The Mormons (Latter Day Saints) have just announced they’ll be dialing back involvement with the Boy Scouts of America — a seismic development since, as the Washington Post reports, ”The Mormon Church is the Boy Scouts’ largest partner — about 20 percent of Boy Scouts are Mormon.” In an official statement, the religious organization said the BSA’s controversial LGBT policy did not play a role in its decision. (Since the Boy Scouts announced — pursuing much the same track as the Girl Scouts — they’d be accepting gay (2013) and transgender scouts and homosexual scoutmasters (2015), LDS reaction has been mixed and muddled at best.)
Still, whatever the details of this contretemps, the Boy Scouts’ moral disintegration is just one flare-up of a pandemic sweeping Western culture: the crumbling of institutions once doughtily regarded as righteous stanchions of society.
Curiously, the American branch of Robert Baden Powell’s early twentieth-century movement continues to present the following as a portion of its oath: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country … to keep myself … mentally awake and morally straight.”
Just wondering: how does opening the tent-flaps to sexual perversion work into that pledge? It certainly gives new meaning to the storied Scouting motto, “Be Prepared”!
Then there’s professing Christian churches — legions of them worldwide — going over to the “welcoming” or “affirming” camp when it comes to all things “sodomy”. Mind you, we’re not speaking here about the long-held, biblical mandate of loving individuals; that’s a given for genuine disciples of Jesus. Rather this corrosive fad is all about condoning behaviors or lifestyles roundly condemned by the Scriptures; and by historic Christianity for millennia. Open and practicing homosexual clergy? Individual congregations or even denominations wholesale sanctioning “same-sex marriage” ceremonies? All of it boils down to those who are supposed to know better and say as much, saying grace, instead, over today’s fashionable deviancy.
Professor David Gushee, putative “Christian” ethicist, who has apparently been evolving gradually leftward for years on his homosexuality viewpoints, just declared himself disassociated from “evangelicalism” over the issue:
I now believe that incommensurable differences in understanding the very meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the interpretation of the Bible, and the sources and methods of moral discernment, separate many of us from our former brethren — and that it is best to name these differences clearly and without acrimony, on the way out the door.
(Hey, he’s cheerleading those coming “out of the closet”, but at least he’s mercifully exiting “out the door” himself while doing so.)
In an especially icky excrescence, we have retired Anglican vicar Phillip Clements tying the knot with a gay-lover fifty-four-years his junior. The UK Mirror informs it’s the former pastor’s “stand” against the Church of England’s increasingly wobbly policy in which “[c]lergy are currently barred from same-sex marriage but are allowed a civil partnership — providing it is a celibate one.”
Looks like no more celibacy for these two, who met on a “dating website”.
I’ll write what most are thinking: Ewwwww …
Howz about the emergence of this quirky twist on an age-old tradition: Ash Wednesday observances with a twist of glitter thrown in. Heretofore, this first day of Lent was commemorated in many churches by fasting and the application of ashes to worshipers’ foreheads. It’s intended a reminder of each person’s need for an attitude of repentance in the face of our collective mortality.
Now? According to “[t]he Glitter Ash project”, the sparkly stuff is meant to “represent the inclusion of LGBT people in Christian life”. Around the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, assemblies including Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Mennonites and others are signing on to this twinkly trend.
“Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return (oh, and don’t forget those who prefer canoodling with those of their same gender!)”
Have you heard about the public gathering of twenty “faith leaders” recently convened to “offe[r] their blessing” to a just-opened Washington, DC “megacenter”? That would be a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in our nation’s capital.
The sanctimony-soaked event was “staged by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and featured … a reformed Jewish rabbi … openly gay Muslim imam … Hindu priests … a liturgical dance” — and “Christian” faith leaders the Reverend Doctors Christine and Dennis Wiley of Baptist United Church of Christ. (NB: The advisory quotation marks around that last use of “Christian” were unavoidable; any alleged “pastors” solemnizing a baby-killing slaughterhouse have plainly gone de facto apostate.)
Infant-murderer Dr. Willie Parker was on hand: “I’ve been a Christian longer than I’ve been an abortion provider,” he enthused. “Women have been made to think that this [clinic] is some evil place, where God is not.” He wasn’t done, decreeing the snuffing out of one’s unborn child a “sacred decision”.
This fool, like too many others, claims fidelity with “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth,” (1 Timothy 3:15) while, in fact, he’s spiritually topsy-turvy; depraved.
In a piece justifiably titled, “Don’t Call This Satanic Abortionist a ‘Christian (or a ‘Doctor’)”, Matt Walsh adds,:
Willie Parker calls himself a “Christian.” He contends not only that his faith permits the summary execution of babies, but that it actually calls him to it. As Time Magazine gushed, he is a man of “deep Christian faith,” and he expresses that faith by destroying human life for 500 bucks a pop.
Yes, all these — revered youth organizations, houses of worship, church leaders, Christian scholars, medical professionals — ought to be rearing up in the teeth of our era’s transfixing moral concerns, providing a clarion call to keep civilization steering undeterredly in a godly, divinely-ordained direction. Instead: they’re collapsing, succumbing to modern chi-chi pressures, going rogue against basic standards of decency.
Nearly half-a-millennia ago, defying the formidable European emperor of his time, Martin Luther refused to back down from his heart-felt, biblically informed convictions. He’s reputed to have announced, “Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me.”
Another pronouncement, commonly credited to Luther but actually enunciated by nineteenth-century English novelist Elizabeth Rundle Charles is also apt:
If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.
What’s a guy troubled by these scandalizing, high-profile derelictions of duty to do?
Are you connected to a church or civic organization that unapologetically promotes Bible-based,
traditionalist ideals? The principles that helped shape what’s best about America and Western
Civilization? Invest yourself in these noble alliances: your time, participation, resources (yes, your dollars!). Urge them on; pray for them; contribute your part among them.
And daily, unreservedly, nail your colors to the mast of what’s true and right: speak out, challenge, reason. Endure.
It’s a season for upholding those indispensable pillars faltering around us; maybe even constructing some new ones, using the material of our own lives.