Author Archives: Billy David Dickson

Billy is a writer , Bible college student, radio show host, and youth worker. He has worked with young people for over ten years. His work includes teaching children youth in Bible studies, and Sunday School classes.
He currently does a radio show everyday at 6:19 E.T. on KCRO radio 660 A.M. in Omaha, Nebraska.

A dog honors his owner by going to church even death won’t stop him

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Professor: Why Are You a Christian? – When Challenged, Can You Defend Your Faith in Christ

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Power of the free market did what a powerful government could not do

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Dr. Anne Bradley has been on my radio program and in one of her articles, she talks about her first trip to the Soviet Union. Even as a teenager she could see through the attempt to make Russia look more prosperous than it was. In fact, her visit was one of the reasons she became an economist. She ends her article by telling the true story of what happened when Boris Yeltsin visited the United States.

He was newly elected to the Soviet Parliament and the Supreme Soviet. After he visited the Johnson Space Center, he made an unscheduled stop at Randall’s Grocery Store in Houston. This trip to a simple grocery store changed him forever.

Yeltsin roamed the aisles to see the number of products available to every customer. They were offering free cheese samples. He was overwhelmed. He could not believe the bounty before him. Even members of the elite Politburo did not have the choices available to every person who walked into the store.

A reporter captured his comments in an article in the Houston Chronicle. “When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons, and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people.” He went on to say, “That such a potentially, super-rich country as ours had been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”

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Young Syrian refugee forgets aspirations of terrorism in light of the Gospel

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The thoughts of the late Mrs. Bush on who gets into Heaven

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the-moral-vacuity-of-our-cultural-elites/

New York Magazine recently published an article entitled “180 Minutes with Desmond is Amazing. He’s a ten year old drag performer and he’s cooler than you.”

This was accompanied by a full page photograph of a ten year old boy dressed out in drag; a photograph that under any other circumstance would likely be identified as skirting right up to the limit of child pornography.

The “cultural elites” behind such messaging are not just trying to change moral beliefs, they are trying to transform moral instincts at an even more basic level.

New York Magazine wants you to know that this ten year old drag entertainer, ‘Desmond is Amazing,’ is cooler than you, but in this context ‘amazing’ and ‘cool’ are two words that show the complete moral insanity of a society.

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Love letters the Bushes wrote

Here is the story.

Senator Booker: “Is being gay a perversion?”

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So, the New Yorker thinks Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in New York and a U.S. Senator thinks Mike Pompeo doesn’t belong as the Secretary of State.

Anyone nominated to be the Secretary of State for the United States of America should expect tough, serious questions in the confirmation hearings. After all, this person is in charge of implementing the nation’s foreign policy. They’ll represent our nation to the rest of the world, lead sensitive and tense negotiations, and manage a $40 billion budget. The peace of the world is at stake.

But the question New Jersey Senator Cory Booker asked Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo last week was, “Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion?”

Thankfully, Mr. Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, kept his cool and stood his ground.

Here’s how it went:

Senator Booker: “Is being gay a perversion?”

Pompeo: “When I was a politician I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that.

Booker: So you do not believe it’s appropriate for two gay people to marry?

Pompeo: I continue to hold that view.

Booker then expressed concern for married gay State Department employees, to which Pompeo replied, “I believe we have married gay couples at the CIA. I treated them with the exact same set of rights.”

Then Booker asked: “Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion?”

Well, there you have it. Politics as farce.

I think Mr. Pompeo did well in his response. He was respectful and tried to keep the hearing focused on, you know, how he’d manage the nation’s foreign policy.

Some friends and I talked about how we might have answered differently. I might have asked the Senator from New Jersey whether he thought Barack Obama was qualified to be the first African American President in 2008, since he then stated publicly that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Or I might have simply replied, “Are there any other sex acts you’d like to discuss in relation to foreign policy, because if so, I don’t seem to be as educated on them as you are.”

Ironically enough, Senator Booker also grilled Pompeo about his attitude toward Muslims, because after all, as Secretary of State he would be “dealing with Muslim states on Muslim issues.” As one of my friends pointed out, has Senator Booker read up on Muslim teaching about homosexuality and how Muslim nations treat homosexuals? Does the good Senator see any tension there?

We’ve talked for years on BreakPoint about how the freedom of religion, the right to order our public lives according to our deeply held beliefs, is being reduced to freedom of worship, the idea that you can only hold such beliefs in the confines of your home, house of worship, or your own head. Apparently for Senator Booker, even that isn’t good enough.

In an inquisition reminiscent of the grilling Bernie Sanders and Diane Feinstein gave to a Catholic judge last year, Senator Booker this year essentially said that believing historic Christian teaching on sexuality makes one unfit for public office in the United States. Of course, that would make about half the country unqualified.

Senator Booker’s Facebook announcement that he would vote against Pompeo for these beliefs came the same day that a New Yorker article claimed Chick-fil-A was “creepy” and unfit for New York City because of the Christian origins of that company.

Senators like Cory Booker demand respect in these sorts of hearings, a respect that on this occasion he did not deserve. His laser-like focus on gay sex was beneath the dignity of the Senate and beneath the dignity of the occasion. It was indeed a farce.

Booker and the New Yorker vs. Pompeo & Chick-Fil-A: Are Christians Welcome in Public Life?

As Christians, we need not cede our right to be involved in public life. In fact, just as St. Augustine said, Christians should make the best kinds of citizens because they are prepared to practice justice and love. So our response to anti-Christian rhetoric and attacks on the tenets of our faith should be loving yet firm as we demonstrate the love of Christ in our words and actions.

Resources

Mike Pompeo grilled by Cory Booker over gay marriage stance during secretary of state confirmation hearing

Kaitlyn Schallhorn | Fox News | April 13, 2018

Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City

Dan Piepenbring | New Yorker | April 13, 2018

beautiful gift of heaven

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Over 30 years ago, the space shuttle Challenger exploded just seventy-three seconds after takeoff. I’ll never forget seeing the stunned faces of those watching at Cape Canaveral, including the parents of teacher and astronaut Christa McAuliffe. The next day, USA Today printed a photo of First Lady Nancy Reagan, watching horrified as the disaster unfolded.

In the midst of that tragedy, the relatives of one astronaut had a special consolation. Mission specialist Ron McNair believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and just before he boarded the shuttle, he told his family, “Jesus and I will be going up together.” A shocked nation saw the moment that Ron kept on going up to heaven.

Ron always knew that one day, his “eyes [would] see the king in his beauty” (Isaiah 33:17). Ron’s day happened to be in January 1986, but none of us know how much time we have left on this earth. I have been reminded of this with my recent cancer diagnosis, and while I love spreading the good news of Jesus on this earth, I am excited to meet Jesus face to face. I cannot wait to see Jesus as he really is. I cannot even imagine how beautiful He will be.

Because of my excitement to see Jesus, I cannot help but invite others to join me and Ron in heaven for eternity. Won’t you also invite those you love to accept the beautiful gift of heaven, which is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord? Do it!  You’ll never regret it.

This is Luis Palau.

Blaming Facebook when the issue is with us

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Last week, the Senate and the House grilled Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s use of data. Maybe someone else should have been on the hot seat, too.

This past week saw the most-anticipated theatrical performance in Washington in years, and I’m not talking about “Hamilton” coming to the Kennedy Center in a few months.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before Congress was two days of what is sometimes called “political theater;” or, gestures and actions designed to give people the feeling that “something” is being done about a problem without actually doing anything about it.

The problem is the outsized influence of Facebook on American life and culture. What started as concern over Russia’s use of Facebook to influence the 2016 elections has turned into what one writer called “moral panic over the impact of tech on our wellbeing.”

Among the reasons I count Zuckerberg’s appearance on Capitol Hill as mere theater is that he wasn’t the only person who should have been testifying. If we are truly concerned about technology’s impact on our wellbeing, we should question ourselves.

Let me be clear: I’m not defending Zuckerberg’s or any other tech executive’s actions. There’s plenty to criticize. In his testimony, Zuckerberg was either in denial or disingenuous about the huge role his company plays in our culture. While, he’d have us believe that Facebook is merely a platform that enables people to “connect,” anyone who has used Facebook for more than five minutes should know that just isn’t true.

Facebook anticipates what it thinks you want to see and gives you plenty of it. It filters out what it thinks you don’t want to see. To use a fancy word, it “curates” our news and other information.

In fact, we’d be hard pressed to think of anything that has more powerfully shaped our culture than Zuckerberg’s college creation. It’s certainly been more powerful than the Congress questioning it last week. Think about it: What else in the last decade has more powerfully shaped how Americans do relationships, get their news, spend their money, use their leisure time, determine their political positions, and for too many, get their theology than Facebook?

But, even more insane is that people are doing this voluntarily. Blaming Facebook for allegedly misleading Americans about what was going on during the 2016 elections is a way of avoiding personal responsibility for our choices about how and where we get our news. And the idea that Congress can somehow “fix” this by regulation? Not if we are our own captors.

From the start, people like media theorist Douglas Rushkoff have told us that, “We are not the customers of Facebook, we are the product. Facebook is selling us to advertisers.”

Specifically, they are selling information about us to advertisers. And we are all too willing to share that information, not only with Facebook, but with the world. Facebook and other social media platforms are more than tools to use, they are worlds we live in.

Of course, Facebook could make the controls over what information is shared a lot simpler to manage. But, it’s equally true that most people wouldn’t bother to use them.

In the end, very little, if anything, of substance will come out of Zuckerberg’s limited engagement on Capitol Hill. As the New York Times’ podcast, “The Daily” noted, Zuckerberg faced some tough questions—especially from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but the damage done to the company was minimal. In fact, Facebook stock went up 4.5 percent when the congressional play began.

Some will stop using Facebook out of privacy concerns, and others will dramatically change how they use it and what they share. But a million federal regulations later, Facebook will still be more powerful in shaping culture than the Congress who imposed them. And many of us will continue to be willing participants.

To paraphrase a line from a master of theater, the fault, dear listener, lies not in Facebook, but in ourselves.

Zuckerberg Theater on Capitol Hill: Facebook and Us

We can take advantage of this very public mess as an opportunity to evaluate our own use and dependence on all sources of social media, not just Facebook. As believers, we should not be “conformed to this world,” but we should be influencing the culture around us for Christ.

Resources

Listen to The Daily: Congress vs. Mark Zuckerberg

Michael Barbaro | New York Times | April 11, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg Testifies on Facebook before Skeptical Lawmakers

Kevin Roose, Cecelia Kang | New York Times | April 10, 2018

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Neil Postman | Penguin Books Publisher | November 1985