Newslinks 05/16/08

May 16, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Newslinks | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by

 At Ease Tees

Evangelical Statement on Faith, Politics Stirs Up Religious Right

 Many Christian leaders have expressed concern about the document called the “Evangelical Manifesto”. There are varied issues as to why many of them won’t sign it (see below), but all of them need to be considered very carefully. The Manifesto is a 19-page document that is a call for Christians to keep faith and politics separate and to “expand their concerns beyond single issue politics”. The document says that Christians have allowed faith and politics to become too closely mixed and allows Christians to become “useful idiots” for the politicians. Some of those who would not sign the document had an issue with the given definition of evangelical being too vague. They also said that some of the statements see to leave room for inclusivism and universalism.

I haven’t read the document yet, but I hopefully will get the chance this weekend. I have heard bits and pieces of what the Manifesto says and even caught an interview with Os Guiness on Way of the Master Radio. Without having read the document, I just wanted to make a few general statements (which may change in regard to the Manifesto after I read the entire document). From what I understand, the definition of evangelical has changed over the last few decades and has become just a shadow of what the word used to mean. I also don’t like the push to try and separate faith and politics. I don’t think that we all need to be so politically minded that we aren’t doing what we’ve been called to do, but at the same time, we do need to be involved to some degree. We need to speak out against abortion and gay marriage, not because it’s a politically charged topic that happens to be “hot”, but because the Bible says that it’s wrong! Many times, the only way that Christians can be heard is through their voting. The Manifesto will hopefully get a lot of people thinking about things, but I don’t know if it’s really necessary. Instead, we need to have more and more people return to the biblical truths that God has given us and live them out. Not our way, but God’s way…

Related Articles:



Why Some Leaders Won’t Sign the Evangelical Manifesto


University Employee Suspended Over ‘Anti-Gay’ Column

 A member of the faculty of the University of Toledo has been fired (see below) because of statements made in a recent column she wrote. Crystal Dixon was the associate vice president of human resources at UT. The article that she wrote in the Toledo Free Press was in response to another article, which compared the effort to legalize same-sex “marriage” with the struggle for racial equality by African-Americans. Dixon said that she is unable “to wake up tomorrow morning and not be a black woman”. She then went on to say that many homosexuals are choosing daily to leave that lifestyle and that homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic like race or gender. Not long after her column was printed, the president of UT wrote his own column saying that Dixon’s writings “did not accord” with the views of UT or its values. He made a statement later saying that “race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation are not included in any decision making process nor the evaluation of worth of any individual at this university” and said that UT will continually be “aligning its actions with that value statement”. Attorneys defending Dixon say that her right to free speech was taken from her. They say that she wasn’t speaking on behalf of UT but as a private individual.

I fully agree with Miss Dixon. Homosexuality is a choice and always has been. You can see that in the Bible. All of the biblical statements describing homosexuality are conditional and show a choice to disobey God being made. To compare it to the struggle for racial equality is getting to be a tired canard of the pro-homosexual movement. It’s not the same. As Miss Dixon said, when she wakes up tomorrow morning, she’ll be black. It will always be that way. There are many people in the U.S. who are ex-homosexuals. They choose not to live that sinful lifestyle anymore. It is completely different. The fact that UT didn’t agree with Miss Dixon is very clear, but should in no way bring about her termination. I know that it’s getting old, but if this were turned around and it was Christianity that was being derided, no one would have said anything to the article writer and those who condemned the article would have been labeled “narrow minded” or “bigots”…

Related Articles:



Vote Against Embryonic Cloning Seen as Sign of Shifting Debate

Lawmakers in Western Australia have recently voted down a bill that would allow the cloning of human embryos for research purposes. The major reason for the vetoing of the bill is a discovery made in November of last year. The discovery came from a joint effort between Japanese and American scientists who found a way to “reprogram” adult human skin cells into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells. This means that they have the potential to develop into any type of cell (pluripotency). This new technique provides cells that are genetically identical to the patient and avoids the ethical problems with using embryonic stem cells (ESC). Those who support the lawmakers’ decision cite examples of scientists on the forefront of cloning, including Ian Wilmut (who cloned Dolly the sheep), walking away from using embryonic cells in favor of the “reprogramming” method. Western Australia’s health minister, who supports ESC research, said that the veto has put Western Australia out of step with the rest of the country. He also said that the decision has “denied its people world-class medical research and denied potential cures to those with life threatening medical issues”.

I think that this is a wonderful development both for Western Australia and for the world. The discovery of being able to reprogram adult skin cells is a boon for those who are actually involved in the search for cures. For those wishing to push a naturalistic agenda, well, I doubt they’ll ever be happy with things like this. If the “health” minister truly cared about the science and about the lives his position is supposed to be protecting, he would be shouting about this. Instead, he is griping and complaining about not being able to destroy unborn human life. Look at the issue for a minute. The discovery last November says that scientists have been able to “reprogram” adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. They have the ability to become any cell. They are also genetically identical! This is HUGE. This means that scientists can now work with cells that are the same as the ones they should be with that specific patient! Not to mention that they would no longer have to kill unborn children. On top of that, think of how many adult skin cells we have and how fast they are replaced. This is an unending, ethical supply for doctors and scientists to work with. I can’t see a problem with any of this, unless of course you have another agenda…



Israel Celebrates 60th Year

This year, Israel celebrates its 60th year as a nation. The country became a recognized nation on May 14th 1948. It is the longest living democratic state in the Middle East. More than 700 world leaders were in attendance at the celebration. Also joining in the festivities were many evangelical Christians. A report released recently states that around 90% of evangelical Christians support Israel because they see it as a “biblical obligation”.

I’m glad to see Israel celebrating and hope that it continues. I also hope that the US will continue to support Israel and help them. I am one of those who see it as a biblical obligation to back Israel. It is obvious both from scripture and just what has happened in the last 60 years that they are a special people that God has not forgotten. We need to do what we can to show them our support and stop trying to divide their country…



‘Lost’ Christians Greatest Crisis in American Church, says Author

Author David Sanford believes that the reason many in the church are leaving and not coming back is due to them “losing their faith in Christian beliefs, the Bible, and the church”. He says that the topic is taboo among many Christians and that the lack of its discussion is not helping the situation at all. Sanford said that most of the time, Christians walk away from the church because of doubts or questions that go unanswered or because of the feeling that God has just “walked away”.

While I think that this is something that should be discussed openly among all Christians, I think that there is one reason that needs to be discussed more than any other. Those who do talk about people leaving the church focus on the reasons like Mr. Sanford did; the ones who walk away because of doubts or because they were “wounded”. A more alarming reason that many seem to be leaving is not because of being wounded or of doubts or because God “walked away”. They are leaving because of the unscriptural teachings and the complete lack of biblical foundation that many churches push as an agenda nowadays. If you wanna talk about taboo, there it is. Toss that up in front of pastors and ministers. I doubt that it would be seriously talked about and I’ll tell you why. In the modern church, the pastor is no longer just one of the many who are called to serve the church. They are the one. There may be others that handle ministries and stuff, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about the pastor. Look at the TV people. You never hear about “so and so”. It’s the pastor. The pastor has become a career choice or “job” for many people and they treat it as such. There is great pride taken by pastors who “build their church” and to question their actions, words, or motives is to get the same treatment as if you were the antichrist himself. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all churches. The problem is, many pastors who operate this way see that as applying to them. It’s not “their church” that does that it’s other churches. Ya know what? You’re wrong. It’s you’re church too, and until you see that and repent of your pride and callousness, people will continue to leave the church. They won’t leave God and they won’t “lose their faith experientially”. They’ll find others who have experienced the same thing and fellowship with them. It’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s where we are today in many churches…




One evangelical writer has said that he thinks that his fellow writers are alienating those who don’t attend church. Tim McLaughlin says that they use “passwords” like how long a person has been married and how many kids they have and that it alienates the “unchurched”. He also that evangelicals are alienating non church goers with their campaign for traditional marriage. He said that the idea of “one man with one woman for life” may be unrealistic depending on where you look in scripture. Examples given were: “Adam and Eve had no civil ceremony, Abraham slept with other women including Hagar, Isaac’s wife was selected by his father’s servant and was his cousin, David ‘collected wives like military victories, and his most memorable son came from an affair with a married woman,’ and Prophet Hosea married a whore”. McLaughlin said that we “shouldn’t call marriage biblical, but healthy”. McLaughlin says that when he writes he’s not “picturing someone who is lost, but someone who is finding themselves and being chased by God”.

If this is the modern definition of evangelical, then it’s no wonder people are so confused! How many “evangelical” writers actually write specifically to those who don’t attend church? I can’t think of any or why they would. Other than evangelism, what would be the point? The Bible says that they wouldn’t understand it anyway (although there are many in the body of Christ today that don’t understand it either…hmmm). This is the “seeker sensitive” view of the church brought to writing. “Don’t talk about Christian topics using Christian words or phrases because you might upset or alienate someone”. Didn’t Jesus alienate those who were living in sin? Yes. Should we go out of our way to make it difficult to understand? No. Should we cater to people who have absolutley no idea about what Christianity really is? No. McLaughlin then says that we shouldn’t be “campaigning” for traditional marriage because it’s not clearly defined in scripture. Huh? What version of scripture is he reading? Genesis 2:24 defines what marriage is – one man and one woman for life. Period. The fact that Abraham, David, Solomon, and others had multiple wives doesn’t mean that God approved of it or that the definition of marriage changed. And, if you’ll notice, they were still wives. Marriage is biblical if it follows the guidelines that God set for it. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t matter how “holy” the person was, it wasn’t a proper marriage. He then says that he writes to people who are “finding themselves and being chased by God”. Oh…how sweet. Unfortunately, it’s not scriptural. We don’t have to find ourselves. We know who we are, we just don’t like to admit it because it isn’t the sweet adorable image that we want people to see us for. If people ever truly come face to face with themselves, they will shrink back in horror. God is not “chasing us” either. He’s omnipresent. How would He run? He is everywhere and knows everything and He is waiting for one of two things to happen. He’s either waiting for us to repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ, or He’s waiting for us to die without Christ. If the latter happens, then we’ll be judged and find ourselves in hell.  It really is that simple. To treat people otherwise is to mislead them and keep them from finding the truth.


‘Academic Freedom’ Legislation Advances in Four States

Four states, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri and Michigan, are currently considering legislation that would allow public school teachers and students to discuss problems, critiques, and objections to Darwinism and evolution. Lawmakers in all four states said that the bills were in response to both teachers and students who felt marginalized or discriminated against when sharing views that were opposed to Darwinism. The legislation has been helped by Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” as well.

I think that this is a great first step. Those who are opposed to legislation like this say that it would be allowing religion into schools. The truth is, religion is already in schools. Public school systems have become “churches” for the humanistic viewpoint shared by many atheists and agnostics. The teachers are preaching a message of “No God” and anyone saying otherwise is furiously attacked to protect the sacred cow of evolution…I hope that the legislation passes in all four states (especially Alabama) and that it leads the way for others to follow suit. If evolution is truly as strong and evident as its proponents say, then why are they so afraid to allow criticism and actual scientific study and debate of all the evidence (or lack thereof)?


Joel Osteen Maintains Homosexuality as Sin

Jay Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy Bakker, and a group of pro-homosexual activists met with Joel Osteen on Mother’s Day to discuss the issue of homosexuality and to try and get the pastor of America’s largest church to endorse them. While a spokesman said that the meeting was cordial meeting, the end result was that Osteen and his church will continue to see homosexuality as a sin. The group, called the American Family Outing, is planning on meeting with five other “megachurches” over the next couple months to try and receive endorsement for the homosexual lifestyle.

I couldn’t help but think about something when I read the headline. What does it say when you’re the pastor of a church and you have a headline written about you saying that you see homosexuality as a sin? Shouldn’t it be that way? I guess the reason it struck me was that it sounded like this is something out of the ordinary. From the sermons I’ve heard him preach, I would have to say that it is, at least to a certain degree. Whenever I have heard or read anything by or about Joel Osteen, it has been about how he is focused on helping people live a better life. Not once do I recall hearing him speak out against any sin at all. I am glad to hear that he still holds to the Bible in this case, but what about many others where he seems to “waffle” back and forth when scripture is clear about how God sees something? One of the people travelling with the American Family Outing was a lesbian mother. She said that “families come in all forms” and that “God loves us”. Why is it always the same canards? Man may see families as coming in different forms, but that doesn’t mean that God approves of it or that the biblical definition of a family has changed. And while it is true that God loves homosexuals (just like He loves anyone else who is living in sin) that doesn’t mean that He condones their lifestyle or approves of what they’re doing…

Evangelical Writers Challenged to Avoid Alienating the Unchurched

College Official Fired for Column on Homosexuality


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Minor nitpick: iPSCs actually have a unique genome, distinct from the skin cells from which they were derived. That is because they were induced by genetic engineering, which changes the genome. Which, of course, poses a slight difficulty for those who argue that an embryo is valuable because it has a unique human genome – wouldn’t iPSCs be equally as valuable under such a criteria?

    While we are on that subject, the embryos produced by therapeutic cloning pose a difficulty for the idea that human life begins at conception. Cloned embryos were not produced by any conception or fertilisation event.

  2. Joshua,

    Thanks for the info! I have a little background in Biotech, but I haven’t been keeping up with it that much.

    You bring up a good point. While I haven’t thought about it, I will definitely look at it!

    Thanks again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: