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January 15, 2015 "Preaching Of The Cross" 1Corinthians 2:17-18 Pastor M. Adam Summers Faith Baptist Church LIVE Streaming Video is produced at 4030 Kalmbach Road in Chelsea, Michigan.
Dr. Tom Malone - Double Minded Man (Pt. 3 of 3) Dr. Thomas Lloyd (Tom) Malone, 91, graduated to Heaven on January 7, 2007. Pastor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan and founder of Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Dr. Malone, one of America's best known and beloved
Dr. Tom Malone - It Is Better To Obey God Than Man (Pt. 2 of 4) Dr. Thomas Lloyd (Tom) Malone, 91, graduated to Heaven on January 7, 2007. Pastor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan and founder of Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Dr. Malone, one of America's best known and beloved
Dr. Tom Malone - Double Minded Man (Pt. 2 of 3) Dr. Thomas Lloyd (Tom) Malone, 91, graduated to Heaven on January 7, 2007. Pastor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan and founder of Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Dr. Malone, one of America's best known and beloved
Dr. Tom Malone - Double Minded Man (Pt. 1 of 3) Dr. Thomas Lloyd (Tom) Malone, 91, graduated to Heaven on January 7, 2007. Pastor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan and founder of Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Dr. Malone, one of America's best known and beloved
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Dear Friends,By now, you have no doubt heard the wonderful news about the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American who was wrongly imprisoned in Turkey while spreading the Gospel to the Turkish people. During an interview on Good Morning America, Pastor Brunson related a wonderful insight on how God increases the work of His servants’ hands in unexpected ways: “We’re not known people. We’re not very important people. We’ve been working in Turkey in obscurity for a number of years. But then, around the world, I think millions of people in many countries were praying for us. Even though [being imprisoned] caused us a lot of hurt, I think that God is using this, was planning to use this to bring blessing to Turkey. Now there are millions of people who have prayed for Turkey.”This is an important lesson for all of us who are striving to live out our faith as Christians. As I know I have experienced, there are days (or maybe even weeks or months) during our faith journey when we feel like we are living in obscurity, seemingly unable to accomplish anything of importance and feeling like we don’t matter. I’m sure there were times during Pastor Brunson’s 23 years in Turkey when he perhaps felt discouraged in this way. But day in and day out for 23 years, Pastor Brunson kept the faith and ministered to the Turkish people in “obscurity.” And then, seemingly out of nowhere, he was thrust into the spotlight and into a situation he never could have imagined or asked for. And as Pastor Brunson has pointed out, God used his physically and mentally anguishing experience of imprisonment for a greater good that only He could have imagined.Following Pastor Brunson’s courageous example, we too are called to live out our faith, day in and day out, even when we feel like we are living in obscurity. When we do this, we are preparing ourselves for the day when God will call us forth to perform a mighty work for His glory.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 ArticlesThe Kavanaugh Circus Shows The Supreme Court’s Political Power Is Out of Control – Travis WeberMan Steals Gold Medal From Top Woman in World Cycling Race – Cathy RuseAllied for Truth and Freedom Regarding Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions – Peter SpriggHacksaw Ridge and the Value of Conscientious Objectors – Alexandra McPheeWe’re In a Spiritual Battle of Good vs. Evil. Gosnell Proves It. – Patrina MosleyChristians Should Be Fearless in Living Out Their Faith. Even Supreme Courts Agree. – James SelveyPakistani Christian Woman’s Fate Hangs in the Balance – Travis WeberMillennials and the Future of Marriage – Caleb SutherlinReversing Roe—Or Ignoring Her? – Alexandra McPheeThe Unity of Body and Soul: Why It Matters – Caleb SutherlinAmericans Can “Afford to Not Care” About Voting. Yet We Should Still Care. – Travis Weber Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareDefining The Thing – Dan Hitchens, First ThingsTrump Signs Bill Expanding Criminal Code on Church Vandalism to Protect Religious Nonprofits – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostSenior Google Search Engineer Advocates for Censorship of ‘Terrorist’ Marsha Blackburn – Allum Bokhari, BreitbartComplaint prompts Utah’s Dixie State University to remove Bible, Book of Mormon from hotel rooms – Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake TribuneChurch Ordered to Pay $13,000 in Property Taxes Heads to Court – Emily Jones, CBN NewsSwastikas painted on Northern Virginia JCC – Jared Foretek, Washington Jewish WeekAmericans By a 2-1 Margin Say Media Coverage Was Biased Against Kavanaugh – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsVICTORY! Atlanta Pays Ex-Fire Chief $1.2 Million in Religious Liberty Lawsuit – ToddStarnes.comInternational Religious FreedomPastor Freed by Turkey Kisses American Flag, Prays for Trump – Chuck Ross, The Daily SignalChina Trying to 'Rewrite the Bible,' Force Churches to Sing Communist Anthems – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostHindu Attacks Against Christians on the Rise in Southern India – Steve Warren, CBN NewsHundreds of Chinese Christian Schoolchildren Forced to Declare They Follow ‘No Religion’ – Will Maule, CBN NewsPakistan’s Supreme Court Reserves Judgment in Asia Bibi’s Final Appeal – Persecution.orgIran: Two Christian converts receive prison sentences – Middle East ConcernUK High Court Rules That Declining to Bake ‘Gay Cake’ Isn’t Discrimination – Troy Worden, The Daily Signal LifeAbortionWhen the abortion industry fights regulations, it proves it isn’t pro-woman – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live ActionFact Check: Tweet Shows Exponential Growth in Planned Parenthood Campaign Contributions From 2014 to 2018 – Emily Larsen, CheckYourFactAGAIN? Another pro-abortion activist violently attacks pro-lifers in Canada – Cassy Fiano-Chesser, Live ActionChicago Planned Parenthood botches at least six abortions in under a year – Nancy Flanders, Live ActionBioethics15 Celebrities who are showing us how to welcome people with special needs – Cerith Gardiner, AleteiaThe Expansion of Assisted Suicide North of the Border – John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera, BreakPoint FamilyMarriageThe Best Marriage Ever – Nancy Guthrie, CrosswayEvery marriage has its rocky patches. And given good sense, survives – Harry Benson, The Conservative WomanHow Moving In Together Makes It Harder to Know If He’s the One – Galena Rhoades, Family StudiesParentingLord, Teach Us—and Our Kids—to Pray – Megan Kennedy and Jared Kennedy, The Gospel CoalitionIn light of Brett Kavanaugh, an indepth look at how and when character is formed in kids – Jennifer Graham, Deseret NewsRegaining the Joy of Family Life: A Review of How to Be A Happier Parent – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family StudiesThe Kanye-Trump Bromance Highlights Our Culture’s Yearning For Fathers – Melissa Langsom Braunstein, The Federalist6 Ways to Ruin Your Children – Jeff Robinson, The Gospel CoalitionEconomics/EducationHigher Rent, Fewer Babies? Housing Costs and Fertility Decline – Lyman Stone, Family StudiesFaith/Character/CultureRejecting Second-Wave Feminism: A Review of Mona Charen’s Sex Matters – Ashley McGuire, Family StudiesFormer Nightclub Owner Addicted to Drugs, Porn, Gambling Now Brings Life-Saving Water to 8 Million – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostObey God with Your Creativity – John Piper, Desiring GodOn Moments – Tod Worner, Word on FireA Morning with Big Brother – Joseph Pearce, Intellectual TakeoutWhy Christians Don’t Go to Church (and Why They Must) – Joe Carter, The Gospel CoalitionHuman SexualitySchool District Changes Its Restroom Policy – Then Ignores the Sexual Assault of a Five-Year-Old Girl – Sarah Kramer, Alliance Defending FreedomHow can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage? – Andrea Mrozek, Hamilton SpectatorBiological Male Wins World Championship Event in Women’s Cycling – Peter Hasson, The Daily SignalHuman Trafficking123 missing children found in Michigan during sex trafficking operation – Emily Jacobs, New York PostAmnesty International Expels Member for Standing Against Prostitution – Ben Miller, National Center on Sexual ExploitationPornographyThe Shame-Free System This All-Guys’ College House Has To Fight Porn Is Brilliant – Fight the New Drug
Dear Friends,Do you ever have moments in your life when your mind wanders far into the future, prompting feelings of anxiety about all of your responsibilities and inevitable hardships you will have to endure in the months and years ahead? I know I do. If unchecked, this kind of thought pattern can lead to a nervous churn in the pit of my stomach as I begin to feel overwhelmed with the weight of the future and what might happen.Our Lord knows unhealthy human tendencies like these very intimately. He loves us so much, in fact, that He has given us specific spiritual direction numerous times throughout Scripture to remind us of how we are called to live in the moment and not to worry about the future. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus entreats us to “not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Even the Lord’s Prayer includes a very specific entreaty: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Notice that Christ does not instruct us to ask for our “monthly” or “yearly” bread. In teaching us to pray for our “daily bread,” Jesus is reminding us that our primary focus should be on doing what He is asking of us in our present moment, in this one day that we have been blessed with in His Creation.This teaching from our Lord goes to the very heart of Creation itself. In the beginning of the book of Genesis, we read that “God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Our Lord designed Creation so that we only have to worry about one day at a time. When the day is over, the night comes so that we can rest and recharge for the next day. In other words, God is trying to tell us something with how He has designed the earth to operate: live for today, for the present moment. Existence itself is pure gift; the present moment is all we will ever have. Let us use it for the greater glory of God.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 ArticlesIs this cross too Christian? Only the Supreme Court can save these war monuments – Alexandra McPheePlanned Parenthood is Not Pro-Woman – Patrina MosleyTrump: Expected to Advance Religious Liberty at the UN – Ken BlackwellAn Answer to This Generation’s Identity Crisis: “Love Thy Body.” – Patrina MosleyCalifornia’s Campus Abortion Legislation Has Been Vetoed – Here’s What It Had Wrong – Patrina MosleyThe Image of God and the Pursuit of Truth in the Kavanaugh Hearing – David ClossonHundreds of College Students Travel to DC In Support of Kavanaugh – John Wesley ReidWorld Congress of Families Seeks to Strengthen the Family UnitU.S. Courts of Appeals: No Vacancy – Alexandra McPheeAnother Attack on Kenyan Christians Brings Us Back to Watu Wote – Travis WeberFive Myths About “Gender Identity” – Peter Sprigg Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareMichigan school district pulls video of family circle after critics claimed it promoted prayer – Ryan Gaydos, Fox NewsBlack Pastor: I Get 'Hate and Racism' From the Left 'For Being a Bible-Believing Christian – Tyler O’Neil, PJ MediaMilitant LGBT Group Wants to Run Texas Mega-Church Out of Town – ToddStarnes.comPlanned Parenthood Forces Hyatt Hotel to Cancel Screening of New Kermit “Gosnell” Movie – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsInternational Religious FreedomHopes Rise for Release of U.S. Pastor Being Held in Turkey – David Gauthier-Villars and Dion Nissenbaum, The Wall Street Journal12 Churches Destroyed, Shut Down by Myanmar Rebels – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostMore Chinese Pastors Sign Statement Affirming Religious Freedom as US Govt Holds Hearing on Persecution – Steve Warren, CBN NewsClosure of Syrian Schools: Another Bleak Sign for Christians in Syria – Marlo Safi, National ReviewPakistani Christian Woman Thrown Off Roof for Refusing to Convert to Islam, Marry Muslim – Will Maule, FaithWire LifeAbortionAbortion On Trial – John Waters, First ThingsPodcast: Be a voice for life: Developing a compelling pro-life message – Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHere’s a List of Everything a Baby Can Do in the Womb – Grace Carr, The StreamGovernor Brown vetoes abortion pill bill – Pablo Kay, AngelusYes, Down Syndrome Is A Life Worth Living, And A Life Worth Saving – Dan Bartkowiak, The FederalistU.S. Expected to Fight Back Against Abortion as a Humanitarian Right – Stefano Gennarini, C-FamAdoptionHow Foster Care Became a Christian Priority—Just in Time – Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, The Gospel CoalitionMy Long, Messy, Beautifully Complicated Path to Adopting My Son – Claire Gibson, Marie ClaireBioethicsAussies Block Euthanasia – John Stonestreet & David Carlson, BreakpointMass Human Cloning May Soon be Upon Us – Wesley J. Smith, National ReviewMaking Death Easier Makes Life Harder – Richard Stith, Public DiscourseChild Euthanasia without Parent Approval Pushed for Canada – Wesley J. Smith, National ReviewHHS feels pressure, ends contract with fetal tissue harvester – Live ActionObamacareAs Obamacare Premiums Continue to Rise, Time to Look at Real Health Care Solutions – Robert Moffit, The Daily Signal FamilyMarriageMillennials Are Causing the U.S. Divorce Rate to Plummet – Ben Steverman, BloombergHumility Matters in Marriage, Too – Rebecca Spohr, HerViewFromHomeReducing Divorce Through Community-Level Marriage Initiatives – Alan J. Hawkins, Family StudiesU.S. Fertility Rate Drops to All Time Low, Cut in Half Since 1950s – John Binder, BreitbartCoping With Financial Crisis and Maintaining Your Marriage – Cherie Lowe, Focus on the FamilyWhen Grandparents Divorce, Everyone Hurts – D. Scott Sibley, Family StudiesThe Wages of Infidelity – Hugo Schwyzer, Family StudiesParentingRaising Kids With Religion Or Spirituality May Protect Their Mental Health: Study – Alice G. Walton, ForbesOur Infertile Future – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, Family StudiesMaking of a Mom: Birth as a Creative Act – Laura Khan, VerilyModeling Grace and Courtesy – Mattias A. Caro, Ethika PolitikaWhen Adult Children Don’t Share Your Values – Marci Seither, Focus on the FamilyWhy Friendships Are Important for Boys’ Health – Maryam Abdullah, Greater Good Magazine7 Ways to Teach Children About the Conscience – Andy Naselli, The Gospel CoalitionEconomics/EducationDo Schooling and City Living Equal Fewer Babies? – Lyman Stone, Family StudiesIs student debt keeping Americans away from marriage? – Science DailyFaith/Character/CultureGod Will Sustain You a Day at a Time – Vaneetha Rendall Risner, Desiring GodEight Reasons Why Awe Makes Your Life Better – Summer Allen, Greater Good Magazine9 People with Down syndrome who are changing the world – Cerith Gardiner, AleteiaHow Prison Fellowship helps prepare prisoners for release – Emily Greene, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionWe Weren’t Made for Endless Work – Gracy Olmstead, The American ConservativeWhy churches matter in the fight against addiction – Ericka Andersen, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHow to Bring Your Whole Self to Work – Mike Robbins, Greater Good MagazineHuman SexualitySame sex relationships: Should we just agree to disagree? – Sam Allberry, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionChanging Society’s View on “Hooking Up” – Arthur Goldberg, Public DiscourseAmerican Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines support gender change for kids – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews$5.7 Million in Taxpayer Funds for Study to Justify Sterilizing Children Who Are Gender Confused – Susan Berry, BreitbartGuttmacher Reports Conflicting Findings on Trends in Teen Sexual Activity – Michael J. New, National ReviewHuman TraffickingWhat Happens To Sex Trafficking Survivors After They’re Rescued? – Fight the New DrugBy The Numbers: Can Porn Production Be Connected To Sex Trafficking? – Fight the New DrugHundreds of Sex Buyers Arrested as Part of Nationwide Initiative – Ben Miller, National Center on Sexual ExploitationProtections for Sex Traffickers Being Snuck into US-Canada Trade Negotiations – National Center on Sexual ExploitationPornographyWhat you should know about women and pornography – Mikayla Simpson, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionStudy Links Porn Consumption To Higher Levels Of Objectification And Tricking Partners Into Sex – Fight the New Drug
Dear Friends,In my daily faith journey, I confess that I sometimes fall into a bad habit: I feel like I’ve “been there, done that.” More to the point, I feel a kind of “spiritual sophistication” in which most of the preaching I hear and most of the articles on faith that I read just don’t seem to measure up to my expectations. What’s worse, I sometimes find myself getting annoyed and impatient that the preaching that I’m hearing or the article I’m reading is not what I feel to be sufficiently insightful.As Matthew Westerholm has recently observed, this kind of “it takes a lot to impress me” attitude is actually a form of spiritual immaturity. He writes, “The more spiritually mature we become, the more we are easily edified.” This should be something that all Christians should strive for—a spirit of simplicity, humility, and openness as we encounter the sermons, writings, songs, films, and other forms of spiritual communication that we encounter. This kind of attitude will prepare us to be surprised and delighted by the unexpected insights given to us by the Holy Spirit.This attitude can also be carried over into every aspect of our daily lives, especially with the everyday conversations we have with others. If we strive to always be open when we encounter others, and avoid going into situations with preconceived notions about what we will or will not gain from them, we allow ourselves to be receptive to what the Lord is trying to teach us.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 ArticlesAre Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Effective? Are They Harmful? What the Evidence Shows – Peter SpriggCalifornia’s Effort to Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ Failed. Here’s a Better Path We Can All Agree On. – Peter SpriggThe Problem With Judicial Nominations? The Left Doesn't Actually Want to Follow the Constitution – Peter SpriggBrown University is in Denial About Transgender Reality – Cathy RuseLawsuit Targeting Faith-Based Adoption Agencies Allowed to Proceed in Michigan – David ClossonA Bill Allowing College Campus Abortions Shows Reckless Disregard for Young Women – Patrina MosleyPlanned Parenthood’s New President Can’t Erase Its Atrocities – Patrina MosleyThe Department of Veterans Affairs Should Not Fund “Gender Alterations”The Catholic Church in Crisis: Two Takeaways – Dan Hart Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareChristian College Says Accrediting Agency's Proposed Guideline Change May Harm Religious Schools – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostTexas cheerleaders win a victory for freedom of religious expression – Todd Starnes, Fox News'In God We Trust' sign offended teachers, so the school district came up with a fix – Lois K. Solomon, Sun SentinelStudents Ordered to Spray Paint Over the Name of Christ on Football Field – ToddStarnes.comUpend Precedent, 11th Circuit Panel Urges in Pensacola Cross Case – Katheryn Tucker, Daily ReportHer College Told Her Not to Give Out Bible-Themed Valentines. She Isn’t Backing Down. – Troy Worden, The Daily SignalProfessor Who Defended Student’s Right To An Opinion Returns To Work After Three Years And One Major Court Battle – Ashe Schow, The Daily WireInternational Religious FreedomOfficials destroying crosses, burning bibles in China – APIndian Christians Refuse to Deny Christ Despite Persecution From Hindu Radicals – Leah MarieAnn Klett, The Christian PostNigeria: Pastor and three sons burned alive among at least 20 killed in latest Plateau massacre – World Watch MonitorU.S. and Turkey Speak About Syria and the Detained American Pastor – The Jerusalem PostChina to crack down on 'chaotic' online religious info: media – ReutersWhy Americans Should Care About the Uyghurs – Jennifer S. Bryson, Public DiscourseU.N. Is Called to Recognize Christian Genocide – Marlo Safi, National ReviewBaseless Forced Conversion Accusation Lead to Arrest of 271 Christians in India – Persecution.orgProminent Chinese pastor defiant after church closure – Channel NewsAsia LifeAbortionPro-life pregnancy centers served nearly 2 million people last year – The Boston PilotMemo to Chelsea Clinton: Freedom Does Not Require Women To Become Like Men – Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo, Public DiscourseIn two years, Iowa flips from ‘worse than New York State’ to pro-life – Live Action‘Gosnell’ Actress On Her Choice For Life: ‘Have Your Baby, It Will Mean Everything To You’ – The FederalistPro-Life Leaders Call for End of Taxpayer-Funded Research with Aborted Baby Parts – Caffeinated ThoughtsAdoptionI Was Adopted Through a Faith-Based Adoption Provider. LGBT Groups Want Them Shut Down. – Ryan Bomberger, The Daily SignalBioethicsA viral photo shows the problems with in vitro fertilization (IVF) – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionDear Anonymous Dad – Mary Jackson, WORLDA Gruesome Plan – Wesley J. Smith, The Weekly StandardObamacareThis 1 Move by the Trump Administration Is Boosting My Small Business – Joseph Semprevivo, The Daily Signal FamilyMarriageThe Thing We Learned About Marriage from the Cable Guy – Dave Willis with Ashley Willis, Focus on the FamilyConfessions of a Reluctant Complementarian – Rebecca McLaughlin, The Gospel CoalitionTeach Them About Marriage Before the World Does – Jani Ortlund, Desiring GodParentingClose ties with fathers help daughters overcome loneliness – Science DailyWaiting to Have a Baby Can Lead to Having Many at Once – Mollie Rappe-Brown, FuturityWelcome to the Grieving Parents Club – Leslie Froelich, HerViewFromHomeEconomics/EducationEducation Should Not Be Fearful – Matthew Anderson, CrisisHundreds of parents flood Board of Education to demand control over their kids’ sex education – Daniel Payne, The College FixParents Win: Colorado Schools End Sex Ed Program That Exposed Children to Porn – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostThe College Campus’s Cult of Fragility – George Will, National ReviewWhy Small Businesses Are More Optimistic Than Ever Before – Patrick Tyrrell and Anthony B. Kim, The Daily SignalHow the Texas Model Supports Prosperous Families – Vance Ginn, Family StudiesFaith/Character/CultureThe Power of Prayer for Families – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesHow to Ruin Your Life in Your Twenties – Jonathan Pokluda, Desiring GodPrioritizing the Value of Work in a Celebrity-Obsessed World – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family StudiesHow to help a friend with mental illness – Amy Simpson, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionThe Benefit of Bad Sermons – Matthew Westerholm, Desiring GodWhy Millennials ARE Coming to Church – Steve McAlpine, The Gospel CoalitionWhat I Learned About My Sins at Sixty-Four – John Piper, Desiring GodHuman SexualityThe Heterosexual Gospel – Jackie Hill Perry, Desiring GodHow to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors – Rosaria Butterfield, Christianity TodayCalifornia Dem withdraws bill banning help for unwanted gay attraction – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsThe Alarming Findings of a New Study on Transgender Teens and Suicide – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily SignalGay Rights, Hate Speech, and Hospitality – Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, Desiring GodHuman TraffickingSexual Exploitation Knows No Borders, Neither Should Our Efforts to End It – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual ExploitationPornographyIs Pornography Your Therapy? – Greg Morse, Desiring GodHow Porn Is Sidelining Missionaries – Greg Handley, The Gospel CoalitionA rape pandemic has hit India, and people are blaming pornography – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNewsHow to Tell Your Fiance About Your Porn Problem – Jessica Harris, Focus on the Family
On Friday, a federal judge ruled that Dumont v. Lyon, the ACLU’s lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, may proceed, finding that the plaintiffs—two same-sex couples who allege they were turned away by certain faith-based placing agencies when they sought to adopt—have standing to sue.In denying the Defendant’s motion to dismiss, the Clinton-appointed District Judge, Paul D. Borman, ruled that the couples have demonstrated plausible Establishment Clause and Equal Protection claims that are “fairly traceable” to the defendant’s practice of entering into contracts with faith-based agencies that operate according to their religious beliefs about marriage. Michigan state law since 2015 has protected the conscience rights of faith-based adoption providers.In his ruling, Judge Borman explained that because faith-based agencies process 20 percent of the active foster care and adoption cases in Michigan, it is “reasonable to infer that the ability of faith-based agencies to employ religious criteria as a basis to turn away same-sex couples erects at least a 20% barrier to that Prospective Parent Plaintiffs’ ability to adopt or foster a child in the State of Michigan.” Noticeably absent from Judge Borman’s comments on this point is that the ACLU’s clients in the case live closer to four other foster and adoption agencies than St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a co-defendant in the case. All four agencies facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples.Significant for this case—and others moving forward—Borman cites the Plaintiff’s claim of “stigmatic injury” alongside “practical injuries” as grounds for allowing their Establishment Clause claims to proceed. In addition to claiming that Michigan’s law makes it more difficult for them to adopt, the same-sex couples allege that the state’s practice of contracting with faith-based agencies with religious convictions constitutes a form of harmful discrimination. This is an appeal to “dignitary harm,” a concept that refers to the alleged emotional pain and humiliation suffered when someone disagrees with another’s moral decisions or lifestyle; the notion is increasingly invoked by activists who want to silence dissent from anyone who disagrees with the LGBT agenda.The longest section in the 93-page ruling was Borman’s rationale for why, in his view, the Plaintiffs have credibly alleged an Establishment Clause violation. The Plaintiffs believe the implementation of Michigan law constitutes an endorsement and promotion of religion which is prohibited by the Establishment Clause. Concurring with the Plaintiffs, Borman employs the second and third prongs of the Lemon test to establish whether Michigan’s law conveys the message that the state endorses the view that opposes same-sex marriage. According to Borman, “The answer is yes.” In an important paragraph he argues that “Plaintiffs plausibly allege and suggest that the State’s practice of contracting with and permitting faith-based child placing agencies to turn away same-sex couples has both a subjective purpose of discriminating against those who oppose the view of the faith-based agencies and objectively endorses the religious view of those agencies that same-sex marriage is wrong.”Borman also says that while the Establishment Clause does not prohibit Michigan from entering into contracts with religious organizations, the use of religious criteria by faith-based adoption providers suggests “excessive entanglement” between the state and religion. Thus, according to Borman’s opinion, the Defendants will need to prove in the trial phase why current state law protecting faith-based adoption agencies does not constitute an inappropriate promotion of or excessive entanglement of religion.Turning to the Plaintiff’s Equal Protection claim, Borman is more cautious but permits the claim to proceed to the discovery phase. Notably, he admits the Plaintiff’s burden to prove that Michigan’s law is motivated by anti-gay animus is “admittedly high.”On one count Borman does rule in favor of the Defendants, finding that the Plaintiffs fail to establish taxpayer standing to assert their Establishment Clause claims. Alongside the same-sex couples, Jennifer Ludolph, a former foster child who also sued the state, objected to the use of taxpayer money to fund child-placing agencies that do not place children in same-sex households due to the provider’s religious convictions on marriage. Borman ruled that all of the Plaintiffs failed to establish taxpayer standing and dismissed with prejudice Ludolph’s claims.In response to the decision, Mark Rienzi, an attorney with Becket representing St. Vincent said, “Today’s court ruling allows the ACLU’s lawsuit to proceed—a lawsuit aimed at forbidding the state from working with faith-based adoption agencies to help children in need. Such a result would make it much harder for thousands of children to find the loving home they each deserve. Beckett is fighting to make sure that doesn’t happen, and this is just one step along the journey in this case.”
The thought that there were people still on the earth today that were so isolated by geography and language that they had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ was hard to grasp. Within months, we moved to Jackson, Michigan, to begin a four-year training program to become career missionaries.
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