Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Heart of Following Jesus

"This is the heart of following Jesus: enjoying God as Father through Christ the Son. And when this is a reality in your life, then your reason for living is utterly revolutionized."

 -- David Platt, 'Follow Me'

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Whatever Happened to the Wrath of God?"

from the "Washington Post" (online)

"Whatever happened to the wrath of God?"
By Russell D. Moore, Published: July 30 at 11:59 am

Talk about the “wrath of God” kindles all sorts of images in the minds of contemporary Americans. Some immediately think of a powdered-wig Puritan, preaching about sinners dangling over hell as a spider over a flame. Some conceive of a hellfire-and-brimstone revivalist warning sinners to repent or perish. And some picture an angry cult group, protesting with signs announcing whomever God is said to hate that day.

But as distant as the wrath of God seems from our talk, just imagine singing about it.
At “On the Square,” the web commentary of the conservative Christian journal First Things, evangelical historian Timothy George notes a recent dust-up in the Presbyterian Church (USA) as the mainline denomination’s hymn selection committee decided to leave the popular contemporary hymn “In Christ Alone” out of the church’s hymnal.

At issue was the song’s use of language about the wrath of God in relation to the atonement. The hymn’s writers, Keith and Kristen Getty, composed the hymn to include the words, “And on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied…”

George rightly notes that revisionist hymns are nothing new, and neither is controversy over whether God is, or ever could be, wrathful. And George also demonstrates that the Christian church, even with all our debates about the central meaning of the atonement, includes a hearty affirmation that God is Judge. To ditch the wrath of God is to toss aside something essential to the mission of Christ. He also points out that God’s wrath shouldn’t be seen as a temper tantrum to be appeased, much less some sort of cosmic child abuse, but is instead a crucial aspect of what it means to say God loves.
I agree.

But one might ask, why should we sing about it? After all, there are all sorts of things Christians affirm that we don’t sing. There aren’t many hymns about the impassability of God, or the impeccability of Christ, or other theological fine-points, are there?

As an evangelical, I would argue that it’s necessary to sing about the wrath of God because we are singing not just from and to our minds, but to and from our consciences. There’s a reason why evangelical congregations reach a kind of crescendo when they sing out that line in the Gettys’ song. It’s not because, per the caricature, we see ourselves as a “moral majority” affirming our righteousness over and against the “sinners” on the other side of the culture war.

Instead, it’s just the reverse. When Christians sing about the wrath of God, we are singing about ourselves. Our consciences point us to the truth that, left to ourselves, we are undone. We’re not smarter or more moral than anyone else. And God would be just to turn us over to the path we would want to go—a path that leads to death. It is only because Jesus lived a life for us, and underwent the curse we deserve, that we stand before God. The grace of God we sing about is amazing precisely because God is just, and won’t, like a renegade judge, simply overlook evil
Persons from other traditions will, of course, disagree with us about whether there is a God, whether he is loving and/or wrathful, and whether or not the Gospel is true. But Americans should recognize that the wrath of God isn’t some innovation by a tiny band of fundamentalists. American history is embedded with talk—and music—about the wrath of God.

The Civil War-era hymn “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” after all, is far more direct in its wrath of God imagery than any hymn rejected by the Presbyterians. God is “trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,” we sing. God is, in this American hymn, wielding a “terrible, swift sword” against injustice. Why is this important? It’s because the Americans singing the song were reminding themselves that slavery isn’t just a matter of regional conflict, but a matter of moral accountability, an accountability that transcends political caprice.

Likewise, the Civil Rights movement grounded its non-violent resistance to Jim Crow wickedness with language about the wrath of God. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the fire hoses and dog attacks of the Alabama police forces by saying, “We will leave them standing before their God and the world splattered with the blood and reeking with the stench of our Negro brothers.” King was pointing a professing Christian populace to a judgment seat.

He was saying what Odetta would sing to the terrorist forces of the Ku Klux Klan and their allies, “You may run on for a long time, lemme tell you, God Almighty gonna cut you down.”
I’m hardly one to tell Presbyterians what they ought to have in their hymnals. But the Gospel is good news for Christians because it tells us of a God of both love and justice. The wrath of God doesn’t cause us to cower, or to judge our neighbors. It ought to prompt us to see ourselves as recipients of mercy, and as those who will one day give an account.

If that’s true, let’s sing it.

-- Russell D. Moore
"Washington Post" -- 'On Faith'

Monday, July 29, 2013

"The Wrath of God as an Aspect of the Love of God"

'The fourth way in which God’s wrath is muted is that found in the majority of Western evangelical churches today. The wrath of God is not denied and is indeed given formal recognition. But in practice it is neglected. In preaching and teaching it is ignored, largely or totally. “Those who still believe in the wrath of God . . . say little about it. . . . The fact is that the subject of divine wrath has become taboo in modern society, and Christians by and large have accepted the taboo and conditioned themselves never to raise the matter.”57 This is a very serious matter, for, as Brunner comments, “a theology which uses the language of Christianity can be tested by its attitude towards the Biblical doctrine of the wrath of God, whether it means what the words of Scripture say. Where the idea of the wrath of God is ignored there also will there be no understanding of the central conception of the Gospel: the uniqueness of the revelation in the Mediator.”58 More simply, “only he who knows the greatness of wrath will be mastered by the greatness of mercy.”59'

-- Tony Lane, "The Wrath of God as an Aspect of the Love of God"

"No Squishy Love"

An excellent, timely essay from Timothy George, appearing in "First Things" (online):

In his 1934 book, The Kingdom of God in America, H. Richard Niebuhr depicted the creed of liberal Protestant theology, which was called “modernism” in those days, in these famous words: "A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Niebuhr was no fundamentalist, but he knew what he was talking about. So did Dietrich Bonhoeffer when he named the kind of mainline religion he encountered in 1930s America: Protestantismus ohne Reformation, “Protestantism without the Reformation.”

Sin, judgment, cross, even Christ have become problematic terms in much contemporary theological discourse, but nothing so irritates and confounds as the idea of divine wrath. Recently, the wrath of God became a point of controversy in the decision of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song to exclude from its new hymnal the much-loved song "In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.  The Committee wanted to include this song because it is being sung in many churches, Presbyterian and otherwise, but they could not abide this line from the third stanza: "Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied." For this they wanted to substitute: "…as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified." The authors of the hymn insisted on the original wording, and the Committee voted nine to six that "In Christ Alone" would not be among the eight hundred or so items in their new hymnal. Timothy George

Modifying hymn lyrics to suit one's taste, of course, is nothing new. The Nestorians in the early church refused to sing Theotokos, preferring the less offensive Christotokos, in their Marian liturgy. More recently, the Universalist leader Kenneth L. Patton kept the "Ein Feste Burg" tune by Martin Luther but replaced "A mighty fortress is our God" with "Man is the earth upright and proud." And then there is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which sings—and quite beautifully I might add—the Reginald Heber hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" to the tune of "Nicaea" (!!) but in the first and last stanza changes "God in three persons, blessed Trinity" to "God in thy glory through eternity."

Those who treat the wrath of God as taboo, whether in sermons or hymns, stand in a long lineage too, one that includes Albrecht Ritschl, Faustus Socinus, and the unnamed revisionists in the second century who followed the heretic Marcion.  According to Tertullian, they said that "a better god has been discovered, one who is neither offended nor angry nor inflicts punishment, who has no fire warming up in hell, and no outer darkness wherein there is shuddering and gnashing of teeth: he is merely kind."  The lure of such a gospel is unmistakable—it explains why neo-Marcionism (God’s wrath in the Old Testament, his love in the New) is still flourishing today not only in popular piety but also among guilded scholars of religion.

Why do many Christians shrink from any thought of the wrath of God?  R.P.C. Hanson has said that many preachers today deal with God's wrath the way the Victorians handled sex, treating it as something a bit shameful, embarrassing, and best left in the closet. The result is a less than fully biblical construal of who God is and what he has done, especially in the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, just prior to his election as pope, seems to have had this concern in mind in his 2005 Good Friday meditations.  One of his texts was Lamentations 3:1-2, "I am a man sorely afflicted under the rod of his wrath." The future pope applied this prophecy to Christ and his sufferings on the cross, which reveals both the gravity of sin and the seriousness of judgment. "Can it be," asked Ratzinger, "that, despite all of our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering, we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and quietly set aside the word of judgment?  Yet as we contemplate the suffering of the Son, we see more clearly the seriousness of sin, and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome."

However we account for the work of Christ on the cross—and none of our atonement theories is adequate to explain fully so profound a reality—it surely means this:  that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and that this event involved his purposeful “handing over” and “delivering up” of his Son to a cursed-filled death at the Skull Place outside the gates of Jerusalem (2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 8:32; Acts 2:23).  As the early Christians understood Isaiah 53:4-5, Christ was pierced there for our transgressions, smitten by God and afflicted.  But far from being a tragic bystander, Christ made there what the Book of Common Prayer calls “a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.”  To quote another hymn, not so much in vogue these days, “Bearing shame and scoffing rude/In my place condemned he stood.”  The full New Testament teaching about the cross involves both expiation, which means providing a covering for sin, and propitiation, which means averting divine judgment.  The semantic range of the Greek words hilasmos/hilasterion includes both meanings.  That is why the wrath of God cannot be brushed out of the story without remainder.

The problem comes when we use an anthropopathic term like "wrath" and apply it univocally to the God of eternity. Before long, we have constructed "a god who looks like me," to use the title of a recent book of feminist theology.  Then caricatures of divine wrath proliferate:  God having a temper tantrum or acting like a big bully who needs to be “appeased” before he can forgive or, as is often alleged with reference to the atonement, practicing cosmic child abuse.

But God’s ways are not our ways, and God’s wrath is not like our wrath. Indeed, in his brilliant essay, “The Wrath of God as an Aspect of the Love of God,” British scholar Tony Lane explains that "the love of God implies his wrath. Without his wrath God simply does not love in the sense that the Bible portrays his love." God's love is not sentimental; it is holy. It is tender, but not squishy.  It involves not only compassion, kindness, and mercy beyond measure (what the New Testament calls grace) but also indignation against injustice and unremitting opposition to all that is evil.

Even though you can't find "In Christ Alone" in the new Presbyterian hymnal, you won't have any trouble hearing it sung in numerous churches all over the world. In fact, you can listen to it right now by clicking this link. Keith Getty and his wife Kristyn belong to a new breed of contemporary hymnists who want their music to reflect the reality of a full-sized God, the awesome God of holiness and love.

Robert Murray McCheyne must have also had this in mind when he wrote the great hymn, “When This Passing World Is Done,” in 1837:

       Chosen not for good in me,

          Wakened up from wrath to flee,

       Hidden in the Savior's side,

           By the Spirit sanctified,

        Teach me Lord on earth to show,

            By my love how much I owe.

Timothy George is dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. His email address is

-- from "First Things" online

Alive to God and His Word

When a person is truly ‘born again,’ the Holy Spirit causes him or her to become alive (responsive) to God and to his saving, transforming, fruit-producing Word -- beginning with and centered in the Gospel. (John 3:1-9, 16; Titus 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:22-25…)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Scandal of the Doctrine of the New Birth

“It is a noteworthy and striking fact that no doctrine has excited such surprise in every age of the Church and has called forth so much opposition from the great and learned as this very doctrine of the new birth.  The men of the present day who sneer at conversions and revivals as fanaticism are no better than Nicodemus.  Like him, they expose their own entire ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit.”

-- J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John 1:1-10:9 (Grand Rapids, n.d.), page 139.  Style updated.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

When a Person Has Truly Been Born Again....

"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."  1 John 5:1

Preaching on this verse in 1694, John Howe described what it looks like for a person to be “born of God,” that is, regenerate:

“. . . a mighty power from God coming upon their souls, conforming them to God, addicting them to God, uniting them with God, making them to center in God, taking them off from all this world. . . . It is a great thing to be a Christian!”

-- Edmund Calamy, editor, "The Works of the Rev. John Howe" (London, 1846), page 896

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Apart from the new birth...."

"Apart from the new birth, we are unable to come to Christ or
embrace him as Lord (John 6:44, 65; 1 Cor. 12:3).

"In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul declares, 'No one can say "Jesus is
Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.' He doesn’t mean that an actor
on a stage, or a hypocrite in a church, cannot say the words
“Jesus is Lord” without the Holy Spirit. He means that no one
can say it and mean it without being born of the Spirit. It is
morally impossible for the dead, dark, hard, resistant heart to
celebrate the Lordship of Jesus over his life without being born

 -- John Piper, "Finally Alive"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"When he stops tinkering with his soul...."

"While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves — blessed riddance. The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very thing he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him."

— A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"...Hard to be a nihilist with a two-year-old..."

“…a feeling of irritation characterizes postmodern life in the West. Certitude is in short supply. Despite this set of conditions, thoroughgoing nihilism, both intuitively and practically, seems to be very difficult to practice. Not even Nietzsche managed to do it! I remember several years ago when US National Public Radio host Renee Montagne noted with incredulity during an interview that rock performer David Bowie’s 2002 album actually had the theme of hope, in contrast to the starkness and bleakness of Bowie’s previous recording catalog.

"The artist responded with a reference to the then fifty-five-year-old’s young family: 'I think I have to imbue my songs with a certain sense of optimism now, more than I ever did before, because I have a child.' Indeed, it is very difficult being a nihilist with a two-year-old running around the house. Optimism, hope, and love: these are categories that are metaphysical in nature. They speak of transcendence and the permanence of things beyond the mere physicality of the world."

-- Gregory Alan Thornbury “Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry” (Crossway)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How God Publishes His Holy Will....

"The greatest witness to the truth of an inspired and inerrant Bible will be a loving, gospel-motivated church engaged with the concerns, ails, joys, and sorrows of the planet around them. Thus, 'God will finally publish his holy will not simply in inspired books, but also in the lives of all the redeemed, even as he already has done in the person of the incarnate Jesus.'"

-- Gregory Alan Thornbury, quoting Carl Henry in "Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry". (Crossway)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Joy....even when you have a bloody nose

"The amount which you understand the gospel is measured by your ability to be joyful in all circumstances. If you grasp what a treasure the presence and acceptance of God are, then even when life goes really wrong you will have a joy that sustains you, because you’ll recognize the value of what you have in Him. When life punches you in the face, you’ll say, ‘But I still have the love and acceptance of God, a treasure I don’t deserve.’ And the joy you find in that treasure can make you rejoice even when you have a bloody nose. You have a joy that death and deprivation cannot touch."

— J. D. Greear
"Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary"
(Nashville, Tn.: B & H Publishing, 2011), 81

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Citizenship, Allegiance, and the Kingdom of God

Today at a friend’s naturalization ceremony, as he became a citizen of the United States, I was struck by how the language of the Oath of Citizenship reminded me of key themes from recent preaching from Pastor Ben (from Titus 2:11-15) and from me (from Rom. 6:17-22) about the what it means to become, and then live as, a Christian.

"I hereby declare [cp. Rom. 10:9, “If you confess/declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’….”], on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure [“solemnly reject” Titus 2:11 -- ] all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen (Rom. 6:17ff. Colossians 1:13-14) …. The pledge goes on to speak of the citizen’s new commitment to “bear faith and allegiance to the Constitution” (compare again Rom. 6:17, and Matt. 28:18-19) and speak of the “service” (1 Thess. 1:9) that he or she will render to the citizen’s new nation….. Phil. 3:20.

The oath ended with a phrase that is entirely relevant to the believer in Christ: “so help me God.” (1 Thess. 5:23-24)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What does it mean to call Jesus, "Lord"?

Strange as it may seem, a few Christian teachers assert that 'confessing Jesus as Lord' (e.g., Rom. 10:9) doesn't mean acknowledging and submitting to his authority, but only means believing in his Deity. But I think it's clear that Jesus' own words contradict such a notion, for he himself asked, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46, compare verses 47-49). So, for yet another reason, we affirm once again, to be a Christian is to be a person committed to comprehensive obedience to Jesus, via his Word.

One more point worth making: I'm not sure why affirming that Jesus is God wouldn't also entail acknowledging/submitting to his authority!

Monday, July 15, 2013

How Conversion Happens

“The subjective means of conversion is what the sinner is called upon to do in repenting, believing, and acting upon the promised forgiveness in Christ. It is all that God accomplishes within the person to enable him or her to overcome the pressures of unbelief, to begin centering upon the invisible and eternal realities of God despite the contention of a multitude of distractions, to struggle for self-denial against inbred self-assertion. In short, it is all that moves us from being unbelievers to becoming believers.” -- David Wells, "Turning to God"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Christians...Slaves of God

“A person has been converted -- saved (has become a Christian) -- when the message of the Gospel has led him or her to be realigned away from their sin and toward God, turning to Christ in faith (belief/trust/confidence) and repentance (new allegiance), so that they, from then on, habitually respond to Jesus as Savior and Lord, manifesting the ‘obedience of faith’ (following, living, worshiping and working as his slave/doulos), and committing to live in obedience to everything Christ commands in every sphere of life, in accordance with the Scriptures.”

(Matt. 28:18-19; Romans 6:17-23; 1 Thess. 1:9; Acts 11:26; 26:20; Rom. 1:5; 16:26; Eph. 5:5; Col. 1:13-14; 1 John 2:3-6)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Work as a part of Paradise

Tim Keller on how work is a blessing: "The fact that God put work in paradise is startling to us because we so often think of work as a necessary evil or even punishment. Yet we do not see work brought into our human story after the fall of Adam, as part of the resulting brokenness and curse; it is part of the blessedness of the garden of God."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Do You Do with Temptation?

"Do we struggle with sin? Yes. Is temptation a sin? No. What distinguishes temptation from sin? Temptation clobbers you from the outside and lures you to do its bidding. Sin makes temptation a house pet, gets it a collar and leash, and is deceived to believe that it can be restrained by impositions of civility. What you do with temptation reveals Who owns your heart." -- Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jesus is not another Moses

"There prevails still a subtle form of legalism which would rob the Saviour of his crown of glory, earned by the cross, and would make of him a second Moses, offering us the stones of the law instead of the life-bread of the gospel."

— Geerhardus Vos
"Grace & Glory"
(Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994), 102

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Modern Hymns, Choruses and NPR"

Here's an excerpt from a good blog post regarding worship music:

 "Regardless of historical influence or cultural contextualization, the songs of the church must be gospel-infused. Whether the songs we sing are simple and few on words, or have much to say should not be the primary concern. The lyrical influence of the songs we sing must be formed and informed by the Word of God. In congregational worship, style is the servant of substance. The great themes of our faith must be clearly heralded faithfully and intentionally."

For the entire article, click here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

C.S. Lewis on Resisting Temptation

"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later." -- C.S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity"

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Disillusioned by Your Friends?

"Thus the very hour of disillusionment with my brother becomes incomparably salutary, because it so thoroughly teaches me that neither of us can ever live by our own words and deeds, but only by that one Word and Deed which really binds us together--the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. When the morning mists of dreams vanish, then dawns the bright day of Christian fellowship."

-- D. Bonhoeffer, "Life Together"

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why I'm a Christian....

The answer to that is multi-faceted, but it includes:

-- the evidence regarding the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and especially regarding the reality of his Resurrection
-- the impact of the preaching of the Word of God on me
-- significant times of engaging with God in prayer, worship, contemplation
-- my most ennobling experiences in life have been connected to the times when I’m most in line with his good will
-- the testimony and example of believers who have been formed by His Spirit and Word
-- the times when I engage in preaching and teaching God’s Word, true to my calling and gifts (I believe) have been the times when I feel most fully human and most fully alive.

There is much more that could be said, and I know there are doubters and detractors, but I have come to realize more clearly than ever, in recent days, that I am, bottom line (and in spite of all my failings, weaknesses and backslidings), a believer in Jesus Christ, dedicated to being one of his faithful followers.

To God alone be the glory. (Eph. 2:8-10)

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Resurrection of Christ and Seeing What the World Really Is

“In the face of the resurrection it becomes finally impossible to think of our Christian narrative as only ‘our point of view,’ our perspective on a world that really exists in a different, ‘secular’ way. There is no independently available ‘real world’ against which we must test our Christian convictions, because these convictions are the most final, and at the same time the most basic, seeing of what the world is.” -- John Milbank, The Word Made Strange (Oxford, 1997)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Trust and Obey (C.S. Lewis)

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says.

"There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him.

"But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already.

"Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”

― C.S. Lewis,  "Mere Christianity"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"You are not to pamper...presumption"

"If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel , insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness." - Charles Spurgeon

Monday, July 1, 2013

Self-evident Truths and American Perspectives Today

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” As we approach July 4, there are some striking things to take note of in this most famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence. The founding fathers regarded these to be among the ‘self-evident truths’ that were foundational to our republic: “that all men are CREATED equal”, and that “their Creator” (not any human government or governmental institution) was the source of their “inalienable rights.”

So if the Creator is the source of our rights, surely he must be the one who defines them, which makes this statement from Jesus seem especially relevant in our time: “Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,….” (Matthew 19:4).

I am not one to claim that all the founding fathers were orthodox believers, but who can doubt that they and Jesus had the same Person in mind when they refer to the Creator?

It seems that Secularists today are determined to re-define historic cultural institutions, but to do so they have to attempt what even they cannot actually and legitimately do -- which is to re-write history. As John Adams himself said, "Facts are stubborn things...."