Christian News

Franklin Graham Returns Fire after Lady Gaga Calls Mike Pence ‘Worst Representation’ of Christianity

Kayla Koslosky | ChristianHeadlines.com Editor | Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Franklin Graham Returns Fire after Lady Gaga Calls Mike Pence 'Worst Representation' of Christianity

FRANKLIN GRAHAM RETURNS FIRE AFTER LADY GAGA CALLS MIKE PENCE ‘WORST REPRESENTATION’ OF CHRISTIANITY


Franklin Graham is clapping back after Lady Gaga criticized Vice President Mike Pence calling him the “worst representation of what it means to be a Christian.”

After news broke that the Vice President’s wife, Karen Pence, would be working for a Private Christian school that requires its students and staff to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, the “Poker Face” singer criticized Pence during one of her Las Vegas concerts.

She said, “And to Mike Pence, who thinks it’s acceptable that his wife work at a school that bans LGBTQ, you are wrong. You say we should not discriminate against Christianity; you are the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian.”

She continued, “I am a Christian woman and what I do know about Christianity is that we bear no prejudice and everybody is welcome. So you can take all that disgrace Mr. Pence and you can look yourself in the mirror and you’ll find it right there.”

The “Mother Monster” received heavy backlash after making these comments including from Evangelical Pastor Franklin Graham, Relevant Magazine reports.  

Graham took to Facebook to comment on the issue writing, “Lady Gaga, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, may be a very talented singer and actress, but her comments about Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence are misguided and unfortunate.”

He continued, “As Christians, following Christ means following the teachings of God’s Word. The Bible makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin—among many others—and they all have a cost. We are to seek to live our lives in obedience to His Word. He set the rules, not us; He is the one who defined sin, and out of His love and mercy, He provided a remedy for sin—all sin—through repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.”

“I know Vice President Mike Pence and Mrs. Pence, and, to me, the way they conduct their lives and exhibit their faith make them the best kind of Christian. What a blessing they are to our nation,” he concluded.

Graham also included a link to a USA Today article titled, “Lady Gaga slams Mike Pence as the ‘worst representation of what it means to be a Christian.’

Encouragement to Cling to the Truth When God Appears Apathetic

  • Anne PetersonCrosswalk.com Contributing Writer

Encouragement to Cling to the Truth When God Appears Apathetic

Think back if you will to a time of great struggle. Maybe it was a time of great loss. You just finished saying goodbye to one of your loved ones. As you stood on their grave, you felt so alone.

Or maybe your marriage has just dissolved and you’ve learned that your spouse has chosen someone else to love.

Perhaps you are standing at the bedside of a family member who is not getting better, but slowly slipping away.

At any of these moments we will be sorely tempted to believe that God is apathetic.

Apathetic is defined as showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern. In great struggle, we can lose our faith that God is for us.

Who wants us to believe God is apathetic?

Just know that when we are in a place of struggle, the enemy is close at hand to get us to doubt God. Satan knows his destiny is a sure thing, so he devotes all his energy toward trying to get believers to take their eyes off of their Savior. He wants to discredit God.

He does this when we are at our weakest.

God knows that Satan will try to get us to doubt, so God warns us in 1 Peter 5:8. He talks about how Satan is prowling around, seeking to devour us. God wants us alert. And I love how John calls us little children. Children whom the Father loves so much and wants to keep safe.

When do we believe lies?

Satan knows when to strike. He loves to catch us when we’re being tested, or we are weary, because it’s easier for us to drop our guard.

Satan likes getting us to focus on what things look like now. However, In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, we learn that our momentary light affliction is producing something in us for eternity. Yet surely, our trials do not feel momentary, or light. In Hebrews 11:1, God tells us to use our eyes of faith (Faith is the assurance of what we hope for…), not what our eyes are seeing at the present.

We believed in God by faith. We trust him by faith. And that’s what we are to do, no matter how many lies the enemy tries to get us to believe.

How does worry fit in?

We start to worry when we stop believing the truth, and instead we believe how things look. When our daughter-in-law was told the baby she was going to have had Trisomy 18, Heather could either believe everything the doctors and books said, or she could choose to trust God. Someone in the medical field even suggested she terminate the pregnancy. Believe me, all of us were tempted to worry. And sometimes we did give in.

But January 7th, instead of the baby dying before she was born, which is what Nathan and Heather were told, Olivia Jane was born. And instead of dying her first week, as they were told, we kept praying. We looked at the things which were not seen.

Every time Live got sick, we prayed. God is sovereign and he is the only one who holds the keys to life and death.

We thanked God for Livie’s life all 14 months. Satan tried his hardest to convince us that God didn’t care. But we felt God’s love and concern through so many people, in so many ways.

God isn’t apathetic.

I remember reading about Jesus when his friend Lazarus died in John 11:17-45. Mary and Martha were tempted to believe that Jesus didn’t care when he didn’t show up immediately. In fact, they both told Jesus, that if he had been there, Lazarus would not have died. And what did Jesus do? We know what he was about to do. He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.

PLAN

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary Definition of Truth:
Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.

THROUGH ISAAC’S SON GOD WILL RECONCILE ALL HUMANITY

This prophecy clearly states the lineage of the Messiah will come from Abraham through Isaac and not Ishmael. This gives credence to the genealogies listed in Matthew chapter one and Luke chapter three. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy becoming the reconciliation for humanity to the loving heavenly Father.

PROMISED

ISAAC AND ISHMAEL IN CONFLICT

Gen 21:12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.

FULFILLED

THE MYSTERY OF THE AGES NOW DISCLOSED

64 AD (U)

Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Prophecies declared are in blue, prophecies fulfilled are in red, prophecies currently being fulfilled are in green, and prophecies to be fulfilled are in orange. Bold historical context dates are from Jeff Swanson’s The Plan dating system, and dates marked (U) are Archbishop Ussher’s 1658 dating system.
** The date of this prophecy is in its referential context: the verse has been moved to the time frame of its contextual orientation.

Embody Jesus’ truth as a whole-life training

Dallas Willard.jpg

At the core of the human being is will, spirit, and heart. This core is reshaped, opening out to the reshaping of the whole life, only by engagement. First, engagement is to act with Christ in his example and his commands: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” he said, “and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another strengthener, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15–17). The engagement must come first, followed by the helper insofar as obedience is concerned; as we try, fail, and learn, we engage with the spiritual disciplines. We add whole-life training to trying. We recognize that religious business-as-usual, the recommended routine for a “good” church member, is not enough to meet the need of the human soul. The problem of life is too radical for that to be the solution. We enter into activities that are more suited to our actual life condition and that are adequate to transform the whole self under grace, allowing the intention to live the commands of Christ to pass from will to deed.

From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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7 Ways to Teach Your Kids Respect

By JT Waresak

We live in a day where respect of others is a dying character trait. Why do we think that bullying and social media rants are so pervasive in our culture today? There’s no respect of others. Really, it’s just the opposite—most people only think of themselves. Yet, it doesn’t need to be this way.

I believe that respect is only found when there is love. If we live and teach our children the two greatest commandments—to love God and to love others, respect of others will become intertwined within their developing character traits.

As dads, we can raise a generation of girls and boys that respect others. Yet, it starts with us and our willingness to proactively engage the hearts and minds of our children. Here are seven ways to teach our children how to respect others that I’ve gleaned from friends and my own parenting experiences.

7 Ways to Teach Our Kids Respect:

1. Teach them that all of human life is created in God’s image and is precious. This is an essential teaching we must communicate to our children at a very young age and is paramount to learning and living a life that loves and respects others. It also establishes in their own minds that they are uniquely created by God with His fingerprints all over them, and God doesn’t make mistakes.

This is why I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Fingerprints of God“(every child is a masterpiece of God). If you’ve never listened to it with your children—do it. I would sing this all the time to my kids, which reminds me it’s been too long since I last serenaded them. If our children value their own lives and the lives of others, love and respect will be a natural outflow of who they are and how they live.

2. Live it. Like everything else in life, our children will learn to respect others by watching our lives. Dads, if we treat our wives disrespectfully, our children will follow suit. Sadly, this generational cycle of sin is repeated too many times in our marriages. This also holds true for how we treat all people. Regardless of our differences with the surrounding culture or certain individuals, we are called as Christians to carry ourselves like Christ—embracing and exuding both grace and truth. If our children witness this first-hand on a regular basis, it will become their foundation as well.

Dads, words are cheap. Our actions mean everything. As I remind myself often, God doesn’t want me to beat myself up. He wants me to look more like His Son on a daily basis. One verse that drives this reality home for me is Ephesians 5:25. If my children see me loving my wife as Christ loved His church, they will begin to understand what it means to respect someone.

3. Never discipline your child through anger. Always discipline your child through love. This is not an easy one. I’ve failed with this one many times over the years. However, my adult children in their 20’s know without a doubt there is nothing they can do to lessen or increase my love for them. They know that after God and then my wife, they are the greatest loves of my life. Every son and daughter needs to know this. As shared, that love is interwoven within the fibers of what it means to respect someone. As Christians, this is who we are and one of the greatest life lessons we can teach our children.

4. Don’t negate or make light of your child’s feelings. This is yet another area I constantly need to watch when helping my children through difficulties or challenging moments in their lives. My wife does this very well. She bleeds empathy for our kids and has taught me a lot over the years.

I often joke with my older children that they helped make me a better dad for my younger ones. Yet, even now when my six-year-old is crying over something that seems trivial to me, I need to remind myself that, to her, it’s a big deal. I need to take the time to just listen to her express her feelings (not necessarily try to fix it). I have learned that after listening to her, a hug is often what she needs most from me!

5. Look for ways to build them up. One of our memory verses we continually revisit as a family is Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (ESV). This hits at the core of what it means to actively respect someone. It’s our jobs as dads to build our kids up in Christ. It’s a lot easier to respect others when you’ve been raised in a household that fosters an environment of encouragement.

This is another reason why memorizing Scripture is a must for every father out there. Speaking God’s Words into the hearts and minds of our sons and daughters is one of the best ways to build them up, i.e. train, encourage and equip them.

6. Teach them the joy in serving others. By focusing on the needs of others, our children learn that life is not all about them. It’s hard not to show respect to someone if you’re looking out for their best interest. I also believe God has wired us to enjoy helping others, especially when we’re using our unique gifts and skill sets. We do our best to include our children in age-appropriate chores around the house—washing the dishes, taking out the garbage, cleaning their rooms, etc.

We have also taken our children along on ministry events through our church and also our own ministry opportunities, i.e. short-term mission trips, community outreach, and ministry conferences/retreats. Over the years, they’ve learned first-hand the joy that comes when we serve others.
7. Pray with your children and for your children. Another core trait, alongside love, that compels the ability to respect those around you is humility. Without love and humility, our children will never learn how to respect others. Through our prayer life, we demonstrate to our children that we are totally dependent upon God. In a very real way, the act of prayer demonstrates our greatest respect for God as we humble ourselves before Him. At bedtime, I pray with my children and then I pray for them. I want them to hear my neediness before God and their father’s blessings upon their lives. I specifically pray that God will work in their hearts and minds to make them children that love Him and love others.

I tell people that the man that raised my eldest son, now 23 years old, is not the same man that is raising my six-year-old daughter. I am a different man. By God’s grace and the help of my wife, older children, friends and mentors, my little girl will know a dad that pursues these seven examples and many more on a regular basis. I’ll never get it all perfect, but I will do my best to teach her how to love and respect others, and perhaps God will use her someday to change the world.

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

NEW TESTAMENT READING

View today’s reading at Bible Gateway

Romans 13

Submission to Governing Authorities

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Day Is Near

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.