I found some solid reading material this week I wanted to share. Also, there is some news from this week of which I wanted to emphasize.
Thanks for reading!
- Zylstra’s Pro-life history article
A favorite writer of Doyle’s Half Dozen wrote a great piece this week, “Why There Are Way More Pro-Life Protesters Than You Think.”
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra gives much more information than what the headline may imply. In fact, as interesting as it could be for the reader to find out about pro-life protesters, I think the content yields a greater sense of the history of the Pro-Life movement than the concern or the message of the increasing number of protesters.
I was familiar with a lot of what Zylstra wrote beforehand, but she does an excellent job in chronicling the involvement of Christians in America getting involved in deterring—and eventually shutting down—the abortion practice.
If you are not familiar with the Pro-Life movement, as far as its origin, all the stages and key contributors, it would benefit you to read Zylstra’s article. I remember hearing Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, speak in a college chapel service. I am familiar with some who did protest abortion clinics. Randy Alcorn’s story, for example, is quite fascinating, how he resigned from pastoring so that his church would not have to deal with the garnishing of his wages to pay his $8.2 million fine. Alcorn instead becomes a successful author, pays off his fine and commits even more of his book royalties to pro-life ministries and other great Christian services.
I also appreciate Zylstra’s analysis of how many of the Pro-life protesters modeled their practices after the civil rights demonstrators, but the difference was the media was much more supportive of the Civil Rights movement and painted a rather derogatory picture of those who observed civil disobedience on behalf of the Sanctity of Life.
- Honoring MLK Day
As next Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I thought I would share from the DHD archives. Five years ago, I wrote “Six Takeaways From Reading MLK’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
I just read through my comments and King’s historic letter (which gives me chills every time I read it). It would benefit you, perhaps on Monday, to read this letter, so you could possibly understand King’s situation and his passion.
- News of religious liberty this week
There were two news reports this week that were significant on the issue of religious liberty. One came from the White House, as President Trump affirmed the observance of religious liberty in schools.
A statement from the White House, according to Baptist Press, emphasized three focal areas: “protecting prayer in public schools, promoting equal treatment and championing religious freedom.”
It can be easy to criticize President Trump and have disagreements with him. As Evangelical Christians, we should appreciate this emphasis on religious freedom. Criticize him if you’d like, and there are justified issues to do so, but Trump’s affirmation supports what Christians believe and do in obedience to the almighty God.
I would go so far to say, if any previous president demonstrated as much support for the public practice of Christianity, they deserve the same appreciation regardless of political party. This is a decree I believe honors God no matter who is responsible.
The second report is counter opposite. Open Doors ministry released its list of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians.
As Baptist Press reported, “Open Doors counted 260 million Christians who experienced high levels of persecution in the 50 countries studied; 2,983 who were killed for their faith, and 3,711 who were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned. Attacks on churches and Christian buildings totaled 9,488.”
As we thank God for the freedom to worship and practice our faith freely in America, with affirmation from the first report I mentioned, let us also pray for God’s mercy, protection and provisions for fellow believers in these dangerous countries mentioned in the second report.
- Lessons from godly people disagreeing
Robert Gonzales Jr. offers a great study on Acts 15 and the disagreement between Paul and Barnabus. This passage is a common reference, especially because, well, it can be common for Christians to disagree.
Gonzales’ points should not be skimmed. All four of them are important applications.
- Mohler on women leaders and other takes from The Briefing
Here’s my Albert Mohler moment. It was hard to choose this week because he covered a lot of great topics in The Briefing this week.
I actually was going to cover a different topic before listen to today’s episode, but I had to highlight what he discussed today.
It was actually in Part IV involving “What do Christians believe about a woman serving as president?”
One thing I thought was very important yet easy to overlook is in the opening paragraph:
“Christians who hold to a consistent complementarianism understand that the Bible speaks directly and definitively to two of three spheres,” Mohler said. “Those two are the family and the church. The Bible does not speak so definitively to the public square.”
This is very, very important. There are many instructions God through His Word provides that are to be applied to the family and the church yet are not necessarily applied, as Mohler described, to the public square. This would especially be considered in the role of government. Government is a different context, in many ways, than family or church. I could elaborate, but I may do that another time. Just remember this point when someone uses a passage of Scripture that would be applied to either the church or the family and would be misapplied to the public square such as the government.
As far as Mohler’s presentation of would a conservative Christian support a woman president, I whole-heartedly agree—“depends on the woman.”
Mohler’s example of Margaret Thatcher was excellent, and I too would enjoy the hypothetical debate he proposed between Bernie Sanders and the former prime minister.
- Congrats to George Schroeder
I conclude this DHD with a shout out to George Schroeder who was announced this week to be the new associate vice president for convention news for the Southern Baptist Convention.
I have never met George, but I am familiar with his work, from back when he was a sports writer with The Oklahoman. He has had quite the journey as a sports journalist in Oregon and then working for USA Today.
From another source, I found out his final sports assignment was at the National Football Championship in New Orleans this week. He now will move on to Nashville and take on a totally different role.
I can relate, as I worked in the athletic field for 13 years before making the move to be in a position that is more ministry oriented.
George Schroeder going to work for the SBC is a major move and an excellent hire. I’m excited for both him and his involvement with Baptist Press and other news productions.