Category Archives: spiritual leaders

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.

Forgiveness is Not Excusing

Listen to a commentary,here.

Eugene Peterson should have had a plan to stand for the Bible the first time in a sinful culture

Now, I’m incredulous that bestselling Christian author Eugene Peterson, known for “The Message,” a popular paraphrased version of the Bible, seems not to have thought through how he would publicly address this subject. A couple of weeks ago, two years into the Obergefell regime, Reverend Peterson was asked in an interview about his view on the morality of same-sex marriages. After winding around the issue a bit, he stated, “it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.” When asked if he’d perform a same sex ceremony, he said simply, “Yes.”

The evangelical world reacted swiftly and with disappointment. Shelf space for Reverend Peterson’s books seemed at risk.

A few days later, he issued a retraction, stating, “I affirm a biblical view of everything.”

Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary and an astute commentator on culture, wrote that there are lessons to learn from what he termed “The Agonizing Ordeal of Eugene Peterson.”
( Read the rest of this commentary. )

Islam Faith, and the Christian Faith are not the same

A new place of worship for those of the Islam faith has opened in my city.

Sadly some folks who went to visit it still think those who worship of the God of Islam worship the same God as us who follow Jesus.

See the story along with video.

Holding church in a bar

Read the story.

BAPTISM

( Audio )

Listen to a commentary on this important subject. What is BAPTISM, and what is it not.

 

“We are too proud,” President Lincoln said that.

Too proud-to-pray

Frankly, rabbi, we don’t care what your opinion is about the health care program.

I have known David Wolpe for close to 30 years. I have never discussed politics with him. I have always tried to pry information about Judaism from him because he has written more than a few books on the subject. Other than that, we have discussed family. I have no idea what his political beliefs are, nor do I care. I do know he was in a meeting of Jewish rabbis and religious teachers I helped to arrange with President George W. Bush, and he was favorably impressed with Bush’s earnest commitment to Israel, as were others in the room. But on the rare occasion I get to see him these days, I would never discuss politics. I am in no way surprised my friend wrote such a column; he is a very wise man.

( More )