What is Planned Parenthood…Really?

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An undercover video  by the Center of Medical Progress, led by David Daleiden, has shown a top ranking Planned Parenthood abortion physician meeting with investigators posing as Fetal Tissue Procurement Company. In the video, Dr. Mary Gatter, an executive Planned Parenthood abortionist, shows interest in selling intact unborn fetuses for profit. Before the Center of Medical Progress exposed Planned Parenthood, other groups including Live Action, led by Lila Rose, have documented  “rampant sexual abuse cover-up, racism, medical misinformation, the willingness to assist sex traffickers, false statements made by Planned Parenthood executives, sex-selective abortion, and infanticide.”

Many Americans who have not been familiar with the history of Planned Parenthood, have been asking questions about Planned Parenthood. Some are wondering if these videos are a fair representation of Planned Parenthood. Others are asking if abortion is only one of the many procedures that Planned Parenthood does or is abortion the primary procedure? What is the true nature of Planned Parenthood?

A young woman named Margaret Sanger opened up the first women’s birth control center in America, in Brooklyn, New York in 1916. She began opening up new clinics throughout New York City and called her organization the American Birth Control League. In 1923, Sanger opened the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in Manhattan which provided contraceptive devices to women. The two organizations would later merge together and be called Planned Parenthood. At that time, slavery had been illegal in the United Stated for several decades. Several influential businessmen, including John D. Rockefeller Jr. believed they could secretly fund Margaret Sanger’s progressive organization and minimalize population. Millions of descendants of former slaves were moving north in the “Great Migration” around the time hundreds of thousands of Jews were immigrating to New York, having escaped persecution in other countries (such as Russia).

Sanger had caused a stir with the publication of The Women Rebel. In 1914, she coined a phrase that would be a heard a century later: “A woman’s body belongs to herself alone” while promoting contraception using the slogan, “No Gods, No Masters.” Rockefeller, along with other donors, believed that Sanger’s philosophy could work and through philanthropy they could achieve the common goal of population control.

Through the financial backing of several foundations, the new feminism could promote experiments in eugenics and birth control, which also would lead to controlling and eliminating the unfit people groups, especially in urban places like Brooklyn. Eugenics was the practice performed by some scientists in the early 1900’s that sought to improve humanity through biomedical engineering, population control, and breeding management.

The science of eugenics that Margaret Sanger embraced was developed largely by Sir Francis Galton whom received inspiration from his cousin, Charles Darwin and Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Francis Galton wrote,

“The publication in 1859 of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin made a marked epoch in my own mental development, as it did in that of human thought generally. Its effect was to demolish a multitude of dogmatic barriers by a single stroke, and to arouse a spirit of rebellion against all ancient authorities whose positive and unauthenticated statements were contradicted by modern science.”

Eugenics though controversial had the backing of some physicians throughout Europe and also America. Some later Darwinists would distance themselves from eugenics because of the experiments performed by Nazis. In the 1940’s, many Nazis physicians and scientists, including Josef Mengele at Auschwitz would practice eugenics destroying 1.1 millions Jews and 150,000 Poles at Auschwitz. One author described Mengele as “extremely antisemitic, believing the Jews should be eliminated entirely as an inferior and dangerous race.”

Eugenics was more than empirical science. As a naturalistic philosophy it promoted the idea that some members of the species Homo-Sapiens did not have the status of personhood. Eugenicists believed that by eliminating nonpersons they could help the economy. In her book Woman, Morality and Birth Control, published in New York in 1922, Sanger said, “Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.” “Her (Sanger’s) mother had 18 pregnancies, bore 11 children, and died in 1899 at the age of 40. Working as a nurse with immigrant families on New York’s Lower East Side, Sanger witnessed the sickness, misery, and death that resulted from unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion.” In her article, “A Plan for Peace,” Sanger wrote, “Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race.” She added, “Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny (i.e. offspring) is already tainted.”

Sanger also believed that world’s population was growing too fast and that having too many children could also put a strain on well-educated white families as well. In her book, Woman and the New Race, Sanger wrote, “The most serious evil of our times is that of encouraging the bringing into the world of large families. The most immoral practice of the day is breeding too many children.”

Sanger argued that children were a threat to the well being of what it truly means to be a woman. She wrote, “It goes without saying that this woman loses also all opportunity of personal expression outside her home. She has neither a chance to develop social qualities nor to indulge in social pleasures. The feminine element in her – that spirit which blossoms forth now and then in women free from such burdens – cannot assert itself.”

In Sanger’s mind, the financial pressures of large families caused the third, fourth and fifth children to be prone to sickness, lack of higher education and given to evil practices like prostitution. She concluded, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” Though her ideas seemed radical to some, her philosophy continued to gain momentum now backed with funding from wealthy donors, along with intellectual support from a few scholars in higher education, both in the United Sates and Germany. Margaret Sanger, herself the sixth child of a large family, had three children of her own, but still argued that there should be an “American Baby Code” to prevent overpopulation and to “protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.”

Although all races could be potentially be married, she argued that through the American Baby Code, “A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.” She thought the best solution was that, “no woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.” Sanger believed that life would be ideal if, “No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.” Sanger explained, “All that sounds highly revolutionary, and it might be impossible to put the scheme into practice.” Although that specific planned failed, her organization continued to seek new ways to eliminate babies and began pushing for the legalization of abortion.

Margaret Sanger died in 1966 and John Rockefeller Jr. in 1960. Although many years have passed, their vision and legacy has lived on and Planned Parenthood has grown more powerful. Sanger’s predecessor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Alan Frank Guttmacher, chief of obstetrics at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, became one of the first physicians to call for the legality of abortion in America.

Abortion became legal in America in 1973 through a Supreme Court Ruling. By a majority vote, seven of the nine white male Justices forced the passing of Roe v. Wade. Many now consider Roe v. Wade the most controversial use of power in America’s history, allowing abortion-on-demand to be legal. United Sates is only one of five countries (the others being China, Vietnam, North Korea and Canada) in the world to allow abortion at any time. As Jeffrey Rosen wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of Roe, said in a 1991 interview that the court’s decision to hear the abortion cases was a ‘serious mistake’ …and as a result, they decided the abortion cases without possessing a factual record about the medical, social and legal effects of various abortion restrictions.”

Today Planned Parenthood remains the largest abortion business in America. In 2012, Planned Parenthood of America alone did 327,166 surgical abortions and distributed 1.59 million abortion pills destroying human children at the earliest stages of development, while taking in $542 million in taxpayer support. Planned Parenthood’s Division, the Center for Family Planning Development, eventually became it’s own institution and was renamed the Guttmacher Institute.

In recent years Planned Parenthood, led by Cecil Richards, has received additional millions of dollars of tax-exempt funding from the Rockefeller family, and other billionaires, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. The National Review reported that in 2011, the Buffett Foundation gave $40 million dollars to Planned Parenthood, along with an additional $75 million dollars to abortion organizations like “National Abortion Federation Hotline Fund” to fund abortion. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given over $12.5 million dollars to Planned Parenthood and $21 million dollars to International Planned Parenthood Federation.

In 2009, the London Times and Steven Ertelt reported that billionaire supporters of Planned Parenthood, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, George Soros and Michael Bloomberg met in New York at to discuss their favorite causes, such as population control. Bill Gates organized the gathering of billionaires at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and president of Rockefeller University.
Margaret Sanger’s original plan to eliminate babies—especially African American babies—has gained strength recently in American’s urban cities. One of Margaret Sanger’s action steps for population control from her 1932 article, “A Plan for Peace,” was to “keep the birth rate at its present level of fifteen per thousand.” According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a statistical average of 14.8 babies were born per 1,000 population in the year 2012 (most recent year data released), the lowest rate since 1979 when the rate was also 14.8.
The most recent statistics reveal that more African American babies are being aborted in New York City than are being born each year. In the most recent year reported, 24,758 black babies were born while 31,328 black babies were aborted.
Planned Parenthood records that Sanger opened a family planning clinic in Harlem in 1930, staffed by a black physician and a black social worker. The clinic was endorsed by the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Urban League, and the black community’s elder statesman, W.E.B. DuBois.
Sanger called these efforts “The Negro Project.” On December 10, 1939 Margaret Sanger wrote a letter to her friend Dr. C.J. Gamble. He had been questioning Sanger for wanting to employ a full-time black physician. Sanger wanted him to understand that black patients would more likely come to get themselves sterilized if the doctor was black. Sanger explained to C.J. Gamble:

“While the colored negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions, and doubts. They do not do this with the white people and if we can train the negro doctor at the Clinic he can go among them with enthusiasm and with knowledge, which, I believe will have far-reaching results among the colored people.”

Sanger argued that the Federation should shape both the ideas of black physicians and also mold the minds of black ministers. She explained to Dr. C.J. Gable the reason for hiring black preachers as well:

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Her hideous and hidden plan is now well documented: “We don’t want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood and their wealthy donors have continued to seek and find African-Americans, preferably with social-service backgrounds and engaging personalities, to continue promoting the vision of Planned Parenthood. In the 1960s Planned Parenthood marketed their services towards women as being parallel to the civil rights movement. Planned Parenthood sought out the top leader and communicator amongst the several key leaders of the movement, Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking out against racial injustice and became deceived by Margaret Sanger into believing that Planned Parenthood’s goal of educating the black community in contraception and sterilization was a way of helping African Americans. He said, “During the past half century Negroes have migrated on a massive scale, transplanting millions from rural communities to crammed urban ghettoes. In their migration, as with all migrants, they carried with them the folkways of the countryside into an inhospitable city slum…The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child.”In 1966, Planned Parenthood gave the Planned Parenthood Federation Margaret Sanger Award to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The citation read:

“Facing jail, abuse and physical danger, Dr. King’s unceasing efforts — in behalf of all Americans — to win freedom for the Negro people parallel closely Mrs. Sanger’s fight over the last half-century for the emancipation of women from the burdens of perpetual child-bearing and the emancipation of children from a future of poverty and hopelessness. Neither Mrs. Sanger nor Dr. King has hesitated to challenge unjust laws, cruel social customs and blind prejudice that hold people in ignorance and degradation.”
Planned Parenthood’s strategy was clear. Compare their founder Margaret Sanger to black leaders in the civil rights movement. Perhaps Americans would some day forget that their founder lectured racists groups including the Ku Klux Klan about population control of the “feeble-minded.”
In the early 1970’s prior to the legalization of abortion, some young African American preachers and civil rights leaders continued to take a stand against abortion. A young minister and civil rights leader named Jesse Jackson wrote in an Open Letter to Congress, ”As a matter of conscience I must oppose the use of federal funds for a policy of killing infants.” In Jet Magazine, Jesse Jackson boldly declared, “Abortion is Genocide.”

As a speaker at the March for Life, Jesse Jackson told thousands in Washington D.C. his story of how he was so thankful that his mother did not listen to the medical counsel to abort him. Jackson wrote, “People of color are for the most part powerless with regard to decisions made about population control.” He said, “Another area that concerns me greatly, namely because I know how it has been used with regard to race, is the psycholinguistics involved in this whole issue of abortion… That is why the Constitution called us three-fifths human and then whites further dehumanized us by calling us “niggers.” It was part of the dehumanizing process. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder; they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified.”
But eleven years later in 1988, Jackson sought out the Democratic nomination for President of the United Sates and was pressured to change his stance on abortion. As Colman McCarthy described in the Washington Post that Rev. Jackson running for office announced his changed of mind on abortion saying, ”It is not right to impose private, religious and moral positions on public policy.” It was only a decade earlier that Jackson articulated a 1,000 word essay rejecting the privacy argument. He wrote, “If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned.” Although Jackson’s political campaign failed, no liberal African American politician following him would ever be allowed by the Democratic party to speak out against abortion or Planned Parenthood.
In the 80’s and 90’s, Planned Parenthood continued their marketing scheme that a woman’s right to choose was comparable to the struggle for civil rights. Soon after receiving an Ivy league education, Barack Obama, was hired in Chicago by the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization. After several years of gaining popularity in the Democratic party, Obama ran for the office of U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004. He defeated pro-life African American Alan Keyes soundly while winning 70% of the vote. Obama was presented to America in July 2004 when he delivered a riveting keynote address at the Democratic national convention, seen by 9.1 million viewers across the country. Although Obama was not a minister, he was a winsome orator with the ability to a make a congregation shout “Amen” when he talked about change and hope.
Senator Obama defended abortion more than any senator in the history of America.

He voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act four times, voting against protecting newborn babies who survived abortion and voting in favor of leaving them to die. A few years later Americans would elect Obama to become the first African American President of the United States.
On April 29, 2013, President Obama made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to be a keynote speaker at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. He finished his speech to Planned Parenthood by saying, “As long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

The original dream of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, and America’s “philanthropists” had succeeded. Many Americans became convinced that Planned Parenthood was about being pro-choice. However, Margaret Sanger had originally applied the word “choice” to unwanted people groups that she called “feeble-minded idiots.” In her article “Plan for Peace” Margaret Sanger said, “Give these dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.”

Years later, if you go to Planned Parenthood’s website or their marketing campaign, you will not see claims of racism or population control. Planned Parenthood may even bring up the names W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr. and Barrack Obama as their friends and supporters. Planned Parenthood still uses the word “choice” to be about a woman’s choice of abortion, raising a baby or putting her baby up for adoption. But according to Planned Parenthood’s own annual report for last year, Planned Parenthood claims it did 327,166 surgical abortions, distributed 1.59 million abortion pills, but only gave 2,197 adoption referrals. For every 149 surgical abortions that stopped a beating heart, Planned Parenthood provided only ONE adoption referral. Look at the neighborhoods that Planned Parenthood is strategically located. Often times they set up shop in minority communities or near universities If you look at the evidence and the original sources included in these footnotes, you will discover that Planned Parenthood’s philosophy is still: “We do not want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

One of the reasons we are publishing the book We Choose Life is because want to get the word out and, through God’s power, see abortion ended in our generation. Recently, among African American leaders a new pro-life stance has been gaining new momentum. Many of these leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Alveda King, believe that if Martin Luther King Jr. would have had access to today’s ultrasound technology, he would not have supported Planned Parenthood. And he would not have endorsed what Planned Parenthood is doing today by killing babies in the womb. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to just everywhere.” That includes justice inside the womb. Dr. King also said, “The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety.”

 

On this Mother’s Day, Let’s Thank Mom for Choosing Life!

Tonight I’m preparing to give about multiple lectures and sermons (mostly pro-life talks) for New Hampshire and then Virginia the following week. 

My friends Paul Compton and John Welborn have asked me to speak at their churches and I’m honored also to lecture at a Ratio Christi chapter at the University of New Hampshire. 

I want to share some of my rough sermon notes and thoughts with you. Please forgive my poor grammar. 

I’ve been asked to give a pro-life message on Mother’s Day coming up and I’ve been wrestling with what angle I should take so that I can address the horrors of abortion but show appreciation for mothers. I’m leaning towards starting with Luke 1. 

When we think about Mother’s Day, we can all be thankful for our mothers for giving us life. Legally, your mother could have killed you if you were born since 1973. Our churches are filled with women and men who have intentionally aborted their children and we need to remind them that the Gospel only makes since, if there is such a thing as grace and forgiveness. We also know that many women have cried and been so hurt when they lost their babies through unintentional miscarriage. They wanted children so bad, but never had the opportunity.  Unfortunately, in United States, China, North Korea, and Vietnam, you can abort your baby intentionally at any point before birth. 

One of the points that I will bring up in my sermon is that one’s size or appearance does not determine intrinsic worth. Many mothers weep when they lose their children through unintentional miscarriages. My mom had two miscarriages. One of the earliest memories as I have was when I was a toddler and I saw my mom crying because she lost her baby. When I was in her womb, she was afraid that she might lose me too.

 Born two months prematurely I weighed 5 pounds. Doctors say if I was stayed in my mother’s womb, the entire term, I would have weighed 11 pounds. Poor Mom. But, this was way back in the year 1980 when they did not have the technology they do today. Doctors were not sure if I was going to live. I had to be rushed from Staunton the University of Virginia. My parents prayed that God would protect me and give me life. But think about that. At one point, Big Dave was only 5 pounds. I grew and developed. I became a toddler. My appearance changed, but I remained the same person. 

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 So why do Americans say that the unborn are not persons because they do not look like newborns? Toddlers do not look like teenagers and teenagers do not look like elderly persons, but they are all human at different stages. Just recently, I was speaking in Canada at a pregnancy fundraising banquet. I was reminded that Canada and the United States are in company with North Korea, China and Vietnam for their radical legality of abortion. Even in the secular Netherlands abortions are subject to five-day waiting period and are not allowed have abortions after viability. The secular doctors are debating amongst themselves if this means 20 weeks or 22 weeks. France for goodness sake, has stricter policies on abortion than the United States and Canada. Multiple physicians will have to approve if one wants an abortion after 12-14 weeks. 

If you are alive in America, you should be thankful for your mom choosing life for you. 

Think about it: You survived 1973. 

Since 1973, 57,000,000 Babies have been Killed by their mothers. 

Have you thanked your mother for Life? 

As I speak on mother’s day, I think I’m going to go with

Luke 1:34-45

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[c] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah  and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be[d] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Look at the observations from this text:

  1. Nothing Will Be Impossible with God.
  2. Mary Arose and Went With Haste. 
  3. The Baby (John) Leaps in Her Womb
  4. Elizabeth calls Mary’s unborn embryo, Lord. 

In “those days” could quite possibly mean the first month of Jesus’ conception. Mary and Elizabeth are wonderful examples for us to learn from on Mother’s Day. Please pray for me as I prepare for my upcoming trips. 

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Why We Need Spiritual & Financial Readiness for the Coming Economic Storm

Ethan Pope, a prolific author and radio voice, has provided a practical wake-up call in his book Prepare. In this book, Pope examines how both America (as a nation) and Americans (as individuals) have seemed oblivious to the economic storms that are ahead. Ethan’s book shows how America as a nation has (1.) unrestrained government spending; (2.) a growing national debt; (3) a downloaded credit rating, leading to rising interest rates, resulting in an inability to service their debt.

Ethan explains how our economic problems are really symptoms of our spiritual problems both as a nation and individuals. The book says that our first priority is to prepare spiritually and second priority is to prepare financially. This book is more about individual and community preparation than it is about trying to solve all the problems of federal government, the president and Congress.

Pope documents how presidents, both Democratic and Republican leaders have made poor financial choices, and what Americans in both parties can do to help strengthen American’s finances.

Ethan reveals how the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates artificially low for the past several years. Our nation is sitting on top of an interest-rate time bomb.

The Book: Prepare lays out 4 principles for individuals, using the acronym P-R-E-P. We must Prepare Spiritually. 2. Reallocate Resources 3. Economize Lifestyles and 4 Pay of Debts. Growing spiritually, is not something you’ll “check off the list” but it is a foundation for life.

Proverbs 15:16 says, “Better a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and turmoil with it.” Ethan explains how we need to memorize Scriptures as a reminder that we are to be stewards of what God has given us. “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.” (Psalms 24:11) Ethan uses his morning walk to pray and memorize Scripture.

Ethan gives practical helps in paying off debt, refinancing (when do it and when not to do it) and giving. This book sets forth challenges to face the facts about our finances, but it provides a message of hope an opportunity. In the back, a helpful tools when using this book in a small group book study or church group.

When the New Christian Left Twists the Gospel and Perverts Morality

Hipster Christianity

Almost a decade ago, I remember attending Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, packed with thousands of young evangelical leaders. It was there, that I first heard a young creative pastor named Rob Bell, pastor of the fast growing Mars Hill in Michigan. At the age of 25, I was finishing up seminary, but felt rejuvenated when I heard the line up of Catalyst speakers like Rob Bell, Donald Miller, and Andy Stanley. These teachers were creative but avoiding a lot of the controversial doctrinal issues that I heard from my alma mater Liberty University’s founder Jerry Falwell.

Rob Bell and these Catalyst communicators did not have pulpits, but were either walking, or sitting in comfortable chairs and bar stools. They weren’t talking about politics, or hell, or inerrancy of Scripture, or homosexuality and certainly not abortion. By no means were these guys like James Dobson or Falwell’s Moral Majority.

To me, their teaching seemed like a breath of fresh air compared to the dry doctrine. I felt burnt out on from seminary. There was excitement like the energy of a concert. I was not alone, thousands of those who grew up in non-denominational, Southern Baptist or Church of God congregations were drawn to this new kind of Church. Out of this generation, some sons and daughters of conservative Bible expositors, including Andy Stanley, Jonathan Merritt and Rachel Held Evans would drift away from their father’s evangelical fundamentalism and rise up to become today’s defenders of tolerance, social justice and gay “rights” at bakeries.

Ten years ago, at my first Catalyst conference, I did not agree with everything these younger communicators were saying, but I thought perhaps they could bring more balance. Weren’t these guys like Rob Bell and Donald Miller authentic by asking questions? We were the generation that was more about what we were “for” and not “against.” After all, there was no need for me to also always be discussing controversial things like abortion, gay marriage, doctrine and apologetics. In my young ignorance and piety, I told myself that I appreciated their “tone.”

So as a 25 year senior pastor of the SBC Immanuel Baptist Church, I got rid of the pulpit, bought some skinnier jeans began showing Rob Bell’s Nooma videos to the church on Wednesday nights. As I sipped on my Starbuck’s latte and saw an excitement from younger people, I felt relevant. I thought Bell’s teaching was authentic and fresh. But as time passed, I noticed things that concerned me. As I read the Bible and compared it to the teaching of some younger evangelicals like Bell, I did not always see correspondence. Fortunately, my seminary professors like Dr. Thomas Howe and Dr. Norman Geisler had engrained in my mind the laws of logic, the inerrancy of Scripture and the historical grammatical method of interpretation. I knew that I had responsibility to train others into the truth. Thankfully, there were several individuals who challenged my thinking when I started to get off track. As I returned to those old dusty seminary books by J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, and Peter Kreeft and scholastics like Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas, I started rediscovering life in the truths of God. Thankfully, God saved me from the fruit loops theology of Rob Bell, Oprah and Rachel Held Evans.

In the last couple years, we have seen a steady rise of professing evangelical Christians who are no longer simply rebelling against the “Moral Morality” conservatism of the Ronald Reagan era that their parents might have taught them, but instead, have become zealous promoters of secular liberalism all in the name of Christian “love” and “social justice.” They are finding their voice through well-marketed blogs including CNN, Religious News Service, and the Huffington Post. Rather than focusing on religious liberty, classical Christian virtues, and the proclamation of the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, this group has become staunch defenders of gay marriage, social justice, global warming awareness, feminism and religious pluralism that has empathy towards Islamic jihad.

Chelsen Vicari’s new book Distortion evaluates how this progressive or savvy driven Christianity which boasts of “authenticity” and “nonjudgmentalism” have actually repackaged the Scriptures and are leading a generation astray. Through a combination of well performed emotionally led worship services and false shallow teachings, the Christian left claiming to be “real” have promoted politicians who are actually increasing abortion rights, gay marriage and Marxism.

Vicari’s new book takes to task these millennial evangelicals whose theological maturity consists of “Worship” music and Jesus Calling devotionals. Chelsen Vicari is a younger evangelical who serves at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. She tells her story of how though growing up in a traditional Christian family, she left home and in college, “morphed as a full-fledged feminist, told my parents they were ignorant for not endorsing homosexuality, and bought into the distorted social justice rhetoric that confuses carrying for the poor with advancing socialist or big government systems and demonizing the United States for its free market system.” She tells her powerful story of how she realized how wrong she her new relativistic and Marxists ideas were and through an investigated journey, turned back to believing in Biblical principles. In her book, Distortion, Vicari exposes the generation of bloggers and speakers who are rebelling against the Bible-believing conservativism of their parents. Some of these writers include: Rachel Held Evans, Andy Stanley, Jonathan Merritt, Rob Bell, Jay Baker, Brian McLaren and Jim Wallis. Some of these liberals used to claim “neutrality” about gay marriage, traditional morality and controversial subjects because they say, “We want to be known what we’re for, not what we’re against.” But Vicari shows that these “progressives” are not just “positive” but are vehemently against any conservative who holds to natural law, biblical inerrancy, and traditional marriage.

Rachel Held Evans is an outspoken feminist who has fueled her anger against conservatives like Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. Evans a defender of gay rights and “equality” is the daughter of a conservative Bible-believing fundamentalist who worked at a fundamentalist Bible college. Rachel Held Evans has been capitalizing by poking fun of the conservative and Biblical teachings she was taught as a youth. Vicari’s book challenges Rachel Held Evans’ for throwing out undocumented assertions against conservatives. Rachel Held wrote for CNN that young Christians are leaving the church because Christianity has become “too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people…our LGBT friends to felly truly welcome in our faith communities.”

Vicari also reveals the inconsistency of Andy Stanley, pastor of America’s second largest church and son of famous traditional Bible believing preacher, Charles Stanley. Andy Stanley whose church of North Point claims to stay out of the politics of abortion and gay marriage, hypocritically goes on the attack of those who appeal to their Christian convictions that business owners like wedding cake owners should not be forced to by the law to serve a gay marriage for that would “violate their personal conscious.” Andy Stanley found that it was “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law….serving people.” Of course Andy Stanley who claims neutrality, does not apply his own principles at his North Point Church to perform gay weddings. Yet he uses his platform to find flaws in those who promote America’s religious freedom.

Another Baptist minister’s son that Vicari mentions in Distortion is Jonathan Merritt, whose father was once president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jonathan Merritt gained great appeal with mainstream, as one coming from a conservative background but has no problem showing the errors of the Falwells, Pat Robertsons and Duck Dynasty guys. Mainstream media loves evangelicals  who can write as an insider and find flaws in the conservative and Biblical ideas. Vicari wrote, “Jonathan Merritt, Richard Cizik, Rachel Held Evans, and a whole host of others on the evangelical Left assert the myth that the way to end abortion is by passing out tax-payer funded contraception like it’s candy.” (p. 115) Vicari replies, “Nice try, but the research and data are against them yet again. Planned Parenthood’s own think tank, the Guttmacher Institute, surveyed more than ten thousand women who had abortions during 2000 and 2001. The study found that a mere 12 percent of the women cited limited access to birth control as the reason for their pregnancies and subsequent abortions.” “Researchers in Spain analyzed the use of contraception and abortion rates between 1997-2007. What they found was astonishing. During that decade access and use of contraception increased 80 percent, yet abortion also increased-by a whopping 108 percent.” “Essentially greater access to contraception,” says Vicari, “led to a false sense of security. When contraception failed, as often happens, the baby was aborted.” I would comment that Vicari does not make a hasty generalization. She does not argue that all of these leftist Christians hold the same views. She cites Merritt in positive way of common agreement when talking about Christians who face persecution in Middle East.  I think Vicari’s approach is reasonably balanced and fair. She also is clear to break down the topics that some progressives reject, while others may not be as extreme.

Towards the end of the book Distortion, Vicari interviews young evangelicals that are living out a bold faith and not willing to give into the trendy fads amongst hipster evangelicals. Vicari interviews Eric Teetsel who is now directing the Manhattan Declaration who talks about his experience at Azusa Christian College. He said, “I found that it was only Christian only in the sense that we would do a devotional before class and then immediately jump into the same material that they were studying at University of Southern California down the street, including all the tolerance, pro-gay, white guilt stuff.” When a same-sex speaker spoke at this college, Teetsel asked, “Wouldn’t you agree that even if you dismiss some of the specific verses that speak to homosexuality that there is broader theology of human sexuality that goes from Genesis to Revelation that affirms heterosexuality?” And the speaker said, “No, I don’t agree, and I would invite you to stop speaking.” What Teetsel experience is not unique. The Christian left while claiming “tolerance” is very intolerant those who take a stand for traditional marriage. I encourage those who understand the incoherency and dangers of the new Christian left to read Chelsen Vicari’s Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith.

Obama Compares Christianity to ISIS, speaking of “Terrible Deeds Done in the Name of Christ”; yet Obama has Used God’s Name to Bless Terrible Deeds of Abortion

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President Obama’s comments of comparing Christianity to ISIS at the National Prayer Breakfast has stirred some controversy. He said, “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Many people have asked if this negative attitude towards Christianity and America’s founding is really helpful and even fair? Rev. E.W. Jackson said, “The President wasn’t just wrong to attack Christians and equate our faith to terrorist acts at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, he empowered and emboldened our enemies. Obama needs to stop apologizing for America and providing terrorists with a recruiting tool.” Here are several concerns:

1. Why Ignore those being Persecuted Today by Islamic Jihadist?

Obama seems to want to draw empathy for Islamic jihad by mentioning past sins of Christianity. But Obama diminishes and ignores the thousands of Christians who are dying around the world, and the highest percentage is caused by Muslims. The Vatican told the UN, “Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year. Other Christians and other believers are subjected to forced displacement, to the destruction of their places of worship, to rape and to the abduction of their leaders – as it recently happened in the case of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, in Aleppo (Syria).” Obama implies that to emphasize these evils would “to get on a “high horse.”

2. Can We Blame Christianity Alone for the Evils of the Crusades?

Even today, both Catholic and Protestant acknowledge that there have been a misuse of Christ throughout history. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Yet, to blame the Crusades as the evil led by Christianity alone is not completely fair.

I don’t think it is right for the president to bring up the Crusades done a thousand years ago, while encouraging Christians to never speak a word of negativity against evils done by Islamic Jihadist in our present time? For one, the Crusades were not led by America, but called by the Catholic Church after Islam had conquered over half the Christian world. Islam had already conquered Jerusalem, attacked Spain, Italy and France for years. Also it’s very difficult to blame all the crusades solely as the evils of Christianity. Let me give you an analogy. As an American Christian, I may disagree with the extent America’s use of atomic weapons at the Hioshima and Nagasaki bombings, but this does not mean that I would to call all of America’s WWII involvement evil. In fact, I’m very thankful that America did get involved with WWII to rescue many lives.

Likewise, if the Catholic Church would have not responded to Islam, then Islam would have taken over the entirety of Europe. If Pope Urban would not have responded with the crusades, there would be no Oxford or Cambridge. There would be no United States, if it was not for the Catholic Church fighting back Islam’s conquering of the world during the crusades. Should Pope Urban have allowed the Jihadists Turks to rape women on alters, slit the throats of priests and children and burn churches? Obama may believe that he should have “turned the other cheek.” In reply, let’s suppose that Pope Urban was completely 100 percent wrong and the Catholic’s response to Islam’s threats were wrong in every single event. Do the evils done a thousand years ago in the name of Christianity mean that Christians and Americans should be silent today about ISIS? If we speak out against the evils of ISIS, does that really mean that we are on a “high horse?

3. Why Not Acknowledge the Christians Who Abolished Slavery and Segregation?

Obama in his attempt to silence Christians, brought up racism and slavery. He spoke of, “terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Sadly, Obama sounds very similar to some European Marxist educators of the 20th century, who want to to paint America and Christianity as the leaders of all racism. Most Americans and professing Christians today are ashamed of slavery and racism, but slavery was not invented by America. It was practiced around the world and many of America’s founders opposed it. America’s sixth president John Quincy Adams was so much against slavery that after his presidency, he continued in congress to so he could fight slavery. Although there were slave owners who misused the Bible, it was also abolitionists who appealed the Bible to abolish slavery. There were preachers like Rev. Peter Ackers who inspired Abraham Lincoln to play a part in the abolition of slavery. As far as segregation, there were many Christians, including Martin Luther King Jr. himself who appealed to the Bible to speak against racism. There were also white preachers like Billy Graham who refused to preach to segregated audiences. Graham invited King to join him for a New York Crusade. Graham even bailed King out of jail. Why doesn’t the president praise America’s leaders like King and Graham, instead of using “racism” in the name of Christianity as way to silence Christians about ISIS?

Furthermore, why pick out “Christians” as ones who “justified slavery.” For over 1,400 years the Muslims have been involved in slave trade, including African Muslims. This terrible practice continues with some Muslims today. Mohammed himself was involved in every aspect of slavery, including owning many non-Muslims women and children slaves and passing around slaves for sexual purposes. Why is it that whenever slavery is discussed we tend to ignore the horrific record of Muslims over a much longer time and single out American white Christian slave owners over two centuries? Certainly, the white Christian slave owners of the 1700’s and 1800’s were terribly wrong, but why ignore those who continue to traffic women and children in the name of Allah.

4. Obama’s “High Horse” of Religious Pluralism Excludes Anyone who Disagrees with his Spiritual Preference.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to pin point Obama’s religious views. But he seems to be a religious pluralist, who considers himself Christian. A religious pluralist is someone who says that all religions are equally true. Religious pluralism may say, “Christianity is true for you, but not true for those who disagree with you. So please keep your beliefs private and personal.” This is very common and I could argue that Oprah, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and others have said statements of religious pluralism. Obama takes it a step further with a jab, “Don’t claim that your religion is more true, or that’s a “high horse.” Born in India, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias once said:

“We are living in a time when sensitivities are at the surface, often vented with cutting words. Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a better way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it.

“If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from the eastern fold. Such is the mood of the twentieth century.”

Religious pluralism claims to be open-minded, but is it really? When we stop and think about the claims of religious pluralism, we discover that this worldview doesn’t accept any faith expression that is not pluralistic. Even though pluralism is touted by the President and also at many universities as “open-mindedness,” it’s actually just another form of religious exclusivity. Why? Because it excludes anybody who doesn’t believe it. Therefore, Obama’s religious pluralism excludes the beliefs of hundreds of millions of Christians who claim that Jesus Christ is the only way for salvation (John 14:6).

Interestingly, it’s not just Christianity that claims to be exclusively true. Muhammed, the founder of Islam, claimed Islam to be the true religion, and the teachers of Hinduism say it is the true religion. Then some Hindus decided to reject certain teachings of Hinduism, so they split off and started a new religion called Buddhism. Even the Dali Lama’s form of Tibetan Buddhism is distinct from hundreds of sects, each of which has its own set of spiritual beliefs. Obama’s religious pluralism may seem open minded, but it’s really a “high horse” of relativistic pluralism that rejects orthodox Christianity, Sunni Islam and host of other religions that contradict his religious preferences of the day.

5. Obama speaks of “Terrible deeds done in the name of Christ” but this is the same president who went to the largest abortion fundraiser and in the name of God, “Blessed” Planned Parenthood’s terrible deeds of slaughtering 327,653 children. 

Planned Parenthood’s own website records that Obama was the first sitting president to address the nations largest abortion provider. In their 2014 report, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions. This does not even include early abortifacients, but these are murdering by suction, chemical and dismemberments of unborn children. When Obama speaks of “Terrible deeds done in the name of Christ,” I can’t help but think of what could be worse than saying “God Bless You” to an organization that earns more money from the slaughtering of children than any other procedure. In 1994, Mother Teresa spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. She courageously said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.”

Would Obama think that Mother Teresa is on some “high horse?” If so, maybe that’s a “high horse” that more Americans need to get on to protect our children and to speak out against the evils of abortion, Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Abortion: The Death of Innocence

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We all become aware of death at different ages, through different experiences. For many of us, our first encounter comes with the death of a great-grandparent at a ripe old age. The less fortunate may experience having a parent or a child torn away far too soon. But regardless of the nature of the introduction, death leaves an unmistakable mark. A couple of years ago in Dallas, I watched a nurse escort a young woman from a building to her car. From across the street, I could see that the patient’s cheeks were stained with tears. She looked barely out of her teens, but her face was tight with pain and shock. I had seen that look before: the mark that an encounter with death leaves on an innocent face.

The building I was watching wasn’t a hospital; it was an abortion facility. I was standing across the street praying for the women entering and leaving. As I drove home that day, I fought back tears and found myself only able to pray the words of Christ: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

Death is a natural part of life, but at times in history it has swelled to epidemic proportions, swallowing up all in its path.  The Black Death of the mid-1300s claimed between a half and a third of Europe’s population, leaving almost no city untouched. An estimated 39 million souls have perished from AIDS since 1981.

But other epidemics have been completely manmade. An analysis of 20,000 mass graves in Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields indicates that Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge executed and buried roughly 1.4 million innocents. More recently, around 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in Rwanda over a three-month period in 1994.

A German Christian during World War II recalled hearing the sound of the trains that were taking Jewish people to the Nazi death camps, where 6 million of them would die:

“Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.”

Read the rest of article in Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine

The Incredible Forgiveness Story Left Out In the Movie Unbroken

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Article written by Clay Sterrett & Dave Sterrett

Louis Zamperini is a true World War II hero, whose story has been vividly portrayed in the N.Y. Times bestseller, Unbroken, by  Laura Hillenbrand . Angelina Jolie’s new film does a good job showing the first half of Louis’ story. What Zamperini endured in those war years was a most remarkable story of endurance. Yet Jolie leaves out that Zamperini was a very broken man when he returned to the United States. He became an alcoholic and a poor husband. He was filled with hatred and unforgiveness towards the guard who tortured him. Louis constantly had nightmares of the guard torturing him. Jolie’s film shows portions of Hillenbrand’s story in which Zamperini was an Olympic runner, who was on target to become the first American to break the four minute mile, but when war broke out, he joined the U.S. Air Force.

On one rescue mission, due to engine troubles, their B-24 airplane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, but Zamperini and two other crew members amazingly survived the impact. Then, they lived the next 47 days on a couple life rafts, just barely surviving starvation, constant shark attacks, and being shot at directly by a Japanese bomber. One man died, but the other two men finally reached the Marshall Islands – only to be captured by Japanese soldiers.

Zamperini would spend the next two and a half years spent in various prisons, where American prisoners were treated very cruelly. One big, sadistic Japanese guard, named Matsuhiro (“The Bird”) seemed to have a demonic hatred especially bent toward Zamperini. Just about anytime they would cross paths, this guard would pound Zamperini in the face, sometimes with a belt buckle on his hand. About half of the story in Unbroken describes the horrible, humiliating suffering Zamperini and others endured in these Japanese prisons. It is truly the hand of God that he survived, especially at the end of the war, when Japanese soldiers normally killed all POW’s before fleeing, but in this case, they fled, and the prisoners were left to be rescued.

Louis shocked friends and family by returning back home alive and he was an instant celebrity. However, the celebrity status produced little income and he soon found himself in a quick marriage, which turned bad, and then he became more addicted to alcohol. Every night he was tormented by nightmares of the guard, Matsuhiro, attacking him. All this changed, however, in 1949 when he attended a big tent crusade in Los Angeles, where a young, popular speaker, Billy Graham, was preaching. Filled with brokenness, Louis went forward in the second night to trust in Jesus Christ, whose body was broken on a cross. Louis returned home, poured out all his liquor, and slept peacefully for the first time in years. He never again had a nightmare of Matsuhiro. He was truly a new man in Christ.

A few years later, Zamperini had an opportunity to go back and visit some of the former Japanese guards, now prisoners themselves. He and other Christians shared the love and forgiveness of Christ to these former tormentors, who were greatly surprised. Zamperini never saw Matsuhiro in his visits, but he sent him this letter. Matsuhiro never responded before his death, but Zamperini had obeyed the Lord in forgiving this former enemy.

To Matsuhiro [sic] Watanabe,
As a result of my prisoner of war experience under your unwarranted and unreasonable punishment, my post-war life became a nightmare. It was not so much due to the pain and suffering as it was the tension of stress and humiliation that caused me to hate with a vengeance…
The post-war nightmares caused my life to crumble, but thanks to a confrontation with God through the evangelist Billy Graham, I committed my life to Christ. Love replaced the hate I had for you. Christ said, “Forgive your enemies and pray for them.”
As you probably know, I returned to Japan in 1952 [sic] and was graciously allowed to address all the Japanese war criminals at Sugamo Prison … At that moment, like the others, I also forgave you and now would hope that you would also become a Christian.
Louis Zamperini

What amazing forgiveness! You, too, can forgive – even your greatest enemies – because Jesus Christ suffered the terrible abuse and torments of men, and yet he chose to forgive us. While hanging on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Therefore, you must also “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col.3:13) To hear the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association special on the rest of the Louis Zamperini story download here: Billy Graham Video.