Bacteria on Mars are Life; Heartbeats on Earth are Not?

silhouette of a baby in a red broken heart


Way-Back Machine

Why wasn’t this all over the news, like the Manchester tragedy was at the time?  Or the 30 people murdered in Baltimore just during the month of May that year.  Or the 22 murdered in Chicago during just the past ten days at the time the story was published.  Or the 137 murdered in DC by that point in the year.  Or the… (the list goes on).  Christians being killed never rates much news coverage.  Deaths among those from the inner city never rate much news coverage.  And of course, the tens of thousands of babies killed each day by abortion worldwide never rate much news coverage.  With the major news outlets, you don’t rate if you’re Christian, reside in the inner city, or reside in your mother’s womb.


Open Letters

A friend who’s passionate about the biblical worldview influencing politics/culture, sent an open letter:

My fellow Christians.  I’m one of those “older” church leaders.  I’m willing to say I was wrong about incrementalism.  I’m now an abolitionist, not a pro-lifer.  I have an axiom I’ve lived by for decades:  “It’s okay to be wrong because that just makes clear our need of a Savior.  However, it’s not okay to stay wrong once I know I’m wrong.”  This is in keeping with James 4:17 – “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

We were wrong allowing abortion to become a political issue resolved by politicians.  In doing so, we insulated the reality of what abortion is – murder of a child who bears the image of God.  It became a political issue, just as blacks were demeaned when made to be a political issue during the slave trading days.  I know other pastors in my state who’ll soon be identifying themselves as abolitionists and not pro-life.  It takes some of us older folks a while to shed our traditions/habits, but to the younger people who figured this out sooner – don’t give up on us.  We can change our thinking/behavior (i.e. we can repent).

I share this open letter because legislation isn’t the ultimate solution to murder.  Holding signs and advocating stereotypical Pro-Life slogans isn’t the ultimate solution to murder.  Legislative and cultural wins are important, but what’s most important is changed hearts.  People need to repent and live out the truth.  The gospel must be faithfully preached, and this includes identifying sin as evil.  Adultery is morally wrong.  So, too, is covetousness.  Idolatry is reprehensible.  So, too, is theft.  Murder’s also on this list.  Christians must not diminish this truth with vacuous platitudes proven not to work over the past fifty years.

For fun, this same friend posted another open letter:

Dear Government,

You tax me nearly 30% on the fruits of my labor, then charge me sales tax when I purchase a vehicle (on money you’ve already taxed).  You then charge me a tax to register/drive/inspect the same vehicle (that you’ve already taxed twice before), only to now charge me a tax each year to continue the ownership of the vehicle you’ve taxed me five times previously.

I’d like to unsubscribe from your service.

All I can say to that is, “Unsubscribe?  We’re sorry sir, but to quote that great liberal American Don Henley, ‘You can check out, but you can never leave.’”


Child Sacrifice and Overpopulation

Having mentioned the topic of child sacrifice throughout this blog, allow me to add this:  Each month there are 125,000 babies murdered (more than there are seats in the largest of football stadiums).  And that’s only in the United States.  Worldwide there are an estimated 115,000 abortions every DAY.  Someone I don’t know very well said this is response to the statistics:

Think about how many more would be starving and diseased, and the total population!  Not every abortion is in vain!  I don’t condone or agree with it unless for medical reasons!  Not just spreading legs and throwing away babies!  Those hoes should be sterilized!

Attempting to meet this guy where he is, I said:

I appreciate your heart on this, and I can see that you’re also thoughtful.  I’d suggest, though, that disease is a health issue, not a population issue.  And mass starvation is an economic issue, not a population issue.  Where there’s economic liberty and personal freedom we see societies flourish, regardless of the size of their population.  Even in places where the government and the economy aren’t as free as they could be, the numbers might surprise.  China has more people than anyone, but a very low malnutrition rate.  Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and has one of the lowest malnutrition rates in the world.  Look at Europe, most of Asia, and even most of the Middle East.  If there’s any starvation in these areas, it’s not because there are too many people.  Each and every individual is a blessing.  There’s plenty of room (and plenty of need) on our planet for more blessings.

Exclamation Point Man responded:

I’ve witnessed this firsthand in many third world countries!  You must see past the lies!  I don’t see it as a method to control disease or population!  I understand your point quite well, but what I’m referring to is “necessary procedures” to save one’s life or medical reasons!  I believe this is by God’s will!  You should find different references within your research!  You took my comments way wrong, and I won’t argue!  Disease and famine create dead babies!  Before birth!  Don’t push your political agenda or religious beliefs on me!  I’m trying to school you on what REALLY happens!  You’re way too blind to be making any comments!  Sorry, but you need direction and your eyes opened!  Go travel as I have and tell me again what you think!  Have a good weekend!  I’m done!  Bye!

This brief and bizarre exchange reminds me of another exchange I had with someone I know quite a bit better than Exclamation Point Man.  This friend wrote:

Troy, it’s taken a long time for me to learn this lesson, but with some people you just can’t change their minds with reason.  They’re stuck in their ways, they don’t want to have a discussion, and irrationally believe what they believe.  I’ll listen to almost any argument, whether I think it’s right or wrong.  However, I just unfriended a radio talker who thinks it’s okay for a congressional wannabe to beat up a reporter.  We were in Syracuse at the same time, so I gave him a shot when he friended me.  But to come out and say hitting reporters (or anybody) is okay, is a very bad idea.  It makes us all targets, something we learned during the most recent campaign.  I’ve watched this guy spew hatred for several weeks on his social media pages, and decided this is one person I don’t need in my life.  Addition by subtraction.  See ya.

Here’s what I said back to my friend:

When we unfriend someone on social media because their opinion is grossly offensive, this is very understandable, and (as many have experienced) it can be the right thing to do.  The unfortunate downside is that by doing this we reduce our ability to influence the one who’s offended us.  So, there are trade-offs when we disengage from those who have very different views (and very different ways of expressing them) from our own.  “Unfriending” someone brings a cost, and I empathize with you for having paid that cost.  (By the way, you better not ever unfriend me, or I’ll grab you by the neck and body slam you to the ground!).


National “Christian” History

Someone I’ve known for years wrote this diatribe:

For those who’ve relied on David Barton’s version of history, please take what he writes/says with considerable suspicion.  He gets some things right about the founding era, but too often he has a political agenda to prove, then finds quotes about his agenda from some historic figure.  That’s not history.  That’s storytelling about history to support a political agenda.  Sadly, he and many pseudo historians in the pulpit have had way too much influence in the Christian community.  When you’re trying to prove “America’s a Christian nation,” and thus should be run by Christians, well, you have no choice but to disingenuously cherry-pick quotes supporting your thesis.  That’s not scholarship, that’s political storytelling.

To my Christian political activist friends who believe the Scriptures are the final authority in matters of faith and practice, if you’re going to insist on promoting the idea that “America’s a Christian nation”, or that “God created America as a Christian nation”, the onus is on you to prove the unprovable.  Not with theological ideas like “this mandate or that mandate,” but an actual passage inspired by God, describing His “new people” in a land between the Atlantic and Pacific flowing with milk and honey.  Or, a passage where Jesus told us to “take back America” or “take dominion over the country”.  Please cite that passage for me.

Since you won’t be able to find that passage, please join the fight and actually make an argument why you believe Christian’s should be in charge.  On the abortion front alone, if we can’t get the strategy right on how to end it, how the heck can we be trusted to run the entire thing?  My argument for years has been that decentralized political power (closest to the people) is the smartest thing to do; not have a nation of 330,000,000 wildly diverse people ruled by 535 people in a place a few thousand miles away.  What a dumb idea this turned out to be!

This is an argument I’ll continue to make as a Christian engaged in the political arena.  I’ll not misuse the name of the Lord and tell you my political point is a special revelation or a mandate gleaned from Scripture.  I’ll instead make my case by loving God with my mind and putting thought into how to end the holocaust in the US – plus, how to form a system of government that NEVER gets us back into this mess again (as best as we can, as fallen people).

This link is what triggered my friend’s strong words.  Is my friend correct?

Just because The Gospel Coalition publishes something doesn’t make it the biblical view (that’s for sure!).  Believers in Christ should always keep in mind this quote from Jesus of Nazareth, circa A.D. 30:  “My kingdom’s not of this world.”  As the church works to consistently keep our eye on the ball, how should we think about these things?  I’m very open to feedback on this.

Eagerly anticipating the Second Advent.


Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner