Christians, Get This to Your Pastor ASAP




A large number of Christians refer to themselves as “creedal Christians.” They do this as a way to escape the burdens of Christianity. Because certain things were just assumed and taken for granted in the creeds, the creeds are silent. Consequently, these so called creedal Christians believe they can deviate from the faith since the creeds are silent. The modern, best example is same sex marriage. The creeds do not mention it. It is something no one would have even disputed until the last few decades. None of the Christians participating in the great ecumenical councils of early Christendom would have even considered same-sex marriage. It did not need to be a part of a creedal statement. The Biblical view of marriage was universally accepted.

But it is not any more. In response, the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has released the Nashville Statement, to which I am an original signatory.

There is absolutely nothing in the statement that any Christian should object to, regardless of their denomination. Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians should all be able to sign their name to the statement and, in fact, the gathering included scholars, pastors, and others across denominations.

That there are some Christians who would object to the words in the statement is a sign of how secularism and paganism has begun infiltrating the American church. Any true believer who accepts the Bible as the authority in his life should have no reservations about the Nashville Statement.

Consequently, I would encourage you to sign it and pass it along to your pastor and church. I am a firm believer that not just individual Christians, but local churches across the nation should adopt the language of the Nashville Statement. Increasingly, this area of the culture war will separate God’s faithful from the fallen and the poseur. The one true faith has nothing to fear from embracing the statement and the false faith peddled by an increasing number will be exposed by their rejection of the statement.

You can sign it here. If you would like more background on the statement, see this stateemnt from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Now We Know Why So Many Feminists Are Humorless, Bitter, and Ugly Hearted

While I was on vacation last week, it became apparent that we now have the answer for why so many American feminists are humorless, bitter, and ugly hearted. The nasty reaction of so many shrill single women who cannot get dates and the beta male footstools for the few who can to Mike Pence prioritizing the sanctity of his marriage explains it all.

Conservative women, it seems, can get ahead without having to take the boss out one on one for drinks, but feminists apparently are incapable of getting ahead in the office without trying to seduce their married male boss at a one-on-one drink fest.

That is the accusation — that women are at a disadvantage in Mike Pence’s office because he won’t go drinking one on one with them. Pay no attention to the fact that this is not true. Pence has always had a number of high profile female employees. On top of that, Pence does not go out with the guys either.

But cue the outrage over Pence valuing fidelity to his wife over letting feminists embarrass themselves.

The thing that made the outrage so spectacular is that the most outraged people are people who do not even respect marriage. The outrage came from a bunch of single, divorced, and adulterous liberals. People who really value their marriage and marital integrity barely batted an eyelash.

In fact, a lot of what is going on here is that the adulterers and feminists outraged by Mike Pence’s private behavior loathe him and his behavior because his behavior shames them. Let’s not kid ourselves. A number of the most outraged are people who have publicly been exposed for adultery.

As a friend of mine noted, “in under six months, the American left has pivoted effortlessly from denouncing a man for being a bad husband to denouncing a man for being a good one.”

Again though, now we see why the feminists are so upset. They presume they have to have one on one drinking time with their married boss to get ahead. I’d probably be a shrill, humorless, ugly hearted person too if I thought I had to sleep my way into a better job because otherwise no one would recognize my talent.

Lucky for the women of America, our present Vice President recognizing the talents of his male and female staffers through their work product, not through their private dining.

Outrage Over Pence’s Marriage Illustrates Exactly Why the Left Can’t Be Trusted With Marital Policy

The absolute hysteria on the left surrounding revelations of the Pence marriage is completely indicative of their view of marriage and it perfectly illustrates why we on the right were never able to trust them with the concept of marriage during the whole gay marriage debate in the first place.

What the right knew was that what most of the left was talking about providing for the homosexual community was not actually marriage, but a watered down, fantasized version of marriage. Most conservatives like me never believed a gay person shouldn’t be able to enter into a contractual relationship based on romance with another human being. That’s ridiculous and pointless. Pretending gay people don’t want commitments doesn’t make it not real.

What we did have a problem with was the idea that “marriage” as a term was being redefined apart from its actual roots and the definition that is enjoyed and exalted by every culture on this earth.

While the pearl-clutchers at places like HuffPo and Jezebel fret about the “horror” of a man choosing not to spend time alone with another woman out of respect for his wife and her feelings, those of us who have actually been married for a while know exactly what he meant.

Whether or not you would do the same in your own marriage is beside the point. Pence wasn’t scolding anyone for not acting as he did. He was simply explaining that in a strong marriage one doesn’t open the door for temptation or even whispering among one’s community (this is especially important for a politician, don’t you think?).

We live in a country where people celebrate the idea of a woman being required to cover her head and neck lest a man be tempted by her, but Pence gets excoriated like Anthony Weiner at a Twitter headquarters party for even suggesting that showing deference to one’s wife even when there is no need is the duty of a husband. You’d think the feminists would be all over this one. Pence clearly puts his wife first.

Hello?

Marriage is a complicated and nuanced institution. It is a partnership that requires stamina and sacrifice. It is not a piece of paper, or even simply a man-made concept. It is a game changer that transforms who you are as a person and how you view your responsibilities to others.

Those who don’t take marriage seriously – in this case that’s anyone outraged by Pence’s statements about his own marriage – are outraged because they don’t understand that marriage is more than a feeling. They think people who really love each other will never hurt each other, and always make the right choice. That’s so ignorant of literally every second of human nature and so obviously naive it boggles the mind.

Those of us who have been married a while know that a good marriage doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t “fall” into one like you fall in love. Falling in love is the easy part. Being love (the noun) takes effort. Married couples understand that the effort to grow and nourish a marriage means doing things unmarried people might judge as weird or unnecessary.

Having dinner alone with a person of the opposite sex might seem like a little thing, and it is. But over decades of marriage it is the accumulation of little things that will erode even the most solid of foundations.

Some marriage rookies might be surprised to find out the strongest couples become very deliberate about scheduling date nights, scheduling times to talk privately, even scheduling sex sometimes. Doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? It isn’t. But it is necessary because time erodes passion. If you do nothing to counteract that erosion you are simply resigning to your ultimate failure.

It might not seem like scheduling 10 minutes a week to discuss whatever with your spouse is that serious and it isn’t. That is the point. It isn’t until it is. Wise couples understand it is those little, unserious things will end up drilling a hole right through your defensive walls. When you drop the little things you’re only giving them time to grow into big things.

Pence and his wife are partners and as such are the only ones with intimate knowledge of their feelings, personalities, and needs. Pence also happens to be in politics, which isn’t exactly well known for its upstanding, moral participants. The Pences understand their specific challenges and have structured their marriage accordingly in a constant preemptive strike against any temptation or mistrust.

This is not old-fashioned or oppressive or weird…it is wise. It is exactly what a lasting marriage takes. If you don’t understand this… if you think a president getting blow jobs in the Oval Office from a woman who isn’t his wife and barely old enough to qualify as a woman is “no one’s business” but the Pence comments about respect for his marriage are outrageous….if this is your mindset then you are not qualified to speak about or enjoy this difficult but rewarding institution.

Clearly too many people in this country do not deserve to be involved in the defining of marriage rights and responsibilities.

Scarlett Johansson Says Monogamy is Unnatural – And She’s Right

While speaking with Playboy magazine recently, actress Scarlett Johansson opened up about her recent split from her husband of two years and the realities of marriage.

“I don’t think it’s natural to be a monogamous person. I might be skewered for that, but I think it’s work. It’s a lot of work.”

Johansson is not wrong. In fact, she’s right on the money. There is an excellent case to be made that monogamy is not at all natural, at least not since the fall of man as laid out in Genesis.

“In the beginning” we find Adam in the Garden of Eden. He is cared for and busy and he communes with God himself and yet he is lonely. God gave him Eve, formed of his own flesh and bone. Whether or not you believe this to be the literal truth of the origins of humanity the symbolism is every bit as powerful as the truth itself. These two people were literally one flesh, their union being the most intimate two human beings could experience, second only to the intimacy between man and God.

This is why the Bible tells us that a man will leave his family and “cleave” unto his wife and the two will become one flesh.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

This is a direct reflection of marriage’s monogamous origins. However, as we all know Adam and Eve didn’t stay in that utopia. They allowed sin to enter their world and as a result were cast out from the “natural” perfection of Eden.

Sin became a permanent condition of humanity. It became natural.

Johansson’s comments may have had nothing to do with God, but they were powerfully correct nonetheless. Monogamy is most likely not natural, but our natural state is sin and we are commanded to fight against our natural selves in order to commune with the One who is perfect. That is why Christ had to come, to reconcile us to a perfect God who’s very nature cannot tolerate our very nature.

Monogamy does not serve our natural state and it most certainly does not soothe our natural instincts. Johansson understands this. Monogamy is not natural…but it is right and it is a reflection of what is meant to be our natural state, as Adam and Eve first experienced it.

I’ve never found the argument that “such and such” or “so and so” is good because it is natural to be particularly compelling. It is usually made by the same people who say that mankind is naturally disposed to cruelty, war and prejudice; the same people who proudly and loudly declare at cocktail parties that they are above such natural proclivities and wish that the rest of us could get with the program.

In that same interview, Johansson actually goes on to make some very salient points on the nature of marriage. As a twice-divorced, typically liberal Hollywood actress she may not seem like the type of person whom we should take seriously on the topic, but I contend that the “Ghost in the Shell” star’s thoughts on marriage are profound and deserve some reflection.

“Being married is different than not being married, and anybody who tells you that it’s the same, is lying,” she said. “It changes things. I have friends who were together for 10 years and then decided to get married, and I’ll ask them on their wedding day or right after if it’s different, and it always is. It is. It’s a beautiful responsibility, but it’s a responsibility.”

Haven’t you ever wondered why people who have lived together for a decade or more get married and end up divorced a short while later? After all that time together prior to marriage? There is a reason that people who live together before marriage have a higher rate of divorce. It may sound crass to some, but co-habitation is simply “playing house.” As Johansson suggests, it is not at all the same thing as marriage itself. When cohabiting couples marry, they often don’t understand the profound changes it brings to one’s spirit and psyche. When those changes begin to appear, the parties involved often start to think it is their partner or themselves that has changed and disappointment sets in, leading to discontentment. In fact, it is simply the nature of their relationship that has changed.

Marriage is not just a piece of paper. No matter your religious beliefs, there are numerous studies and social polls that show marriage can actually change the health, wealth and mental stability of a given participant. It’s deeper than a ceremony. It changes your DNA.

Johansson may not have yet found her way to the ideals that would support and sustain a healthy marriage (and help her find a good partner beforehand) but she displays a very mature view of the ancient institution and her words are weighty but true.

Marriage is indeed a heavy responsibility requiring focus, unwavering commitment and (yes) work.

But it is a beautiful responsibility, and may I add…a singular privilege.

The #UnintendedJoy of Reluctant Motherhood

This week is the week of “choices.” It is School Choice Week (a passion of mine) and it is also the week of March for Life, where we are once again made aware of the issue of “choice” in pregnancy and abortion.

As we head into the annual March for Life on Washington this Friday, #UnintendedJoy is currently popping up across Twitter – women and men sharing their stories of how an unintended pregnancy led to unimaginable joy and thanksgiving. Pundit Mary Katherine Ham penned a particularly moving article about her amazing baby girl, born just two months after the loss of her husband, Jake in a tragic accident.

I don’t have any stories of such magnitude. I’m blessed to be parenting two amazing children with my husband of 18 years. I’ve never had an unplanned pregnancy and since I was very young I always knew I wouldn’t want to be a single parent and planned my life (and sex life) accordingly.

My story feels inadequate compared to others, but I wanted to share it anyway, in case a young woman is out there who might be moved in some way by my very simple but life-changing tale.

I never wanted to be a mother. I always viewed children as a burden.  I knew of almost no one in my own family who actively planned their families. Rarely did I see a pregnancy met with joy, only concern and disappointment. Of course, that always changed once baby arrived, but the sentiments stuck with me and I unknowingly internalized them. I didn’t want to create the same kind of burden for myself that I had visited upon my single mother.

Then something crazy happened. I fell in love with a family man. A wonderful man, the son of a dedicated pastor and stay-at-home-mother, raised in a stable home with three other siblings. A “traditional” man. We did what few black couples do these days (statistically speaking)…we got married. Once we’d decided on marriage it happened quickly…within months. Tongues started wagging at church. The pastor’s son marrying so fast? She must be pregnant!

I was not. But just like that famous line in one of our favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally.

When you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Despite our commitment, I was sure I could do no child any good as a mother. I just wasn’t the “mothering” type.

My husband was patient and understanding. As I matured into my marriage my love for him deepened and there seemed no more natural way to express that love than to create a life together. After a few years I agreed to start a family and within a year we were the parents of a healthy, handsome baby boy.

I couldn’t have known how utterly and joyously helpless I would become the moment I held him. I was suddenly a slave to love and there would be no turning back. Years later we added another bundle of joy. What my kids gave me was a deeper sense of purpose than I’d ever known. Suddenly I wasn’t just living for myself.  I was right that children were a heavy burden to bear…I was wrong about how terrible that burden would be.

It is the sweetest load I’ve ever borne.

Becoming a mother has also gave me a whole new understanding of God’s love for me, for each of us. I suddenly saw myself from His perspective…the perspective of a parent.

I once overheard my toddler son singing some praise and worship songs from church as he played. I stood behind his door for 30 minutes and just listened to him singing and playing.  It was as if I’d never heard singing before. In that moment I couldn’t have imagined a more moving, amazing, talented singer in all the world. My love for him seemed too big to fit in my heart.

That is how God sees us – with warts and flaws, yes but also as the most beautiful of creations. Our voices are His music. Even when we are disobedient or selfish He still sees us as stunning and perfect, the way were created to be. Just like I see my children as incredible, delightful and wonderful human beings even in their flaws, so does He see us.

Ironically, as opposed to stopping my forward momentum I strongly believe being a parent has at times been my only reason for continuing to move forward when all I wanted to do was stop everything and give up.

Parenting has made my husband and I closer in ways I didn’t know possible. We’re an exclusive team and this is the family we’ve made together. No one knows what we know about this family, this life, this experience called the Davis family. It’s a sweet secret that will always bond us.

I am so glad God changed my heart toward parenthood. It frightens me to think of all the #UnintendedJoy I would have missed out on had I let my fear dictate our path. In pro-life circles we (rightly) focus our efforts on women and men who are struggling with the fear of unintended pregnancy. They need our encouragement to know that while right now it might feel like the end of the world, in reality it is only the beginning of something great.

I only wanted to add to that encouragement. You don’t have to be single and alone to be terrified of parenthood. Even the comfort of having a partner didn’t spare me from the insecurities about my future if I allowed myself to be a mother.

I’m fourteen years into this parenting thing and I can say with full and complete honesty that there has never been one day, one hour, one second, one iota of a moment that I have regretted my children and their presence in my life.

That is the true legacy of #UnintendedJoy.

Leave Chip and Joanna Gaines Alone

Millions of Americans tune to HGTV every Tuesday to watch Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. Why? The Waco, Texas-based couple has a keen eye for design, provides family-friendly content, and is largely successful in their trade. Together, the couple have made the New York Times Bestsellers List, built up the Magnolia brand, and always pay tribute to their humble roots.

In the October 2016 edition of Texas Monthly, the Gaineses are credited with helping revitalize Waco, TX:

But a funny thing happened along the way to success. Chip and Joanna Gaines and their idyllic show about living an idyllic life in an idyllic place became the unwitting symbol of the redemption of a storied Texas city that had had mostly negative national attention: the Branch Davidians, Baylor’s athletics scandals, the Twin Peaks biker shoot-out—and those are just the recent ones. Out of all that somehow came Chip and Joanna Gaines going about their business, not hanging their heads in embarrassment and shame.

Somehow, against every odd in the world, Waco has become a tourist destination, a lifestyle aspiration, a relocation consideration, and it’s all because of Chip and Joanna Gaines.

With all this success, someone will find a bone to pick to tarnish their good name. And unfortunately, someone has. The couple is now subject to a witch hunt by the geniuses at Buzzfeed. Their crime? Attending a church in Waco, TX that preaches marriage between one man and one woman:

Their church, Antioch Community Church, is a nondenominational, evangelical, mission-based megachurch. And their pastor, Jimmy Seibert, who described the Gaineses as “dear friends” in a recent video, takes a hard line against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.

So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s House Hunters and Property Brothers? Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned. Nor were emails and calls to HGTV’s PR department.

Fixer Upper has fans of all stripes: Christiansfeminists, and LGBT viewers have all found something to love in the Gaineses. So in the absence of a response from them or their representatives, it’s worth looking at the severe, unmoving position Seibert and Antioch take on same-sex marriage.

The question beckons: who cares what church they go to? Is the Buzzfeed writer aware that they live in a conservative town in a conservative state, making it likely they hold these supposed views on marriage? Who cares! Fixer Upper is about remodeling, not politics. Why does this home improvement show have to be politicized?

Here’s something that’ll deeply disturb Buzzfeed: the Gaineses are devout Christians. The horror, the horror!

https://www.facebook.com/IamSecond/videos/10154584125844183/

This targeting of the Gaineses is not uncharacteristic in this day and age. The Left and their surrogates in so-called “news” outlets are looking to stir the pot and divide Americans. If you dissent from their worldview, you are a bigot, sexist, racist, homophobe-the works. It’s no wonder why Trump, for all of his faults, won: people are sick and tired of the elites in all spheres attacking the American way of life.

Chip and Joanna Gaines are good, wholesome people who bring joy to Texans and millions across the country. They are respectful, courteous, kind folks who are devout Christians. Entertainment needs more people like them, not fewer.

Get Erick’s Daily Email

* indicates required




The Secret to Avoiding Divorce

Harvard University has studied the relationship between religious participation and divorce and it turns out that people who go to church regularly, and actually believe, are less likely to get divorced. In fact, there is a 47% decline in the risk of divorce among regular church attendees.

The Decline of Marriage May Be Over

It is still too early to tell, but the decline of marriage may be reversing. New data shows that the number of divorces is falling while the marriage rate has ticked up slightly. Both changes have occurred for several consecutive years.

“The decline [of marriage] has stopped,” Wendy Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, told Bloomberg.

The center’s research, based on census data, shows that the number of divorces has fallen for three straight years and is currently at its lowest level in 35 years. Conversely, the marriage rate, which has been declining since the 1970s, seems to have bottomed out and stabilized.

The data is based on the marriage and divorce rates for women aged 15 and older. A comparison chart from the center shows that the divorce rate has hovered around 20 since the 1980s and is currently at a low of 16.9. The marriage rate has continually fallen from a high of 76.9 in 1970 and now stands at 32.3.

There is no definitive answer on what has caused the trends in marriage and divorce to change. A major factor in the falling number of divorces could be that there simply aren’t as many marriages to begin with. Breakups by cohabitating or common law couples would not be reflected in the data.

More Americans are waiting longer to get married as well. ABC News reported in June that the average age at the first marriage had increased by about four years since 1970 for both men and women. Women are an average age of 25.1 and men are 26.8 when they first tie the knot. A few more years of maturity at marriage may contribute to fewer divorces.

“We’ve seen a decline of divorce among people who are younger and an increase among people who are older,” noted Manning.

In fact, the divorce rate might be much lower if Baby Boomers were excluded. Bloomberg previously reported that, while divorce rates were down for younger Americans, they were soaring for Baby Boomers. The high divorce rate among Baby Boomers may have contributed to both the delay in marriage and the lower divorce rate for younger generations by making children of divorce more cautious about getting married in the first place.

Whatever the reason, fewer divorces and more marriages is an encouraging sign and a possible antidote to America’s entitlement crisis. Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, pointed out that the “principal cause” of child poverty in the United States was “the absence of married fathers in the home.”

Even the liberal Brookings Institution argues that marriage is an important antidote to poverty. Ron Haskins stressed that children who follow three simple rules have only a two percent chance of growing up to live in poverty. Haskins’ advice? “At least finish high school, get a full-time job and wait until age 21 to get married and have children.”

The news of more marriages and fewer divorces is something that Americans on both sides of the political spectrum can and should celebrate. It means that Americans are improving their own lives as well as those of the next generation. It may also provide the means to shrink the welfare state and attack the debt and entitlement crisis. That is a very good thing.