Those who call for personal change—like Christian ministers—are now being told they need to change.
In California, the State Senate continues to push a resolution that condemns religious leaders and counselors who teach the historic positions of their respective faiths.
Such teaching, we’re told, is “harmful” towards those drawn to alternative lifestyles—including those different views on sex and gender.
But: The call to personal transformation is found at the very root of Christian theology—and Christianity is not alone in promoting the idea that people are flawed and in need of personal transformation.
America has long recognized the value of such perspectives. But today, First Amendment-protected religious liberty is under fire. Ironically, those who encourage others to change spiritually are now being told they need to change.
People are free to disagree with the message of the minister.
They ought not try to silence that minister.Read More »
Recently, Democrat presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, decided to try his hand at Bible application. He argued that the federal government should prohibit any wage lower than $15/hour.
And he quoted the book of Proverbs: “Whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.”
When it comes to failure, that’s what we call a two-fer: It was both bad theology and bad economics.
First, bad theology: The Bible is a very long book and it does not specify a specific wage level, ever. The New Testament parable of the workers seems to argue in favor of mutually agreed upon wages, not mandated wages.
And then we have Mayor Pete’s bad economics: There is no doubt that a $15/hr. minimum wage would create a spike in unemployment, and the hardest hit would be the children of the working class and the poor.
Let’s hope the nation is not fooled by either bad economics or bad theology.Read More »
Theology roared back into the headlines recently but in this case it wasn’t Christian theology but Islamic theology. This has to do with the tragic attack that took place at a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian officials report that over 300 persons were killed in a mass attack.
What most major news outlets took days to realize is that the reason that members of the Islamic State felt theologically justified in killing other Muslims was that these particular Muslims were Sufis—a branch of Islam considered heretical by most Muslims.
You cannot possibly interpret or understand this horrible news coming out of Egypt without acknowledging the reality of the theological. The problem is that those behind the secular worldview are absolutely certain that theology will virtually disappear, everywhere, but a news story like this reminds us that it hasn’t happened everywhere, yet. And furthermore, theology hasn’t disappeared even very close to the home of the New York Times.
They just think it has.
500 years ago Martin Luther’s started a debate by nailing a document with 95 theological assertions to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral, triggering the Reformation. No matter which side of that theological debate you’re on, you should be grateful for the ultimate effects of this action on Western liberty and prosperity.
Luther took existing strands of thought and weaved them together into a powerfully influential Biblical argument for freedom of conscience that ultimately laid the groundwork for our American 1st Amendment.
Many of these 95 assertions concerned economic exploitation. And Luther’s doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers helped to create a culture which honors hard work and innovation.
In the lands influenced by the Reformation, living standards have increased 100 fold; ordinary people who used to routinely die in their 30s, now often live into their 80s, and child mortality has gone from tragically common to increasingly rare.
Luther wasn’t perfect, but the good that he preached, is needed now as much as it was then.