72. Jesus is Pro-Life!

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Jesus said that he came to give life and to give it to the full.  He also said that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) It should be pretty obvious which side of the abortion debate Jesus stands and which side the devil hides.

In this episode, James Conrad shares his family’s personal experiences with multiple abortions and the tragic aftermath that these murders have left for the survivors.  The good that has arisen from these horrendous loses of lives is that James’ mother started a pro-life activism group who has fought relentlessly for the rights and lives of the unborn.

James shares why all lives matter and why everyone has equal rights to life and how abortions are very harmful to women.  He also responds to the argument that abortions should be legal to save the life of the mother and gives some important advice on responding to several political questions that pro-life advocates often times encounter.

Show Links:

Elliot Institute’s Fact Sheets – Check out the one’s on how harmful abortions are for women.

Does Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? – Check out the free brochure download!

Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

Recall Abortion by Janet Morana (Book James recommended)

Live Action Youtube Channel (James mentions their videos)

71. Christians Voting For Trump – How and Why?

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Andy and Tony discuss an article written by Sara Benincase entitled, “A Gentile Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Skinned Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump.”

Sticking to the Reconnect dedication of sharing and defending the Good News of Jesus Christ, Andy and Tony do share the Gospel in this episode as well as defend the Gospel in light of Sara’s claim that the Bible is a bunch of fables and myths, but there is a large focus on the broadened use of the term Gospel that refers to the Gospel biographies, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The article they are discussing claims that Jesus was a refugee, that he started free healthcare, that he was killed by conservatives, and that he certainly wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump, so Andy and Tony focus on discussing if Sara’s article accurately portrays what is revealed about Jesus in the Gospel biographies.  They also spend a good bit of time discussing if Sara’s article accurately portrays the things Donald Trump has said on the campaign trail.

Finally, they discuss how and why many Christians do plan to vote for Donald Trump and how it’s possible for them to do so with a clear conscience.

Show Links:

“A Gentle Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Skinned Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump” by Sara Benincasa

“Women’s Healthcare Will be Vastly Improved if Planned-Parenthood is Defunded” by Arina Grossu

“Donald Trump’s History of Empowering Women” excerpts from a Washington Post Article

Did Donald call all Mexicans rapists?  Check the actual quote that Andy read on the episode for yourself.

Hillary Clinton: Career Criminal – Must Watch Video If You Are Voting For Hillary

“I wrote about Max and Beth to Defend Christian Trump Supporters” by Mario Murillo

45. Government Redistribution of Wealth

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Don't Steal
Is government redistribution of wealth stealing?

Show Links:

“A Fork to Feed, a Scalpel to Heal, or a Sword to Protect?” by Wes Bareford

Martin Luther’s Large Catechism – “The Seventh Commandment”

“A Voter’s Guide to the Ten Commandments” by Bryan Wolfmueller

Virtue in the Wasteland – a podcast co-hosted by Wes’ professor for Theology 565, Jeff Mallinson.

“How Do I Know I am a Christian?” – Reconnect Episode 19 with Wes and George

Reconnect Episode 10: Religions, Atheism, and Wars!

Drawing by Danny Martinez - an illustration from Andy Wrasman's book, Contradict - They Can't all Be True.
Drawing by Danny Martinez – an illustration from Andy Wrasman’s book, Contradict – They Can’t all Be True.

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All too often religions are said to cause evil and to cause wars. The Crusades are often times mentioned to support this claim.  Andy interviews Stephen Puls, a Lutheran high school history teacher, who explains what the Crusades were, why they were started, and what went wrong.

In the second segment, they turn towards looking at the role of Atheism in connection with wars!

By the end of this episode, you’ll have some great talking points whenever such an argument against religion arises.   And of course, the goal is to use these talking points to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A few suggestions on making this connection are also shared in this episode.

Article discussed in show: “The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War”.

Send comments, questions, and complaints to Andy Wrasman at andy@contradictmovement.org.  You may also record a short mp3 audio file to be shared on a future episode of Reconnect. 

Please share this episode on all of your social media sites and with all parties you think would benefit from listening to Reconnect.  Thank you in advance.

Dr. Peter Jones – Think Tank 2014 Part 1

I attended the TruthXchange Think Tank 2014 at New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, CA.  The following is notes I took from Dr. Peter Jones’ opening address on Feb. 4th, 2014:

An attempt to redefine human civilization is underway

  • Harvey Milk – gay, pedophile – now has a holiday, 2009 Presidential medal, and USPS stamp
  • We are on warp speed to death!

Intentional attempt to rebuild culture on new foundation

  • We mus identify the roots
  • Promotion of One-ism!
  • Sexuality joined to spirituality
    1. It’s social suicide to eliminate the sexes
    2. Perverse sexuality destroys the Creator God
    3. Homosexuality challenges heteronomalit
    4. Gay Party Manifesto – Homo and Hetero will be incomprehensible terms

Imagine Living in the Socialist USA

  • Socialism is not just an economic program but a social agenda for egalitarian change
    1. Norms of male and female are REMOVED
    2. LGBTQ all have same access
    3. Marriage – now has no special rights
    4. Sixteen year old boys – 40 year old men will be seen as healthy relationships
    5. Normalization of sex-workers
    6. This destroys family and terms like mother and father!

Pagan Progression

  • Transgressing boundaries
  • Subject and Object distinction is removed
  • Ending sterotypes
  • As above so below – essentially earth is heaven, we are gods.
  • Spread of the Hindu term – avita – “One not Two”

If you can destroy two – All is One!
God’s creation of differences must be obliterated.  The call for this comes through homosexuality.  Male and Female – M/F is removed.  No Father.  No Mother.  Replaced with Parent A and Parent B.

This is even happening in the Christian church.  Now we are all human beings.  Just look at the latest NIV translation and you will see the church eliminating gender words.

The progression:

  1. Evolution removes distinction between animal and humans
  2. Machine and human distinction is removed (the movie, Her)
  3. Abortion – the baby is swallowed up by the mother
  4. Politics – Socialism – The state swallows up the individual

The goals of this agenda:

  1. Eliminate Binary and silence its defenses
  2. The lie must silence the truth
  3. Gay radicals refuse debate – fear that the truth shall be heard in the debate
  4. Silence the “hate”
  5. Only take children to therapists to affirm gayness
  6. All great literature of the past and works of faith groups will disappear to be replaced by government propoganda

Will the rising generation be shocked?  Nope.

Right is wrong – and wrong is mandatory.

The Silence of Christian Persecution

Islam is called a religion of peace.  After all the name comes from the word salema for peace.  Read this article, and think about how peaceful this religion is. 

We should not have a president who apologizes to the Muslim world for our American values and ideals when Christian pastors face persecution.  China gets reamed for not allowing religious freedom, but what about Islamic countries?  Why are they not facing the same flames?  Is it because the Chinese don’t have a history of invading and initiating military war with other countries, but Islamic countries do have the record?  Do we just want their oil?  What’s wrong with our oil in Alaska? 

Beyond this, why isn’t Christian persecution more prevalent in the news?  And how should Christians respond and what can Christians do to help those who are being persecuted?

The Wall Street Journal.

July 29, 2012

The Religious Silence on Christian Persecution

Why isn’t imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani known to activists, politicians and citizens in the West?

By BEN COHEN and KEITH RODERICK

This month the Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani marked his 1,000th day of incarceration in Lakan, a notorious prison in northern Iran. Charged with the crime of apostasy, Mr. Nadarkhani faces a death sentence for refusing to recant the Christian faith he embraced as a child. He embodies piety and represents millions more suffering from repression—but his story is barely known.

Mr. Nadarkhani’s courage and the tenacity of his supporters, many of them ordinary churchgoers who have crowded Twitter and other social media to alert the world to his plight, bring to mind the great human-rights campaigns of recent years: the fight against apartheid in South Africa, or the movement to assist Soviet Jews seeking to emigrate from behind the Iron Curtain. As Nelson Mandela represented the opposition to South African racism, and Anatoly Sharansky exemplified the just demands of Soviet Jews, so Mr. Nadarkhani symbolizes the emergency that church leaders say is facing 100 million Christians around the world.

Yet Mr. Nadarkhani has almost none of the name recognition that Messrs. Mandela and Sharansky had. Despite the increasing ferocity with which Christians are targeted—church bombings in Nigeria, discrimination in Egypt (where Christians have been imprisoned for building or repairing churches), beheadings in Somalia—Americans remain largely unaware of how bad the situation has become, particularly in the Islamic world and in communist countries like China and North Korea.

The principal reason public opinion hasn’t been galvanized around the persecution of Christians is that the various church leaderships either ignore or dance around the issue. If churches don’t speak up forcefully, then it is unrealistic to expect the world’s democratic governments to do the same.

Take the Vatican. On various occasions over the last year, Pope Benedict XVI has spoken about the persecution of Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere. But neither the pope nor any senior Vatican official has proposed policy options to counter this ugly trend. Some of these options might include linking commerce and financial assistance to a demonstrable commitment to religious freedom, improving security at churches and other institutions, and boosting military aid to like Nigeria and Kenya where Islamist militias are terrorizing Christians.

In the United States, clergy from all denominations, and especially the influential Evangelicals, could raise the profile of Christian persecution at the White House and State Department. Conditions are also ripe for a concerted public campaign, and the advocacy efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews offer a valuable model.

Twenty-five years ago, a rally in Washington, D.C., for Soviet Jews drew a quarter of a million participants from all sections of the Jewish community. Given that a significant proportion of this country’s 250 million Christians are politically engaged, it isn’t far-fetched to believe that a similar initiative on behalf of persecuted Christians could attract a crowd of more than one million.

But for that to happen, there needs to be a sea change in the thinking of western church leaders. To begin with, they need to shake off the aura of naivete that clouds their testimony regarding persecution. Throughout the dark years of the Soviet Union’s existence, Orthodox bishops despaired at the readiness of outsiders to take at face value their assurances—offered with a nervous eye on the reaction of the authorities—that life was really not that bad. We discern a similar tendency today with regard to the Islamic world.

Christian leaders in Muslim countries are concerned with surviving from one day to the next. We can help them not by engaging in bland dialogues but by compelling those who rule them to respect their right to worship, as well as their desire to stem the flood of Christians fleeing oppression for safer havens elsewhere.

The church also needs to press the reset button on its priorities. It is a bitter irony that Israel, the one country in the Middle East where Christians live in freedom, is the main focus of church opprobrium.

At their annual convention this month, Presbyterians in America approved a divestment campaign targeting Jewish communities in the West Bank. Pastor Nadarkhani wasn’t even mentioned. At the Episcopalian convention days later, resolutions about Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process were tabled, but the imprisoned Iranian pastor was similarly absent. As for the bombings of churches in Africa and Asia, it’s as if they never even happened.

Mr. Cohen is a New York-based writer on international politics. Father Roderick is the Episcopal priest for the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.