In an irony of ironies, during the week of Valentine's, two federal judges overturned the marriage protection amendments of Kentucky and Virginia, single-handedly redefining romance and marriage.
Last week, approximately 3 million people tuned into to watch the debate on evolution between Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," and Ken Ham of the Creation Museum. Ham did a stupendous job articulating the creationist view and contributed greatly to raising awareness to the legitimacy of its claims regarding origins.
Two Sundays past (January 19, 2014), in a sermon the media described as "fire and thunder,"  Rev. William Barber, head of the NC NAACP mounted the pulpit of Zion Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and began to excoriate all things political to the right.
In an article titled, "Christians and Alcohol," posted on January 9 in The Christian Post, Shane Vander Hart made the case for what he believes is the biblical teaching concerning alcohol use and abuse. Vander Hart's personal story of alcohol abuse during his days in college and his decision to quit after becoming a follower of Christ, was, in this author's estimation, where he should have stopped. The rest of his article, unfortunately, made the so-called case for imbibing responsibly.
The values Simon referenced were Christian values. He said, "Where is any debate, let alone recognition, that the bedrock, pro-faith and family values upon which America rests are under 'frightful assault,' and that, day-by-day, this nation is distancing itself from its Judeo-Christian roots?"  Simon passed away in 2000, but his words ring truer today than when first reported in the early nineties.
Another beloved television celebrity has "come out" and said to the world, "I am gay." This time its ABC's Good Morning America host, Robin Roberts. CNN says that Roberts has always been "open about her health battles, but she has not previously spoken publicly about her sexuality." The timing of Robert's announcement begs the question: Why now?
Few stories speak so succinctly to America and her current need than this one in Scripture. For a little more than five decades America has been spiritually in decline so that now we are facing judgment.
Pastors are supposed to help, not be helped. They are supposed to counsel, not be counselled. If something goes wrong in the preacher's life, surely he knows what to do. Besides that's his job. And so goes the thinking and unrealistic expectations that can ultimately lead to a breakdown – an emotional breakdown, a nervous breakdown, a mental breakdown, even a moral breakdown.
It's not very often we hear such stories about pastors. But these events, which took place within the last five weeks, show we are all susceptible to mental illness – even the preacher. I know. I've personally been in that dark place myself.
If one should think that politics is just politics and one's worldview has nothing to do with it, then he or she should consider the circumstances facing the people of Hatteras Island, North Carolina.
Yet in a similar way this had been the plight of that little band of Pilgrims who gathered together with Indian guests for the New World's first Thanksgiving dinner. They had suffered incredible losses and their difficulties were life-threatening at every turn. Their table would have also been meager in comparison to our own today, but they possessed an indomitable spirit of gratefulness to God.
It was heartbreaking to learn that U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, a Tea Party favorite, was in a courtroom last Wednesday answering to a misdemeanor charge for cocaine possession. Radel had been arrested as a part of a sting rooted in a broad FBI/DEA investigation of drug trafficking in the nation's capital.
Many young people simply experiment with alcohol and after finding their curiosity satisfied will later abstain. But today most do not, they continue drinking. In fact, alcohol has become such an accepted part of our culture that a Columbia University study noted that underage drinkers account for 11.4% of all the alcohol consumed in the U.S.  The average age of a teen boy who tries alcohol for the first time is 11, and for a girl it's 13.
Last year, my father, who was a veteran, passed away. As mourners stood along with my family at his grave side, a soldier blew the strains of "Taps." That eloquent and haunting melody drifted over his resting place as an official tribute to a fallen serviceman – a man who was a devout follower of Jesus Christ; a man who felt his family was his greatest achievement; a man who deeply loved his country. Today his tombstone proudly acknowledges his service in the United States Coast Guard.
If you are like me, sometimes it may come as a surprise to find that hiding in your own heart there is resentment and bitterness. After thinking much on the subject, I've realized forgiving someone can be one of the hardest things in life to do. The natural reaction is retaliation. We want the other person to hurt in some way just as we've been injured. We may even feel in a self-righteous way that our feelings of anger and desire to get back at someone are justified.
The site was first discovered by settlers who came to Chatham County before the 1800s. They gave the place its name, a name which remains to this day, "The Devil's Tramping Ground."
Some will say, "Well, I don't see what the big deal is as long as you gamble in moderation – as long as you don't waste your living its harmless entertainment. Besides you can't demonstrate one passage in the entire Bible that says, "Thou shalt not play at the roulette table." And you know what? They are absolutely correct. But neither can you demonstrate a single passage in Scripture that says, "Thou shalt not look at pornography." Nevertheless, the Bible often discusses the sin of lust and admonishes people not to do anything that would facilitate that pernicious desire.
God's rules are commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments or the Moral Law. One may look to the left, as well as to the right, scheming to break these, but no one can break God's rules without being broken by them.
North Carolina has an interesting history with alcohol. Most folks who know anything about the Tar Heel state have at least heard of Josephus Daniels, the newspaper magnate who started a number of publications, among them the Raleigh News and Observer.
Last month, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the U.S. Postal Service should be allowed to start delivering, beer, wine and spirits. He contended the service was needed to help raise revenue for the financially ailing agency – an agency that lost $16 billion last year.
Our nation's forefathers strongly believed they were called into a new Promised Land for the purpose of establishing a New Israel, a model of the Kingdom of God – living proof that in God's economy people from every station of life could live in peace and prosperity together. They believed God's promises to Israel, barring those that were most specific to the Jews, were also pledged to any nation that would enter into a covenant relationship with Him. Basing our nation's principles of law and government on the Judeo-Christian ethic, they sought to initiate and admonished succeeding generations to maintain a covenant relationship with the Lord like the one made with the Israelites in Deuteronomy chapter 28.
Few matters have initiated more litigation in the courts than the presence of Ten Commandments monuments and other displays of the Decalogue across the country located on public property. The presence of most of these is the result of a joint campaign by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, working with Hollywood Royalty and movie-magnate, the late great Cecil B. DeMille. Today the radical left has erroneously argued these displays are an unconstitutional violation of the "separation of church and state" and disparage them as nothing more than a publicity stunt by DeMille to hype his movie at the time, The Ten Commandments, staring Charlton Heston. But if DeMille's motives were purely carnal, then his history with the film certainly didn't show him acting like it.
Before he ever became a National Football League broadcast analyst, Glenn Parker, who at the time played for the Buffalo Bills, once speculated as to why NFL lineman are generally cheerful individuals. Parkers said, "There are not a lot of well-paying jobs for 300-pounders. We found one, and we're happy about it." Today, if you currently have a job, you've got a good reason to be cheerful too.
This week, North Carolina's Governor Pat McCrory, flanked by four security guards, walked through the gates of the executive mansion and over to a group of protesters who had been waving their signs and relentlessly yelling "shame" and "liar" toward his state residence for a couple of days. They were upset over the abortion bill that passed the General Assembly last week and his decision to sign it. To both the surprise and chagrin of the protesters, however, the Governor offered the ladies baked chocolate chip cookies, saying, "These are for you. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you."
No moment was more strenuous to the ears of pro-lifers than when Rep. Alma Adams (D-Greensboro) insisted that if the bill closed abortion clinics across the state, it would force women back to the time of back alley abortions and pregnancies ended with coat hangers.