I have been in family ministry for nearly 38 years, and in that period of time I have seldom written an urgent letter in which I asked for contributions. During the early days at Focus on the Family, where I was to labor for 33 years, I promised the Lord that I would pour my life into the ministry without taking a salary. However, I asked Him not to require me to raise money. I hate it. I am not good at it, and it interferes with the work I feel called to do. That prayer was answered, and I have seldom asked anyone to give, except for brief reminders of how we are supported.
There have been a few exceptions. On rare occasions when financial needs became urgent, I explained our circumstances to those who seemed to want to know, and then left it to our friends to decide what to do.
I followed that policy throughout my tenure at Focus, and have continued it for these five years at Family Talk.
It so happens that now is one of those unusual times when the need is more pressing. I wonder if other ministries are also experiencing a financial shortfall. In essence, the contributions to Family Talk have fallen dramatically and inexplicably in recent months, and we find ourselves in mid-summer with a significant shortage of operating funds.
Speaking again only to those who are able to give and want to help, I share this situation. If you are among those caring people, this would be a good time to extend your hand to us. If we can get through July, August and September, the ministry of Family Talk will be able to continue its work on behalf of families and the cause of righteousness in the culture. Thank you for considering this request. Enough said.
Now, let me move on to a concern that hangs very heavily on my heart. I wrote in May to ask for prayer about the Supreme Court’s apparent determination to redefine marriage. If the Justices are foolish enough to do that, the family as it has been known and honored in law and custom for more than 5,000 years will be devastated. Believe me, this is what looms ahead.
The rationale for redefining marriage is supposedly to end “discrimination” against those who perceive themselves to be victims. In order to correct that wrong, if indeed it is wrong, we have to ask who is the loser in that reconfiguration? I submit to you that it is America’s children and generations of children to come.
Let me share excerpts from a significant article written by Bill Muehlenberg, operator of a web-based ministry and editor of CultureWatch. He has addressed the recent vote by 62 percent of the people of Ireland who redefined marriage to include same-sex unions. The author describes the inevitable consequences of such a radical social experiment:
The West’s Hatred of Children—and Families
The first thing that entered my mind when the Irish decided to commit national suicide by voting for the destruction of marriage was: “As in the days of Noah . . .” Back then, evil became so pronounced, so widespread, and so terrible, that only a handful of people were spared the just judgment of God.
The West is in no better condition today. It has declared war on marriage, on family, and on children.
In doing so, of course, it has declared war on God. How much longer the West can survive is a moot point. But it is no longer a question of if it will perish, but when.
One of the greatest evils in the recent Irish vote, of course, was the total disdain shown to the children. They have been denied the fundamental human right to be raised by their own mother and father. This is nothing less than child abuse. In my several books on homosexuality, I document thoroughly how children suffer in such circumstances. Others, of course, recognize these basic truths as well.
(Muehlenberg quotes David van Gend of the Australian Marriage Forum, as follows:)
“A constitutional right to same-sex marriage means a constitutional right to same-sex adoption
and surrogacy, and that means motherless and fatherless families are now enshrined as an ideal in the
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the vote was ‘Yes to love’ - but there are children who will never know the love of their mother because of Friday’s constitutional amendment. He said it was ‘Yes to inclusion’ – but it deliberately excludes children of same-sex couples from ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society,’ which is how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the trinity of mother, father and child.
If equality for gay adults means inequality for kids, where is the justice in that? If removing spurious discrimination against gay adults means imposing genuine discrimination on children who are deliberately deprived of a mother or a father, what is the reason to celebrate? . . .”
(Muehlenberg quotes Irish commentator, Brenda O’Brien:)
“We are giving the status of marriage, superior and antecedent to all positive law, to a family that can only bring new children into the world through surrogacy, egg donation or sperm donation. We have damaged irreparably the connection between marriage and a child’s right to know and be cared for by the two people who each give them half of their biological, social and familial identity.
Sure, reproductive technologies are used anyway, but before May 22nd, no one could say that the Irish people voted to affirm in our Constitution something that inevitably separates children from half their genetic heritage and one half of their relations. Some day, there will be a young Irish woman wandering the streets of Copenhagen. She will have been raised by her lesbian mother and her partner, both of whom she loves dearly, and who are great mothers.
But she also has a deep longing to know the other half of herself, her father, and simple things like whether she got her love for music or the shape of her hands from him. All she knows is her father was a Danish sperm donor. She has no idea how many half-siblings she has. She is in contact online with other sperm donor children, some of whom have 150 half-siblings. Her father’s address, given when he sold his sperm, is long out of date. So she wanders, looking at Danish faces, wondering, is that man my sperm donor father? Could that be a half-sibling?
It would have happened anyway, regardless of the amendment. But she also has to deal with the crushing fact that in 2015, her fellow Irish citizens voted for it and affirmed this arrangement that deprived her of half her identity. They voted that it was natural, primary and fundamental, and enshrined it into the Constitution.
These are not comfortable realities. We may want to banish people who disturb the dominant narratives, but certain truths cannot be wished away.”
It is not just children who suffer, but the very notion of families – including motherhood and fatherhood. Even radical feminists like Germaine Greer have entered into the debate.
Germaine Greer has reportedly accused singer Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, of “deconstructing the concept of motherhood.” The men are parents to sons Zachary, 4, and Elijah, 2, who were both born to a surrogate. Referring to the fact that Furnish is listed on the birth certificates as the children’s mother, Greer, who was speaking at the Hay Festival, said:
“Sometimes I think that really the problem is the concept of motherhood, which we can’t give any real structure to. Sir Elton John and his ‘wife,’ David Furnish, have entered on the birth certificate of their two sons that David Furnish is the mother. I’m sorry. That will give you an idea of how the concept of motherhood has emptied out. It’s gone. It’s been deconstructed ..."
While it is good to see the left implode and resort to attacking one another, in the meantime the children continue to suffer. And as expected, the left in Australia has jumped on board, demanding, for the umpteenth time the “right” to sodomy-based marriage here . . .
It is a war of attrition: they keep hammering away, believing that eventually they will wear down those still concerned about the wellbeing of children and family. And coercion and intimidation seem to be the only way the other side operates here.
(Muehlenberg quotes Miranda Devine:)
“The intimidation and silencing of contrary voices in the same-sex marriage debate is despicable and desperate . . . Rather than shutting down debate and forcing an outcome by intimidation and exhaustion, Australian same-sex advocates need to make the case for why redefining marriage to disconnect it from children would make society better and not worse . . .”
All over the West, we find adults who are completely obsessed with their own selfish lusts and wants. They do not give a rip about the wellbeing of children and the social good. It is only the instant gratification of their own desires that matters.
In the past, we rightly censured and condemned such utterly selfish and juvenile behaviour. Now we honour and champion it, and even have entire political parties devoted to it. When a culture declares war on its own children, then you know we are nearing the end of all things. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once put it, “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”[i]
Muehlenberg’s article about the Irish vote to destroy marriage is a good example of moral decline on an international scale. “As in the days of Noah,” the wickedness continues to escalate. Is that an accurate depiction of our day? I believe it is. Even Christian politicians are beginning to worry about it.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, was recently interviewed by David Brody, from the Christian Broadcasting Network. Brody asked, “Does your deep faith drive public policy decisions on social issues like traditional marriage?”
Rubio replied, “We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech, because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater. So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that teachings of mainstream Christianity, the Church, is hate speech, and that’s a real and present danger.”[ii]
Yes, a war on Christians, their leaders and churches, is already underway. It will increasingly involve the courts and law enforcement. That likelihood was admitted by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who was asked by Justice Samuel Alito regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage, ". . . would the same apply to a university or college if it opposed same-sex marriage?" Verrilli said, “You know, I – I don't think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it's certainly going to be an issue. I – I don't deny that. It is – it is going to be an issue.” [iii], [iv]
Unless there is a spiritual renewal among the American people that leads to a widespread defense of religious liberty, expression of Christian faith will become increasingly illegal.
Wake up, America! Have the courage to defend your deeply held beliefs. To remain silent is to lose those freedoms.
Sincerely in Christ,
[iv] Transcript of oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on April 28, 2015. http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/14-556q1_7l48.pdf
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