Harvey Milk day

Baptist Press recently reported the following:

California lawmakers are discussing the possibility of setting aside May 22 each year as a “day of special significance” honoring Harvey Milk, an openly homosexual San Francisco alderman whose murder in 1978 made him an icon of the “gay rights” movement.

While the observance would not be an official holiday, the bill encourages schools to teach about Milk’s legacy — a fact that hasn’t escaped California citizens concerned about the agenda homosexual activists have for California public schools. The proposal would not require parental consent for mandatory student participation.

The text of SB 572 states: “On Harvey Milk Day, exercises remembering the life of Harvey Milk and recognizing his accomplishments as well as the contributions he made to this state” should be conducted; specifically, “all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to observe … and … conduct suitable commemorative exercises.”

A Southern Baptist pastor in San Diego told Baptist Press he believes the vague wording of the bill opens the door to almost any kind of “gay pride” observance in which even kindergartners could be required to participate…

“The bill is going to amend the education code to include Harvey Milk Day on May 22. It says, ‘It is the intent of the legislature that the exercises encouraged in this section be integrated into the regular school program and be conducted by the school or institution within the amount otherwise budgeted for educational programs,'” said Chris Clark, pastor of East Clairemont Southern Baptist Church. “What that means is that if there’s money to do it, the school can do whatever they would like to commemorate Harvey Milk Day. The imagination can kind of run wild with that. There’s really nothing that would restrict or narrowly define what they could or could not do.”

SB 572 is currently in the State Assembly and is expected to pass and appear on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk for a second time (he vetoed it last year already, but is under a lot of pressure to pass it this year).

If you would like to share your concern about this bill with the governor, simply click here. I don’t like the “angry, offended and motivated” opening line of the form letter, but this can be easily edited into something more respectful of our state leaders. We’re blessed to live in a country that still permits freedom of speech and conscience, and should exercise this liberty on issues that concern us.

An urgent plea to protect life

Here’s a short film that links the reasoning behind abortion with both slavery and antiSemitism. All three of these tragic movements have exalted the “choice” and “convenience” of a superior race against those who were considered sub-human. But something within us says this is terribly wrong.

The film is not graphic, but the mature theme makes it inappropriate for young children. I was moved to tears as I watched and realized afresh how urgent the pro-life movement is.

Every boy and girl, man and woman, born or unborn, is created in God’s image and should be vigorously protected (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6; Ex. 20:13). Yet just yesterday, I read an article that reported Obama wants to redirect 100 million dollars away from abstinence programs to fund erotic sex education for young teens. This will surely lead to only more abortions. God have mercy.

Never too early to teach gender roles

Courtney Reissig has a good article over at the CBMW blog today. Even Sunday School teachers need to begin instilling within boys and girls an appreciation for their distinct identity and roles as male and female.

When we walk down the halls of our church we need to know that the authority of the Bible is at stake in our Sunday school classrooms. What we teach the next generation about God should include what he says about who he made them to be. When you are teaching the creation story to children, I encourage you not to gloss over the fact that there is a man and a woman being created by God with different roles to play. When you are closing your time with your class, you can teach the little ones to thank God that he made them as little boys and little girls—and that these genders are not interchangeable. If you are a parent, you can be working even now to train your little boys to protect little girls, not react against them. And you can teach your little girls that it is good that they want to play with dolls and help in the house—and someday they will help in their own house and take care of real babies, even if they are single.

The little ones in our classrooms, while precious and fun, are all in their hearts opposed to God’s design for them. Therefore, manhood and womanhood is not simply a topic to be discussed at the seminary level, or even the adult Sunday school class level. It must start earlier. We have the great privilege of teaching the next generation the truths of God. And it starts in your nursery.

The world certainly wastes no time in pushing their own humanistic, egalitarian agenda. Will the church faithfully rise up for the truth and celebrate God’s glorious call for our future men and women?

Norman Geisler library at a ridiculous price

Now through August 19, you can buy the entire Norman Geisler Library on Libronix for only $22.95 (90% off the list price, $7 off the normal Rejoice Software price).

This set includes the following volumes:

  • Answering Islam
  • Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Come, Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking
  • Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective
  • Miracles and the Modern Mind: A Defense of Biblical Miracles
  • Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences
  • When Critics Ask: A Handbook of Bible Difficulties
  • When Cultists Ask: A Handbook on Cultic Misinterpretations
  • When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook of Christian Evidences
  • Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe
  • Worlds Apart: A Handbook on World Views

Just the Encyclopedia of Apologetics alone sells for $34 at Amazon.

Click here if you would like to add to your cart with the discount.

I hope this new “fad” catches on!

David Platt is the 30 year old pastor of the Church at Brook Hills, a growing congregation in Birmingham, Alabama. He was recently interviewed by Collin Hansen in Christianity Today, and his remarks are very encouraging. It’s obvious from his sermons and from this interview that Platt loves the Word of God, and that many young people are hungry for it.

Hansen: All good evangelicals affirm the centrality of the Word. Still, we have a severe problem of biblical illiteracy. How do we go from knowing the Word is important to knowing what the Word actually says?

Platt: [Churches] have severely dumbed down the Word, and shown a lack of trust in the sufficiency of the Word in the way we preach. We find it necessary to supplement it with entertaining stories and quips or good practical advice for living the Christian life that are not based in the Word. This deficiency transfers into people content with a little “Word for the Day,” in a devotional book at best, as opposed to deep knowledge of Scripture.

We’re trying to hit at the problem from a variety of angles at Brook Hills. First of all, in worship we’re quoting the Word, singing the Word, and engaging in intensive study. We’ll study 55 minutes to an hour. We try to really saturate the community of faith with the Word when we gather together.

I go to other places, such as house churches in Asia, and they study for 11 or 12 hours, knowing they risk their lives. They’ll dive in deep. We came back and tried to do something similar here. We call it secret church and do it a couple times a year. We gather together for intensive study with no frills, nothing flashy, no entertainment value. The first time, about 1,000 showed up. We studied Old Testament overview from 6 p.m. to midnight, but usually it goes longer, supplemented by times in prayer for the persecuted church. It’s all ages, but the predominant demographic is college students and young singles. It’s grown to the point where we need to offer tickets at $5 for reservations and the cost of a study guide. We’ll do it again in October with 2,500 folks. It’s theological in nature. We’ve done a night on the Atonement, another on the doctrine of God. This time we’re doing spiritual warfare. It’s one of my favorite sights as a pastor to look out at 12:30 a.m. and see a room full of 2,500 people, their Bibles open, soaking it in.

Could this return to Scripture and doctrine, accompanied by prayer, be the beginning of a new revival in our day? How encouraging to see this young pastor of a growing church emphasize deep Bible study and exposition. As far as mega-church fads go, I hope this one catches on in more American churches!

The blog of Stephen Jones