Gathering under the vision of impacting a generation for justice, the third annual Justice Conference convened this weekend in Los Angeles. Filling the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theater and simulcast around the country, this gathering brought organizations, activist, business leaders, and students together to encourage one another to soldier on in their fight for the vulnerable and oppressed. Conference speakers consistently offered a solid and ordered definition for justice. Defining it as right relationship with self, others, and creation which is rooted in scripture, core to the gospel, and at the heart of God. The application of justice was more varied. Ranging from largely apolitical issues like trafficking and the exploitation of women to the explicit political advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform. Same-sex marriage, abortion, and persecution of Christians around the world were left for "those other conferences."
In a pre-conference session, Justice Conference founder Ken Wytsma offered a refreshingly biblical and philosophical understanding of justice. He noted the distinction between primary justice, when things are as they ought, and restorative justice, when things are brought back to how things ought to be. Highlighting the words of Jeremiah concerning justice, Ken warned against rejecting the term social justice, "Just because we don't like how the social justice has been use doesn't mean we can just hate and reject the phrase. People misuse the word love too."
After nearly a half dozen speakers spoke on a variety of issues Eugene Cho, pastor of the self-described "multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual" Quest Church in Seattle, offered a word of warning to those doing "the work of justice." Eugene asks, "The question isn't just do we do justice, but how we do justice? Are we open to the idea that justice must do us…cause if not, we are just peddling things. If we are not pointing people to the gospel or the savior named of Jesus we are elevating our own savior complexes." more >>
Christians in the church today are witnessing what may be described as "truth decay." Instead of being faithful to God's Word, many Christian leaders take a pragmatic "whatever works and will get people to come" approach. Pragmatism has its merits, but today it is undermining authentic Christianity and our call to biblical faithfulness.
In the quest for more nickels and noses, many church leaders lean more toward political correctness, cultural relevance, image promotion and the notion that size equals success in the eyes of God.
Charismatic sideshows parade preachers of imbalanced material prosperity, self-promotion and embarrassing flashy lifestyles, which both the world and the younger generation see through as hype. more >>
Last week, a reporter who said he wanted to interview me about President Obama's statement that "homosexuality is a human right" called me. He said that the president's recent comments about the situation in Uganda elevated homosexuality to the level of a "human right" or a "universal fundamental freedom." My remarks were simply that the president of the United States has the responsibility to represent the entire nation. When he states his personal beliefs and values and presents those as representative of the United States of America, the full force of his office is behind those statements. It is clear that the beliefs of the president about "human rights" are controversial in his own country and offensive to many both in the U.S. and abroad, and serve to promote the political homosexual agenda worldwide. Claiming that homosexuality is a "human right" is an affront, even a mockery, of¬¬ those Judeo-Christian values that have been the foundation of virtually all Western civilizations across time and cultures.
That critique is not an endorsement of Ugandan law. Concerned Women for America (CWA) supports the human rights of everyone, including homosexuals. The president should have criticized brutality (though he has not done that in some other notable international incidents) without embracing and promoting the political agenda of a relatively small special interest group.
Human rights are granted to us from God, not man or government; that is why religious liberty and freedom of speech are such important principles. Religious liberty and freedom of speech were so important to the Founders that those principles are foundational in the United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson started the momentum toward that position in the Declaration of Independence. It is a foundational principle that religious liberty and freedom of speech are from God, not man. Human rights are the implication of our God-ordained freedom, not vice versa. more >>
A group of 11 law professors, both liberal and conservative, have written a letter to Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) explaining that she is being deceived by many of the critics of S.B. 1062, who have described the bill as "gay discrimination."
"Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading," the letter states.
Brewer must decide whether to sign, veto or not sign (which would make it become law) S.B. 1062, which makes some changes to the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. more >>
The Conservative Political Action Conference will not feature a booth for an atheist organization as the event's organizers have changed course on an initial approval, according to the atheist group.
American Atheists, an organization founded in 1963 by famous non-theist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, announced Tuesday that they were disinvited from the annual Washington, D.C. conference.
"American Atheists President David Silverman received a phone call from American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider informing him that the ACU board is breaking its agreement to permit American Atheists to host an information booth," stated American Atheists in a press release. more >>
NASHVILLE – Public policy experts at this year's National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville asserted that the government religious liberty and freedom issues facing Christians today are fundamentally and intrinsically tied to the future of culture in America.
Janet Parshall, host of the daily radio talk show "In the Market," moderated a panel on Tuesday that included Todd Starnes of Fox News, Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and NRB Sr. VP and Chief Legal Counsel Craig Parshall.
Janet Parshall said finding the subject matter for this year's event was not difficult. "It took us about three nano-seconds to decide what we were going to discuss here today," joked Parshall. "It's the most important issue Christians are facing today." more >>