The 113th US Congress and Religion

According to the Pew Research Center, the current (113th) Congress includes the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate, the first Hindu to serve in either chamber and the first member of Congress to describe her religion as “none,” continuing a gradual increase in religious diversity that mirrors trends in the country as a whole. While Congress remains majority Protestant, the institution is far less so today than it was 50 years ago, when nearly three-quarters of members belonged to Protestant denominations.

Catholics have seen the biggest gains, adding seven seats, for a total of 163 and raising their share to just over 30%. Protestants and Jews experienced the biggest declines in numerical terms.

There is a large disperity between the percentage of U.S. adults and the percentage of members of Congress who do not identify with any particular religion. About one-in-five U.S. adults describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – a group sometimes collectively called the “nones.” This is a rapidly growing group.

This country was never a “Christian” theocracy, but it was founded by Christians on biblical principles. We are now a far cry from our origins. I believe this trend is set, and we will see a continuing secularization of our society and our institutions to the point of religious persecution against Christians.

Please see the table below for details on the religious breakdown in the current US Congress. Among neo-Protestants there are a 73 Baptists and… one Pentecostal… (one for oneness?)

Femicide: A Rising Global Crisis

DSC_0452-300x199
photo by CindyDuCheney @whispersngiggles.com

The systematic killing of unborn baby girls via sex selective abortion is reaching unprecedented levels in China, India, and other Asian and Eastern European countries.  The ungodly practice of aborting a baby for the simple fact that she is a girl is one of the most abhorring things this planet has seen, and I wonder how long before God’s patience runs out and His wrath will be served for this evil.

The implementation of the One Child Policy in China in 1978, and the availability of ultrasound technology in the recent past in rural areas of Asia have led to the realization of a staggering statistic: 163 million unborn baby girls were aborted simply because it was inconvenient that they were female (1).

In countries such as China and India the male to female ratio is as least 120 men for every 100 women (2). Just to compare, the normal and healthy gender ratio at birth is approximately 106 boys to 100 girls (3). That WAS the ratio in China in 1979.   By 2020, the Chinese government estimates that there will be at least 30 million men of marriageable age that may be unable to find a spouse (4).

There are many reasons that sociologists and anthropologists will give for this wicked phenomenon, but frankly these are very secondary when you consider the murderous act itself.  How are we to consider cultural, religious and economic factors when the blood of these innocent lives is crying out to their Creator for justice?

You make think this is shocking and that it could never happen in the US?

The PRENDA Act introduced in Congress in 2012 would have made it a crime for anyone attempting to coerce or solicit a woman to abort based on the race or sex of her unborn child.  The people introducing the bill thought it would be a no-brain-er to pass and the vote was taken under a fast-track procedure called “suspension” which requires 2/3 of the House vote.  Guess what?! It failed!  Here in the US where half the people claim to be evangelicals! Look up here to see how your congress representative voted.

Not only do women have many things set against them in this world as adults, but now the fight for their life begins in the womb. A $12 ultrasound readily available in Asia makes this all possible.  It is in fact human evil and wickedness that makes this happen, and it is directly related to idolatry.

Religious beliefs often bolster the preference for male offspring.  Some Asian communities persist in the deep-seated belief that ancestors are worshiped in the afterlife through the male line (1).  Add to that the high importance of the family name, and the fact that boys become the family retirement account… and the idolatrous picture begins to take shape.  Everything in these mostly Hindu and Buddhist regions is geared toward self-improvement and self-worship, and it so happens that a baby girl will get in the way of it!

Experts on this phenomenon are currently predicting and in India sex selective abortion will get MUCH worse. We are only seeing the beginning stages.

How much worse than that 163 million girls already murdered?  How much more shedding of the innocent blood of unborn children?

The words of the wise man in Proverbs 6:17-18 reminds us that among the seven things that God finds abominable are

“…hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil…”

How long, God, before human wickedness reaches its full measure?

—————————————————————————————————————–

1. Christianity Today. Genocide in Shades of Pink. 28 December 2012
2. The Economist. The War on Baby Girls: Gendercide. 4 March 2010
3. United Nations Population Fund
4.  http://www.allgirlsallowed.org/category/topics/gendercide

Newtown: Where Was God?

In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, former governor and pastor Mike Huckabee presented the fact that for 50 years our government has systematically removed God from the classroom, and when a tragedy of this proportion precipitates in our schools our first reaction is to ask “where was God?”

He received a strong negative backlash from the liberal and atheistic media and blogosphere for that comment.  In this 3 minute video he eloquently defends his comments and makes the case that a culture without God is now reaping the consequences of its actions

The New Normal: Recreational Marijuana

On Tuesday, the voters of Colorado took to the polls and voted an unprecedented amendment, one which legalized the personal growth, production and use of pot.  You may say it is not a big deal… there are other states in the Union who have legalized “medical” use of marijuana.

The issue here is that Colorado already had a law in place allowing the use of pot for medical purposes.  The new law enacts the legality of recreational use of this mind altering drug.  It is now OK to get high… or stoned… or whatever they call it.

How is this going to improve the lives of Colorado’s citizens?  It is not!  Rather, this is one of the many symptoms of a disease called moral decay, which is taking a hold of our society.  This may be the beginning of the process of legalization of other drugs of abuse.

Preventing driving “under the influence” and keeping kids off drugs will be this much more difficult to accomplish.  What kind of message are we sending our kids?  The message is clear: it is ok to use drugs and pollute one’s mind with psychedelics.

The spiritual implications are paramount.  The desire for an altered mental status whether that is accomplished via alcohol, marijuana, narcotics or other agents is an unholy desire from the bottom of hell.  Here is what Scripture tells us in Galatians 5:19

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The word sorcery in verse 20 is translated from the word pharmakeia according to Strong’s Concordance.  It refers to the use and administration of mind altering drugs, poisoning and magical arts in general.  This is why a child of God cannot participate in such practices.  We are specifically forbidden by God to even attempt to alter our state of mind by the use of marijuana, or other drugs for the purpose of so-called recreation.

On the contrary we must follow what Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:8-9

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith…”

How America Made an Ungodly Choice

America voted and the results were not only wrong and unwise, the critical choices made were ungodly. In most situations where a vote hinged on biblical principles, America decided to go against God.

I do not pretend that this is Christian country or that it ever was, but America was founded on Christian principles, and we have a large population of Christians. But their voice was drowned out by an increasingly secular majority.

Here is a list of what I mean:

1. Colorado has legalized the recreational use of the psychedelic drug marijuana. It is now legal to get high in the mile-high city. Three other states legalized marijuana for medical use.

2. Massachusetts joined Oregon and Washington in allowing assisted suicide, also known as euthanasia.

3. Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington all voted in favor of gay marriage. This was a huge sweeping victory for LGBT activists in four out of four states. They succeeded in elevating this issue to the level of civil rights.

4. America re-elected Obama, who supports the pro-abortion agenda, the forced contraceptive mandate, the desecration of the traditional family, and has taken an anti-Israel stance on multiple occasions.

But ultimately we know that God is in control of past, present, and future, and everything that happens contributes to His mysterious plan.

He states: “for I am God, and… …‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:9-10

We will now wait and see how His mighty plan will unveil itself in these last days.

Voting and the Principles that Guide Us

What are we effectively doing when we cast a vote for an office, a measure, or a proposition?  We are in fact saying that we agree with the principles on which a candidate stands, or the proposal put forth.  We are not necessarily saying we agree with a candidate’s religion but with the principles he will draw upon to govern.

I have heard multiple objections with respect to Mitt Romney’s LDS theology and how he negates the Divinity of Christ and the Trinity the way orthodox Christianity proclaims it.  But let’s suppose Romney was a self-professed born-again evangelical who believes in universal atonement applied to all humans, and the fact that hell does not exist, along the lines of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren’s theology; or suppose he was a hyper-calvinist who discourages evangelism under the pretext that God can save without human participation… Wouldn’t those issues be almost as problematic?

That is why we must pick a candidate who stands on principles important to our Protestant faith, not necessarily his theology.  We must support a candidate who will have a pro-life stance.  We must vote in support of  traditional biblical marriage.  We must support family values set forth in the Bible.  We must support freedom of speech and religion.  These are the social and spiritual principles we must stand on and Romney, generally speaking, supports them.

However, it has been deeply disappointing to see how Obama’s administration has weakened each one of the above principles, and has elevated the LGBT lifestyle choices to the level of civil rights.  Furthermore, disguised under “hate speech” terminology, pastors and churches who proclaim biblical truth are labeled as intolerant, and potentially dangerous.  This assault will not let up in a potential second Obama term, but it will get worse.  As John MacArthur put it, he was shocked to see that the democratic national convention re-inserted God back into their platform, because their platform is a polar opposite to anything godly.  He labeled it the “Romans 1 platform,” and I agree with that.

Christians who made Jesus the Lord and Center of their lives cannot support such principles.  If they had reservations about Romney’s theology, it would be infinitely better for them to abstain from voting, than cast a vote for Obama, a professed “Christian” who believes that Jesus is not the only way to salvation, and who has advanced the abortion and LGBT agenda.  Here is what Paul tells us about people who support such an agenda:

Romans 1:32 “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

God forbid any Christian give support to a “Romans 1 platform.”

How Should Christians Vote?

By tomorrow night or early Wednesday we will know who the next president of the United States will be.   When we go to the polls tomorrow, how should we cast our vote as Christians? Should the candidate’s faith or lack of faith be a concern for us?

Here is an excerpt from the Christian Post opinion page by Eric Metaxas on how Billy Graham and Chuck Colson view the issue:

“Billy Graham also has strong views about voting for the best candidate no matter what his private beliefs are.   A few days ago, the Rev.  Graham took out newspaper ads in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch urging people to vote for candidates who supported biblical teaching on some of the great moral issues of the day.

As Graham put it, “We are at a crossroads, and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms.”

Chuck Colson also held strong opinions on the issue of voting and I was a bit surprised by his position with respect to the candidate’s faith:

“Chuck also quoted Martin Luther, who reportedly said he would rather be judged by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian. He meant that he’d prefer to choose the best qualified leader available than vote for someone less qualified who happened to share his religious beliefs.  We do this in other areas of our life all the time.  For instance, if you needed to undergo brain surgery, would you choose a Christian surgeon, or the best surgeon available no matter what his beliefs?

Chuck felt very strongly about the duty of Christians to vote-and to vote for the best qualified candidate no matter what his personal religious convictions.   He considered voting a spiritual duty.  On BreakPoint, Chuck noted that as voters, we are to choose the most competent people to be God’s magistrates to do justice, restrain evil, and preserve order.  He pointed to Exodus 18, where Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, told him to select men of good moral character who were competent to help judge the people.

I agree to a certain extent with Billy Graham, and Colson, who when it comes down to it… really are casting a vote for the lesser of two evils in order to support biblical principles.  But  we should always keep in mind that there are nonnegotiable issues Christians must endorse, like freedom of religion and speech, the sanctity of life and the institution of traditional marriage.

Now go vote! 🙂