This Is Not a Day Care. This Is America.




America has become a coddled nation. And a coddled nation is a crippled nation.

Regardless of what you might think of President Trump’s recent “fire and fury” rhetoric with North Korea, at least he’s not passing out teddy bears and whining about microaggressions.

Meanwhile, with every day that goes by another college snowflake melts down over chalk on a sidewalk or an unsanctioned opinion being expressed. Why?

I had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Everett Piper on the new book Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth.



You may recall his blog post that struck a chord with so many: “This Is a University, This Is Not a Daycare.”  As the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University,  he offers an insider’s perspective on higher education, doing what few university leaders will do—speak up.

Not a Daycare is a must read for parents, grandparents, student, and academics seeking a way out of the snowflake crisis.

The new book exposes the problem—it’s worse than you think—explains how we got here, and proposes solutions for parents, student, and university leaders.

What drew me to the project was not only the state of our college campuses, but also the harrowing implications of a coddled America.

Soft, Because They Can Be

According to Oxford Dictionaries, the Word of the Year in 2016 was post-truth.

They defined posttruth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

It isn’t that truth no longer exists, per se, but it takes a back seat to emotions, feelings, and other subjective standards. In other words, truth is irrelevant.

How does such an approach to life work in the real world where distinctions such as good and evil, pass or fail, and up or down govern life? I would argue it doesn’t work at all and that we are preparing the “softest” generation for a rude encounter with reality.

The snowflake insanity sweeping across university campuses in the Western world is all about student satisfaction, not student preparation. In the United Kingdom, proposed legislation would make student satisfaction a key factor in ranking colleges. Such efforts would encourage colleges to treat students even more like customers to be sold, rather than students to be coached.

Baroness Wolf, a professor at King’s College London (KCL), warns:

Universities are increasingly nervous about doing anything that will create overt dissatisfaction among students because they are being told that student satisfaction is key…. The student satisfaction measure is fantastically dangerous. The way to make students happy is not asking them to do any work and giving them a high grade. This will reduce standards and undermine quality.  I just think this is totally mad, and destructive of everything universities stand for.

The truth is that our students and universities are soft—because they can be.

Millennials have come of age in an era largely devoid of any existential threat to their existence. Even the attacks of 9/11 have faded from consciousness and turned instead into a call for normalizing radical Islam and seeing terrorists as victims of Western oppression.

Will the College Snowflake Melt ?

Previous generations didn’t have the luxury of whining about safe spaces and complaining about a lack of trigger warnings.

When Pearl Harbor was bombed, students didn’t protest the attack as a microagression.

They enlisted to fight for freedom. When Nazi boots marched across Europe, young Americans didn’t demand coloring books or insist on being paid to hold signs. They signed up for service to stand against the spread of evil. Many of them heroically gave their final measure of devotion on bulkheads and beaches halfway around the globe.

But students today live lives that are largely insulated from such harsh realities.

They enjoy a peace dividend won by the hard work and sacrifices of previous generations and maintained by those they ridicule.

The realities of the Cold War, two World Wars, a Civil War between the States, and even the efforts to carve out a new nation called America defined reality for previous generations.

They presume someone will bail them out of any conflicts or pay their way to obtain any desire. And today’s universities, for the most part, perpetuate the lie by catering to their every whim.

Imagine what will happen if, God forbid, this coddled generation is called upon to stand and fight for freedom, for the survival of all they believe to be right and true.

If they can summon the courage to fight at all, will they even know what they’re fighting for?

The hazard of which John Steinbeck warned is now upon us:

We now face the danger, which in the past has been the most destructive to the humans: Success, plenty, comfort and ever-increasing leisure. No dynamic people has ever survived these dangers.

And no free people ever will.

As long as we continue to teach tomorrow’s leaders that life is all about you, there will be no tomorrow worth fighting for.

This is not a day care. This is America.


Get your copy of Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth now and claim a Back-to-School Bonus Package with exclusive videos from Dr. Piper and other resources like a Parents Guide to Preparing Kids for College.  Click here to learn more.

An Inauguration Tale: Dorothy in the Land of Oz

My friend Monica Matthews shared this poignant perspective at her site while on the streets of DC at President Trump’s inauguration festivities.

As we watch snowflakes shatter shop windows and vulgar celebrities threaten to blow up The White House, keep her encouraging words in mind:


I’m in my element. The normal folk. This evening, I’ll be in a ballgown, with the not-so-normal folk.

That’s me. That’s what I do. And I’m grateful.

Cruising the city streets on the night before the fringe, the hopeful and the resolutes descend upon our nation’s capitol leaves one with an anticipation much like that of watching all the circus trucks come to town.

You know the show will be good and filled with humans who come from all walks of life to simply be entertained for a few hours.

Entertainment. What an interesting word. One most Americans can relate to and hold in high regard. We do love our fanfare and if it’s one thing we’ve got down here in the city of secrets, power and lust, it’s a love for the glitter and pageantry of running the show behind the curtain.

This is Oz, the land of politics. I’ve played Dorothy for the better half of my day and evening prior to the seismic shifting of the power plates.

It’s quiet here. Nearly ominous. I’m reminded of Gideon’s army. I may be in a ballgown, but I drink water like a warrior. And you should too.

My uber travels and street interviews have afforded honest introductions to the brave, the hopeful, the fearful. And I just can’t help but wonder when those nasty little monkeys will begin to fly through the air directed by their leader, the witch, (aptly head quartered on the foggy bottom of Oz) The one hell bent on maintaining the power that comes by manipulating the human spirit to accomplish her will. When will they all descend upon the city of Oz?

For now, I’d like to focus on the cast of characters that we can all relate to in our cast of Americans and Oz. How many of you can relate to being scared to absolute death right now? The uncertainty that comes with the nightly broadcasts basted in propaganda and slander? Those of you putting on ‘the face’ of courage everyday to go to work but deep down you wonder what the heck is going on and whether or not you have what it takes to survive these times? The lion.  

How many of you can relate to not being able to keep up with the tiresome narratives that all weave one common communication; you need government to  make all your decisions for you because you haven’t been taught how to run your own race in the face of individual accountability that collectively feeds the health of the whole? Breeding doubt, blame replaces brotherhood as you look to everyone around you to make up for what you believe you lack. The Scarecrow. 

And lastly, how many of us can relate to being so dismayed by the lawless flying media monkeys that all we have left is hard heart? The emasculated American voice merely a squeaky limb of a body quickly rusting and in need of an overhaul. The Tin Man. 

Our American sewers tell the true story of the condition of our hearts, minds and bodies.  Riddled with evidence of our inability to sleep, eat or experience peace without ‘aid’. Hearts are broken, afraid and cold in what seems like a never-ending departure from core values. Those pillars of existence that allow us to behave great because we are great.

We trek to Oz to find what’s already inside. And Oz is happy to provide the popcorn, antacids, booze, sleep aids, 140 character brawls and noise.

The flying monkeys are calling for our attention to look back and to waste our precious energy swatting, fleeing, defending our right to exist freely and prosperously, but hope springs eternal and directs our gaze up and forward.

We know what’s behind the curtain of Washington and think it’s not an accurate reflection of who we’ve become in spite of the fact that they were birthed from our own vote. With personal accountability comes freedom from the fanfare and renewal.

As a proverbial Dorothy of the 2017 Inauguration, I would simply leave you with this encouragement: We are a land of liberty. Birthed in the heart of THE author of liberty. Individually, he sees all. He sees the scared, the dismayed, the abandoned and he leaves us with an ingredient America has extended to many nations over her years: hope.

The gates of oppressive hell will not prevail against the liberty birthed in heaven. Take solace. Your God sees you. He hears our collective cry to return, be washed in the renewal of our minds and hearts and to be the city on a hill that serves as a beacon of liberty for all.

We’re not in Kansas anymore. We survived the eight year storm.

It’s time to put our collective big girl and boy pants on and do the work of being who we really are: hard-working, hospitable, charitable, sober, liberty loving patriotic humans birthed for such a time as this.

Time to put on my slippers.

Let’s roll America!


 

If you’re not already following Monica for her candid conversations about faith and politics, click here to discover more about her, her show, and her new book When Jesus Isn’t Enough.

10 Characteristics of The Resurgent Family

Shortly after Bill Kristol tweeted on Memorial Day weekend that a candidate was ready to step into the ring, I noted that our focus should be on what matters most—faith-focused communities, friendships, relationships, children, marriages, and thriving families. These are the building blocks of culture and the ones we must rebuild if we are to see substantive change in politics.

Not that we should ignore politics. Not at all. But if the family fails, politics won’t matter. Political moves may slow the decay or soften the blow when we fall, but fall we must if the foundation be destroyed.

As Hugh Hewitt put it to me in You Will Be Made to Care, marriage, and with it family, is a load-bearing wall of civilization. When we knock it out—as we have done now—the house may continue to stand for a time, but it eventually must fall. The only question is when and how significant will be the damage.

In You Will Be Made to Care, Erick and I call for a resurgence, not only of engaged citizens, but of community, individual believers, the Church, and family. We add a special section calling fathers to action, as well. Because the cultural challenges we face today will require family-centered, not Washington-centered, solutions.

My own background as a former pastor and educator has focused my attention on family and the Church in particular. Over the years, I’ve counseled thousands of children and parents struggling to walk by faith in the face of cultural pressures to conform.

As I engage parents today, I sense fear and uncertainty in the face of an increasingly hostile culture. Yet I also see determination, a refusal to bow to these false god of secularism and a commitment to never surrender their children and the future to the dark side.

But what are families to do exactly when pummeled by such insanity? When parents are labeled as freaks and bigots for teaching their children basic but counter-cultural truths like men and women are different, God’s not dead, and character matters? How are we to respond as families—quit, coast, or experience a resurgence in the years ahead?

I sure don’t have all the answers, but as I’ve pondered the path forward, I’ve identified 10 characteristics of what we call The Resurgent Family. See if these make sense to you:

  1. Faithful. The first thing families must be is faith-focused. All families believe something to be true, even if they are not clear on the focus of their faith. But the Resurgent Family actively cultivates its faith—together. It does not let the surrounding culture shape what it believes; rather it stands firm for what it believes to be true and forces cultural currents to bend around it. As Christians, my own family’s faith is focused on Jesus Christ and centered on the Scriptures. Every day we seek to more consistently apply biblical truths to how we live our lives. You don’t have to share my particular religion to recognize the vital importance of faith to the moral health of a family. But you do have to be intentional about cultivating that faith in your family or it will succumb to the secular pressures assailing families today.
  2. Intentional. Not surprisingly then, the Resurgent Family must be intentional. It cannot afford to drift, because the cultural currents will quickly take it to places we do not want to go. Consequently, the family must be goal-oriented, having a clear understanding of its purpose, values, and long-term destination. Certainly eternity should be first and foremost on the list of priorities, but so should leaving an earthly legacy. Too many Christians in recent decades acted as if this world didn’t matter because Jesus was allegedly due back any minute, in spite of His warning not to occupy ourselves with trying to predict His return. The Resurgent Family intentionally reaches back in history to teach children the wisdom of the ages past even as it prepares them to be people of influence in a society infatuated with what’s next. Among other things, being intentional means parenting on purpose, a phrase my friend Mark Timm coined that captures what we need to do. Drifting only takes us in one direction—downhill.
  3. Generous. This family that is focused on the future appreciates what it has been given and gives generously because of it. An attitude of gratitude pervades all it does. A thankful spirit saturates all interactions. We must recognize the blessings bestowed upon us and hold them loosely, being quick to share them as needed. When our fingers close around God’s goodness to us, we’ll see his blessing slip from us. Far from being caught up in the materialistic culture around us, a generous family isn’t trying to keep up with the Joneses. Instead the tone is more akin to the early church in Acts which had all things in common and was quick to share voluntarily wherever she saw a need. While not opposed to making money, we recognize the temptation it can bring and set up safeguards to ensure we don’t begin to love it. Children need to see us give until it hurts—and then give some more, knowing God will provide for our needs when we give with a cheerful, trusting heart. Our generosity should not focus on money but also include our time, our possessions, our positions, and intangible resources like grace, truth, and love.
  4. Full of grace and truth. The Resurgent Family is all about grace. It has been forgiven much and always seeks to forgive others because of the grace it has received. Holding grudges for past wrongs or slights has no place in such a home. That also means that when discussing cultural issues, parents set the tone by not doing so with vitriol, hate, or cynicism. (I fully understand how challenging that can be in this current election cycle.) Grace produces hope. And the Resurgent Family is always hopeful—because of what it believes to be true. Like Christ, we must be full of grace and truth, without contradiction. (John 1:14) Our culture tells us that if we are honest, we are not being gracious. But God says otherwise. In fact, the two find their meaning in His very being. “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and God is truth (John 14:6). We must continue to speak the truth in love, not seeking conflict, but not running from it when it comes. Our children must learn to stand courageously for what is true. And they will learn best by observing our own example as happy warriors, grateful recipients of grace who delight in truth.
  5. Optimistic. Because we’ve received grace and believe that the battle has already been won—good wins, evil loses in the end—we can and should be optimistic about the future. The Resurgent Family recognizes that the future is not determined by what we can see, but by what we cannot see. Although what we see, read, and watch tells us the world has succumbed to a raging wildfire that will burn us straight into hell, we know the grave is still empty. Victory has already been secured. Evil has already been defeated. And we get to be part of carrying out that outcome in time and space. “We are not of those who draw back in fear,” says the writer of Hebrews. We stand with the psalmist and say, We will not fear though all the entire world turn upside down. Because there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God…. (Psalm 46:1-4) We must teach our children that our attitude will determine how good our story will be when it is told in eternity.  If you find yourself struggling to maintain an optimistic outlook, remember the words of Zig Ziglar, a family man of great faith: “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind.” Maybe you need to change your mental diet if it is making you and your family ill.
  6. Learning. The Resurgent Family culture is one of growth—always learning, always improving, always growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord” (2 Peter 3:18). It values imagination, creativity, and the God-given strengths of each individual and understands that all truth is God’s truth. We recognize that nothing is neutral. We all comprehend facts within a system of thought, a worldview that shapes our assumptions about the nature of reality. Consequently, we take pains to stretch the minds of our children, encouraging them to read great books and wrestle with timeless ideas in order to understand the latest cultural shifts in historical context. Critical thinking is key as we question everything, even our own reasoning. We are not afraid of our children asking why we believe what we believe. In fact, we delight to answer. Of course, this approach assumes parents have first sought the answers themselves or are willing to search Scripture and trustworthy sources to find the answers. It also presumes parents are taking pains to guard against the indoctrination of their children by secular influences. I have made no secret of my concerns about sending children to government schools. Homeschooling and Christian schooling are looking increasingly better as gender madness descends upon public schools. Never forget that most learning is caught, not taught. And when your children are surrounded throughout most of their day by people who do not share their beliefs, the outcome will usually not be good for their faith.
  7. Culturally aware. As the cultural wildfire burns, the temptation for The Resurgent Family will be to pull back, to cut itself off from contact with the culture. Yet Christ has called us to “go and make disciples,” not run and hide until I return. Our children must be well-versed, not only in the challenges facing culture in their lifetime, but also in the biblical solutions to those challenges. So we must talk about those issues at an age-appropriate level, not run from them. In our own home, we have candid conversations about the madness surrounding marriage and gender. We don’t want them to hear about it first from a progressive college professor seeking to undermine their beliefs. Instead, we want them prepared to “give an answer” in those settings with humble boldness. Each family must choose according to the dictates of conscience how much to expose children to cultural issues—and then ignore pressures to soften its position. We should invest in resources to help teach our children well. We should invest in positioning them for maximum influence in life. We should model what it means to live in, but not of, a world dominated by secular forces. [I highly recommend Hugh Hewitt’s book In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World. I partnered with Hugh to create the study guide in the book and offer a free leader’s guide you can use in your family or small group setting for high-school through early career.]
  8. Influential. The Resurgent Family is all about making a difference in the world, not merely running out the clock. Thus it functions with a leadership bias. As John Maxwell put it, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” Consequently, our families must be intentional about developing relationships, as leadership rises and falls on relationships. No relationships equals no influence. So we must do the sometimes challenging work of inviting people into our homes, forging connections, networking with like-minded, and not-so-like-minded people, in order to be a blessing to them. As a result, our influence will grow and we will be better positioned to speak into their lives. Because we are influence-oriented, we invest time and resources into positioning our children for maximum impact in the world. We instill character into them and teach them how to turn their dreams into goals and their goals into reality. The Apostle Paul calls us as parents to “bring them up in the training” of the Lord. Especially in these trying times, our kids need the discipline to follow Christ faithfully and to achieve great things for the greater good. But they need us to instill that discipline in them in order to become the leaders God calls them to be.
  9. Healthy. The Resurgent Family recognizes the importance of being healthy—physically, spiritually, and psychologically—because each member of it is carefully crafted in God’s image and can best fulfill his or her purpose on this earth when fully healthy. We don’t worship at the altar of physical beauty or perfect fitness, but we don’t ignore healthy habits, moderation in appetites, and the benefits of regular exercise and activity. We have no need of federal programs that dictate what food our kids should eat because we already take ownership for their health. We don’t claim our faith as an excuse to live unhealthy lives, blaming God for our extra pounds because we’re so busy helping others we choose to ignore the bodies He has given us to steward. We teach our children the value of holistic living and healthy habits so that they may maximize their influence in the world and lead their families forward with vigor. Perhaps most importantly in our artificially urgent age, we insist on making rest part of our regular cycle of life. We remember a sabbath day each week, we get plenty of rest each night (even if that means we miss some shows or games we won’t remember a week later), and we schedule time off to recharge and “sharpen the saw.” After all, The Lord gives rest to His beloved. It is a gift to us that we ignore at our own peril (Psalm 127:2).
  10. Connected. More than ever, The Resurgent Family must know that it is not alone. The media and the growing cultural pressures will say the opposite—you are freak and a bigot in need of therapy. But it is a lie from the pit of hell and smells like smoke. We must intentionally surround ourselves with other like-minded believers, families who share our beliefs and who will support one another as we do life together. Our natural tendency is often to draw back when overwhelmed. To pull inside our two-car garages, shut the door, and stay there until we have to go back to work. But the example of the early church—and the Church all throughout history—is to form authentic community with other believers. Our children need to see that we are not alone. They need to know that when the secular college professor tells them their parents are freaks of nature for their faith, that it is the professor who is deluded and isolated. We address this call for community extensively in You Will Be Made to Care (the perfect gift for dads, by the way) as the foundation for the resurgence. But it doesn’t happen by accident. You need to make the first move. At church this Sunday, approach another family you don’t know and start a conversation. Invite other families over to your house—don’t worry about everything being spotless. Sure, clean up a little. Be polite and gracious hosts. But don’t let a passion for cleanliness stop you from exercising true godliness and breaking bread with other believers. After all you’re already family.

I know we’ve only scratched the surface of what The Resurgent Family looks like going forward. But we would love to know what you think. We don’t do comments here at The Resurgent to keep your experience clean and uncluttered. But we would appreciate your feedback on this topic.

We’d love to know if you are interested in hearing more about The Resurgent Family and how we can best serve you and yours in the months ahead.

So you can leave a comment to let us know your thoughts on The Resurgent Facebook page.

Click here to share your thougths.

What’s Happening with Marriage and Religious Liberty? A Conversation with Andrew T. Walker [Podcast]

If you are like a lot of Christians—or even conservative folks, you’re blown away by how quickly marriage and religious liberty have seemed to crumble in recent years. What are we to make of it all in light of the seemingly constant pressure to be made to care?

Episode-006-18

In this latest episode of The FaithWalker’s Podcast, I share a conversation with Andrew T. Walker of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also the co-author of the book Marriage Is in which he argues marriage is not up for debate.


We talk about why the assault on marriage is taking place, how it all came about, and where it is headed.

Most importantly, I share this interview to equip you to live an authentic life with abundant faith even though much of today’s culture in America may say that you are a freak for doing so.

You are not alone. Never forget it.

Listen here online, subscribe via iTunes, or explore additional episodes to help you live an authentic life with abundant faith.

Bill Kristol’s Third Party Rumors and What Matters Most

Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard has been one of the leaders amongst conservatives in trying to field a third-party or independent Presidential candidate so conservatives have someone to support in November.

Yesterday he tweeted this cryptic update:

On the other hand, my friend and mentor Hugh Hewitt offered this word about Dr. Larry Arnn, also a respected voice amongst conservatives, arguing against the #NeverTrump movement and a third-party offering.

I will be very interested in seeing what comes of Kristol’s comment as I think many conservatives are becoming resigned to having no one to vote for with a clear conscience. However, a word of caution. For too long conservatives in general, and Christians in particular, have placed their hope in the next Presidential candidate.

If only we can get the right person in the White House…. If only we can get the right justices on the Supreme Court…. If only we can pass an an amendment protecting prayer in schools…. Meanwhile the culture has gone to hell.

As Andrew Breitbart was fond of saying, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And culture is not ultimately decided by who occupies the Oval Office–although there is no doubt it can be shaped by the behavior of that person. Our natural tendency is to focus on the easy button–just get that person elected or stop that person from being elected– and all will be well. But it doesn’t work that way.

No matter the outcome of this election, I was reminded of what matters most yesterday as our family gathered with several other families from church for an afternoon of fellowship and community. Relationships matter. Children matter. Faith-focused community matters.   Friendships matter. Healthy marriages matter–not just marriage in general, but your marriage in particular.

Now is not the time to pull back in fear and hide in isolation because of our poor choices for Commander-in-Chief. Now is the time to rebuild our families, our faith, and the communities and institutions that truly can make America great again. Such efforts are not made-for-tv events. They take time and plenty of persistence, but the alternative is  unthinkable.

As we pause to remember the fallen today who sacrificed so greatly, let us determine to do what matters most in cultivating healthy families and communities, even as we do what we can in the world of politics. As Erick and I write in You Will Be Made to Care:

The resurgence required to defend our freedom to believe must begin from the ground up, not the top down.

For far too long, Christians in America have looked to Washington and put their trust not “in name of the Lord our God,” but in horses, chariots and Justice Antonin Scalia. That needs to change if we are going to be good and faithful stewards of the Gospel.

That being said, focusing on building local community, growing individual faith, and strengthening the institutions of family and the church does not mean that we run from political involvement. God instituted and ordained human government. He gave ample guidance to those in authority.

As Christian citizens of a democratic republic, we have a responsibility to engage in the political process and influence it for good to the extent we are able. Nevertheless, we cannot lose our eternal perspective.

Drafting Women: Two Cultural Consequences

Lost in the latest egalitarian nonsense about drafting women to serve in the military are two concerns I have about the long-term impact on us as a culture.

Aside from the scientific arguments about weakening our fighting force, valid though they are, and the complete collapse of principles by so many on what used to be the ideological right, two glaring concerns remain with drafting women to serve in the military:

  1. Our society needs mothers who are not trained killers. Men and women are different, not just anatomically (in spite of the the confusion recently), but in terms of how we are hard-wired within. Women are naturally better at nurturing. Not that men can’t or that some women aren’t. But to use a crude analogy: women are better wired to be teacups. Men are better wired to be chainsaws. Each excels at different things and performs best in different ways. Try sipping tea with a chainsaw and your teeth will pay a high price. Try cutting down a tree with a teacup. You get the idea. It’s a basic analogy that, like all analogies is flawed. But men and women are different, though neither is inferior. Our society needs mothers to nurture future generations without having to cope with flashbacks from the horrors of a war they were forced to fight. Frommys can never be as good as mommies. We need mothers who have not been required to become trained killers to nurture our children because they do it best.
  2. We need women to make babies. It’s the biology, stupid. We need to reproduce, something we are only barely doing now at replacement levels. If we force our future mothers to serve in the military, many of them will die. Once they die, they cannot have children. That’s how life works. By drafting our daughters, we are necessarily decreasing the number of females who can reproduce.  When major wars come—and history assures us they will come—how many will we lose? Unlike men, women can only reproduce so quickly. That’s basic biology. Imagine if women had been drafted during World War II. Instead of nearly 400,000 male casualties, we might well have had 200,000 female casualties. Bye, bye, baby boomers. Combine that with our culture’s increasing disdain for having children over the last 40 years and the rise of the horror of abortion, and we might very well be in an unsustainable place right now as a culture. As it is, we are nearly there now.

Before we rush into coercing our daughters to become trained killers, maybe we should think through where this madness will leave us—not in the next election cycle, but a generation or two down the road.

Long after the self-serving politicians are gone.

Colorado Court Approves Re-education Camp for Christian Baker

We are rapidly approaching a tipping point in America.

The day is coming, sooner than most think, when we will each have to choose whether to obey God or man, dictatorial bureaucrats or the Constitution, tyrannical judges or our own consciences.

The sooner we grasp this truth the better: simply because a court makes a ruling does not make it right.

Because a law exists is not sufficient reason to obey it.

When Pharaoh ordered all newborn boys to be slaughtered, the Hebrew midwives refused. When the law ordered Northerners to return runaway slaves, most refused. When the United States Supreme Court affirmed “separate but equal” as the law of the land, good citizens refused to comply and fought to end it.

So it is today. As Josiah Gilbert Holland said, “Freedom weeps, wrong rules the land, and waiting justice sleeps.”

The Colorado Supreme Court has chosen not to intervene on behalf of Jack Phillips who refused to decorate (not bake, but decorate) a cake for a same-sex union ceremony—when such unions were illegal in Colorado. 

Erick and I spotlight this case in You Will Be Made to Care:

We have already seen how Jack Phillips Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado has been made to care by this wildfire burning through our culture. The details of the case are chilling. For years Phillips served both gay and straight customers equally. But when a gay couple insisted that Phillips bake a custom wedding cake for them in 2012, he declined.

According to an administrative law judge who reviewed the case, “Phillips believes that decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God through his artistic talents, and that he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages.”

And get this: Phillips offered to sell the couple a cake he had already made that they could then customize as they desired. They refused, insisting that he be made to decorate it for them.

Phillips made his faith priorities clear: “I’m a man who is devoted to following Jesus Christ. He’s the one that’s in charge of all this…. It’s not up to the courts to decide what marriage is. It’s up to God to decide that. If we are living in obedience to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible we are on the right side of history—no matter what they say.”

On August 13, 2015, a Colorado State Court of Appeals ruled Phillips must make cakes for gay weddings if he is to make any cakes at all.

His attorney Jeremy Tedesco said, “Government has a duty to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally rather than force them to adopt the government’s views.”

Some have cried discrimination, claiming that Phillips is a hater who refused service to homosexuals. But that is not what happened. He was happy to sell the gay couple a cake that he had made—but that was not enough. They insisted that give his seal of approval to their ceremony by using his baking artistry to create and decorate a customized cake that would celebrate their relationship. They insisted that he violate his conscience. And the government agreed.

To add insult to injury, the court ordered that his entire staff undergo training in the state’s policies—including his eighty-eight-year-old mother.

Re-education camp for bakers has come to America.

David Leach over at The Strident Conservative adds:

Proof of the commission’s absolute cluelessness in this case is provided by Commission Chairwoman, Katina Banks:

“You can have  your beliefs, but you can’t hurt other people at the same time. Religious freedom is undoubtedly an important American value, but so is the right to be treated equally under the law — free from discrimination.”

An “American value?” I’m afraid not, Ms. Banks. IT’S A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT!!

Banks isn’t the only idiot involved in the case who shouldn’t be. Monica Marquiz, one of the justices who voted not to hear the appeal, was the Colorado GLBT Bar Association’s 2009 Outstanding GLBT Attorney Award winner.

Conflict of interest anyone?

When laws and bureaucratic rulings dictate immorality, we are under no obligation–biblically or constitutionally–to comply.

A time of sifting is upon us, a time where we will—each of us—be forced to choose between God and man.

That choice will arrive differently for each of us, but it is coming, of that you can be certain. Are you ready?

You Will Be Made to Care.

Where and When Will Your Story Be Told?

As most of you know, Erick has been battling some significant health issues of late, the kind that would cause any of us think about the stuff that matters most in life. Although most posts here at The Resurgent focus on current events, the underlying reason we write here and now is that we care about the stories we will tell there and then—in eternity.

Some people may read posts here and wonder why faith matter so much to so many of us. The answer is this: Faith focused on God makes your story worth telling because it opens your eyes to where and when your story will be told. 

Even as we examine events that happened yesterday, we do so with eternity in mind. Because of our natural human fixation on “the seen,” we tend to think only of the impact of our story in this brief season of our existence: the here and now.

Although that impact is not unimportant, as immortal beings we should be far more concerned with how our story will sound when it is told there and then, in that next season of existence that will extend through all eternity.

Unfortunately, for many Christians, the goal is simply to get across the finish line after surviving this earthly life. Having been steeped in the Christian church culture for decades, I know it’s challenging to break out of this finish-line mentality. Our fixation on that moment of passing from this life to the next is partly due to the reality that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10 nkjv). It’s also partly due to our emphasis on the metaphorical language the biblical writers used to describe our time on earth, the language of running a race:

  • “Let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
  • “I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
  • “Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win. Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

Such wording makes it easy to focus on the finish line, because races always have distinct endings. And once they’re over, you get to take a break. So we focus on getting across that finish line with little thought as to what happens next and how that might affect our story now. We think that if we can just get to heaven, we can collapse onto streets of gold, sporting custom-fitted robes and a plug-n-play harp.

Frankly, if all we are going to do there and then is lounge around in robes on precious metals while taking harp lessons, I’m not all that eager to participate. And I fail to see how that could be much of a prize. I’m sure we’ll be singing praises as well, but for an introvert like me, being incessantly surrounded by billions of beings endlessly shouting and chanting doesn’t sound much like a heavenly experience.

What if, in addition to some robust singing on occasion, we’ll be glorifying God in other ways? And what if how we live here and now will position us to best glorify him there and then?

We’d do better to think of this earthly race, not as our final tour de force, but as more of a preliminary warm-up or a qualifying heat, with implications for the highest experience yet to come.

Remember that the writer of Philippians tells us we do receive an eternal reward for living a life of abundant faith. But what is this crown we receive that can never fade?

It’s not a conversion experience of saving faith. That’s already done for the believer. It’s not a restored relationship with God—that’s already been restored for the believer.

Other passages describe the faithful being rewarded with a “crown of righteousness” that they then offer back to God to more fully glorify him (2 Timothy 4:8 nkjv; see Revelation 4:10). But physical crowns are temporary things, hardly worthy of the eternal God. So what is it that we could “receive” by living a life of abundant faith that could be offered to God as a way of more fully glorifying him?

Here’s a crazy thought: what if the greatest prize you receive is the story you will tell of God’s abundant provision for you as you lived a life of abundant faith in him? Now that would be something worth offering back to him! There certainly would be no mistaking who would get the credit. We would tell it everywhere, for eternity. And every time we told it to yet another of his children, we would more fully reveal the majesty of God.

The story would not even end when we arrive; it would be only just beginning.

I’m not saying that there won’t be other rewards for a life full of faith in him, but consider just how valuable your story of abundant faith in the here and now will be when you reach the there and then.

I invite you to join me today in praying for Erick’s speedy recovery and for his family. And as you do so, examine your own story.

Is your faith writing a story here and now that will be worth telling where it matters most?

Something to think about….