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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
The California bill SB 320—also known as the “College Student Right to Access Act”—would have required the state’s 34 public universities with student health centers to provide abortion pills on campus to more than 400,000 female students by January 1, 2022. California would have been the first state to require access to chemical abortions on campus, which would have made SB 320—which shows reckless disregard for young women—model legislation for the rest of the country. This bill was sponsored by state Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) in conjunction with The Women’s Foundation of California, a publicly-funded liberal feminist organization that has succeeded in getting 32 of their sponsored bills signed by the governor.Though SB 320 passed the senate and state assembly, Governor Jerry Brown thankfully vetoed this disastrous legislation just yesterday. In explaining his veto, Governor Brown observed that having to commute a few miles off-campus for an abortion is not an inconvenience for students.SB 320’s title deceptively includes “right to access” language despite the fact that there is no proof that female students do not have access to abortion in California. In fact, California has more than 500 abortion providers, and abortion is covered by student health insurance plans and the state’s medical assistance program, Medi-Cal. Under Obamacare, students can remain on their parent’s health plans—all of which in California cover abortions.Here are five serious flaws with SB 320 we should be aware of when this issue comes up again:University student health center are not equipped to handle the liability involved in providing on-campus abortions. SB 320 does little to resolve the liability concerns for universities, who will be forced to be directly involved in providing abortions. Potential complications that can arise from taking the abortion pill range from excessive bleeding and infection to an incomplete abortion requiring surgery and even death. Also not addressed in the bill are admitting privileges to nearby hospitals or emergency assistance in case the young women experience a complication.No verification of the unborn baby’s gestational age is required. These college health centers do not have ultrasound equipment, which are vitally important to determine the unborn baby’s gestational age and in order to diagnose the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. This poses the very real danger of young women self-administering the abortion pill too late in the pregnancy, thereby increasing their chance of experiencing physically hazardous complications.No pre-abortion counseling is offered. It is disturbingly common for a young woman who is pregnant to feel pressure from the father of her child as well as her family to abort, especially in abusive situations. Will college health centers be able to determine if women are being pressured or forced to have an abortion? A study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that over 73 percent of women who have had abortions admitted that they experienced at least subtle forms of pressure to abort their babies.There is no requirement to inform women of the health risks of taking the abortion pill. College health centers that dispense the abortion pill are not required to inform the young women of all the risks and complications that can result from ingesting the drug, unlike abortion clinics in a number of states that are required to. This begs the question: will there be counseling provided for a woman who may undergo shock and trauma in her dorm room at the sight of her abortion?The bill’s funding mechanism is purposefully vague. SB 320 claims that it will rely on private funding until 2021, but this ignores the fact that a school clinic’s overhead is paid by taxpayers, and the language of the bill leaves open the possibility of taxpayer-funded abortion after 2021 by providing no safeguard to prohibit state funds or student fees from paying for the ongoing support of this program. Public funding of abortion is something that a majority of Americans strongly oppose. According to a recent Marist poll, 60 percent of Americans strongly oppose the use of their tax dollars to pay for abortions. With already-skyrocketing college tuition costs, students and parents will be less than enthusiastic about student fees being raised, especially if those fees go towards abortion-inducing pills.While California schools are going out of their way to provide abortions to female students who may be pregnant, the bill does nothing to fortify access to knowing their rights under Title IX, if they choose to keep their baby. All public and private schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any federal funds must comply with Title IX which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex—including pregnancy and parental status in educational programs and activities. A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights if they believe their school has violated this federal law. To learn more about how Title IX protects you from discrimination at school if you are pregnant or parenting, go here.Stay tuned for more on this topic from Family Research Council.
Last night, we entered into the feast of Tabernacles -- in Hebrew -- Sukkot. Sukkot is known as "The Feast" in which God commands us to rejoice. As we entered this feast of rejoicing on Sunday night, I think it is only fitting that we commit ourselves to a life of joy. "But how?" you say. We need to make a choice -- a choice to rejoice! Wow, I'm a poet and didn't know it, lol!The post Choose to Rejoice! appeared first on Worthy Christian Devotional - Daily Devotions.
“Safe, legal, and rare.”That’s how the Democrats described their position on abortion over 20 years ago. Nevertheless, in just one year, 321,384 lives were aborted by Planned Parenthood, and nearly 60 million lives have been lost to abortion in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade.First off, anything legal is hardly ever rare, and when it comes to abortions, it doesn’t take a genius to know they are not safe—physically or psychologically.We know the phrase “safe, legal, and rare” was just political coaxing mixed with just enough moral undertones to put people’s consciences at ease about abortion rights. But as usual, when you give the Left an inch, they build a highway.Now, Democrats in California want young women to have as many abortions as they want, right from their dorm rooms. This is the purpose of California bill SB 320, the first bill of its kind, which has made its way onto Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.SB 320—deceptively titled the “College Student Right to Access Act”—would require public universities with on-campus student health centers to provide abortion pills to young college-aged women by January 1, 2022. If signed, California would be the first state to require access to chemical abortions on-campus, and abortion activists will make SB 320 model legislation for the rest of the country.Legal abortion has created a pathway for bills like SB 320 that try to reinforce the idea that abortion is healthcare. Elective abortion—the taking of innocent unborn life—should never be considered healthcare, and if anything, legislation like SB 320 shows a reckless disregard for the health of young women and presumes that education and motherhood are not compatible.We’ve known since 2006 that the abortion pill regimen is dangerous, with thousands of reported adverse health events, including several deaths. Recently, the FDA reported 1,445 more adverse events from 2012-2017. Since the introduction of the abortion pill in 2000, the drug has caused 22 deaths, 97 ectopic pregnancies, 1,041 hospitalizations, 598 blood transfusions as a result of blood loss, 411 infections, and 69 severe infections, with a total of 4,185 adverse events reported.A former Planned Parenthood manager, Abby Johnson, had this experience with her medical abortion:A blood clot the size of a lemon had fallen into my bath water. Was that my baby? I knew this huge clot was not going to go down the drain, so I reached down to pick it up. I was able to grasp the large clot with both hands and move it to the toilet.Then came the excruciating pain again. I jumped out of the shower and sat on the toilet. Another lemon sized blood clot. Then another. And another. I thought I was dying. This couldn’t be normal. Planned Parenthood didn’t ever tell me this could happen.One of SB 320’s co-sponsors, ACT for Women and Girls, says SB 320 is “about making sure that our young people are prepared for their life.”Can you imagine the mental trauma that would occur to a young woman who sees her abortion take place in her college dorm room, while at the same time enduring the physical trauma of excruciating pain?We know already that abortion negatively impacts a woman’s mental health. One study in the British Journal of Psychiatry analyzed 22 studies that detailed women who were post-abortive and found that they were more likely to have issues with substance abuse and had greater anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts than non-abortive women.Instead of “preparing” women for life, the abortion pill is setting them up to be more traumatized through life.SB 320 does not prepare men or women for life, to take responsibility for their actions, and make wise, moral choices.In reality, having the abortion pill readily available steps from college dorm rooms does nothing but incentivize the prevailing hook-up culture. Will the future of college “sex weeks” not only include condoms but abortion pills too?Neither does it enhance the dignity of women. Instead, SB 320 treats women as sex objects, implying that “if she wakes up pregnant, it’s no big deal, since she can easily go to the health center to get some abortion pills.”No accountability, no responsibility—the gifts of modern feminism.Modern feminists place opposition between education, work, and family for women. If you’re a young college student who thinks she is pregnant, modern feminists say abortion is the safest route to ensure you will not be uneducated and poor (as if this is the worst thing that can happen to you… the slight elitism should not go unnoticed). Feminists proudly tout they are pro-choice, but the only choice they are in favor of is telling you to abort your child.There are serious concerns that are not addressed in SB 320 that make the bill look rushed and politicized. SB 320 disregards the risks to women’s health, the potential liability to schools, and unclear fungibility of taxpayer funds. The bill’s funding mechanism is purposefully vague. Private funding until 2021 ignores the fact that a school clinic’s overhead is paid by taxpayers, and the language of the bill leaves open taxpayer-funded abortion after that.SB 320 leaves more questions than answers in giving women unsupervised access to abortion.As the abortion industry creates victims, the pro-life movement creates victors.For instance, 24-year-old single mom Briana Williams graduated from Harvard Law School with her one-year-old daughter, and many other students have shared their stories.SB 320 is not empowering or safe for women. Better options are prevailing, and those efforts should be supported and funded. Tell Governor Brown how this bill will harm young women and place public universities at risk.Resources for Women with Unplanned PregnanciesPregnantoncampus.comPregnant on Campus is an initiative started by Students for Life of America to empower women to choose life by providing resources and support for pregnant and parenting students on campus.AbortionPillReversal.comIf a woman takes the first pill of the abortion pill regime and then has second thoughts, there is still a way to stop the process. For more information, visit AbortionPillReversal.com. For emergencies, there is a hotline at 877-558-0333.Find a Pregnancy Center Near YouCare Net pregnancy centers offer accurate and helpful information in a compassionate environment. If you think you may be pregnant and are in search of information about pregnancy options, a free pregnancy test, or post-decision support, the experts at your local Care Net pregnancy center can help. Search here to find one near you.
Dear Friends,After Labor Day, a common emotion that is experienced by many of us is one of melancholy. We get the sense that the season is beginning to change from summer to fall, and with it, many of us seem to be thrust back in to our roles as workers and students after our summer vacations and school breaks, with all the responsibilities and stress that goes along with it. It’s notable that fully 87 percent of people in the world don’t particularly enjoy their jobs, and I’m sure most adult readers remember childhood feelings of dread at the thought of going back to school after summer break.What’s important to remember during this time of transition is that work is actually a gift from God that is meant to fulfill us. John Cuddeback writes: “…work has a humanizing power: [in] some important sense it both expresses and brings about our humanity… Our daily work should … provide a basic and irreplaceable experience of human fulfillment … We can first of all seek the humanizing element in our daily work—whatever that work might be.”In order for us to be fulfilled by our work, we must be engaged by it, and there are helpful steps we can take to be more productive at and satisfied with our jobs. During this season of new beginnings, let’s make a special effort to use our God-given strengths and talents to excel in our work, not just for the benefit of us and our families, but for the betterment of society and to give glory to the Giver of all that we have.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 ArticlesWhy Judge Kavanaugh Should Be Confirmed to the Supreme Court – Travis Weber and Chris GacekWhat to Expect From the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing – Ken BlackwellCalifornia’s ‘Must Stay Gay’ Bill Is Nearing Passage. Here’s the Severe Harm It Would Do. – Peter SpriggSOGI Law Forces Catholic Adoption Provider to Close After 95 Years – David ClossonForced Use of False Pronouns Kills Faith and Freedom – Cathy RuseNew CDC Numbers Show the Sexual Revolution Keeps Making Things Worse – Cathy RuseIndia’s Opportunity for Religious Freedom – Travis WeberUpdate on California’s AB 2943: Therapy Ban Assaulting Freedom of Speech and Religion Passes Senate – Peter Sprigg3 Ways in Which Brett Kavanaugh Has Supported Religious Liberty – Travis Weber Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareDespite my court win, Colorado Civil Rights Commission is coming after me again – Jack Phillips, USA TodaySouthern Poverty Law Center ‘Hate’ Labels Deserve a Vigorous Response – Michael Farris, National ReviewSoCal Harvest: Thousands to 'Take a Stand' for Bible Amid Greg Laurie's Billboard Controversy – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostPastor Faces Eviction for Hosting Home Bible Study – ToddStarnes.com‘In God We Trust’ Motto On Currency Deemed Constitutional By Court After Atheists Complain – Kassy Dillon, The Daily WireThe Transgender Language War – Abigail Shrier, The Wall Street JournalTwo-thirds of conservatives don't trust Facebook, say they're being censored – Jennifer Harper, The Washington TimesChristian Cake Baker Turns the Tables, Sues Colorado for Anti-Religious Bias – Thomas Jipping, The Daily SignalInternational Religious FreedomNigerian Girl Who Refused to Renounce Jesus for Her Freedom Begs for Help in Newly Released Audio – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostThe Shameful Abandonment of the Yazidis – Judith Bergman, The Christian PostEuropean Union Religious Freedom Report LifeAbortionWhy we should work to overturn abortion laws – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission'Most Damning' Planned Parenthood Videos Yet Set for Release if Judge Lifts Gag Order – Tyler O’Neil, PJ MediaCalifornia state assembly passes law mandating abortion on college campuses – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live ActionTrump administration moves to cut Planned Parenthood funding sooner – Live ActionAdoptionStates Must Stop the War on Faith-Based Adoption Agencies – Monica Burke, The Daily SignalIs it OK to get attached to a foster child? – Ashley Gorman, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionThe Other Side of Foster Care – Jason Johnson, Family StudiesBioethicsOregon dives deeper into assisted suicide with new drug policy – Bradley Mattes, LifeSiteNewsFamilies of assisted suicide victims plead for the killing to end – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live Action FamilyMarriageFor Better or Worse: The Marriage-Health Connection – Aaron Cheesman, Sacramento MagazineHow (and Why) Government Should Invest in Marriage – Alan J. Hawkins and Hal Boyd, Public DiscourseWhy Every Sane Society Encourages Marriage, Not Divorce – Chuck Chalberg, Intellectual TakeoutAn Open Letter from Young Adults to Married Couples – Allegra Thatcher, The StreamHospital Wedding of Terminally Ill Woman a Powerful Witness – Maria Ximena Rondon, National Catholic RegisterParentingStop Criminalizing Parenthood – Kerry McDonald, Intellectual TakeoutHow to Reassure Your Children of Who They Are in God's Eyes – Sara Hagerty, Focus on the FamilyMotherhood: Why Society is Making it the Most Stress-Ridden Career – Veronika Winkels, Intellectual TakeoutTalking with Our Children About Homosexuality – Lucy Olson, The Gospel CoalitionHow Low-Energy Parents Can Get Their Children to Cooperate – Zac Alstin, Intellectual TakeoutTeach Them About Marriage Before the World Does – Jani Ortlund, Desiring GodEconomics/EducationHow Our Education System Fails Most Students – Oren Cass, Family StudiesWant More Power To The People? Choose Capitalism – Andy Pudzer, The FederalistStrong Families Make Strong Schools – Brianna Heldt, National Catholic Register7 Things I'd Do if I Wanted to Keep Poor People Poor – Brian Balfour, Intellectual TakeoutFaith/Character/CultureWhy Everything Is Wonderful But Nobody’s Happy, And What To Do About It – Nathanael Blake, The FederalistHow an unsatisfying life leads to spiritual freedom – Amy Simpson, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionMiracle Baby Born at 22 Weeks and Given a 2% Chance of Survival Heads Home – Micaiah Bilger, Life NewsOnly 14 Percent Of Americans Changed Their Minds Because Of Something On Social Media – Nicole Russell, The FederalistKindness: A Pathway to a Satisfying Life – Barry Brownstein, Intellectual TakeoutWhy It Matters That Teens Are Reading Less – Jean Twenge, Intellectual TakeoutDon’t Trust the Peace in Your Heart – Matt Rogers, The Gospel CoalitionHuman SexualityCan Sexual Orientation Change? – Michael Cook, Intellectual TakeoutI Loved My Girlfriend—but God Loved Me More – Jackie Hill Perry, Christianity TodaySTDs continue rapid rise in U.S., setting new record, CDC says – Linda Carroll, NBC NewsPornographyAmazon Pushes Pornography Ads on Website for Boy Scouts – National Center on Sexual Exploitation18 Mind-Blowing Stats About The Porn Industry And Its Underage Consumers – Fight the New Drug
by Hohn Choeader Graham and I have been having a fruitful exchange, and during it he said he was "stunned by the online reaction to a piece by Thabiti Anyabwile in The Washington Post in which Pastor Anyabwile argued that it was unwise for evangelicals to offer political support to Donald Trump." The original piece is here, and one reaction to it is here. Although the piece itself is now a couple of months old, I told Graham I'd try to offer some reasons why Anyabwile's article may have provoked the response it did. Besides, the general topic of the President's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will surely remain highly relevant throughout autumn, especially with debate scheduled to begin in the US Senate imminently.The title of Anyabwile's article was, "Overturning Roe v. Wade Isn't Worth Compromising with Trump, My Fellow Evangelicals." Even from the very top, questions spring to mind. Wouldn't overturning Roe v. Wade be a very good and important thing to most Bible-believing Christians, worthy of significant prayer and personal sacrifices? And if so, what does Anyabwile mean by "compromise"? Who is the target audience? Is it self-identifying evangelicals, constituting over 25 percent of America according to this poll, or only evangelicals who actually voted for President Trump, or perhaps evangelicals who currently support the President?Regardless, even with some answers forthcoming in the article, the title alone could be received as thought-provoking and even somewhat controversial, especially coming from a left-of-center secular publication like the Washington Post. I don't doubt this could have been one of Anyabwile's reasons for choosing or consenting to the title, which is certainly within his rights to do, although I hope he would then understand why some reactions to it might be similarly inflamed, especially as readers reviewed the remainder of the piece. Because to me, the article as a whole came across as a finger-wagging scold, from a presumed position of moral superiority, regarding an issuestrategy and tactics relating to political engagementwhich seems the very essence of adiaphora, or "disputable matters" as they are sometimes called, of the type described in Romans 14:1ff.But if the title could be construed as somewhat controversial, Anyabwile's lede was even more so: "We are going to give an account to God for our complicit silence before the immoral policies and actions of the Trump administration. By 'we,' I mean the entire country, but I have a particular concern for pro-life evangelical Christians, because I am one."Based on reading many dozens of his articles and hundreds of his tweets over the yearssome of which I have appreciated, by the way[*]I believe Anyabwile has an unfortunate habit of using sweeping, broad-brush rhetoric that treats certain groups as monolithic, and lumps them together in ways that are often accusatory, unhelpful, and would certainly be condemned were the groups reversed. For example, he has frequently decried the 80 percent of white self-identifying evangelicals who voted for Trump, but seldom has a mention for the over 90 percent of Black self-identifying evangelicals who generally vote for the Democrats. Are they also complicit via their vote when the Democrats routinely support certain issues that are antithetical to the Bible?[**]"Complicit Silence"But let's dig into the lede itself, specifically the claim of "complicit silence." This is a common accusation, but in all seriousness, are we biblically mandated to speak up in specific situations, or perhaps even required to become social activists? In asking the question, please note that I am not claiming that certain appropriately manifested forms of speech and activism are somehow prohibited in our Christian stewardship and liberty, of course. But the argument of Anyabwile (and others) appears to be quite different, specifically that Christians have some kind of overt obligation to speak out against certain "immoral policies and actions" which are arguably perceived.Candidly, I've seen little Scriptural support for this argument. Anyabwile himself has previously cited Proverbs 31:8-9 for the proposition that "refusing to speak up for the voiceless is a sin." But that passage is in the wisdom literature of the Proverbs, which lends itself more to what courses of action in life are wise or foolish. Moreover, this particular passage is directed to a future King with the power and authority to make decrees and decisions in theocratic Israel.But despite those distinctions, let's accept for the sake of argument that Christians today are commanded to speak up for the voiceless and the destitute. How are we then to balance that command with other commands, such as the ones in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:12, 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Proverbs 24:21, and Titus 3:1-2, among others? These verses speak about living a quiet and peaceful and dignified life, minding your own business, fearing the King and not associating with those given to change, and praying for and submitting to the governing authorities rather than getting into quarrels or even worse, maligning or speaking evil of the rulers and authorities, a command that we have often seen Christians break with great regularly as it pertains to the United States Presidency! Ultimately, how are we to navigate the course of wisdom in determining this balance, when all over the Proverbs, silence is commended as wise, as in Proverbs 10:19, 11:12, 13:3, 17:27-28, 21:23, 26:17, 29:11?Even when we consider the example of Jesus, He healed everywhere he went, but He did not abolish poverty, far from it . . . He acknowledged that the poor would always be with us in Mark 14:7, and emphasized the importance of the good news for the poor in Luke 7:22, prioritizing the spiritual over the temporal. He never sought to overthrow the oppressive Romans, He did not compensate the pig owners for their dead livestock in Matthew 8:32-34, and He declined the request of the crowd to always give them bread in John 6:34. Even when unjustly persecuted, He remained silent and did not retaliate, as we see in 1 Peter 2:21-23.At the end of the day, especially when we consider the context of desperate poverty and routine oppression of the Ancient Near East, whatever obligation that we might have to speak up for the voiceless and destitute is greatest in our own personal lives, with the people who cross our paths, in our immediate proximity. As we sweep outward from there, injustice and poverty multiply exponentially. Are we somehow obligated to personally and publicly condemn every social ill and inequity, even those which we know next to nothing about, and thus have a high chance of rushing to judgment with an incorrect determination? I believe the answer is not only no, but plainly and obviously no.I simply do not see how a Christian who is committed to charity and good works and speaking up about injustice that he or she might encounter daily, who is perhaps especially mindful about the wisdom of silence and not maligning or quarrelling in political or societal matters, is somehow guilty of "complicit silence" as Anyabwile accuses. There is no command to speak publicly about perceived injustice, and there are no plain Scriptural directions as to the time, place, or manner of such speech. And to the extent that one opts to speak out publicly, in one's own stewardship and liberty, care should be taken to avoid the real danger of "virtue signaling" like the publicly praying Pharisees in Matthew 6:5.Finally, here are a few questions to consider for the person who does choose to speak up in the public sphere for the voiceless and destitute. Who is more "voiceless" than an unborn infant? (And in contrast, is any adult in a free country truly voiceless in today's era of social media?) And who is more destitute than the poor of the world who are genuinely starving to death? (And in contrast, is any able-bodied person living in a wealthy nation like the USA truly destitute?) Meanwhile, in other cases where the extent of voicelessness and destitution are at least matters subject to debate, as people who stand for truth, points of factual dispute are important for Christians to investigate and acknowledge, as Gagnon's response to Anyabwile sets forth in considerable detail.Two Other ObjectionsAnyabwile also said, "In sheer numbers, more lives are ended by legalized abortion. Christians are correct to focus energy and concern on ending the practice. But in quieter, sometimes less observable ways, the carnage mounts in racial injustice and discrimination." I'm glad he recognizes as proper the desire among many Christians to end abortion, but the rather understated way in which he does it reminds me of the old saying, "But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" As I said in point E of an earlier article, in the US, abortion kills nearly one million unborn babies a year, a disproportionately high percentage of which are the children of ethnic minorities. Meanwhile, more people (189 in 2016) die in the US each year of constipation, than unarmed people of all ethnicities are killed by US police, despite much ink having been spilled by Anyabwile on that specific topic.Finally, Anyabwile said, "Some Christians appear to have made a Faustian bargain for the mere price of a Supreme Court nominee. The Devil gets the better end of that deal!" Aside from the clear insult directed toward evangelical Christians who voted for President Trumpand indeed, it's hard to think of a worse accusation for a Christian than to be cozy with the Devilthe entire line of thought appears to relitigate the 2016 US election, a painful and acrimonious time for many Christians, to be sure.Rather than recap this myself, I'm going to link to three articles that I believe are among the best I've read on this topic. First, we have Kevin DeYoung from 2012, on the topic of a functional (a.k.a. pragmatic, consequentialist, utilitarian) view of voting. Second, we have Dan Doriani from 2016, on an endorsement (a.k.a. principled, deontological, purist) view of voting. And third, we have Kevin DeYoung again, from 2016, on some thoughts from a functional voter who was practically confronted with the choices before us in that Presidential election.In early-mid 2016, I personally maintained the endorsement view of voting, to an extent that, in retrospect, was overly dogmatic. Over the course of time, persuasive arguments from my friends Lance (a missionary in Europe who is routinely faced with multiple horrible electoral choices), Todd (a local pastor who I greatly respect, who took the other side of the debate), and Phil (a pastor in Omaha who summarized it all in a way that just "clicked" with me[***]) moved me more to the center, although I still find the endorsement view of voting to be best for me personally. Ultimately, with all California polls showing a blowout for Clinton in the state, Christians here perhaps had an easier decision to make than others who happened to live in battleground states.What the entire raging debate convinced me of, however, is that as I alluded to earlier, trying to bind a person's conscience on matters of adiaphora like these is a clear violation of 1 Corinthians 10:29-30, and against God's explicit moral command in Deuteronomy 12:32, and could even be pharisaical pursuant to Matthew 23:4. And so acting with contempt or judgment toward a brother or sister on these "disputable matters" is clearly sinful as Romans 14:3 describes. This remains true whether a man confidently declares that supporting Trump is the moral choice, as Wayne Grudem did, or the immoral choice, as Anyabwile did.The reality is that the moral and ethical calculus a person utilizes on a choice like this is between that person and the Lord, as Romans 14:10-13 clearly states. And perhaps we would all do better if we paid closer heed to Romans 14:19-23 and worked toward peace and edification, not causing each other to stumble, and keeping certain decisions between ourselves and God. Regardless, branding brothers and sisters who might have voted for Trump and celebrated his appointment of Kavanaugh and the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade as making deals with the Devil, and accusing them of helping to commit a crime or do wrong (which is the very definition of complicit), falls far short of both civil discourse and the standards for Christian liberty to which Scripture clearly calls us.ConclusionSo, Graham, I hope that will help explain why quite a few Christians took exception to Anyabwile's article. And I believe it would have been just as inflammatory had the lede instead said, "We are going to give an account to God for our complicit silence before the immoral policies and actions of the [Obama] administration. By "we," I mean the entire country, but I have a particular concern for [Black] evangelical Christians, because I am one." Perhaps Anyabwile genuinely believes that; he seems to say that very thing in this tweet.If that's the case, I pray that he will have the candor and integrity of speech to say so (or similar things) from time-to-time, and in his higher-profile writings and speeches, perhaps, rather than merely in the depths of Twitter mentions, or what might be even worse based on his own apparent convictions, remaining in "complicit silence" about it. After all, to avoid the sin of partiality from James 2:9, we need to be especially mindful of displaying favoritism toward groups of which we ourselves are members. This is one reason that I often call out the sin of partiality that exists among many Asians, particular from older generations, when they object to interethnic marriages.You see, I am adamantly and ardently opposed to actual sin displayed within the Body of Christ. The problem is, so much of what many "social justice" advocates are calling or implying is sin, is really just attempted heartand motivereading in violation of 1 Corinthians 4:5, or the "complicit silence" variety along with other perceived sins of omission, which is for the Holy Spirit to convict.Speaking for myself, I'm far more grieved over my own many sins of commission, as well as those sins of omission which are commanded at all times, such as rejoicing, praying, giving thanks, and preaching the Word and the Gospel in season and out of season.I've already outlined why I don't believe there's an overt obligation to speak out against specific immoral policies and actions, but if there's one that burdens me more than any other, it's the immoral policy that targets the most vulnerable, the most voiceless, and the most period, and that is abortion. And I will understand if some Christians might want to disagree with me on the importance of that particular fight . . . but what I pray you will never see me do is to seek publication, to the broadest possible secular audience, of a hit piece accusing my beloved brothers and sisters of making immoral deals with the Devil, merely for failing to sufficiently prioritize my own most cherished adiaphora.Notes[*] My impression is that the convention these days is to praise up front the character and contributions of a fellow Christian whose public works one is critiquing. Although I appreciate the graciousness that I trust practitioners of this intend, it has become such a convention that I personally feel it can sometimes come across as a distraction and/or insincere. So I'll simply say that I loved Anyabwile's 2008 and 2010 messages at T4G, I've appreciated some of his writings, in particular I think he had the better argument in his back-and-forth with Doug Wilson on the topic of the South and slavery. But I strongly disagree with many of his comments and emphases more recently. I've never met the man, but I'd be glad to greet him as a brother should I ever come across his path. I do think that some have gone over-the-top in their criticisms of him, and I personally believe that taking shots at his chosen legal name is an exercise in pettifogging which reflects poorly on Christian disagreement.[**] Phil pointed this out in point #2 of his article responding to Anyabwile. Perhaps he never saw or read it, but since I mention it, I think it's important to reiterate that Phil clearly stated that he was not referring to Anyabwile as a "racist schlub" prior to the posting of his critique, which was predicated on that very (erroneous) assumption. Even though he was explicitly informed of this both on Twitter and in Phil's response, Anyabwile's critique of Phil remains posted and unedited to this day. Disagreeing strongly with an article published in the secular media, and its implications, is not uncharitable . . . but allowing a false critique to stand, even after being corrected about it? That certainly does seem uncharitable.[***] The quote was, "If both candidates are unacceptable, then so be it. I don't have to "win" to be faithful to my convictions. And you don't have to agree with me to be faithful to your convictions, thankfully. Politics involves complicated ethical decision making and it is understandable that good people will differ . . . I respect [others] who differ with me. What I do not respect is those who demonize the opposition and who paint Trump as far better than he really is. From the comments of some of my friends you would think that Trump was Saint George the dragon slayer. I know you don't take that position, but I say this just to explain myself."
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