Category Archives: Radio Show

The case for Christ

Audio

Glen Campbell is in heaven, Barbara Cook we don’t know about. Where are you going ?

TWO FRIENDS OF MINE DIED ON TUESDAY. GLEN CAMPBELL WAS AN AMAZING MAN. STILL IS, BECAUSE HE IS IN HEAVEN WITH THE LORD HE KNEW. GLEN SPOKE AT OUR MEDIA DINNER IN WASHINGTON A FEW YEARS AGO. HE WAS OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT HIS STRUGGLES WITH ALCOHOL AND DRUGS BEFORE THE LORD SAVED HIM. HIS WIFE, KIM, IS A RADIANT BELIEVER WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN HIS COMING TO CHRIST. MANY OF GLEN’S SONGS HAVE BECOME CLASSICS IN COUNTRY WESTERN AND POP MUSIC.

( Read the rest of the above commentary here or listen to the audio.)

Once upon a time believers outlawed Christmas ( they were right, and they were wrong

Listen to a radio sermon.

50 years ago her life was changed

Fifty years ago, everything changed for her. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

On the same weekend in 2012 that Chuck Colson fell ill and ultimately went home to the be with the Lord, we recognized Joni Eareckson Tada as a modern-day William Wilberforce.

And recently, in an interview with Christianity Today, Joni looked back on fifty years since a diving accident left her bound to a wheelchair, recalling how she discovered a depth of trust in Christ she never knew before, and embraced the higher priorities of God than just healing our bodies.

In the decades since her accident, Joni has created and has led one of the most effective ministries on behalf of those with disabilities. She’s helped draft historic legislation, opened hearts and minds, and inspired millions with her painting and singing.

She’s also become a fierce opponent of the culture of death, fighting assisted suicide and euthanasia, which devalue and destroy lives made in God’s image. Thank God for Joni Eareckson Tada, and may she continue to prove His power is made perfect in our weakness.

North Korea, Nukes, and President Trump The Prudential and Moral Considerations of a Just War

BreakPoint: North Korea, Nukes, and President Trump
The Prudential and Moral Considerations of a Just War

by: John Stonestreet & G. Shane Morris

The war rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. turned nuclear this week, literally. Thankfully, Christians have thought about these things before.

U.S. intelligence now believes that North Korea—currently under the rule of a despicable, evil, irrational dictatorship—has capability to mount a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Kim Jong Un has said he’ll never give up his pursuit of nuclear weapons, and just this week, he threatened attacks on the U.S. mainland and the
U. S. territory of Guam.

In response, President Trump warned that if these threats continue, North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Rhetoric aside, the President does face a very grave dilemma: how to prevent North Korea from following through on its threats. The prudential and moral considerations here are colossal. He and our entire national security team need our prayers.

What he doesn’t need is bad advice. One evangelical advisor made headlines saying that the president had been anointed by God to “take out” Kim Jong Un by “by any means possible.”

“By any means possible” is a Machiavellian response, not a Christian one. And I know Chuck Colson would have said so too.

Chuck, a former Marine Captain and advisor to President Nixon, was no pacifist. But he was a disciplined Christian thinker who talked frequently about “just war theory.” He knew the rich wisdom about war from those who had gone before was an antidote to hyper-emotional reactionism.

To give you a taste, here’s Chuck, from 2009:

Chuck Colson: For nearly two millennia, Christian thinkers starting with Augustine… have developed what is known as the just war theory. For a war to be seen as just, it must meet several conditions. It must be waged by legitimate authority. The cause itself must be just, as well as the intention behind going to war. War must be a last resort, waged by means proportional to the threat. We must not target non-combatants, and we must have a reasonable chance of success.

John: Let’s unpack this criteria. First, the intent of the war has to be just. Is preventing an irrational dictatorship from using nuclear weapons a just cause? Yes, but it raises other questions. Is a preemptive strike morally just? Chuck felt so in certain cases and he cited Christian precedent. But in the years after the preemptive invasion of Iraq, he admitted that hindsight showed the intelligence leading to the attack was faulty. So U. S. intelligence must be correct about the status of North Korea’s capabilities.

Second, for a war to be just, there must be a reasonable chance of success. That means success must be achievable, and it must be defined. In this case, is it the toppling of Kim Jong Un, or just removing his capability of producing and delivering nuclear weapons?

Third, is war a last resort? Are all other avenues closed? This is almost always the final hinge on which a just decision swings.

Fourth, we must not target non-combatants. A U. S. attack on North Korea should focus on their leadership and nuclear facilities. But we must also consider civilian cost to our allies. If North Korea has time to retaliate against an attack, experts warn of hundreds of thousands if not millions of South Korean, perhaps even Japanese, civilian casualties.

Fifth, is our response proportional to the threat? “Fire and fury like the world has never seen” is a vague answer to that question. Are we talking cruise missiles here, or tactical nuclear weapons?

As Chuck said back in 2009, these are tough questions for any leader. And he knew, having served in the White House at the side of a president.

So Christian, we must pray to the God of history and nations for wisdom for our leaders and for a just end to the evil regime in North Korea. And, in our words, whether we’re advising the President or own children about this situation, we must be thoughtful and morally considerate, not emotionally reactive.

Believing What We Want

Listen to an old , but good radio sermon,here.

Should Christian Parents Circumcise their Sons?

Should Christian parents circumcise their sons? Certainly, it’s not required for salvation, but is it still a good practice? This Saturday on Up for Debate, Julie Roys will discuss this important issue with Jewish believer and host of “Open Line”, Dr. Michael Rydelnik. Also joining her will be a doctor with the Christian Medical and Dental Associations who supports circumcision – and another Christian leader who does not.

( Listen to the debate here. )

Charlie Gard must never be forgotten

Listen to a spot-on commentary by Cal Thomas. Or read part of it below.

CHARLIE GARD, THE 11-MONTH-OLD BRITISH BABY WITH A RARE GENETIC DISEASE, MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. THAT’S BECAUSE CHARLIE SERVES AS A LESSON FOR WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE STATE ASSUMES THE POWER TO DECIDE WHO IS FIT TO LIVE AND WHO MUST DIE.

DESPITE A HEROIC BATTLE BY HIS PARENTS, THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE WOULD NOT LET CHARLIE COME TO AMERICA FOR SPECIALIZED TREATMENT. THE STATE DETERMINED HE WASN’T WORTH IT. THE STATE ALSO REFUSED HIS PARENTS’ REQUEST TO TAKE HIM HOME AND LET HIM DIE THERE. ITS “COMPROMISE” WAS TO LET HIM DIE IN HOSPICE.

THIS SHOULD BE A LESSON TO AMERICANS WHO THINK THE STATE SHOULD RUN HEALTH CARE HERE. WOULD YOU LIKE A GOVERNMENT PANEL DETERMINING YOUR WORTH, BASED ON WHETHER YOU ARE COSTING MORE THAN THE TAXES YOU PAY? WOULD YOU BE OK WITH A BOARD – OK, A DEATH PANEL – DETERMINING YOUR FITNESS TO BE TREATED AND LIVE BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER EXAMINED YOU?
( Read the rest of this commentary right here. )

Forgiving a drug dealer who helped to kill your child

The opioid epidemic is delivering tragedy and pain to families across the country. Here’s how one such family has responded in Christ.

On January 30, 2016, Ashlynn Bailey, a twenty-year-old from Pelham, Alabama, died from a drug overdose.

As John and I have said on BreakPoint many times, America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic—one that kills more people every year than the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s.

This means that thousands of families endure the kind of anguish and pain that Bailey’s parents have gone through.

Yet, in the midst of their pain, Bailey’s family reminded us of the difference faith can make, even when the world has ceased making sense.

In the aftermath of her death, her parents established the Ashlynn Bailey Foundation, whose mission is to help addicts and their families. Part of that assistance is sharing their own story.

Ashlynn Bailey grew up in a Christian home. She “grew up in the church, learned about God, and became a Christian at an early age.” Sadly, as many Christian parents know from painful experience, this isn’t always enough.

Bailey began experimenting with drugs in high school and within a few years was using heroin. On January 30, 2016, she bought what she believed was heroin from a dealer in Birmingham.

Instead it was fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and which is often mixed with heroin. It is so potent that a policeman in East Liverpool, Ohio, accidentally overdosed after brushing fentanyl residue off his uniform following a drug bust.

Federal prosecutors charged the dealer who sold Bailey the drugs that killed her, Rodrigus Lee Pearson, with a series of drug-related offenses, and were able to increase his sentence because of the link between his actions and Bailey’s death.

At Pearson’s sentencing hearing, Mike Bailey, Ashlynn’s father, approached Pearson, and offered him his hand. He told Pearson “We extend forgiveness to you for the wrongs against our family in the same way that Christ has forgiven our wrongs, even without asking for that forgiveness.”

Afterwards, he told reporters that “I think [Pearson] needs to be held accountable . . . But I don’t want him to feel any less of a person in God’s eyes.”

He added, “I hate drugs, I hate the effects of drugs, I hate the pain that they bring, I hate how it affects families . . . It’s one of the largest demonic forces in our nation right now, just sent to break a family apart. I hate all that, but I don’t hate the individuals.”

The pain that Mike Bailey and his family are feeling is unimaginable for nearly all of us. But the grace they have demonstrated should no t be. It is what is expected of those who have experienced grace in their own lives.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” Jesus taught us to pray. The Apostle Paul urged us in Ephesians chapter 4 to “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

This forgiveness is not optional.

That’s not to say it’s easy. It’s a work of the Holy Spirit.

It’s also the most powerful Christian witness imaginable. While there are many counter-arguments, some better than others, against specific Christian ideas, there is no argument against the kind of grace and mercy Mike Bailey displayed. It’s a reminder of what sets Christianity apart.

As I said, I can’t imagine the pain the Bailey family is feeling. But I can thank them for reminding us that the light of grace shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Forgiveness is Not Excusing

Listen to a commentary,here.