Biblical Parenting: Why Fathers Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Values, is Vital to their Future

Biblical Parenting:

Why Fathers Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Values, is Vital to their Future

 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

gospel-father-mentorHave you ever opened a box of parts, pulled out the assembly instructions, and thought, “This doesn’t make any sense at all”?

Sometimes, despite our best intentions and inner confidence, we pull out a part and ask, “What is that for?” or “How does that fit?”

Our frustration grows as we look at the box and notice a disclaimer that says, “Assembly required—ages 8 and up.” Because we still don’t have a clue, this does not boost our confidence or our self-esteem.

Sometimes we have a similar experience with the gospel. As we look at some part of it, we may scratch our heads and wonder what that part is for. Or as we examine another part, we may realize that even after trying hard to fully understand, we just can’t figure out why that part was included.

Our Heavenly Father Is Our Mentor

Fortunately, our Heavenly Father has given us wonderful instructions for structuring our lives and putting together our best selves. Those instructions work regardless of our age or circumstance. He has given us the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ. He has given us the plan of redemption, the plan of salvation, even the plan of happiness. He has not left us alone with all the uncertainties or challenges of life, saying, “Here you go. Good luck. Figure it out.”

holyspiritgiftIf we will only be patient and look with a humble heart and an open mind, we will find that God has given us many tools to better understand His comprehensive instructions for our happiness in life:

  • He has given us the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost, which has the potential to be our personal, heavenly tutor as we study the word of God and attempt to bring our thoughts and actions into alignment with His word.
  • He has given us 24/7 access to Him through prayers of faith and supplications of real intent.
  • He has given us modern-day apostles and prophets, who reveal the word of God in our day and have the authority to bind or seal on earth and in heaven.
  • He has restored His Church—an organization of believers who work together to help one another as they work out their salvation with fear, trembling, and unparalleled joy.1
  • He has given us the holy scriptures—His written word to us.
  • He has given myriad tools of modern technology to help us in our walk of discipleship. Many of these marvelous instruments can be found at LDS.org.

Why has our Heavenly Father given us so much help? Because He loves us. And because, as He said of Himself, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”2

In other words, Heavenly Father is our God, and God is a mentor to us.

Our Father in Heaven knows His children’s needs better than anyone else. It is His work and glory to help us at every turn, giving us marvelous temporal and spiritual resources to help us on our path to return to Him.

Every Father Is a Mentor

father-teaching-son-mirrorIn some parts of the world, fathers are honored by families and society in the month of June. It is always good to honor and respect our parents. Fathers do many good things for their families and have many admirable attributes. Two of the most important roles fathers have in the lives of their children are those of being a good example and a mentor. Fathers do more than tell their children what is right or wrong; they do much more than toss a manual at them and expect them to figure out life for themselves.

Fathers mentor their precious children and show by their good example the way an honest life is lived. Fathers do not leave their children alone but rush to their aid, helping them to their feet whenever they stumble. And sometimes when wisdom suggests, fathers allow their children to struggle, realizing that this may be the best way for them to learn.

We Are All Mentors

fathermentoringWhile earthly fathers do this for their own children, the spirit of mentoring is something we need to offer all of God’s children, regardless of age, location, or circumstance. Remember, God’s children are our brothers and sisters; we are all of the same eternal family.

In this sense, let us all be mentors—eager to reach out and help one another to become our best selves. Because we are God’s offspring, we do have the potential to become like Him. Loving God and our fellowmen, keeping God’s commandments, and following Christ’s example are the straight, narrow, and joyful path back into the presence of our heavenly parents.

If the God of the universe cares so much about us that He is a mentor to us, perhaps we too can reach out to our fellowmen, regardless of their color, race, socioeconomic circumstances, language, or religion. Let us become inspired mentors and bless the lives of others—not only our own children but also all of God’s children throughout the world.

How you can help with Mentoring Young Adults, Imparting Biblical Family Values

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Judeo-Christian Culture: Daily Bread 1—Small and Simple Things, Daily Prayer, Daily Scripture Study

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Daily Bread 1—Small and Simple Things, Daily Prayer, Daily Scripture Study

Small and Simple Things

Dallin H. Oaks

1) Holy Habits and Righteous Routines

We are taught many small and simple things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded that in total and over a significant period of time, these seemingly small things bring to pass great things. There have been many talks on this subject by General Authorities and by other respected teachers. The subject is so important that I feel to speak of it again.

I was reminded of the power of small and simple things over time by something I saw on a morning walk. Here is the picture I took. The thick and strong concrete sidewalk is cracking. Is this the result of some large and powerful thrust? No, this cracking is caused by the slow, small growth of one of the roots reaching out from the adjoining tree.

The thrusting power that cracked these heavy concrete sidewalks was too small to measure on a daily or even a monthly basis, but its effect over time was incredibly powerful.

So is the powerful effect over time of the small and simple things we are taught in the scriptures and by living prophets. Consider the scripture study we’ve been taught to incorporate into our daily lives. Or consider the personal prayers and the kneeling family prayers that are regular practices for faithful KJV BibleLatter-day Saints. Consider attendance at seminary for youth or institute classes for young adults. Though each of these practices may seem to be small and simple, over time they result in powerful spiritual uplift and growth. This occurs because each of these small and simple things invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the Testifier who enlightens us and guides us into truth, as Henry B. Eyring has explained.

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Biblical Values: Victim Mentality vs. Discipleship Definition

Biblical Values:

Victim Mentality vs. Discipleship Definition

Three Sisters

By Dieter F. Uchtdorf

We are responsible for our own discipleship, and it has little—if anything—to do with the way others treat us.

A long time ago in a distant land lived a family of three sisters.

by Valeries artwork

The first sister was sad. Everything from her nose to her chin and from her skin to her toes seemed not quite good enough to her. When she spoke, her words sometimes came out awkwardly, and people laughed. When someone criticized her or “forgot” to invite her to something, she would blush, walk away, and find a secret spot where she would let out a sad sigh and wonder why life had turned out to be so bleak and cheerless.

The second sister was mad. She thought of herself as very smart, but there was always someone else who scored higher on tests at school. She considered herself funny, fair, fashionable, and fascinating. But always, there seemed to be someone who was funnier, fairer, more fashionable, or more fascinating.

She was never first at anything, and this she could not endure. Life was not supposed to be this way!

Sometimes she lashed out at others, and it seemed that she was always one breath away from being outraged by one thing or another.

Of course, this did not make her any more likable or popular. Sometimes she clenched her teeth, tightened her fists, and thought, “Life is so unfair!”

Then there was the third sister. Unlike her sad and mad sisters, she was—well, glad. And it wasn’t because she was smarter or more beautiful or more capable than her sisters. No, people sometimes avoided or ignored her too. They sometimes made fun of what she was wearing or the things she was saying. They sometimes said mean things about her. But she did not allow any of that to bother her too much.

This sister loved to sing. She didn’t have great pitch, and people laughed about it, but that didn’t stop her. She would say, “I am not going to let other people and their opinions stop me from singing!”

The very fact that she kept singing made her first sister sad and her second sister mad.

Many years passed, and eventually each sister reached the end of her time on earth.

The first sister, who discovered again and again that there was no shortage of disappointments in life, eventually died sad.

The second, who every day found something new to dislike, died mad.

And the third sister, who spent her life singing her song with all her might and a confident smile on her face, died glad.

Of course, life is never so simple, and people are never so one-dimensional as the three sisters in this story. But even extreme examples like these can teach us something about ourselves. If you are like most of us, you may have recognized part of yourself in one, two, or perhaps all three of these sisters. Let us take a closer look at each one.

The Victim

The first sister saw herself as a victim—as someone who was acted upon.1 It seemed like one thing after another kept happening to her that made her miserable. With this approach to life, she was giving others control over how she felt and behaved. When we do this, we are driven about by every wind of opinion—and in this day of ever-present social media, those winds blow at hurricane intensity.

why should you surrender your happiness to someone, or a group of someones, who cares very little about you or your happiness?

If you find yourself worrying about what other people say about you, may I suggest this antidote: remember who you are. Remember that you are of the royal house of the kingdom of God, daughters of Heavenly Parents, who reign throughout the universe.

You are in His hands.

Very good hands.

Loving hands.

Caring hands.

And nothing anyone ever says about you can change that. Their words are meaningless compared to what God has said about you.

You are His precious child.

He loves you.

Even when you stumble, even when you turn away from Him, God loves you. If you are feeling lost, abandoned, or forgotten—fear not. The Good Shepherd will find you. He will lift you upon His shoulders. And He will carry you home.2

My dear sisters, please let these divine truths sink deeply into your hearts. And you will find that there are many reasons not to be sad, for you have an eternal destiny to fulfill.

The Hater

The second sister was angry at the world. Like her sad sister, she felt that the problems in her life were all caused by someone else. She blamed her family, her friends, her boss and coworkers, the police, the neighbors, Church leaders, current fashion trends, even the intensity of solar flares, and plain bad luck. And she lashed out at all of them.

She didn’t think of herself as a mean person. To the contrary, she felt that she was only sticking up for herself. Everyone else, she believed, was motivated by selfishness, pettiness, and hate. She, on the other hand, was motivated by good intentions—justice, integrity, and love.

Unfortunately, the mad sister’s line of thinking is all too common.

In the year I was born, the world was immersed in a terrible war that brought agonizing grief and consuming sorrow to the world. This war was caused by my own nation—by a group of people who identified certain other groups as evil and encouraged hatred toward them.

They silenced those they did not like. They shamed and demonized them. They considered them inferior—even less than human. Once you degrade a group of people, you are more likely to justify words and acts of violence against them.

I shudder when I think about what happened in 20th-century Germany.

Of course, we must always stand for what is right, and there are times when we must raise our voices for that cause. However, when we do so with anger or hate in our hearts—when we lash out at others to hurt, shame, or silence them—chances are we are not doing so in righteousness.

“Yes,” you might say, “I would be willing to love my enemies—if only they were willing to do the same.”

But that doesn’t really matter, does it? We are responsible for our own discipleship, and it has little—if anything—to do with the way others treat us. We obviously hope that they will be understanding and charitable in return, but our love for them is independent of their feelings toward us.

The Authentic Disciple

The third sister represents the authentic disciple of Jesus Christ. She did something that can be extremely hard to do: she trusted God even in the face of ridicule and hardship. Somehow she maintained her faith and hope, despite the scorn and cynicism around her. She lived joyfully not because her circumstances were joyful but because she was joyful.

None of us makes it through life’s journey unopposed. With so many forces trying to draw us away, how do we keep our vision fixed on the glorious happiness promised to the faithful?

I believe the answer can be found in a dream that a prophet had thousands of years ago. The prophet’s name is Lehi, and his dream is recorded in the precious and wonderful Book of Mormon.

In his dream, Lehi saw a vast field, and in it was a wondrous tree, beautiful beyond description. He also saw large groups of people making their way toward the tree. They wanted to taste its glorious fruit. They felt and trusted that it would give them great happiness and abiding peace.

There was a narrow path that led to the tree, and alongside was an iron rod that helped them stay on the path. But there was also a mist of darkness that obscured their vision of both the path and the tree. And perhaps even more dangerous was the sound of loud laughter and ridicule coming from a large and spacious building nearby. Shockingly, the mocking even convinced some people who had reached the tree and tasted the wondrous fruit to begin to feel ashamed and wander away.6

Perhaps they began to doubt that the tree was really as beautiful as they had once thought. Perhaps they began to question the reality of what they had experienced.

Maybe they thought if they turned away from the tree, life would be easier. Maybe they would not be ridiculed or laughed at anymore.

And actually, the people who were scoffing at them looked like people who were quite happy and having a good time. So perhaps if they abandoned the tree, they would be welcomed into the congregation of the great and spacious building and be applauded for their judgment, intelligence, and sophistication.

Stay on the Path

Stay on the path!

Never let go of the rod of iron—the word of God!

And when anyone tries to make you ashamed for partaking of the love of God, ignore them.

Never forget you are a child of God; rich blessings are in store; if you can learn to do His will, you’ll live with Him once more!7

The promises of praise and acceptance by the world are unreliable, untrue, and unsatisfying. God’s promises are sure, true, and joyful—now and forever.

Choosing this path of discipleship will lead to untold happiness and fulfillment of your divine nature.

It will not be easy. It will require the very best that you have—all your intelligence, creativity, faith, integrity, strength, determination, and love. But one day you will look back upon your efforts, and oh, how grateful you will be that you remained strong, that you believed, and that you did not depart from the path.

Press On

There may be many things about life that are beyond your control. But in the end, you have the power to choose both your destination and many of your experiences along the way. It is not so much your abilities but your choices that make the difference in life.9

You cannot allow circumstances to make you sad.

You cannot allow them to make you mad.

You can rejoice that you are a daughter of God. You can find joy and happiness in the grace of God and in the love of Jesus Christ.

You can be glad.

Teaching Biblical Values to Young Adults—Made Easy! Click Here

Planned Parenthood Betrayal: Congressional Action belies Biblical Values, Professed Faith

Planned Parenthood Betrayal:

Congressional Action belies Biblical Values, Professed Faith

“A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bear good fruit.” Matt 7:18

Walker Wildmon

AFA Assistant to the president

January-February 2018 – Americans are beginning to realize that many of our elected officials are doing more harm than good. I believe this is because our country is run by non-believers in Washington, D.C. By non-believers, I mean in the sense that they have not yet trusted Jesus Christ as the Son of God and for the forgiveness of sin as the Bible describes in John 3:16-18. The Apostle John said:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (ESV).

According to Pew Research Center, 90.7% of Congress identify as Christian. But when you consider the kind of work Congress is doing, or the lack thereof, you’d think few of them were Christian. In Matthew 7:15-16, Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”

What I call the “fruit standard” can also be used to determine if one is a Christian or not. If you apply the fruit standard to congressmen and women, you could conclude that few of them are genuine believers.

Let’s take a look at the kind of fruit that we see coming from Congress in recent months. On two separate occasions since being sworn in, the new Congress has reauthorized federal tax dollars to go to Planned Parenthood which, as the leading abortion provider in America, kills babies in the womb. Each year this organization gets over $500 million from the government alone. How can a Congress that claims to be 90% Christian continue to allocate funds for such an organization? Exodus 20:13 says, “You shall not murder.” In the New Testament, Matthew 5:21 says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’” The Bible is clear that murder is sin.

beware of false prophets

The reality, then, is that our country is not run by an overwhelming majority of Christian individuals. Am I suggesting that some politicians who confess to be Christian aren’t genuine followers of Christ? That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. I know questioning others’ faith is a subject that most won’t dare to do, but I think it is important to discuss this. Jesus talks about this in Matthew 7:21-23:

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (ESV).

As genuine followers of Christ, we can’t allow anyone and everyone to go unchallenged when they claim the same faith without exhibiting some sort of fruit. Not only is this false representation; it also damages the overall image of the church.

We’re allowing the Christian faith and the name of Jesus Christ to be hijacked by fruitless non-believers.

Right now, the world looks at the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. and assumes that 90% of the politicians are Christian – as they claim to be. No wonder the world mocks people of faith. We’re allowing the Christian faith and the name of Jesus Christ to be hijacked by fruitless non-believers.

Are there genuine followers of Christ in Congress? Absolutely, but I would argue they are few and far between. The genuine Christians in Congress deserve our support, prayers, and respect. They are shining the light of Christ in a very dark place. To the politicians who claim the name of Christ yet offer no evidence of the truth of that claim, please, begin following biblical teaching or drop the false label.

While I believe it is healthy for Christians to hold our elected officials accountable, no matter their faith, it is more important for us to put genuine believers into office. A nation with genuine Christians directing its government is sure to be a nation that honors God with its policy decisions.

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Character Education Defining Moment: Biblical Values and Moral Compass vs. Liberal Hypocrisy

Character Education Defining Moment:

Biblical Values and Moral Compass vs. Liberal Hypocrisy

Morality Is NOT Determined by Individual Choice!

Rush Limbaugh

               The left mocked “family values” for fifty years and now they’re stunned to discover brutes among them. They tore down every standard of decency and now they’re dismayed to see they’re drowning in sewage. They’ve spent decades sneering at the traditions and institutions that served as societal guardrails and now they’re astonished they’ve gone off a cliff.

Yes, the absolute filth and reprobate behavior oozing from every corner of liberalism is nauseating. But . . .

  • We did not stop protecting and respecting women; you on the left did.
  • We did not stop believing in morality and virtue; you on the left called it prudery and utterly rejected it.
  • We did not stop treasuring honesty, and integrity, and character, and God; you on the left spat on all of it.

Back in 1987 when I was in Sacramento, I wrote a weekly newspaper column. One day I had writer’s block. To overcome it, I started jotting down one-sentence thoughts, hoping to inspire myself. These were pithy philosophical statements I knew were right: undeniable truths. Such as: “Communism kills.” And: “Freedom is God given.” I kept going until I looked at the collection of sentences and said, “Know what? This is the column.” They became the “35 Undeniable Truths of Life.”

My Undeniable Truth of Life No. 22 was:

                “Morality is not defined and cannot be defined by individual choice.”

               Morality is not defined by what you want it to be, by what you’d rather have it be. You don’t get to define what’s moral and not. What’s right and wrong, just and unjust, is established by God. (Undeniable Truth of Life No. 20: “There is a God.”)

Well, how’s that working out? This is exactly how we ended up with what we see all across the liberal culture: debauchery and abuse.

Choices Have Consequences

There are inescapable consequences for wrong behavior, which always, always carries a price. Conversely, morality is a protection, and striving for it (though we all fall short) is a blessing.

George Washington: Keep Moral Compass Alive

George Washington compiled his own list of undeniable truths, which he called “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” The bookend to my 22nd Undeniable Truth is Washington’s last rule, No. 110:

 “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

That, my friends, holds the secret to a good life.

The Limbaugh Letter, January 2018, p.3

How to keep their moral compass alive!

Gallery

Western Culture: Thanksgiving Message

Western Culture Dinner Topics: Thanksgiving November 2017 Culture-Wars Dear Friends, Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics! I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE ABLE TO SAY I’M THANKFUL FOR MY TRIALS, but it’s possible. I’ve observed rather extensively the trials of others, … Continue reading

Critical Thinking: Defining Biblical Worldview, Judeo-Christian Culture

Critical Thinking Skills:

Defining Biblical Worldview, Judeo-Christian Culture

Worldview: What is Yours?

Stacey Long

American Family Association

“I grew up in a Christian home and made a profession of faith at a very young age, but when I got to my teenage years I began to digress from that,” said David Wheaton, radio host of the Christian Worldview and professional tennis star. “By the time I got to college, I had very little interest.”

It’s an all too common story. By high school and college, other ideas and influences creep in, and Christian thought and behavior are replaced by the void of secularism. It has been an enigma to the church and to Christian parents for decades. “What is causing our kids to stray from a biblical worldview?” they ask.

Closing the worldview age gap
The problem may begin with misreading the predicament. A makeshift and shaky worldview is the norm among people of all ages, even professing Christians and not just those who vacate church pews. A February 2017 Barna survey done for the American Culture and Faith Institute found that only 4% of Millennials (18- 29-year-olds) held beliefs consistent with biblical teaching (based on 20 questions about core spiritual beliefs). At the same time, no more than 17% of adults ages 50 and above held to those same Christian teachings.

Christians Don’t Really Understand the Biblical Worldview

Overall, 10% of Americans surveyed in the general population aligned with a Christian perspective, but 30% of the population consider themselves born again Christians who have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as Savior; of that latter group, only 31% held biblical beliefs.

“Most of us are familiar with the concept of young people losing their faith when they go to college, but what really happens is doubts creep in much earlier,” Abraham Hamilton III, AFA general counsel and public policy analyst, told AFA Journal. “People growing up in church may not be converts, but even if they are, they are not getting answers to the big questions of the day. So they go to other places of learning like a modern Areopagus* and there they are presented with answers. So you have powerful, secular forces filling the gaps that have been left in people’s thinking.”

Crisis of Faith

The problem is clear – not just young people are weakening and losing their faith – the vast majority of mature, serious believers have never developed a sturdy Christian worldview and less than a third grasp Christian teachings well enough to apply them to their lives.

What is the basis for my worldview?
The concept of worldview is often compared to a pair of glasses through which one looks at the world – and in that case, Christians are lacking in their worldview. The first oversight may come from failure to discern the difference between Christian doctrine and Christian worldview.

Christian Worldview explains how to apply Biblical Principles as we live in Today’s World

“The simplest distinction between doctrine and worldview would be that Christian doctrine helps us understand what the Bible teaches; a Christian worldview would explain how doctrine should be applied to the world in which we live and the culture that people have built,” Ed Vitagliano, AFA executive vice president, clarified. “A Christian worldview is the lens through which a believer comprehends and interacts with the world around him or her.”

Understanding what the Bible teaches is key because the Bible is the source of knowledge for the Christian and must inform and correct blind spots in one’s worldview.

“By the time I was 22 years old, I realized that my motivations in life were not the way they should be,” Wheaton told AFAJ. “And this is an encouragement to parents who raise their kids in the discipline and instruction of the Lord – Scripture does not return void. It was in the back of my mind as a conscience to me.

“But the Christian worldview is thinking and living based on what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible is the foundation, not just for how we think, but how we live it out.”

Where is my information coming from?

Secular Humanism

Two of the Barna questions addressed the Bible specifically. The survey found that less than a quarter of Millennials and little more than a third of all other adults agree that the Bible is totally accurate in life principles, and even fewer in both groups agree that it is the most reliable source of absolute truth. While they may ascribe to Christian doctrine, the basis for the way they view and react to the world around them is coming from many different places, and their responses and opinions could vary greatly.

“For example, the Bible teaches that Christians should help the poor,” Vitagliano said. “That is doctrine. But how should we help the poor? This is the point at which worldview helps us. Should the poor be helped by the individual, the church, the government, or all three? Should the government confiscate money from individuals via taxes to help the poor?”

Without the Bible, the Default Source of Information Is Secular Culture

Only Staying above world standards is still moral decline

Without the Bible being the popular guidebook by which to answer such questions, the loudest voices in shaping culture are the major institutions that make themselves heard in daily life: popular culture, news and media, music and films, corporations and advertising, the educational system, the legal system, and politics, not to mention one’s own experience from family, nationality, or economic sphere.

“One of the most important things you can ask someone is ‘Who or what have been the key influencers in your life?’” Wheaton said. “Most people’s worldview looks like what their plate looks like after they’ve gone through a buffet line. They pick up a little bit of this and a little bit of that, based on personal taste. There is a bit of a syncretistic blend of different influences that shape many Christians’ worldview.”

How do I navigate the issues?
Interviewees pointed to three items from secular culture that many Christians accept:

  • An unbiblical sexual ethic that justifies unbiblical divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, or cohabitation;
  • A wavering morality on the sanctity of life issue;
  • The undermining of family and gender roles portrayed by popular entertainment.

 

Tower of Babel

Misguided Compassion, Manipulated by Emotional Arguments Not Based on Scripture

As Hamilton pointed out, these are a few of the many issues where arguments based on misguided compassion overwhelm the Christian without a properly formed worldview.

“People are easily manipulated by emotional arguments that are not very logical and, at the bare minimum, are not founded in Scripture,” he said. “If you’re doing what I call an outside-in analysis, where you look at the various issues of the day and then try to find ways to understand the issues, you’re already starting in the wrong place. As disciples of Christ, we have to be grounded and steeped in Scripture on the front end.”

How do I recognize truth?


However, far too many people are at a loss as to how to study and interpret Scripture, and even in the church, they often receive incomplete teaching on God’s Word. Thus, they are left with a worldview ill-equipped to stand up to the real world.

“People are looking for an explanation of the world, a map of the world that fits the world,” explained Greg Koukl, founder of Christian worldview and apologetics ministry Stand to Reason.

“If a worldview does not deal adequately and consistently with what we understand fundamental reality to be like, it can’t be legitimately considered an accurate worldview. Now, Christianity does the best job of explaining the world that we actually encounter. But if people don’t get the big picture that the Bible lays out, if their map of reality only looks like ten square feet of ground beneath their feet, they’re going to be completely lost.”

Get the Biblical Big Picture

Topics include:

  • Biblical Worldview and Judeo-Christian Culture
  • Character Education
  • Civics, Issue of Church and State
  • History
  • Literary Motifs, Symbolism, and Semantics (Meanings of Words)
  • Political Correctness and Moral Relativism
  • Scientific Method (Empiricism) and Academic Freedom
  • Truth–
    • How to Know What is True
    • Discerning Right and Wrong
  • Western Civilization

It is at this point that developing a Christian worldview meshes with the fundamentals of Christian living – growing a robust spiritual life and biblical wisdom. One critical area where that happens is through discipleship.

“Everybody is discipling,” Koukl pointed out. “There are basically two ways to look at the world – the way Jesus did, and all the other ways: the views of reality that are according to human wisdom. We have to know what is the view according to Christ or we will be discipled with a lie.”

As Hamilton emphasized, the instruction of Jesus in the Great Commission was not to stop with proclaiming the gospel, but to make disciples. It is the lack of discipleship, combined with the absence of full biblical teaching that has allowed the standards of the world to take over the weak points in Christians’ worldview.

Does the truth change the way I live?
The second necessary ingredient that allows the Christian’s thought to be transformed into action is “to be truly born again,” Wheaton said. “Without the indwelling Holy Spirit inside us, we’re not able to read Scripture and understand it properly, and we certainly don’t have the power to live it out.” That is what Wheaton experienced in his own testimony after he came to saving faith at the age of 24.

“Since then it has been a process of growth,” he shared. “There’s a journey in life called sanctification, and your worldview sharpens in that process. We can all have a sharper biblical worldview. To have the mind of Christ – that is exactly the perfect Christian worldview.”

Biblical Values Should Be a Way of Life

That is where the Christian worldview is tested – not just as a mental construct, but as a way of life – powerfully transforming minds, hearts, and even society.

“When we’re talking about worldview, we’re really talking about productivity and fruitfulness as believers,” Hamilton said. “A lot of people can give Christian answers as a rote response, but when you start evaluating lifestyles, you see their worldview in a moment.

“Is it just a cerebral reaction, or do you believe it so much that you’ll adjust your personal conduct to reflect that belief?”

Make Biblical Values a Way of Life—

 

How to Impart Biblical Values to your Family

*Areopagus: a city council or court of law that held the highest authority and respect in the ancient city of Athens, Greece.

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A worldview self-examination
▶ Do moral absolutes exist? If so, where do they come from?
▶ What are the world’s biggest problems? What are the solutions?
▶ Does God exist? If He does, what is He like?
▶ What is the purpose of institutions like family, government, or church? How should they function internally and how should they intersect?
▶ What guides my attitudes and actions toward others?
▶ What is my purpose and responsibility in life?
▶ What is the source of my beliefs about the world?

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Worldview resources
Books
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
The Story of Reality by Greg Koukl
Tactics by Greg Koukl
21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity* by Alex McFarland

American Family Radio shows °
The Christian Worldview, David Wheaton, Saturday, 8 a.m. (CT)
Stand to Reason, Greg Koukl, Sunday, 5 p.m. (CT)
The Hamilton Corner, Abraham Hamilton III, Saturday, 5 p.m (CT)

Discipleship course
Behold Your God*

* Available at afastore.net
° AFR is broadcast on 192 stations nationwide and at afr.net.

Biblical Values: Scientific Reports, Gender Dysphoria, Truth, and Consequences of Reality Denial

Biblical Values:

Scientific Reports, Gender Dysphoria, Truth, and Consequences of  Reality Denial

Is This Really Compassion?

Dr. Carolyn Reeves

Underground Paradigm

For Christians, it’s important to understand that the creation of male and female were part of what God designed and created in the beginning. Genesis 1: 27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God also created family units in the beginning, so that one man and one woman would make a covenant to live together throughout their lives and take care of the children born to them.

Numerous media stories have been written about an adorable eight-year-old girl in New Jersey, who is being allowed to change her name to Joey, dress like a boy, and join a Boy Scout troop. She wanted to join the Boy Scouts, because her best friends are the boys in the scout troop, and according to Joey, they all like to camp, do science stuff, and hang out. The official Scout policy limited membership to children whose birth certificates showed they were males, but a few months later, they changed their policy to accept children on the basis of the gender listed on the enrollment form. Girl Scouts have also accepted transgender members for the past several years.

The decision by the Boy Scouts to allow transgender girls to join their troops is being celebrated by many people as courageous and compassionate. But, is it really?

If Joey never grew up, this policy would be much less complicated. But, in about four or five years, Joey is going to stop looking like a typical boy. She will begin to develop breasts, her hips will widen, her voice will sound more like a girl than a boy, she will begin to menstruate, and her body will be flooded with female hormones. Boys, who want to take on a female identity, face similar problems, as the onset of puberty produces dramatic changes in their bodies as well.

Then what?

The parents of Joey and her Scout leaders certainly think they are being compassionate and have her best interest in mind. But, allowing an eight-year-old girl to decide she will live the rest of her life as a male may have more serious consequences than they anticipated. Will she be allowed to begin hormone therapy to stop the processes that occur during puberty? Will she start taking male hormones while her female hormones are blocked? Will there be surgical operations to make her look like a boy? Hormone therapy must be continued throughout many years, and it comes with serious health risks and the inability to have children. Surgical procedures are usually permanent.

Dr. Paul McHugh: “Don’t Do It!” 

The advice of Dr. Paul McHugh to the parents of both young girls and young boys who want to change their gender is “Don’t do it!” Dr. McHugh actually performed gender reassignment surgeries at Johns Hopkins Hospital for several years.

There were no problems with the surgeries, but he discontinued doing them for one simple reason. A battery of psychological tests were administered to the people on which he performed surgery, and the same tests were given several years after their surgery. He was surprised to find that most of his transgender patients were just as unhappy and dissatisfied with life after the surgery as they were before. He realized that life-altering surgery had produced no improvement in their well-being and for many of his patients, their depression had deepened.

Furthermore, there was a significantly greater number of suicides among those who had undergone hormone therapy and surgery to achieve gender reassignment.  

One study found that these individuals were about 5 times more likely than a control group to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide. Cancer and other medical problems were also more common in this group. 

Professionals who advocate for the right for children with gender dysphoria to be allowed to transition to the opposite sex use high suicide rates and severe depression as the basis for their arguments. Although children like Joey may temporarily experience less distress and depression, there are no long term scientific studies about the level of depression they may face as they become older. In fact, current studies indicate they will continue to battle depression in the future.

When a young girl says, “I feel like a boy, and I like to do the things they do,” is that based on some kind of gender-based reality? As a public school teacher for thirty years, I observed many girls who were called tomboys. If they had been encouraged by some well-meaning counselor to live the rest of their lives as males, they would have missed out on the satisfaction of being part of a vibrant family, which most of them now enjoy. Most of the boys I observed in school who exhibited an interest in things typically assigned to girls grew into adulthood as creative individuals who were satisfied with their gender.

By the time most gender-confused children reach adulthood, undergoing gender reassignment is no longer something they want to do. However, if they are encouraged to dress like the opposite sex and change their name to an appropriate opposite-sex name and go to the bathroom with the opposite sex for several years during their childhood, they will become acclimated to this gender.

Reality Denial, Truth and Consequences

Puberty will then force them to make a no-win decision. (1) They will have to continue to dress and act like the opposite sex even though their appearance is obviously affected by what their biological sex dictates. (2) They will undergo dangerous gender reassignment hormone therapies, and possibly surgeries, with the likelihood of serious health issues and bouts of depression. (3) They will have to revert back to their original biological sex after living several years as another gender.

What eight-year-old child has the maturity to look realistically at what changing ones gender will mean for the rest of his or her life? Reality for young children comes from their circle of family and friends and being a part of what they do that is fun and inclusive. Is having a gender that is opposite to ones biological sex backed by any kind of scientific research?

The New Atlantis published a special report on scientific findings from research regarding sexuality and gender (Number 50, Fall 2016, www.TheNewAtlantis.com). It is one of the most valuable, unbiased science-based resources to be found anywhere. The research was compiled by Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S, Ph.D. and Paul R. McHugh, MD. The authors were careful not to discuss matters of morality. Their focus was on what the scientific evidence shows and what it does not show. Yet, for the most part, it has largely been ignored. One wonders if the “feelings” of young children are more reliable than a large body of science research.

A father reads to his three young children from the Holy Bible.

Listen to Scientific Reports from Professionals 

Perhaps it’s time to listen to the advice of professional scientists and doctors. Here are a few of the findings reported by Dr. McHugh and Dr. Mayer in The New Atlantic, (Executive summary, p. 8-9)

“The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex . . . is not supported by scientific evidence.”

“Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes.”

“Only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” 

For Christians, it’s important to understand that the creation of male and female were part of what God designed and created in the beginning. Genesis 1: 27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God also created family units in the beginning, so that one man and one woman would make a covenant to live together throughout their lives and take care of the children born to them.

Culture Wars: Teaching Kids Biblical Values vs. Moral Relativism, Reality vs. Fantasy

Culture Wars:

Teaching Kids Biblical Values vs. Moral Relativism, Reality vs. Fantasy

Kids Need True Truth: Indulging Childish Fantasies Can Have Dire Consequences

By Denise Shick

A father reads to his three young children from the Holy Bible.

“Billy, it’s up to you. If you say the earth is a sphere, then it’s a sphere. If you say it’s a cube, then it’s a cube.”

“Sally, you must decide what two plus two equals. The answer is whatever you choose.”

Would you accept such guidance from your children’s teachers?

Well, that’s the kind of choose-your-facts education many public-school children—often as young as kindergartners—are getting about gender. “Wanda, you can be whatever—or whoever—you want to be, including Walter. It’s all up to you.”

And it’s going even beyond that now. Imagine not just one teacher telling one student she may choose any answer to two plus two. Imagine school boards insisting that every teacher within the school district must proactively teach every student that the answer to two plus two is whatever they choose.

That’s the level of lunacy spreading across America’s education system when it comes to gender.

Background of  Moral Relativism in Schools

Perhaps that doesn’t surprise you in this “alternative facts,” “fake news,” believe-as-you-choose culture. But if it fails to surprise you, I hope it still bothers you. If it doesn’t bother you, then let me give you more background.

Transgender advocates assert that many children are born with a mind/body conflict (a mind of one gender and a body of the opposite gender), and the only solution to such a conflict is to alter the body so that it matches the brain’s thoughts. The biggest flaw in that assertion is that children’s brains are still developing. A typical human brain isn’t fully developed, even by the end of the teen years.

“Oh, she’s going through another stage.” You’ve heard that—or even said it. A friend told me that at one point in his childhood he really wanted to become a dog. Not surprisingly, he’s grateful he still walks on two legs and can pass a fire hydrant without wanting to mark his territory. Kids go through stages, often very fanciful and even bizarre stages. Parents shouldn’t berate their children for being children who have immature fantasies. But neither should they indulge those fantasies.

Where’s the line between tolerating and indulging a fantasy? That’s hard to pin down for every instance, but I’m pretty sure that giving children puberty-blocking treatments is over the line. One study of these treatments found that “there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.”1

I’m also pretty sure that gender-altering hormone treatments for children is over the line. Such treatments can lead to mood changes, increased risk of heart disease or diabetes, blood clots, and perhaps cancer.2

Truth about Gender Dysphoria

But for truly devoted progressives, such risks are preferable to the risk of committing suicide because of the despondency of being caught in the wrong body. The problem is, that’s another alternative fact.

Here’s the truth: “… prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.”3 The sad, simple fact—no alternative facts here—is that people who undergo sex-reassignment surgery appear to be 20 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.4

If Sally’s answer to the teacher’s question about two plus two is something other than four, the teacher has no right to indulge Sally’s error. The teacher’s duty is to teach facts, not to indulge—or worse yet—promote errors and fantasies. That’s even more important regarding one’s gender. Errors in numbers might make for an unbalanced checkbook. Errors in self-identity can have far worse outcomes.
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1  “How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.”
2  “When Transgender Kids Transition,” PBS
3  “How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.”
4  “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden.”

 

http://barbwire.com/2017/08/02/kids-need-true-truth/