Archives For Jesse Johnson

If Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood are the face of the pro-abortion movement, then there may yet be hope that this is the last generation for legal abortion in the United States.

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First some background: Yesterday the 5th-Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and allowed Texas’ new restrictions on abortions to remain in effect. This case will certainly be heard by the US Supreme Court, and is probably the most significant case in the struggle to end legal abortion.   Continue Reading…

If we can agree that the goal of the Christian life is to glorify God as much as is possible, then there really is only one natural question: what is the single most God-glorifying action a Christian can do?

Some may argue that all elements of a Christians life, such as prayer, fasting, worship, parenting, sanctification, etc.,  are equally important. But I disagree. While all spiritual disciplines are interconnected—if your prayer time falters, so do your affections for Jesus, and then your sanctification falters, and then you sin—they are not all equal. I argue that evangelism is the single most important action for a Christian, and I measure importance by the way an action glorifies God. Pastor MacArthur has often said “nothing so much glorifies God as his gracious redemption of hell bound sinners,” and if the chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God, nothing glorifies God as effectively as evangelism.

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February 27, 2014

SSM round-up

by Jesse Johnson

Yesterday I wrote about three obvious questions from the recent scrap about gay marriage. Today’s post is for those that have been sleeping for the past week and missed the controversy all together.  If you suffer from gay-marriage-controversy overload, you may have missed the newest twists and turns, which is a shame because you missed some really good writing.  Today I want to give a round-up of what others have written, and direct you to some of the better posts on this issue.

But first a little history: in the past few months gay “marriage” has been legalized in 17 states. Most of these saw marriage legalized by judges, and a few saw the turn at the ballot box. Since then there has been a tidal wave of additional lawsuits in the remaining 33 states that ban it. Every indicator is that those bans will fall as well.

In the meantime, some same-sex couples have sued bakers, photographers, and florists who have declined to provide their services to gay weddings. Denny Burk has a powerful article detailing one of those examples.  The gist is that the florist served a couple she knew to be homosexual for almost ten years, and she considered them to be her friends. They then asked her business to provide flowers for their wedding, she refused, and was reported to the state, who filed suit against her (I wrote about these cases here).

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Plodding through the news this week has been an attempt in both Arizona and Kansas to pass laws that specifically protect business owners from being forced to sell their services to celebrate gay “marriage” ceremonies.

Some Christians have quickly distanced themselves from these laws (Andy Stanley, Jonathan Merritt, Kirsten Powers), while the media has shown that, as a general rule, it lacks even a rudimentary understanding of what is at stake here. The net result is that anyone who doesn’t have a firm grasp on the Bible’s teaching about this issue is being swept up in the tide of public opinion. So swift is the tide that even the senators who voted for the law in Arizona a few weeks ago are now publically renouncing their “yes” vote and asking the governor to veto it.

There are really three practical questions for Christians to wrestle through here:  Continue Reading…

February 14, 2014

The school of snow

by Jesse Johnson
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Image from createdsign.com

Yesterday much of the US woke up to a winter wonderland. Sheets of snow fell in the night—at my house we got over a foot. School was canceled and the ground was covered. For some people (like Canadians) this is normal. But for many cities, this was extremely unusual.

Have you ever wondered why it snows? I’m not talking about the hydrological reasons. I get that water freezes at a certain temperature, and that granular ice particles form and if the atmospheric pressure and ground temperature match some sort of range, voilá! Snow. But at a more basic level, why did God design a world in which it snows? What is snow designed to teach us? There are two major lessons from the school of snow:   Continue Reading…

I’m sure you’ve heard the argument: A Christian who refuses to support  same-sex marriage is like a business owner in the segregated South who refused to serve black people. If you refuse to use your skill to profit off something that you find sinful, so the argument goes, are you not exactly like those businesses that turned African-Americans away?

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Here are two real-life examples: there was a baker in Oregon who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The Oregon Labor Commission found that this was illegal discrimination. The baker was forced to go out of business, or face fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He ended up closing his doors.

Then there was the photographer in New Mexico who was asked to shoot a same-sex wedding. She refused, basically saying because she thought the marriage was sinful, she was not sure her pictures would present the ceremony in the best light, so to speak (she in turn recommended other photographers who could do the wedding). The New Mexico Supreme Court found her guilty of “human rights violations” by discriminating.

By refusing to promote the same-sex weddings, are these businesses discriminating illegally? Well—yes. At least according to the Supreme Court in New Mexico and the Labor Commission in Oregon. But is this morally the same thing as those who discriminated against people on the basis of skin color? Absolutely not. Here are three reasons why:   Continue Reading…