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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
How would you like the job of building this road? Reminds me of the seven mile bridge in the Florida Keys.
The road is built on several small islands and reefs, and is crossed by eight bridges, several roads and overpasses. This road has a view of the open sea, which is rare
on the roads along the Norwegian coast. You can see fjords and mountains near the road. The spectacular road quickly became a tourist attraction, insofar precautions should
be displayed while driving, because of the attendance of the road by the local population and visitors. Imagine you are driving
Dear Friends,A common misconception about Christianity that has drawn many away from practicing it is that it has “too many rules” about moral behavior. Prohibitions against things like premarital sex and drunkenness are seen as arbitrary laws that impinge on people’s “freedom” to do what they want. The Ten Commandments are constantly ridiculed in popular culture (and even deliberately destroyed with cars) as hopelessly old-fashioned and obsolete.What many have failed to see is that having boundaries for moral behavior is actually freeing. An excellent analogy for this is to picture a train on railroad tracks. Strictly speaking, one could look at a train on the tracks and think, “That train is clearly being restricted by the tracks—if it could only be free of the tracks, it would have more leeway to go where it pleases.” But common sense tells us that trains are dependent on railroad tracks to keep their wheels aligned and to allow them to travel great distances at high speeds in a very efficient way—tracks give trains the freedom to operate as they were designed to operate. Anyone who has seen a train going off the tracks knows full well of the disastrous results.When we go “off the rails,” the results aren’t pretty—bad choices can be clearly judged by their fruits (Luke 6:43-45). For example, premarital sex most often leads to broken hearts and STDs, and drunkenness leads to loss of self-control and can cause the physical endangerment of others.God created us in order that we might fully flourish and be happy by following His precepts—the “railroad tracks” that are designed for this purpose. We see evidence of this in our lives as faithful Christians, as explained here: “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin’” (Romans 6:17). May we always walk in the Truth of Christ, which will set us free (John 8:32).Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesOn Trump's pick of Kavanaugh, conservatives should trust but verify – Tony PerkinsForcing faith-based agencies out of the system is a disservice to women – Mary Beth WaddellIn Win for Religious Freedom, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reminds Us Why Judicial Nominations Matter – Travis WeberWhy California Senate Bill 320 is Harmful to Women’s Mental Health – Sarah StewartWhy the Hysteria Over Roe? Because it Would Strike a Blow to Eugenics – Patrina MosleyWill the Supreme Court Save Sexual Orientation Change Efforts? – Peter Sprigg Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareCalifornia bill banning books, therapy to help unwanted gay attraction stalls amid lawsuit fears – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsWisconsin’s Marquette Decision Is A Big Win For Free Speech And A Sign Of Trouble – Margot Cleveland, The FederalistMaryland Church Banned from Services in Its Own Building Fights Back in Court – Josh Shepherd, The StreamPastor under fire for high school football devotional – Todd Starnes, Fox NewsPlanet Fitness bans woman for objecting to sharing locker room with ‘transgender’ man – Doug Mainwaring, LifeSiteNewsJudge sides with University of Iowa Christian student group accused of discrimination – Vanessa Miller, The GazetteGOP Volunteers Kicked Out of Uber As Driver Says ‘Welcome To The Resistance’ – Julia Cohen, The Daily CallerUniversity of Minnesota mulls expelling students for not using transgender pronouns – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsInternational Religious Freedom'Pure Genocide': Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostReligious Persecution Again Rises Worldwide – Doug Bandow, The American SpectatorA British Doctor Is Fired for Affirming Biological Reality – Michael Brown, The StreamIn Nicaragua, Paramilitaries Attack Bishop and Besiege Students at Church – National Catholic RegisterTurkish Court Sends American Pastor Brunson Back to Prison – Jennifer Wishon, CBN NewsMilitary Religious FreedomMilitary Sees Increase In Conflicts Over First Amendment Freedoms – Nicole Russell, The Federalist LifeAbortion3 reasons why Roe v. Wade will fall, despite past Supreme Court decisions – Kristi Burton Brown, Live ActionA Closer Look at NIFLA v. Becerra and the Role of Crisis Pregnancy Centers – Helen Alvaré, Family StudiesThe Jewish Position On Abortion Isn’t What You Think It Is – Mitchell Rocklin and Howard Slugh, Public DiscourseJudge Rules Trump Administration Can Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz – Steven Ertelt, LifeNewsAdoptionThis Woman's Search for Her Birth Mother Comes With a Beautiful Message About the Gift of Adoption – Katie Franklin, The Christian PostPoll: Ensure All Adoption Agencies Can Continue to Serve Families and Children – Elizabeth Fender, Heritage FoundationFamilies Warn of 'Devastating' Consequences If Adoption Agencies Are Shut Down Over Gay Marriage Beliefs – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostBioethicsOpponents of Assisted Suicide Offer a Message of Hope – Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Stream FamilyMarriageThree Sisters, Three Weddings in Three Months – Patti Armstrong, National Catholic RegisterMaximizing Everyday Moments in Your Marriage – Greg Smalley, Focus on the FamilyThe Best Way to Properly Apologize to Your Spouse – Ted Cunningham, Focus on the FamilyParenting6 Reasons Millennials Should Stop And Embrace Parenthood – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The FederalistWhy Parents Should Encourage Risky Play – Justin Coulson, Family StudiesEconomics/EducationDecision to live together negatively affects wealth accumulation – Iowa State UniversityCongress should end marriage penalties in the tax code and welfare system – Erik Randolph, Georgia Center for OpportunityFaith/Character/CultureWhat Is Best in Life? Jesus And the Mayo Clinic Know! – Elizabeth Scalia, Word on FireSteve Ditko’s Great Gift To The World: ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’ – Aaron Gleason, The FederalistHow conversations with my father have shaped my faith – Benjamin Ball, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionThe Extinction of the Middle Child – Adam Sternbergh, The CutThe Most Dangerous Place to Live: The Subtle Perils of the Past – Greg Morse, Desiring GodI Advocated Civility, But Didn't Practice it When it Mattered – Liberty McArtor, The StreamHuman SexualityWhat do I do if my child doesn’t seem to fit with typical gender norms? – Jared Kennedy, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionPodcast: Am I Less Human If I’m Sexually Unfulfilled? – Sam Allberry, Desiring GodThe Myth of the "Desistance Myth" – Julian Vigo, Public DiscourseFor Women’s Health, Maybe It’s Time to Focus on Natural Pregnancy Prevention Methods – Maria Archer, Family StudiesHuman Trafficking277 Arrested In Huge Florida Undercover Sex Trafficking Sting – Fight the New DrugIn Minnesota, Porn Is Now Officially Recognized As A Contributor To Human Trafficking – Fight the New DrugOne Train Passenger’s Tweet Saved 25 Girls From Human Trafficking – Fight the New DrugPornographyIs Pornography Use Increasing Loneliness, Particularly for Young People? – Mark Butler, Family StudiesYour Friend Just Told You They Struggle With Porn—Now What Do You Do? – Fight the New DrugGroundbreaking Study Finds Video Game Addiction Is Linked To Compulsive Porn Use – Fight the New Drug“My Life Isn’t Your Porn” – Thousands of Women are Protesting Spycam Pornography – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual ExploitationSmartphones have given your teen daughter a secret life – and it’s destroying her – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews
There are significant differences between pro-life pregnancy resource centers that seek to provide pregnant women with alternatives to abortion and pro-family therapists or counselors that seek to provide people with unwanted same-sex attractions with an alternative to a homosexual identity and lifestyle. However, they have one thing in common—they are both loathed by the sexual revolutionaries. And in both cases, anti-faith “progressives” have tried to employ the machinery of government in an effort to legally stifle the work and message of these groups or individuals.The recent Supreme Court ruling in NIFLA v. Becerra on the rights of pregnancy resource centers has given new legal hope to the practitioners of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), which legislators in several states have now banned for clients under age 18. (Others have written about this development here and here.)NIFLA dealt with a California law, supported by abortion proponents, which required pregnancy resource centers to post specific, government-prescribed notices. Centers with a medical license were required to post a notice indicating how women could obtain abortions; unlicensed centers were required to post a prominent notice to the effect that they were not licensed to provide medical care. One network of pregnancy centers, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) sued.In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that law, ruling that it compelled the pregnancy centers to proclaim a message they didn’t want to, in violation of the First Amendment.Like NIFLA in the pregnancy center context, defenders of the right to seek counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions (and of the right to offer such counseling) have argued that free speech also protects their activities. In challenges to laws banning sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) with minors by licensed mental health providers in California and New Jersey, they argued that such laws in effect limit what a counselor or therapist may say to a client in the privacy of his or her office, and thus infringe upon the free speech of the care-giver.Courts in two federal circuits rejected those arguments. But one of those decisions, Pickup v. Brown, came in for unfavorable attention in Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion in the NIFLA case—thus raising serious doubts about whether these therapy bans could survive scrutiny by the Supreme Court.California’s therapy ban was actually challenged in two separate lawsuits. In Welch v. Brown, a U.S. district court struck down the law, but in Pickup a district court judge upheld it. The Ninth Circuit consolidated the two cases on appeal, and a three-judge panel upheld the finding in Pickup and overturned the one in Welch.The plaintiffs then appealed for en banc review by the full Ninth Circuit court, but they were rejected. However, three judges dissented from the denial of en banc review, backed by a strong opinion by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain.The Pickup opinion rested in part on the assertion that speech engaged in by licensed professionals in the course of their work is somehow exempt from scrutiny under the First Amendment (“SB 1172, as a regulation of professional conduct, does not violate the free speech rights of SOCE practitioners . . .”). This is exactly the argument that Justice Thomas rejected in his majority opinion in NIFLA. What is particularly striking is how much Justice Thomas’s majority opinion in NIFLA resembles Judge O’Scannlain’s dissenting opinion in the Pickup appeal.Check out the comparison (citations, except to the Pickup case, are omitted):Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court, NIFLA v. Becerra (majority opinion) June 26, 2018. . .[p. 6-8]The First Amendment, applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits laws that abridge the freedom of speech. When enforcing this prohibition, our precedents distinguish between content-based and content-neutral regulations of speech. Content-based regulations “target speech based on its communicative content.” As a general matter, such laws “are presumptively unconstitutional and may be justified only if the government proves that they are narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests.” This stringent standard reflects the fundamental principle that governments have “‘no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.’”The licensed notice is a content-based regulation of speech. By compelling individuals to speak a particular message, such notices “alte[r] the content of [their]speech.”. . . Although the licensed notice is content based, the Ninth Circuit did not apply strict scrutiny because it concluded that the notice regulates “professional speech.” Some Courts of Appeals have recognized “professional speech” as a separate category of speech that is subject to different rules. See, e.g., . . . Pickup v. Brown, 740 F. 3d 1208, 1227–1229 (CA9 2014) . . . . These courts define “professionals” as individuals who provide personalized services to clients and who are subject to “a generally applicable licensing and regulatory regime.” . . . Pickup, supra, at 1230. “Professional speech” is then defined as any speech by these individuals that is based on “[their] expert knowledge and judgment,” or that is “within the confines of [the] professional relationship,” Pickup, supra, at 1228. So defined, these courts except professional speech from the rule that content-based regulations of speech are subject to strict scrutiny. See . . . Pickup, supra, at 1053– 1056 . . . .But this Court has not recognized “professional speech” as a separate category of speech. Speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by “professionals.” This Court has “been reluctant to mark off new categories of speech for diminished constitutional protection.” And it has been especially reluctant to “exemp[t] a category of speech from the normal prohibition on content-based restrictions.” This Court’s precedents do not permit governments to impose content-based restrictions on speech without “‘persuasive evidence . . . of a long (if heretofore unrecognized) tradition’” to that effect.This Court’s precedents do not recognize such a tradition for a category called “professional speech.”Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Pickup v. Brown (dissent from denial of en banc review)January 29, 2014. . .The Federal courts have never recognized a freestanding exception to the First Amendment for state professional regulations. Indeed authoritative precedents have established that neither professional regulations generally, nor even a more limited subclass of such rules, remain categorically outside of the First Amendment’s reach. . . . The Supreme Court, however, has clearly warned us inferior courts against arrogating to ourselves “any ‘freewheeling authority to declare new categories of speech outside the scope of the First Amendment.’” The panel cites no case holding that speech, uttered by professionals to their clients, does not actually constitute “speech” for purposes of the First Amendment. And that should not surprise us—for the Supreme Court has not recognized such a category.IIIThe Supreme Court has chastened us lower courts for creating, out of whole cloth, new categories of speech to which the First Amendment does not apply. But, that is exactly what the panel’s opinion accomplishes in this case, concealing its achievement by casually characterizing the communications prohibited by SB 1172 as nonexpressive conduct. Of course, this begs the question. The panel provides no authority to support its broad intimations that the words spoken by therapists and social workers, if they fall within the statutory language of SB 1172, should receive no protection at all from the First Amendment.. . .But as to the threshold issue—may California remove from the First Amendment’s ambit the speech of certain professionals when the State disfavors its content or its purpose?—the Supreme Court has definitively and unquestionably said “No.” It is no longer within our discretion to disagree.The Supreme Court’s recent NIFLA case is not the first to question the reasoning of the 9th Circuit in upholding the California therapy ban in Pickup v. Brown. A 2017 en banc decision by the full 11th Circuit court struck down, on free speech grounds, a Florida law that barred doctors from asking patients whether they had guns in their home. In this decision (Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida, February 16, 2017), Judge Adalberto Jordan, writing for nine of the eleven judges, also questioned the 9th Circuit ruling in Pickup:The Ninth Circuit also adopted Justice White’s approach, but in a case upholding a California law prohibiting mental health practitioners from providing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) therapy—meant to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual—to children under the age of 18. See Pickup v. Brown, 740 F.3d 1208, 1225–29 (9th Cir. 2013) (as amended on rehearing). . . .There are serious doubts about whether Pickup was correctly decided. As noted earlier, characterizing speech as conduct is a dubious constitutional enterprise. See also id. at 1215–21 (O’Scannlain, J., dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc) (criticizing the Pickup panel for, among other things, not providing a “principled doctrinal basis” for distinguishing “between utterances that are truly ‘speech,’ on the one hand, and those that are, on the other hand, somehow ‘treatment’ or ‘conduct’”).. . .“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion . . . .” W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943) (Jackson, J.). Our decision applies this timeless principle to speech between doctors and patients, regardless of the content. The First Amendment requires the protection of ideas that some people might find distasteful because tomorrow the tables might be turned.The Supreme Court precedent of NIFLA is clearly more significant, since it is binding nationwide. Of course, a key difference between the NIFLA (pregnancy center) case and the Pickup (therapy) case is that NIFLA involved what is called “compelled speech” (the government forcing a private entity to communicate the message favored by the government); whereas Pickup involves an actual prohibition by the government against private speech that is disfavored by the government (if its aim is helping a client to change sexual orientation). Nevertheless, by affirming that “professional speech” is protected by the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has cast serious doubt on the constitutionality of bans on sexual orientation change efforts.This should give hope to clients seeking to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions and to the counselors and therapists who help them. And it should give pause to legislators, like those in California now considering an even more draconian therapy ban (AB 2943).Bans on sexual orientation change efforts lack any merit to begin with. But legislators tempted to vote for them (and governors tempted to sign them) should realize that there is a good chance these bills are unconstitutional, and that they will draw a rebuke from the U.S. Supreme Court in the fairly near future.
Sons of Guns: Violence Grows in the Void of Faith and Family February 22, 2018 While Americans try to cope with the losses in Florida, they're saying goodbye to someone else: America's pastor, Billy Graham. Never has our nation so desperately needed to hear the message of hope and healing ...
Friday, August 7th at 7pm Saturday, August 8th at 6pm Sunday, August 9th at 9:45am, 10:45am, and 5:30pm Join us for revival services with Dr. Peter Ruckman. Dr. Ruckman is the founder of Pensacola Bible Institute and Pastor of Bible Baptist Church of Pensacola, Florida. His unique preaching incorporates chalk drawings to truly ...
When was the last time that you did something really dopey? A few weeks ago I heard an audio clip of a 911 call made by a woman in Florida who was beginning to panic because her car battery was dead and she had locked herself inside the car. With a tinge of hysteria she begged for help because the power windows were disabled by the dead battery, it was getting very hot in the car, and she wasn't feeling well. However, she handled it with great aplomb when the operator told her to pull up on the knob for the door lock and then open the door. As the clip comes to an end, one can actually hear the dear lady becoming aware of her dullness. She plainly apologizes and bids the operator a good day. However simple minded she was, something must be said of her humility. In the very same week, a few thousand miles away, President Obama accomplished a first among American presidents. He performed perhaps the greatest breach of etiquette of any American president, living or dead. In England, upon meeting a member of the royal family, rather than the customary handshake, he bowed, bending deeply at the waist. One might initially think, being in the United Kingdom, that he bowed to her majesty the Queen. Sorry, try again. Our president didn't choose to bow to the jolly Queen. Barack Hussein Obama showed deep appreciation and humble devotion to the murderous enslaver, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Instead of reciprocating the bow, denoting equality and mutual respect, the King waited for the act of adoration to be complete and then shook Obama's hand. If you ask me, it was a pretty dopey thing to do for a man holding the highest office of the world's only superpower and leader of the free world. I would say very dopey, if I were to put it bluntly. Our president - however humble he tried to be, something must be said of his dimness. Although, unlike the security challenged lady in Florida who recognized her hilarious error, those surrounding our president refuse even to acknowledge the obvious. Therefore, the obstinacy continues to abound with a presidential aide denying that the bow was even a bow at all. According to Ben Smith of Politico, an Obama aide defended, "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hands with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." The ridiculous denial of an obvious act of fealty sounds like something out of the "my dad can beat up your dad" school of playground insults. Hint to the White House - admit it, move on, and don't make the same mistake again. Americans should not bow to anyone other than Jesus Christ. They should worship none other than God Almighty. We are a free nation, and our ancestors fought long and hard to ensure our liberty. Hence, the sight alone of seeing the Commander-in-Chief self-deprecate before arguably one of the five worst dictators in the world makes my blood boil. But for everyone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to deny it, compounds the problem ten-fold. Learn this Mr. and Mrs. White House Aide, the American people are not idiots, but they are forgiving. We are not helpless, but we are trusting. Don't treat us like kids. Try treating us like adults, and maybe the same respect will be returned, with a firm handshake, instead of groveling genuflection. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
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