agreement will lead to Doom’s Day.  Apparently they don’t remember or never knew that the rainbow was God’s solemn promise that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood.

How striking it is that the symbol of the rainbow was hi-jacked by a movement that has denied and rebelled against God’s created order for human beings!  There is good reason to be concerned about Doom’s Day, but it will not come from a flood.

 

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What Donald Trump Can Do For Education

A very wise person once said, “The policies of the classroom in one generation will be the policies of the government in the next.”  Over the past forty years, America has seen the truth of that statement borne out.

The take-over of education policy by the federal government has produced a Dis-United States with racial, religious, moral, and civil tensions of unprecedented proportions. The starkness of this was played out in the violent protests of young people demanding that the lawful, constitutional election of 2016 be overthrown because they didn’t like the outcome.  The majority of those arrested for rioting had not even voted.

The President’s failure to uphold the laws of the land with which he disagreed and his willingness to allow states to disobey federal law no doubt had an impact on students’ disrespect for the Constitution and their willingness to resort to anarchy after the election. From Berlin, the President told students protesting the election in America not to remain silent.  In other words, he was telling them to keep it up.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a school told students they should not fly the American flag for Veterans Day because it might produce  post-election backlash. One student’s flag on his vehicle was destroyed. This goes along with the practice of several well-known athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem. It appears that patriotism is now an offense to some Americans. Is it possible that our education system is complicit in this changing view?

In San Francisco the teacher’s union endorsed a lesson plan that portrayed the President-Elect as “a racist and sexist man who had pandered to a huge racist, sexist base.”  A spokesperson for the union said that the purpose was to allow students a voice and to “validate their feelings.”

During the eight years of his presidency, the Obama administration pushed far left social issues by way of the schools, calling for non-gender bathrooms and special protections and considerations for homo-sexual and bi-sexual students.  Students were also witnesses to the celebration from the Obama White House for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Writer for The National Review, David French, said “The stakes are now clear: We must fix our education system or slowly but surely lose our culture.”  He is right on, and one of the best things the new administration can do to fix it is to give all parents choice in the education of their children. For until children can be rescued from the postmodern, politically correct stranglehold on the public schools, the situation will not improve. Many parents are tired of the federal government dictating what their children are to believe and  what they must become.  Choice will force the public schools to either start responding to the will of the people or begin to die.

Needed:Students Passionate For Jesus

Billy Graham once wrote, “In recent history, young people have been used both to save and to destroy nations.  And today, all over the world, young people are filled with energy, eager to change their generation.”

We can be thankful that there are signs of youth revival in America such as a recent one at a high school football stadium in West Virginia where many students surrendered their hearts to Jesus.  Ravi Zacharias and his team of apologists are witnessing hundreds of young people on college campuses hungry for answers, waiting for long periods of time after Ravi and others speak to ask their questions.

Sadly, though, many young people who grew up in Christian homes go off to the universities and find themselves rejecting the faith of their parents and their church.  Perhaps some of it can be rightly blamed on the failure of Christians to live what they preach.  Maybe it is part of a necessary finding of their own faith and not a willful rebellion.  In too many cases, however, it is a conscious choice that will lead to bad things.

Apologist Stuart McAllister wrote, “At this moment in our cultural history, the dominant images and icons are those positioned as ‘against.’ Against what? Everything, it seems.”  He called those under their spell “Rebels Without a Pause”.  No doubt among them are  some “Christian” young people who have decided to keep the Christian label but reject the teaching or change it to suit what they want to believe.  They are the ones who are most apt to justify themselves by trying to “re-educate” everyone else around them.  They will not be an influence for positive change unless and until they realize that they don’t have all the answers.  Only Jesus does.

Paul’s admonition to Timothy was to not let anyone despise his youth.  The only way for Timothy to do that was to follow the teachings of Paul (which all followed Scriptural truth) and not to rely on his own knowledge. (1 Timothy 6: 20-21 and Proverbs 3:5-6)

If we are among those who are crying out to God for our nation right now, shouldn’t we be praying that He will raise up a new generation of young people who are willing to become radical followers of Jesus?  If we do this effectually and fervently, perhaps we will witness the greatest revival this nation has ever seen.

 

 

 

 

“UNARMED TRUTH AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE”?

 

Martin Luther King predicted that “unarmed truth and unconditional love” would “have the final word in reality.” Apologist Ravi Zacharias  noted that because “Our entire educational ideology in the West is propelled by a radical secular agenda…and is governed by  a scientific single vision”, we must ask the next question: “Which of the exact sciences gives us the imperatives of unarmed truth and unconditional love?”

Dr. Zacharias reminded his readers that “truth and love are not the imperatives of a naturalistic framework”, and that “those who truly wish dignity and honorable freedom can’t find it in the pure sciences.” Is it possible that this emptiness of the soul is spawning a new generation that will reject the philosophy of naturalism and gain a new outlook on truth?

It appears that we may have reached a time when serious-minded young people are beginning to ask some tough questions about the worldview they have inherited through western education and its resulting culture.  Christian apologists are encountering packed lecture halls all over the West with students waiting long times to ask their questions.  They are seeking answers that “naturalism has not and cannot give them.”

This is encouraging news for Christians who have long been praying  for a new dawning of light to pierce the darkness of radical secularism. Could there be a revival on the horizon that will bring about a new enlightenment? We must hope and pray that there is, because without it, Malcolm Muggeridge’s prediction of a “dark, dismal future for humanity”* is the likely alternative.

*All quotes are taken from the RZIM Spring 2016 Newsletter.

 

What to Make of Climate Change

Is climate change a real problem, and if so, is it something human beings can fix?  What I’ve found is that you can find reasonable people on both sides of the issue.  One more question I have, though, concerns why it has become so political.  Usually when I’m trying to understand such things and where I should come down on it, I often look at the people on either side and try to figure out their ideologies and philosophies.  Where do they stand on the big question of TRUTH?  Are they more inclined to be relativists or do they have a place in their worldview for absolutes?  Another test I try to employ is checking out who they tend to hang out with and support.  In other words who do they most agree with and what are those people like?   I’ve found you can learn a lot about underlying beliefs that way and how that affects what people will accept or not accept as “proof”.

Both sides of the climate debate use their own portfolio of what they accept as the scientific data.  This seems to be true on most issues of our time.  That being the case, it becomes necessary to look in other places before forming an opinion – like what information do I already have from other sources.

One of those sources is personal knowledge.  I can remember sitting in university science classes in the seventies and hearing about the threat of a return to the ice age.  There was “data” to back up the fear.  The question of course concerned whether it would be possible for humanity to survive and how should the world be planning and adapting.  I’m not really sure when the issue took a one hundred eighty degree turn and we began to worry about the opposite extreme.  However, it’s obvious that one fear became obsolete.  Is it possible that this one will do the same?

The most trustworthy source I rely on for truth is the Holy Bible.  I find it very interesting that God asked Job, “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, … when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt”?

A couple more questions come to mind.  If scientists have not successfully found a way to undo drought situations around the world or stop earthquakes or tsunamis, can we really expect them to show us how to refreeze the arctic and lower ocean levels?  Furthermore, why should we trust politicians who think they can?

Why Our Schools Need Jesus

Apologist Ravi Zacharias recently asked, “Can you talk of education without first looking into the human heart?”  What he meant is that you cannot teach personal responsibility if you have no moral framework.  If you don’t comprehend what it really means to be human, you cannot identify evil.  And if you can’t identify evil, you have no way to define what is good.

Our education leaders and many politicians have long denied that there is a moral law by which to create a framework for justice.  They’ve offered up situational ethics and an ever-changing definition of good behavior and wellbeing which has failed to produce a kinder, gentler, more peaceful society.

More than anything else, what’s happened to our schools has spawned a worldview leading to mass rebellion, anger, and self-consumed bad behavior because nobody dares to say, “This is wrong!”  Until we admit that a moral law exists, we can never adequately confront evil.  At the moment there are too many in power who resist the idea of a moral law because it implies, rather demands, a lawgiver.  This they refuse to allow.

For that reason, we have for decades been sending out from our schools untold thousands of students who have very little conscience and no compelling reason to care about anyone but themselves.  Ethics, if they ever even consider it, means whatever they prefer for it to mean.  The result is a breakdown of civility across the land, and only the ideals of truth and peace brought by Jesus Christ can ever fix it.

How common is Common Core?

Common defense, commonwealth, common schools are all terms that we value in America because they represent our ideals for the good of all our citizens.  The question is, “Does the Common Core education initiative meet that standard?”  Was it truly representative of America’s values and the democratic way of determining our  governance?  Whenever the money and power that go with education reform are involved, it is always necessary to take a longer and much closer look before answering questions like these.

The nation was led to believe that this take-over of education was fully tried, tested, and affirmed by those who have been duly elected to make those decisions.  However, just as education packages before it, Common Core was never fully researched and tested by real educators in real classrooms.  It was another attempt at building the airplane while it’s being flown. We’ve seen it before with outcome-based education and other initiatives.

We were told that America’s schools are not keeping up with the rest of the world because our standards are too low and not uniform.  Could it be that the same people who were responsible for pushing PC junk standards onto the schools in the first place are now the ones complaining and offering their expertise in fixing them?

Could it be that State governments, teacher unions, and business organizations were offered a carrot on a stick with lots of money behind it to support Common Core?  Big businesses such as testing companies and powerful people like Bill Gates must have seen dollar signs in the development of testing methods which require new materials and new technologies. They stand to make millions. Should these people be the ones to determine what our schools must teach and how they should do it?

Why do we need to have all testing done on-line?  Why do we need to collect massive amounts of data on students?  Why are we trusting people with connections to testing firms and technology companies who do millions of dollars of business with the state’s schools to serve on Common Core commissions?

It appears that the only thing common about Common Core is how frequently it returns to us under different names and window dressings but with the same purpose of putting every part of education under the control of the federal government.

Orwellian Reason Obama Said States Can “Stop Obsessing” About Tests

Apparently the Department of Education has gotten concerned over the outcry from parents, teachers, and unions over burdensome high-stake testing, and they realized they had to do something quickly.  So, they’ve started with an apology and a promise to fix it.

Parents, teachers, school board members, and state legislators must now keep a cautious eye on what is being proposed to take the place of all that testing. “Stealth assessments” are already being devised.

To find out more about how and why states are being pushed to start collecting data digitally, thereby avoiding privacy protection for parents, I urge concerned citizens to check out the blog post below.

Source: Orwellian Reason Obama Said States Can “Stop Obsessing” About Tests

Persecution of Christians in America

Really?  Have we actually come to that?  Three recent cases suggest that we have.

Navy Chaplain Wes Modder was threatened with firing because he used the Bible and followed his church’s doctrine when counseling military personnel who came to him for guidance.  He was doing what he had been commissioned to do, but when his superior officer found that he was explaining biblical teaching on homosexuality, he tried to have him expelled from his position.  Fortunately the Navy has explicit guidelines for chaplains, none of which Modder had violated. He has been allowed to keep his position for the time being.

High school football coach Joe Kennedy has been threatened with “discipline, up to and including discharge from District employment” if he doesn’t stop praying at the 50 yard line after games.  Coach Kennedy, a former marine combat veteran started the practice of going there alone after games to offer a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for the teams.  Before long other coaches from both teams decided to join him as did several players.  They made this choice with no coercion, but the Washington State school system has decided this must not be tolerated.  If the coach wants to pray, he can only do it in private.

Kentucky Court Clerk Kim Davis asked to be allowed to keep her name off marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples.  Because that was not allowed, she refused to issue marriage licenses.  As a result she was jailed.  The circuit court judge had her released after several days but ordered that she not interfere with her deputies in issuing marriage licenses (which still had her name on them). Legal action is ongoing on her behalf.

Those who pooh pooh the idea that these situations constitute religious persecution obviously don’t see the loss of a job, a business, or freedom as persecution.  They must think that all the person has to do is go along to get along.  In other words give up their strongly held beliefs in favor of political correctness.  Don’t they realize that in areas of the world overrun with ISIS terrorists, Christians are offered the same choice in order to live?

Os Guinness in The Global Public Square, reported that the U.S. “in 2010, for the very first time,… moved into the top sixteen countries of the world where there was a rise in both government restrictions and social hostility toward religion.”

Americans must recognize the truth that this situation is really occurring and if left unchecked will lead to a loss of freedom of conscience and belief for everyone.

Politically Correct or True?

Possibly a majority of people have a negative perception when they hear the term “politically correct”.  Yet, many view truth through politically correct lenses.  For instance, they may think that their favorite news source is unbiased, but that of their neighbor is totally biased to the point of spreading lies.  When asked to give examples, they can’t prove any out-and-out fabrications, but still believe they are getting the straight truth and their neighbor is not.

So, how do we differentiate between what is politically correct and what is true?  First of all, what is politically correct can and will change with time.  Truth never changes.  Slavery was once politically correct in this country.  That is an unfortunate truth about our history.  Those who were preaching against slavery were out of sync with their time.  Their compassionate ideas were considered divisive and a threat to the freedom of slave owners.  There were even Supreme Court Justices on the side of slavery as demonstrated by the Dred Scott Decision. It became the “law of the land” and wasn’t to be violated. It is an unfortunate truth about our history of which many people either aren’t aware or choose to ignore.

We are now witnessing new politically correct ideas that are equally divisive. One of those is the issue of abortion.  Conservatives are against it, and liberals are for keeping it legal.  Social conservatives believe all human life is sacred no matter the age or health of the individual. Liberals believe the fetus is not fully human.  What is the truth?  When does life begin? Through technology, we’ve been able to see the development taking place in the womb–a beating heart, moving legs and arms, thumb sucking, opening and closing of eyes, and we know the blood flowing in the veins is human.  Yet, political correctness rejects it all as proof of personhood in favor of not infringing on the “rights” of the mother. It seems that we care not about what is lawful but only what is legal, and we don’t seem to know the difference.

The same is true of same-sex marriage.  Conservatives are against it.  Liberals are for it.  It’s politically correct, so in some minds it must be right.  But is it?  How do we decide?  Christians who take the Bible as the best source of truth believe Jesus’s words in Matthew 19: 4-6 settle the matter. Liberal minded people who either dismiss much of the Bible as allegorical or irrelevant prefer to believe that Jesus would not disapprove of a lifestyle that is politically correct.

Where does truth come in? Just as in the issue of slavery, politically correct attitudes and behaviors will have powerful and long-lasting consequences.  America is still paying the price for its failure to get it right with slavery.  History may see our generation as one of the most barbaric societies ever for the way we have treated the unborn.  Unbridled sexual license could bring such destruction to the family that America’s way of life will crumble and fall. Freedom loving people from all over the world may have to look elsewhere for what once was the American dream?  History will tell.