Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Going to Carolina (and Back)

Dear Friends and Followers of Jordan's View:

I attended a couple of conferences these past weeks, and I am currently in Clayton, North Carolina, visiting with my wife's family. We plan to hit the road today as we head back to New York, hopefully feeling well enough to get together for Thanksgiving with my family.

Both conferences were really helpful and have challenged me to get serious in my walk. They both featured excellent teaching and well-prepared messages. The first was my church's annual retreat, which was held at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference in Harvey Cedars, NJ the weekend of November 9th. I had the privilege of being on the song leading and worship team for this conference. The energetic speaker, Dennis Newell, exhibited passion and dead earnestness yet, at the same time, very pointed humor, as he gave a hard-hitting 5-part series of messages on discipleship. You can listen to these messages and also view some photos from the retreat, via this link.

The second conference I attended (last Friday-Saturday) was titled "The Truth War- Contending Earnestly for the Faith". It was the 2nd annual Fall Pastor's Conference, of Reformation Truth Ministries (a ministry branch of Springs of Life Church in Durham, NC). The conference was held within the Springs of Life church, which is a little more than an hour's drive from where my wife and I were staying in Clayton (however, I attended the conference solo).

It was a great treat to hear in person two reformed teachers I have been following for some time, have learned from and admire greatly. "Pyromaniac" Phil Johnson, one of my favorite bloggers, gave several messages about defending the faith handed down to us by the apostles in the context of today's postmodern society. James White, the sharp reformed apologist and debater of Alpha and Omega Ministries, was fresh from a debate the night before with an Islamic apologist. He spoke on the challenges of Islam, as well as the reliability of the New Testament documents, an issue which he emphasizes is already a central object of attack in "truth war".

I wasn't familiar with the third speaker, pastor Andy Davis of First Baptist Church in Durham, but found his messages equally impressive in quality and gravity. It was reported, by pastor and master of ceremonies Stan Geyer, that Mr. Davis has memorized the entire New Testament; Andy's command of Scripture was clearly evident during his presentations. Mr. Davis also generously provided a free, small volume on Scripture memorization technique afterward. All the talks, as well as a question and answer session, were recorded, and will be available for purchase as a set.

I had the chance to introduce myself to Phil Johnson and his wife, but unfortunately, didn't avail myself of the opportunity to introduce myself to the other speakers, James White and Andy Davis, being that I was engaged in getting to know other attendees. Those participating included many pastors and elders, as well as some, like myself, who are in training for further leadership. I also briefly spoke with the event's worship leader, Geof Kimber, who intrigued me, especially because he combines in his edifying ministry some of the same talents I hope to also combine in future ministry (musician/songwriter, author, teacher). I intend on staying in touch with him, as well as some of the other men I met there.

Our hosts, David and Linette Price, were very hospitable and accommodating, even as we brought our little terrorist cat Pooky along. David is also a wonderful cook! Our six month old kitten Pooky (also known more formally as Priscilla) set out to dominate the other cats in the Price home from the moment we stepped in, and was successful with her intimidating tactics of growls and hissing. Faith and I joked that our "only child" was really embarrassing her parents by her rude behavior in front of company. I had momentary fantasies of leaving her out here in NC, but she's too darn cute and anyway, they've already got 5 cats to contend with.

Ellen and Emily are sure growing up fast and are sharp as nails (I found this out especially when they strategically whooped me when we played a game of "Life"). We also saw briefly Nicole, (my wife Faith's half-sister), Nicole's two year old, Blaise and significant other, Sanden. Nice folks all. Unfortunately we'll miss Carol Jean, my wife's aunt, who is visiting here for Thanksgiving but doesn't arrive till tomorrow.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Reactions from the Christian Blogosphere to Obama Election

[UPDATE 11-9-08: La Shawn Barber also has a great take on the Obama win. I agree with her assessment. In my opinion there's a "black and white" conclusion to the matter of whether Obama was/is the right choice for President-- he's not. But, we've got him anyway. Read Barack Obama’s Post-Racial Delusion.]

After Obama won Tuesday I had intended to post an immediate blog response titled, "The Morning After: A Bitter Pill to Swallow." But now that a couple of days have passed, I'll forgo writing a response with that clever but perhaps too reactive title. I think I need to reflect more before I say anything else about Obama's election.

In the meantime I have been reading various Christian responses to the election from around the blogosphere. I think there have been some helpful, edifying and sometimes eloquent thoughts expressed.

One of the most powerful words comes from an African-American believer Eric Redmond, who chose to vote according to Christian principles, despite having reservations about John McCain and feeling the temptation as an African-American to join with many others in his community to support Obama. In casting his vote Redmond chose to be, as he says, "Christocentric" rather than "Afrocentric".

He writes:
I made two very difficult choices: First, I chose to vote rather than stay home. Second, I voted for lives of the unborn rather than for approval from the vast majority of my own ethnic community. The latter choice took the risk of being reproached for the name of Christ, for I only voted for life because of the fear of my Lord

Read the rest, Eric Redmond: "Living Soli Deo Gloria Under Obama"

Below, some other articles I think are challenging and raise good questions about how Christian evangelicals ought to proceed with an Obama administration soon to be in place. Notice different opinions about strategy being expressed; for example, between Scott Klusendorf and Phil Johnson.

Thoughts on the Day After an Historic Election by James White

America Has Chosen a President by Al Mohler

A Familiar Can of Worms-Why not both/and? A short diatribe in thirteen fourteen points
by Phil Johnson

President-Elect Obama by Kim Riddlebarger

Here is the King Whom You Have Asked For

Yes We Can...not really by Steve Camp

Stayin Alive: Pro-Life Advocacy in the Obama Era. An Interview with Scott Klusendorf

Monday, November 03, 2008

Countdown to Election 2008- Vote McCain

There is a "statistical dead-heat among born again Christians, with 45 per cent planning to vote for McCain and 43 per cent, for Obama" according to a Barna survey released last Wednesday.

This is truly shocking when one considers Obama's radically pro-abortion views and his liberal stance on so many issues. Obama's fervor to protect a woman's choice or right to abortion extends to voting against measures that would protect babies born alive after a failed abortion. If elected, he also plans on using the White House as a "bully pulpit" on behalf of homosexual causes.

As David Wheaton exclaims in his Final and Fervent Appeal to Christians, "have Christians lost their minds?!"

Apparently many evangelical Christians have bought into the idea that they ought not to be "single-issue" voters (translate: they should not stand firm on abortion). Instead, the spirit of being a true Christian means practicing a kinder, gentler form of Christianity. But what many overlook is that "kinder" and "gentler" are euphemisms for "tolerant", which in turn, means, one may not take a principled stand on biblical truth, because that means we're no longer being "loving". Well, in that case Jesus Christ Himself must have been a big hater, since He stood upon the truth of the Word of God and denounced those who were not teaching in line with the truth of Scripture with such phrases as "whitewashed tombs" and "You are of your father the devil!"

Christian "values voters" have proven themselves to be a formidable force in previous elections. Now, as much as ever, those who believe in America's Judeo-Christian heritage and who understand that it is the principles deriving from this heritage that made America the most free and prosperous nation the world has ever known, must vote wisely. And though McCain is not a perfect candidate, he is an infinitely better choice for those who believe in Judeo-Christian values than Barack Obama.

Do we value our freedoms, including liberty to worship and speak freely as Christians? On national security, is our greater need to be liked in the court of world opinion, or to be respected as a power that will repel our enemies from daring to attack us? There's a good reason our Islamic enemies want Obama to win-- they regard him as Muslim!

For the sake of the unborn, and for the sake of the Christian values we hold dear, read the resources below and recognize that Obama is not one to trust or place our hopes in. We trust in God alone, but a vote for McCain is wise because his positions on the sanctity of life and on marriage are in line with traditional Christian values, while Obama's positions on these issues are not.

Please, read these resources below if you're not yet convinced!

The Closing Argument By John Perazzo

The Choice (McCain) by the Editors of National Review Online

Sorry, But Obama Scares Me by Jonah Goldberg

Will Americans Really Vote to Fundamentally Transform America? by Dennis Prager

The Christian Case Against Barack Obama by Frank Pastore

The Christian Case Against Barack Obama, Part 1
The Christian Case Against Barack Obama, Part 2
The Christian Case Against Barack Obama, Part 3

Top Ten Reasons To Vote For John McCain by Daniel Jordan
Foolish Evangelicals by Daniel Jordan

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Don't Be Fooled by Obama

Update 11-2-08: More articles on election 2008:

Tuesday’s Choice More freedom and prosperity, or less?
By Deroy Murdock

Ego and Mouth by Thomas Sowell

Born Gay or a Gay Basher? No Excuse by Frank Turek

It's just days away from the election. And its outcome is far from certain, despite the impression one might get from media with its constant references to Obama's lead in the polls. Interestingly, although Obama has hugely outspent McCain on television advertising, as much as 20-1 in some states, the latest poll results show the race has tightened. For example, as of Friday, October 31, 2008, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll had Barack Obama with 51% of the vote and John McCain with 47%. An average of national polls also on Friday showed Obama with 48.8% and McCain with 41.6% of the vote.

Those who read this blog regularly know that it deals primarily with theological and cultural commentary, rather than politics. Nevertheless in these past few weeks I have felt compelled to bring attention to the presidential race, because I believe the stakes are high for America and for liberty.

Obama is clearly articulate and intelligent, but his views are far more liberal than that of most Americans. His vision of "change" is to turn America into a socialistic system like many in Europe. Abortion "rights" and gay "rights" will be high on his presidential agenda. He has pledged that his first act as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (to protect abortion rights), and that he will use the "bully pulpit" of the White House to promote homosexual causes.

For months Obama and his campaign have been treated with kid gloves by the media, which (except for Fox News) is clearly biased towards an Obama-Biden presidential win. Victor Davis Hanson of NRO brilliantly exposes this liberal media bias in "The End of Journalism".

As the above article shows, Obama flat-out lied to America when he reneged on his pledge to accept public financing for his presidential campaign if the Republican candidate also would do so. But the press left him alone for this, or applauded his act of political shrewdness.

Obama also attended a church for twenty years that was preaching "liberation theology" and the evils of white supremacy, and until recently, named the pastor of that church, Jeremiah Wright, as his spiritual mentor. But when it became no longer politically expedient to maintain his connection with Wright, Obama unceremoniously dumped him.

Similarly, Obama makes light of his relationship with unrepentant former terrorist Bill Ayers. However as the above article points out, up until 2005 Obama "was in communication with Bill Ayers by e-mail and phone, despite Ayers reprehensible braggadocio in 2001 that he remained an unrepentant terrorist." In 1997, Obama even wrote a positive review of an Ayer's book, "A Kind and Just Parent: Children of Juvenile Court," and the blurb of the review appears on the book's jacket.

We must be grateful then that the web allows many to research for themselves Obama's record, and to see documentation of his prevarication, political maneuvering and ever-evolving stand on various issues.

It is hard to fathom that so many Americans, just seven years after 9/11, are willing to entrust the Presidency to a man of such little executive experience, questionable associations and liberal an agenda as Mr. Obama. It seems that for many, a vote for Obama is an expression of deep dissatisfaction and frustration with the Bush administration. With so many listing the economy as their predominant concern, it seems there is not much of a stomach to continue the expensive war in Iraq. Yet such a view is shortsighted, as Charles Krauthammer reminds us in his endorsement of McCain:

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis -- indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?

So again I point you to more election 2008 resources below, to help you to make a wise decision come November 4th.

Joe the Vet Endorses McCain in YouTube's Most Popular Election Video

Don't Let the Polls Affect Your Vote
By Karl Rove

Top Ten Reasons Not to Vote for Obama
By Daniel Jordan

Sensibility: The Christian Pastor in the Age of Obama-mania and Why Evangelicals Love Him
by Bob Bixby

Can you be pro-life and vote for Obama?

The Tyranny of the Minority- How the Forced Recognition of Same-Sex “Marriage” Undermines a Free Society
By S. T. Karnick

Taxing Times- The economy is not a zero-sum game where someone gains what others lose
By Thomas Sowell

The True Meaning of 'Historic Vote'
By Daniel Henninger

Life of the New Party- A redistributionist success story
By Stanley Kurtz

Obama and the Politics of Crowds- The masses greeting the candidate on the trail are a sign of great unease
By Fouad Ajami

Why 'born-again' Christians are backing Obama
By Jim Brown

Obama's Leftism- The Democratic nominee is nowhere near as moderate as he sounds
By Joshua Muravchik

McCain for President, Part I
McCain for President, Part II
By Charles Krauthammer

The Silencing of Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright
By Paul Kengor