Tag archives: Religion

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of June 6)

by Family Research Council

June 11, 2021

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

1. Update: RNC Pride Tweet: The Elephant in the Room

A handful of days into this rainbow deluge, the air of LGBT pride is so suffocating that people could choke. It’s plastered across social media, corporate logos, cereal boxes, even big box stores’ pandering displays. But one place conservatives thought they were safe from all this nonsense was the Republican National Committee. Turns out, their chairwoman is just as happy as anyone to pull on the LGBT jersey.

2. Update: Virginia District Hears Parents Loudoun Clear

The parents of Loudoun County, Virginia who were packed into every available chair at a recent school board meeting were angry. For months, they’d been warring with the district over its woke curriculum in a feud so bitter that it made the national news. But it was the suspension of Tanner Cross, a P.E. teacher who spoke out about a new transgender policy, that turned the local temperature from hot to boiling.

3. Blog: Kim Jong Un Encourages Workers to Maintain “Communist Faith”

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un recently encouraged workers to build up their “communist faith.” In a letter released by North Korean state media last month, Kim wrote to a federation of trade unions, claiming that such communist faith is required to attain the utopian society supposedly possible in the world’s last true communist dictatorship.

4. Blog: Book Review: Desist, Detrans, & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Gender Cult

If you think writing a book to challenge the idea of “affirmative care” for children makes her mean, cold or uncaring, you’d be very wrong about that. It is precisely her compassion for others that compelled Keffler to write this book. Many desperate parents are searching high and low to find authentic help for their struggling child—this book serves this very real need.

5. Washington Watch: Chris Mitchell, Warren Davidson, Gordon Chang, Beth Mizell, Gabrielle Clark

Tony was joined by James Comer, U.S. Representative for Kentucky, who called for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. Chad Wolf, former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, discussed how the Biden administration has managed recent crises. Tanner Cross, an educator in Loudoun County Public Schools who was suspended for objecting to new school policies on gender identity, and Tyson Langhofer, Senior Counsel and Director of the Center for Academic Freedom at Alliance Defending Freedom, praised the court decision ruling that Tanner’s constitutional rights were violated when the school board suspended him. And, Travis Weber, FRC’s Vice President for Policy & Government Affairs, and Katherine Johnson, FRC’s Research Fellow for Legal and Policy Studies, talked about church victories in court cases over COVID restrictions, and spoke out against the San Jose, California government authorities who continue to harass churches.

6. Washington WatchKen Ham, Dr. Brad Jurkovich, Burgess Owens, Ray Comfort

Guest host Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) was joined by Ken Ham, CEO and Founder of Answers in Genesis, to discuss the root causes behind the decline in U.S. church membership. Dr. Brad Jurkovich, Senior Pastor of First Bossier in Bossier City, La., addressed the present challenges faced by America’s churches. Burgess Owens, U.S. Representative for Utah, advised Christians on how they should think about and approach issues regarding race. And, Ray Comfort, CEO of Living Waters, urged Americans to turn to the gospel as the only real answer to the challenges and difficulties facing our nation.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: A Christian Response to LGBT Pride

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Dr. Wayne Grudem, Sarah Perry, and Pastor Ken William to discuss the designation of June as “Pride Month” and how Christians are to think biblically about pride, parenting tips on how to fight back against LGBT indoctrination in schools, and how believers can open the doors of dialogue with those struggling with an LGBT identity.

Thinking Biblically About Trends in Worldview

by David Closson

June 9, 2021

On “Worldview Wednesday,” we feature an article that addresses a pressing cultural, political, or theological issue. The goal of this blog series is to help Christians think about these issues from a biblical worldview. Read our previous posts on the Center for Biblical Worldview page.

Today in America, there is a staggering disparity between those who claim to have a biblical worldview and those who actually have a consistent worldview shaped by Scripture. A recent survey conducted by FRC’s Senior Research Fellow George Barna indicates that a mere 6 percent of American adults possess a biblical worldview, despite 51 percent thinking they have one. This means that 45 percent of Americans mistakenly believe themselves to have a biblical worldview. The numbers are better for those who regularly attend evangelical churches, but not by much. Only 21 percent of evangelical churchgoers have a biblical worldview, despite 81 percent thinking they have one.

How should the church respond to the sobering reality that so few Americans have a biblical worldview? Statistics such as these are discouraging, to be sure. However, all is not lost. In fact, knowing the current trends in peoples’ worldviews provides helpful insight into how we can proceed in reaching those in our churches and communities who lack a biblical worldview.

Of the 51 percent who claim to have a biblical worldview, 46 percent said it is either very, somewhat, or not too important for their religious faith to influence every dimension of their lives. And of that 46 percent, only a small majority claim that they are very effective at integrating their faith into family life (56 percent), their personal religious life (56 percent), and personal relationships (55 percent). Further, a minority claim that they are very effective at integrating their faith into educational experiences (35 percent), politics and government (31 percent), business and marketplace activities (29 percent), and entertainment and news choices (27 percent).

On a more encouraging note, a slight majority of those who believe integrating their faith into every dimension of life is either very or somewhat important identified their church (55 percent) and family (52 percent) as having been very helpful at facilitating that integration. This is an important insight. If we want to train the next generation of Christians to have a biblical worldview, we must equip church leaders but especially parents. Parents are the chief disciplers in their homes, and churches should be intentional in coming alongside them as they seek to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

Another intriguing find in Barna’s survey is that of the seven out of 10 adults who believe that God does (or might) exist, three-quarters (78 percent) believe God cares “a lot” about what they believe and do. The fact that this many people believe God cares about their beliefs and lifestyle choices provides an opportunity for discipleship. Believing that God cares about every dimension of life should influence one’s engagement with a host of issues, including issues considered “political,” such as the sanctity of life and human dignity, sexuality and marriage, and religious liberty. In fact, internalizing the connection between belief and practice is what it means to be an “integrated disciple,” which according to Barna, is someone who has blended their intellectual acceptance of biblical principles into real-life application.

Reviewing his study, Barna concluded that,

In general, SAGE Cons [i.e., Spiritually Active Governance Engaged Conservatives] were far more likely than other adults to claim to have a biblical worldview; to believe it is very important for their faith to influence every dimension of life; and to believe that God cares a lot about what they do and believe in relation to what happens in every dimension of society. They were also more likely than any other segment besides those who actually possess a biblical worldview to have a biblical perspective on the worldview assessment questions included in the survey.

The survey results are an opportunity to open our eyes to the current trends in Americans’ worldviews, evaluate our own worldviews, and encourage others to do the same. First, because our thoughts inevitably shape our actions, our worldviews have consequences. We Christians must heed the words of the apostle Paul:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:2)

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)

The writer of Hebrews says that God’s Word, the Bible, “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (4:12). We should always take the time to evaluate what we believe, why we believe it, and if what we believe agrees with and is rooted in Scripture.

Second, although the gap between those who have a biblical worldview and those who only think that they do is large statistically, there is cause for hope. Remember that nearly half of those 51 percent who believe that they hold a biblical worldview think it is important for their faith to influence every facet of their lives. Clearly, people care about their faith, and they care about how their beliefs affect how they live. Further, certain influences like attending church, having a strong family life, healthy friendships, and intentional media consumption can play a role in encouraging the growth of a biblical worldview. We must engage and grow in order to close the gap and reverse this statistic.

Finally, in an effort to address the growing concerns of the decline in biblical worldview in America, Family Research Council recently launched the Center for Biblical Worldview. Our desire is to equip and encourage Christians, churches, and families to strengthen their own biblical worldview and disciple the next generation. May we heed Paul’s advice to the Ephesians:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (5:15-17)

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 30)

by Family Research Council

June 4, 2021

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

1. Update: Gym Teacher Exercises Faith in Woke District

Tanner Cross may teach P.E., but it might be grammar that costs him his job! That’s the unbelievable situation playing out in Loudoun County, Virginia, where an elementary gym teacher dared to put himself on the wrong side of the gender wars during the public comment session of the local school board.

2. Update: MLB’s Political Bunt Faces Court Challenge

Woke corporations are learning the hard way that their social activism has a price. Monday, Major League Baseball was slapped with a $1.1 billion lawsuit for pulling the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Georgia. The Job Creators Network (JCN), an organization that advocates for small businesses, filed the lawsuit—arguing that the MLB’s decision cost Georgia businesses $100 million in lost revenue.

3. Blog: Thinking Biblically About “Pride Month”

If you are on the internet, you likely know that June is “Pride Month.” Your social media feed will be filled with promotions, companies will temporarily change their logos to show that they are down with the struggle, and city streets will be lined with rainbow flags in solidarity with the sexual revolution. Meanwhile, many Christians will struggle with knowing how to respond. If you’re one of them, here are a few things to remember.

4. Blog: Fidelity to the Constitution Requires Roe’s Reversal

The biggest challenge many face when reasoning how the Supreme Court ought to rule on any given case is the understanding that justices should rule based in the United States Constitution, not in personal opinion. Americans must recognize the role and purpose of the highest court in the land, and why the United States Constitution must be its standard.

5. Washington Watch: Chris Mitchell, Warren Davidson, Gordon Chang, Beth Mizell, Gabrielle Clark

Tony was joined by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN News, to discuss the recent leadership tensions in Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents form a coalition deal to remove him from office. Warren Davidson, U.S. Representative for Ohio, shared his thoughts on what Dr. Fauci’s recently released emails reveal. Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War, explained what the public needs to know about the U.S. government funding in Wuhan. Beth Mizell, Louisiana State Senator, urged Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to sign the Louisiana Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. And, Gabrielle Clark, head of the Nevada chapter of No Left Turn in Education (NLTE), discussed her lawsuit against Critical Race Theory in her son’s public school.

6. Washington Watch: Mike Pompeo, George Barna, David Closson, Travis Weber

Tony was joined by Mike Pompeo, former United States Secretary of State, who discussed the Biden administration’s response to mounting questions about the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin. George Barna, FRC’s Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Biblical Worldview, highlighted the findings of FRC’s recent national worldview survey. David Closson, FRC’s Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview, and Travis Weber, FRC’s Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, introduced FRC’s new Center for Biblical Worldview.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Critical Race Theory

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony was joined Todd Rokita, Jonathan Koeppel, Dr. Owen Strachan, and Pastor Iverson Jackson to discuss how Critical Race Theory (CRT) has taken over society and invaded schools, and how we can stand for truth against CRT.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 23)

by Family Research Council

May 28, 2021

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

1. Update: Unequally Woked: One Teacher’s Stand to Stop the Left

It took a young, courageous Spanish teacher to stand up and say, “Not in my school district” to open the eyes of Americans all across the country. Now, a month later, his viral video is sparking a nationwide movement to expose the Left’s biggest lie: it’s not happening here. It is, Jonathan Koeppel insists. People just don’t know it.

2. Update: The Fighting Irish Fight Back

The White House called it a “scheduling conflict.” But people at Notre Dame knew it was something else: a conflict of values. When Joe Biden didn’t give the keynote address at Sunday’s graduation ceremony, his absence was enough to make headlines. The only truly controversial visit was Barack Obama’s in 2009, but that would be nothing—protestors warned—compared to the backlash over Biden.

3. Blog: Why I Don’t Use Preferred Pronouns

Demi Lovato has “come out” as non-binary. Being non-binary seems to mean that someone does not feel entirely masculine or feminine so they choose to be neither male or female—non-binary. With this label comes preferred pronouns. The thing is, pronouns contain a statement of belief about the nature of reality, so how do we navigate using preferred pronouns that defy reality?

4. Blog: Thinking Biblically About Judging

On this edition of “Worldview Wednesday” we unpack what scripture says about “judging.” Even people who don’t know the Bible have opinions about it. A favorite verse of many who want a get-out-of-jail-free card is Matthew 7:1, which says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” But what does this Bible verse, and the rest of Scripture, say about the issue of “judging”?

5. Washington Watch: Chip Roy, Rand Paul, Mat Staver, Anthony Wade, Tom Cotton, Jerry Boykin

Tony was joined by Chip Roy, U.S. Representative for Texas, and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, FRC’s Executive Vice President, who cautioned against the influx of Critical Race Theory in military training. Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky, discussed the small business committee hearing about Planned Parenthood unlawfully obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans. Anthony Wade, Lead Pastor of Faith Building Church in Lebanon, Ohio, praised his City Council for making Lebanon Ohio’s first sanctuary city for the unborn. And Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, talked about new intelligence showing that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick in November 2019.

6. Washington Watch: Mike Johnson, Scott Rasmussen, David Bullard, Jonathan Koeppel

Tony Perkins was joined by Mike Johnson, U.S. Representative for Louisiana, who discussed the Israeli-Hamas ceasefire agreement and the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the Iran deal. Scott Rasmussen, Pollster and Publisher of ScottRasmussen.com, emphasized the importance of the abortion issue ahead of the midterm elections. David Bullard, Oklahoma State Senator, explained his bill that banned Critical Race Theory from being taught in Oklahoma public school classrooms. And Jonathan Koeppel, a high school Spanish teacher, objected to his school’s radical gender theory curriculum.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: How to Pray for America

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Mike Berry, Jay Johnston, and Michele Bachmann to discuss government policies that have created hostility and even opposition towards biblical Christianity and how Christians should respond.

Thinking Biblically About Worldview

by David Closson

May 26, 2021

On “Worldview Wednesday,” we feature an article that addresses a pressing cultural, political, or theological issue. The goal of this blog series is to help Christians think about these issues from a biblical worldview. Read our previous posts on Unity, Safety, “Christian Nationalism”, Love, Courage, Forgiveness, the Resurrection and the Social Gospel, Loyalty, Identity, Religious Freedom, Communication, Cancel Culture, and Judging.

Earlier today, Family Research Council launched the Center for Biblical Worldview to equip Christians to think biblically and train them to advance and defend the faith in their families, communities, and the public square. To mark the occasion, FRC released the findings of a national survey conducted by FRC Senior Research Fellow George Barna. This survey provides new insights into how many Americans believe they possess a biblical worldview and to what extent they seek to integrate that worldview into every dimension of life.

The results of the survey have political, cultural, and missiological implications. For starters, 51 percent of Americans believe they possess a biblical worldview. Compare that figure with the results of extensive testing performed by the Cultural Research Center, which indicates that only six percent of the adult population has a biblical worldview. This discrepancy between people’s perceptions and reality points to Americans having a foundational misunderstanding of what a biblical worldview actually is. However, it also reveals that most Americans have a favorable opinion of a biblical worldview.

With the launch of the Center for Biblical Worldview, FRC is doubling our efforts to teach, cultivate, and equip Christians to live out a biblical worldview. But this raises some important questions: What is worldview, and why is it important? What makes a biblical worldview distinct, and why is it so important for Christians to have one?

The term “worldview” is derived from the word Weltanschauung, a combination of Welt (world) and Anschauung (view). German philosopher Immanuel Kant first used it in 1790 to refer to people’s sensory perception of the world around them. But while the term “worldview” has only been in use for a few centuries, the concept of a worldview is not new. In fact, people have possessed worldviews since the beginning of human history.

So, what is a worldview? Simply put, a person’s worldview consists of their core beliefs and convictions. It includes their answers—whether conscious or subconscious—to life’s most fundamental questions about origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

Here are some important things to know about worldview:

Worldview is comprehensive.

A worldview is not merely a cognitive or intellectual exercise; it includes our entire perspective on life, including what we love and worship, our guiding philosophies, affections, and everyday outlook on the world. A worldview is both intellectual and personal; it is a matter of both head and heart.

Worldview shapes values and behaviors.

Every person lives and behaves according to a worldview—even if it is unconsciously formed or ill-informed. Even those who have not spent much time reflecting on what they believe are nevertheless ordering their lives around certain assumptions. We are creatures of faith; believing in things is an inescapable part of the human experience.

Worldview shapes culture.

People often try to pin responsibility for their personal behavior or beliefs onto the culture at large. However, our collective worldviews shape the cultural norms. Anthropologists are skilled at analyzing the patterns of behaviors and values, but something even more fundamental undergirds those patterns—worldview.

Worldview isn’t always logically consistent or applied consistently.

Some people’s worldviews are logically inconsistent. In fact, according to George Barna, 88 percent of Americans have a syncretistic worldview, meaning their worldview consists of a disparate collection of beliefs and behaviors. In other words, an overwhelming majority of Americans have a “cut-and-paste” approach to making sense of life, and many of the pieces they’ve assembled are incompatible. An example of a logically inconsistent worldview is contending that there is no such thing as truth—which itself is a truth claim.

On the other hand, even if a person’s beliefs are logically consistent, they might not always apply them consistently. For example, someone with internally high moral standards and who believes cheating is wrong might nevertheless talk themselves into thinking that it is justified in their particular case, especially if they suspect that they were cheated by someone else first.

A biblical worldview is essential to the Christian life.

For Christians, the basis of our worldview is the Bible, consisting of both the Old and New Testaments. Christianity teaches that the biblical God, Yahweh, is responsible for all life and purpose. Christians believe that God is triune (i.e., three in one) and has revealed Himself to humanity in the form of the second person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. A biblical worldview sees life through a fourfold framework of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.

Because a biblical worldview is first and foremost a worldview rooted in and shaped by the truth of God revealed to mankind through His Word, it is imperative that Christians build their lives on it. Jesus spoke about the importance of a solid foundation in His parable of the man who built his house upon the rock. When the rain, wind, and floods came, his house stood firm, unlike the house built on the sand that was washed away and destroyed (Matt. 7:24-27).

Whenever a Christian’s worldview is inconsistent with the truth contained in the Bible, or whenever they inconsistently apply it, they are in danger of falling like the house built on the sand. Christians can avoid this fate by building their house on the rock—the Word of God. When Christians familiarize themselves with truth and put on “the mind of Christ” in everything they do, they will have a solid foundation.

Thus, because of the foundational role of God’s Word in developing a biblical worldview, FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview will be guided by the following beliefs about the Bible:

We believe that Jesus Christ created all things and rules all things and that He Himself is truth. We believe the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word and that submitting our lives to it should be the goal of everyone who seeks to follow Christ. Furthermore, we believe that the Bible offers the most rational and satisfying answers to life’s most fundamental questions, including:

  • Why are we here?
  • What has gone wrong with our world?
  • Is there any hope?
  • How does it all end?

We believe a person exhibits a biblical worldview when their beliefs and actions are aligned with the Bible, acknowledging its truth and applicability to every area of life.

This high view of Scripture will undergird the Center for Biblical Worldview’s approach to the political, cultural, moral, and theological issues of our day. It will inform everything we hope to produce, including curriculum, books, videos, and other content.

The Center for Biblical Worldview hopes to serve churches and contend for truth in the public square for years to come. As the broader culture continues to turn against Christians, we will stand firmly on God’s revealed truth. As Christian sexual ethics are increasingly maligned as outdated or harmful, we will winsomely articulate and defend God’s design for the family, marriage, and sexuality. And as even some in our churches are tempted to compromise truth for the sake of popularity or comfort, we will remain steadfast, regardless of popular opinion or shifting cultural norms.

We want to be a voice to and for those who love Jesus and are committed to Scripture. We commit to coming alongside pastors and churches and contending together for the faith (Jude 1:3). As Jesus promised, persecution and hostility toward believers are ever-present—and increasing. FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview is here to equip those committed to honoring God in all areas of life.

Visit FRC.org/worldview to learn more about the work of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 16)

by Family Research Council

May 21, 2021

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

1. Update: Funny You Should Mask, Biden Says

Public Relations 101: When you’re getting hammered by critics, give the media something else to talk about. After the worst week of his presidency so far, Joe Biden resorted to that ploy Thursday with his “Hey, look over here!” decision on public masking. The CDC, who really has no power to impose a mandate to begin with, chose this week to inexplicably lift its guidance for anyone who’s vaccinated.

2. Update: Biden Goes off the Deep Spend

The worst campaign ad is a bad economy. And right now, that’s exactly what the Democrats in charge are worried about. While President Biden seems quite content to blow through trillions of dollars on programs Americans don’t need—or want—the party’s leaders are starting to exchange nervous glances about what the economic indicators are saying about the storm ahead.

3. Blog: The Prayer That Saved America

The United States was a mere six years old and was on the brink of collapse. Our first form of government, the Articles of Confederation, proved to be an abysmal failure due to a weak central government that failed to keep the young nation united. In May of 1787, the states decided to send delegates to Philadelphia to draft a new governing document—what is today known as the Constitutional Convention. It was at this point that the aged delegate from Pennsylvania offered his sage advice.

4. Blog: A Growing Number of States Are Protecting Minors from Transgenderism

The cultural phenomenon of transgenderism is growing at an astonishing rate. In her book, Irreversible Damage, Abigail Shrier reports that most Western countries have seen a 1,000-5,000 percent increase in teenage females seeking treatment from gender clinics and psychologists—many of whom recommend that these girls socially and physically transition through hormones and sometimes surgery.

5. Washington Watch: Chris Mitchell, Tom Cotton, Mat Staver, Phil Bryant, Travis Weber

Tony was joined by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN News, who shared the latest on the situation in Israel. Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, blasted the Associated Press for claiming to be unaware they were sharing office space with Hamas militants in Gaza. Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, discussed the first state-wide permanent order in the country against COVID restrictions on churches. Phil Bryant, former Governor of Mississippi, discussed the significance of the Mississippi abortion law on which the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments. And, Travis Weber, FRC’s Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, unpacked the Equality Act and why it cannot be fixed.

6. Washington Watch: Ralph Norman, John Joyce, Connor Semelsberger, Jim DeMint

Joseph Backholm was joined by Ralph Norman, U.S. Representative for South Carolina, who talked about the gas crisis. John Joyce, U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania, recalled a hearing at which HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra was asked about partial birth abortion. Connor Semelsberger, FRC’s Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity, discussed how the Biden administration is pushing hard on abortion. And, Jim DeMint, former U.S. Senator for South Carolina, shares about his new book, Satan’s Dare.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: Praying and Standing With Israel

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Christ Mitchell, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Caroline Glick, and Heather Johnston to pray over and discuss the siege on the Holy Land that has sparked debate around the world and how the fate of this tiny nation and the world’s Christians are inextricably linked.

Thinking Biblically About Judging

by Joseph Backholm

May 19, 2021

On “Worldview Wednesday,” we feature an article that addresses a pressing cultural, political, or theological issue. The goal of this blog series is to help Christians think about these issues from a biblical worldview. Read our previous posts on Unity, Safety, “Christian Nationalism”, Love, Courage, Forgiveness, the Resurrection and the Social Gospel, Loyalty, Identity, Religious Freedom, Communication, and Cancel Culture.

Even people who don’t know the Bible have opinions about it. In my experience, the favorite verse of those who don’t like the Bible is Matthew 7:1, which says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” 

For many, this verse functions like a get-out-of-jail-free card that relieves them of the need to be concerned about anything else the Bible says. “Since God told you not to judge,” they suggest, “your belief that I have done something wrong is the real sin.” Whenever someone plays the Matthew 7:1 card, their sense of satisfaction is tangible. They believe they’ve beaten the Christians at their own game by using the Bible to prove that, if sin exists, it is the Christian who is the real sinner.   

But is it true? Does Jesus’ command in Matthew 7:1 forbid Christians from forming moral judgments about people’s beliefs, behaviors, or ideas?

Of course not.

A fundamental rule of biblical interpretation is that Scripture must be interpreted as being consistent with itself. Most parents have told their children that they should not hit others. Does this mean that a parent is being hypocritical when, in another conversation, they tell their child to kick, scream, and “go for the eyes” if they are ever targeted by a kidnapper?  

In the same way, Jesus was not contradicting the entire moral law when he said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” He was making a different point that, although related, is completely consistent with everything else He said.

The context of Matthew 7:1 is helpful for understanding its meaning:    

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5, ESV)

It is clear that Jesus wants us to be more concerned with our own behavior than the behavior of others, and He wants us to live by the same standards we expect of others. In more contemporary terms, don’t throw rocks from glass houses.

But it is unreasonable, considering everything else the Bible says, to conclude that making moral judgments is wrong. The apostle Paul tells Timothy that, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). In his letter to the Galatian church, Paul reminds us that we have a duty to help those who are in sin to get out of it.  “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). None of this makes any sense if we are forbidden from recognizing when someone has done wrong.

Yes, the priority is always on our own hearts, but we cannot be indifferent to what others are doing.

Jesus’ brother James described the importance of helping people walk away from sin: “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). The book of Proverbs is dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, but wisdom is impossible without regularly making judgments about people and circumstances. After all, wisdom is knowledge properly applied.

Far from forbidding moral judgments, Jesus told us how we ought to judge: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24). God shows us how to judge rightly when he selected David to be king, despite the fact that David did not have the appearance the Israelites expected of a king. “[F]or God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

In addition, Christians should never condemn or claim moral superiority when making moral judgments. Christianity is egalitarian in the sense that it begins with the recognition that we are all equally guilty of sin (Rom. 3:23) and equally deserving of condemnation (Rom. 6:23). Since any righteousness we have is God’s doing, not ours (Eph. 2:9), there is never a reason to feel self-satisfied.

Therefore, the Christian attitude in making judgments is compassion rather than condemnation or superiority. Paul made this point in his letter to the church in Thessalonica. “If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother” (2 Thes. 3:14-15). Although we must oppose evil and stand for truth, we do so out of concern for those in rebellion, rather than condemnation.

But there is another point that should not be missed. Many people who make arguments from Scripture don’t actually care what the Bible says. If you’re in a conversation with someone whose familiarity with the Bible begins and ends with Matthew 7:1, they are probably not trying to understand God’s will for their life. It’s just as likely that they are trying to render God irrelevant by quoting one part of the Bible that they believe nullifies the rest of it.

If that is happening in your world, be aware of it but don’t fall for it. Learn the lesson of Matthew 7 by making sure that you are most concerned with your own holiness. In your interactions with the world, make sure that you have exchanged pride and judgementalism for love and compassion. But, by all means, keep your brain engaged; make good judgments about what is good and evil, helpful and unhelpful. It’s crazy out there.

FRC’s Top 7 Trending Items (Week of May 9)

by Family Research Council

May 14, 2021

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

1. Update: Biden Isn’t Fueling Anyone with His Useless Agenda

Joe Biden wants to be FDR, but he may be a Jimmy Carter. The lines for gas up and down the east coast were so long that the traffic jams spilled onto the main streets. Along the southern border, the state of emergency hit a fever pitch when the surge hit a two-decade high. In Israel, Arab terrorists are on the verge of “full-scale war” and what is the president’s response? “This is progress.”

2. Update: Biden’s Big Government Works Overtime for Unemployment

The evidence of it is everywhere—at restaurants, factories, and construction sites. A couple in Chattanooga couldn’t even go out to dinner without being greeted by a sign that read: “We are short staffed. Please be patient… No one wants to work anymore.” Employers offer to pay more, give night and weekend incentives, and still—they can’t seem to find any applicants.

3. Blog: Thinking Biblically About Cancel Culture

Over the past few years, “cancel culture” has overtaken social media platforms with language urging us to “cancel” someone or declare that they are “over.” Whether the context is politics, sports, entertainment, or business, no one seems safe from the reach of the so-called cancel culture movement. How should Christians think about “canceling” people, institutions, or ideas?

4. Blog: God Is the Solution to a Declining Birth Rate

The Centers for Disease Control released new data showing the American birth rate in 2020 fell to its lowest point in history, continuing the general trend that began in 1971 of American birthrates falling below the replacement level. Certainly, instability caused by COVID-19 impacted the birthrate, but COVID-19 did not cause the instability—it simply magnified a problem that already existed.

5. Washington Watch: Chris Mitchell, Jason Smith, Chip Roy, Dan Celia

Tony was joined by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for CBN News, who shared the latest on the rocket attacks against Israel. Jason Smith, U.S. Representative for Missouri, gave his take on President Biden’s spending proposals. Chip Roy, U.S. Representative for Texas, talked about the House Republicans’ upcoming vote to recall Rep. Liz Cheney as House GOP Conference Chair. And, Dan Celia, President and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, detailed what the April Jobs Report and President Biden’s spending proposals mean for the economy.

6. Washington Watch: Jackie Walorski, Roger Severino, Ken Harrison, David Closson

Tony was joined by Jackie Walorski, U.S. Representative for Indiana, to answer the question: are unemployment checks keeping people from finding work? Roger Severino, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, responded to the Biden administration’s redefinition of sex discrimination. Ken Harrison, Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers, reacted to a USA Today columnist calling for the cancellation of a Promise Keepers rally. And, David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics & Biblical Worldview, shared how followers of Christ should respond in situations like the one faced by Promise Keepers.

7. Pray Vote Stand Broadcast: What You Need to Know About Biden’s “American Families Plan”

On this edition of Pray Vote Stand, Tony Perkins was joined by Joy Pullmann, Mary Szoch, Charmaine Yoest, and Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-Mo.) to discuss President Biden’s massive and far-reaching proposal that will usher in a government takeover of childcare and education.

Thinking Biblically About Cancel Culture

by David Closson

May 12, 2021

On “Worldview Wednesday,” we feature an article that addresses a pressing cultural, political, or theological issue. The goal of this blog series is to help Christians think about these issues from a biblical worldview. Read our previous posts on Unity, Safety“Christian Nationalism”LoveCourageForgivenessthe Resurrection and the Social GospelLoyaltyIdentityReligious Freedom, and Communication.

Over the past few years, the language of “cancel culture” has become ubiquitous in our society. Social media platforms are cluttered with hashtags and campaigns urging us to “cancel” someone or declare that they are “over.” Whether the context is politics, sports, entertainment, or business, no one seems safe from the reach of the so-called cancel culture movement.

However, many people are increasingly becoming wary of it. When asked about cancel culture in a recent interview, comedian Dave Chappelle quipped, “I hope we all survive it.” Chappelle’s passing comment points to a growing awareness that a movement that might have begun with good intentions has taken on a life of its own, resulting in a variety of unintended consequences.

What is cancel culture? How should Christians think about the notion of “canceling” people, institutions, or ideas?

A thirst for accountability. Broadly speaking, “cancel culture” refers to a coordinated effort to silence, shame, and sideline (i.e., “cancel”) an institution or individual on account of views, opinions, or beliefs that someone else (the cancelers) deems socially unacceptable. One online dictionary defines cancel culture as “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.”

In other words, cancel culture encourages people to withdraw their support from and actively oppose public figures or organizations that step outside what the mainstream—or a sizable faction—of society thinks is socially acceptable. Seen in its best light, cancel culture is an attempt to hold people with large audiences and platforms accountable when they do or say bad things. However, cancel culture has a dark side.

A lack of forgiveness. It is important to hold people accountable. When public figures misuse their power or platforms, it may be appropriate to speak out publicly against their ideas or decisions. However, cancel culture (as it is being practiced today) does not merely encourage people to reconsider their biases or apologize for past actions. Nor does it help people thoughtfully handle disagreements. Rather, the impulse behind cancel culture is to impose a figurative capital punishment on the reputation of anyone who holds political, cultural, or religious beliefs deemed offensive to the cancelers. Cancel culture seeks to exclude the canceled from future participation in the public square, with little to no hope of reprieve.

Consider a few recent examples. Last summer, Boeing Communications Chief Niel Golightly was forced to resign after a colleague complained about a 1987 article he had written, in which he had stated that women should not serve in combat. Despite Golightly having since changed his opinion on the subject, Boeing forced him out of the company.

J.K. Rowling, the celebrated author of the Harry Potter series, faced intense backlash in July 2020 after tweeting her belief that biological sex distinctions are real.

Just last week, Promise Keepers CEO Ken Harrison faced criticism for explaining that his ministry supports a biblical understanding of marriage and human sexuality. A USA Today editorial castigated Harrison for his comments and called upon AT&T Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys to rescind the ministry’s contract for an upcoming event.

Issues related to marriage and human sexuality usually provoke some of cancel culture’s strongest reactions. Moreover, a common theme in these examples is the extreme vitriol thrown at those whose views are deemed outdated or bigoted. In other words, if you disagree even the slightest bit with cultural progressivism (see the J.K. Rowling example), you are at risk of not only being canceled but also being labeled as hateful.

How should Christians think about all of this?

Christians should not be surprised when their churches, ministries, or beliefs are the object of criticism or outrage. According to recent research, only six percent of Americans hold a biblical worldview, which means most Americans do not think about issues such as marriage and human sexuality from a perspective influenced by the Bible. Thus, those who retain a biblical worldview are increasingly viewed by our society as being different, old-fashioned, or even dangerous.

Christians should expect to face opposition or marginalization for holding views in line with the Bible. Jesus forewarned us that there would be opposition. In his final extended conversation with His disciples before being betrayed, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The apostle Paul affirmed, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). Furthermore, Paul explained that the gospel is a “stumbling block” and “folly” in the eyes of the world (Rom. 9:33, 1 Cor. 1:23). Thus, Christians should not be surprised when their biblically informed beliefs are mocked or dismissed. However, we also ought to regularly examine ourselves against Scripture and make sure the reason we are being opposed is due to godly, not sinful, behavior (Mat. 5:10, 1 Peter 2:20).

The Bible teaches that no one is without sin. Scripture tells us that sin is wrong and that our actions have consequences. It also teaches that no one is without sin except for God. As Paul explains, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). In other words, all humans deserve to be “canceled.” Scripture also tells us that human beings are not qualified to pronounce ultimate judgement upon one another. None of us can determine that someone else is irredeemable. God, not us, is the judge (Mat. 7:1-5). Whereas cancel culture elevates the passing whims of an outraged mob to the role of judge and jury, Christians recognize that God is the ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong.

The Bible teaches that no one is beyond hope or forgiveness. Scripture teaches that “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This is in direct contrast to cancel culture, which usually denies the possibility of forgiveness, even when repentance is present. Christianity not only teaches that sinful people can receive forgiveness from God but that we also receive, through the Holy Spirit, the power to forgive each other. This is why Paul says in Colossians 3:13 to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Cancel culture is incompatible with a biblical understanding of sin and redemption. Cancel culture teaches a message antithetical to the gospel. It denies the possibility of grace, forgiveness, and redemption. It rejects God’s role as judge of human hearts and actions. In almost all recent examples, it singles out biblically based beliefs for scorn and censure. As Christians, we are called to be part of the ministry of reconciliation, not cancellation (2 Cor. 5:11-21).

The Prayer That Saved America

by Worth Loving

May 12, 2021

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a now-famous speech to the Illinois Republican Party as he accepted their nomination for the U.S. Senate. In this speech he referenced Matthew 12:25, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Indeed, the nation would quite literally split in half a little over two years later. But less than 100 years prior, we nearly ceased to be a nation.

The United States was a mere six years old and was on the brink of collapse. Our first form of government, the Articles of Confederation, proved to be an abysmal failure due to a weak central government that failed to keep the young nation united. In May of 1787, the states decided to send delegates to Philadelphia to draft a new governing document—what is today known as the Constitutional Convention.

The convention dragged on for weeks amid the stifling heat and humidity of the Philadelphia summer. There was fierce debate among the delegates regarding representation in the new Congress. Delegates from the small states favored equal representation, known as the New Jersey Plan. Delegates from larger states, on the other hand, favored a more proportional representation based on population, known as the Virginia Plan. Apparently, there was such vigorous debate that it sometimes descended into a shouting match. Some delegates left and never returned. By late June, it was an open question whether an agreement could be reached to save the young nation.

It was at this point that the aged delegate from Pennsylvania offered his sage advice. Benjamin Franklin, now 81 years old, was a frail figure compared to his younger self who spent years frolicking in France as the U.S. ambassador. In fact, he was now so weak and feeble that he often had to be carried into the convention on a sedan chair. Additionally, he would write out his speeches and have a fellow Pennsylvania delegate deliver them in his stead. What makes this speech unique is that Franklin actually rose from his chair and delivered the speech himself.

Mr. President:

The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasonings with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection.—Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.

I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service. 

As a result of Franklin’s speech, the rest of the Convention proceeded smoothly. Although a chaplain was never appointed, likely because the Convention couldn’t afford to pay one, the delegates gathered a few days later on the anniversary of our independence at the Reformed Calvinist Lutheran Church for a sermon and prayer. A few weeks later, the delegates reached a compromise, known as the Connecticut Compromise, that gave birth to the House and Senate prescribed in our Constitution today. On September 17, 1787, the U.S Constitution was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates. While there were still great disagreements among the delegates, they chose to put aside those differences for the greater good. The “miracle at Philadelphia” was birthed through prayer. The new Constitution also honored Franklin’s request—a chaplain was appointed for both the House and Senate. To this day, both houses of Congress are opened in prayer by a chaplain before they proceed to business.

While Franklin was publicly a professed Christian, privately he did not believe in Christ’s saving work on the cross. Franklin believed he could live a virtuous life and perform enough good works to gain Heaven. Again, this makes his call to prayer at the Constitutional Convention even more unique. 

Over 240 years later, Benjamin Franklin’s call to prayer is just as relevant today. Perhaps we are even more divided today than we were in 1787. Have we forgotten “that powerful Friend” who gave this nation our independence? Have we thought of “humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings”?

James 5:16 says that “the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” We need Christians to offer up prayers for our nation, that our leaders would set aside their differences for the common good. Prayer literally saved our nation, and it can do so again today.

Archives