Ronald Regan on Socialized Medicine

March 26, 2010

Is An Economic Downturn A Good Reason to Stop Having Kids? – Voddie Baucham Ministries

June 12, 2009

I found this blog post on Voddie Baucham’s website and thought that it would be interesting to share.  I would also encourage you to visit Voddies website at  http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/home.htmlVoddie Baucham Ministries

Thursday, June 11, 2009 The news has not been encouraging lately. Between job losses, bankruptcies, and government takeovers, it is hard to be optimistic about the future from a financial standpoint. Even China appears more capitalistic than America these days (see here). As a result, many Americans are making very hard choices. There are even commercials on television depicting families sitting around the dinner table talking about difficult decisions they must make and dreams they must defer. My family and I have had similar discussions as I have had a few events cancelled on account of “the economy”. Things are indeed tough.

One of the overlooked consequences of the current economic downturn is the increasing number of people who have decided to forego having children. All over the western world people are deciding that now is not the time to get pregnant. As a result, the vasectomy industry is experiencing an economic boom. As evidence of this, there was a recent article in Bio-Medicine titled, “With the Economy Down, Vasectomy Rates Are Up.” The author notes that, “Doctors around the United States are reporting a sharp increase in the number of vasectomies performed since the economy soured last year.”

The numbers are actually quite astonishing. One article reported more than a thirty percent increase in vasectomy rates in Canada.Things are even worse in some parts of the United States. The Bio-Medicine article reports: Since November, Dr. Marc Goldstein, surgeon-in-chief of male reproductive medicine and surgery at the Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine in New York City, said his practice has seen about 48 percent more vasectomy consultations compared to the same time the previous year.

large familyThis is especially discouraging news in light of the already astonishingly low birthrates in the industrialized world.  Russia, for example, is expected to see their population cut in half (from 140 Million to 70 Million) between 2005 and 2050. As Michael Specter of the New York Times put it, “Driven largely by prosperity and freedom, millions of women — here and throughout the developed world — are having fewer children than ever before. They stay in school longer, put more emphasis on work and marry later. As a result, birth rates in many countries are now in a rapid, sustained decline. Never before — except in times of plague, war and deep economic depression — have birth rates fallen so low, for so long.” And that was 1998! Things have gotten progressively worse since then.

Many European countries have already reached the “point of no return,” and are in danger of becoming Islamic Republics. Unfortunately, most people view having children as a purely financial endeavor. This attitude was summed up well by Dr. Harry Fisch, a professor of clinical urology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City, who said:

“The issue about kids is often a financial one, and, if finances are low, it makes sense that people would be less likely to have more kids. And if they’re thinking about it, this is the time.”

Interestingly, things have been good (from a financial perspective) over the past few decades, but birthrates were still in decline. Thus, the current problem is not one of healthy birthrates becoming unhealthy in light of the economic downturn. Instead, greedy materialistic people who already saw children as a burden when they were ‘filthy rich” (which includes Americans at the “poverty line” if you look at things from a global perspective) are now in a panic because they are slightly less rich.

But what does the Bible have to say on the subject? Is an economic downturn, or a set of difficult circumstances a good enough reason to stop having children? I do not believe that an economic downturn is a sufficient reason to prevent pregnancy.bible

I base my argument on four key factors. First, children are a blessing. The Bible is clear on this issue: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalms 127:3-5 ESV) I love the ESV translation of this passage. Here we see an important nuance in the Hebrew text. It is not the man whose quiver is filled that is blessed, but the man “who fills his quiver.” In other words, we should seek children. We should desire them.

Second, we are commanded to “be fruitful and multiply.” (Gen 1:28; 8:17; 9:1, 7; 35:11; Jer 23:3) One of the principle purposes of marriage is procreation. Of course, this goes beyond merely having children to actually bringing them up in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4) in an effort to spread the image of God (and the gospel) throughout the earth. As such, it is unthinkable for Christians to attempt to enjoy the benefits of marriage and avoid the responsibility of having and raising children to the glory of God. R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY said it better than most when he wrote:

Christians must recognize that… rebellion against parenthood represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God’s design. The Scripture points to barrenness as a great curse and children as a divine gift… Morally speaking, the epidemic in this regard has nothing to do with those married couples who desire children but are for any reason unable to have them, but instead in those who are fully capable of having children but reject this intrusion in their lifestyle.

Third, any decision to avoid pregnancy has to be based on biblical reasons, and a struggling economy is not one of them. While I do not believe that there are many instances where preventing pregnancy would be “biblical”, I do believe that there are some instances where one could make a strong biblical argument for doing so. For example, if a man’s wife breaks her pelvis in an automobile accident, I believe he would be quite wise in holding off any plans for a baby. I know there are some who have argued that it is “never biblical” to prevent pregnancy. Baby in womb

However, I disagree.As a pastor, I would advise a man in the aforementioned situation not to impregnate his wife, and I would base that advice on Peter’s admonition to “live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7 ESV). I believe this goes directly to a man’s role as protector in the home. However, that is a far cry from the, “Things are really bad now” line of reasoning. Anyone wondering if the Bible gives any hint as to whether or not God would advise his people to continue having children in the midst of bad economic, or political times need only look at Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Babylon. In the midst of conditions that make ours look like a day at the park, the Lord spoke through his prophet: “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.” (Jeremiah 29:4-6 ESV) I thank God that my ancestors who were slaves (by the way, that’s worse than an economic downturn) bore children in spite of their difficulties. Had they adopted today’s mindset, there would be no descendants of slaves alive in America today. We would all have been “prevented” in the name of “prudence”.

Fourth, if one has biblical reasons to avoid pregnancy (and this is almost never the case), the next step would be to employ biblical means in doing so. If a couple finds themselves in a situation where avoiding pregnancy becomes necessary, there are other issues to take into consideration. For example, birth control shots, I.U.D.’s, morning after pills, and many birth control pills, are actually abortifacients (they have the potential to cause early abortions when they fail at preventing pregnancy). As such, they should be avoided. Also, bodily mutilation (vasectomy, tubal ligation, etc.) is a serious and morally questionable alternative (1 Cor. 6:19). That leaves barrier methods (though this raises questions of “spilling the seed,” i.e., Gen. 38), and abstinence (which carries with it a whole other set of difficulties; 1 Cor. 7:1-5). In other words, such decisions are far from “cut-and-dry” for those attempting to think and act biblically in this area.

We must search the Scriptures (I also recommend resources like Andreas Kostenberger’s book, God, Marriage and Family).  Unfortunately, most Christians never give such issues much thought. Very often we assume that since the practice of preventing pregnancy is so common, it must be biblical, prudent, and ethical. Moreover, most “Christian counselors” actually advise believers to prevent pregnancy in virtually any instance.

little married coupleFor example, if they 1) are newly married, 2) already have two or three children, 3) have experienced “difficult pregnancies,” 4) had one or more deliveries via c-section, or 5) are in the midst of an economic “crisis” (i.e., can only afford one new car and a 2,000 sq. ft. house). If you don’t believe me, start listening to call-in “counseling” shows. I know this firsthand. Regrettably, my wife and I fell victim to such “counseling” after our second child was born.

Suddenly, we had our girl and our boy (the perfect LITTLE family), and the all-too-common excuse of “difficult pregnancies,” (coupled with a Caesarian delivery) so it was time to shut it down. We hired a doctor to take his scalpel and suture, and tell God we no longer needed, wanted, or trusted him in that area of our lives. I talk about this dark episode in Family Driven Faith.

I believe the burden of proof is on those who wish to prevent pregnancy. Search the Scriptures to see if these things are true. We mustn’t simply assume that the old clichés are true. I know we’ve always heard that the responsible thing to do is prevent pregnancy until you are “ready” financially (and there are no complications, or sickness, or dreaded warnings from physicians), but what does the Bible say? And who’s ever “ready” for a baby? Moreover, who knows what the financial scene will look like nine months from now? There’s another issue at play here. Many people who prevent pregnancy today and plan on just “getting back around to it” some other time are in danger of, “tempting the Lord their God.” (Matt 4:7; cf. Deut. 6:16)! pregnant couple

Getting pregnant is not a guarantee. There are plenty of people out there who cry themselves to sleep at night because they’ve been trying for years and God has not opened the womb. People who put pregnancy off until a “more appropriate time” need to bear this in mind. You don’t know when (or if) you will get pregnant. As such, it is quite presumptuous to put it off until you decide you’re ready.

Remember, God is the author of life, and every child is a blessing. Besides, who’s going to fix our ethical, spiritual, economic, and political crisis in the next generation if those of us who know the answer (the gospel) shut it down and stop launching arrows simply because they may require a little financial sacrifice in the short run? VB For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in TRUTH -3 John 3,4 ESV


Church Shootings – What’s Going On?

March 11, 2009

By Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S.

There Is a Problem

When a man walks into a church and guns down the pastor, perhaps the question we should ask isn’t “Why did this happen?” but “Should we really be surprised?” In a society where people live by their own whims and ignore God’s rules (even those in the church), such as not to murder, we continue to reap the bitter fruit of such a philosophy.

Judges 17:6
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.Church Shooting

Christ is King and sits above any authority on earth (of course, some reject this, but Christ still reigns—whether they want to admit it or not.) The King says not to murder. But people are taught that they are their own authority. Hence, the King’s rules are often neglected as people raise their own beliefs to be greater than God.

Violence Increasing

If people set their own rules—and many in today’s humanistic culture have been taught to do this from an early age—then be prepared. School shootings, church shootings, and other acts of violence, sadly, will increase. For a listing of some of school shootings in the U.S. please visit this off-site website, Keys to Safer Schools This website used to keep a map of the U.S. school shootings, but it was forced to stop updating it in 2006 because there were so many. The site claims, “We are unable to keep up with a graphic view of school violence.”

columbineMany of you may recall the shooting in Columbine and other high schools, but even universities have suffered such tragedy, such as Northern Illinois University on February 14, 2008, and Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.

Now even churches are becoming targets of violence. In late 2007, a shooter, who had a Christian background, went into a mission and a church and became a murderer. And when someone claims to be a Christian, but defies God’s Word and murders, then they have raised their own beliefs above God’s Word, showing humanistic influence.

But shootings are not limited to the U.S. Perhaps the most famous international school shooting was a student in Finland who, due to evolutionary beliefs, decided to put “natural selection and survival of the fittest back on tracks!”

Why?

On Sunday March 8, 2009, violence erupted in Marysville, Illinois, in a Baptist church. A shooter opened fire on pastor Fred Winters, who was standing in the pulpit. Our hearts and prayers go out to the pastor’s family and others in the church, specifically those who were injured trying to subdue the shooter.1

When such tragedies strike, people often want to assign blame. Sometimes there are other pertinent factors, but ultimately the root cause is sin. We are in a sin-cursed world because our ancestor, Adam, sinned against God. Because Adam sinned, we all have sinned and continually choose to sin.

We were all in Adam when he sinned, just as Levi (Abraham’s great-grandson) was in Abraham when he tithed to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:9–10). But we can’t simply blame Adam for all the problems because we sin too. It may seem like a difficult situation with no escape, but through repentance and faith in Christ, one can be saved. But being saved does not mean that there will be no hardships as long as we remain in a sin-cursed world; however, the sting of death, which is the ultimate punishment for sin, will be thwarted (1 Corinthians 15:51–58).bible

What Can Be Done?

In today’s society, Christians are letting the philosophy of “people setting their own rules” go too far. It is time for Christians to challenge humanistic ideas on all fronts to “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) The humanistic philosophy that has taken over society, particularly in the past 50 years, is bearing ugly fruit. If this fruit continues to grow unabated, it will bring our society crashing down around us.

The first way to counter this is to begin with ourselves—then our families, then our churches, and then our culture. We need to have answers about why the Bible is true, why it is the authority, and about the God to whom we are accountable.

Invitation

Fred Winters, the pastor who was shot, is now with the Lord: he died a martyr’s death like most of Jesus’s disciples. Like Jesus’s disciples, Pastor Winters devoted his life to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. For those who may be reading this and are unsure of their salvation, we invite you to consider the claims of Christ and the good news that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord. For more, please see:

And I would encourage you to find a local church and speak to the pastor concerning salvation. For a good biblical overview, I suggest reading Genesis 1–11, the Gospel of John, the book of Romans, and then Revelation 21–22. This will give you a good overview.

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

I found this to be an excellent aritlce found on the Answers In Genesis Website.  Thanks to Ken Ham for his Creation Ministry, and to Bodie Hodge for this Article.  Please visit their website at http://www.answersingenesis.org


The Biggest Crisis in America

March 10, 2009

There is an economic crisis in America, but it is not our biggest crisis.

The Associated Press today released some numbers from americanreligionsurvey-aris.org

a national survey on religion in America.

Here are some of the numbers.

  • 15% of the respondents said they have no religion. An increase from 14.2% in 2001, and 8.2% in 1990.
  • Northern New England Surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious Region.
  • 34% of Vermont reported that they have no religion
  • The numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state
  • Mainline Protestants dropped from just over 17% to 12.9% of the population
  • 30% of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony
  • 27% said they did not want a religious funeral
  • 12% of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths.
  • 1.2% said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca, and Santeria
  • Evangelical or born-again Americans make up 34% of all American adults and 45% of all Christians and Catholics.
  • Muslim Americans grew to 0.6%

Our biggest crisis in America today is a spiritual crisis. Christians have no where to look but into the mirror when looking at these statistics. If we were at lest discipling our own children these numbers would be increasing for Christ.

Until we take seriously the commandments of God, the economic crisis doesn’t really matter.


Sinking Sand

March 9, 2009

As the Financial Tsunami makes landfall it is destroying everything within its path.  It is taking homes, mortgage companies, banks, investment companies, automobile manufactures, small businesses, large businesses, jobs, and anything or anyone else that has built their future on the sinking sands of debt.

wave-hitting-rock

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not:  for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these saying of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: And great was the fall of it.” Mathew 7:24-27

In the area in which I live a large home builder just went out of business.  They cited the current economic environment was too tough for them to survive.  It’s true, the present economic environment is very difficult for home builders or anyone else involved with real estate to survive.  However, just a few short years ago they were making money hand over fist.  Their sales were booming and people were building a lot of homes.  What happened to all of the money that they earned when times were good?

I’ll tell you where it went.  It went to banks in interest payments.

This builder, like many other large builders, operated from a “stay in debt business model”.  It was working from the “microwave worldview” that it must be the biggest builder in the nation, right now!

They used debt to acquire land to be developed into building lots.  They used debt, in the form of a business credit line, to ‘ready’ the land for homes to be built.  They used debt to build spec. homes to be sold.

This type of operation is understandable (although risky) for a new start up business with a limited amount of cash.  However, for many builders and businesses there is no plan to get out of debt, and to operate the business debt free.  When profits are earned they are spent on bonuses, and dividend payments.  Interest paid to the bank is simply another category on the expense side of the ledger.  Sinking Sand.

The travesty of the whole thing is that’s what is taught in most business colleges today.  The students are not taught the pit falls of debt.  Debt is taught as a cost to do business.

It is more then just bad news for this builder and its employees.  There are many people who will suffer the consequences of the builder’s debt.  The towns in which land was acquired is now in questions.  Will this land sit empty with no use for several years?  What about the customers that were in the midst of building a new home; will their home be completed?  What about other companies (landscape companies, roofing companies, etc…) that became yoked with this builder; will they have to go out of business too?

I am not trying to pick on this one company, but I am using them as my example of how most businesses, large and small operate.

Debt kills, it destroys, and it enslaves.

With this in mind, think about these statistics.

  • About 43% of American families spend more than they earn each year.
  • Average households carry some $8,000 in credit card debt.
  • Personal bankruptcies have doubled in the past decade.
  • Consumers owe nearly $2 trillion. (not including mortgage debt)  That’s $18,654 per household

The current national debt is $10,964,973,383,260, and growing.  (Just in case you need to know that’s nearly $11 Trillion!)  It continues to grow at an average pace of $3.71 Billion per day.


At every level of our society (Government, Businesses, Households) debt continues to grow.  It there any wonder why

Thailand Tsunami Destruction

Thailand Tsunami Destruction

we are facing judgment?  We ignore the warning from God about debt and then we pray for blessings.

Make no mistake about it, the Financial Tsunami has made landfall, and only God knows how far it will go.  When it finally does recede we will then begin to see the destruction that it has brought forth upon our land and upon the world.  What an opportunity for the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The Global Financial Summit

November 15, 2008

This is a Ron Paul video on the G20 Summit that is presently taking place.  He does an excellent job of articulating the direction that our country is likely to go.


The Debt Stacking Plan to Financial Freedom

November 3, 2008

If you find yourself in debt and want to free yourself of those bonds, debt stacking may be a strategy that you can use. It is not a quick fix, or a consolidation loan. It is a strategy that will help you to gradually make progress on paying off your debts. If you owe thousands more than you make per year then you can safely assume that it may take years to pay everything off.

Before I get into the plan I want to make it clear that living a debt free life is a lifestyle change for most people. You will actually need to start living the debt free lifestyle before you become debt free. It may be quite the shock to your system, and if you have a family that spends you will also need to get them on board to this change.

OK. The best way for me to explain debt stacking is to show you an example.

You owe the following.

Visa $2,300 Your monthly payment is $50

MasterCard $4,500 Your monthly payment is $75

Sears $5,000 Your Monthly payment is $100

Minivan $12,000 Your monthly payment is $275

Truck $18,000 Your monthly payment is $350

Home Equity $25,000 Your monthly payment is $350

1st Mortgage $80,000 Your monthly payment is $900

Total Debt $144,500 Your total monthly payments are $2,100

The strategy involves paying off the smallest debt first and then taking what was paid on that debt and applying it to the next smallest debt until it is paid off, and on down the line.

STEP #1 Pay off the VISA. It is the smallest debt and will free up an extra $50 per month to apply to the Master Card. If you are able find an extra $100 per month in your budget to apply to this debt. Take on a part time job if you can but it is very important to pay off this first debt as soon as possible. Let’s assume that you do find an extra $100 per month and apply it to the VISA. You can now pay off that VISA in approx.

It will take you approx. 16 months to pay off this debt. Yep that is a long time, but you have made progress. Now you can concentrate paying off the MasterCard, in which you now owe approx. $3500.

STEP #2 You can now pay $225 per month on your MASTERCARD. At this rate you will have the $3500 paid off in approx. in another 16 months. You have now been in this program for 32 months.

STEP #3 Payoff SEARS. You now owe them approx. $2500, but you can start paying $325 per month on that debt. SEARS is paid off in approx. 8 months. You now are free from credit card debt!

STEP #4 Payoff the MINIVAN. By this time you probably only owe about $4,000 on the MINIVAN, and you can now pay $600 per month on this debt, so it will be paid off within 6 months. You have now been in the program for 46 months, and you owe for your truck, home equity, and 1st mortgage.

STEP #5 Payoff the TRUCK. You probably now only owe about $3000 on your truck, and you can now pay $950 per month on this debt so it will be paid in full within 4 months. You have been in the program for 50 months.

STEP #6 Payoff the HOME EQUITY. By this time you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also by now you can fully understand the imprisonment that debts bring to your life. But thank God you have made the decision to become free.

By this time you will owe approx. $15,000 on your HOME EQUITY and you can now pay $1,300 per month. You will have this debt paid off in approx. 12 months. You have now been in the program for 5 years and have paid off $64,500 in debt! AND you are down to 1 debt.

STEP #7 Payoff the 1ST MORTGAGE! By now you owe approx. $72,500 on your mortgage, and you can pay $2200 per month on this debt. At this rate you will have your 1st mortgage paid off in approx. 50 months. Congratulations you are debt free

You have gone from being buried in debt to debt free in less then 10 years. You didn’t need a consolidation loan, and you didn’t need to file bankruptcy. You just needed a plan, the right attitude and some patience.

You earned your freedom from slavery in less then 10 years!