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Early on in its history, the fledgling United States found itself at odds with the Barbary pirates of North Africa. These raiders operated from bases in what is now Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, seizing ships and enslaving the unfortunates found on board. According to an article in Slate, more than a million Europeans and Americans were sold into slavery in this fashion.

Attempting to find a diplomatic solution to the Barbary issue, Thomas Jefferson on John Adams paid a visit to Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, Tripoli’s ambassador to London. As the Slate article goes on to note, “They [Jefferson and Adams] asked him [Abdrahaman] by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way. As Jefferson later reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:

The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Alrighty then. If nothing else, the ambassador gets high marks for his honesty. It sure beats the Islam-as-religion-of-peace nonsense doled out to us by PC addled Western politicians, professors and mainstream media pundits, not the mention the aggressively globalist Pope Francis.

HurricaneSurvivalGuide“I don’t believe in instant Karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesnt (sic) care about them.” Thus tweeted sociology professor Ken Storey shortly after Hurricane Harvey had ravaged Texas. This raises the question, just what were the sins of Texas that called for such dreadful punishment? Apparently, it was the voters of Texas’ decision to support Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Shortly after his unfortunate tweet, Storey was fired from his teaching position at the University of Tampa.

As a Christian, I reject the mechanistic concept of Karma. But I do find it supremely ironic that, even as I write this post, Hurricane Irma is ravaging the gulf coast of Florida, the very region where the city of Tampa is located and, presumably, where Ken Storey makes his home. But unlike the good professor, I take no delight in his suffering or that of other people of Florida. May God grant them safety while the storm lasts and a quick recovery thereafter.

But professor Storey wasn’t alone in blaming hurricanes on the deplorables. Actress Jennifer Lawrence also got in on the act, opining that the storms were “Mother Nature’s rage and wrath,” in response to climate change deniers’ refusal to confess, as it were, their environmental sins. This led one person on Twitter to raise the question about the current wildfires raging in Los Angeles. If Mother Nature is angry with Texans and Floridians for dismissing the sacred doctrine of man-made climate change, why is she angry at reliably environmentalist LA? Or what about the terrible drought that California suffered for several years? Or the earthquakes? Maybe Mother Nature is confused. Maybe she has multiple personality disorder. Maybe the wrath of Mother Nature is a figment of Lawrence’s imagination.

 

Houston flooding

Houston flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

 

In all fairness, it’s not just liberal professors and Hollywood types who make prophetic pronouncements without any sound basis. In the aftermath of 911, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson found themselves in hot water for suggesting that God permitted 911 to take place because of America’s support for abortion and homosexuality. Just how Falwell and Robertson knew American support for homosexuality caused God to strike the US, they did not say.

In the Bible we find examples of people making the same type of error as professor Storey, Jennifer Lawrence, Falwell and Robertson. For instance, In John chapter 9, the disciples, referring to a man who was blind from birth, asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” They assumed that the man’s blindness was the result of some specific sin, but their assumption was misguided. Jesus responded to their question by stating, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

Job’s friends made the same mistake, attributing Job sufferings, without warrant, to some secret sin on his part, which they demanded time and time again that he confess.

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Nashville Statement

Marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

    – The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24

This isn’t hard, folks. As theological questions go, the definition of marriage is pretty simple. It is a God-ordained, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman, and this the Christians has acknowledged for 2,000 years. In truth, the institution and its definition are much older than that, going all the way back to the creation of the world.

To borrow a turn of phrase from the Author of Hebrews, the biblical definition of marriage is milk, not meat. It’s something every Christian, even children, easily can, and ought to, understand.

And just as the Bible’s definition of marriage is simple and clear, so too is its stance on homosexuality: it’s a sin, and a particularly egregious one at that.

But as is the case with many things in this fallen world, what ought to be often times is not. Ours is a confused age, and truths that were almost taken for granted in earlier times now once again must be restated. One could point to any number of examples of the collapse of Western Civilization, but perhaps none exemplifies it better than the sweeping success of the homosexual agenda over the past 50 years.

Behavior that once was subject to sodomy laws is now celebrated at the highest levels of society. Governments, corporations, academics and the corporate media work diligently not only to promote the acceptance of homosexuality as normal and a thing to be celebrated, but also to cover in shame anyone who stands in their way.

The modern homosexual movement is usually traced back to the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village that occurred in June 1969. From there, the homosexual agenda has gone from strength to strength, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2015 discovery that the U.S. Constitution supports the right of homosexuals to marry. The pace of change has been remarkable, and what was, just a few short years ago, considered filthy and shameful is now held up by all respectable people and institutions as the epitome righteousness.

Things have gotten to the point that, not only has it become socially unacceptable to speak out against homosexuality, but to so positively invites vilification from society’s mainstream institutions. Just last week, I wrote in this space about the SPLC’s declaring D. James Kennedy Ministries a hate group due to its opposition to the homosexual agenda. Many other examples of the same can be found

When I wrote that piece, I was unaware that a few days later that The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood would release the Nashville Statement, a work intended to affirm what the Bible has to say about men and women, marriage and homosexuality.

I first became aware of the Statement this morning while listening to Jason Hutchinson’s sermon during this morning’s church service. His comments were quite good and I will include a link to his sermon once it has become available.

After reading the document for myself, as far as I have been able to determine, the Statement is biblically sound and does a good job of setting forth Scripture’s clear teaching on sexuality. Further, the Statement also effectively refutes from Scripture some of the current arguments advanced in favor of homosexual marriage and transgenderism.

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SPLC-FL

The SPLC’s Hate Map of Florida.

What do D. James Kennedy Ministries and the Nation of Islam have in common? Not much, you say? Well, think again. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), both are hate groups with located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

This particular issue came to my attention as a result of a recent story in Christianity Today titled “D. James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC over Hate Map,” According to the article, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) received negative media coverage after the recent Charlottesville riots in which the organization was branded a hate group by the SPLC. The Christianity Today piece also notes that – mirabile dictu – local Florida news reports labeled DJKM as the No.1 hate group in the state.

Per the SPLC’s Hate Map, the Ft. Lauderdale group landed on the list due to its “Anti-LGBT” stance. Notes the SPLC, “Opposition to equal rights for LGBT people has been a central theme of Christian Right organizing and fundraising for the past three decades – a period that parallels the fundamentalist movement’s rise to political power.”

If one were to take the SPLC’s word for it, he’d come away with the distinct impression that opposition to homosexuality was some 1970’s-era novelty hatched by the Moral Majority rather than the teaching espoused by Christians for the past 2000 years. In fact, the Bible’s identification of homosexuality as a sin pre-dates the Christian era, going all the way back to the Book of Genesis, where God himself referred to “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah” and their “very grave” sin, a reference to homosexuality. The Law of Moses calls homosexuality “an abomination.” In Romans, Paul teaches that homosexuality is a punishment from God on idolaters, “who did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” There are many other examples of the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, and I do not intend to cite them all here so as not to belabor the obvious point the God considers homosexuality a sin, and a particularly heinous one at that.

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082117_0225_Charlottesv3.png

Antifa at Charlottesville.  Take care what you say about theses guys.  According to the MSM, business leaders, and all right thinking people everywhere, these fine gentlemen are freedom fighters and above reproach.

A little over a week has passed since the Charlottesville riot on August 12, enough time for further reflection and for further details to emerge. For these reasons, and due to the controversy arising over president Trump’s comments on the riot, it seemed good to me to write a follow up to last week’s post, Charlottesville – A Few Thoughts.

Racism Is Sin

It really shouldn’t be necessary to state the obvious truth that racism is incompatible with Christianity, that it is a sin, that it represents a failure to love our neighbor as ourselves. God is not a respecter of persons, and neither should be the followers of Christ.

But while it shouldn’t be necessary to decry racism, and doing so almost feels a bit like virtue signaling, in today’s world of PC intolerance it probably is a reasonable first step, especially for any writer whose views do not comport with the straightjacket orthodoxies of the cultural Marxist goon squads that control public discourse at the moment.

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