C.S Lewis was an Oxford and Cambridge scholar, a prolific writer, classicist, philosopher, and Christian. He wrote more than 20 books in his time the most popular of which is, The Chronicles Of Narnia and Mere Christianity. Apart from those two books, he also produced two excellent works on both pain in the general sense and grief in a personal sense. Most of the quotes you will find below are from those two works, A Grief Observed and The Problem Of Pain. Though most of the quotes come from those two books, there are a few that I have pulled from his other works — namely, The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia.
1. Silence And Pain
“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”
― C. S. Lewis
2. Grief And Fear
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
3. Stopping Is Inevitable
“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
4. The Painful Journey
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
― C.S. Lewis
5. Drama And Pain
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
7. The Tragic Trade
“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.”
― C.S. Lewis
8. Becoming Numb
“The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
9. Meditative Grief
“I once read the sentence ‘I lay awake all night with a toothache, thinking about the toothache an about lying awake.’ That’s true to life. Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
10. The Love Of God
When pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.”
As John received revelation upon revelation sitting exiled upon the Isle of Patmos he issued a very strong warning to us in our day. He told us that our entire world would be deceived (lied to) through the sorceries that would come out of Babylon. (Rev. 18:23-24)
He went on to say that the end result of this deception would be the demise of prophets, saints and many good men. In other words no one would be spared in this great deception by these sorceries. Remember that we were told that even the very elect would be deceived.
So what is this sorcery of which John warns?
The Greek word for sorcery is pharmakia, which means “medicine from a pharmacy.” WHAT?! Does that mean the drugs we find in those pharmacies on nearly every street corner now? Is it talking about those same drugs with ads that run all day long on our TVs and in magazines that we see everywhere we look?!
Is it any wonder then that these prescription drugs are now being reported as the biggest drug problem in America today? Is it any wonder that the whole world has been deceived about these drugs?
According to a 1995 study done by concerned pharmacists, prescription drugs, taken “as prescribed” rather than abused, are the third leading cause of death in this country, killing as many Americans every week as we lost at 9/11. The death toll of another 9/11 every week in this country! In light of this we need to ask who the real terrorists are when we are in a war over one week’s worth of these deaths while all the others go unnoticed, slaughtered and buried right under our noses. Is it any wonder the scriptures speak so sternly of sorcerers and sorcery?
In 2008 we read in the New England Journal of Medicine that almost half of the studies done on one of America’s most popular group of drugs, antidepressants, were negative, yet when any of those negative studies were reported to the public the results were presented as positive.
They also said the studies indicated that there was little evidence these drugs which bring in nearly $200 million per day were more effective than placebos in treating depression.
Deception? Deadly deception! How deadly?
The most popular of these antidepressants, Effexor, now has “homicidal ideation” listed as a side effect. Homicidal ideation is not just killing someone, but it is having constant ruminating thoughts of killing and how to kill.
To see the results of just this one deception with antidepressants go to www.ssristories.NET where you will find a very long list of school shootings, loving mothers and fathers who have killed their children, children who have killed their parents, suicides, murder/suicides, female school teachers who have seduced male students, even well respected ministers who have raped children, previously “straight” individuals who have become “gay” – even to the point of having sex change surgery, extreme out of character behavior, including violence, wild spending sprees, embezzlement, sexual promiscuity, exhibitionism, gambling, etc. – all side effects of antidepressants.
Then the FDA announced that they have been investigating many various types of medications for the potential of causing suicide. After learning that antidepressants increase suicidal potential by 2-3 times suddenly the FDA officials realized that multiple classes of medicines might cause dangerous psychiatric problems including suicide.
Medicines to treat acne, hypertension, seizures, high cholesterol, swelling, heartburn, pain, bacterial infections and insomnia can all cause psychiatric problems, effects that were discovered in most cases after the drugs were approved and already used in millions of patients.
Now, how could these medications produce such things? With antidepressants that answer can be as simple as explaining that antidepressants create a sleep disorder in which the patient acts out nightmares. It is called a REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) and 86% of those being diagnosed with the disorder are taking antidepressants. RBD is known to produce both murder and suicide. Acting out one’s worst nightmare – what a perfect way to produce out-of-character behavior that could destroy all a person has worked to achieve in character building throughout life–all gone in the blink of the eye!
Even worse than understanding the potential of these drugs to produce RBD, is to know that in the past RBD was known mainly as a drug withdrawal state. So the question of great concern at this point should be: “If antidepressants are being found to be in current use in 86% of the cases just how high will that percentage go in the withdrawal state from these drugs?!” This is why is it so important to avoid the worst of withdrawal by weaning EXTREMELY SLOWLY down off an antidepressant.
As people begin to see how they have been lied to about the safety and effectiveness of these drugs and attempt to come off the drugs, what will the end result be? Knowing what I know about these drugs and the withdrawal from these drugs I can tell you that I for one DO NOT want to witness what we will see!
If there has ever been a situation in the history of this world where we have so desperately needed to adhere to the command to be our “brother’s keeper” this is it! In doing so, even if you are not the one taking the drug, the life you save may be your own or that of a loved one.
Why? Because when someone goes psychotic in the withdrawal they can do anything to anyone and I just might be you or your loved one. (For information on safe withdrawal go to www.drugawareness.org to find the CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!)
Kim Crespi near Charlotte, NC learned of antidepressant withdrawal all too painfully on January 20, 2006 when her husband David, a good strong Christian and wonderful husband and father, who was also a vice president of the local bank and well respected in the community, stabbed their twin four year old daughters to death.
David was months into an abrupt withdrawal from Paxil and had just started taking Prozac. He and Kim were not aware that the FDA had just warned the year before that any abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant, whether going up or down (he had just done both), can produce suicide, hostility, or psychosis – generally a manic psychosis leading to a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Of course it is not true Bipolar, but a drug withdrawal effect, yet so many have found they would be medicated for years for something (the Bipolar Disorder) they don’t really have.
Is it any wonder that the diagnosis of Bipolar has increased by 4000% over a recent 10 year period when it was basically unheard of before SSRI antidepressants?
But why is all this happening to us? Where did we go wrong?
For the answer we need to turn to Isaiah 28:8 where, he, speaking of our day, says that we will rise up each day to get drunk (but he had already made it clear that this drunkenness would not be from wine or strong drink). What would produce that drunken state then? Well when do people generally take their medications? First thing in the morning? These are mind altering medications. And what do the package inserts list as side effects? That is right – all the same effects one could expect from alcohol, but much stronger.
Isaiah then goes on to tell us why people would suffer the feelings of needing drugs. He says that our tables are “full of vomit” and there is nothing clean there.
Well, what is vomit? Vomit is food that either has already had the nutrients extracted or food that cannot be used by the body and is expelled because of that. And unclean? Look at the chemicals that have saturated our food supply.
So if our tables are full of vomit – food that has been depleted of nutrients or food that cannot be utilized where does that leave us? We are nutrient depleted. And where does nutrient depletion lead us? It leads us to stimulants of any kind in order to force our bodies and brains to perform since they do not have the fuel or building blocks from nutrients to perform.
Perhaps the most obvious segment of society in which to see this is that which is most transparent due to the exposure they get – Hollywood. Show business is a very high profile and highly demanding profession. If you watch the lives of those in the business you generally see only two groups: health nuts or drug users. They either reach for nutrients to supply the building blocks they need to build energy levels they need to cope with their fast paced lifestyle or they use drugs to force their bodies/brains to keep up the fast pace. It is simple to see which of those choices coincides with the Savior’s teachings.
One extremely critical point for all Christians to understand is the serotonin connection to spirituality. Antidepressants as well as the new atypical antipsychotics work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. But 50% of the serotonin is metabolized by the pineal gland.
What is the pineal gland? It is the master gland of the body and also known as the “seat of the soul” or our connection to higher, spiritual thoughts. In Eastern religions it is known as the Third Eye and is located right in the center of the brain behind the eyes. The question we need to ask is that if the Pineal gland is overloaded with large amounts of serotonin produced by these drugs, does it interfere with that spiritual connection?
According to patients using these drugs it does. They continually report that they can no longer feel God. One perfect example that comes to mind is that of Elizabeth Bush, the 14 year old girl who shot her best friend at the private Catholic school they attended. Elizabeth’s hero in life was Mother Teresa. Elizabeth planned to devote her life to God and become a nun. So how did she go from that point to a charge of attempted murder almost overnight?
I called her attorney when this happened and told him what happened was likely the result of the use of one of these antidepressants. He did not show much interest, but said he would check. Then the following week Elizabeth was interviewed on 20/20 and asked this very question of how did she go from Mother Teresa as her hero to shooting her best friend at school. Her reply was that she could “no longer feel God anymore.”
I called her attorney the following morning and told him I no longer had any question about whether or not his client had been on an antidepressant nor any question about its contribution to causing this tragedy. With that new evidence about her inability to feel God anymore, in my mind, I knew. At that point he asked me to hold for a minute and when he returned he said through the rustling of papers, “Paxil. Is Paxil one of those drugs?”
So, as dangerous and life-threatening as these drugs can be, even worse is the possibility that we can be severed from the spiritual by these drugs. Not only can they produce physical death, but also spiritual death.
Where did we go wrong?
Clearly we have underestimated Satan and his potential to pull us into his web of deceit and debauchery. Just because he is evil, does not mean he is stupid. He has much knowledge, far more than we do. Not more power than we do, because we do have the strength to overcome all with the help of the Savior. But we must be constantly aware of his cunning craftiness when it comes to his power to deceive. This awful situation in which we now find ourselves is a call for humility and faith and a reminder to always turn to the Savior in ALL things rather than trusting in the arm of flesh.
[For additional information on serotonin and antidepressant medications along with additional information on the great deception of pharmakia that John spoke of see Ann Blake-Tracy’s book, Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare ]
I will share here three articles with additional information as full confirmation of those prophetic warnings to us in Revelations. In the end I think you will see that it was not modern medicine that you might have thought made you well, but God who actually spared your life from the danger.
First is from my friend and fellow Board Member, Dr. Candace Pert, whose research make SSRI antidepressants possible & who served for 13 years as Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry, Clinical Neuroscience Branch, at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Next is a radio interview with Dr. John Virapen who is the one responsible for BUYING the approval (yes he paid a bribe in Pharmas’ behalf ) to get these drugs on the market. Listen to him admit it all in this first radio interview he did in the United States in 2010:
The last one is from Dr. John Ioanidis, the world’s leading expert on medical science who has been warning since 2005 that 90% of medical research is at least tainted if not outright bogus, due to influence ($$$$$$) from industry!
To demonstrate the seriousness of this situation he stated he is not sure medical science will be able to survive this! One simple question to bring perspective: “Would you take your car to a mechanic who is relying on information on the car which is 90% incorrect?” And yet according to Dr. Ioannidis, this is exactly what you are doing with your own health/your very life or the health/lives of your loved ones, every time you walk into a doctor’s office!]
WITHDRAWAL WARNING:In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!
The FDA also now warns that any abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant can produce suicide, hostility or psychosis. These reactions can either come on very rapidly or even be delayed for months depending upon the adverse effects upon sleep patterns when the withdrawal is rapid!
Ann Blake Tracy is the executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness and the author of: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”
Christian sex ‘sins’ melt down on TV’s ‘Bachelorette’
‘Dude, choose a woman who loves Christ the way you do. Period’
Luke Parker and Hannah Brown enjoy a helicopter ride together (Instagram /Luke Parker)
Millions of Christians across America and the world are familiar with the Bible’s warning against having sex outside of marriage, and now that conflict has sparked a meltdown on “The Bachelorette” TV show and spilled into real life.
The stance by one Christian suitor, 24-year-old Luke Parker, to wait until marriage to have sex got him tossed out of contention by Hannah Brown, who rolled her eyes numerous times when Parker objected to the “Fantasy Suites” portion of the program.
It’s not that Brown wasn’t attracted to “LukeP” as he’s called on the air.
“The closest thing to love at first sight was probably with you,” the Alabama native admitted during Parker’s final episode.
But when it came to the possibility of Ms. Brown having sex with numerous partners, that’s where Parker drew the line.
“I don’t believe that’s something you should be doing,” he said, “and I just want to make sure you’re not going to be, you know, sexually intimate with, you know, the other relationships here.”
“Guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage, pride is a sin, too, and I feel like this is like a pride thing,” Brown responded. “I feel like I’ve finally gotten clarity on you and I do not want you to be my husband.”
After Parker asked if he could have a moment, Brown dropped a bombshell on him, saying she did, in fact, already have sex in a windmill twice with fellow contestant Peter Weber.
“I have had sex and, like, Jesus still loves me,” she declared.
The lovers’ spat continued off the air, on the internet, with the couple engaging in a fierce war of words over what constitutes sin, and how Christians should respond.
“The difference in how we view sin is seen in the response,” Parker indicated. “I’m weeping at mine and you’re laughing at yours. All sin stings. My heart hurts for both of us.”
Brown responded: “time and time again Jesus loved and ate with ‘sinners’ who laughed. And time and time again he rebuked ‘saints’ that judged. Where do you fall Luke? #TheBachelorette.”
Luke replied: “There is a difference between eating with sinners who laugh and sinners who laugh at their sin. Sin is the very thing that put Jesus on the cross and that’s not a laughing matter.”
Brown wasn’t through, though, as she alluded to a conversation Parker had with another kicked-off contestant, Garrett Powell: “I have never said that I find my sin funny. I’m not going to [be] lectured on appropriate emotional responses by a guy who threw deli meat in a guy’s lap.”
Parker then addressed the sexual encounter in the windmill.
“Your tweets about the windmill and the wood were enough, it’s not about the action it’s about the response. If you want to talk about it, you know how to get ahold of me.”
On Instagram, Parker admitted it hurt his heart that Hannah “felt I was shaming her.”
In our conversation my heart was never to judge or condemn Hannah. I was simply making a decision for myself on what I expected in our relationship, our conversations and our beliefs led me to believe we were on the same page about sex. For me it was never about getting a rose, it was always about finding a wife who would choose me everyday just as I would choose her everyday.
As for my time on the show I made mistakes and no I’m not perfect (crazy right) I didn’t totally behave as the man I want to be and I did not represent Christ the way I thought I was prepared to and that has broken me.
This journey has taught me so much and for that I am grateful but the greatest gift I have received is a compassion for those who love the world and it’s ways. My desire is to put the Father first above all things and share the truth that he has given to us all. Thank you everyone for the prayers always remember speak truth and rid yourself of all hate, let compassion drive your words. Stay tuned.
Some comments from viewers online include:
“Stick to your guns. [Wait for] sex until you’re married. She is crazy anyways.”
“Boy still can’t fully take responsibility for how crappy he is.”
“I just don’t think this environment/setting was for you. I mean, how could someone not have controlling behaviors when a girl their dating is dating 30 other guys. I think the the guys who DON’T CARE that Hannah is mindlessly sleeping around/jumping naked is more concerning to me, than a man who finds it concerning and worth talking about? Clearly the TV show made you look like some narcissist. But I don’t think you are. I think @alabamahannah is just an airhead who uses grace as an excuse to have 0 control and overreacted. Her Bible quotes were her interpretation of the Bible. Any who. *Not a Luke fan but even more so not a Hannah fan. She slept with a guy she had no feelings for … (she never told peter she loved him …) I mean it’s worth being a little concerned about if you’re wanting to propose to someone within a week.”
“Why is everyone confusing the words judgement and discernment. Obviously you have a standard you want to live by and it’s not unreasonable to desire a wife with those same standards and desires. Hannah doesn’t have a true relationship with Jesus. Because Christ says that ‘those who love me obey my commands.’ Dude … choose a woman who loves Christ the way you do. Period.”
Michael Brown takes on controversy surrounding reality show’s pair of contestants
The headline announced, “‘Bachelorette’ star sends contestant home after sex before marriage spat, feud spills into Twitter.” Yes, “Sparks flew Monday night on the Fantasy Suites week episode of ‘The Bachelorette’ between star Hannah Brown and Luke Parker.” The sparks were flying over the issue of pre-marital sex.
Both Brown and Parker claim to be committed Christians, but for Parker, sex was to be saved for marriage. Not so for Brown, who told Parker she had had sex with another show contestant, not once, but twice. “I have had sex” she said, “and, like, Jesus still loves me.”
To be candid, I’ve never watched “The Bachelorette” (or “The Bachelor”), and I know nothing of Brown and Parker, other than what I’ve written here.
But I do know Jesus. And I do know the Scriptures. And the Word of God makes perfectly clear that sexual intimacy is a special gift for a husband and wife alone. Period.
To have sex before wedlock is called fornication. To have sex outside of wedlock is called adultery. And both are expressly forbidden in Scripture. Sex is too sacred to be squandered and abused and misused. It is for the marital bed alone.
But what of Brown’s statement, “Jesus still loves me”?
She’s absolutely right. He still does. He loves us when we sin, even repeatedly.
He loves us when we’re immoral. And when we’re proud. And when we’re greedy. And when we’re hateful.
Yes, He still loves us, even when we sin.
But that doesn’t mean He is pleased with us when we sin. That doesn’t mean He looks the other way. That doesn’t mean we haven’t grieved Him. And that doesn’t mean He will not discipline us in His love.
In fact, Jesus spoke so strongly against sexual immorality that He said we should take radical steps to prevent it in our lives, emphasizing that those steps would be far less costly than going to hell (Matthew 5:27-30).
Paul also gave warnings in the strongest terms, writing, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. … For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3–6).
The book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, has this to say about who will enter the eternal, heavenly Jerusalem and who will not: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:14–15).
Willfully practicing sin is terribly costly.
Again, it’s true that Jesus still loves us, even when we sin. And it’s true that, one way or another, we sin every day, either in thought or word or deed. Even if we don’t sin consciously, we still fall short of loving our neighbor perfectly, even on our very best day.
But Jesus loves us enough that He calls us out of our sin, rebukes us for our persistent and willful sin and warns us of the consequences of sin.
Hannah Brown said to Luke Parker, “Guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage; pride is a sin, too, and I feel like this is like a pride thing.”
And that, somehow, was justification in her eyes for having sex outside of wedlock. To paraphrase, “Well, I feel you’re bring proud, which is just as bad as having sex out of wedlock. So, if you can be proud, I can have sex.”
What she has sadly forgotten is that sex is sacred and that sin destroys. And that Jesus came to save us from our sins so that, from here on, we could live the rest of our lives in obedience to God.
The Lord does forgive us, freely and completely, laying down His life to save us from judgment and destruction. But salvation comes with requirements. God requires us to be holy.
As Paul wrote, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18–20).
I pray Hannah Brown would take this to heart. In fact, I pray that each and everyone of us would take it to heart. We can’t let anything rob us of walking in the beauty of holiness.
The truth does not change based on your ability to accept it.
I do my best to live life in a way that I am aware of what I do, while also trying not to chase things that are outside of my control.
Here are some of those truths that help me stay in control of my life.
Life is pain
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” — William Goldman
The first person that comes to mind is Gary Vaynerchuk, whose constant social media posting encourages folks to chase happiness instead of money.
Well, sorry to break it to you, but life is pain. If you do not accept this, life is going to break your heart on a daily basis.
The pursuit of happiness? How does that even work? How does one go about it? How long does it last?
Don’t wish for fairytales. Just don’t.
The truth is that you have to make use of your suffering. That you must do your best to choose the battles you want to fight.
Do what is hard every single day, do what is meaningful, and happiness will come as a by-product of your actions.
Envy is the most stupid thing ever
“People always get what they want. But there is a price for everything. Failures are either those who do not know what they want or are not prepared to pay the price asked them. The price varies from individual to individual. Some get things at bargain-sale prices, others only at famine prices. But it is no use grumbling. Whatever price you are asked, you must pay.” – W.H. Auden
There’s a price that one must pay for anything. The price is sometimes time, sometimes energy, sometimes compromising oneself.
If someone has more than you, if someone is better than you at a certain skill, you can rest assured that they are worst than you in other areas.
We get what we are willing to sacrifice for.
I spent eight years writing before I earned a single dollar. I was living mostly on coffee, Coca-Cola, and cigarettes. I was also a recluse. I felt as if there was this invisible wall between me and the rest of the world. I cannot count the times I cried whenever I saw people who were in love or seemed to be.
I paid the price. To be able to write my stories, to share them with the world.
Think about that next time you feel like being envious of someone else’s success or achievements. They paid the price. You didn’t.
Cynicism is going to poison your soul
“Michelangelo’s great perfect marble David cries out to its observer: “You could be more than you are.” When you dare aspire upward, you reveal the inadequacy of the present and the promise of the future. Then you disturb others, in the depths of their souls, where they understand that their cynicism and immobility are unjustifiable. You play Abel to their Cain. You remind them that they ceased caring not because of life’s horrors, which are undeniable, but because they do not want to lift the world up on to their shoulders, where it belongs.” – Jordan B. Peterson
Here in Romania a lot of folks tend to believe that rich people are all thieves. Corrupt. They did something bad to acquire their fortunes. And when I tell them that they could also steal, they look at me like…
Play by the rules, if you want to win. If you hate the game, hate the players, you’re only going to be bitter about it for the rest of your life.
You know those guys who call the police whenever a neighbor throws a party?
Well, they do so because no one ever invites them to parties. The same goes for guys who slut-shame women, people who hate on the rich, on the famous, on the talented, on every single other category.
The dog that can bite, almost never has to
“Morality is just a fiction used by the herd of inferior human beings to hold back the few superior men.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
We have a saying here in Romania: the dog that barks never bites. The people who are most vocal about their beliefs, about ethics, about the way that we should live our lives, they are most afraid of the chaos that life truly represents.
You know one of the best ways you can gain self-confidence and speak up for yourself? If you are strong enough to defend yourself physically. Funny. But true.
The thing is, unless one is capable of being bad, he cannot be considered good.
A rabbit is not good. It is harmless. Being harmless, being the nice guy, that’s not going to get you the kind of life you dream about. Avoiding conflict makes it so that you attract conflict.
Just take a look at the kind of kids that get bullied. As a matter of fact, take a close look at kids aged 2 to 4 and the way they play together. How mean and aggressive they are. They lie, they steal, they fight. Little monsters.
I think it’s almost a miracle we don’t all end up as serial killers.
There’s a certain darkness in each and all of us, and we must accept our own darkness, and we must be willing to face the darkness in other people’s souls.
Pretending otherwise? You’re just setting yourself up to be exploited by those who do accept the darkness that lies in each and every single one of us.
Think about it.. if you expect the lion to not eat you because you didn’t eat it, guess what’s going to happen?
Intentions don’t matter
“Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.” – Maya Angelou
A few years ago I was deeply in love. Or so I’d define what I was feeling back then. One fine morning, after a particularly long and tedious fight the night before, she decided to break up with me. I didn’t expect it, never thought it could happen.
All I could do was cry and tell her that I loved her as much as I could. That was it. All I could do. What I felt for her, I couldn’t feel more of. There wasn’t more to be felt. There wasn’t room in my heart to love anyone or anything else but her.
It didn’t matter, of course.
The rabbits from my previous truth on life are probably judging her as insensitive and cold.
Here’s the thing: in life, everyone except your mother is going to judge you by your actions. It does not matter that you tried to do the right thing. Did you do it? That’s all that matters.
It does not matter how much you love someone or what you’re willing to do for them, it matters if you love them the way they want to be loved, if you are the person they want to love.
Unhappy kids raise unhappy kids
“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth” – African proverb
A mother is supposed to love her child unconditionally. It does seem to be the one element an awful lot of successful people have in common, but not the only one.
Children are fragile, and you can even break them by giving them too much love and attention, or by never saying no, or by trying to protect them from what you consider to be a dangerous world.
It took me years and years to understand my own self, to get rid of traumas that I had the tendency to downplay.
And the demons that we acquire when we are kids (that we sometimes end up calling destiny) are not so easy to get rid out.
Habits, not goals
“Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.” – Jeff Olson
It’s February and I bet that the vast majority of people who set New Years Resolutions have already failed at them.
Goals are not as exciting as we think they are. As a matter of fact, most of the time reaching a goal is not as satisfying as daydreaming about it.
Habits, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.
Develop the habits. Focus on the twenty-four hours ahead of you.
Ask yourself who do you want to be, and do something today that brings you closer to becoming that person.
Be a king. Always.
“About this time he had the sarcophagus and body of Alexander the Great brought forth from its shrine, and after gazing on it, showed his respect by placing upon it a golden crown and strewing it with flowers; and being then asked whether he wished to see the tomb of the Ptolemies as well, he replied, “My wish was to see a king, not corpses.” – Suetonius
Be the king of your own life. Of your own soul. True mastery is mastery over oneself. Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. Especially if your voice shakes. You are going to die, no matter what. Do not beg for moments or temporary comfort.
Be a king. Keep your head high.
And remember, always remember, that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything. It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
If the world asks you who you are, you speak loud and clear, because you if you do not, it will tell you and you won’t like it.
These are some of the truths that I try to remind myself on a daily basis. There are, of course, a lot more, like the fact that most people are wrong (and it always helps to stay away from what the majority thinks or believes in or does), or the fact that we must do something hard every single day, or that we must embrace uncertainty.
What do you think? What are some undeniable truths that you figure out about life?
At least seven Christian families were forced to flee from their homes in the Jharkhand state of India this month after receiving threats and facing harassment from a Hindu mob, a global human rights advocacy group reports.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which advocates for religious freedom in over 20 countries, the seven families were forced from Masiya Mahuwatoli village on June 12 after a mob of about 200 villagers was riled up by the activist group Hindu Jagran Manch.
Sources told CSW that the displaced families include one pregnant woman and the families are reportedly seeking shelter in neighboring villages.
Three other families that were targeted reportedly forcefully converted to Hinduism, according to CSW.
The sources explained that the representatives of the HJM made a list of Christian families in the village who would be instructed to recant their faith or face potential consequences.
When the families refused the demands to convert, the villagers became violent.
The villagers reportedly threatened the Christian families with excommunication, a ban from using the village road, a ban from accessing community water as well as exclusion from all government rations. Additionally, about 12 kids were said to have been banned from going to the local school.
The sources added that the woman who was nine months pregnant, Anima Munda, was forced to walk about four miles to seek refuge in the neighboring village.
Two days later, sources told CSW that 22 HJM members entered a Christian home and dragged a Christian man and his mother out to the street. The two were later taken to a temple to renounce their faith.
“When they refused, their Bibles were burnt and the perpetrators carried out a conversion ceremony,” CSW explained in a press release. “On the same evening, members of HJM attacked the home of a man named Mangra Munda. His home was damaged as a result of attempts by the perpetrators to get in. Mangra told local sources they were going to kill him, but he was able to escape as it was dark.”
According to CSW, about 37 of the villages’ 47 Christians have escaped and now live in fear as some of their elderly parents are still in the village and in need of care.
On June 17, the Christian families reportedly filed a complaint with the local police department.
“CSW is deeply concerned for the wellbeing of the Christian families who have been forced to either convert or run for their lives,” CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement. “The freedom to choose a religion is a fundamental right afforded to every Indian citizen. We urge the local authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, to give full protection to these families, and to take the necessary steps to ensure that Christian families in Masiya Mahuwatoli village are able to live without fear and intimidation.”
The alleged assault on the Christian community in Masiya Mahuwatoli village is not the first time Christians have been forced out of their villages in Jharkhand state.
In 2018, International Christian Concern reported that 10 Christian families in the Pahli village of Latehar district of the state were forced to flee from their homes after local radicals demanded they renounce their faith.
India ranks as the 10th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Door USA’s 2019 World Watch List.
“Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, attacks have increased, and Hindu radicals believe they can attack Christians with no consequences,” Open Doors USA, a leading Christian persecution watchdog active in dozens of countries, reported in a factsheet.
“As a result, Christians have been targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists more and more each year. The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith — including Christianity — is considered non-Indian.”
On June 10th, a Christian evangelist was reportedly arrested in the Kerala state and accused of forcing conversions when he went to visit patients in a hospital. According to International Christian Concern, evangelist Boban Koshy was arrested for distributing religious pamphlets.
Although he was released, Koshy claims he is still being harassed and monitored by police. Koshy is among the many religious leaders in India that have been arrested on accusations of forcible conversion, which is a crime in certain Indian states.
In the Odisha state, a Christian school that educated over 250 tribal children was demolished in May after a Hindu radical group put pressure on local authorities to do so.
Last week, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on international religious freedom. The report, which analyzes the state of religious freedom in all countries, highlighted extremist Hindu mob attacks on religious minority communities that include Christians and Muslims.
The State Department report cited NGOs that have voiced concern that the Indian government “often protected perpetrators from prosecution.”
“As of November, there were 18 such attacks, and eight people killed during the year,” the State Department report explains.
A Bible that once belonged to President Abraham Lincoln resurfaced 150 years after his death, pointing to the faith he clung to at a pivotal moment in American history and when he was growing more overtly religious.
Lincoln’s faith has long been debated over the years. He was known as the “village atheist” as a young man but he gave one of the most explicitly religious speeches ever by a president during his second inaugural address. Scholars say the new discovery helps solidify his faith in his later years.
President Abraham Lincoln's 150-year-old Bible was gifted to his neighbor, Rev. Noyes W. Miner, by his widowed wife, Mary. Miner's family has passed it down and recently donated it so the public can now view it. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum)
On Thursday, the Bible will go on display for the first time at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.
The 16th president was given the Holy Book on June 16, 1864, during a rare wartime trip to Philadelphia raising money for wounded soldiers, where Lincoln donated 48 signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation that were sold for fundraising. He was gifted the 18-pound, gilted Bible decorated with the words “faith,” “hope,” and “charity” by the hospital that treated wounded and ill soldiers during the Civil War.
The cover of the Bible reads: “Presented to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by the Ladies of the Citizens Volunteer Hospital of Philadelphia.”
Exterior of the hospital that gave the Bible to President Lincoln in 1864. (Free Library of Philadelphia, Print and Picture Collection)
A few months later, upon receiving another copy of the Bible as a gift, Lincoln wrote, “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”
Mary Lincoln, a widow after Lincoln’s assassination, gave the Bible, the sixth known to historians that was owned by the Lincoln family, to their neighbor who lived across the street.
The neighbor was the Rev. Noyes W. Miner, a Baptist minister who read the book of Job at the Republican president’s funeral. On the back, the first lady inscribed: “Mrs. Abraham Lincoln to N.W. Miner, D.D., Oct. 15, 1872.”
On Thursday, the Bible will go on display for the first time at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum)
She wrote that Miner was “a friend very much beloved by my husband” and historians speculate the former first lady gave the Bible to Miner as a way to protect her husband’s legacy as she had angrily rejected assertions that he was an atheist.
Miner once wrote that Lincoln “believed not only in the overwhelming Providence of God, but in the divinity of the Sacred Scriptures” and that the first lady told him at Ford’s Theater that Lincoln was planning a post-White House visit to Jerusalem to “see the places hallowed by the footsteps of the Saviour.”
Mary Lincoln gifted the Bible to their neighbor who lived across the street, Rev. Noyes W. Miner, a Baptist minister who read the book of Job at the Republican president's funeral. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum)
On Oct. 15, 1881, Miner wrote: “the bullet from the pistol of the assassin entered his brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above.”
Another Bible owned by Lincoln was used by former President Barack Obama at his 2009 and 2013 inauguration and it was also used by President Trump at his 2017 inauguration.
The recently unveiled Bible will go on public display at the request of Miner’s family, who passed the keepsake down from generation to generation.
“The donation of this Bible offers a new opportunity to reflect on Lincoln’s religious beliefs,” Ian Hunt, head of acquisitions for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, said in a statement. “It’s a tangible connection to the fascinating question of what Lincoln believed and how those beliefs evolved as he endured tragedy after tragedy.”
Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke
There is no way of knowing for certain that someone is hearing from God, unless that person has been listening to God over a long period of time and then testing what he or she has heard. Such people have become accustomed to discerning God’s voice (see John 10:27). There are many others, however, who think they are hearing from God when maybe they are not. How annoying are the super spiritual who always say, “God told me this–God told me that–God told me this other?” It seems that their every thought is a revelation from God. God does not customarily operate that way. He speaks to us, but He does not chatter away, day in and day out, the way some people claim He does. This has been my experience, and it is the concept that is in accordance with the biblical record.
The Bible says that we can tell if someone is a prophet by seeing if what he has said comes to pass (see Deuteronomy 18:22). That is a very pragmatic test, and it works.
A friend who purported to hear from God told me, “My second child is going to be a boy. God told me.” His second child was a girl. He said, “Well, God told me that it was not the second child who was going to be a boy, but the third child.” His third child was a girl too. At that point I determined, “That brother isn’t hearing from God.” It was clear: He made a statement, supposedly from God, that did not come to pass.
There is no shortcut to spiritual understanding. You have to learn to walk with God and to know His voice; otherwise, you will mistake your own voice for His. You even may be fooled by the voice of Satan, or you may hear the clamoring voice of the world. It is so easy to get these voices mixed up. Usually, God speaks to us in a still, small, quiet voice (see I Kings 19:11-13). It takes time, prayer, and waiting on God to hear His voice.
Nor does God scatter His pearls around recklessly. He said, “You will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). God does not reveal Himself to every casual onlooker who would take sacred things and play with them like toys. I have known some adults who treated the gifts of God as if they were just little baubles to play with. To please God and to receive counsel from Him, people must be both determined and serious.
How do we succeed in hearing God’s voice? By spending time with God. The ultimate is not merely to get direction from God; the ultimate is to know God. God can make it difficult for us to get into His presence, because He wants to see if we truly will expend the spiritual energy and exercise necessary to do so. Will we stop certain sins? Will we get rid of things that hinder us? Will we truly seek Him with all of our hearts?
Some people only want a quick fix. “God, tell me how to make money on this business deal, please. See you next time!” And then that is the end of it. But God wants to be treated with reverence and deference that His nature warrants. He wants to change us, not merely give us quick answers to difficult problems. We will never be changed unless we come into His presence, spend time with Him, and allow Him to purify us from our sinful nature.
Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life’s Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson
God invented the rainbow. He put it in the heavens following the worldwide flood of Noah’s day to be a sign of His covenant with humanity and his commitment to protect us from another worldwide flood. In other words, the rainbow is a symbol of His grace and mercy and the goodness of His promises.
Now regressives get absolutely outraged when symbols are co-opted and used by people they think have no right to them. This social sin even has a name: cultural appropriation. Here’s the definition:
“Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.” (Emphasis in original.)
So wearing blackface is out. Wearing hairstyles that belong to a different culture is out. A white artist was pilloried for painting a portrait of Emmett Till. A British retailer was harpooned for using the checkered pattern of the Palestinian kaffiyeh for a playsuit. Kim Kardashian was once drawn and quartered for wearing a “bobby pin headband,” which is native to Caribbean women. (They call it a “doobie wrap.”)
White fraternities cannot serve tacos at a Cinco de Mayo event, nor may their members wear sombreros to the party. High schools cannot use mascots from Native American history, even if the mascots symbolize bravery, courage, and the spirit of a warrior. (I’ll stop defending the Washington “Redskins” just as soon as the Navajo Code Talkers do.)
So cultural appropriation is a thing now, and it’s supposed to be bad (whatever happened to “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?”). Regessives also say that when culture appropriation happens, offenders must apologize and give up use of the symbol.
All this brings us to the rainbow flag, now the universal symbol of homosexuality. In history’s worst act of cultural appropriation, homosexuals stole the rainbow from God and turned it into a symbol of sexual perversion rather than hope. Despite a direct order from the president, homosexuals are defiantly flying the rainbow flag at U.S. embassies all over the world.
Now the rainbow is, of course, God’s invention. He placed it in the heavens after the worldwide flood as a sign of his covenant promise to mankind never again to destroy the earth with a flood (which, by the way, ought to be a great encouragement to Al Gore, who wants us to believe he loses sleep over the prospect of rising sea levels inundating the globe, including the $9 million beach-front house he recently bought).
So in the culture in which it originated, the rainbow was (and is) a sign of hope and assurance and a symbol of God’s grace and infinite patience. “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13, emphasis mine), a covenant in which God promises that “never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood” (Genesis 9:11).
In the hands of homosexual activists, however, it has become a sign of sexually deviant behavior. It promotes a lifestyle which God says is an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) and “contrary to nature,” a lifestyle which consists of “shameless acts” which will come at a terrible cost to those who engage in them (“receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27).
All this is a rather stupendous and disturbing reversal. What once was universally regarded as a symbol of God’s providential care has become universally regarded as a symbol of sexual debauchery.
If you have any question about how completely homosexual activists have co-opted this symbol, imagine your reaction if you happened to drive past a church displaying a rainbow banner to promote vacation Bible school. You would naturally assume at first glance that it was a gay-affirming church.
Now maybe all the church wants to do is take kids on a journey through the flood story, with all the animals on the ark, and with doves and ravens and twigs and so forth. But it would almost be a waste of time and energy for the church to try to explain itself. It wouldn’t have enough money in its budget to clarify and explain and persuade. When people today see the rainbow flag, it doesn’t say “God” to them, it says “homosexuality.”
God quite directly and pointedly says it is “my” bow. It belongs to him. If somebody else has it and is prostituting it, then that somebody stole it from its rightful owner. Sounds like cultural appropriation to me. Gays stole the rainbow from God. It’s time to give it back.
Homer and Langley Collyer were sons of a respected New York doctor. Both studied at Columbia University—Homer earned his degree in law, and Langley became an accomplished engineer and concert pianist. When their parents both died in the 1920s, the brothers inherited the family home and estate. The two men—both bachelors—were now financially secure.
But the Collyer brothers adopted a peculiar lifestyle not at all consistent with the material status their inheritance gave them. They retired into almost total seclusion. They boarded up the windows of their house and barricaded the doors. All their utilities—including water—were eventually shut off. No one was ever seen coming or going from the house except Langley, on his occasional, furtive midnight trips for food. From the outside, the multi-story house appeared empty.
On March 21, 1947, police received an anonymous telephone tip that there was a dead man in the Collyer house. Unable to force their way in through the front door, authorities entered the house through a second-story window. Inside they found Homer Collyer’s corpse, blind and paralyzed, starved to death. But this macabre scene was set against an equally grotesque backdrop.
The brothers were hoarders. They had collected everything—but especially junk. Their house was crammed full of broken machinery, auto parts, boxes, appliances, folding chairs, musical instruments, rags, assorted odds and ends, and incredible heaps of old newspapers. Virtually all of it was worthless. Enormous mountains of debris blocked all entries; investigators were forced to continue using the upstairs window for weeks while excavators worked to clear a path to the door.
Nearly three weeks later, as workmen were still hauling heaps of refuse away, someone made a grisly discovery—Langley Collyer’s body was buried beneath a pile of rubbish just feet away from where Homer had died. It seems Langley had been crushed to death in a crude booby trap he had built to guard his home from intruders.
The garbage eventually removed from the Collyer house totaled more than 140 tons. No one ever learned why the brothers were stockpiling their pathetic treasure, except an old friend of the family recalled that Langley once said he was saving the newspapers so Homer could catch up on world events once he regained his sight.
Homer and Langley Collyer make a sad but fitting parable of the way many people in the church live. Although the Collyers’ inheritance was sufficient for all their needs, they lived instead in unnecessary, self-imposed squalor. They cut themselves off from all else and treated their inheritance as a dump, carefully collecting and treasuring the world’s garbage.
Too many Christians live their spiritual lives that way. Disregarding the bountiful riches of an inheritance that cannot be defiled (1 Peter 1:4), they scour the wreckage of worldly wisdom, collecting litter. As if the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7) were not enough, as if “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) were not sufficient, they try to supplement the resources that are theirs in Christ. They spend their lives pointlessly accumulating sensational experiences, novel teachings, clever gurus, or whatever else they can find to add to their hoard of spiritual experiences. Practically all of it is utterly worthless. Yet some people pack themselves so full of these diversions that they can’t find the door to the truth that would set them free. They forfeit treasure for trash.
God’s people must not repeat such tragic ignorance. All the riches and resources we need are freely available and accessible to us in Jesus Christ. Believers cannot afford to ignore their rich inheritance in Him.
Resolution demands they ‘stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong’
California, which already demands that public schools only portray homosexuality in a positive light and banned counselors from telling troubled youth they don’t have to be gay, now is moving against pastors and other spiritual leaders.
They, apparently, are guilty of telling homosexuals and others that the Bible teaches something else.
He explained that churches and pastors are just trying to help LGBT people.
But Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99, Starnes reported, calls on “counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators” and institutions with “great moral influence” to stop saying something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior.
“The proposed resolution also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as ‘unethical,’ ‘harmful,’ and leading to high rates of suicide,” Starnes reported.
While it is just a non-binding resolution for now, Gibbs said that does not mean it will stay a resolution.
“What we find over and over again across America is that before they put a bill in and pass a law they frequently pass a resolution,” he explained.
“They say there is a stigma associated with being LGBT that is often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, and that stigma has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, and depression,” Gibbs said.
“What they’re asking is that churches and religious groups change how they’re addressing this (lifestyle).”
Gibbs said, “We want to reach these people, but we believe that the scriptures absolutely take a stand on this issue, and we cannot change the stand that the Bible takes. They’re trying to make it where absolutely the churches and religious groups are being held up as the problem why these LGBT community people feel like they do. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Gibbs explained, “They’re saying in (the resolution) that the state has a compelling interest to protect this from happening, and that means that they would have the right to forbid that in the future in churches and other places. You can all but count on this wording showing up again when they pass a bill.”
Lawmakers appear to be headed toward another constitutional violation.
“What Christians are doing is constitutionally protected, their religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, and they absolutely have the right to speak their faith and practice their faith,” Gibbs said.
IS THIS BILL BIGGEST ASSAULT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?
Michael Brown warns against plan to outlaw pastors from criticizing LGBT practice
In the latest and most egregious example of attempted government overreach, California legislators have proposed a bill that would dictate what pastors preach from the pulpit.
Specifically, “Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 calls on ‘counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators’ and institutions with ‘great moral influence’ to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as ‘unethical,’ ‘harmful,’ and leading to high rates of suicide.”
Put another way, these legislators are telling pastors and spiritual leaders to throw out the Bible, disregard the Lord’s will, ignore the testimony of thousands of ex-gays and conform to extreme political correctness – or else.
This is one of the most frontal attacks on our religious freedoms in memory (or perhaps in our nation’s history). And it confirms what I have said for the last 15 years: Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. This is nothing less than that ancient spirit of Jezebel trying to silence God’s messengers through fear and intimidation.
There is one way to respond to such spiritual and legal attacks: First, stand up against the bill in order to expose its bias and bigotry; and second, if the bill should actually pass (which might be a long shot even in California), defy it.
In the year A.D. 123, the Roman government launched a severe crackdown against the Jews, culminating in 134, when all Jewish practices were forbidden, including circumcision, Torah study and Sabbath observance. How did the rabbis respond?
One of the noted leaders, Rabbi Hananiah ben Teradyon conducted public Torah classes, paying for it with his life.
But this was no emotional, spur of the moment decision. There was a rationale behind his actions, traceable back to Rabbi Akiva, the greatest rabbinic sage of that day (but not a believer in Jesus), also martyred for his allegiance to Torah.
The Talmud relates: “Once the wicked Roman government issued a decree forbidding the Jews to study and practice the Torah. Pappus ben Judah came by and, upon finding Rabbi Akiva publicly holding sessions in which he occupied himself with Torah, Pappus asked him: Akiva, are you not afraid of the government?
“Rabbi Akiva replied: You, Pappus, who are said to be wise, are in fact a fool. I can explain what I am doing by means of a parable: A fox was walking on a river bank and, seeing fishes hastening here and there, asked them, ‘From whom are you fleeing?’ They replied, ‘From the nets and traps set for us by men.’ So the fox said to them, ‘How would you like to come up on dry land, so that you and I may live together the way my ancestors lived with yours?’ They replied, ‘You – the one they call the cleverest of animals – are in fact a fool. If we are fearful in the place where we can stay alive, how much more fearful should we be in a place where we are sure to die!’
“So it is with us. If we are fearful when we sit and study Torah, of which it is written, ‘For that is thy life and the length of thy days’ (Deuteronomy 30:20), how much more fearful ought we to be should we cease the study of words of Torah!” (b. Berakhot 61b)
The same principle applies to spiritual leaders today, all the more in light of Messiah’s death on the cross and resurrection. We do what is right regardless of cost and consequence. We honor the Lord and love our neighbor by speaking the truth, however unpopular it may be. The more the world seeks to muzzle us, the more loudly and clearly we speak out.
Should we avoid demonizing those in the LGBT community? Absolutely.
Should we be careful to separate issues from people? Certainly. (In other words, we make a distinction between an aggressive agenda and a hurting individual.)
Should we proclaim God’s love through the cross for every human being? Without a doubt.
But we must not refrain from declaring what God’s Word plainly says: Homosexual practice is contrary to His will, and He does not bless or recognize same-sex “marriages.” And when it comes to transgender identities, biology is not bigotry, and the best solution for people struggling with gender confusion is to help them find wholeness from the inside out.
Should this draconian bill actually become law, the strategy is simple: The Sunday after the bill is passed, every true pastor in California should preach a love-drenched message on what the Bible says about LGBT people and issues.
Better still, how about every pastor doing it this Sunday. Why wait?