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Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The stem cell debate is dead

Dr. Oz, featured on Oprah, declared "the stem cell debate is dead". He said the problem with embryonic stem cells is "they are very hard to control and they can become cancer". Ironically, he said all this with the poster boy for embryonic stem cell research, Michael J. Fox, sitting right beside him.

Instead, adult stem cell research has made ten-years worth advancement in the last year and adult stem cells are now more viable then embryonic stem cells ever were. My heart breaks at the unborn humans lost in the wake of this debate, and more so over the devaluing of all such life that lies behind this debate. I rejoice at the turn of events away from embryonic stem cell research, and regret only that it did not come from a change of heart and point of view about the humanity of the unborn.

Watch the short (1:41) video here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Comparisons between abortion and slavery?

Below is a thought by Kevin DeYoung on the similarities between the pro-slavery and pro-abortion arguments:

"The connections with the pro-slavery argument and the pro-abortion argument should be obvious. Both argue for choice. Both, at least in their more civilized forms, pretend moral neutrality. And both rely for their inner logic on strikingly similar propositions: blacks are not human persons with unalienable rights; and neither are the unborn. To quote from Lincoln's 1864 speech in Baltimore with only a slight tweak, substituting 'choice' for 'liberty':

We all declare for choice; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word choice may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor. While with others the same word may mean for some men [and women] to do as they please with others, and with other men's labors. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name--choice. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names--choice and tyranny.

clipped from
We should seek to stigmatize abortion by associating it with racism as closely as the truth warrants.
People today don’t oppose the enslavement of blacks merely because they think it's wrong.

It's easy to oppose it because to do so is fashionable.

That’s a good thing. It always helps when the right thing happens to be P.C.

So let’s be wise in showing the way abortion is closer to racism and slavery than people see.

The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case of 1857 held that black slaves were property without rights as persons, yet today we view that as unthinkable. So the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade (1973) held that the unborn did not have rights as persons, yet we should hope and work that the day may come when that too is viewed as unthinkable.
Between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 black people were lynched in America. Today more black babies are killed by white abortionists every three days than all who were lynched in those years (L.E.A.R.N.).
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Monday, April 27, 2009

An evangelical's plea: "Love the sinner"

I was thrilled last week to find a conservative Christian addressing the issue of homosexuality on the Opinion page of the USA Today. Jonathan Merritt dealt with the topic in what I felt was an even-handed and biblical manner. You can read the entire piece here, but I wanted to share some of the high points.

Evangelical opposition to anything even remotely concerning "the homosexual agenda" has often been vitriolic and unbalanced by a message of love for our gay neighbors. Thus, it is understandable that people have incredibly negative perceptions of Christians . . . It is time for evangelical Christians to reform our rhetoric. This means doing away with cliches such as the infamous "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve".

I have been continually vocal about how I feel Christianity has mishandled the the issue of homosexuality. It is not that I am simply concerned with how Christians are perceived. Rather, I am specifically concerned when that perception is a far cry from what the Bible calls us to. I am under no delusions that Christians will ever be held in the highest of public opinion. But it grieves me to no end when that image is due to unbiblical attitudes, words, or behavior. Certain outspoken groups and individuals, with their heavy-handed and extrabiblical anti-gay rhetoric, have out-shouted the quiet love of the Christians being the hands and feet of Jesus (at least as far as public opinion reflects). As the author points out, "these groups seemingly fail to realize that our role as Christians is not to delegitimize the existence of those who do not share our beliefs".

While I was impressed with Jonathan Merritt's concessions at our shortfalls, I was even prouder that he was not willing to fudge on the clear lines that the Bible lays out.

Our biblical convictions prohibit a redefinition of marriage . . . Though I unashamedly believe that God desires a better path for their lives, I also understand that my obligation to love them is not dependent upon their capitulation to a particular belief system.
Love the homosexual and obey the Bible (which includes the mandate to love the homosexual). This is the balancing act that is increasingly placed before the Christian, not only in the eye of the public, but in the political and legal arenas as well. For many, Christians will certainly continue to be close-minded bigots until we are accepting the openly homosexual as leaders in our churches and performing their marriages. To put up any resistance is colored as hate. But the legislation proposed has significant implications on the freedom of our churches and our ability to practice biblical Christianity (see examples 1, 2, and 3).

While I don't claim to have all the answers, I am glad the discussion is taking place. I come to the same conclusion as Merritt:

God's model is a lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual union, but we must balance this message with the scriptural understanding that we are all sinners. Individuals who have decided to follow Christ have not ceased to be sinners; we are simply sinners who have taken advantage of God's gracious gift of salvation.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Not just scaremongering

From an article by Maggie Gallagher over at The widely respected UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who favors same-sex marriage, took time out to acknowledge that the religious liberty implications of same-sex marriage are not "scaremongering."

"It seems to me plausible that judicial decisions banning opposite-sex-only marriage rules would likewise come to be extended -- by legislatures or by courts -- to go beyond their literal boundaries (a decision about government discrimination) and instead to justify bans on private discrimination," Volokh wrote. "It seems quite likely that they will spill over into diminishing any constitutional (or Religious Freedom Restoration Act-statutory) claims to engage in such discrimination by private entities, including Boy-Scout-like organizations, churches, religious universities and other institutions."
Thanks to Melinda over at Stand to Reason for the original post.