Archive | January, 2013

What Kind of ‘Christian’ is the President?

31 Jan

By David Wheaton, host of the Christian Worldview radio program:

“By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7: 16-20)

[Recently] Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as president of the United States.  In his inaugural address, President Obama outlined his vision for America, promoting liberal policies in terms of “equality” and “justice” for those he deems marginalized.  One example is when he said:

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

President Obama claims to be a Christian.  And yet how can a Christian so strongly advocate for what the Bible clearly calls sin (i.e. homosexuality)?  How can a Christian be so zealously in favor of continuing and expanding the killing of unborn babies?  What kind of “Christian” is Barack Obama?

Last Saturday on The Christian Worldview, Jefrey Breshears, author of the book The Gospel According to Barack, discussed the book’s subtitle, Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity?  We’ve previously analyzed the president’s political worldview; this time we looked at his religious worldview.

Listen to the program here.

No, Piers Morgan, the Bible does not Need Updating

18 Jan

Listening to The Christian Worldview radio program recently, host David Wheaton played audio of Piers Morgan’s interview with Rick Warren. Morgan asked Warren if the Bible should be updated to get with the times. This is the 21st– century after all.

For a pastor, Warren stumbled badly and could not coherently articulate a proper response. I wanted so much to respond then. And now I’m taking the opportunity to do so right here.

So, should the Bible be updated to fit the demands of those who don’t believe in it?

No! Our culture isn’t progressing; it’s declining. It’s a coarse culture in a perverse generation.

God has our best interests in mind. It’s reflected in His Word.

People have the free will to accept or reject God’s Word. But has the rejection of it been a good thing or a bad thing? Let me ask additional questions to answer this question.

How many people have died of AIDS? Drunk driving? Alcoholism or drug abuse? Suicide?

How many women and children have been killed by live-in boyfriends?

Has hedonism made people’s lives better? Or worse?

Has pornography harmed people or enriched their lives?

How many billions of dollars has government spent trying to pick up the pieces of broken families?

How many men who grew up without accountable fathers are in prison?

How many marriages have been ruined by compulsive gambling?

Is cheating in sports not rampant?

The answers to these rhetorical questions are obvious. The lesson is to be careful for what you wish for.

If more people heeded God’s timeless Word, it would be a much better world with less crime, less hurting, and less suffering.

Piers, now let’s go a different direction. Let’s suppose you invented a widget and opened a factory to mass produce widgets. Each product is sold with an instruction manual. But unfortunately a few people didn’t bother to read the instructions.

As a result of misusing the widget, some people were badly injured. Some even died. Many people accused you of intolerance for including an instruction manual with your product. They claimed you are evil for telling them the best and the safest way to use the product.

But you say you had their best intentions in mind when you wrote the manual.

That’s how it is with God’s Word. He tells us how we can live victoriously by living according to His Word. We can choose to ignore His advice and live life our way. That’s what we’re seeing with many in the world today. No, God, I’ll handle it my way, I don’t need you.

You see the results every day, and it’s not a pretty picture: tyranny, murder, rape, drugs, violence, STDs, AIDs, hate, death, socially unredeeming media, hopelessness, depravity.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Our culture can be redeemed. Abstinence, fidelity, honesty, respect, and the Golden Rule are within our reach. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

No, Piers, the Bible does not need updating for the 21st century. The world needs the timeless, unchanging, sustaining Word today, tomorrow, and always. The free gifts of forgiveness, salvation and everlasting life are available for all.

Dr. Ablow: We’re Raising Generation of Deluded Narcissists

15 Jan

By Dr. Keith Ablow

A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data  for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students  are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even  though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.

Psychologist Jean Twenge, the lead author of the analysis, is also the author  of a study showing that the tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30  percent in the last thirty-odd years. These data are not unexpected.  I  have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the toxic  psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young  adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the  equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.

On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have  hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They  can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated  self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny  photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy  short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and  musicians they “like.”

We must beware of the toxic psychological impact of media and  technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards  turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own  fictionalized life stories.

Using Twitter, young people can pretend they are worth “following,” as though  they have real-life fans, when all that is really happening is the mutual  fanning of false love and false fame.

Using computer games, our sons and daughters can pretend they are Olympians,  Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters.  And while they can turn  off their Wii and Xbox machines and remember they are really in dens and  playrooms on side streets and in triple deckers around America, that is after  their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for “being” something they are not.

On MTV and other networks, young people can see lives just like theirs  portrayed on reality TV shows fueled by such incredible self-involvement and  self-love that any of the “real-life” characters should really be in  psychotherapy to have any chance at anything like a normal life.

These are the psychological drugs of the 21st Century and they are getting  our sons and daughters very sick, indeed.

As if to keep up with the unreality of media and technology, in a dizzying  paroxysm of self-aggrandizing hype, town sports leagues across the country hand  out ribbons and trophies to losing teams, schools inflate grades, energy drinks  in giant, colorful cans take over the soft drink market, and psychiatrists hand  out Adderall like candy.

All the while, these adolescents, teens and young adults are watching a  Congress that can’t control its manic, euphoric, narcissistic spending, a  president that can’t see his way through to applauding genuine and extraordinary  achievements in business, a society that blames mass killings on guns, not the  psychotic people who wield them, and—here no surprise—a stock market that keeps  rising and falling like a roller coaster as bubbles inflate and then,  inevitably, burst.

That’s really the unavoidable end, by the way. False pride can never be  sustained. The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting.  That’s  why young people are higher on drugs than ever, drunker than ever, smoking more,  tattooed more, pierced more and having more and more and more sex, earlier and  earlier and earlier, raising babies before they can do it well, because it makes  them feel special, for a while.  They’re doing anything to distract  themselves from the fact that they feel empty inside and unworthy.

Distractions, however, are temporary, and the truth is eternal. Watch for an  epidemic of depression and suicidality, not to mention homicidality, as the real  self-loathing and hatred of others that lies beneath all this narcissism rises  to the surface.  I see it happening and, no doubt, many of you do, too.

We had better get a plan together to combat this greatest epidemic as it  takes shape.  Because it will dwarf the toll of any epidemic we have ever  known. And it will be the hardest to defeat. Because, by the time we see the  scope and destructiveness of this enemy clearly, we will also realize, as the  saying goes, that it is us.

 

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.  Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.

Arizona Pastor Leading Flock Astray on Virtue, Spiritual Discernment

11 Jan

Warren Stewart Sr. is the senior pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church, an inner city congregation in Phoenix, and president of Paradise Missionary Baptist State Convention of Arizona, Inc. He has just come under fire by homosexual activists for having expressed disappointment with President Barack Obama for endorsing same-sex “marriage.”

The introductory remarks to that statement bear close scrutiny. They are highly problematic for lack of spiritual discernment and leadership. Following are the pastor’s evaluations of President Obama, followed by The Arizona Christian’s response:

Pastor Stewart: He is very intelligent, successful, effective and courageous.

Arizona Christian: President Obama does show some signs of intelligence. Yet he also shows signs of a lack of intelligence. He is not dedicated to truth, but to political deception in the tradition of one of his leading role models – the late Saul Alinsky, whom he worked for. Alinsky’s notorious book, “Rules for Radicals,” was dedicated to Lucifer.  Obama is succeeding at demonizing his political enemies. He is effective at spending taxpayer money far beyond America’s means – immorally saddling future generations with mountainous debt, effective at downsizing America’s national defense, effective at attacking free speech, religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and America’s highest ideals. He is a highly effective socialist. He is not in the least way courageous. Obama is supporting Planned Parenthood despite the abortion giant’s defrauding of taxpayers and its insistence on killing a sizeable portion of America’s future – including a highly disproportionate number of preborn African Americans. He is extremely skilled at bringing into the highest levels of government people with poor (humanist, communist, Marxist) values and scandalous backgrounds. He revels in the demonization of America’s achievers and wealth creators. He is destroying the business climate during a down economy. He has presided in the nation’s highest elected office over a sharp rise in Black poverty. Much of what Obama says on a daily basis is located 180 degrees from truth.

Pastor Stewart: He is probably the highest profile role model as a leader, husband and father in the world.

Arizona Christian: Obama appears to be dedicated and faithful to his wife and family. But he is modeling anti-Christian values to them. He is not encouraging their spiritual growth or standing up as a godly husband and father. If he is corrupting America, he is corrupting his family. He and his family are spending millions upon millions on lavish vacations while his kinfolk in Africa live in squalor. He is not his brother’s keeper, and all the world knows this. There are many great role models in America — Tony Dungy, for example — but Obama is not one of them.

Pastor Stewart: Since he campaigned for the presidency and became president he has been an agent of change not only in our nation, but the world.

Arizona Christian: Indeed he has been an agent of change, but it’s the wrong kind of change, pastor. It is destroying America’s prosperity, morality, national defense and economy and business climate. Obama would prefer businesses close down – exposing families to the loss of jobs and income — for not providing abortion-inducing drug insurance to employees. Many things in America need changing, but not the changes wrought by the dominant left-wing, progressive, socialistic influences pervading the Obama Administration. Obama is trying to destroy God’s plan for marriage in America, and by endorsing same-sex “marriage” he is dooming more children to the ravages of fatherless homes. We need changes for the better in leadership and morality, and we are not getting them from this president or his administration.

Pastor Stewart: In addition, he speaks often about Jesus Christ being his personal Savior. For this and more we are thankful.

Arizona Christian: He has been labeled by former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs as a “mainstream Christian.” But talk is cheap, and nothing could be further from the truth. Where is any evidence of the fruits of the Spirit in this president? Where are the outward workings of a life based on faith? There are none. In fact, no president in America’s 237-year history has so openly and brazenly attacked religious freedom as Obama has. Obama at best could most accurately be described as an “election year Christian.” In his book, Obama admitted to doubts about his “faith.” He has never worshipped in a mainstream church, only in a church preaching hate for America and radical liberation theology. He frequently mischaracterizes scripture in attempts to make veiled cases in support of big government socialism, which is part and parcel of anti-God humanism. Obama spoke of “collective salvation” – a concept nowhere found in the Holy Bible. Obama is trying to drum Bible-believing chaplains out of the military, attacking a tradition going back to President George Washington’s time. If anyone believes Obama is a “mainstream Christian,” he is seriously deluding himself.

In conclusion, one would expect and hope for much more spiritual discernment and leadership from a leading Arizona pastor than what Pastor Stewart has demonstrated with this particular message. President Obama reflexively governs against the Christian worldview. With his vast government power, he is opening the door for sin and depravity, and slamming the door shut on religious freedom and free speech.