Monday, June 23, 2008

Abstinence & Tony Perkins of the FRC

Watching Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council on Larry King tonight I was once again reminded of why so many people, Christian and secular alike, think what we used to call "evangelicals" are wacko. Ditto for the perception of Christians - guilt by association. Here is a man who speaks as an authority on the Bible and faith, but has no understanding of human nature. Actually, it's worse than that. He can't be that stupid so it must be intentional. OK, I'll be kind. Maybe he is that stupid.

Very simply, those that promote "abstinence only" as pregnancy prevention are ignorant of what Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon wrote of in the Augsburg Confession as original sin - lust, or as they wrote, concupiscence. They say all men are born with it. I'll add that women are, too, they're just smarter about it. But apparently 750,000 teenage women in America still manage to get pregnant each year. Worse, only 400,000 children are born to those women. Do the math and count the abortions, please.

To tell a 16 year old that sex is not to be engaged in before marriage is the right thing to do. To leave it at that and NOT explain that if they DO succumb to that temptation that birth control is a really wise thing to consider and use responsibly, is akin to allowing your child to play with a loaded gun but not tell them it's loaded. Or your grandchild as the case actually is.

From my theology we are all sinners from birth and the #2 part of original sin is lust. As a Christian it is my responsibility to tell my daughters not to have sex prior to marriage and to give them the myriad of entirely valid reasons why. I don't have sons. As a father it is my responsibility to tell my daughters that birth control is absolutely required should they choose to have sex along with the myriad of entirely valid reasons why.

IF Mr. Perkins truly wanted to prevent abortions he would speak in favor of free birth control and a complete curriculum of sex education starting, oh, in the 7th grade perhaps. People of his thinking are more concerned with teaching righteous living (as if they have lived it) than they are saving the life of an unborn child, and we know perfectly righteous living is not possible no matter how hard we may try. Especially as a teenager.

So, Mr. Perkins, I call you a hypocrite and a disgrace to our faith. You grandstand on righteousness as if you've achieved it on your own. You lack recognition of the need for God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the righteousness of each person and you preach false possibilities to families that trust you. In so doing you lead them wrong and cause those very abortions you, and I, abhor.

Sorry, got a little carried away here, but this is the very stupidity that leaves secular people with a modicum of smarts thinking Christians fools, it causes unwanted births which leads to unwanted terminations and keeps those that haven't found faith yet but somehow found you, from seeking any association with you or our faith.

Mr. Perkins, preach responsibly!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Amor in Tecate

An amazing week behind us, we return to our water consuming valley and give thanks for all that God gives us, all that we might take a little less for granted, and hope that we consider those gifts in the proper perspective.

Tecate is a small town east of Tijuana. Amor Ministries has a camp there and builds in the area. It is a wonderful place. The camp is near town but not too near, lined with trees and a bit more rustic than the Tijuana camp, but serves well.

We built in an area south of Tecate, completing two small houses and a 20x20' single-room school that will be used for kindergarten starting next week. Two women that will run the school helped us build as did two men and a few kids. Amazing people, all.

These are the words we used when handing over the keys to the schoolhouse, with a very similar variation used for the homes. They were read in Spanish and English.

Good Afternoon

We come to you as Christians and thank you for the opportunity to serve in God's name.

It may have been our hands that built this school but they were inspired by our savior, Jesus Christ, and powered by the Holy Spirit.

It is more true to say that God built this school than we did. God built this and gives it to this community.

Our prayers are that this community will fill this school for many years with teachers and children learning not just letters and numbers but also the love of community, of neighbor. There is no human power greater than love.

Again, it is us, truly, who give thanks to you for this opportunity to serve in God's name.

We all give thanks to God!

There are many ways to serve, this is but one. May we all serve well.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

People Say We're Crazy

Actually, people will worry about us much this week. And pray for us. Some will do both.

50 youth and 12 adults leave for Mexico tomorrow morning for a week of work in God's name. The drug wars are on-going with 4000 deaths in the past 18 months spread throughout the country. We don't consider ourselves targets.

But I'll ask for your prayers, please. It would be wonderful to return next weekend and see some posted here. Take a moment, please, and pray for our safety, our health, and that some would find a God-connection they hadn't found before.

Here's a video from last years mission.

We're called. So We Go!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hillary Clinton 6/4/2008

I like Hillary. I respect her for her foresight and efforts to change healthcare in America during her husband's first term. I think her an accomplished politician and capable of moving this country forward.

But she lost. She is being a poor sport. She needs to endorse the winner, perhaps with hat in hand to ask for some cash to pay down her campaign debt, and work with The Democratic Party to win the next election.

What she is doing, intentionally it seems, is threatening the party with division if she doesn’t get what she wants – the VP post – and she seems willing to take it to the mat of having John McCain our next president.

This is childish behavior, not politics. This is me-ism over the party good and taken a step further, the good of the country. At this point minutes count, opinions are being formed and it is entirely Hillary that needs to get off her selfish soapbox and do the right thing, which is to bow out and await what is offered her.

This is one more reason for Barack to NOT give her the VP slot, even if she was on the list, which I doubt.

Which is what this is all about, I wager.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Black & White

Two things that will help you understand the power of black & white images:

Photographer James Nachtwey's photography is beautifully stunning.

And the movie "American History X" is one I wanted to hate, but couldn't.

Both are worth a look. No further comment by me worthy. Sometimes art is best left to the viewer's own understanding. Perhaps that is one definition of art!