Jody McLoud – School Prayer

This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee by school Principal Jody McLoud, on September 1, 2000.

“It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games to say a prayer and play the National Anthem to honor God and Country.

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law.

As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it an alternate lifestyle, and if someone is offended, that’s ok.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and calling it safe sex. If someone is offended, that’s ok.

I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control. If someone is offended, it’s no problem.

I can designate a school day as earth day and involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the goddess, mother earth, and call it ecology as a viable means of birth control. If someone is offended, it’s no problem.

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional, Christian convictions as simple minded and ignorant and call it enlightenment.

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and ask Him to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, Federal Case Law is violated.

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.

Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone except God and His Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules that they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

For this reason, I shall render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and refrain from praying at this time. However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God, and ask Him in the name of Jesus to bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that’s not against the law — yet.”

And one by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another, and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand. And they prayed in the announcer’s box. The only place they didn’t pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America — the seat of “justice” in the one nation under God.

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee, remembered what so many have forgotten.. we are given the Freedom of Religion, not the Freedom from Religion.

Praise God that His remnant remains!

Seth Adam Smith – Marriage Isn’t For You

This is a post that I read off of sethadamsmith.com, and I appreciate it immensely.

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

SKwedding394

Marriage is about family.

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

Kevin Bauder – Paradigm Shift

This essay was handed to me in Bible class, and it has been an incredible conviction to me. It has shown me what true Christianity in America will be up against, and it challenged me to be ready for it. I encourage you to read it to its full extent and ponder it.

The word paradigm is used literally as a grammatical term, but it can also be used metaphorically to refer to a shared set of basic assumptions. A paradigm shift occurs when a community rejects its old assumptions in favor of a new set. The perspective of the community changes and it sees the world differently than it did before.

American Christianity has operated throughout its entire history with what could be called a “daylight paradigm.” It has been able to adopt the basic assumption that most Westerners–and especially most Americans–had significant exposure to biblical ideas and held a generally Judeo-Christian understanding of virtue. It has been able to assume that a broadly Christian outlook occupied the cultural high ground, if not in the centers of power, at least among the masses. American Christians have been able to leverage this Christian consensus into significant ecclesiastical success and even into political influence. They have been able to appeal to what Jerry Falwell called a Moral Majority.

From every indication, those days are now past. The cultural momentum has shifted toward a radicalized version of secularism and pluralism, with even the most generic Christianity representing a minority perspective. Repressive legislation and public policies are already being implemented and Christians are being forced to treat moral impossibilities as if they were realities. Already governments are employing the use of force to deprive Christians of their livelihoods if they will not participate in the charade.

While no human can see the future, it will likely hold worse sanctions for people who are loyal to God. The heathen have always raged and the kings and rulers of the earth have always taken counsel against the Lord and against His anointed. They have always wished to throw off the bondage of divinely-imposed moral restrictions. When such people have been held in check, as they have been in America for hundreds of years, they are eager for payback. They are not contented to allow Christians to live out their virtues, certainly not in any public way. They will use the armed might of the state to force Christians to recognize and participate in vice. They will punish whose Christians who refuse. it is certain that they will do these things because they are doing them already.

In short, we are standing on the edge of a precipice. We have been living in the daylight–that is, in a civilization that has been shaped largely by biblical perspectives and norms. We are about to plunge into the night. We are at the door of a Dark Age.

What makes a Dark Age dark? Not the lack of technology. Not the dismantling of governments and other institutions. Not the absence of toys and amusements. Not the paucity of information. A Dark Age is dark because of the decline of virtue and the decay of morals. People who are highly learned, technologically sophisticated, artistically talented, and socially proficient may nevertheless be savages. When their savagery is directed against the people of God (as it inevitably is), all of their advantages merely make them more efficient opponents of truth, goodness, and beauty.

The night is coming. American Christians have been living as if the sun shone upon them, but the shadows are falling and the light grows dim. The time has come to abandon the daylight paradigm and to adopt the paradigm of the Dark Age. Christians must adjust their eyes to see in the night.

What assumptions must Christians adopt during the Dark Age? Their basic perspective can be summed up in a few brief propositions. First, the expression of their view will be increasingly unwelcome, especially in the public square. Second, their ability to operate from the relative insulation of a subculture will be directly challenged. Third, pressure will increase, both officially and unofficially, to call good evil and evil good. Fourth, Christians will have no weight to throw around in either the social or political spheres.

Under this altered perspective, Christians must not view themselves as Moses, leading a nation into the promise land. They must not even view themselves as Elijah, calling a chosen people to repentance. They must view themselves as Mordecai or Daniel, as exiles in a brutal and foreign land–just as they should have all along.

What does it take to survive in a world that hates truth and twists virtue? American Christians have been spared from asking this question for generations. The time has now come to ponder it.

A second question is just as important. For at least three generations, American Christians have tried to teach their children the meaning of Christianity by offering them fun and games. This program has left increasing numbers of young people unable to resist the perspectives of secularization. The American Church has won more and more young people to less and less Christianity. If the world is finally about to show its brutality, how can children be instructed so that they will shine as lights in the darkness? How will future generations of Christian leaders be equipped to shepherd their flocks through the savage days to come?

The answers to these questions will not be new. Previous generations of believers–whether in Babylon or in Rome, under the black heel of the Nazis or the red banners of Communism–have had to find their own answers. Surely these leader brethren and sisters in the Church Militant have something to say to American Christians in the early Twenty-First Century.