Does Al Mohler Listen to His Own Podcast?

In the second segment of this morning’s podcast, Al Mohler decried the government’s violation of religious liberty where the individual consciences of medical practitioners in matters of euthanasia are being overruled – or on the way to being overruled.  Yet he had just finished reporting in the first segment how lawyer Jonathan Turley had succeeded in getting a Utah judge to strike down the state’s law against polygamy on the basis of…religious freedom!  That is, Turley successfully argued that the laws against polygamy infringed on the religious rights of polygamists.  Thus the argument for religious liberty can be used both for and against the cause of righteousness.

Religious liberty is, therefore, not a theme that we as Christians should be employing.  I know the Southern Baptists have their Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, but they’d be better off if it were just the Ethics Commission.  We must seek to convince our fellow members of this democracy of the rightness of our positions.  Invoking religious liberty is merely seeking exemption from their persecution of us, and opens the door wide to foolishness like the Utah decision.

Whether it’s euthanasia, abortion, or the redefinition of marriage, the point is not that our unbelieving countrymen should allow us to abstain from participation in their activities without penalty, but rather that these things are wrong – and that they are destructive to all who participate in them, whether they are believers in Christ or not.  Can we stop people from engaging in these activities?  No, but we can refuse to participate with them while maintaining the position that these activities are wrong no matter what the personal cost is to us in continuing to say so.

The Briefing 08-28-14 – AlbertMohler.com.

Miscellaneous Notes for August 27, 2014

The Bible is “legal protection from our opponent” (Luke 18:3, 5).  Through it,we can resist the enemy of our souls.

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 Jesus did not come to convince the unwilling; rather, He came to teach the willing.

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The prophets wrote the Old Testament.
The apostles wrote the New Testament.
The prophets were those whom Jesus believed.
The apostles were those whom Jesus sent.
Jesus received understanding from the prophets…and then gave it to the apostles.

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Job 8:7 prophecies Messiah in pithy form, Isaiah 9:6-7 gives a few more details, and Isaiah 53:1-54:8 more still.

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Glossary of Euphemisms Designed to Whitewash Immorality

The “Orwellification” of Immorality led me to consider putting together a glossary of euphemisms – the “politically correct” jargon that modern society employs to justify their bad deeds.  We who seek truth must be aware of how the language is being corrupted lest our own thoughts be corrupted as well.  (See Today’s “Radio Free Europe.)

I’ll start with a few entries, and then come back and add to it over time.

adult entertainment  –  A generation or two ago, “adult” or “mature” entertainment simply meant that children wouldn’t be interested in it.  Therefore, it wasn’t for family viewing.  Now it’s come to mean pornographic, X-rated, or something similar.

“Caitlyn Jenner”  –  Even Apple’s Siri service will correct you if you try to call Bruce Jenner “Bruce Jenner.”  This is an extravagant use of euphemism: labeling as a woman, a man who, against all reason and decency, thinks he can become a woman and is presenting himself as a woman.  See Bruce Jenner’s cat; see also “transgender” below.

climate change  –  Previously known as “global warming” (see below).  In the generations before political correctness, this was known as “weather.”  “Climate change” is just politicians’ code word for “We need to tax and regulate you more than we already do so things won’t get worse than they already are.”  If you ask them why they are so sure about this phenomenon they call climate change, they will simply tell you “the science is in” (see below).  I’m not claiming that there can’t possibly be climate change; I’m claiming that the politicians who claim to be able to fix temperatures that might rise to dangerous levels are currently doing nothing to fix the national debt which has already risen to dangerous levels.  In other words, the people who can’t do anything about a debt that roughly doubled from $5 trillion to $10 trillion 2000-2008, and again from $10 trillion to almost $20 trillion 2008-2016 say they have it within their grasp to change the temperature of the earth.  Skepticism does not need to be forgiven – it is thoroughly warranted.

conscious uncoupling  –  see no-fault divorce below.

diversity –  Like “gay” (see below), this was a perfectly acceptable and useful English word until conscripted into the service of politics.  Since then it is a code word for giving special privileges to members of a politically-connected identity group.

education lottery  –  Any decent education would make you aware of what a losing proposition the buying of lottery tickets actually is.  But a government-sponsored lottery is not just stupid, it’s immoral.  It robs from the foolish.  And the idea becomes even more obscene when a lottery engages in advertising, thus tempting even more weak souls to join in the foolishness and part with money they are unlikely to ever see again.

enhanced interrogation techniques  – Do we think that calling torture something other than torture makes it not torture?

gay  –  a replacement term for homosexual.  In going from five syllables to one, the attempt was to remove all negative connotations of the label and simultaneously thumb the nose at the rest of society by declaring a certain self-satisfaction and happiness with the state – a self-characterization that is completely at odds with the evidence observed.

global warming  –  This term was revised to “climate change” (see above) when proponents of the term realized that the severe weather events they wanted to use as evidence for their position often involved cooler rather than warmer temperatures.

homophobia  –  a perfect example of calling good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20).  Homosexuality was the sin, but now it’s been declared normal and anyone who thinks otherwise is said to be guilty of the sin of homophobia.

leading from behind  –  This phrase is, of course, an oxymoron.  If our eyes were positioned on the back of our heads instead of the front, it might be possible for someone to “lead from behind.”  As it is, the idea is just plain foolishness.  Common sense notwithstanding, “leading from behind” is presented these days as something particularly clever – something a really, really smart leader would do.  There’s nothing smart about doing something stupid.  A person who tells you he is “leading from behind” is deceiving you and may even be deceiving himself.  It is on a par with the emperor having no clothes but seeking your praise of his sartorial splendor all the same.

less is more  –  Less may be better, but it is never more.

love  –  as in #LoveWins, which was the hashtag President Obama used in his tweet celebrating the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage to include the practice of homosexuality.  (He also said of the ruling, “Love is love.”)  If a country decides it can redefine marriage, we should not be surprised that they want to redefine “love” as well.  Love is a word whose meaning has been discussed and debated throughout human history.  The Bible defined it with a clarity not elsewhere achieved.  Yet proponents of same-sex “marriage” managed to co-opt it into meaning “that which could not possibly be motivating anyone who disagrees with them.”

marriage equality  –  This is the catch-phrase used by proponents of same-sex “marriage” (see below) to not merely justify their position but also to make it unquestionable.  After all, who can be against equality?  Yet this is no justification at all; it’s just a mantra intended to deflect all thoughtful discussion.  When we objected that polygamists could use the same phrase, we were shouted down as alarmists.  But the polygamists are now using it.  It will be used to justify other perversions as well.  Nevertheless, if anyone speaks up for marriage being only that which is between a man and a woman he will be described in most mainstream news outlets as being “against marriage equality.”  I’ve seen this too many times to deny it.

no-fault divorce  –  a way to whitewash divorce – to declare it’s not a bad thing.  Prior to the introduction of this legal concept, those who sought a divorce generally had to prove abandonment, abuse, or adultery by the other party – all things that would break the union and justify the separation.  This new terminology would allow people to divorce for any reason or no reason.  Thus speed bumps on the path to divorce were replaced by an obstacle-free highway.  More recently, some have tried to remove any remaining stain associated with divorce by use of the term “conscious uncoupling” (I first heard it in a story about Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce; and here’s an update on their “conscious uncoupling.”)  Here’s an example from the first Paltrow article which demonstrates how contorted language is used to obscure the truth:  “The two have stayed true to their principles of ‘conscious uncoupling”‘ by putting their kids first, and all indications are that they will continue to do so.”  Huh?  Granted, avoidance of acrimony is better than acrimony, but if they really wanted to put their children first they would have worked through their problems, loved each other more deeply, and stayed true to their wedding vows for the rest of their lives.  Every child deserves not just a father and mother, but a father and mother who genuinely love each other.  Anything less creates conflict in the child’s heart.

on the right side of history  – Being “on the right side of history” is just a very pretentious way of saying, “My point of view is trending is more than yours.” It’s also a clever way of avoiding the responsibility of having to give reasons that justify a point of view. Saying one is “on the right side of history” is intended to end discussion, not participate in it.  Always remember that when someone tells you he is “on the right side of history,” he is expressing a wish, not a fact.

perception is reality  –  If an automobile driver perceives that the bridge he is about to cross is sound, but the reality is that the bridge will collapse under the weight of his car, then his perception will give way to the reality.  Perception is perception, and reality is reality. They may be the same, but they are not necessarily the same.  “There is a way that seems right…” (Proverbs 14:12).

Planned Parenthood  –  Given this organization’s devotion to the practice of abortion, it would be more apt to call them “Planned Infanticide.”

political correctness  –  This is a euphemism for lying to a group.  Usually, it is lying for the purpose of gaining power or for preserving it.

pro-choice  – a particularly pernicious term since the babies who are aborted get no choice at all.

reform  –  Politicians have long been experts at the use of this word.  Here’s how it works: define the changes you want in such-and-such area of the law and call them “such-and-such reform.”  Then anyone who opposes the changes you want is “against reform.”

safe sex  –  The definition for this ought to be “marriage,” but, of course, you know that’s not what the authors of the term think.  This term was invented to hide the fact that sex outside of marriage is not safe at all.  That’s why precautions have to be taken.

same-sex  –  a way to make something unnatural sound natural.  The term itself implies that sex has no moral dimension – only a physical dimension.  In this regard, “same-sex” is like “gay” (see above) – that is, a way to avoid saying the word homosexuality.  Want people to stop considering something a sin?  Change its name.  It also helps to also create a new sin which never existed before – a sin that consists of someone saying your sin with the changed name is still a sin (see “homophobia” above).

same-sex marriage – an oxymoron for sure, on a par with “a square circle.”  For this reason, I always put quote marks around the word marriage in this phrase:  same-sex “marriage” (SS”M”).

the science is in  –  This phrase is used selectively.  For example, it’s used to assert the validity of global warming (climate change) claims but not the gender of a baby.  Ironically, the science is a lot clearer when it comes to male and female anatomy than when it comes to human impact on the earth’s temperatures.  Thus people want to claim that “the science is in” on things that are harder for you to check for yourself.  That way you have to take their word for things rather than examine matter for yourself.

terminate a pregnancy  –  This is a sterilized way of saying “kill a baby.”

transgenderism  –  The false belief that a male can become a female, or vice versa.  There is no such thing as being transgender; there is only pretending…and mutilating the body. Human beings are created male or female; they can no more change this than they can jump off a building, flap their arms, and fly.  See “Caitlyn Jenner” above.

Miscellaneous Notes for August 25, 2014

If the Bible is God’s word, then…

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Just as Jesus asked, “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” (Matthew 21:25; Mark 11:30; Luke 20:4) so we should ask, “Is the Bible from heaven or from men?”  Equivocation in our answer suggests that the spirit of Pharisaism is guiding us.

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 We choose to either live our lives before men or live them before God (Matthew 6:1).  That choice makes all the difference.

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Textbook Christianity – that’s what we want.  And the textbook is the Bible.

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If you don’t like being corrected, you will not like being a disciple of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:5, 6).  Don’t feel bad, though.  It’s all for your good.  And you’ll feel peace in the end (Hebrews 12:11).

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If the Bible is God’s word, then shouldn’t we be taking its message a lot more seriously?

 

Miscellaneous Notes for August 23, 2014

The New Testament age was a time of transition from the original age to the eternal age.  So much of the New Testament, therefore, is taken up with describing a set of events that were very much in motion.  Though those events have long since been completed, it remains a great work that some will not believe even when it is described to them (Acts 13:41).

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The glories of Messiah (1 Peter 1:11) were so great that they eventually included all the glories that had been God’s before (Isaiah 22:24).  This was so the word of Jesus would be fulfilled that the faithful should honor the Son even as they had honored the Father (John 5:23).

For example, God had been Lord of heaven and earth (Luke 10:21), but this role was handed over to the Son (Luke 10:22) once Jesus was raised from the dead (Matthew 28:18) insofar as the church was concerned (Ephesians 1:22).  The rest of humanity was given to Christ in the coming of the kingdom of God, and that’s when He became father of all forever (Isaiah 9:6).

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Miscellaneous Notes for August 22, 2014

It takes time to grow as a Christian…but time alone will not make us grow as a Christian (Hebrews 5:12).

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As God was father to the original creation, so Christ is father to the new creation.

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The Bible was written by “men of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38).

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The Bible was written by Jews – this was by God’s choice.  We owe the knowledge of our salvation to them (John 4:22).

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Al Mohler Calls for Selective Empathy in Ferguson

Michael Brown of Ferguson was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9.  In his podcast The Briefing on August 12 (his first comment on the subject), Al Mohler called for restraint in judgment since there were insufficient facts available to determine whether Wilson was innocent or guilty with regard to Brown’ death.  In The Briefing for today (August 21), Al Mohler affirmed this position, saying that there still were not enough facts to draw a conclusion about Wilson’s guilt or innocence.  I completely agree with Mohler on this point.

Al’s second point this morning was that as Christians we should have empathy those in Ferguson.  He mentioned specifically the African-American community, his point being that we don’t have to approve of rioting and violence in order to have compassion on people who feel oppressed and deprived in ways that others have not been.  I agree with this point, too.

What struck me about Mohler’s description of those deserving our compassion was the glaring omission of Darren Wilson, his family, and the police.  If Mohler’s first point is true – and I’ve already said that I think it is – then should our compassion be restricted to those who think Wilson is guilty?

Why does Al call for our empathy to be given to some involved in this case and not others?

 

 

Ferguson Insanity

From Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 23% of all American Adults believe the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri should be found guilty of murder. Twenty-six percent (26%) think he was acting in self-defense.

That suggests that 56% of Americans have already made up their mind as to whether or not Darren Wilson is guilty or innocent in the death of Michael Brown.  How can this be?  How can so many people have already come to a conclusion in the matter when 1) we don’t have all the relevant facts, and 2) the facts we do have have changed in substantial ways since they were first reported?

What is wrong with America that a majority of its citizens are willing to condemn or exonerate an accused person with so little factual support?

Do a majority of Americans no longer care about truth?

 

A Tale of Two Cities? Blacks, Whites Sharply Disagree About Ferguson – Rasmussen Reports™.

Miscellaneous Notes for August 17, 2014

Acts 5:32 says that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him.  If course, it would make no sense for Him to give His Holy Spirit to those who do not obey Him.  What would such people do with the Holy Spirit but grieve Him?  (Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30)

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The ancients have left us their literature – the ancient Greeks, the ancient Romans, the ancient Jews, and others.  Among these, only the ancient Jews claimed to speak for the one true God.  While other cultures wrote of the wisdom they had attained, the Jews spoke of wisdom that God had given them.

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