Category archives: Religion & Culture

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of June 28)

by Family Research Council

July 3, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Washington Update: “History in the Breaking”

When angry mobs tear down our statues and vandalize monuments, is that really “justice?”

2. Washington Update: “Five Justices vs. The People”

Five unelected people are making it impossible for leaders to run their states the way voters see fit.

3. Blog: “Hidden in Plain Sight: How Abortion Erases Black Lives”

George Floyd’s death serves as a clarion call for justice—but can America ever be a truly just nation if we continue to throw away millions of lives simply because someone says they aren’t worth living? 

4. Blog: “How Do We Authentically Love Our LGBT-Identifying Neighbors?”

Pride Month forces Christians to examine themselves. Are we actually preaching the gospel, which combines truth and love?

5. Blog: “A Loss for Women and Children at the Supreme Court”

With women and children’s lives on the line, Justice Roberts chose to adhere to a precedent he acknowledges is wrong.

6. Washington WatchKen Blackwell says racism isn’t responsible for our chaos, the lack of local leadership is

Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the Left’s betrayal of black Americans.

7. Washington WatchAllen West asks if anyone remembers George Floyd, because the destruction is beyond his cause

Allen West, former Florida congressman, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, and author of Hold Texas, Hold the Nation, joined Tony Perkins to discuss President Trump’s executive order protecting American history.

For more from FRC, visit our website at frc.org, our blog at frcblog.org, our Facebook pageTwitter account, and Instagram account. Get the latest on what FRC is saying about the current issues of the day that impact the state of faith, family, and freedom, both domestically and abroad. Check out “The 7” at the end of every week to get our highlights of the week’s trending items. Have a great weekend!

Befriending Our Opponents: A Tale of Two Presidents

by Worth Loving

July 2, 2020

In the midst of the current political divisions gripping our nation, it’s difficult to find close friendships between people with opposing viewpoints. It seems we are divided on every issue, with each side digging their heels in more and more and little hope of solving America’s greatest problems.

In such times, many are asking if there is any hope of finding common ground. I have often found it difficult to form meaningful friendships with people whom I disagree with on fundamental issues like life, family, and religious freedom. But may I suggest that friendship is exactly what we need to bring us together? What if we could form genuine relationships with those on the other side to make our nation better together? Two of our most famous Founding Fathers had significant political differences that nearly ended their friendship. Yet they persevered, giving us the beautiful story of reconciliation that we have today.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson first met in Philadelphia at the Second Continental Congress of 1775. A year later, they worked together on the committee tasked with drafting the Declaration of Independence, whose 244th anniversary we celebrate this weekend. In the 1780s, Adams and Jefferson worked together on diplomatic assignments in England and France, managing to find some time for leisure during their demanding duties as ambassadors. Over the years, they became close friends, corresponding by letter often when they were separated.

On politics, however, the two could not be more opposite and frequently debated their differences. In fact, their disagreements sometimes became personal and often tested their friendship. Adams, a devout member of the Federalist Party, favored a strong central government, a national bank, and close relations with Great Britain. On the other hand, Jefferson, an ardent Democrat-Republican, favored states’ rights, reduced government spending, greater relations with France, and westward expansion. Despite their passionate political differences, their close friendship continued for many years.

However, circumstances changed in 1801. Adams was still president but had just lost his bid for reelection in a bitter battle against Jefferson. In the final hours of his presidency before Jefferson took office, Adams made a number of last-minute judicial and bureaucratic appointments—appointees who were loyal Federalists and would oppose the incoming administration, making it extremely difficult for Jefferson to govern effectively. In fact, Jefferson later wrote that they “were selected from among my most ardent political enemies.” This political disagreement proved to be the severest test of their friendship, and the two ceased correspondence for the next decade.

After Jefferson retired from the presidency in 1809, Dr. Benjamin Rush took it upon himself to act as an arbiter and rekindle the friendship between Adams and Jefferson. However, it took two years until he was able to convince the two to resume their friendship. When one of Jefferson’s neighbors visited Adams in 1811, Adams is reported to have said: “I have always loved Jefferson, and still love him.” Upon hearing this report from his neighbor, Jefferson wrote Dr. Rush: “This is enough for me. I only needed this knowledge to revive towards him all the affections of the most cordial moments of our lives.” At Dr. Rush’s persuading, he convinced Adams to renew his correspondence with Jefferson. The two continued to write each other often until their deaths 15 years later.

Reconciliation often makes broken relationships stronger than they were before, and so it did with Adams and Jefferson. In the years following their renewed friendship, a rich correspondence commenced between the two, reminiscing about the past, discussing current events, and looking forward to what lay ahead.

On July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello in the rolling hills of Virginia. A few hours later, John Adams passed at his home in Massachusetts. His family reported that the last dying words he spoke were “Thomas Jefferson lives,” not knowing that his dear friend had died hours earlier.  

In today’s polarizing political climate, it’s easy to see the “other side” as enemies, with the strong desire to convince those on the fence that our ideas are better. That is not to diminish our differences in worldviews. Without a doubt, liberals and conservatives both have two very different ideas for the future of America. But, on this July 4th, perhaps we can learn a lesson from two of our greatest Founding Fathers. They didn’t ignore their differences as if they didn’t exist, but they didn’t allow those differences to interfere with forming a lifelong friendship. Likewise, we don’t have to set aside our differences either because that won’t make them disappear. Being friendly isn’t abandoning your principles. Perhaps this July 4th can be different if we don’t let those differences get in the way of crossing the street and talking to our neighbor. After all, we are celebrating our nation’s independence and the freedom we have to be different.

Furthermore, as Christians, there are several biblical commands that are easy to forget in the divisive times in which we live. First, we must remember that those with whom we disagree are not the enemy. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Second, Christians are commanded to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Third, Scripture tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, whether we agree with them or not (Matthew 22:39). Last, wherever God’s spirit is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). By embracing reconciliation with others, we not only encourage freedom but we also invite God’s spirit to dwell among us.

We often quote the first sentence of the second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But we miss the weight of its last sentence: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” The signers of the Declaration no doubt had significant political differences and widely varying ideas for the future of the young nation. But they did not let those differences hinder them from forming friendships or from their ultimate goal—independence and freedom for all. These 56 men, firmly trusting in God, were willing to give up everything—their careers, possessions, and even their very lives—for the sake of freedom. Two of our future presidents—John Adams and Thomas Jefferson—both put aside their differences when they signed their names to that sacred document.

What we need in America right now is a good dose of civility and genuine friendships. Sure, there is a time and place to discuss the future of our great republic—a discussion we will continue to have and fiercely debate. But, this weekend, maybe we can take a break from debating on social media, protesting, or grasping for the next news hit and simply focus on loving our neighbor.

Let’s remember to celebrate our independence this weekend and the freedom it gives us to debate and be different. But let’s also not forget the opportunity we have to reach across the aisle and love our neighbor.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of June 21)

by Family Research Council

June 26, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Washington Update: “Virginia Is for Snoopers”

Governor Ralph Northam is urging people to file a complaint against anyone they see who isn’t following social distance guidelines, the mask mandate, or overcrowding their establishments.

2. Washington Update: “This Equality’s All an Act”

The Left is pushing for the passage of the Equality Act, saying their motivation is to end discrimination. We all want that, but not when “ending discrimination” means a drag queen in every library, a man in every girls’ restroom, or an atheist teacher in every Christian school.

3. Publication: “Leadership and Love: A Tale of Two Fathers”

There has never been a greater need for godly men and fathers than the age in which we live. This resource provides an understanding of what children need from their fathers to become emotionally healthy and spiritually strong. 

4. Blog: “Why Bostock Will Never Have the Final Word On Human Sexuality”

Christians continue to face mounting pressure to compromise on the Bible’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. However, we cannot compromise our beliefs because we are committed to Scripture.

5. Blog: “The Threat of Genocide Darkens the Future for Nigeria’s Christians”

Today, a dangerous darkness—radical Islamism and its genocidal intentions—is sweeping across the African continent. And it is particularly lethal in Nigeria, Africa’s largest nation.

6. Washington WatchWalt Heyer says the truth about transgenderism is what drives platforms like YouTube to censor him

Walt Heyer, public speaker, author, and publisher of SexChangeRegret.com and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, joined Tony Perkins to discuss YouTube censoring his story that shared his regrets about living a transgender life.

7. Washington WatchDavid Closson offers a biblical perspective on the purging of certain U.S. historical figures

David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview, joined Tony Perkins to discuss a biblical response to the radical movement to erase American history with the destruction of statues and renaming of important landmarks.

For more from FRC, visit our website at frc.org, our blog at frcblog.org, our Facebook pageTwitter account, and Instagram account. Get the latest on what FRC is saying about the current issues of the day that impact the state of faith, family, and freedom, both domestically and abroad. Check out “The 7” at the end of every week to get our highlights of the week’s trending items. Have a great weekend!

Be Not Wise in Your Own Eyes

by Molly Carman

June 26, 2020

Like many other Christians around the world, I am realizing more and more that we are in strange and trying times, and it can be difficult to consider how to react to various situations. Whether it is the coronavirus, unrest about race relations, or recent Supreme Court decisions, there are so many issues that demand our attention and require us to think deeply about how Christians should respond.

In every season of violence, disease, death, and civil unrest, one passage of Scripture remains particularly relevant. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Throughout history, believers have faced the violence of war, the scourge of disease, and civil and political unrest. We are not the first and we will not be the last.

In order to respond appropriately to the various situations we find ourselves in, we must seek wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge that is rightly applied to daily life. Wisdom is essential to honoring God with our lives and teaches us how to respond during the ever-changing times. The apostle Paul (the author of 1 Corinthians) gives us this encouragement: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” But how do we discern what is wise? How do we evaluate our lives to identify where wisdom is needed?

Because wisdom is so essential to our daily lives and growth as Christians, there are several means by which we may grow in wisdom. First, God has given us His Word to teach us and guide us in the ways we should go. Second, we can ask the Father for wisdom directly through prayer. Third, we grow in wisdom by cultivating a humble spirit and learning to discern God’s voice.

Scripture

When it comes to growing in wisdom, God’s Word is our greatest resource. Through it we learn about God’s character, attributes, and works. We also learn about ourselves, our sinful nature that separates us from a holy God, and how we can be reconciled to Him. In particular, the book of Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings that can help us order our lives. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” A primary way that we show a healthy fear of the Lord is by reading and applying His Word to our lives. This year, Family Research Council began a two-year Bible reading plan called Stand on the Word. This is an opportunity to be held accountable to being in the word daily. It is easy to think that we can read one verse of Scripture a day and be spiritually full; however, wisdom calls us to spend time in God’s Word through meditation and memorization. Reading Scripture takes time because learning wisdom takes time and cannot be rushed.

Prayer

God in His grace desires to have a personal relationship with all His children, and He invites us into this relationship through prayer. Prayer is a personal conversation with God that all believers are called to. We are called to praise God with thanksgiving in our hearts (Psalm 109:30), to confess and repent of our sins (I John 1:9), and to go to God with our needs and desires (Matthew 21:22). As we spend more time in God’s Word, we will also grow in our prayer life. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given.” The prime example of this promise being fulfilled is in the life of King Solomon. Solomon prayed for wisdom and he was deemed the wisest man in his day (see I Kings 3).

Listen and Learn

While anyone can read the wisdom of the Bible, or pray to God for wisdom, the challenge comes in having a teachable spirit that not only seeks wisdom but applies it to their lives. Therefore, wisdom is applied knowledge. It can be easy to learn things, but we are called to listen carefully to God’s Word, be faithful in prayer, and courageously live out the knowledge that we have learned. In order to apply the work of wisdom in our lives, we must humble ourselves. This means being quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). When we are students of the Word and faithful servants in prayer, we are better prepared to apply God’s wisdom during the trials and opposition that we face.

One practical way to actively grow in wisdom by incorporating all three of these principles is to join and become active in a local church. Unfortunately, many believers think they can grow spiritually by themselves; however, the Christian life is not meant to be walked alone. We need each other. The Apostle Paul teaches this throughout his writings, particularly in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. Thus, we should seek to live in community with other believers who are also seeking to grow in wisdom.

Therefore, when we are faced with the difficult decisions or situations before us—like COVID-19, protests, and a bitter election season—and we do not know what to say, what to choose, or how to act, we must seek wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” Rather than spending our days worrying about all of the problems in the world that are beyond our control, let us seek Christ, who is wisdom incarnate, and allow Him to guide our steps. 

Molly Carman is a Policy & Government Affairs intern at Family Research Council.

Be a Discipler

by Brooke Brown

June 25, 2020

Though God has appointed unique purposes for each of his children, as Christians, we all share a common purpose, and that is to make disciples and make the gospel known to all nations (Matthew 28:16-20). When we make the life-altering decision to lay down our lives and follow Christ, we can expect hardship, we can expect persecution, and we can expect for the enemy to wage war against us to keep us from spreading the Good News.

Sharing the gospel rarely makes the news. But one woman by the name of Gail Blair caught the media’s attention recently when she was banned from a public park in Rhode Island for two years for sharing the gospel with a passersby. Blair suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a medical condition that has made her blind. This has never stopped her from boldly sharing her faith, offering people a copy of the Gospel of John, or striking up conversations with people about Jesus. What did stop her, however, was a clear bias against Christians from exercising their First Amendment rights and freely practicing their faith.

The reality is that we are fighting against principalities, power, and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). As the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was just revised to include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” it seems as though Christians with sincerely held biblical beliefs about sexuality will now face even more discrimination in public settings. In Blair’s case, local authorities told her that she was “trespassing” on public property. But it is clear that the only “crime” Blair is guilty of is witnessing to beliefs that are being suppressed under the pretext of “trespassing.”

Not only was Blair’s right to freedom of speech violated, her freedom of religion was abridged as well. Blair, a former nurse, believes sharing the gospel is a way she can still care for people despite her physical impairment. When the Police Department dug deeper for evidence of violating guidelines expected by park goers, it was found that there was no reasonable cause for Blair to be banned by The Memorial and Library Association. Threatening to arrest her if she enters the park again is nothing less than a clear violation of her First Amendment rights.

If anyone knows persecution, it is Jesus, who was mocked, beaten, stoned, and killed on a Roman cross. Of course, what we face as Christians today does not compare to the pain Jesus endured during the crucifixion. However, as his image bearers and followers, we are called to follow him, even to the point of death if required (Matthew 16:24). In fact, Christians in closed countries around the world regularly face intimidation, threats, and physical persecution because of their faith. In the United States we are blessed with religious liberty, and we should never take this right for granted.

However, it is also important to recognize that the religious freedom we have in this country is under assault. Christians should not sit idly by while the world attempts to strip us of these rights which help us carry out the Great Commission. We must put on the “full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11), equip ourselves by reading and applying God’s Word to our lives, allow Scripture to be the cornerstone on which we live and breathe, and be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks (1 Peter 3:15). Just as God is our defender, we are also his defendants during our time on earth. He deserves all the glory and praise as our Creator for giving us mouths to speak, ears to listen, eyes to see, and hearts to connect.

Blair is not backing down from her beliefs and her rights, and neither should we. Sharing the gospel can be a daunting, exhilarating, nerve-wracking experience. We are bound to face rejection, just like Blair. But it is through rejection, ridicule, and through looking different that we will grow and become more and more like Jesus. Our fear of man should weigh much less than our fear of the Lord. Easier said than done, yes. But, when we have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, the same power that rose Jesus from the grave, we can conquer great things in the Lord’s name.

Is it upsetting that one of our own sisters in Christ has been banned from visiting her nearby public park for simply sharing the Good News? Absolutely. So, what is our defense? Jesus and prayer. We follow a God that is just, a God that sees all things on earth. We are called to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Therefore, we should link arms with Blair in prayer for her and for this country. This world is in desperate need of our Savior. It is our responsibility to be the salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), to reflect God’s heart by speaking his truth accompanied by love to those we encounter.

As believers, we must stand united to defend our religious freedom and to share the heart-transforming gospel with people. Only through the power of God can we make a difference for his Kingdom. Equip yourselves with his word, step out of the boat in full faith (Matthew 14:22-23), invite a friend or coworker to church this weekend, and be a discipler.

Brooke Brown is a Brand Advancement intern at Family Research Council.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of June 14)

by Family Research Council

June 19, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Washington Update: “Supreme Court Rewrites Civil Rights Act”

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on the Civil Rights Act that poses a dangerous threat to religious liberty.

2. Washington Update: “Planned Parenthood’s Black Lies Matter Too”

It’s okay to protest a black man’s death. But, why aren’t there Black Lives Matter protestors outside of the city’s abortion clinics, where more African-American babies are aborted than born?

3. Blog: “The Supreme Court Goes Rogue on Sex Discrimination”

Sadly, the Supreme Court has yet again overstepped its power to achieve a desired policy goal which Congress has repeatedly refused to implement, and which is harmful to society.

4. Blog: “What is the Role of the Church Amidst Troubling Times?”

Christians are called to bear witness to the truth. This is not easy, but it is important to allow oneself to be guided by what is right and not by fear.

5. Washington WatchDave Brat blames the lack of moral foundation and education for the collapse of cities like Seattle

Dr. Dave Brat, Dean of the School of Business at Liberty University, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the ideology driving the creation of the Seattle “autonomous zone” and those calling for the elimination of police departments.

6. Washington WatchJeff Sessions says the dividing line between liberals and Middle America is the disrespect for truth

Jeff Sessions, former U.S. Senator from Alabama, joined Tony Perkins to discuss how the effort to eliminate police departments promotes lawlessness.

7. Washington WatchSen. Josh Hawley blasts SCOTUS for taking the legislative mantle from Congress on sex

Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator from Missouri, joined Tony Perkins to discuss yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling redefining sex in federal law.

For more from FRC, visit our website at frc.org, our blog at frcblog.org, our Facebook pageTwitter account, and Instagram account. Get the latest on what FRC is saying about the current issues of the day that impact the state of faith, family, and freedom, both domestically and abroad. Check out “The 7” at the end of every week to get our highlights of the week’s trending items. Have a great weekend!

What is the Role of the Church Amidst Troubling Times?

by Samantha Stahl

June 18, 2020

According to Scripture, Christians have a responsibility to share the hope of the gospel (Mat. 5:14-16). Jesus made this clear in the Great Commission when He commissioned His disciples to spread His message to the ends of the world. Today, Americans are experiencing trying times. Amidst a virus that is frightening people and tearing apart economies, church celebrations that remain suspended, and riots that put vengeance as the answer to cases of unjust police violence, it can be hard to see God working. However, through the darkest points in history, God has raised up people of strong faith. Right now, God is calling upon the church to lead His people, and to not be silent. The church can give answers to today’s questions of how to proceed.

As controversial as it may be today, Christians are called to bear witness to the truth. This is not easy, but it is important to allow oneself to be guided by what is right and not by fear. Prayer is greatly needed for leaders and for the community. Even when it seems God is not immediately answering our prayers, we are still called to pray (1 Tim. 2:2). Leaders of the church must not be silent and must continue to speak bold messages of hope and support during these times.

As we’ve seen throughout the last three months, Christians should continue to serve those in their communities by offering them encouragement. Serving one’s community can be as simple as making a call or writing a letter, or something practical such as running an errand or safely praying with them. The best way to be a light of God is to be a light to others in His name. For a list of resources including ideas to serve your community, check out FRC’s church resource page at frc.org/church.

Christians must also not be silent during these times, especially as churches are still closed. When the church cannot worship together, the whole Christian community and beyond is affected by a lack of sharing the gospel. Christ’s command to “proclaim the good news to the whole creation” is greatly hindered if Christians cannot come together to worship (Mark 16:15). Many have fallen and will fall into a spiritual slump due to months of being unable to gather for public worship. Peace and joy have been fading as violence and hate settles in among people. The world needs the church now more than ever as it is greatly feeling the lack of messages of hope and guidance previously brought by open churches. Christians must be able to again partake in the communal worship of God in order to best be a light for this world.

Christians can help America get through the violent riots and the ensuing destruction. This is accomplished specifically by supporting the good in people. Peaceful protests represent the proper use of American freedom. However, when violent riots ensue (which do not honor the memory of George Floyd and others unjustly killed), it becomes an abuse of freedom.

As Christians, speaking out with love in the face of anger will change the response to violence. An example of such Christian leadership can be found in the words of Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) during a recent Congressional hearing on police brutality, where he stated that everyone is made in the image of God, despite skin color. He called for a defense of the people upholding truth and justice, while not condoning those who obstruct those values. Elsewhere, many people have reached out to communities struck by violent riots, cleaning up the mess as best they can. For example, according to CNN, a truck driver in Houston, Texas named Brian Irving spent hours cleaning up after a riot destroyed parts of the city. Such examples of Christians living out the principles of their faith are shining beacons in these dark times, and they ought to be emulated. The church has a unique opportunity to bring these moments of good to light, and show the world there are indeed good people.

When the church is at work during a time of crisis, God does not fail to turn that work into something beautiful. Setting an example of prayer and peace in a time of pandemonium will help bring stability. Christians must rise together and bring the truth of Christ to a world that is searching for truth. God is calling the church to be that beacon of light for the world.

Samantha Stahl is Policy/Government Affairs intern at Family Research Council.

What Does It Mean to Be a Woman?

by Molly Carman

June 10, 2020

As one of many young women who recently graduated college without much pomp and circumstance, I have been home pondering questions about my future and role in this unpredictable world. One of these questions is about the nature of womanhood. This question, and others related to it, led me to read Let Me Be Woman by Elizabeth Elliot, the wife of missionary Jim Elliot who was martyred in 1956.

Originally published in the 1970s, I believe her wisdom is still applicable today. The book is a compilation of Mrs. Elliot’s advice to her only daughter, Valeri, who was engaged and preparing for marriage. Woven throughout her writings are personal memories, stories, and biblical principles for modern women. She addresses many topics, including femininity, womanhood, and motherhood. Elliot ponders the delight of girlhood, discusses the loneliness and joys of singleness, the excitement of dating and engagement, and the sacredness of the marriage covenant.

I know I’m not alone when I say that being a woman who is both Christian and conservative in the 21st century can be challenging and at times exhausting. If I speak up boldly and lead, I risk coming across as a mainstream feminist or anti-men. But if I hold back passively, I am perceived as oppressed and brainwashed by the patriarchy. So, what is a girl supposed to do?

Elizabeth Elliot presents what it means to be a woman who is passionate and strong for the Lord but likewise meek and gentle in her femininity. The purpose of her writing is not to consider what it means to be independent or someone’s girlfriend, fiancé, or wife, but what it means to be a woman. Although these are important subjects to consider in their own right, Elliot recognized that if women do not understand what it means to be a woman and the way that God has specifically created us, we will not do any role we find ourselves in well.

Therefore, I chose to read this book because more than anything, I want to be a God honoring woman, and this begins by understanding God’s unique design and purpose for women. As much as I desire to be a wife and mother one day, becoming a wife or mother is not what makes me a woman. Amid the numerous convictions, encouragement, and insights I gleaned from Elliot, there are three pieces of wisdom that I would like to share. I believe they represent timeless principles for all women but are especially relevant today.

First, Elliot reviews the creation story that explains how God created the first man and woman. After creating Adam, God, in His wisdom, sees that it was not good that man should be alone and created Eve. It is important to note: Woman was created from man for man. Not for his whims, wishes, or wants; but as a helper. When women are who they are called to be as a helper, men can be who they are called to be as leaders. In the same way when men are strong leaders, women will want to follow.

This leads to the second insight from Elliot when she addresses masculinity and femininity, topics that are often misunderstood. She quotes Gertrude Behanna who says, “Men are men. They are not women. Women are women. They are not men.” For the modern-day woman, I believe it is far too easy to forget this “simple truth” as Elliot puts it, that men and women are not the same. When we come to admire the differences rather than resent them, we not only grow in appreciation for one another, but in gratitude for God’s good design. Later Elliot says, “What a real woman wants is a real man. What a real man wants is a real woman. It is masculinity that appeals to a woman. It is femininity that appeals to a man. The more womanly you are, the more manly [men] will want to be.”

Third, Elliot considers the pursuit of equality between men and women and the potential threats to male and female relations. Culture seeks to encourage the pursuit of equality as a virtue, but Elliot reminds her reader that equality is more that capability. She writes, “‘Equal Opportunity’ nearly always implies that women want to do what men do, not that men want to do what women do, which indicates that prestige is attached to men’s work but not to women’s… This is a hideous distortion of the truth, and an attempt to judge women by the criteria of men, to force them into an alien mold, to rob them of the very gifts that make them what they were meant to be.”

It is far too easy for women to blame men for all of the problems or disadvantages that women face. However, I believe that Elliot encourages her reader to remember that both men and women are equally responsible for the problems of the world and have a shared duty to work for a better one.

May Christian women seeking to honor God begin by loving, learning, and embracing who He created us to be, by honoring the virtues of beauty, grace, and meekness that are godly attributes of femininity, and may we never forget that we are not called to do everything that a man is called to do or capable of doing. Rather, we are called to be women who should not let the desire for power override our desire to honor God. I’m grateful to Elizabeth Elliot for these reminders, and pray that in this chaotic and confused world I remain a woman of God and not of the world.

Molly Carman is a policy intern at Family Research Council.

D.C. Christians Take to the Streets… to Sing, Lament, and Pray

by Laura Grossberndt

June 9, 2020

Over the weekend, protests in dozens of American cities were held as people continue to mourn the life of George Floyd and others who have recently lost their lives. On Sunday afternoon, another demonstration took place in the nation’s capital. But unlike other protests which have garnered national attention in recent days, this event was distinctly Christian in both messaging and tone.

I had the opportunity to march alongside thousands of Christian brothers and sisters through the streets of Washington, D.C., pointing our friends and neighbors to the love, compassion, and grace found in Scripture, as well as testifying to God’s love and concern for justice.

Like many cities across America—and even the world—Washington has experienced a great deal of social turmoil over the past couple of weeks, ever since the release of video footage showing the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This turmoil is magnified by D.C.’s status as the seat of the federal government. Protestors have been marching through neighborhoods and assembling at the White House and the Capitol on a daily basis.

Before Sunday, however, most responses had been organized by nonreligious activist groups with a wide range of agendas. By contrast, the leaders and organizers of Sunday’s faith-based event were pastors and lay members from evangelical churches in the D.C. area. The organizers explained in the event announcement that the focus of the gathering would be lamentation and crying out to God in prayer.

Attendees were instructed to wear red and white (to distinguish themselves from other demonstrators), wear masks, and keep social distance as much as possible. The organizers also stressed the event was to be peaceful and nonviolent. The march began from two different starting points in majority-black D.C. neighborhoods, then merged into one group shortly before reaching the Capitol.

As we marched, we sang hymns. And when we reached our destination, we prayed. Thousands of us walked down East Capitol Street in the direction of the Capitol building, singing songs like “In Christ Alone,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Amazing Grace.” People lounging on picnic blankets in parks or on lawn chairs in front yards turned to watch the peaceful, joyful, and lamenting procession go by.

Participants carried signs bearing messages like: “created in the image of God” and “love your neighbor.” Many signs directly quoted Bible verses, particularly Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

When the parade reached the Capitol Reflecting Pool, local pastors led those assembled in praying for the families mourning the loss of loved ones, for the governing authorities, and for the human dignity of black individuals to be respected—beginning from the womb and until death.

As the hour-long prayer session drew to a close, one pastor addressed any non-Christians in the crowd. He briefly shared the gospel, explaining if you do not know Christ as Savior, “you have an even bigger justice problem” than the problem of racial injustice. He encouraged anyone with questions about God or salvation to reach out to those around them. “As you are walking with us, you might find yourself walking in the light,” he explained.

Our nation is currently struggling to deal with the sobering realities of our fallen world. We live in a Genesis 3 world that is ravaged by the effects of sin (Romans 8:22). So often, people know no other way to respond to injustice and hatred than with more hate. But as Christians, we have an opportunity to show the “more excellent way” of love (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13). We can start by coming alongside those within our own congregations who have been most directly affected by racial conflict: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). After all, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Elsewhere, he instructed the Romans, “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

As we grapple with our country’s current civil unrest—in response to recent events and old hurts that date back to the sin of slavery—we can take positive, practical steps to love our neighbors (Mark 12:31). Sunday’s Christian prayer gathering in D.C., and similar events around the country, are just one example. But you don’t need to wait for an organized event to start praying—you can start right now (read some suggested topics to pray about here). In addition to praying, another step we can take to love our neighbors is being politically engaged. You can read more about political engagement and what it has to do with loving one’s neighbor in FRC’s helpful resource: Biblical Principles for Political Engagement.

Finally, we can love our neighbors by simply being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19) and looking not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). As Christians, we believe that every person is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and possesses inherent value and dignity. Any devaluation of a particular people group should concern us. Although we live in a world torn apart by sin, we believe that the power of the gospel can make real and lasting change: starting first in the hearts of individuals and moving outward to our nation. As we move forward, we must remain committed to loving our neighbors, speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and showing by our lives what it means to know and follow Jesus.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 31)

by Family Research Council

June 5, 2020

Here are “The 7” top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:

1. Washington Update: “What We Need Is Hope”

In a nation as torn and hurting as ours, there are powerful moments breaking through the chaos to remind us: darkness will not have the last word.

2. Washington Update: “The Slow Burn of America”

Mob violence and police brutality spring from the same fountain: moral bankruptcy. The abuse of power, disregard for human life, and uncontrolled rage we’re witnessing in cities across our country, all flow from a society that is rapidly losing a sense of right and wrong.

3. Publication: Biblical Principles for Political Engagement: Worldview, Issues, and Voting

How should Christians think about voting and politics and what role do they play? Family Research Council provides biblical wisdom and clear answers to these pivotal questions.

4. Blog: “We Must Never Forget the Tiananmen Square Massacre”

For the past 30 years, crowds have gathered in Hong Kong on June 4th to mourn the infamous massacre of student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. This year, no legal vigil was permitted, and many fear the Chinese government is silencing Hong Kong dissenters much like they did in 1989. 

5. Washington Watch: DOJ’s Eric Dreiband highlights his team’s work in the trenches restoring freedom in coronavirus

Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the DOJ’s involvement in states where religious freedom is in jeopardy.

6. Washington Watch: Ken Blackwell says the rule of law must win when the other choice is cultural chaos

Ken Blackwell, former mayor of Cincinnati and FRC’s Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance, joined Tony Perkins to discuss the growing unrest across the country.

7. Washington Watch: Rev. Vincent Mathews, Jr. insists the church is essential to breaking down the barriers dividing us

Bishop Vincent Mathews Jr., World Missions President for Church of God in Christ, the largest African American Pentecostal denomination, joined Tony Perkins to discuss how to bring healing that is urgently needed for our nation.

For more from FRC, visit our website at frc.org, our blog at frcblog.org, our Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. Get the latest on what FRC is saying about the current issues of the day that impact the state of faith, family, and freedom, both domestically and abroad. Check out “The 7” at the end of every week to get our highlights of the week’s trending items. Have a great weekend!

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