This column was originally published in National Review.
I'll never forget the first time I learned that I couldn't put faith in Christians. I was in middle school, and our church had hired a new "pulpit minister" (that's what my church called pastors) — a man widely known for his ability to deliver a sermon. During one of his first weeks at our church, he proudly declared that when he preached, he didn't want to hit "bunt singles." He wanted to "belt home runs." But he didn't just boast. He delivered. Week after week his messages moved, taught, and inspired. The church started growing, and even bored young teens (like me) looked forward to Sunday.
Then, one day he was gone. He ran off with another man's wife, and we never heard from him again. I was crushed. I was angry. I couldn't comprehend how a man could say one thing with such conviction yet live another way entirely — even to the point of forsaking his wife, his kids, and his church. When I was at my angriest, my dad pulled me aside and said, "David, our faith is in Christ, not any man." more >>
There has been considerable discussion on the Pew Research Center's new report titled, "America's Changing Religious Landscape." The conclusions of the report certainly seem troubling: Christians are declining as a share of the U.S. population, while those unaffiliated with any faith tradition continue to grow. The report shows that since 2007, Catholicism has seen a 3.1 percent decline, as Catholics decrease from 23.9 percent of the American population to 20.8 percent. Even more worrisome, another recent study on American adolescents' religious orientation, shows that the losses to the Christian faith are especially pronounced among our young people. This report states, "In just the 13 years between 2000 and 2013, 87 percent more college students chose no religious affiliation."
So what's next? Is Christianity dying a slow and painful death in America?
Hang on for a moment before jumping to any doomsday scenarios. more >>
I believe that America is kept safe by the military, which has had a spiritual shield held over it from before we were even a country---by the chaplains. But today chaplains are under enormous pressure to fully embrace political correctness.
Meet Lt. Commander Wes Modder, a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. About fifteen years ago, the Navy thought so highly of him that they used him in a video to recruit potential chaplains. He has ministered to sailors, Marines, and Navy Seals. Today, Chaplain Modder is fighting for his military career because he refused to bow the knee to political correctness.
Sadly, this is not an isolated case. Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Vice President of Family Research Council, told me in a 2013 interview: "I talked to [chaplains] privately about the pressure that they are under. Many of them are under pressure to perform same sex marriages and most of the ones that I have talked to…when the time comes that they are told to do it…they're going to refuse." more >>
I have been terribly grieved by some "Christian" responses to Josh Duggar, as if there are some sins God cannot forgive or some people that He cannot transform. Such an attitude betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of the gospel of grace and is actually a slap in the face of the Savior.
When I shared some redemptive thoughts about Josh's situation earlier in the week, I did not for a moment minimize the gravity of his acts. Specifically, I wrote that "he did sin grievously"; I put his actions in the category of "wicked things" that some of us did as teenagers; I stated that, "There's no excuse for sin, so own up to it"; I referred to Josh committing "serious sexual sin"; and I said "there are consequences to our actions" but that God can redeem, also stressing the importance of the Church helping the victims of abuse.
And although I have never been the victim of sexual abuse, I have listened to the stories of abuse victims for years, often devastated by what they shared. more >>
A conservative Presbyterian church that was founded in 2012 in response to the growing theological liberalism of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has reached its 200th member congregation.
The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians gained congregation number 200 when First Presbyterian Church of Griffin, Georgia, joined the denomination earlier this month, following a unanimous vote.
"We have planned for it. We have dreamed about it. The hardest part has been waiting, but the wait is almost over," noted First Presbyterian in their May newsletter. "It will bring deep satisfaction to move into this next chapter together. It will also bring rest. And the truth is, we need both." more >>
A United States Marine was convicted at a court-martial for refusing to remove a Bible verse on her computer – a verse of Scripture the military determined "could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline."
The plight of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling seems unbelievable – a member of the Armed Forces criminally prosecuted for displaying a slightly altered passage of Scripture from the Old Testament: "No weapon formed against me shall prosper."
Sterling, who represented herself at trial, was convicted February 1, 2014 in a court-martial at Camp Lejune, North Carolina after she refused to obey orders from a staff sergeant to remove the Bible verses from her desk. more >>