Tag Archives: social justice

What happened to ethical journalism?

I was interviewed last fall by Cal Perry of MSNBC.

By Heather Walton

At 17 years old, I entered Defense Information School (DINFOS) which is the military journalism training program; the preparation I received there was the best available. I learned early on that journalism must be ethical; as a novice reporter, I internalized that we were not even to flip a negative of a photo to improve its layout on the page. Nor were we to try to remember quotes; we were to take them down word-for-word, or else we would have to use an indirect quote. I often meticulously read quotes back to my interviewees to ensure accuracy.

The Journalist’s Creed and the SPJ Code of Ethics were integral to my profession and my professionalism. When writing a news story, I knew my job was to report the 5Ws and the H, “just the facts, ma’am,” without inserting bias. If I wanted to give an opinion, it had better come from someone else’s mouth in the form of a quote, and if possible and realistic, I needed to find other perspectives to highlight as well.

Today, I am dismayed at what passes for journalism. Consider the final plank of the Journalist’s Creed:

I believe that the journalism which succeeds best — and best deserves success — fears God and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.

The Journalist’s Creed, Walter Williams, First Dean of Missouri School of Journalism

As far as I can tell, the mainstream media does the opposite of everything in this statement. In the past thirty or so years, journalism has evolved from being somewhat biased, but mostly delivering factual news, to shaping our opinions covertly and overtly. Today it seems that everything an op-ed piece. Peruse the stories of the major news outlets for more than five seconds and you’ll find language aimed at interpretation in every political article. Predigested news is the expectation in our drive-thru, 1000 mpbs-paced society. Apparently the powers that be at CNN, MSNBC, and yes, even Fox News think we are incapable of independent thought. Of maybe, on the contrary, they are afraid that we are.

It’s downright deplorable that the media is directing a political agenda designed to usher in socialism. They no longer report news; instead they manufacture it and suppress anything that gets in their way. According to the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, reporters are to “support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” Today, we see a largely liberal agenda being pushed, and alternative views being demonized and “cancelled.” Rand Paul recently made this point in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, in which the interviewer practically interrogated the senator regarding whether he believed the presidential election was won by fraudulent means. Clinton’s former press secretary would not allow for the fact that “there are two sides to every story;” in fact, he would hardly allow Paul to answer the question he had posed.

“Where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediately say everything’s a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything. Historically what would happen is if said that I thought that there was fraud, you would interview someone else who said there wasn’t. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute … fact is that everything that I’m saying is a lie . . . That’s the problem with the media today is they say all Republicans are liars, and everything we say is a lie. There are two sides to every story. Interview somebody on the other side, but don’t insert yourself into the story to say we’re all liars, because we do think there’s some fraud and the election needs to be fixed.”

Rand Paul to George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s “This Week,” January 24, 2021

Senator Paul said under fire what I’ve been articulating to friends for months: The media bias defies journalistic ethics. It’s like the modern media is completely ignorant of true journalism. Of course, this is part of a greater agenda. The 45 Communist Goals laid out in 1963 include infiltration of the press (See number 20.), and this one has been accomplished.

According to the Journalist’s Creed, “journalism which succeeds best … is profoundly patriotic.” I would submit that our modern media is anti-American, salivating over the soon demise of our democracy, riding in the Trojan Horse of social justice ideology. They compound the injury by eagerly ushering in an anti-Christian era, which is an affront to the Journalist’s Creed and an abomination to the ideals of our republic’s founders.

Where are the honest journalists? Where are those who uphold truth, democracy, and the right of free speech? Perhaps it’s time for us old-school reporters to return to our post for the good of our democracy and of the future generations who stand to benefit from our legacy.

If you have any interest in joining me on this quest, please respond. I’m interested in interviewing people about truth, and in joining with fellow writers in order to chronicle our true history in real time. Here is information on a journalism class.

The Rise of Socialism and the Case for Civil Disobedience

from https://factfile.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Quotes.jpg

By Heather Walton

I have heard Christians say that we should stay completely out of “politics.” As I’ve prayerfully considered this stance, I’ve found it lacking. Instead, my dual citizenship compels me that, in order to truly be heavenly minded, I must also be of earthly good. Just because Jesus is coming, and hopefully coming soon, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be about His business until the very day the trumpet sounds or He takes me home.

My dual citizenship compels me that, in order to truly be heavenly minded, I must also be of earthly good.

Some have said that America is done, past the point of no return, and that we just need to let events play out. While I would agree that it appears that the sun is setting on our beloved republic, and that it is only a matter of time before we willingly submit to socialism, and subsequently join hands with the coming “new world order,” that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.

Consider the parable of the talents: The master left three servants in charge of various amounts of his wealth. Two servants invested his money wisely and brought a return, and were therefore rewarded. The third, who feared his master, buried the talent apportioned to him, rather than making it work for his master until his return. As a result, he was disinherited and his talent given to another. Only recently did I realize that Jesus shared this parable in the context of end times prophecy. Church, we are not to bury our talents as we await our master’s return! We are to be about our Master’s business until the very last second.

If, instead, we as the church, forfeit the culture war, the war for the very soul of our nation, and the very soul of the church itself, with the excuse that “our citizenship is in heaven,” we should be charged with spiritual treason. He has called us to “rescue those being led to the slaughter,” to hold back evil, to warn the sinner, to admonish the saint, to subdue the earth, to, like our Creator, in whose image we were formed, use our gifts and talents, not to bury them as we await His return. This does not mean our hope is in this world; rather, unless our faith is evidenced by these actions, how are we to draw all men to Him, and ultimately to that eternal reward He desires for them. If the ministers, missionaries, and apostles of old, would have had the attitude that the culture is lost and we simply need to submit to ungodly authority as we await our heavenly Savior’s return, where would the Kingdom of God be today? Would this country even exist?

If, instead, we as the church, forfeit the culture war, the war for the very soul of our nation, and the very soul of the church of itself, with the excuse that “our citizenship is in heaven,” we should be charged with spiritual treason.

Think of men like William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Patrick Henry, and George Washington. Think of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men were heroes because they refused to submit to tyranny, and because they instead stood against tyrants on behalf of those who could not stand up or who would not stand up for themselves. They were not necessarily considered heroes by their peers during that time, yet they risked their reputations, their livelihoods, and their very lives for the righteous causes to which they had been called.

“Well, these men were exemplary in their time,” you might say. “They were specially gifted and called by God for those tasks.” Yes and no. We are all plainly called to “love mercy, practice justice, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8), “to rescue the orphan and widow in their distress and to live lives unstained by the world” (James 1:27), and to “rescue those being led away to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). These admonitions are for all believers, not a select few. We consider these men to be extraordinary, but only because we have settled for mediocrity in the Kingdom of God. We now view ordinary Christianity as extraordinary, or perhaps even as sin.

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

Isaiah 1:17 ESV

The American church has so watered down the Gospel that countless souls are deluded into the illusion of justification before a holy God; unless we sound the alarm boldly and unwaveringly, their blood will be on our hands.

Perhaps it is because of this watering down that we have bought into such heresies as the social justice gospel, which tells us that man can cure the world’s ills without requiring repentance, easy believism, which gives us Jesus as Savior while neglecting His Lordship, and “open and affirming” faith communities, which deny essential scriptural truths.

We now view ordinary Christianity as extraordinary, or perhaps even as sin.

Perhaps it is because of this watering down that we have believed the lie that we need to keep our faith private and not speak into the culture. That there are two realms — the sacred and the secular. Not at all! Either Jesus is our life and governs every aspect, or we are not alive in Christ at all!

If the Gospel hasn’t changed our lives, we haven’t accepted it, and are not beneficiaries of His grace. This is sobering, as it should be. We are called to examine ourselves in light of the Gospel, and judge ourselves, not by our peers’ actions and reactions, but by the Word of God. If we are not in line with it, if we are offended by it, if we are unwilling to live by it, we would be presumptuous to trust our eternal security.

Do we live our lives worthy of this very Gospel? Does our faith cost us anything? Should it perhaps cost us everything? In attempting to keep our lives, we lose them, but in losing our lives for Jesus’ sake and for His Gospel, we gain an eternal glory to which nothing in this world compares.

We have allowed a stunning degree of apostasy into the church. We have played the harlot with the gods of this world. We have trampled the grace of God with the foulest of sins, and we have failed to reprove — and worse, even given hearty approval to — those who prostitute themselves to an Americanized “grace.” In doing so, we have baptized converts into the very gates of hell. For this, we must give an account. From this, we must repent.

Christians, our country is falling fast into an evil that steals, kills, and destroys. That evil is socialism, an ideology devoid of God, an ideology that dictators have used to rise to power at the expense of the vulnerable. Do the names Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler bring up any hint of virtue? No, these men are considered an anathema in the rolls of history. These men were all socialists, communists, Marxists.

Socialism, a pretty name for Marxism, is purely evil. Today it may look like the government is doing some good things that fall in the realm of socialism, but don’t be deceived. Consider public education: isn’t it a good thing? How would our children learn to read and write and do math otherwise? How would they become responsible citizens otherwise? What about the poor who can’t afford private schools?

Don’t fall for it!

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

Vladmir Lenin

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

Adolf Hitler

John Dewey, father of modern public schools, believed that the best way to change the society for the better was through education. As a religious humanist, Dewey believed it was the duty of the schools and other social institutions to transform society, from what he saw as the antiquated traditional model embraced by theists, to a modern secular society ruled by pragmatism and a devotion to community ideals.

Public schools are a socialist construct. Before the state ran public schools, the church offered free education to those who were able to partake. Others were home educated in academics, practical skills, vocations, or a combination. The humanistic, socialistic takeover of schools was by design, and as a result, we have ridden the slippery slope into a pit of immorality and decadence, and our children can not understand the Bible or the Constitution, and they scoff at both. Government has no place in educating our children; it is our responsibility as the church and as the family.

The result of the slide into socialism is that we now are canceled as old-fashioned, homophobes, closed-minded, delusional bigots who are out of touch with reality. In many cases, our neighbors, family members, friends, and even our own children have developed animosity and bitterness toward us, but more importantly toward the God that created them. Yet, some still spout scripture to justify their attitudes and action, and they even use it against us.

For example, in my home state, our governor regularly cites his faith as reason to implement tyrannical measures to “fight the coronavirus,” yet this same man defies the God he cites allegiance to by celebrating homosexuality and abortion. This man who alleges to personally feel the pain of every loss to this virus has no problem severing the livelihoods of healthy people and shaming those who don’t agree. He tramples liberty and belittles those who disagree.

Submitting to unjust laws is not Biblical. Should the German Christians have submitted to Hitler? Of course not! But it was a gradual descent, one that they probably didn’t see because it started out subtle and continued subtly until they got to a point of no return. It likely would have been hard to recognize as it was happening, unless they were really paying attention. In saying that, I’m not likening any of our government officials to Hitler, but I’m simply saying that, if the German Christians would have seen the whole picture from the beginning, perhaps they would not have submitted to the gradual steps that got them to the horrific place they ended up.

I don’t believe this nation has much longer. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to hold back the darkness as long as we can. I don’t necessarily mean to take up arms. But I do mean that I will not submit to unjust mandates if it is in my power to resist, and I’m not doing it to “demand my rights,” but instead to demand your God-given, Constitutionally-affirmed, rights as His image-bearers. If that makes me unpopular, or if it brings me difficult consequences, so be it. Regardless of how one feels about liberty, it is an absolute, and I won’t give up our collective liberties without resistance.

It’s all about control

By Heather Walton

We need to protect the most vulnerable.

We must protect our Constitutional rights.

Where is my unemployment?

I will not wear a mask!

It’s my body, and my choice.

Everyone needs to take the vaccine before we can get back to normal.

I will not take a vaccine.

Answer the phone when the health department calls, and cooperate with the contact tracers.

I will not answer the phone. In fact, I’m not doing any updates on my phone and I’ll leave it at home when I go out. 

You don’t value my life!

You don’t value my livelihood!

Since the beginning of the human race, it’s been about control. Did God really say you should not eat of any tree in the garden? … He knows that when you eat of it, you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3). In other words, He is in control, but if you eat this fruit, you can be in control.

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but the enemy of old, Satan, sure wants us to think it is (Ephesians 6:12). We get angry because we want to be in control. We fear because we want to be in control.

Guess what: we are NOT in control! We never have been. It’s an illusion. God is in control, but He has temporarily allowed Satan to be in control of certain aspects of the world (Matthew 4:8-9; Luke 4:5-6; John 14:30; John 12:31-33; Ephesians 2:1-3). I believe that the “spirit of the antichrist” which has been in the world since the beginning, is largely a spirit of control (1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:3). Satan himself, as Lucifer, fell from heaven because he wanted to be in control, rather than trusting God to be in control (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18).

When we allow God to be in control of our lives (Romans 10:9-11) by accepting Jesus as Lord (master, one in charge), we gain a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The very things we desire to have control for — peace, provision, victory over death — we gain by giving up control. It seems like a paradox, doesn’t it? However, it is true.

The spirit of the antichrist may soon be revealed as world leaders navigate this global crisis (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 John 2:18). They have a global answer: They believe we need to seek world peace through a concept called globalism. They believe all people need to unite to end world hunger, poverty, inequality, illiteracy, “overpopulation,” and so on; however, God called us to scatter, to fill the earth and subdue it. Granted, our greed has tempted us to become bad stewards of the earth and to oppress people. That doesn’t change the fact that God wills us to populate, to work, and to be diverse. At the tower of Babel, the people wanted to stick together. They defied God by building a tower, not so they could reach heaven, but so they could keep from wandering too far. God had told them to scatter, but they reasoned that if they could build a tall enough tower, they could make sure that they could all see it, and that way they wouldn’t go too far. They would stay one global community, in defiance of God’s clear command to spread out. He confounded their language so that they would not remain together (Genesis 11).

Today, some of the world’s most powerful people want to control the world once again by uniting us all in a global community. This global crisis calls for a global solution, they say. They want control, pure and simple. Their motives may look noble and pure, but in reality, they don’t trust God. Did God really say? Is there really even a God? Don’t you know that we can do anything we set our minds to? 

Many people believe would agree with Bill Gates:

“I’ve been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that’s kind of a religious belief. I mean, it’s at least a moral belief,” said Gates. “I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill.” (Rolling Stone, March 13, 2014)

You see, if science is the answer, we can control that. We can’t control God, but we can, at least in some ways, control science. We can control what we understand, but we cannot understand God because His ways are so far above our ways that they are beyond comprehension (Isaiah 55:8-9). We don’t like that. We want to understand. We want to know. We want to control.

We cannot control, but we can put our lives in the hands of the One who is in control, the One who can give us the abundant life now and eternal life when we die (Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; John 3:16-17; John 10:9-10).

It seems to me that so many of us are addressing the things we can’t control and are angry at those who seem to hinder our control. In the end, though, we are all going to die and our fortunes will be given to another (Psalm 39:6; Psalm 49:10; Proverbs 27:1; Luke 12). We aren’t guaranteed our next breath or our next paycheck, no matter how hard we try. We should take good care of our bodies, we should work hard to earn a living, and we should try to keep our country free from tyranny. However, we also must recognize that our days are numbered and the world can change in a moment’s notice. We could literally be ushered into the presence of our Creator at any moment. We need to be ready.

The one thing we can do to control our future is to put our lives and our eternity into the hands of the One who possesses ultimate control.

If you have never accepted Jesus as Lord, you can do that right now. This takes an honest and genuine acknowledgement that you are a sinner, that you can’t do enough good deeds to be right with God because He is holy and we are unholy, that you need Him to save you, and that you are willing to follow Him and allow Him to govern your life. Baptism is the outward expression of this inward decision and should be done publicly and by immersion, in an act of obedience, submission, and testimonial to others. You also should read the Bible, pray, gather with other believers, and obey God’s commands, not to be saved, but out of gratitude for salvation, a desire to grow in your relationship with God, and in hopes of winning others to the Lord. If you have any questions about that, reach out to a believer you know, begin fellowship with a local church, and/or reach out by filling out the contact form below.  

We Have Sinned

Dear Lord,

You have said, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).”

Father, we, your children, have sinned. We, the church, have abdicated our responsibility to speak into the culture, preferring to blend in instead. We have allowed the religion of secular humanism to infiltrate our culture. We have allowed our children to be carried off to “Babylon,” a culture that says, “I am, and there is no other (Isaiah 47:8).” We have allowed ourselves to become complacent and entitled, believing that the world exists to serve us. We have devalued human life of many kinds, allowing the unborn to be slaughtered, the immigrant to be mistreated, those of other races to be abused, and the disabled to be devalued.

We have voted for people according to economics, rather than character. We have taken your Word and prayer out of our schools and the public square. We have given lip service to prayer. We have neglected to disciple our children according to your Word.

We have forgotten our first love, and have grown cold and self-absorbed. We have bowed down to many idols, including money, power, ease, comfort, and pleasure. We spend more time on our phones and computers than on in-person relationships. We have allowed our society to become sexualized and violent. We see people as objects. We play games, watch movies, and listen to music full of sex and gratuitous violence. We waste much of our time on mindless entertainment. We have allowed our children to absorb it all.

We lie to one another, cheat each other, steal from each other, and talk badly about each other. Instead of going directly to each other in loving confrontation of sin, we gossip and slander. We justify ourselves under the guise of venting or making prayer requests.

We no longer value marriage and family. Instead, we stand by and watch as others trample these institutions that were entrusted to us by God. We worry that if we speak up we will seem intolerant or culturally irrelevant.

We shrink back from boldly declaring your Word, and blindly believe that we must not speak up because of the supposed “separation of church and state.” We prefer to offend You, our creator and just judge, rather than risk offending our fellow man. We turn a blind eye to others who claim to be Christian while living like the world.

We have allowed ourselves to be lulled to sleep by the design of secular humanists, and have given the sleeping potion to our children by allowing them to attend schools that teach them that You don’t exist, or that if you do, You are irrelevant. We have allowed them to be given atheistic sex education and taught that they descended from primordial goo. We have allowed them to be programmed to follow their hearts and to do whatever makes them happy, “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.” What about You, Lord? Sin hurts You. You gave us Your Son, who lived perfectly and died a horrific death for these very sins. His death and resurrection alone save us, yet we flippantly allow His Name to be used as a common curse word. We don’t even flinch anymore when Your Name is taken in vain.

We have forsaken Your design for marriage. We have created unstable families for our children. We have preferred to make a name for ourselves than to invest personally in our children. We have not corrected our children’s disobedience.

We have created idols of athletes, actors, musicians, and philanthropists. We have enthroned people who have money, power, and influence, regardless of their faith, values, or actions. We have dismissed scandals in our leaders, because we idolize the economy and pragmatically vote for Supreme Court nominations. We overlook character defects in favor of policies. We have created false messiahs in our government officials. We have not called those into account who claim to follow You, minimizing their sin, because we believe they are benefitting us.

We sit by, fattening ourselves up on our riches, while much of the world lives in unfit conditions, and many are marginalized, mutilated, and slaughtered. We believe we are entitled to live long and prosper, neglecting to consider that much of the world truly must pray for their daily bread. We believe we deserve honor and abundance while others languish in life and die without Christ.

We have bought into the lie that government can solve our problems. We have tried to treat this worldwide crisis as something we can solve with the right brain power, techniques, policies, and vaccines. But we cannot! We need you to heal our land. We need you to heal the coronavirus, but more than that, we need you to heal our pride, our obstinacy, our apathy, our faithlessness, and our selfishness. We need you to heal our families, our government, our schools and our churches.

I need You to heal me. We all need You to heal us. We are so independent, self-sufficient, and content in our sin that have a form of godliness but we deny your power (2 Timothy 3:5).

You have said, “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure (James 4:2-3).

Lord, where our motives are tainted, purify us. I pray for a revival, the likes of which the world has never seen. I pray that we would wake up from our slumber so that the “new normal” we keep hearing about is Your new normal. I pray You defeat the enemy and his purposes, that many more may come to know You and to glorify Your Name. I pray you have mercy on us for our great sins, for the sake of those who don’t yet know you, and for the sake of Your glorious Name.

You are the Great I Am, the First and the Last, the Living God. We are your people. We humble ourselves. We ask you to heal our land.

On behalf of the church in America, I ask this in Jesus Precious and Holy Name, Amen!

If you would like to add to this prayer, you may post it in the comments. Any other comments will not be posted, as this is a prayer addressed to the Lord. This post is not for airing opinions or arguments. If you do not know the Lord and would like to turn your life over to Him, and have questions about that, or want to leave a comment for me, please fill out the contact form below.  

 

Judge not … ?

By Heather Walton

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3 ESV)

This is probably the most well-known verse in all of scripture. Why? Because people inherently like to justify themselves and their behavior. If a Christian confronts sin, this Bible verse inevitably glides smoothly off someone’s tongue in hasty rebuke, in an attempt to shame the messenger into silence. How dare you? is the implication. Don’t you know Jesus told us not to judge one another? We all sin; you just prefer your own brand of sin. 

Here’s the problem with that logic: Most people know the first part of Matthew 7:1, and some know all the way through the end of verse 3, but many neglect what comes next:

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:4-5 ESV)

Notice here that Jesus said to remove your own log, meaning do everything you can to be right with God and free from sin (albeit not perfect), and then yes, remove the speck from your brother’s eye. So if you have some glaring sin problem in your life (log) then get that straight before criticizing your brother for a smaller infraction (speck). So Jesus wasn’t, in fact, telling us we are not to judge at all, but that we’re not to be hypocritical, which in the Greek carried the idea of acting. In essence, I’m not to live a phony life, acting the part of a Christian, while I have this glaring area of sin in my life, and then call a believer out for some small behavior that pales in comparison with my own issues.

In Matthew 18, we’re told to confront our brother or sister who is caught in sin. We should do so first between the two of us, next with a witness, and lastly we should bring our concern to the church. (This doesn’t apply to every situation, by the way, but it does to most.) This passage is for dealing with a brother caught in sin, which could mean they wronged us personally or that they simply were, as the text states, caught in sin.

In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, believers are specifically told to judge those inside the church who are sexually immoral, greedy, swindlers, idolaters, revilers, drunkards or swindlers. Paul stated that God would judge those outside the church, but commanded Christians to hold one another accountable. He went so far to say, “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:13b ESV). Believers were not even to eat with someone who called himself a Christian, yet had blatant sin in his life.

It is a lie from the pit of hell that we are not ever to judge anyone for anything. As Christians, we should not be shocked when an unbeliever lives a sinful lifestyle. We should instead lovingly show him the truth and share the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20), challenging him to accept Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-11), and discipling him toward a Biblical lifestyle (Matthew 28:18-20). However, when someone claims to be a Christ-follower, we are commanded to lovingly and truthfully call him out, not out of self-satisfaction, but out of love, out of a desire for his benefit, that He may repent for his good and God’s glory.

This is not comfortable. I have found myself needing to confront brothers and sisters on multiple occasions, and I never enjoy it. I generally feel some anxiety over it. I do it because I must. On a handful of occasions, I’ve spoken out about public officials’ behavior. (I’ve written about officials on both sides of the aisle.) I know these people already have been confronted about their sin, yet they continue. I do not expect these types of posts to go over well with everyone, yet I share them, believing God wants me to speak up about injustice, rather than to stay silent.

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?” 
(Proverbs 24:11-12)

In Ezekiel 3, the prophet was told to be a watchman for Israel, delivering messages to those whom God directed. He was to warn the wicked and the righteous if they were not in God’s will, to change their ways. If he did, and they didn’t listen, he would be blameless, but if he shied away from sharing the truth that God told him to share, he would have their blood on his hands.

Therefore, when God lays it on my heart that I’m to address someone about sin, I know I shouldn’t shy away. I don’t like doing it, but there’s nothing in Scripture that says I’m only to do what I feel like doing. Knowing others will judge me, as they tell me not to judge, I do it anyway, in obedience to the Judge who is above all judges, and with whom I will spend eternity.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV)

An Open Letter to Gov. Andy Beshear

May 11, 2020

Governor Beshear,

I want to begin by saying that, for the first several weeks of your COVID-19 response, I was one of your strongest supporters. I watched your briefings every day and I was quite impressed with your handling of the situation. I also noted that you used your faith to support your reasoning, and I believed you used it well. I truly appreciated your desire to protect the lives of all Kentuckians, even those many seemed to discount as less important than the economy. I did wonder, however, why the abortion clinics were allowed to remain open. Even so, I supported you in the rest of your response measures. I defended you on social media multiple times and I used the hashtags you asked us to use. To this day, we turn on our green light nightly to honor those who have died of the coronavirus.

I was disheartened to make a possible connection between campaign contributions and your refusal to close the clinics, but when you chose to veto SB9, which would require babies who survived to be cared for, I was astonished. This bill passed by a landslide and had clear bipartisan support. You reasoned that this would reduce our unity and ability to defeat the coronavirus and reopening of the economy. However, if every Kentucky life matters, it’s worth doing, even if it’s not popular, could cause law suits, or could hinder reopening the economy. Isn’t this the very thing you have done and continue to do in the COVID-19 response? You have said you don’t care if it’s popular, you don’t care if people disagree, and you don’t care if people sue you. You also have been willing to keep our economy shut down indefinitely. I realize you’re doing some reopening, but it’s really not very quick and it’s also not highly practical. Your argument has consistently been that we need to save as many Kentucky lives as possible. In fact, you’ve been willing to do absolutely everything, including allowing many businesses to close permanently and overriding the First Amendment rights of our citizenry, to make sure that our losses are as minimal as possible.

You have cited your faith many times. Therefore, I feel compelled to tell you what is on my heart as a believer. The blood of many, many children is on your hands. You have accepted blood money from Planned Parenthood and from abortion clinic owners Ernest and Ona Marshall, and likely many others who practice and champion abortion. Even without the veto, you support abortion. You may argue that there need to be exceptions for the life and health of the mother, but as one who had to have a pregnancy terminated because of the baby implanted ectopically, I did not need to go to an abortion clinic, and would not have been able to have been serviced there.

Abortion is murder, as God has created each life. Most abortions are the result of previous sin, whether from the mother, the father, or usually both. Taking a child’s life because of his parents’ sins is not ethical, moral, or Scriptural. So when you vetoed SB9, I woke as if from sleeping and began to question why you are willing to inconvenience so many and even devastate some on the grounds of caring for all Kentuckians, yet far more have died through abortion than from the coronavirus. At first, it seemed these measures were necessary, but as we’ve learned more, it just doesn’t add up. I’m willing to believe you began with the best of intentions regarding the COVID-19 response, but now, why not go ahead and open up the economy, allow people to resume church services as normal, and allow us to get back to what hopefully will be a new and better normal?

I also have concerns about your handling of churches. Biblically, we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. It’s great that we are able to have online services, but that’s simply not the same as meeting in person. And being told not to even sing together is disheartening. Being told not to meet together, sing together, or participate in sacraments goes directly against Scripture. If this were as bad as health officials originally had projected, I would be more open to the idea of church being conducted alternatively, but I would also expect most other organizations and businesses to be closed. If I can’t go to church and worship in the normal way, I also shouldn’t be able to go to an abortion clinic, a liquor store, or a hardware store.

I work hard to be respectful and pleasant toward those with whom I disagree, but I don’t believe in shying away from the truth, because the truth sets us free. No law can take away our freedom in Christ, but it’s still crucial that Christ followers petition the authorities when injustice prevails. There are clear injustices when some human lives are considered expendable or less valuable than others, and there are clear injustices when people’s livelihoods are lost due to excessive government control.

After the fall of man, God commanded Adam and Eve to fill the earth and subdue it. These are related to two main realms – childbearing and work. Your actions affect each of these in the opposite ways that God intended, because you are allowing childbearing to be unnaturally restrained, while not allowing people to work. Please prayerfully read the Scriptures. I ask you, on behalf of all citizens of Kentucky, to change your stance on abortion, to fully open Kentucky’s churches, and to allow Kentuckians to go back to work. There are ways to protect the vulnerable that don’t require so many others to suffer in countless ways.

I am praying for you, and am open to discussing this with you if you would like to.

Sincerely,

Heather Walton

 

 

COVID-19: Has it changed the world?

By Heather Walton

A week ago at this time I honestly wondered what all the hype was about. I questioned whether people were overreacting. Later that evening, after hearing from the president and the local school superintendent, and learning that our local megachurch was closing, I began to reconsider my perspective.

I think most of us have been impacted in some way by this crisis. At minimum, most of us have had some change to our routines and give up our freedom to go where we want. It seems a bit surreal for many. Depending on your perspective, you could be stir crazy, frustrated, skeptical, anxious, relieved, refreshed, or maybe all of these things in the same day! And if you have children, they may be struggling too, especially if their routines have been majorly disrupted.

As a homeschooler and as one who works from home, my family’s life has not been as disrupted as many people’s have. We have had changes though: My husband is a pastor, so a family whose lives are intertwined with church, that aspect has looked very different. He also works for the school system, so he’s been home this week, which I have found refreshing. I also have moved my regular students and my tutoring clients to an online platform, rather than having them come into my home.

The biggest issue for me has been that I personally have been sick for the past few days. Today I developed a fever, so my doctor sent me for COVID-19 testing. They say it will be a week or so before I get the results. A week ago, getting sick with this virus was the furthest thing from my mind.

While all of this is unexpected and somewhat unsettling, I don’t think the world has actually changed. Yes, it feels different, but I think that’s largely because, a week ago, it felt like we were in control, and today not so much. The truth is, though, that control is an illusion, at least as far as we’re concerned. However, God is always on His throne and in control of the universe — always. Nothing occurs that He doesn’t allow. And nothing catches Him by surprise.

No, I don’t think the world has changed. I think it has been exposed for what it is: a temporary, unpredictable home. It hasn’t changed, but perhaps we can change as a result of this revelation. Perhaps we can change for the better. Maybe we can value relationships more fully, worship God more fervently, serve our neighbors more intentionally, worry less, and simply live the life God has graciously allowed us to live, for however long that will be. Most importantly, maybe we will consider the fact that this home truly is temporary, and therefore prepare for our eternal home by accepting Christ as Lord and following Him, who has control of everything, rather than the crowd, which truly has control of nothing.

45 years later … we can resurrect a culture of life

January 22, 1973 was a day that changed the history of our nation forever, a day that put the stamp of approval on the growing culture of death in our nation, a day that legalized murder. Since that day, roughly 60 million Americans have been aborted. Sixty million! That number should take our breath away! It should convict us of the sin of our nation, of our own sin. It should call us to action.

Before I proceed, I want to stress that I am not condemning those who, out of fear and ignorance, have had abortions or who assisted someone in having an abortion. Yes, that was a sinful act and there needs to be repentance, but like Jesus, I would say, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

I also am not faulting anyone who had to terminate a pregnancy due to life-threatening circumstances. I personally had emergency surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy. I’ll never forget how sorrowful I felt when the doctor told me that my unborn child had a heartbeat, yet I knew that heart would not be beating in a few short hours.

When it comes to elective abortions, the bulk of the guilt lies with those who run the abortion industry, those who promote it, those who legislated it into legality, those who coerce people into that decision, those who flippantly choose to take the lives of unborn children, and those who stand by and do nothing about it, all the while knowing it’s wrong.

Before I became a Christian, I was pro-choice, and I didn’t even particularly like children. However, the day I gave my life to Jesus, God placed a burden on my heart — a love of children, both born and unborn. I began to desire having children of my own, I became a teacher, and I got involved in the front lines of the battle for the sanctity of life. God threw me all in, and I didn’t hesitate. I came to believe that abortion is one of our national sins, and that the church was responsible to intervene. I volunteered, and later took a paid position, at A Woman’s Choice Resource Center in Louisville. I counseled women who thought they might be pregnant, did pregnancy tests, gave supplies to those who were pregnant or who had young children, assisted with adoption plans, drove women to ultrasounds, shared the gospel, helped women who had had abortions to find counseling, and I even sidewalk counseled. I was polite, yet direct, when trying to dissuade women from deciding for abortion.

In our nation today, abortion persists as a stain on the heart of our nation. This practice began as a largely eugenic practice. Here are the words of Margaret Sanger, abortion advocate and Planned Parenthood founder:

” … I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the “unfit” and the “fit”, admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective. (Margaret Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” Oct 1921. Published Article. Source: Birth Control Review, Oct. 1921, p. 5 , Margaret Sanger Microfilm S70:913.)

In other words, some people are beneficial to society and others aren’t. Therefore we have a duty to limit the reproduction of the inferior class. This line of thinking stands in stark contrast to our founding fathers’ statement that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. (U.S. Constitution, paragraph 2).

Margaret Sanger was a racist, with an agenda to eliminate “inferior races.”

“It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development … ” (Sanger, “What Every Girl Should Know” 1920, p. 47. Retrieved from http://www.ukapologetics.net/10/sanger.htm).

Sanger was an associate of Adolf Hitler who sympathized with his ideas on eugenics. She began the American Birth Control League, changing its name to Planned Parenthood during World War II, to cover her ties with Hitler’s philosophy. Though Sanger originally opposed abortion, she changed her stance, and her organization eventually broadened its purposes. (Source: Linda Gordon, ‘Woman’s Body; Woman’s Right’ – Grossman, 1976, p347, Retrieved from http://www.ukapologetics.net/10/sanger.htm).

Here are the words of Dr. Alveda King, granddaughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

“The killing tools of abortionists are as aimed at blacks today as the fire hoses of segregationists 50 years ago.

Taking more African American lives than gun violence, heart disease, cancer, and AIDS combined, abortion seems to have targeted blacks in a way that can only make remaining Ku Klux Klan members smile. For every three living African Americans, there is one who has been aborted. It’s as if a plague swept through the black community and took every fourth person.” (http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/abortion-industry-racism.htm)

Abortion and racism are related evils. Both stem from greed and the notion that some people are actually not fully human, and therefore don’t have deserve the same rights and status. They are expendable. Abortion grew out of the idea that there are inferior people, that those who are non-white, disabled, or unproductive are to be eliminated.

However, there is work that can be done to reverse this mindset in our nation. It starts in the Church. The Church must do more to change the culture of death in our country. We must decide once and for all that racism is not to be tolerated — not in our churches, not in our communities, and not in the White House. And we must reach out and love on women and families who find themselves in difficult pregnancies. Though we must speak out against abortion, that alone does little to impact the daily lives of those who are surprised by an unplanned pregnancy and fearful that they can’t handle a child. Furthermore, we must be willing to open our homes to foster and adopt children. Those of us who have extra should be willing to share what we have with the less fortunate. If we were to do these things, in addition to praying and confessing our own sins, God would fulfill His promise to “hear from heaven and heal our land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

 

 

Solutions for Shattered Times

We live in shattered times. Our nation argues over politics and policies. Our churches are segregated by race, music style, and secondary theological issues. Our families are strangers in their own homes as they live in their personal worlds of social media, pornography, and virtual reality. Addiction, self-harm, depression, and suicide are rampant. We debate over statues when we should examine our stone-cold hearts. Our first-world problems are killing our souls, and we passively partner in our own demise.

What can we do about this? I’ve been pondering this for years. Second Chronicles 7:14 (NLT) says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

Notice it doesn’t say that we are to straighten everyone else out. We don’t have to convince the unbeliever to change his wayward habits. We don’t even need to convict our spouse or our Christian friend, because that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. We must start with ourselves. Looking at 2 Chronicles 7:14 again, it says, “if my people … will humble themselves … and turn from their wicked ways … ”

As Christians, we are called first to get the planks out of our own eyes (Matthew 7:4), to check our own habits, to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, to be living according the Scriptures ourselves. If I’m living a sinful lifestyle, I have no right to pick at you about your lifestyle, let alone that of the unbeliever.

Once I’ve checked myself, though, I’m not free to stop there. Jesus said I’m to remove the plank from my own eye before removing the speck of dust from my brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:4-5). Like Paul, I must be qualified to boldly say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). I must be willing to disciple other believers and to encourage and admonish them to good works. (Hebrews 10:24).

Second Chronicles 7:14 not only calls us to humble ourselves, but also to pray, and seek God’s face. We need to get to know God, to have a relationship with Him. Knowing God, loving Him, turning from our own ways and following His—those are the things that will change our hearts and will heal our land. Notice there is nothing mentioned in 2 Chronicles 7:14 about what the church should be expecting unbelievers to do.

Christians have a place in the culture at large. Our duty is to be the church. I’m not advocating that we abdicate our responsibility to be the moral conscience of our society. Scripturally, we will not be held guiltless if we allow oppression in our midst, if we allow the innocent to be slaughtered, if we fail to speak up for the marginalized, or if we refuse to care for the orphan and the widow. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.” We must be the voice for the voiceless, and act on behalf of the weak and marginalized, and brothers and sisters, we must start by serving our fellow man, not by criticizing him or ridiculing him. We must reject the urge to be greedy or self-protective. We must follow in the footsteps of our Savior, just as 1 John 2:6 states.

Can you imagine our community, our state, our country, and our world, if the true believers followed these principles? We would be so changed that we wouldn’t even recognize ourselves. And the revival that would take place would solve so many of the problems that plague us, because the world would see the true meaning of service, of worship, of Christianity, of discipleship, and of love. The world would see who Christ really is, and we all would be transformed.