Can Anything Be Done About an Unjust Law?


For a long while, Phil Johnson and John MacArthur have been perpetuating a theory of Christians and government summarized by the title of the latter’s book (which the former, no doubt, edited), Why Government Can’t Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism.  I’ve always wanted to write the rejoinder to that book, which I would entitle, Why We Never Thought It Would, but that’s more snarky than I care to be with my first book.  Plus, Wayne Grudem more or less beat me to it.

I have great affection for both Phil Johnson and Dr. MacArthur.  They have done a tremendous service to the Kingdom of Christ over the course of their decades long career.  As a youth, I recall the instructions of Dr. MacArthur well as they poured out of my parents’ radio.

Still, to their own admission (I am sure) the great work they have done expounding the Scriptures does not make them infallible.  And, when it comes to Christian political citizenship, I part company with them – as friends, but we part nonetheless.

Perhaps this is the subject for a future edition of Engaging the Issues, but for now, I wanted to highlight Phil Johnson’s latest shot across the politically active evangelical’s bow – and I hoped to do it by contrasting it against a current event.

Johnson’s article, “Salt of the Earth” was published in January’s Tabletalk magazine, a monthly publication of Dr. R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier Ministries.  Johnson begins his piece with what I believe is a rather cheap shot:

Say the phrase “salt and light,” and the typical evangelical starts talking politics as if by Pavlovian reflex.

That’s a dangerous and unfair assumption and the comparison of well-meaning, convicted evangelicals to a dog responding to Pavlov’s bell is simply unnecessary.  But, in fairness, Johnson rightly continues:

But look at Jesus’ statement carefully in its context. He was not drumming up boycotts, protests, or a political campaign. He was calling His disciples to holy living.

Exactly.  And that is the thrust of the rest of Johnson’s piece (and MacArthur’s book, by the way): the way we act as salt and/or light in the broader culture is by being examples of holy living.  Thus, he concludes:

So this is not about wielding political clout. It’s not about organizing protests against ungodliness. It’s not about trying to make society righteous through legislation. It’s about how we live. It’s about exemplifying the same traits Jesus blessed in the Beatitudes. That’s how we let our light shine, and that’s the saltiness we inject into an otherwise decaying and tasteless society.

I 100% agree – which makes it all the more ironic that I’ve already confessed that I disagree as to Christian political involvement with Drs. Johnson and MacArthur.

This seeming contradiction is resolved when you understand that I think they setup a false dichotomy for Christians.  They make Christians and politics an “either/or” proposition, when, in fact, the very words they use lend to a,”both/and” conclusion.

Thus, you could summarize Johnson’s article thusly, “Either Christians engage in holy living in obedience to Christ’s command to be salt and light, or Christians engage in politics.”

This makes little sense.

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

“Sex and the City” Actress Makes Shocking Claim

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/31/2012

Martinsburg, WV – For all the rhetoric about the reasons and causes people are homosexual, it is nice to hear someone say out loud what many of us already know; being gay is a choice. This would not be noteworthy except for the fact that it was said by a lesbian, a very famous lesbian: Cynthia Nixon.

The “Sex in the City” star has caused quite a controversy with her recent remarks that she has been both straight and gay and has now made the “choice” to be gay. The backlash has come from the ever so tolerant homosexual community. Not only does the homosexual community want to make all people affirm their lifestyle choice, they even want to define the gayness of their own group. I don’t think they actually understand the definition of tolerance.

In response to pressure from the LGBT community to change her statement Nixon refused, instead emphasizing that for her it is indeed a choice:

“For me, it is a choice…I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”

It’s not particularly shocking to hear someone say that homosexuality is a choice. It’s just surprising to hear it from a homosexual. It has long been believed among many that the decision to be homosexual is in fact a conscious decision on the part of a person rather than an inherent desire. The idea that people are “born that way” has been refuted by scientists again and again. (Click here or here for recent study results)

Despite admitting she is a homosexual and supporting homosexual rights, Nixon has come under fire for her words from LGBT activists. One blogger said she is harming the homosexual movement with her choice of words and decided she should not call herself “gay” but rather “bi-sexual.”

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Engaging the Issues: Dr. Bradford Wilcox


Dr. Bradford Wilcox is associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Princeton University. He is the author of the book, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands.

Brad’s research focuses on marriage, and on the ways in which gender, religion, class, and children influence the quality and stability of American family life. He has published articles on marriage, cohabitation, fatherhood, and religion and family life in many scholarly journals, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Time, CNN, NBC’s The Today Show, and on numerous NPR stations.

On this edition of Engaging the Issues, Dr. Wilcox joins me to discuss the important topic of divorce reform.

Click on the player below to listen:

 

 

And, don’t forget to download this week’s edition of, Engaging the Issues @Home to continue the discussion of this important topic around your dinner table.

Also, visit www.FamilyPolicyWV.com/divorce-reform to learn more about our efforts at the West Virginia Legislature to strengthen our economy by strengthening our marriages.

 

Help Engage the Family Now! Please click here to give through our secure online server

 

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Homosexual Rights Are Killing Religious Freedom

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/30/2012

Freedom of religion buttonMartinsburg, WV – Quite often I hear the retort “how does allowing homosexuals to marry hurt you?” Or someone will ponder how homosexual rights infringe on my rights. At this point I would think such queries are naïve and misplaced, but allow me to address the issue and show concretely how homosexual rights is a threat to the religious and conscience convictions of millions of Americans.

Let’s take a look at just three examples of how the religious convictions of citizens were violated in light of political correctness. First is the case of a 15 year old high school student, Brandon Wegner, whose article using Scripture to oppose homosexual adoption was censored by school officials. A recent report on the incident shares details:

Brandon quoted several verses from the Bible regarding homosexuality. After Brandon wrote this article he was pulled into hours of meetings with school administrators and staff, without his parents’ knowledge. This caused him to miss exam preparation classes and at least one exam. Brandon was hauled before the superintendent on charges that he had violated the school’s bullying policy. Superintendent Todd Carlson told him that the column ‘went against the bullying policy,’ and asked him if he ‘regretted’ writing it. When Mr. Wegner stated that he did not regret writing it, and that he stood behind his beliefs, Superintendent Carlson told him that he ‘had got to be one of the most ignorant kids to try to argue with him about this topic,’ that ‘we have the power to suspend you if we want to’ and that the column had ‘personally offended me, so I know you offended other people!’”

I’d like to tell the “offended” Todd Carlson that I am personally offended by his bullying of a student and would appreciate if he resign; immediately. (By the way, click here if you feel inclined to send Mr. Carlson an email letting him know how you feel.)

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Tim Tebow Brings John 3:16 to the NFL

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/27/2012

Tim Tebow John 3:16Martinsburg, WV – As a die-hard New England Patriots fan I am accustomed to being the only one rooting for my team. As with other great dynasties, if you are not a fan you have no trouble rooting against the dominating team. One team I have never been a fan of is the Denver Broncos. It is easy for me to root against them and enjoy watching them lose. Until recently…

I have to admit that I am an unashamed Tim Tebow fan. I love his competitive spirit and never-give-up attitude. But most of all I love how he refuses to separate his faith from his public life as a football player. He is a Christian first and a football player second. He boldly shares his faith whether he wins or loses and does so without apology. Even when the critics bash him – for his faith or his football – he smiles and gives all the glory and credit to his “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

So when the Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first play of overtime during their first playoff game this year I was jumping and screaming like a crazy man. Then it hit me, they were headed to New England for a round two matchup that would be epic. And I was okay with that because either my team would win, or Tim Tebow would continue to write a Cinderella story that God is authoring in the life of this bold Christian.

And while some people would eagerly claim that Tebow has had no effect on the NFL and his lasting legacy would not be one very well remembered, such a claim, for me, came crashing down during the Patriots/Broncos game when I saw a commercial of a bunch of kids reciting John 3:16. I can’t begin to share all the amazing things about this video and the fact that it aired on national television during one of the most watched games of the entire year. (For more coverage on this amazing story please see this article or this one.)

But when cirtics of Tebow and his faith start railing against this young man that simply desires to live out his faith in a real way I get a little hot under the collar. The fact is, this is what we all should be doing, boldly sharing our faith with anyone and everyone that will listen. And just in case you think it doesn’t make a difference take a look at these quotes Focus on the Family received as a result of the commercial:

“Both my sons just saw your commercial and gave their lives to Christ as a result…Thank you. #John316.”

Similarly, another woman said:

“Thanks for running the John 3:16 ad during the Broncos/Patriots game. My husband is not a believer, but he was so taken by those precious kids that he became emotional watching it. Thanks for reaching out in such a warm, compassionate way.”

The religious freedom we enjoy today is a direct result of bold Christians that fought for the right to express their faith in every facet of their life, public and private. Tim Tebow is merely a visual reminder of how every Christian should be living out their faith. That visual reminder is threatening to those that oppose religious liberty and the religious convictions that many Americans hold dearly.

In a world where liberals and atheists are seeking to remove all mention of God from the public sector – like schools, sports leagues, clubs and the work place – Tim Tebow is a threat. His boldness is inspiring millions to exercise their faith and that just won’t do for religious suppressors.

Watch the video below and be inspired by one of the most famous verses in the Bible. But, be reminded of the fact that we as Christians are supposed to be “salt and light” in a dark world. Be reminded that we can’t be either if we suppress our convictions or allow threats to stifle the grace and truth that lives in us. (If the video doesn’t appear please refresh your browser).

As for Tebow’s impact on the NFL, when was the last time you saw the Bible read during primetime television? Enough said.

Help Protect the Family Now! Please click here to give through our secure online server

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

No Room for Pro Lifers in the Girl Scouts

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/26/2012

Renise Rodriguez

Former Girl Scout volunteer Renise Rodriguez proudly wears her pro-life shirt.

Martinsburg, WV – I’ve been criticized for articles like this one, linking the Girl Scouts and the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Well intentioned people have tried to convince me there is no such link and that I am simply misplacing my disdain for abortion onto a “very well respected organization.”

Whatever.

Trying to deny the concrete relationship between the Girls Scouts and Planned Parenthood is like trying to nail jello to the wall; futile. There is absolutely no doubt that a partnership between the two organizations exists and that the Girl Scouts are now advocating for abortion. Brochures with the Planned Parenthood and Girl Scouts logos are being distributed, their annual convention features pro-abortion speakers, and even the former Planned Parenthood CEO admits that a partnership exists. So denying it just makes someone look naïve or under-informed.

Here’s another example of the Girls Scouts advocating for abortion while suppressing the message of life. Recently a 21 year old pro-life volunteer went to her local Girl Scout office where she regularly serves as a Girl Experience Associate. She was wearing a pro-life t-shirt as she went in to prepare for a meeting. It would be her last day as a volunteer.

Renise Rodriguez never imagined that she would be told by a supervisor that in order to stay in the office or take part in any troop activities she would have to turn her t-shirt inside out. Stunned, she did what many in her situation would do; she complied and compromised her beliefs.

Oh wait, Renise did what many in her situation wish they would have done – she quit in order to stand up for her belief that life is sacred. Renise recounts her experience:

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Is Rick Santorum “The Man” for Conservatives to Support?

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/24/2012

Rick SantorumMartinsburg, WV – The race to be the GOP presidential nominee is heating up. News broke last week that by all appearances Rick Santorum had indeed won the Iowa caucus and was building momentum heading into South Carolina. And while Gingrich gained some steam ahead of the SC debate it seems most the air was let out of his balloon by the “bombshell” interview of his ex-wife. Ron Paul seems to be fading into the background very fast, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann both wisely bowed out, and Romney is still being hit hard on his abortion flip flop, Romneycare, and his tax returns.

With all that’s taken place in the last month I want to make sure you are caught up on some key endorsements and where the field currently stands.

Just over a week ago I took part in a media conference call as Family Research Council president Tony Perkins shared the results of a meeting of nearly 170 conservative leaders. The purpose of this meeting was to come to an agreement on one candidate for these influential leaders to support. During the call Perkins told us ‘The group believes, after hearing the platforms of each candidate, that Santorum best represents the values and beliefs of the group.”

How did the group arrive at this decision? Each candidate’s representative was given the opportunity to speak after which three key positions were evaluated. Perkins shared the three key issues the group was most heavily concerned with:

  1. Repeal of Obamacare
  2. Reducing the national debt and reigning in government spending
  3. Supporting the pro-life platform

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

What Did You Do? How Did You Celebrate Life on SOHLS?

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/23/2012

Sanctity of human life Sunday

How did you celebrate?

Martinsburg, WV – Yesterday was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It was a day dedicated to celebrating life and the universal truth that life should be defended from conception to natural death. It was also a day to remember that millions of people were not part of the celebration because their lives were taken from them as a result of abortion.

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision approximately 50 million lives have been lost worldwide thanks to abortion. And, as I recently heard Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life America lament, “we don’t know who we’ve lost.” Maybe we’ve lost another Einstein, or Martin Luther King, maybe an Abraham Lincoln or Amelia Earhart. One thing is for sure, we have “legally” murdered far too many people in America.

We hope you took the opportunity to celebrate life in your church, small group, home or family. We hope the resources we provided were a helpful tool that equipped you for the day. Our goal is to be a partner with you and provide excellent tools and resources to you. With that said, will you do something for me?

Will you text, comment, or email us and let us know what you did to celebrate life in your church, small group or otherwise? Please tell us exactly how you remembered life, advocated for life, or celebrated life; including what resources you used and found most helpful.

We do our best to partner with churches and provide tools and resources for churches to use. So we would really like to know what resources provided by the FPCWV your church used. We would also like to know if your church used resources from another organization and what those resources are. We want to provide the best possible tools and resources to our partners and churches and knowing what you most enjoyed will be a great help to us.

On behalf of all of us here at the Family Policy Council of West Virginia I want to say thank-you for taking a few moments to celebrate life and remember those lost to the atrocity of abortion. We are seeing victories every day in the fight for life, and with continued vigilance we will one day see the end of legalized abortion.

We look forward to hearing from you about your Sanctity of Human Life Sunday celebration.

Help Protect the Family Now! Please click here to give through our secure online server

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Judge Tells Church to Allow Homosexual Couple to Use Wedding Facilities

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/23/2012

Martinsburg, WV – People often want to know how legalizing same-sex “marriage” will affect them individually. Frequently I will hear someone complain that allowing homosexualsFlag and a Bible to marry won’t have any immediate or lasting impact on our society so we should just let them marry and be done with it. Such thinking is not only patently wrong, it is prolonging a debate that should have been settled a long time ago.

If anyone needs proof of what impact, immediate impact allowing homosexuals to “marry” will have on our society you need only to read this article about a church in New Jersey being told how to use their own private property.

A federal judge has decided to tell the church it is not allowed to “discriminate” against a homosexual couple by denying them the use of their facilities. The church is arguing that forcing them to allow the couple the use of their wedding services and facilities violates their civil rights, and their moral and religious convictions.

Here is where we have come as a society; we have federal judges telling churches how to use their own private property. Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton now? Why aren’t they decrying the horrible judge for violating the churches’ civil rights? Where’s Barry Lynn and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. To me, this is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause as the government seeks to intervene in church affairs and dictate what the church must do/allow.

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Would Jesus March in the Gay Pride Parade?

by Nathan A. Cherry, 01/19/2012

gay pride parade

Would Jesus lead this?

Martinsburg, WV – Perhaps no issue is more polarizing, hotly debated, fiercely fought, or conversed about than that of same-sex “marriage” and homosexual rights. On one side are those advocates that believe sexual orientation is the same as the color of a person’s skin; something no one chooses. Therefore homosexuals should be treated like every other person and given the same rights as every other person; including the right to marry.

The other position, traditionally held by evangelicals and conservatives, is that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that, if affirmed and legalized (read: marriage) will severely limit the free speech and religious freedoms of other people. To say homosexuality is a sin used to be easy and carry no repercussions. Those days, in the political and public sectors are long gone. To make such a statement, even in one’s personal time, on a blog, Facebook, or any place else that another human being might see or hear it, has serious consequences.

This is becoming very obvious as we run full speed into the 2012 presidential election. Candidates are being asked directly about their view on homosexuality, whether marriage, military service, or otherwise, by likely voters as they encounter people in public across the states.

A recent article by the National Journal illustrates the varied encounters GOP candidates are having along the campaign trail with comments by everyone from Rick Perry to Mitt Romney.

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About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.