Judeo-Christian Culture: Christmas is about Christ

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Christmas is about Christ

C.A. Davidson

CHRISTMAS IS NOT multi-cultural. Christmas is unique to Biblical Culture, for without Christ, there would be no Christmas. It is called Western Civilization because it is civilized. Yes, despite the dogmas of moral relativism, Judeo-Christian culture is a superior culture. Western Culture has more respect for women and children, more religious and other liberty, more prosperity, more peace than any other culture. And it’s all because of the teachings of Christ.

Unlike other cultures, and contrary to what the media may tell you, we do not kill people we disagree with; we don’t treat certain groups as second-class citizens. We do require citizenship to enjoy Constitutional rights, but any country has to have laws and borders, or it is not a country.

Europe, the origin of Western Culture, is disintegrating because those peoples have failed to protect the cornerstone of civilization. When a nation stops obeying the Ten Commandments, it descends into savagery.

In the 1930s, the first school of political correctness convened in Frankfurt Germany. There the masterminds decided that the only way to achieve their agenda was to destroy Western Culture, for as long as Christians believed in God and moral absolutes, they stood in the way of the Marxist revolution. The first priority was to destroy the family. So Cultural Marxism was sown, and we are reaping its bitter fruits of moral relativism, multiculturalism, atheism, sexual anarchy, lawlessness, religious persecution, drug addiction, tyranny … the depressing list goes on and on.

And we have watched Christmas become a junk fest. In secular society, Christ is missing from Christmas. The best gift we can give our children this year, and all year long, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is only one plan of happiness that works: Faith, repentance, and obedience to God’s commandments. If we do not pass on these precious truths, our children will fall prey to all the deceptive counterfeits that lead to misery.

This is a serious message for this joyful season, but if we preserve and protect the true meaning of Christmas, we will have peace now, and there will be no post-holiday letdown. Instead, we will enjoy the Christmas Spirit all year long.

Fortify your family with the Judeo-Christian Heritage HERE

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

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Biblical Values vs. Cultural Marxism Bias, Indoctrination in Schools; How to Protect Family

Common Core

Achievement Gap in Education

Biblical Values vs. Cultural Marxism Bias, Indoctrination in Schools; How to Protect Family

Protect Family values— Defeat Cultural Marxism. We on the Right need to “cultivate a new mindset. We have  to break up this monopoly of information.  We have to open up new space for rival and dissenting viewpoints. We have to create rival cultural institutions. ~Dinesh D’Souza

Common Core Indoctrination in Schools Increases Achievement Gap in Education

Dr. Carolyn Reeves

Amazingly, the research also revealed that a student’s religious faith (specifically Christianity) has the greatest impact on reducing achievement gaps. An intact family structure is the second most important factor in effectively narrowing the racial and socioeconomic gaps.

“Perhaps most interestingly,” Jeynes said, “when the two factors were combined (if low socioeconomic status children of color were religious and came from intact families), the achievement gap totally disappeared.”6

Rescuing the one

Rescuing the One Sheep; vintage oil by Wilhelmena Davidson

Rescue your children from Cultural Marxism: Click here

You don’t have to be a professional teacher. Just be a parent! Click here.  It’s easier than you think!

 

Is the achievement gap closing?
Achievement gaps between groups of students have been a major challenge in education for decades. Common Core made narrowing those gaps an ambitious goal and predicted that by 2017, the gaps would be greatly narrowed.

It didn’t happen.

Common Core Bias Documented:

Focus on education
“Common Core is clearly hostile to Christianity, to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, to traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood, to marriage and the family, to the idea of America’s unique example in the world, to any lesson about life and liberty that could be taught to us by a ‘dead white man.’”

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, former history professor, Hillsdale College
The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core

Is bias real?
Columnist Robert Knight wrote that there is an increasing animosity toward America and free market capitalism among many younger Americans. He references author William J. Federer, who says this is no accident.

Rather it is the result of conditioning in both elementary and secondary schools that continues into universities – tactics such as being hypercritical of America’s history and failing to appreciate the genius of our Constitution.

“Deconstructing Young Minds,”
Washington Times, 6/10/18

Is change possible?

If parents would like to see Common Core repealed or altered in their state, they should contact their state legislators and ask for open hearings or surveys on the standards, with input from local and state educators, parents, and students.

Signs of problems
Almost immediately, there were signs of problems from unhappy parents, students, and teachers. Angela Hill, a parent, former teacher, and Mississippi state senator, has been an opponent of the program from the beginning. She reported in debates about Common Core in the state legislature that she had “heard from numerous parents, teachers, and students complaining about the English language arts and math standards, as well as the recommended teaching methods.”

In 2016, as Donald Trump campaigned in the presidential elections, his promise to help get rid of Common Core was greeted with enthusiastic cheers and applause.

TIMSS math, science trends
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study is given every four years to sample groups of fourth- and eighth-grade students. Results of the fourth-grade math scores from 2003 to 2011 showed a gradual increase for all student groups. From 2011 to 2015, the top quartile continued to increase, but the average and the lower percentiles decreased. Overall, U.S. fourth graders dropped from 11th in the world in 2011 to 14th in 2015. 5

Faith, family factors
Interestingly, faith and family come into the big picture in a big way. That is no surprise to those who hold to the traditions of the Founding Fathers.

Dr. William Jeynes, His study stunned many educators

Amazingly, the research also revealed that a student’s religious faith (specifically Christianity) has the greatest impact on reducing achievement gaps. An intact family structure is the second most important factor in effectively narrowing the racial and socioeconomic gaps.

“Perhaps most interestingly,” Jeynes said, “when the two factors were combined (if low socioeconomic status children of color were religious and came from intact families), the achievement gap totally disappeared.”6

With increasing approval of post-modern philosophies, some schools no longer support traditional family structure, and others try to eliminate all references to Christianity in such things as Christmas music selections, classroom writing assignments, and graduation speeches – falsely claiming there must be “separation of church and state” in schools. These self-defeating policies arguably make the achievement gap problem worse, not better.

Leaders’ perspective
The 2016 ACT National Curriculum Survey is given to thousands of K-12 teachers and college instructors to determine which skills and knowledge in English/writing, mathematics, reading, and science are being taught and which are considered essential for students to be ready for college and career. One result was that in general, college professors found that recent incoming students were able to analyze and summarize the opinions of others, but were often not able to generate and write original, sound ideas of their own. 7

Epic Stories of Western Civilization taken away

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, former professor of history at Hillsdale College and national leader in the classical school movement, states, “[T]he standards take away the ‘great stories’ of our heritage of Western civilization and Christianity, and replace them with post-modern cynicism and political correctness.”

Moore is concerned about what are on the “exemplar texts” for the Common Core English standards, as well as the large number of traditional classics that are not on the list. He maintains that the classic articles and books are a huge influence on students in shaping morals and character.

He sadly notes that selections of the classics, when included in a lesson, are often no more than a few selected pages that are covered in one day; if they present a conservative viewpoint, they may be compared with a modern author who has a liberal viewpoint.

Common Core is clearly hostile to Biblical Values

Moore’s frank conclusion is, “Common Core is clearly hostile to Christianity, to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, to traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood, to marriage and the family, to the idea of America’s unique example in the world, to any lesson about life and liberty that could be taught to us by a ‘dead white man’.”8

States revise, repeal
A number of states have repealed their Common Core agreement and are in the process of writing new state standards and finding new achievement tests. Some states seem to be happy with the Common Core standards as they are. Others have found ways to override the copyright that only allows a 15% change in the standards, and some have made numerous adjustments that are more in line with their state values.9

Although schools in conservative communities can, and do, reject many of the more liberal selections, Moore sees Common Core as a vehicle that can influence students to accept anti-Christian, anti-American beliefs.

Teaching in the Home is the Solution.

You don’t have to be a professional teacher. Just be a parent! Click here.  It’s easier than you think!

Restoring U.S. public schools to a foundation of moral principles and values of the Founding Fathers – if not already too late – will be a daunting task that demands the efforts of concerned parents, educators, and politicians alike.

References
1. Valerie Strauss, “Everything you need to know about Common Core” (Diane Ravitch). The Washington Post, 1/18/14 .
2. The Nation’s Report Card. 2017 Results. Retrieved from nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2017_highlights.
3. ACT: The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017. Retrieved from act.org/content/act/en/research/condition-of-college-and-career-readiness-2017.html .
4. Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). Retrieved from nces.ed.gov/surveys/pirls/pirls2016.
5. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) Retrieved from nces.ed.gov/timss
6. William Jeynes, “Shrinking the Achievement GAP.” Teachers of Vision, 3/7/18.
7. Valerie Strauss, “Common Core isn’t preparing students very well for college or career, new report says.”
The Washington Post, 6/9/16.
8. Terrence O. Moore, The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against Common Core
(Kindle Edition, 2013-11-29), 8.
9. Jill Norton, “Common Core Revisions: What Are States Really Changing?” EdTechTimes, 2/15/17.

____________________
Carolyn Reeves, Ed.D. (undergroundparadigm.com), is a retired science teacher and co-author of a series of elementary science textbooks.

Judeo-Christian Culture: Parenting Tips, Teaching by Example, Biblical Values in Daily Life

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Parenting Tips, Teaching by Example, Biblical Values in Daily Life

Building Spiritual Patterns

By Karmel and Lloyd Newell

You can provide safety and strength for your family by establishing patterns of spiritual living in your home.

One morning, a family was gathered for scripture study when the phone rang. The mother picked up the phone, and her sister-in-law from New Jersey spoke frantically on the other end: “Hurry! Turn on the news.”

The day was September 11, 2001. The news told of a horrifying terrorist attack in New York City. The children were shaken. Going to school seemed a little scary now.

The parents turned off the TV, and the family knelt to pray. After the prayer, the eight-year-old daughter said, “It’s going to be all right. I think the terrorists are just like the Gadianton robbers. We don’t need to be afraid of them.” Peace replaced fear. As the children left for school, the mother and father turned to each other and said, “That’s why we do this every morning.”

The family was fortified during a time of great distress because they had established a pattern of family prayer and scripture study. When fear struck, it was natural for them to pray because they prayed together every day. When world events were upsetting, they found reassurance in the scriptures because that’s where they always found reassurance.

Thankfully, events this dramatic don’t happen every day. Most often the challenges our families face are less drastic, but they are real, and they can be dangerous. You and your family can prepare to face life’s challenges by establishing patterns of spiritual living in your home.

What Is a Spiritual Pattern?

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

A pattern in a work of art, such as a piece of music or a quilt, is a repeating design of notes or colors. A work of art is often defined by the patterns it displays.

Spiritually speaking, patterns can work in our families the same way. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) outlined some basic spiritual patterns when he counseled mothers: “Teach [your children] to pray while they are young. Read to them from the scriptures even though they may not understand all that you read. Teach them to pay their tithes and offerings on the first money they ever receive. Let this practice become a habit in their lives.”1

These spiritual habits can become such a consistent part of our families that they help define who we are. They can unite family members, continue from one generation to the next, and give us a strong sense of stability, identity, and cohesion. Most important, they bring us closer to the Savior and help us overcome trials and temptations.

Beginning to Build

The patterns we hear in a beautiful piece of music don’t happen by chance; they must be carefully planned and precisely executed. The same is true for spiritual patterns in our families. Without deliberate planning, it’s easy for other activities to creep in and take precedence over spiritual patterns. Here are some tips for creating spiritual patterns in your home:

  • Begin by discussing with your spouse the spiritual patterns you want to develop in your family.
  • Prayerfully create a plan and present it in a family council.
  • Decide on a regular time and place for the spiritual pattern. For example, one family decided to gather around the kitchen table for scripture study so there would be less contention and fewer distractions.
  • Make it fun! Nothing quite compares with marching around the kitchen table singing “We Are All Enlisted”2 after family prayer, or sipping hot chocolate together during scripture study on a cold morning, or watching your children act out an adventurous scripture story.
  • Give spiritual patterns priority. Schedule other activities around them.
  • Be creative and adapt to the needs of your family members. Scripture study for small children might last just a few minutes each day. A family home evening lesson for teenagers with lots of homework could be a well-planned 15 minutes. Remember that the length of time is not as important as consistency.
  • Pray for inspiration for successfully integrating a spiritual pattern into your busy lives.

Following these guidelines is not a quick process. But through the patient repetition of small and simple acts, we can develop reliable spiritual patterns to strengthen our families, being assured that “by small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi 16:29).

Persistence through Resistance

Because establishing spiritual patterns takes time, the rewards aren’t always immediate. Parents may wonder if their children are really benefiting from their efforts—especially when the kids quarrel, complain, or refuse to participate. Unfortunately, too many parents feel paralyzed by the seeming picture of perfection they see in the families around them, causing them to think: “Other families don’t argue during family night.” “Other families don’t forget to pray. What’s wrong with us?”

The truth is, no family is perfect. Every family encounters resistance to establishing spiritual patterns. But when children resist, wise parents persist. Gordon B. Hinckley shared this encouraging example from his own parents, who established a spiritual pattern of family night that included musical performances:

“In the beginning, we would laugh and make cute remarks about one another’s performance. But our parents persisted. We sang together. We prayed together. We listened quietly while Mother read Bible and Book of Mormon stories. Father told us stories out of his memory. …

“Out of those simple little meetings, held in the parlor of our old home, came something indescribable and wonderful. Our love for our parents was strengthened. Our love for brothers and sisters was enhanced. Our love for the Lord was increased. An appreciation for simple goodness grew in our hearts.”4

Blessed for Your Efforts

The spiritual patterns you establish will bless your family and help you draw closer to each other and to the Lord.

Even if they don’t realize it at first, your children will be strengthened by the righteous habits you choose to create in your family. One young woman described how her parents put imaginary armor on her and her siblings before they left for school each day. This was meant to remind them of the spiritual armor that would protect them from evil. “I never really appreciated this until I was older,” she said. “I am just now realizing the significance of this ritual they created. … Even if it was something I thought was stupid, I know it had an impact on the way I lived my life.”6

Another young woman shared how she was affected by her mother’s persistence: “She constantly invited me to come to prayer and [scripture study], even when I refused to come. It was her consistency that helped me to repent.”7

When we consistently strive to strengthen our families and center our homes on Jesus Christ, the Lord will bless our efforts. We never really know when and how those blessings will manifest themselves. Perhaps your family or your children will face an intense crisis, as the family did on September 11, 2001, and the spiritual patterns you’ve established will provide the peace and strength to move forward with faith. More likely, a spiritual pattern will help you and your family withstand the temptations that subtly attack us every day. The Lord has promised, “Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

To Be Given Highest Priority

“We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform.”

First Presidency letter, Feb. 11, 1999

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.

Imparting Biblical Family Values—Made Easy! Click Here

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.

Start TODAY to train your youth for leadership in the future

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?

____________________
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.