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Statues, Conflict & WWJD

Statues, Conflict & WWJD

“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”  1 John 2:6

As Americans weigh in on the latest race relations battle, I can only imagine how satisfied Satan is, knowing that he has once again fanned the flames of division, racism and hatred in our nation. It seems that these skirmishes continue to flare up, no matter how many years we move away from the scourge of slavery that marked our nation’s past. 

So as iron and stone artifacts are receiving increased focus by newspapers, cable news, and social media, what seems to be lacking, at least for those who claim to be followers of Jesus, is WWJD — as in What Would Jesus Do?

There was a time when this slogan was routinely seen on bumper stickers, wrist bands, and t-shirts. And many continue to pose the question, WWJD, to test their actions and words. But the problem with using WWJD is that too often a person’s subjective evaluation can yield multiple answers, if Scriptures are not abundantly clear.

So I’ve been searching the Bible for answers to how Christ’s followers should respond to the calls for removing statues, flags and monuments. Rather than pragmatic or even patriotic approaches, I’m more interested in what Jesus would actually do were He here physically today. But as I considered the likelihood of a subjective response to this latest American problem, I became more intrigued with WDJS — as in What Did Jesus Say?  

If you grew up never knowing your father, but he left you a book with explicit instructions on what he valued and believed, such a document would be of great value as you encountered life’s struggles. 

You and I never had the privilege that the original twelve disciples had, to not only hear the words of Jesus but to also see Him live those words out day after day. So when Jesus told them, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” and the disciples then witnessed Jesus loving and forgiving those who tortured and crucified Him, they could see that what Jesus said directly impacted what He did. 

So whether it’s Jesus or you and me, our actions are driven by our thoughts and our thoughts spill out in our words. 

If you and I profess to be followers of Jesus, and we routinely ask WWJD, then what Jesus said, and He directed others to say for Him throughout the Bible, should be of supreme importance to us as we deliberate over how to respond to statues and racism, and those who are drawing lines in the sand. 

So let’s look at what the Bible has to say about how a follower of Jesus should respond to this latest racial skirmish. 

Dealing with Anger & Conflict

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”  Matthew 5:9

“But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”  Galatians 5:15

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32

“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.”  2 Timothy 2:23-24

“If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” 1 John 3:14-15

Looking to the Good of Others

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Matthew 5:44

“Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.”  1 Corinthians 10:24

“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”  Galatians 6:10

“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.”  1 Thessalonians 5:15

“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.  Romans 15:1-2

Showing Grace, Forgiveness, Love & Unity

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15

“Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.”  Matthew 12:25

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”  Ephesians 4:2-3

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”  Colossians 3:13

“So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”  Romans 14:13

“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.”  Romans 15: 5-7

The Lawsuit Analogy

“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers! Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.”  1 Corinthians 6:1-8

Final Thoughts

This last weekend our nation was reminded of the priority of life, unity and cooperation as Hurricane Harvey bore down on Texas, wreaking death and unimaginable destruction for millions of our fellow Americans.  Interestingly, my blog post last week entitled “Racial Strife: Finding the Antidote to the Enemy Within” dealt directly with such catastrophic events that can bring our nation together and what the two step solution is for this division we are facing. 

While most of us have not been directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey, our hearts, minds and prayers are with those who are struggling to survive.  So as I was communicating with some friends in Texas and viewing the scenes of catastrophic destruction, the following thought suddenly struck me:  Statues No Longer Matter

When an event like a hurricane, a terrorist attack or something similar occurs, our attention is immediately brought to bear on what is ultimately important. Likewise, if we are a follower of Christ, we should understand on an even greater scale that we have opportunities to make an eternal difference in the lives around us when we chose to live as Jesus did.  

As you and I consider the controversies playing out over statues and monuments, may we remember the words of Jesus and the scriptures, focus our attention on eternity, and then adjust our behavior to align with God’s principles. 

If you think others might benefit from this post, please consider forwarding it to them, including your pastor.  And feel free to share your thoughts with me.

 

Racial Strife: Finding the Antidote to the Enemy Within

Racial Strife: Finding the Antidote to the Enemy Within

If you’ve ever watched the movie Independence Day, or one of the many other films that have been made over the years about aliens attacking the world, you know there’s one consistent theme with all of them: There is a common enemy that seeks to annihilate mankind, and this common threat brings together people of every race, background, and even religion to fight the enemy. The myriad of differences of the people no longer matter. Rather, the people become united as one because without such unity they will surely die. 

 

Abraham Lincoln once said:

“American will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

The President who led our nation to battle the evil of racism, which resulted in the deaths of 620,000 Americans, had a front row view of the hatred that nearly destroyed our nation. And he ultimately lost his life because of that hate.  

Since the founding of our great nation, the scourge of racism has pulsated through our communities. If we are honest with ourselves though, racism flows in all directions. It is not limited to a particular race or skin color. 

But racism is not the root of the problem, any more than the spaceships of the aliens were the underlying threat to mankind. Rather, the aliens within the spaceships were driving the threat to annihilate mankind. 

Likewise, racism is merely the vehicle that carries the real threat: Hate.  We hate others because of their skin color, or their socio-economic status, or their geographic location in our nation, or the wealth they possess, or the education they were provided, or the President they voted for, or a host of other reasons. 

Pure and simple, Americans Hate. And the latest stage where we have seen that hate playing out is in the streets of Charlottesville as KKK and other white racist groups battled with BLM and other black racist groups. Sadly, if we’re honest with ourselves, hate is often present in our own hearts and lives. As we view the bloody scenes of men and women clashing in the streets, what wells up in our hearts?  Is it anger or sorrow?  Is it the desire for retribution or forgiveness?  Is it rationalization or condemnation?

Jesus said that we should be willing to forgive our brothers up to seventy times seven, symbolizing an unending flow of forgiveness. Yet, are we willing to do so?

Consider that unforgiveness is a sin that directly severs our relationship with God, as Jesus affirmed:

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Later, when asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied:

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

The antidote to the poison of hate is a two step process: forgiveness and love. This process requires a daily commitment on our part to insure that the enemy of mankind, hate, does not well back up in our hearts. Unless we commit ourselves to the discipline of forgiveness and love, the future of the union for which so many bled and died is at stake. But more importantly, the eternal destiny of our own souls hangs in the balance. 

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this post, would you mind forwarding it to a few friends?  Thank you.

Chattanooga: A Polluted City

Chattanooga: A Polluted City

I remember first moving to Chattanooga when I was 18.  Excited to move south, I was eager to complete my college education and then launch out into the real world.  

Having grown up in Madrid, Spain, I was accustomed to pollution, given Madrid’s awful track record in the 1960’s and ’70’s.  But despite this, one of the first things I noticed as I settled into my new home city in Tennessee was its own pollution.  It was just a decade earlier when Chattanooga had been declared to have the worst air pollution in America, and there was no avoiding the dirt, filth and smog.

But nearly forty years later, one of Chattanooga’s claim to fame is the way in which it acknowledged its worst standing in America.  As the #1 polluted city, Chattanooga put a plan in place to tackle the scourge for which it had become known.  Government officials, agencies, businesses, and civic leaders all came together to lead in confronting the literal cloud that hung over them.  Today Chattanooga is known for its vibrant and rejuvenated downtown and is now regularly acknowledged for the beautiful city it has become.  

But in spite of the pride Chattanoogans have for the city we all love, there is another pollution that is much more serious than the smog and dirt that permeated our air just a few decades ago.

I was recently reading in the Bible in Numbers 35:33 (in the Old Testament) and I came across this astonishing statement:  “Murder pollutes the land.”  Stop for just a moment and let that statement sink in.  I wonder how many of us have ever truly considered the impact that a murder has on a city, or nation?  

Of course, murders happen everywhere.  But in some places murders happen in more frequency.  Chattanooga is one of those places.  Sadly, in 2016, Chattanooga ranked as the #9 most dangerous cities in America for crime (in the under 200,000 population category).  Much of the reason the city known for conquering its air pollution problem, sank to a #9 ranking in crime, is due to its increasing murder rate.  

If murder pollutes the land, then Chattanooga is being polluted at an ever increasing rate.  But unlike the air pollution of the 60’s and 70’s, the impact of murder is a permanent one.  The loss of a life is perhaps the worst kind of tragedy that one can experience.  The families, friends, neighbors and co-workers of a murder victim are forever changed.  

Americans are known for our interest in cleaning up our environment, protecting our natural resources, and generally tackling problems until we find their solution.  But to date, the pollution of murder in Chattanooga is not seen as a crisis for our city.  And until it is, or until we begin to recognize that murder is polluting our land, I fear we will continue to see this scourge poisoning our lives and that of our fellow citizens.  

I have come to realize this truth over the years: “That on which we focus we excel.”

To date, Chattanooga has offered much lip service to tackling the scourge of murder in our midst, but the focus has been lacking.  And by focus, I mean across the board, from all corners of our community.  The underlying factors that brought us to a #9 rating did not happen overnight, anymore than sinking to the worst air polluted city in America did.  And just like reversing our air pollution took a multi-disciplinary approach, likewise, saving lives by reducing our murders will require the same.  Government officials, agencies, courts, business leaders, churches and individuals must all come together to lead in finding the solutions.  And we must continue to do so until the solutions work. Unless or until we do, the pollution of our city will continue, and likely worsen.

In the second half of the verse in Numbers we read this:  “No sacrifice except the execution of the murderer can purify the land from murder.”  While it may sound insensitive or old fashion to some, the truth is that prompt and commensurate punishment is a strong deterrent to crime.  So when it comes to the taking of life, the way to purify the land from this pollution is to execute the one who took the life.  This is harsh, but this is justice.  And this is God’s remedy.

Finally, I have learned that what we see on the outside flows from what is in the inside.  The murders and other crimes we continue to see proliferated through our city and nation are merely a symptom of what is inside us.  Until we clean up the pollution inside our own lives, we will never clean up the pollution of murder, as hard as we try.

So what about it Chattanoogans?  Or for that matter Americans, since murder happens across this land.  It’s time to step up and tackle the pollution of murder in our midst.

“…for murder pollutes the land.”

The Indy 500: Oblivious to the Terrorist Threat

The Indy 500: Oblivious to the Terrorist Threat

Last week I wrote about my trip to the Indy 500 and the spectacular crash that happened when Scott Dixon’s car went airborne in the 53rd lap of the race.  In those few seconds that followed, Dixon’s life hung in the balance.  Thankfully, he survived.  Dixon’s walking away from the crash was due in large part to the months and years of purposeful preparation by his team, designers, and engineers.  They spent countless hours constructing a car that could withstand some of the most brutal crashes one can imagine.

But my focus today is not the crash at Indy, or the incredible design of the cars, but rather what was astonishingly absent from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and poses a grave threat to hundreds, if not thousands of fans.  But before I share what was absent, here are a few quick facts about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

  • The IMS is the largest sporting venue in the United States and the World, with its capacity exceeding 400,000.
  • The highest attendance ever at the IMS was 350,000, with this year’s attendance exceeding 300,000.
  • The Indy 500 is held on Memorial Day Weekend, in honor of the thousands of men and women of our military who died while serving our nation. The timing of the race lends itself to a strong, patriotic theme.
  • This year, Vice President Mike Pence attended the Indy 500, and his motorcade made a quick trip around the Speedway before the race.
  • The IMS is not only an American icon, but it depicts the American spirit of ingenuity, enterprise and competitiveness. Built in 1909, it has been a part of America for over 45% of our nation’s history.

If you’ve ever attended a race at the IMS, you know that you can often park a mile or two away.  You then make your way to the racetrack via quaint, all-American neighborhoods.  The thousands of houses that surround the speedway are typical 50+ year old houses, in bustling neighborhoods, often with small front lawns and yards with picket fences.  Most of the residents offer up their yards and front curbs for $10-$20 parking per car.  They all want a little piece of the half-billion dollars that flood into their community on what is undoubtedly the greatest motorsport weekend of the year in America.

As my friends and I drove to the race track Sunday morning, our spirits were high, but we were also anxious that the forecasted rain would hold off.  The clouds were ominous but the weatherman teased all the race fans with the potential that the rain wouldn’t appear until the last half of the race.  After finding a parking place a mile and a half away, we began our walk, along with hundreds of other race fans.  As we drew closer to the track, the hundreds turned to thousands and the Speedway facility rose into the sky in front of us.  Outside the track, people milled everywhere.  Backpacks, coolers, bags, raincoats and fanny packs were the norm.  The tens of thousands heading for the entrances had one thing in mind — an afternoon of speed, excitement, crashes, and cheering for their favorite driver.

We made our way to one of the dozens of entry points into the speedway and gathered in a line, expecting to endure the requisite security screenings that have become commonplace in sporting events since 9/11.  But as we met the IMS representatives checking our tickets and inspecting our belongings, we received a quick, cursory motion through.  I observed many race fans, before and after me, who had backpacks, coolers and bags, and the inspection of their items was also very superficial.  I spoke to another friend who entered at a separate gate who expressed the same shock over the aloof attitude of the personnel when he entered the gates as well. He was carrying a shoulder pack and the elderly lady didn’t even delve into his pack but just motioned him through with a “you’re fine!”

As I walked past security, I was instantly struck with the fact that not only was there no focused attention to what people were carrying into the venue, but I was also amazed that there were no metal detectors in place to at least catch any obvious weapons that someone might have on their person.  Even law abiding citizens with firearms concealed carry permits could have passed through the Indy 500 security that weekend. I shuddered to think how easy it would have been for a terrorist to have walked through with a host of weapons that could have caused indescribable tragedy. 

Following the attack in Manchester a few weeks ago, I wrote about the repercussions of ISIS inspired attacks turning from bombs laden with nails to explosives laden with neurotoxins.  The Indy 500 last week represented a fertile and high valued soft-target for such weaponry.  Given that our terrorist enemies pursue not only death and destruction, but they also seek symbolism in their attacks, what better target could be found than the Indy 500, an American icon that draws the largest crowd of any sporting event in America?

So there is no question that security at the IMS was appalling.  I don’t want to pre-judge the owners and management of the IMS, but in this day of grave threats to the security of our nation, and an enemy that is increasingly looking for high profile soft targets, it’s inexcusable that the lives of 300,000 race fans was devalued so greatly at last week’s Indy 500.  The reason an attack did not occur last week, and dozens or hundreds of casualties did not occur, was not because of the extraordinary efforts of the IMS and their staff.  To the contrary, there was no terrorist attack despite the pathetic security.  I can only assume that those seeking the death of our citizens were simply not up to the task last weekend.  But must we wait for them to succeed before we get serious about security?

The MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA all require metal detector screenings at all of their venues.  Additionally, coolers and large bags are not permitted.  Implementing just these two security standards at the Indy 500 would at the very minimum eliminate the likelihood that a would-be terrorist could exploit such a current vulnerability.  

As we think of the crash that Scott Dixon survived, in the context of a terrorist attack, there are three aspects to Dixon’s walking away from his horrific crash that should be a part of the IMS security protocol.  They are:

  • Understanding the threat
  • Preparing for the threat
  • Surviving the threat

There is no question that Indycar drivers, their teams and owners, understand the threat they face every time a driver strap into his car.  Death or serious injury is always lurking. The fact is, the last 100 years confirms that it’s not if you will crash in motorsports, but when.  And tragically, for some drivers it wasn’t if they would die, but when they would.  So the threat is real.

Because the sport understands the racing threat, they have prepared for it.  A few years ago, a crash like Scott Dixon’s would have undoubtedly ended the driver’s life.  Yet, with continued testing, refining, and perfecting, a crash that absolutely decimated the car Dixon was in, still enabled the driver to climb out and walk away.  I’m confident that Dixon, his family, team members and the entire motorsport world, would agree that whatever amount of capital was expended to prepare for the threat he faced, was worthwhile when the threat materialized. 

Finally, because the Indycar series understands the threat, and continues to prepare for it, the vast majority of drivers in the league today walk away from horrific crashes.  The same holds true in NASCAR and other racing series.  Understand.  Prepare.  Survive.  

But to date in our nation, I fear many, including politicians, business owners and even ordinary citizens do not understand the threat we face.  Sadly, tens of millions in America still walk around as if they are immune from terrorist attacks.  But Islamic terrorists are here in droves.  They’ve struck already.  And they will continue to do so, with greater regularity and intensity, unless we understand the magnitude of the threat.

So we must understand, but we must also prepare. I applaud President Trump for not only his understanding of the threat we face, but for his efforts to prepare our nation and cities for the threats.  Sadly, he is being handcuffed all along the way by dangerous, politically correct buffoons.  And mark my words, it’s just a matter of time before the roadblocks that have been thrown up to thwarts Trump’s efforts result in American lives being lost.  But then it will be too late and there will be no amount of course correction that will restore the lives lost because of ignorant and incompetent leaders.  

Finally, we will only survive this threat if you and I personally and individually understand and prepare for the threat facing not just our nation, but us individually.  My home town of Chattanooga, TN was attacked two years ago by an Islamic terrorist.  Five Americans died and more were injured.  That’s too close for comfort.  But your city could be or will be next.  Will you wait until it happens or will you prepare for such a potential?  If you want to survive the unimaginable, like Scott Dixon did, then do like he did.

Understand.  Prepare.  Survive.

To do less is to gamble with your life and those you love.

Manchester Terror: When Nails Become Neurotoxins, Hundreds Will Be Thousands

Manchester Terror: When Nails Become Neurotoxins, Hundreds Will Be Thousands

Manchester. Paris. London. Berlin. Stockholm. Nice. Brussels. Boston. San Bernardino. Orlando. These are just a few of the many cities in the Western world that have felt the scourge of Islamic Terrorism. Sadly, my hometown, Chattanooga, has also experienced Islamic Terrorism, as I wrote about a couple years ago in my article When Evil Visited Our City.

The Manchester massacre at an Ariana Grande concert this week, is yet another reminder that Islamic terrorism remain alive and well, in its diabolical quest to subject the masses. Once again, ISIS and their radical accomplices dealt a vicious blow to innocent lives. Over one hundred children and adults were injured or murdered at the hands of a brutal suicide bomber, as he detonated an improvised explosive device full of nails and ball bearings.  

As tragic as this attack was, it could be a precursor to something so much worse and massive in terms of loss of life, as noted in this headline from earlier this week:  

Isis tests chemical weapons on ‘human guinea pigs’, secret documents reveal

Dirty bombs, whether radioactive or chemical in nature, pose a mounting threat in this escalating battle between Islamic ideology and the Western world. These weapons of mass destruction, small in relative size, but enormous in destructive potential, have been a threat for years. As ISIS pursues chemical weapons to inflict even greater terror, harm, and death, it’s likely just a matter of time before neurotoxins replace nails.

I shudder to think of the future attacks by Islamic terrorists at concerts, sporting events, or other such “soft” targets. And as awful as the Manchester attack was, it could be dwarfed by an ISIS inspired suicide bomber, carrying a backpack with a chemical weapon. The impact from such an attack could be well into the multiple of thousands. And so, the threat could not be more grave and the urgency could not be greater to crush, root out, and thoroughly obliterate the scourge of Islamic terrorism.

President Trump’s trip this week to the the Middle East was extraordinarily timely, as he met with high profile Islamic states and their representatives. His message to them was clear. While America is committed to annihilating the cancer of Islamic terrorism, the ultimate responsibility for destroying this belief system lies at the feet of Islam itself. Will Muslims around the world, step up and purge their cultures, societies, mosques and madrasas? And if not, will our own political leaders take the necessary steps to protect our citizens?

Time will tell, but the sad reality is that the fundamentals taught within the Islamic trilogy (Koran, Hadith and Sira) and the example offered by Islam’s founder, Mohammed, are at odds with an ideology that our politically correct world fancies the “religion of peace.”  Sure, there are passages that speak of peace, and there were times in Mohammed’s life that he was peaceful, but the actual meaning of the word Islam is “submission,” although your Muslim friend might tell you it is peace. And one only need read the passages and examples offered by the Trilogy and Mohammed himself, to see where ISIS gains the inspiration for its barbarism and depravity.  

Saffie Rose Roussos

So in an age of tolerance, there can be no tolerance for an ideology that seeks to kill us all, including eight year old girls like Saffie Rose Roussos, as she was enjoying a music concert with her friends this week.  An attack on Manchester by Islamic terrorists is an attack on us all. But to eradicate this scourge from amongst us, it will require political leaders to first acknowledge the truth of this ideology.  Until then, the attacks will not only continue, but they will grow in severity as the body count increases.  

Mother’s Day – A Tradition that Affirms the Sexes

Mother’s Day – A Tradition that Affirms the Sexes

Mother’s Day.  Who doesn’t acknowledge this special occasion?  While it’s difficult these days to find much on which all Americans can agree, Mother’s Day is one exception. We all recognize this day.  And while there are likely some instances where the memory of a mom may not be favorable, for the vast majority of us, it is.  

We gladly celebrate that special lady, who is uniquely responsible for laboring to bring us into this world, and more than likely has played an overwhelmingly positive role in our lives.  I know this is the case in my life.  I am eternally grateful for my mother, her steadfast example, and prayerful support throughout my entire life.

But whether your memory of your mom is favorable or not, there is one reality that every American shares in common and on which we all agree.  We all have a mother.  And that mother was biologically a female.  And she became a mother because of her union with a biological male, known as our father.  

Now you may view all the preceding statements as not only obvious, but bordering on silly to recite.  Who would take exception with the idea that you and I have a mother, that she is a female and that she became a mother because of the reproductive act she engaged in with your father?

One of our nation’s greatest documents, the Declaration of Independence, begins with these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” and then it goes on to identify some clear and obvious truths.  However, I’d like to recite those famous words in a slightly different context, as follows:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all mothers are female and you and I are the offspring of our mothers.”

Now, that’s not really that hard to understand, if you’ve been through Biology 101.  There are certain facts that all of creation affirms and are indisputable. One such fact is the difference between the two sexes, male and female. One other “self-evident” truth is the reality that when you and I were born, our DNA and our physical bodies, attested to the fact that we were either 1) male, or 2) female.  There were no other choices or options.  

Lying in that crib for the first time, our mother had no doubt as to what she has just given birth.  As she named you, cared for your little body, cuddled you to her breasts, and as she beamed the news of your birth to family and friends, she announced “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl.”  She even likely dressed you in blue or pink, signifying the particular sex your Creator has established and she had affirmed.

But in spite of these indisputable facts, it has become politically correct, and culturally foolish, to defy “self-evident” truth.  Our “progressive” culture lives to distort, destroy and reshape truth.  But as hard as some might try, one cannot defy what is obvious.  Regardless though, truth is under a continuous and unrelenting assault and the attempt continues to turn truth upside down. Consequently, truth-deniers continue to redefine what cannot be, suggesting that a woman can become a man, a man can become a woman (as in Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner), a husband can be a woman, or a wife can be a man.

Changing a name does not change a self-evident truth, just as the tyranny of slavery did not diminish the truth that “all men are created equal.”  In God’s eyes, the man with brown skin, brought over in a slave ship from the continent of Africa, was equal in value to the ruthless master who treated his slave as less than human.  The fact that society ignored and trampled on the “self-evident” truth that both men were created equal in the eyes of their Creator, did not revise such truth. And ultimately, culture was forced to acknowledge truth, although at an immense and tragic cost.

So as we remember Mother’s day, perhaps this is one time when those who would seek to defy “self-evident” truth are in fact affirming that truth, at least for a day.  And at a time when the progressive onslaught continues to gain speed and momentum, perhaps we can relish in this one small victory, even if the other side is unaware or unwilling to acknowledge our victory.