"But there are those who oppose these powerful forces, who dedicate their lives to truth, honour and freedom."
"This world is an uncertain realm filled with danger, where honour is undermined by the pursuit of power; freedom is sacrificed; the weak are oppressed by the strong. But there are those who oppose these powerful forces, who dedicate their lives to truth, honour and freedom." - The Three Musketeers!
In the west, a “destructive and irresponsible freedom had been granted boundless space.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, not only argued against the worldview which had enslaved his own country through Communism, but he prophetically assessed a major flaw and deception in the prevailing worldview being embraced by the West. He said that a “destructive and irresponsible freedom had been granted boundless space.”
Are we lost in a world gone mad? A poignant new song from Moby highlighting the depressing direction our culture is heading.
The end of this video reminded me of this great quote from C.S. Lewis: “When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”
"We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God," Abraham Lincoln
As in the days of Nineveh, Australia faces a national crisis. Upon realizing their dire situation, their response was to proclaim a fast and for everyone to urgently call on God." The King decreed the national call for prayer and fasting saying, "Let them (us) give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
"On March 30, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of prayer and fasting, in which he addressed what he called the need for "our national reformation as a whole people."
Our leaders in Australia have not come to that position, but that does not mean we the people cannot urgently call on God in prayer and fasting and ask for His intervention to avert the crisis currently facing Australian society.
"We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God," Lincoln said, adding that it was our duty "to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness...."
How can we as Australians in 2016 do any less? Please continue or join churches, organizations, and individuals around Australia in this month October 2016 for a month of prayer and fasting. "It is time that we, as Christians, recognize our need to repent of our own wickedness and cry out to the Lord for forgiveness - and that He might heal our broken land (2 Chronicles 7:14)."
We should heed the voices of the King of Nineveh and President Lincoln. They knew that God was the only one who could save us.
Canberra Declaration - Oct Call for Prayer and Fasting for Marriage
In a chilling article in the Washington Post on the 13th Oct 2016 more was revealed about Hilary Clinton's hatred for God and her agenda to stop people from believing in God and to change their beliefs!
Evoking memories of leaders past who set themselves up against God and tried to change the times and the laws to compete with and oppose God and harm God's people, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Antiochus IV, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Pol Pot, Enver Hoxha (Albania) and Kim Il-Sung (North Korea), Clinton's desires to purge the world of God become more than concerning given that she is on the verge of becoming the most powerful leader on the planet.
It is a worrying trend, as we have seen closer to home in Victoria, with Premier Andrews spending our money as furiously as he can to promote as many anti-God programs as possible, and introducing as many laws as he can to oppose God and to discriminate against, distress and vilify God's people. The likes of what Andrews is doing in Australia is possibly the worst Australia has ever encountered, and yet there is barely a whisper of protest from the people.
13th Oct 2016
"In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
Religious beliefs have to be changed? This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.
This is the context in which we must read a recently released trove of emails — which, according to WikiLeaks, come from the accounts of Clinton staff — showing the rampant anti-Catholic bigotry that permeates Clinton World."
Having said this, history shows God always advances His cause, saves His people and sometimes even surprises with the way He uses seemingly distressing situations to save the most unlikely of people. Nebuchadnezzar is a case in point, as was Saul/Paul, and as is pretty much every soul He has saved throughout human history. In this light, I hereby reveal I have been praying for Daniel Andrews and Hilary Clinton. They are no worse than I was when God supernaturally came into my life, turned the light on, opened my eyes and saved my soul.
The rise of the intolerant shouting and shaking of fists at God and His people, and attempts to remove religion from society, is becoming so rapid that things can probably no longer sustain the pressure. Our society has changed and will change some more very quickly by the look of things.
So, what will we be left with if we have a society without God? Can we get rid of God and still have any values or dignity or respect as human beings?
Atheist Friedrich Nietzsche saw what we would get in a society which tried to banish God, he saw not human freedom, as the anti-religion proponents insist would be the result, but massive oppression, nihilism and the loss of everything, including meaning. We can see it with the attempt to abolish the meaning of marriage and gender at present.
The times they are a changing, and rapidly at that, but thankfully, God is still here and He can not be removed just because the mob think that would be best. For God's people, no matter what tomorrow brings in this life, the very best is always still to come. Onwards and upwards, no matter the rebellion all around us!
SaltShakers News Update - 13 October 2016
1. Victoria gives ‘multicultural funding’ to LGBTIQA+ groups
2. Polls shows Australians concerned about the rise of Islamic ‘extremism’
3. Legal fund established to defend Christians against claims of ‘discrimination’
4. Two teenagers arrested in Sydney on terrorism charges
5. Senator Abetz: Speech at the Hobart launch of David van Gend’s book
6. Domestic violence – Sen Leyonhjelm questions expenditure and focus
7. Bills in Victoria
8. Senate passes CFA legislation
1. Abortion – being exposed to the facts beings revelation
2. USA: Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended for actions on same-sex ‘marriage’
12 Theses on a Christian Understanding of Economics
In this essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. considers 12 principles for how Christians should think about economic issues. Mohler writes:
"Regrettably, many American Christians know little about economics. Furthermore, many Christians assume that the Bible has nothing at all to say about economics. But a biblical worldview actually has a great deal to teach us on economic matters. The meaning of work, the value of labor, and other economic issues are all part of the biblical worldview. At the same time we must recognize that the Christian worldview does not demand or promote a particular economic system."
Click Here to Read More
Four critical conversation starters to help you talk with young people about some of the most divisive issues of our day.
4 Great Questions
In David Kinnaman's book "Good Faith," he describes four critical conversation starters to help you talk with your students about some of the most divisive issues of our day.
What they are: Whether it's politics, gender confusion, video games, racial problems, or dating, ask your students these four questions to help frame every difficult conversation: 1. What is Right? (Celebrate it.) 2. What is Wrong? (Correct it.) 3. What is Missing? (Create it.) 4. What is Confused? (Clarify it.) Use these four questions to help your students develop conviction about their own beliefs, while cultivating compassion and respect for those who may disagree with them.
The Web and Our Humanity - Take Time Away from the Screen
LISTEN TO TODAY'S COMMENTARY
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By JOHN STONESTREET 5th Oct 2016
Who doesn’t love the Internet? News, entertainment, shopping, connecting with friends? But what is it doing to our souls?
Back in the mid-1990s, Andrew Sullivan, the former editor of the New Republic, learned he was HIV-positive. Twenty years later, a series of health issues, including infections that wouldn’t clear up, caused him to shut down his popular and influential blog, “The Dish.”
The ironic, or perhaps telling, thing was that his HIV infection had little, if anything, to do with his health troubles. What was making him sick was the Internet.
Sullivan tells this story in the cover story of the September 19th issue of New York Magazine, entitled “I Used to Be a Human Being.” In it he described his version of what is sometimes called “living in the web”: “For a decade and a half, I’d been a web obsessive, publishing blog posts multiple times a day, seven days a week . . . Each morning began with a full immersion in the stream of internet consciousness and news, jumping from site to site, tweet to tweet, breaking news story to hottest take . . .”
The “reward” for this obsessiveness was being among the first people to make a living and a career out of what has been called “Web 2.0.” He turned being a blogger into a being a “brand.”
The price was a “never-stopping,” “always updating” way of living that was incompatible not only with being healthy, but also, as the article’s title suggests, being truly human: “Vacations,” he wrote, “such as they were, had become mere opportunities for sleep,” and “my friendships had atrophied as my time away from the web dwindled.”
Finally, in January of 2015, he walked away, not only from blogging but to a large extent from the web itself. He even attended a silent retreat as a kind of detox.
If running people ragged was all that “living in the web” did to us, that would be bad enough. But Sullivan, like my BreakPoint colleague Shane Morris, is even more concerned about what it does to our souls. It has, in Sullivan’s words, caused “our oldest human skills to atrophy.”
Within two decades, we’ve gone from phone calls to emails, to texts, to emojis. As Sullivan writes “We remove or drastically filter all the information we might get by being with another person. We reduce them to some outlines—a Facebook “friend,” an Instagram photo, a text message—in a controlled and sequestered world that exists largely free of the sudden eruptions or encumbrances of actual human interaction.”
And that’s when we aren’t being nasty to one another. In his two-part BreakPoint article (which I encourage you to read at BreakPoint.org), Shane documents how the Web’s “dis-inhibitory effect” has brought out the worst in so many people: It’s altered our concept of sexuality and human intimacy; it has virtually destroyed journalism; and—as you can see if you dare to read comments online—it has made us meaner, crazier, and more paranoid.
But most of all the noise of “living in the web” keeps us from seeing and hearing what’s good for our souls. Christians, more than anyone else, should know this. Consider Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 4: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Does the time spent on line help us consider these things?
Jesus lived in a time that was, compared to ours, a still-life painting. And yet even then, he felt the need to regularly withdraw from the noise and distractions of his times. I doubt that any of us, starting with me, could last five minutes in the quietness of first-century Palestine.
What Sullivan and Morris help us understand is that modern telecommunications technology is not “morally neutral.” It comes with a definition of what it means to be human that’s at root inhumane.
The question is: how badly do we want to be human? And will we unplug to pursue It?
ADD BREAKPOINT TO ITUNES
The Web and Our Humanity: Take Time Away from the Screen
Read Shane Morris's 2-part article, "The Case Against the Internet," linked below. Then why not take John's challenge--consider time away from the ubiquitous screens that take up so much of our time. That small step might prove extremely beneficial for your soul.
The Case Against the Internet, Part 1
Shane Morris | BreakPoint.org | August 22, 2016
The Case Against the Internet, Part 2
Shane Morris | BreakPoint.org | August 24, 2016
I Used to Be a Human Being
Andrew Sullivan | New York Magazine | September 18, 2016
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Sherry Turkle | Basic Books Publisher | October 2012
“Faithful defence of marriage and gender is an act of Christian witness – indeed one of the boldest acts of Christian witness in this secular age.” Albert Mohler, Jr.
Following is a few snippets from a book review by Bill Muehlenberg of Dr. David van Gend's new book, "Stealing from a Child" just to encourage you to read the whole review at least, if not the book:
"The push by adults to redefine the institution of marriage shows a callous disregard for the rights of children, especially their fundamental right to have their own biological mother and father.
“We are guilty of stealing a child’s birthright when we institute motherless families and fatherless homes as an ideal in our law.” David van Gend
Consider the issue of homosexual households and the impact this has on children who are raised in such homes.
Consider just one such story from a young woman raised in this fashion: “Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.”
And the redefinition of parenting becomes utterly Orwellian as the state is forced to enter in and enforce a socially engineered genderless world.
an ideologically-driven state has declared war on reality and biology.
All this is part of the radical left’s long war against marriage, family, and morality. As van Gend documents, this has been the longstanding political goal of the Marxists, from Marx and Engels to Marcuse and Millet. The Marxist vision to abolish the family is now well under way in much of the West, with all things homosexual leading the charge.
Speaking of Marxists, van Gend also discusses the radical Marxist social engineer behind the so-called Safe Schools Coalition, Roz Ward. Said Ward: “Programs like the Safe Schools Coalition
Think about "the enormous amount of damage done to our children who have been the guinea pigs in the hands of the radical adult social experimenters."
And all this sexual and social upheaval unleashed upon us by the activists has been very costly to democracy as a whole, as various freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc, are now coming under horrific and sustained attack.
All this anti-Christian bigotry and suppression of freedom is getting worse by the day. Says van Gend:
“Any law normalising homosexual marriage will be a truncheon in the fist of the thought police, enforcing approved opinion on sexuality in schools, churches and businesses via the ‘Human Rights’ Commissions.”
Make no mistake about it: this is a war: a war on marriage and family, a war on biology and reality, a war on faith and freedom, but above all, a war on our vulnerable children. No civilised society can just sit back as we feed our helpless children to the devouring jaws of the militants.
Read Bill's full review:
Buy the book:
We will not go quietly into the night. It is time to stir, to pray and to act. Millions of Christians to pray daily throughout October for Australia.
Millions of Christians Preparing to Pray for Australia, for Marriage, Family, Children and Freedom Every Day Throughout October 2016.
Australia is a great country in a world of increasing chaos. This did not just happen by accident. The foundations which have allowed this are currently under unprecedented attack from within. We are stewards of the Australia we have been blessed with. Blood has been spilled to pass this legacy onto us, and we have a duty to preserve it and pass it on to the next generation.
The forceful rainbow/gender confusion ideological movement imposing itself on our society, demanding that we accept their divisive and destructive ideas about marriage, family, gender, politics, governance, education, finance, democracy, freedom (ideas which are inimical to the ones found in our foundations), and submit to their attempted takeover of our society, want us to go quietly.
If we do, we will wake up being unable to speak freely, educate our children freely, raise our children freely, associate freely, worship freely, and eventually vote freely and maybe even travel freely, own property, invest, create and prosper.
This rainbow movement will not stop at marriage. Authoritarian movements never do. They can sense victory and are doing everything they can to remove the people's vote (plebiscite) on marriage. Knowing that they have stacked the parliament by stealth and intimidation (who in parliament are brave enough to publicly go against the gay media and political mob?), they want to force through a parliamentary vote. They know the stakes are high. They also know that the people will possibly put an end to their attempted coup in a plebiscite.
If they gain power they will take our freedom. Churches will become centres of "hate" speech. The Bible will become "hate" literature. Preachers will be imprisoned if they preach on certain sections of the Bible. This has happened before.
Ultimately they can't win though. This gender confusing, anti-marriage, anti-family, man-centred, anti-God, authoritarian social experiment is doomed to fail, just like it did in socialist Russia in the 1920s, and the only true hope for men will continue to be found only in one place. Thank God for that!
God's people are not to be silent. Like Jesus clearing the traders from the temple, we too are allowed to get a bit animated now and then. John Calvin once said, “Even a dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” This rainbow movement will impose itself on our society until we are subjugated and prevented from being free to fulfil the Great Commission in a free land. Why would we let that happen without some resistance?
So, what to do?
The best thing to do, and our first priority, is always to pray. We acknowledge Jesus is Lord of all and so we must seek His mercy on our land. We can also then act in other ways too. Contact politicians; start blogs; actively post, re-tweet and share on your social media; print out your own heartfelt defence of marriage, family and children and letter box drop it around your neighbourhood.
Millions of Christians around Australia and the world are preparing to spend the whole month of October 2016 in prayer and fasting to ask God to protect and preserve our free Australia. Please join them.
From the Canberra Declaration ministry: "To give you insight and encouragement in your courageous decision to pray and fast for marriage and family you can download this free e-book by John Piper called "A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer."
Use this Link: http://document.desiringgod.org/a-hunger-for-god-en.pdf?1446646561
To give you some inspiration for your own marriage download this free e-book called "31 Days to a Better Marriage." Use this link: http://cdn2.hotholyhumorous.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/31-Days-to-a-Better-Marriage-Ebook.pdf
To gain some insight into the powerful benefits of marriage between a man and a woman from the social sciences download this free e-book called "21 Reasons Why Marriage Matters." Use this link: https://www.familyfirst.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2009-21-REASONS-WHY-MARRIAGE-MATTERS.pdf
We pray that this will be a time of renewal of your love for God, family and extended family. We ask that His love may overflow to them as you participate in this time of prayer."
May God bless Australia and keep us a land of freedom and light in an increasingly lost and dark West.
If you had any doubts that we are in a war for our culture read the following articles, which are in just one newsletter put out by ACL this week. Things are heating up. Urgent prayer is required for our nation, but also action. It is time for the Church to wake up. For our children and their children's sake we should not go quietly into the night, what we have in Australia is worth fighting for, while we still can. It was worth the ANZACs fighting for and it is still worth us fighting for. Email all Federal and State politicians and request that they boldly oppose these powerful forces, and with integrity, courageously lead our nation as defenders of truth, honour and freedom.
Plebiscite uncertainty does not mean we can relax
A February 11 marriage plebiscite is looking increasingly unlikely.
Talks broke down yesterday between the Government and the Opposition about trying to find a way to steer enabling legislation for a people’s vote through the Parliament.
Why free speech must be allowed outside church walls
According to reports in The Australian, the recently-appointed Secretary of the Department, Mark Scott, has been ordered to investigate what, if any, scientific basis there is to Crossroads’ claims that gender is independent of biology.
Want to ‘opt-out’ of Safe Schools? Then prepare to move schools
There are reports that the NSW government is considering giving parents an “opt-in”, instead of an “opt-out” with respect to the participation of their children in the program.
Professor calls-out queer theory program in schools
The Safe Schools program has been billed as the all-in-one answer to the problem of LGBTI bullying in schools. But a new report by University of Sydney Law School Professor, Patrick Parkinson, paints a far from perfect picture.
Why we need more debate about the consequences of redefining marriage
It was disappointing to see the Shadow Attorney General assert that same-sex marriage posed no threat to other peoples’ freedoms.
Culture wars in the west
Where did Australia’s culture wars originate? Senior research fellow at The Australian Catholic University, Dr Kevin Donnelly, discusses the cultural revolution from the 60’s and 70’s and how it’s affecting us now.
Take action: Victorian Government attacks religious schools and churches
Daniel Andrews is trying to undo one of the most important wins for religious freedom of the past decade.His legisation will be the end of Christian schooling as we know it.
If you live in Victoria, read more and send your MP an email, click here.
By Holly Scheer
September 26, 2016
Eternal gratefulness for an abortion shouldn’t be something to brag about, but that’s what Andy Richter just did at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. The actor, who hosted the “Sexy Beast” fundraiser for the Los Angeles branch of PP, credits his girlfriend’s abortion back in 1992 with allowing them to live the lives they wanted.
These lives included eventually marrying each other, children when they decided they wanted to be parents, pets, and careers. What those lives don’t include is the realization that they will forever be missing a child.
Richter and his future wife, Sarah Thyre, lacked steady employment and were focused on building careers when they found she was pregnant. Richter explained what happened next:
Luckily for us Planned Parenthood existed. My girlfriend knew that she was not ready for motherhood, and I knew that I was in no way prepared to be a father. I drove from Chicago in my battered old Toyota pick-up to be with her when she went to Planned Parenthood to terminate her pregnancy. Her choice to get an abortion was a choice that she made with assuredness. She knew that she was doing the right thing for everyone involved. But I can’t say it was easy. She was sad, and I was sad, and it was sad. But to this day, I know that she will tell you that she made the right decision.
How Do the Kids Feel About This?
There is no possible way to explain this as the right decision for at least one person in this scenario: the older sibling of the Richters’ other children. Since they’re so open about this to strangers and made this a public issue, I’d imagine they’ve already discussed the abortion with their living children. One wonders whether they explained that if they had made different choices and had different priorities, there would be another child in their family.
As their living children grow and become adults themselves, maybe this choice will make sense to them. Maybe it won’t. It’s possible they’re distressed to know that had the timing of their conception been different, they could have been the one aborted, because that is a terrible thought.
When a family loses a member, that family is forever changed. No matter how that loss comes about, it is a loss. The lessons that we learn and the growth that can come from pain and grief might be something to be grateful for, but the opportunity to actively cause that loss should not be. That should be difficult, it should be wrenching, and it should not even need to be an option or an easy decision.
Many choices in life are not eternal, but abortion is. Once that baby is gone, it is gone, and future children don’t replace the life that was lost. Children are not interchangeable. They’re unique, each one with limitless possibilities and promise, and snuffing out one because of convenience and whims of parents ends those possibilities.
Richter Hints He’s Uneasy With This Choice
Richter doesn’t find it difficult to support Planned Parenthood after his personal history with abortion, however, and he wasn’t shy about his feelings about pro-life people: “It’s easy. Planned Parenthood helps a ton of people, and if they don’t agree with that, f— ’em. You can quote me on that. Tell them I said, ‘F— ’em.’”
People who are at peace and confident in their decisions don’t need to attack others. They can tolerate disagreement without rage. Pro-life people don’t seek to leave families without help and support, they desire the opposite: for all members of a family to be present and able to help. We want for all babies to have the chance to pursue their dreams, not just those lucky enough to be wanted.
Richter might be a comedian, with a career built around humor and making other people laugh on shows with Conan O’Brien, but abortion is no laughing matter. That sadness he and his wife felt was for a good reason. They were looking at temporary circumstances and making permanent decisions. That baby wouldn’t have ruined their future, but abortion ruined the chance for that child to ever have an opportunity at life. That’s something nobody can be eternally grateful for.
Holly Scheer is a writer and editor. She’s fascinated by politics, culture and theology. Follow her on Twitter @HScheer1580.
Saving the Children The Story of Irena Sendler
By JOHN STONESTREET
What happens when an ordinary Polish woman encounters extraordinary evil? Well, she saves 2,500 Jewish children.
This past week, PBS premiered the latest film by Ken Burns. His subject was Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife Martha, who, during World War II, helped smuggled at least 150 Jews out of Nazi-controlled areas, operating first in Prague and then in Lisbon.
It’s a remarkable story that is worth telling and hearing.
And there’s another story involving the rescue of as many as 2,500 Jews that Glenn Sunshine recently brought to our attention. And I promise, it’s a story that’s also worthy of your attention.
The protagonist of this story was a 29-year-old Polish social worker named Irena Sendler. Her responsibilities included taking care of countless people who had been dispossessed by the German occupation of her country.
The most vulnerable and most dispossessed were Warsaw’s Jews. Four hundred thousand of them were crowded into a three-and-one-half square mile area. At great personal risk, Sendler found a way to enter the Ghetto, which was off-limits to non-Jewish Poles, to see how she could help relieve the appalling conditions.
As her biographer wrote “Irena knew she had to help the sick and starving Jews who were imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. She began by smuggling food, clothing, and medicine into the ghetto."
But in the fall of 1942, half of the Ghetto’s inhabitants were deported to the Treblinka death camp, where they were immediately gassed upon arrival.
This barbarity led Sendler and her co-conspirators to declare war on Hitler and to redouble their efforts. Working in concert with Catholic orphanages, especially the Family of Mary orphanage in Warsaw, Sendler, code-named “Jolanta,” and her co-conspirators helped smuggle out an estimated 2,500 Jewish children by whatever means possible: hiding them in coffins, potato sacks, even in a tool box.
Not surprisingly, this kind of resistance to evil eventually caught the attention of the evil-doers. In October, 1943, Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo. Though brutally tortured, she refused to betray her network or give up the names and locations of the children she smuggled out of the Ghetto. After being sentenced to death, she managed to escape with the help of well-placed bribes.
You would think that such a Polish patriot would have been honored after the fall of the Third Reich, but you’d be wrong. The Communist government imprisoned and tortured Sendler after the war because her brand of resistance—Catholic and non-communist—was the “wrong” kind of resistance.
Even after Israel bestowed the title “Righteous Among the Nations” on Sendler, the communist government refused to recognize her heroism. It even refused to allow Sendler to travel to Tel Aviv to receive her award and see the tree planted in her name along the Avenue of the Righteous.
Not much was known about Sendler’s story here in the US until the late 1990s, when Kansas high schoolers researched her life and wrote a play about her called “Life in a Jar,” which was later adapted into a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV special.
Now based on what we know about Sendler, the lack of notoriety probably didn’t bother her. As she told the Polish Senate shortly before her death, “Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory.”
Likewise, until her death in 2008, she rejected the title “hero” and said she was haunted by her failure to do more.
But of course she was a hero, a Christian whose courage should serve as an inspiration to us all and a reminder that the most ordinary of people can make an extraordinary difference.
For more on Irena Sendler and the “Life in a Jar Project,” which tours the play about her life, please visit BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary.
Saving the Children: The Story of Irena Sendler
Learn more about the courageous but little-known Irena Sendler. Click on the resources below to get more details on her life. For accounts of other Christians who made a difference, check out Glenn Sunshine's series "Christians Who Changed Their World," linked below.
The Irena Sendler Project
Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers
PBS video project
Irena Sendler, in memoriam
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Christians Who Changed Their World
Glenn Sunshine | ColsonCenter.org
Oh for a generation of leaders who dedicate their lives to truth, honour and freedom; who refuse to compromise with the shifting sands of our lost generation; who are not tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind
Oh for a generation who stand firm for truth without compromise.
"Compromise where you can, but where you cant, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move. It is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say, NO, you move." (Founder of Shield, Peggy Carter in Captain America-Civil War)
Oh for a generation who are not "tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming." (Eph 4:14).
Oh for a generation who will dedicate their lives to truth, honour and freedom.
"This world is an uncertain realm filled with danger, where honour is undermined by the pursuit of power; freedom is sacrificed; the weak are oppressed by the strong. But there are those who oppose these powerful forces, who dedicate their lives to truth, honour and freedom." - The Three Musketeers.
Oh for a generation who know God and the testimony of God's people through the generations.
"The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten..." "After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel." Judges 2:7-8, 2:10
Or put another way by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings: “The world has changed. I can feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it.”
Intolerance, discrimination, persecution and oppression of Christians to be State sanctioned if marriage law changed.
Although this article below from Summit. relates to the USA it is only a matter of time before the anti-Christian pogrom escalates in Australia too, especially if marriage falls. The Church and the Bible will come under intense attack in coming years, due to its convictions that everything same-sex is not as colourful as our culture portrays. It most likely will not just be the Christians either, as the rainbow juggernaut rolls on taking no prisoners and demanding nothing short of total capitulation.
“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." Martin Niemoller
From Summit: "This week the Obama Administration’s U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report entitled “Peace Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties. Commission Chairman Julian Castro wrote in the report:
“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia or any form of intolerance. … today, as in past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. In our nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws.”1
Tell that to the Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby Mr. Castro. Both have found persecution at the hands of the state and have fought valiant battles in court.
In 2013, Summit President Jeff Myers wrote in our monthly Journal publication:
Only in America has religious freedom been protected, on purpose, from the beginning. But as this issue of The Journal demonstrates, government coercion now poses a real threat to this first freedom.
The target is Christians. Michael Horowitz says that historically Jews were the “canaries in the coal mine”—if a nation persecuted Jews, it was more likely to deny freedoms to others as well. But now, Horowitz says, the canaries are Christians.2
Religious freedom is the first domino. If it falls, so will all other freedoms.
America’s founders knew that human corruption would put liberties of all kinds at risk. George Washington was realistic: “We must take human nature as we find it. Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.”3 To secure religious freedom from infringement our founders refused a state church and instead constitutionally guaranteed a free market of religion.
Religious freedom led to greater freedom and also greater devotion. According to Grim and Finke, “the rate of church attendance increased from 17 percent of the population in 1776 to 51 percent by 1890.”4
A Paradox: How America’s Founders Secured Religious Freedom
The founders believed that only adherence to Christian principles guaranteed religious freedom for all. This leaves most liberal academics quivering in indignation: “The founders were not evangelical Christians!” we’re told. It’s not true. But more important, it’s irrelevant.
Here’s the proper question: “What of the founders’ firm convictions are aligned with Scripture, derived only from Scripture, or self-evident but justified only by Scripture?” The founders almost unanimously believed in the soul’s immortality, divine judgment, providential acts, sin nature, moral absolutes, the human capacity to bear God’s image, order in the universe, public virtue, and the general teachings of the Bible.
America’s founders had no doubt about the relationship between public virtue and national success. This, in turn, grounded their belief in limited government, just war, and the importance of Christian influence in national life. They believed in religious liberty because without it no liberty is secure.
As Presbyterian pastor John Zubly warned the British government in the 1760s, “Americans are no idiots, and they appear determined not to be slaves.”5
Perhaps the American colonists just knew the scriptures better than we: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1) Are you ready to stand?
The Dictatorship of Relativism
Absurdity Reigns--for Now
By: Eric Metaxas|Published: September 21, 2016 7:00 AM
No--you haven’t lost your mind. Things really are crazy out there. And you can thank something called the dictatorship of relativism.
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Does it kind of feel like folks have lost their minds? That we’ve taken a collective walk through the looking glass and nothing is logical, nothing really makes sense? That you can look people square in the eye, assert a scientific, biological fact such as “if you have an x and a y chromosome and you have male sexual organs, then you are not a woman,” only to have them accuse you of being a hater or on the wrong side of history?
Or take abortion. Even some of the staunchest abortion supporters admit a fetus is a baby is a human being. But that doesn’t matter, because a woman has a right to do what she wants “with her own body.”
It’s sort of kooky. How have we reached this level of absurdity?
Well, as I explain in a recent article at Intercollegiate Review, welcome to “the dictatorship of relativism,” which, as Pope Benedict said, “does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”
As I explain in the article, I first encountered this kind of pervasive relativism as an undergraduate at Yale. I came from a working-class background, I actually believed in the truth, that it was beautiful, and worth living for and even dying for.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived at Yale (whose motto is “Lux et Veritas”—Latin for “light and truth”), to find out that much of the faculty and student body didn’t believe in Truth with a capital “T”. No, there were many truths, which of course told me that there was really no truth at all.
Chuck Colson said to test the validity of a worldview, follow it to its logical conclusion. The logical conclusion of relativism is absurdity. Non-sense. A worldview that undermines its own premises.
Not long after I graduated from Yale, Allan Bloom wrote his famous book, “The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students.” (There’s a subtitle for you!). Bloom wrote that “almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test . . . they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4.”
Bloom then tells the story of his students’ response to the Hindu custom known as sati: burning a widow alive on her husband’s funeral pyre. The British, of course, banned the custom, and sharply reminded the Hindu priests that the British had a different custom: hanging men who burned women alive.
How did the students react? Bloom said his students were so steeped in relativism they could only meekly reply “that the British should have never been there in the first place.” Heaven forbid they’d admit it’s wrong to burn women alive.
With relativism so deeply ensconced in our schools and culture, it’s no wonder that Christianity is increasingly viewed with a jaundiced eye. After all, Christians assert that there is a capital “T” Truth, and that we are made in His image—and that therefore every human life is precious. We dare to believe in inviolable moral laws as well—you know, like marriage is sacred and adultery is wrong. We’re kind of crazy like that.
But remember this next time you feel like despairing over the trajectory of our culture: The dictatorship of relativism is built on a self-contradicting foundation of sand. The truth, as Shakespeare wrote, will out. Always.
I’ve got more to say in my article “The Dictatorship of Relativism.” Come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary. We’ll link you to it.
Further Reading and Information
The Dictatorship of Relativism: Absurdity Reigns--for NowAs Eric reminds us, relativism is built on a faulty foundation, and is self-contradictory by its very nature. To read Eric's article "The Dictatorship of Relativism Comes to the Campus" from the Intercollegiate Review, click on the link below.
ResourcesThe Dictatorship of Relativism Comes to Campus
Eric Metaxas | Intercollegiate Review | Fall 2016
Available at the online bookstoreThe Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students
Allan Bloom | Simon & Schuster Publishers | April 2012
From the Canberra Declaration:
20 September 2016
October United Call for Prayer & Fasting for Marriage
The developments of last week have made it very clear that we are in a David and Goliath struggle for the preservation of marriage in Australia.
Both Labor and the Greens introduced Bills into Parliament on Monday 12 September that would redefine marriage and thus avoid a plebiscite by which Australians all could have their say. The next day the Coalition announced 11 February 2017 as the date of the promised plebiscite. They tabled a Bill in the House of Representatives to enable the plebiscite even though it could very well be defeated in the Senate. The week ended with a front-page report in The Weekend Australian explaining that "a ferocious campaign against Christian groups planning to meet on same-sex marriage has forced them to cancel the event at a major hotel next week".
However, amid these gloomy developments there is a bright ray of hope. Last week, the Australian Catholic Marriage & Family Council called for an historic month of prayer and fasting across the nation from 1-31 October.
They stated on their website, "We hope that in this time of national conversation on the subject of marriage we can encourage all to pray for the well-being of marriages and families, and in a particular way for people who are same-sex attracted or gender questioning. We also pray for a respectful national discussion on marriage."
Inspired by this step of faith, a cross-section of denominational church leaders, network leaders, Aboriginal church leaders and prayer leaders from across Australia have been asking God how they can get behind this important call to prayer. During a teleconference on Thursday 15 September they confirmed their commitment to pray and fast for marriage and families throughout the month of October. They issued a media release to mark this crucial prayer call the very next day.
We are happy to share that the Canberra Declaration will be cooperating with the organising team of the National Day of Prayer & Fasting in providing a daily email devotion comprising a scripture, short inspiration and prayer for all those who want this digital daily help. Then, fast as you are able.
Here are some ways that you can be involved in this strategic month of prayer and fasting for marriage and family.
It was with a sense of urgency that the Canberra Declaration came into being in 2010 when the redefinition of marriage had become an election issue. It states that "Lifelong marriage between a man and a woman guarantees children their biological birthright to a mother and a father and has a proven track record of providing them with protection, education, welfare, support and nurture. No other arrangement has improved upon the benefits of marriage. In the face of competing alternatives and moves to redefine marriage, we affirm the importance and social utility of marriage between a man and a woman and the families formed thereby."
Since then there have been numerous attempts to redefine marriage but not one of them has been successful. The Canberra Declaration believes this is a wonderful example of the grace of God that has largely been the result of prayer and fasting. So let us press forward in prayer.
"Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many" (2 Corinthians 1:11)
Thank you for your prayers and support at this crucial time in our nation's history.
David Rowsome & Warwick Marsh
PS We are excited to invite you to a special urgent "Battle for Marriage Webinar" this Tuesday 27 September at 8PM EST to give you further exclusive updates on the battle for marriage and how we can pray in October.
Also the Team at the Canberra Declaration and the National Day of Prayer & Fasting will make an important announcement about the timing and strategy for next year's National Day of Prayer & Fasting. Don't miss out!
REGISTER NOW for this webinar (all you need is a phone or computer)
Progressively Regressive Sexuality
A Return to Pagan Morality
By ERIC METAXAS
Sexual progressives claim to be ushering in a “brave new world” of freedom. But their “new” morality is as old as the hills.
How often have you heard sexual progressives claim that those of us who hold to traditional sexual morality and marriage are “on the wrong side of history?”
But as one new book points out, it’s the proponents of the sexual revolution who are embracing a sexual morality that history left behind millennia ago—in the dusty ruins of the Roman Forum.
Yes, today Western civilization is undergoing a dramatic cultural shift. In just a few short years our society has fundamentally altered the meaning of marriage, embraced the notion that men can become women, and is now promoting the idea that grown men should be welcome to share a bathroom with women and young girls. Not unexpectedly, we’re also seeing movement toward the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, and incest.
It’s precisely in times like this that we need some historical perspective. Which is why Lutheran pastor Matthew Rueger’s new book, “Sexual Morality in a Christless World,” is a timely godsend. In it, Rueger shows how Christian sexual morality rocked the pagan world of ancient Rome. The notions of self-giving love, sexual chastity, and marital fidelity were foreign, even shocking to the people of that time.
Citing existing scholarship, Rueger details the Roman sexual worldview that prevailed for hundreds of years. Women and children were viewed as sexual objects; slaves—male and female--could expect to be raped; there was widespread prostitution; and predatory homosexuality was common. Christian sexual morality might have been seen as repressive by the licentious, but it was a gift from God for their victims.
Rueger writes that “Claims in our day of being progressive and moving forward by accepting the ‘new prevailing views on sexuality and same-sex marriage' are horribly misinformed … Contemporary views about sexuality are simply a revival of an older and much less loving view of the world.”
But they are also a revival of an older and impoverished view of human beings. Imagine the reaction of a pagan Roman slave girl who learned for the first time that she had value—not monetary value as a piece of goods to be enjoyed or discarded by her owner—but eternal value because she was made in the very image of God.
Or imagine the pang of conscience felt by an unfaithful Roman husband when he learned that God became incarnate, and took on human flesh, and that how he treated his own body and the bodies of others mattered to God. Mattered immensely.
Folks, we can’t look away and ignore this unholy revival of pagan sexuality and its cheapened view of human beings. But we also can’t wring our hands in fear or throw them up in defeat. As Rueger points out, Christ and His Church radically transformed a far more sexually cruel and chaotic world than ours.
Look to those ancient believers who went before us: Rather than succumbing to or accommodating the spirit of the age, new converts in the early Church came to understand, as Rueger writes, that “Christian morality is based on Christ’s all-encompassing purity and self-emptying love…Christians could no longer live as the Greeks or Romans. Their worldview and self-view was distinctly different. They were now one with Christ in heart and soul.”
Now, their distinctiveness, as Rueger writes, “would not spare them from suffering; it would invite suffering.” It’s pretty clear now that the same holds true for us. Will we bend the knee to this revived pagan sexuality, or will we hold out to a needy world the freedom of God’s plan for human sexuality?
To get your copy of Matthew Rueger’s “Sexual Morality in a Christless World,” simply come to our online bookstore at BreakPoint.org.
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Progressively Regressive Sexuality: A Return to Pagan Morality
The Christian worldview brought a revolution to the Roman culture of sexual licentiousness. There's certainly no reason to revisit that page in history, so as Eric said, let's demonstrate to our own culture God's beneficial plan for human sexuality. For further reading, click on the link below to get a copy of Matthew Rueger's book "Sexual Morality in a Christless World."
Sexual Morality in a Christless World
Matthew Rueger | Concordia Publishing House | June 2016
Sex After Christianity
Rod Dreher | The American Conservative | April 11, 2013
Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality
Chuck Colson | BreakPoint.org | October 10, 2014
The Can Opener