THIS TIME

My son Kameron, whose artist name is Juneaux, just released his latest single that is available on iTunes, Spotify, and other music platforms. He’s incredibly talented, so I wanted to share with you so you could share with others.

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/this-time-single/1540951167

THE GREAT RESET

It doesn’t take much social awareness to see that as a nation we are on the verge of experiencing fundamental change, known as the Great Reset, that would be a drastic “left turn,” into an abyss of globalist socialism which would eradicate individual freedoms and liberty, and institute a demonic system that, without a doubt, will be the foundation upon which the final beast empire will govern.  This is not conjecture, it’s biblical; and it’s unfolding before our eyes.

CROSSROADS & CULTURE PODCAST: LIVING A LIFE OF ADVENTURE

BELIEFS AND FEELINGS

Today’s podcast on Crossroads & Culture, now available on iTunes, Spotify, and other podcast platforms. If you find this helpful, please follow and share.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD AND TOXIC THEOLOGY

Someone shared with me yesterday a post by a pastor, whose name I won’t mention here, that is a small picture of what truly toxic theology and unbiblical counsel looks like.  Sadly, this is pervasive in the American church, where identity politics, misdirected kindness, and compassion cloaked half-truths have formed a different “gospel” that is not the true gospel elevated by the whole counsel of God’s word.

The pastor said this, “As a pastor, I want to encourage folks to avoid toxic theology today (and every day).  ‘No matter what happens, Jesus is King’ is a form of faith that invalidates the lived experiences of faithful people all over the country who have been harmed by this administration.”

What??

There’s a lot in this quote that is problematic; not from the perspective of my personal opinion, but from a biblical perspective.  I’m sure this guy is a great guy.  But great people can often have poor theology.  If we were to sit down over a cup of coffee, I would simply ask,“That’s an interesting statement.  Where can I find that validated in the Scriptures?”   

To his statement encouraging people to “avoid toxic theology,” I say “Amen!”  There is a great deal of toxic theology that is being poured into the streams and wells to which spiritual leaders are leading their flock.  And just so I am clear, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd to whom we look and follow, but as Peter strongly encouraged the the spiritual leaders within the church, “ . . . shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you, not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”  (1 Peter 5:2-3). Before leading those whom God has entrusted to your care to different pastures in which to rest, and streams from which to drink, you need to make sure you’re leading them to the right pastures and streams; not spiritually modified pastures that look and feel good, yet are filled with deadly toxins that kill the soul rather than nourish. 

The next statement this pastor made was to clarify what he believes to be “toxic theology.”  He said, “‘Jesus is King,’ is a form of faith that invalidates the lived experiences of faithful people all over the country who have been harmed by this administration.”

I’m fairly certain that he wasn’t referring to Kanye West’s album of the same name . . .but in all seriousness, what is implied in those words, “Jesus is King” is the sovereignty of God.  So, in my view, a question arises that we need the Scriptures, all of Scripture, to address:  Is God really sovereign?  Or, is Jesus really King over all? . . . which is another way of asking:  Is Jesus Sovereign?

This is a crucial question to answer (which I will get to in a moment) because if I believe that God is in fact sovereign (He has the power and the right, and does rule and reign over all; He is in control), and Jesus is King, then based on this pastor’s statement it invalidates the lived experiences of people suffering.  In other words, God can’t be sovereign, Jesus can’t be King, if people suffer and are harmed “by this administration.”  

And just as a side note, I remember hearing this same and seemingly genuinely expressed statement, “Jesus is King,” by a people living under a different administration that did much harm to pre-born children, religious liberty, and race relations (Based on research done by the non-partisan and credible Pew Research Center, which I’ll be glad to share).  

IS GOD SOVEREIGN?

Rather than answer the aforementioned question based on what we have experienced, or are experiencing, or what we feel, it would be best to let God speak for Himself, through His word.  Allowing our experiences to determine what we believe, is a foundational chemical in the toxic theology of “me-ology.”   

So what does God’s word say about His sovereignty?  And if He is sovereign, does His sovereignty remain true even in our suffering? 

In Creation 

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

It’s hard to argue with any credibility that God is not sovereign over all things when He, in His eternality, is before all things and created all things.  The apostle Paul says in his letter to the Colossians (which is just as pertinent for us) that, “He (speaking of Christ Jesus), is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning of the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.”  Colossians 1:15-18 

“ . . . but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom He also created the world.  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.”  Hebrews 1:2-3

With just these few verses of scripture, it seems crystal clear that God is sovereign over all creation.  I’m confident no one could trump (no pun intended), the One who upholds the universe He created by the word of His power.     

In Captivity (Israel in Egypt, Babylon, Persia)

On the surface, it would seem to not make sense that God would allow the people of Israel to be held captive by her enemies over the course of history, and for the people of Israel to experience suffering at the hands of the governing administrations who ruled over them.

• They were held captive in Egypt; oppressed by those to whom they were enslaved.

• The northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria), was invaded and occupied by the Assyrians, under the reign and rule of Shalmaneser V., with tens of thousands exiled to Assyria. 

• The southern kingdom of Israel (Judah), was invaded by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Empire.  Many were killed, the temple was destroyed, the walls of Jerusalem were left in ruins, and many were taken captive and led into exile in Babylon for 70 years.  

• The Medo-Persian Empire, ruled by King Cyrus and later Artaxerxes, allowed the Jewish people to return to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and then the temple.  God used this empire to set His captive people free, fund the rebuilding of the temple, and encourage His children that they are never forsaken.

• The Greek Empire, (Hellenists), initially led by Alexander the Great, controlled the land for almost 300 years.  The temple was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, which led to the revolt by the Maccabees.  

• The Roman Empire, ruled the land and suppressed the Jewish people for over 350 years.  After Titus, who destroyed the temple in A.D. 70, many of the Jewish people scattered into other parts of the world to avoid death and persecution.  This would become known as the Diaspora.  

• Many other empires, kingdoms, and administrations would rule in Israel:

• The Byzantine Era

• The Arabs

• The Crusades 

• The Mamelukes

• The Ottoman Empire

• The British Empire

• And then you have Nazi Germany who, under the evil rule of Adolph Hitler, sought to exterminate the Jewish people by means of the Holocaust, which led to over 6 million deaths.  

In each of these moments of exile, God used the enemies of Israel to carry out His judgment, as well as to draw the hearts of Israel back to Himself.  It was Israel’s disobedience, of which God repeatedly warned Israel through His prophets, that led them down a destructive path ultimately leading to the bondage of their captivity.  Sin always does, though. 

Yet somehow, with all the kingdoms, empires, and nations that have ruled, and in many cases sought to eliminate the people of Israel, God has not only sustained His people, but has used, is using, and will continue to use all of this to accomplish His purposes in the lives of the Jewish people.  As Scripture teaches, in the end, all true Israel will be saved.  And, He is doing the same in the lives of all who profess to be followers of Jesus.   

For the sake of brevity, I’ll highlight just a few more ways in which we see the sovereignty of God in Scripture.  There is SO much more, but this should suffice:  

In the Suffering of Christ

“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush Him . . .” Isaiah 53:10

“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This charge I have received from My Father.”  John 10:18

In the Rule and Reign of Christ

“ . . . and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on the earth.”  Revelation 1:5

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:8

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.”  Psalm 103:19

“O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty.”  Daniel 5:18

Daniel 2:20-23

“The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will and sets over it the lowliest of men.”  Daniel 4:17

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.”  Proverbs 21:1

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.” Psalm 2:2-4

“The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.”  Psalm 33:10-11

Over Satan

“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.”  John 12:31

“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming.  He has no claim on Me, but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”  John 14:30-31

In the Suffering of Believers

And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.  Acts 4:24-31

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  Revelation 6:9-11

“For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”  1 Peter 3:17

“Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you in prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  Revelation 2:10

And read all of 1 Peter, and of his encouragement to the followers of Jesus who suffered and many who were torturously killed under the tyrannical reign of the brutal emperor, Nero.

Habakkuk

And then there is Habakkuk, who expressed his lack of understanding at what was going on with the Assyrians and the soon coming Chaldeans (Babylonians) against God’s people.  

There is a sense of honest rawness that comes from Habbakuk in his prayerful cries to God.  He asks great questions.  His frustration and lack of understanding is real.  He is no different from us, when we don’t understand what is going on and why what is happening, is happening.

God answers Habakkuk’s prayers by telling him that He is raising up the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to invade.  To that, Habakkuk replies, in essence, “How could you do this?!?  Are you kidding me?”  

Do you get the sense that Habakkuk could’ve said, “The administration of Assyria has done great harm, and the coming Babylonians will do even more harm, so don’t tell me that God is sovereign.  To have that kind of faith and believe that God is sovereign in the midst of all this, invalidates our lived experiences and the harm that we have experienced from Shalmaneser, and will experience through Nebuchadnezzar’s administration”?  

Yet, as God speaks to his prophet, He reminds Habakkuk of this:  “But the LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.”  Habakkuk 2:20

Sovereignty, even in suffering.

God’s sovereignty is somewhat of a mystery, and at times is hard to accept.  Without a doubt, God is broken over the sin that has scathed this world and left a wake of heartache, pain, and suffering.  But our lack of understanding God doesn’t make Him any less sovereign.  

Regardless of what we experience, God gives much grace to still find much joy and hope in the difficult moments and days of life.  He is writing this story, and the twists and turns are not without the sovereign strokes of His pen.  

I would encourage you to avoid the dangerous road of seeking to reconcile your feelings with your faith, rather than reconciling your faith with God’s character and who He is.  

EVEN STILL, I WILL TRUST GOD

As I write this, the election has still not been determined; at least not officially.  Although some would report it as such, the process has not run its course.  It would be true regardless of what party was contesting an election, such as in 2000.  

Nonetheless, my hope is not in a political party. Thank you, Jesus!  And I can with full confidence say that regardless of whatever takes place, Jesus really is King.  He has never ceased to be, nor will He ever.  And if that hurts your feelings, I would encourage you to surrender your feelings to God, and let the truth of His word guide your feelings to the goodness of His sovereignty. 

So, dear pastor and friends, our only hope and joy is found in Christ, and the sovereignty of a King who has always reigned and always will.  

Come, King Jesus.  

CROSSROADS & CULTURE PODCAST

Twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, I will be posting podcast episodes that will help you navigate issues where life, ministry, and culture meet.

Currently you can follow on Spotify, where you can “Follow” by clicking the episode below, and coming soon they will be hosted on iTunes and Google podcasts. I look forward to you joining me on the journey!

THE FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OF “FROM WOMB TO TOMB” PODCAST

THE FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT “FROM WOMB TO TOMB”

IMAGE BEARERS OF GOD

Every person, whether they acknowledge the existence of God or not, has been created in the image of the One true God (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6). Because of that truth, which does not hinge on anyone’s opinion, every person has intrinsic value and worth.  There is nothing ambiguous about God’s view regarding life in the womb, as scripture clearly points out in passages such as Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16; Exodus 21:22-25; and others.

THE FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT OF “FROM WOMB TO TOMB”

There is a growing theme, specifically among those who are seeking to justify their reconciliation of their political persuasions that support a political ideology and the genocidal reality of abortion, by claiming that pro-life needs to comprehensively include all aspects of life.

On the surface, caring for all life “from womb to tomb” sounds right and noble.  And it is.  But caring for life from womb to tomb can’t even be a thought if life itself, which by the way science has validated begins at conception (I mean, since we’re all about following the science), is terminated within the womb.

In short, what some within the “Christian community” are asking is, “Can a person be a Christian, and vote for/support a candidate who is pro-abortion?”  To go one step further, some within the same community have moved passed the question and are seeking to justify why they, as a Christian, are able to vote for a pro-abortion candidate. 

The truth is, there is no way to soften the harsh reality that abortion is the murder of an unborn child.  If that lands hard and sets uncomfortably on your heart, mind, and soul, it should.  If it doesn’t, then there is a much deeper issue.    

Consider these facts:

  • Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, over 60 million babies have been aborted.  To try and grasp the genocidal and infanticidal reality that abortion is, that is more than almost 10 times the loss of life of the Holocaust (6 million Jews) and the loss of American lives in all U.S. wars from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on terror (1.1 million), combined over a period spanning 240 years.  Or, consider that it is equal to the 60.4 million people currently living in the country of Italy.  In 47 years, the United States of America, has murdered over 60 million unborn children. 
  • Abortion in America has contributed to the greatest decline in the African-American population since the first black slaves arrived in the Americas in the 1600s. According to U.S. census data, there were 18,871,831 black American citizens in 1960. Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, abortion has killed an estimated 20 million black babies — more than the entire black population of 1960. (The Washington Examiner, February 28, 2020)
  • 86% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are in or near minority neighborhoods, specifically the 25 U.S. counties with the most abortions.  These 25 counties contain 19 percent of the U.S. population and are home to 28 percent of the U.S. African-American population and 37 percent of the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population. In 12 of these counties, African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are more than 50 percent of the population. In contrast, African-Americans are only 12.6 percent of the U.S. population and Hispanics and Latinos are 16.3 percent.  Although these 25 counties reflect just 1% of all U.S. counties, they accounted for 30 percent of all abortions in the U.S. in 2014.  (Life Issues Institute research, Townhall, September 23, 2020, https://townhall.com/columnists/susanwillkeenouen/2020/09/23/research-shows-planned-parenthood-expands-targeting-minorities-as-it-spurns-racist-founder-n2576680)
  • For every 1,000 live births, non-Hispanic Black women had 401 abortions. Non-Hispanic White women had 109 abortions per 1,000 live births.
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater New York removed the name of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, due to her own documented racist and eugenic ideologies.  The Birth Control Review, (Sanger’s journal) frequently highlighted the mission of its parent organization:  “The American Birth Control League.  Its Aim:  To promote eugenic birth selection throughout the United States so that there may be more well‑born and fewer ill‑born children ― a stronger, healthier and more intelligent race.”  (Advertisement in the Birth Control Review, Volume I, Number 1, New Series, October 1933, page 8)   As well, she wrote, “Before eugenists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control.  Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit….Birth control of itself, by freeing the reproductive instinct from its present chains, will make a better race….Eugenics without birth control seems to us a house built upon the sands.  It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit.” (Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,”  Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 2, February 1919, pages 11 and 12)

For one who professes to be a follower of Jesus, yet seeks to justify the killing of pre-born children via abortion, what defense do you give to the Giver of life; the One who created these children in His image?  I don’t think texting him a link to your favorite podcaster’s woke view on “pro-life” is going to suffice; the well-meaning blog post that seeks to articulate compassion for those who are post-womb and in need of loving care, yet doesn’t have issue with a woman’s choice to have an abortion rings hollow.  Seriously though, how would you respond to the Righteous Judge? 

Looking at the landscape of our society, it is becoming increasingly clear that life is no longer valued as precious and priceless, but rather it is treated as nonessential and expendable. The issue of abortion may be fought in the political arena and played out in the media outlets of our culture but understand that this issue is not a political one; it is biblical; it’s spiritual. As a culture we want a religion, and a text that bends to our preferences. If what Scripture teaches isn’t convenient, or comfortable we undermine it; twist it; ignore it; reinterpret it; and even re-label it.

DEFUND WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE DEFUNDED   

Due to provision’s in Obamacare, Planned Parenthood’s “health centers” are no longer necessary for women to receive convenient care regardless of their financial status.  Under the ACA (Affordable Care Act), women are able to receive preventative services, as stated on https://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-womens-health-services/ :

“Women across America will benefit from the new provisions and protections in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).  Under the Affordable Care Act women have access to a large number of preventive services at no cost on health coverage that has to follow the Affordable Care Act’s rules (for example marketplace plans and full benefit employer plans). These services include:

• Well-woman visits.

• Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.

• Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.

• FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.

• Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.

• HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.

• Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.

• HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.

• Mammograms and Colonoscopies (since Sept 2010)

• And more.”

I mention this because the argument has been, and continues to be made, that to defund Planned Parenthood of federal tax dollars would threaten the health care of women and prevent them from having services offered by Planned Parenthood.

Of the over $600 million that Planned Parenthood receives from federal and state tax dollars, the “services” provided by them are made available at other health facilities.  For states that have not opted out of the abortion coverage offered by the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), tax payers are in effect paying for abortion coverage.

The fact is that with the ACA’s provisions, Planned Parenthood, is not necessary in order for these services to be made available.  Although Planned Parenthood claims that only 3.5% of all services performed at their facilities nationwide are abortions, their numbers are skewed due to how they are calculated. 

Alexandra Desanctis of the National Review reports, “To understand why this is wrong, consider how Planned Parenthood obtains this statistic: by calculating abortion as a percentage of its services rather than calculating what percentage of its clients show up primarily for an abortion. For instance, if a woman comes to Planned Parenthood for an abortion but, while she’s there, obtains a pregnancy test, an STD test, and a well-woman exam, and is given contraceptives on her way out the door, the organization would record the abortion she received as just one-fifth of the “services” Planned Parenthood performed. This does little to capture the true part that abortion plays in Planned Parenthood’s business, nor does it acknowledge the fact that abortion is, by far, the most expensive procedure the group offers.” 

Haley BeMiller, a reporter for USA Today, reported that in 2019 Planned Parenthood performed more than 345,000 abortions, accounting for 40-50% of abortions nationwide. (USA Today, May 5, 2020). According to Planned Parenthood’s reports, the number of non-abortion services performed between October 2017 and September 2018, decreased significantly. (Washington Times, January 6, 2020)

Planned Parenthood’s 2018-2019 annual report indicated that they received $616.8 million in American taxpayer funds, an increase of 9.4% from the $563.8 million it received in year 2017-2018.  In their report it is stated that, “Government health services reimbursements and grants” remain the largest source of income for Planned Parenthood at 37% – largely from the Medicaid program – followed by “private contributions and bequests” at 36 percent.  According to Live Action News, Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer income over the last decade has risen 69.8%, “from $363.2 million in 2008, to $616.8 million in taxpayer dollars in 2018.”

In 2018-2019, Planned Parenthood’s total revenue was more than $1.6 billion, and its net assets for the year was nearly $2 billion.

The reason I’m sharing the facts about Planned Parenthood’s “services” and their financials is to point out that at the core this is a money-making industry at the expense of the unborn and women.  To look at the facts, which have seemingly become non-essential in our current culture, and proport an illogical argument that this is about “women’s health and reproductive health care” and not about a “non-profit” organization that is profiting greatly from the killing of unborn children up to full-term, is asinine and ludicrous to say the least.  As well, that Planned Parenthood would spend $45 million leading up to the election, specifically funding and supporting political candidates and a party that wholeheartedly supports and champions late term abortion, is very telling of the threat that exists to their lucrative, albeit evil, endeavors. 

PUT YOUR TAX MONEY AND YOUR TIME WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS

If you want to make a difference, support reallocating federal and state funds from Planned Parenthood to child services, not a platform that champions infanticide and genocide.

For a person who professes to be pro-life yet is in favor of supporting and funding abortion even up to full term, that person has lost any moral authority when it comes to being “pro-life” after a child is born. 

If the concern is the care for a child post-birth, then I would suggest supporting local, state, and national candidates and officials who are truly pro-life, as well as pushing for legislation that will reallocate funds directed to Planned Parenthood to government funded child services. 

According to Urban Institute’s “Kids’ Share 2020:  Report on Federal Spending 2019 and Future Projections” July 2020report, federal spending on children amounted to $408 billion, or 9% of the federal budget. In comparison, 45% of 2019 outlays went towards health and retirement benefits for adults through Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; 15 percent went towards defense spending; and 8 percent went to interest on the federal debt.

Rather than give the $600 million-plus to Planned Parenthood, they should be redirected to organizations that really do focus on specific areas that truly are pro-life:  adoption agencies, fighting child poverty, child health services, etc.,  If you want to make a difference that expresses “womb to tomb,” pro-life beliefs and convictions, get behind these causes by engaging with your time and resources. 

  • Adoption agencies
    • Only 4% of women with unwanted pregnancies place their children through adoption.  Even for those who say there aren’t enough who will adopt, adoption saves the lives of 140,000 children each year. 
    • There is financial assistance available but reallocating federal and state funds used for abortion to adoption and foster care services would help significantly.  I honestly don’t know how anyone who is pro-life could argue against it. 
  • Fighting Child poverty
    • According to a 2020 report from the United States Census Bureau and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Child poverty remains a very significant and costly issue in the United States. In 2019, the child poverty rate was 14.4%— significantly higher than the 9.4% poverty rate for adults and the 8.9% poverty rate for seniors.
  • Child health services
    • There needs to be more attention given to children who are in need of not only medical, dental, and eye care, but mental health care as well.  Having recently become involved with helping school-aged students get the mental health care they need, I have seen first-hand the lack of quality resources available that provides consistent, stable, and compassionate care for these kids and their parents/guardians. 
  • Volunteer time to child services
    • Mentoring kids through organizations and churches.
    • Coaching local sports teams.
    • Advocacy groups that speak up and fight for children who are facing difficult and traumatic situations.
    • Tutoring children who are in desperate need of one-on-one attention. 
  • Give financially to organizations that may be poorly funded yet are legitimately having a positive impact in the lives of children. 

EVERY LIFE MATTERS

I understand that pro-life is not just pro-children.  But for the sake of the length of this post, just know that what I’ve shared is foundational and speaks to the truth that all life, truly from the womb to the tomb, is of great value. 

 I’ll close with this:  if you profess to be a follower of Jesus, I challenge you to do a couple of things:  1) Study the words of Jesus, the whole counsel of God’s word, and see what He says about “life;” not your definition or adaptation of “life”; not another person’s opinionated blog about their definition of “life.”  What does God say?  And 2) When you stand before Jesus, and we all will, what defense will you give for the beliefs you held and actions you took, or didn’t take, regarding “life?”

NOTHING CUTE ABOUT “CUTIES”

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”  Isaiah 5:20

If you are a Netflix subscriber, I hope that you will strongly consider cancelling your subscription.  If there is anything worthy of cancelling in this cancel-culture which we live, it is this.  

Last night, I saw a brief news segment on the sexual exploitation, and digital trafficking of young girls by way of the Netflix show “Cuties,” and it was heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, and disgusting all at the same time.

What is being promoted by Netflix is blatantly evil, and to do nothing is, in essence, calling it “good.”  

Over 1 in every 4 people trafficked are children, and that number is more than likely low.  For a culture that is crying out for justice, there is nothing more just and right than speaking out against, and tangibly doing something that brings attention and an end to a $150 billion a year criminal industry.  To use a phrase that has become the mantra of the day, “Silence is violence,” if you believe that to be true, how can you remain silent about something that is sexually exploiting children by putting them on display for the Jefferey Epsteins and Ghislaine Maxwells of the world? 

In 2016, former President Barack Obama spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative, and said: “I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name: modern slavery. It is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilized world.”

And to what he said, I say, “Amen!”  

In 2018, Barack and Michelle Obama signed a “multi-year agreement” to help produce films and series in partnership with Netflix.  (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/us/politics/barack-obama-netflix-show.html).  If, in fact, what President Obama said in 2016 is something he firmly believes is true, and in light of the fact that he and Ms. Obama are influencers and have leverage with Netflix, and they do, why aren’t they calling out Netflix regarding a show that is nothing short of sexual exploitation, specifically of children, and the very thing that fuels human trafficking?  To date, no comment has been made.   

As well, in the same year of 2018, Ambassador Susan Rice, Obama’s former National Security Advisor, was appointed to the Board of Directors of Netflix.  Without a doubt, as a Board Member she would have some influential counsel for the company, but yet there has been nothing done to remove “Cuties” from the platform.  Why is that?

To this point, Netflix has refused to condemn any part of the film’s content.  They did, however, issue a hollow and disingenuous apology last month for their print ad that showed girls posing in skimpy outfits. 

Again, there is nothing cute about “Cuties.”  And there’s nothing cute about young girls emulating Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion.  On Apple Music, the most-played song in the USA right now is “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan The Stallion.  Parents, if you’re going to be upset about “Cuties,” and you should, then stop allowing your kids to listen to and watch those who are contributing to the issue, not helping.  I could say more on this, but I’ll save it for another blog post.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

1. Cancel Netflix

Sadly, money generated by shows and subscribers, not moral values determine what they do.  If you are making the excuse that you’ll not be able to watch your favorite shows, you might want to think on what you value most and what is most valuable.  

2. Reach out to Netflix via social media or email. 

Respectfully share your thoughts with them on their social media platforms.  Regardless of a person’s social status, people care about their social media presence and the approval of others.  On Netflix’s website https://www.netflixinvestor.com/governance/officers-and-directors/default.aspx, they list their Officers and Directors.  Here’s a list:

• NETFLIX OFFICERS

◦ Reed Hastings (Founder and CEO)

◦ David Hyman

◦ Jessica Neal

◦ Spencer Neumann

◦ Greg Peters

◦ Bozoma Saint John

◦ Ted Sarandos

◦ Rachel Whetstone

NETFLIX BOARD OF DIRECTORS

◦ Richard Barton

◦ Rodolphe Belmer

◦ Mathias Dopfner

◦ Timothy Haley

◦ Jay Hoag

◦ Leslie Kilgore

◦ Ann Mather

◦ Ambassador Susan Rice

◦ Brad Smith

◦ Anne Sweeney

3. Do Something.

Consider getting involved with great organizations like A21 (www.a21.org). There are great national and international organizations that are making a difference in rescuing and ministering to those who have been victimized by human trafficking.  Check your local area for legitimate organizations with which you can partner.  

4. Pray for God to continue to expose the evil and darkness of human trafficking, and those who are perpetuating it.

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