Gay Marriage, Epistemology & Righteousness…”What?!” Part Four

Part Four: A Biblical Worldview/Epistemology of Marriage

There is no institution on earth that reflects the quintessence of God’s relationship with mankind more than marriage. The creation of man and woman is the full expression of the image of God. Genesis 1:27-28 reads,

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”

It is in the creation of male and female that we find the image of God complete. I have always found God’s first words to a human to be very interesting. “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

Immediately, God begins His relationship with mankind in terms of sexuality. How else could Adam and Eve “be fruitful?” Of course, sex is enjoyable — it is a gift from God! We, humans, have corrupted its purpose — being fruitful — placing the emphasis on the pleasure. Now, pleasure is all we seek!

Genesis 2:21-25 gives us more insight into God’s created order with the institution of marriage.

“So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

The term, “one flesh”, is significant. Only a man and a woman are able to come together as “one flesh”.  Marriage, then, is the context God created for fruitfulness and sexual fulfillment. There is so much more to say, but let’s move on.

Marriage, one man and one woman, is the manifestation of the Church’s relationship with Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-33 and 6:1-4 is a classic Scripture on how the home — marriage and family — is intertwined in our relationship with God, as the church. I have often wondered, is the Apostle Paul using marriage and the family to illustrate our relationship with God, or is he using our relationship with God to illustrate marriage and the family?

When we examine these verses closely, we can easily see that each Christian home is a living lab in which God’s redemptive plan is lived out in the world.

  • The Husband/Father is the Christ model of sacrifice. Ephesians 5:22-33, 6:4
  • The Wife/Mother is the model of our submission to Christ. Ephesians 5:22-24
  • Children are the model of our obedience to Christ. Ephesians 6:1-3

To cap off this whole discussion on a biblical view or epistemology of marriage, let’s take a look at the end of the Bible and the end of all time. God’s created image of marriage climbs to the most amazing height as our Lord, Jesus Christ, refers to himself as the bridegroom and his Church as his bride.

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)

From the inception of time throughout the scripture to the end of the earth, male and female — created in the image of God, expressed through the institution of marriage and the family — is the epitome of mankind’s relationship with God. Marriage is holy. Marriage is honorable. Marriage is the foundation of society on earth. It defines us here and now, and defines our future role as Christ’s bride.

Any attempt on our part as mere humans to re-define this most sacred institution, can only result in dire consequences.

We’ll address this in my next post.

Gay Marriage, Epistemology & Righteousness…”What?!” Part Three

Part Three: What is Epistemology and Why Should I Care?

Dr. Jason Lisle is a Christian astrophysicist who writes and speaks on various topics relating to science and the defense of the Christian faith. His blog post on epistemology is excellent. For the purpose of this post, I borrowed greatly from Dr. Lisle. I highly recommend that you subscribe to his blog at www.jasonlisle.com.

Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Epistemology helps us answer the question: how we know what we know.  When a person has a belief, it is reasonable to ask the person “how do you know this?” The way in which a person responds to this kind of question will reveal his or her original source or epistemology.

Everyone has an epistemology because everyone have some beliefs, and they have reasons for their beliefs. However, not all reasons are good reasons. If the reason isn’t very good, then there is a good chance that the belief is wrong.

Epistemology is very important if we want our beliefs to correspond to what is real — to truth.

I believe it is safe to assume that most people have not consciously reflected on their own epistemology.  According to Dr. Lisle, when we think about what we believe we know, we need to ask ourselves three questions.

  1. How do I ultimately know anything?
  2. What are the standards by which truth is determined?
  3. Are these standards biblical?

Before we continue with this discussion, you may be asking yourself this question: “Why should I be concerned with epistemology?  It is enough that I do know things?”

Our epistemology is crucially important because if it is wrong, then many of our beliefs derived from that faulty system will also likely be wrong.  In other words, if our epistemology is wrong, then we could be wrong about everything we think we know!

Biblical Epistemology/Worldview

Only a Biblical worldview makes it possible for us to answer our questions and have genuine knowledge.  This is because knowledge stems from the nature of God. Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

A Biblical worldview gives us rational justification for all the things that we rely upon in order to have knowledge. As I stated in the last post, human beings are made in the image of God.

Now, as Christians, let’s consider these additional facts.

God’s mind is perfect by His nature.  At salvation, God gave us — Christians — the ability to pattern our thoughts after His.  For our benefit, God has commanded us to pattern our thoughts after His, so that our thoughts will be truthful.

In 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 — please take the time to read these verses yourself — we read that God has given Christians two amazing gifts to enable us to discern the spiritual truth in all situations.

First, God has given us His secret wisdom. Vs. 9-10

However, as it is written: “‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

Secondly, we have the mind of Christ. Vs. 16

“‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

Friends, as with any issue or situation, the “gay” issues we face today can only be righty discerned by Christians accessing the secret wisdom of God through our right mind — the mind of Christ. This is accomplished by way of the only reliable record we have, the Bible.

The Failure of Secular Epistemologies

Dr. Lisle writes in his blog, “Non-Biblical worldviews makes knowledge impossible.”

That doesn’t mean that non-Christians can’t know anything.  Clearly they can.  But this is despite their worldview and not because of it. When you ask a non-Christian why they know what they know, it ultimately leads back to themselves as the basis of their knowledge.

Rationality

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a rational person and an irrational one? A rational person has a good reason for his or her beliefs.  An irrational person does not.

A Biblicalworldview allows us to have good reasons for our most basic beliefs. Apart from the Bible, any reason that we offer for any belief cannot be ultimately justified.

Folks, it would appear that there are only two options for a person to hold.  One can either be a consistent Christian, or one can be irrational.

Epistemology is important because we live in a post-Christian America. More than ever, it is essential that, as Christians, we ask ourselves these three question about what we, think we know. Then, we ask others.

  1. “How do we know what we know?”
  2. “What are the standards by which truth is determined?”
  3. “Are these standards biblical?”

In my next post, I am going to present a biblical epistemology/worldview of marriage.

Again, I want to express my thanks to Dr. Jason Lisle for his work on epistemology.

I sincerely hope this series is a blessing to you. I would love to know what you believe the Bible says. Got any stories or reports? Please share.

~Pastor Gary

Homosexual Marriage, Epistemology & Righteousness…”What?!” Part Two

This blog series is a Christian response to “gay” marriage and the same-sex issues we are facing. I hope this isn’t only a one-way conversation. In a real sense, this issue needs to be a discussion, not a proclamation from me, or anyone else. On some level, all of us are dealing with this issue — nationally, locally or personally.  You may be dealing with this issue at home within your family. You, yourself, may be struggling with same-sex tendencies.

Also, I realize that many people passionately oppose a biblical worldview. Several of those opposed have made their way into our Reach America web orbit. For those of you who choose to disagree, I ask that you listen. You are welcome to respond in the blog section of our website.

Let’s talk ground rules: This discussion needs to take place in the context of the essence of God’s nature and his message to us all, as described in the Bible, God’s Word, not our personal experience or current perceived reality.

The essence of God’s nature and message

First — God is love and God loves all people — regardless of their personal issues. The most quoted verse in the Bible is John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Love so much exemplifies the awesome nature of God that the Apostle John wraps up the essence of God in three short words, “God is love”. (1 John 4:8b)

This amazing three-word declaration is written in the context of John’s admonition to those who claim to know God — “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”.

Secondly — every person is a creation of God, made in his image. In Genesis 1:26-27, Moses writes, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Thirdly — God’s will is that none perish, but all people come to salvation in Christ. The Apostle Peter is clear in 2 Peter 3:9 when he says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” [Italics mine]

Let me make three more biblical points as we lay out the ground rules of our discussion.

Ground rule #1: This discussion will take place within the context of the Word of God. We will agree with the Apostle Paul and his position concerning God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. Also, we will agree with the writer of Hebrews, placing our lives under the authority of God’s Word for life guidance. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Ground Rule #2: Jesus, thus God’s Word, is truth. As we stated earlier, the Apostle John acknowledged that the essence of God’s nature is love. (1 John 4:8) If we are to be consistent in our biblical discussion, we must also believe the Apostle John’s description of the essence of the nature of Jesus Christ. John, who actually walked with Jesus for three years and was known as the “beloved” disciple, quotes Jesus. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6, Italics mine)

If we agree with John when he states that God is love, we must also agree with John that Jesus, thus God’s Word, is truth.

Ground Rule #3: We all must treat one another with the love of Christ, respecting one another. When we speak, we must do so full of grace and seasoned with salt, as Paul directs in Colossians 4:6. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

I am looking forward to sharing with you as we begin this discussion.

FYI: unless you have been previously approved, your comment will be screened before it is posted.

God Bless!

Pastor Gary

Homosexual Marriage, Epistemology & Righteousness…”What?!” Part One

In all probability, you have never seen a title to a series quite like that. However, I believe it is time to make the effort to deliver a biblical/Christian response and action plan to an issue that just doesn’t seem to be going away – “gay marriage”.

I have a prediction that may be a little depressing to those of us who embrace a biblical worldview and who genuinely care for all people, including those who claim to be “gay.” In America, “gay marriage”, one day, will be the law of the land.

Folks, it is time that we face reality — we live in a Post-Christian America. The signature issue that defines this reality is the over-whelming acceptance of both the “gay” lifestyle and “gay marriage”.

Let me explain why I place “gay” in quotations. It is because there is no evidence — biblically or scientifically — that “gay” is a physical condition which can be described as normal. There is no evidence that leads us to conclude that people can be born “gay”. There is no logical foundation on which to build an argument concluding that homosexual love is equal to natural love between a man and a woman.

With that said, I fully recognize that — to those who are genuinely struggling with “gay” tendencies — same-sex attraction is real. For these folks, “gay” is not something they woke up one day and proclaimed, “I think I will be gay today.”

For the individual who earnestly believes he or she is “gay”, this is a serious spiritual and psychological condition that is beyond simply making a choice.

For me, this issue is somewhat personal. Although I have never struggled with same-sex attraction, I do understand its spiritual roots. Let’s just say that I know what it is like to grow up sexually confused. As a child of nine, I was sexually abused by a neighbor next door for a period of six months. (FYI: I am currently writing a book on my abuse and my healing.)

In a recent Facebook conversation, I posted this paragraph about my real concern over the “gay” issues.

Thank God I had a stable Christian home, along with a church and an American culture that, at that time, reflected a biblical world view on “gay” issues. I am fearful that today — when the world is confusing enough for youth — we have made it more complicated for them. Government, on every level, is validating this dysfunctional and frankly perverse lifestyle. Now more pastors and churches are falling in line. I fear for our youth. Where will they hear the truth if not from their parents and pastors – those who have been given charge over them? If pastors are silent or, God forbid, if they endorse or permit this, where will the children go for truth and for healing? God help us and God help the children.

As we begin this series, I felt we needed to separate the issues from the people who need ministry and healing.

I want to leave you with a thought.

Could the issues surrounding same-sex attraction actually be an opportunity for Christians and the church to show incredible love?

“Pastor Gary, I do not see the reason for your optimism. Please Explain.”

Jose:  Pastor Gary, I do not see the reason for your optimism. Please explain, I could use some cheering up. (A beleaguered Christian in Socialistic UnGodly New York City).

Yesterday, I received the post above on Facebook. Jose was simply expressing what I believe all of us have felt or perhaps feeling, now.  He wanted to know why I am so optimistic about the future of America. The answer is simple — I believe that, in America, the people still are in control and I believe in the Christian youth of America.

My heart, spilled out before you…

Since this is a heart-spilling kind of post — I must begin by confessing to you that, at times, like Jose — I have been discouraged and I have wanted to give up.

After 37 years of working with teens, I have discovered that Christian teens have not given up on America. If you haven’t seen the video, The Thaw, by the Reach America teens, you are missing a blessing. When I see the fire in their eyes, it sets me on fire. You can see the video on the home page of this website. http://letsreachamerica.org/

Jose’s post gave me some insight. Christian adults have given up on America. This may explain why Christian adults are so unwilling to discuss strategies for reclaiming America. Do you agree?

Everyone wants to talk about how bad things are in America, but few want to do anything about it. All I hear from Christian adults is doom and gloom about how America is, well, doomed.

Like Jose, I think a lot of people are discouraged. When people hear or read about how excited I am about our future, they write me off. Am I right? I really want to hear from you on this.

I believe it is time we, Christian adults, had a public, national discussion on the future of America.

All of us have children and grandchildren. Some of us even have great-grandchildren. What does it say to them, when they hear that we are so quick to give up on the country where they will have to raise their children?

And for this discussion, please don’t say that you believe Jesus will come back before then. That very well may happen, but what if it doesn’t?

What do you think?

~Pastor Gary

In 10 Years America Can be a Different Place – Curious? Keep Reading

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, was the greatest leadership training strategist that ever lived.

Think about it. He took 12 regular guys and not only impacted the world for their time — but we are still experiencing the impact of His ministry 2,000 year later!

Get this — Jesus got His guys trained in just three years! Surely, through the power of His Spirit working through us, He can reach just one country in 10 years!

The key is to embrace Jesus’ methodology of world impact — and to do it, together.

As the church in America, we have taken the eternal message of Christ and His love and packaged it into a modern, western, “education” methodology. Folks, it simply isn’t working.

I believe American Christians have developed a mentality that — “if we studied it, we did it.” In our lives, we have reduced Jesus to a doctrinal statement. He is not living and working through us. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with doctrine — I hope you got my point.)

Belief statements, alone, don’t change the world, changed people change the world.

What would happen in America if our churches trained Christian parents and youth leaders how to train children and teens in the way Jesus trained His disciples? Do you believe that in 10 years this country would be different?

This is the purpose of our upcoming conference, April 25-26, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I would love to meet you.

Together, let’s learn how Christ changes lives and impacts societies. Together, let’s experience how, through the power of Christ’s Spirit, God can bring this once great nation back to Him. TOGETHER, we can reach America!

Click here for more info and registration.

~Pastor Gary

Becoming Gold Star Leaders Schedule, April 25-26, 2014

FRIDAY

1:00        Welcome and Conference Introduction

1:15        Presentation: The American cultural landscape and the postmodern mind

(The Culture, The approach of the typical church, How we came to embrace our current position and strategy)

2:15        TAG Time: Becoming a Gold Star Leader, Pages 1-17

2:30        Small Group Discussion

3:15        Large Group Wrap Up/Panel (Gary, Mindy, Student)

4:30        Student Presentation: The Thaw

5:00        Dinner on location

6:00        Presentation: The Power of a Changed Life

(Jesus’ Leadership Model, The Apostle Paul’s Leadership Model, C-4 Communities)

7:00        TAG Time: Becoming A Gold Star Leader, Pages 18-29

Write a Leadership Prayer

7:15        Small Group Discussion

8:00        Large Group Wrap Up/Panel

8:45        Dismiss

SATURDAY

8:30        Presentation: Facilitating Life change and leadership through creating a C-4™ Community, L.E.A.D.S.

9:30        TAG Time: Becoming a Gold Star Leader, Pages 30-34

9:45        Small Group Discussion

10:30     Large Group Wrap Up/Panel

11:15     Student Presentations

(World View Pillars, Blogging, Videos, Skit)

12:00     Lunch on location

1:00        Presentation Counting the Cost, Making a Difference

  • Growth Elevator
  • Counting the Cost
  • Discipleship is messy
  • Impacting Your community and a Nation
  • The importance of your personal leadership and establishing the Vision/DNA of the ministry.
  • As the leader, you are the Keeper of the Vision.

2:00        TAG Time: Becoming a Gold Star Leader, Pages 92-103

2:15        Small Group Discussion

3:00        Large Group Wrap Up/Panel

3:30        Curriculum Overview and Implementation

  • What do I do when I get home?
  • Conduct a starter group
  • How to implement Becoming A Gold Star Leader, Page 105
  • Determine what a C-4 Community looks like where you live
  • Develop a leadership training process
  • Evaluation of Weekend

4:30        Dismiss

For Coeur d’Alene:

4:30        Dismiss for Banquet at Candlelight Christian Fellowship

5:00-8:00              Banquet at Candlelight Christian Fellowship

Only a Changed Life Can Change a Nation

Becoming Gold Star Leaders Leadership Conference
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, April 25-26, 2014 

“Only a changed life can change a nation; only Christ can change a life!”

Life change is the crucial element to discipleship. At Reach America we identify teen disciples as gold star leaders. How does authentic life change and Christian discipleship/leadership happen? There are three fundamental essentials, DNA, environment and process.

DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. Ministryorganizations are actually ministry or living organisms. The DNA of your ministry is vital to the success of the ministry. Two elements that are critical to successful ministries are “life change” and the scope or reach of your ministry.

Environment. In Acts 17:28, the Apostle Paul writes, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Contained in this verse of scripture is a powerful principle — where our teenslive and move, they become.  Christian youth in America are attending worship and church activities for a couple of hours a week, but they are living and moving in an American culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity. Should we be surprised at what Christian teens are becoming?

Process. We have developed a five level leadership process taken directly from Jesus’ and Paul’s models. We call this process — L.E.A.D.S. — a Christian leader LEADS people to Christ.

“Becoming a Gold Star Leader” is two days of encouragement, learning, discussion and strategy planning built around these vital topics:

  • The American cultural landscape and the postmodern mind
  • The Power of a Changed Life (Jesus’ Leadership Model, The Apostle Paul’s Leadership Model, C-4 Communities)
  • Facilitating Life change and leadership through creating a C-4™ Community, L.E.A.D.S.
  • Counting the Cost, Making a Difference
  • Strategy Overview and Implementation: What do I do when I get home?

Pastor Gary Brown is leading the conference. Pastor Gary is in his 37th year of ministry to teens and their families. He has been a pastor, a national education consultant and an advisor to the US Congress. In 2006, members of Congress asked Pastor Gary to lead a national youth leadership conference in Washington, DC.  Reach America was formed to help facilitate Pastor Gary’s teen leadership ministry.

Leading in worship is Chris Martinez, an accomplished Christian musician, and founder of Anthems of Hope — a Christian worship band. You are going to be blessed and refreshed by Chris’ ministry.

This is not your typical conference. Four learning cycles include a presentation, quiet reflection, small group interaction, and large group discussion with a panel — interlaced with videos and student testimonies.

Come, be refreshed . Meet youth leaders from across the Northwest. Re-dream the dream and catch a vision for developing young Christian leaders for a new millennium!

The cost is $69 for adults and $39 for teens 18 and under. This fee covers all materials and meals beginning with dinner on Friday through Saturday. The fee also covers our community banquet on Saturday night.

The Cd’A Conference location is 1602 W. Lee Court, Cd’A, Idaho, 83814. We are still looking for a Boise location. If you have questions, our phone is 208-966-4434. Pastor Gary’s email is gary@letsreachamerica.org.

To register:

  1. Fill out the registration form online HERE
  2. You can pay the fee online on our “store” page (click store and scroll to the bottom) or mail a check made out to Reach America. (In the notes section, make sure you indicate that the check is for the Becoming Gold Star Leader Conference.) Our mailing address is 1602 W. Lee Court, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814.

In my next post I will include the conference schedule.

God Bless! I am looking forward to hearing from you,

Pastor Gary

How the Left Discredits Authentic Americanism – Part 2

In my last post I set the stage for a discussion on how the left discredits authentic Americanism.

On Thursday, January 23, I was invited to speak at a political gathering on the topic of winning the future through winning the next generation. Our local press showed up. When they printed the story of my speech, they were fairly — fair. It was the comments posted in the online version of the article that I would like to spend some time on today.

In no way do these comments personally offend me. This old bird has been around too long to let a few hot heads get under his skin. As a pastor, I have had an interesting journey. God’s path has taken me from the pulpit to halls of Congress and everywhere in between.

As I read the comments following the online version of the article, I was intrigued at the language the various bloggers were posting. The comments are very similar to what I have heard by liberals on every level of government.

I thought it would be educational for us review some of the comments made about my speech. I believe we can all learn from this exercise.

Before we begin I need to define “Americanism” or “American Exceptionalism.” After all, this is basically what they are all uptight about.

According to Merriam-Webster Americanism is:

  • 1. a characteristic feature of American English especially as contrasted with British English
  • 2.  An attachment or allegiance to the traditions, interests, or ideals of the United States
  • 3a. A custom or trait peculiar to America
  • 3b. The political principles and practices essential to American culture

American Exceptionalism as defined in The National Republican Platform:

“We are the party of peace through strength. Professing American exceptionalism – the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history…While the twentieth century was undeniably an American century – with strong leadership, adherence to the principles of freedom and democracy our Founders’ enshrined in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and a continued reliance on Divine Providence – the twenty-first century will be one of American greatness as well.”

Mike Huckabee said, “To deny American Exceptionalism is in essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation.”

In my speech, I made reference to American exceptionalism and the values that have made America a unique and great nation. I also mentioned how we need to create conservative communities in which to raise our children — and so forth.

As a pastor of 37 years, a national education consultant in public schools of 20 years and an advisor to the US Congress for nearly five years, I assure you, the comments I am about to share are being used against all who dare to proclaim that America is great because it was founded on Christian values and because we recognize the place of the Almighty as a nation.

Again, the link to the online article is http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_0231ef40-517e-511a-9103-f4c6a6493c87.html

Here are the comments:

“Screen Name” believes that conservatives embrace “slavery, no voting for women, child labor and debtors prisons” as American values

Miketeague states that Reach America…wants to indoctrinate 10 year olds to their way of thinking, what next, water boarding 11 year olds that don’t get the message? These far right wing pseudo religious groups are getting more blatant to their intent as each day goes by. By the way, the Thaw was looked into and found to be total bull. (Really?)

wwrd if by “Traditional” you mean no choice in anything then you are right.

DCIdaho accuses Reach America of child abuse and that we should be arrested.
This isn’t education…this is brainwashing for political agenda. Anyone doing this to children should be arrested for child abuse.

Those who oppose us for raising godly children and encouraging them to be engaged in the public square compared us to the Aryan Nations and said that churches cannot be political.

“LMYCDA” Students being persecuted for their beliefs. What a bunch of hogwash and propaganda. Sounds like the Aryan Nations folks. Hey, why don’t you just STICK with religion what you are being paid for and not paying any taxes for. Churches need to be taxed as they have become political!!!!

CaiusCosades: In other words “Brain wash our children to fit our selfish political agendas”. Idaho Republicans are so archaic! For any intelligent child that grows into an educated young adult that has been exposed to this type of brainwashing, they will see it for what it is and turn away from Conservatism. Then Idaho will be left with only the dumb Conservatives, which we already have way too many of!

Why Not: Gary Brown…is talking about controlling the thoughts of little Johnny and Jill with religious gibberish and neocon fantasy in public schools. Religion and conservative indoctrination in public school violates the constitutional rights of children. Schools are responsible for teaching, which by the way is hopelessly underfunded in Idaho. Teaching methods are changing and will hopefully adapt to individual needs faster than when my boys were in school.

Observations

I hope this exercise was helpful to you. Be prepared — any time you step into the public square, you can expect this treatment. Freedom of speech and religion are hallmarks of Americanism. Also is parental control of their children’s education.  However, apparently, Christians are not afforded the right to freedom of speech and religious expression. These belong inside the church, only.

Oh, and parents — if you choose to take control of your child’s education, you are brainwashing your children. If the kids do not comply with your Christian ideas, you water board them.

Their goal is simple — they want us to go away.

Want to know the sad thing? For the most part, going away is exactly what we are doing.

Well, not this guy. I refuse to sit idly by and let those who do not love God or our country call the shots.

Are you with me? If so, send me an email at gary@letsreachamerica.org. If you are in the northwest, come and see us. If you would prefer, call me at 208-966-4434.

If you are in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area, I am speaking, Friday, February 7 at the Red Lion Hotel in Post Falls at 12:00, noon, for the Panhandle Pachyderms.  It is a lunch meeting. I would love to see you there. My topic is How to Win the Future through Winning the Next Generation, Part 2.

Let’s not back down. Together, let’s stand for Christ. Together, let’s Reach America!

How the Left Discredits Authentic Americanism – Part 1

Yesterday — Thursday, January 23 — I spoke at a local political meeting, in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. My topic was “Winning the Future.” I spoke of how past strategies to rally young people to traditional Americanism are not working, today. Actually, this was just part one of a two-part speech.

In part one, I shared my insights about the postmodern views of 21st century teens and young adults.

A reporter from our local newspaper, the CDA Press, was in attendance. To provide you with the proper context, I have included the manuscript of my speech and the link to story written by the reporter.

I do not have a lot to say about the article. For the most part, the reporter simply reported what I said. It is the comments at the end of the piece that I want to call to your attention. Be assured — I am not, in the least, offended by the comments. My purpose in responding to them in a blog post is to help us understand how those who do not love God and America are trying to discredit those of us who do. And, by the way, their strategies are working — at least, up to now, they are working.

To get the whole picture, you need to know what I said and what the reporter wrote. Today, I am providing my manuscript and the link to the article. In my next post, I will analyze the comments. I realize this is kind-a long for a blog, but here is the manuscript.

And — don’t forget — this is only part one of the speech.

The link to the Cd’A Press article HERE.

The manuscript:

Winning the Future – Winning the Next Generation

It was eight years ago that I sat down with Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute, in Washington, DC, to discuss reaching the next generation of conservatives. He had called me in to ask me about how to reach the next generation. He really didn’t like what I told him. Morton insisted that we begin with college-aged youth. I have great respect for Morton. Let me tell you a little about Morton.

  • Morton was the youngest Barry Goldwater delegate.
  • In 1980 he organized and oversaw the national youth effort for Ronald Reagan.
  • He served as Special Assistant to the President on President Reagan’s White House Staff from 1981-1984.
  • At the time of our visit in 2006 he had been working to reach college students for conservative causes for 41 years.
  • From 1965-1980, Morton’s strategy was tried and proved to work.
  • His strategy was to knock on college dorm room doors and ask students if they were conservative. If they said they we not conservative, he would thank them for their time and move on. If the student said they were conservative, he would invite them to a training event; there, he would train them in this method.

I told Morton that day that I felt we needed to get even younger. We needed to reach middle and high school students. That we needed to build relationships with them when they are young, not to recruit them, but to listen to them and help them to realize their importance.

  • The concept I had was to build conservative communities across America.
  • He disagreed, saying that was a waste of time. We don’t have enough time for that!
  • Listen my friends, it is no coincidence that our sitting president is a “community organizer.”

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Morton really wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say, he had heard that I was conducting youth leadership training events and wanted to recruit me to conduct his college training events.

We must reach young people, ages 10-19.

According to Forrester, a business technology and consumer strategist company, if a business is smart, they will start to gather data from middle and high school students, ages 12-17. Buying habits start young and those businesses who still want to be in the game 20 years from now better not ignore this important age group.

In a 2011 report, Forrester stated that only six percent of 12-17 year olds who use the web want to be friends with a brand on Facebook.

It would serve us well to understand the postmodern mind.

The following information is taken from my observations from working with teens for 37 years and a little help from some research by Purdue University.

  • Historians generally place the beginning of the postmodern era in America at 1945. The characteristics of this era are as follows.
  • There has been a breakdown of cultural forms. Everyone is coloring outside the lines.  Although the average teen is “retro” when it comes to fashion and style, they reject the grand narratives that have made America great. Youth reject that America was founded as a Christian nation, American exceptionalism, capitalism and free enterprise.
  • America is becoming an oral society. According to Purdue University, literacy rates had been rising steadily from the introduction of print through the modern period. Postmodern society has seen a drastic reversal in this trend as more and more people are now functionally illiterate, relying instead on an influx of oral media sources: tv, film, radio, etc…
  • This culture still very much relies on print to create media outlets; however, it is increasingly only a professional, well-educated class that has access to full print and computer literacy. An increasing percentage of the population merely ingests, orally, the media that is being produced.
  • Due to these factors, young people are visual and temporal. They have lost all connection to reality and history. This may help to explain why they are so fascinated with reality television. Pop culture keeps coming back to the idea that the line separating reality and representation has broken down. The movie, The Matrix, is a prime example of this.

Young people have a deep desire for individualism, yet they have a strange comfort level with collectivism and government. Capitalism and free enterprise is on the way out and the government as caretaker is in. Due to advancements in technology, especially surveillance technology, young people have the sense that they are always being watched. And who do they blame for this invasion of privacy? You guessed it, the government. I know, this is getting a bit convoluted, but hang in there with me.

Essentially, teens and young adults are looking to government to protect their individuality, and provide for their daily and life-long needs. They see capitalism as the embodiment of greed and they want nothing to do with it. Yes, Marxism is making a comeback.

Don’t get me wrong, they value individualism. It is the way it is being defined that is troubling. This generation wants the freedom to do whatever they want and to be whatever they want – individualism. They believe in a type of social justice where we all have the same things – collectivism.  Again, can you say “Marxism?”

In general, this generation is disoriented; there is no right and wrong. Truth is within you. Don’t judge me, and give me what I am entitled to have. Give me an education, health care, a job and a retirement plan. Take care of me and keep me happy from the cradle to grave.

Josh McDowell in his book, “The Disconnected Generation,” he created a list of terms and how they are defined by adults and by teens. Pay close attention to this list. “Folks, definitions of words are a-changin!”

Tolerance

Adult Understanding: Accepting others without agreeing with or sharing their beliefs or lifestyle choices.

Teen Understanding: Accepting that every individual’s beliefs, values, lifestyles and truth claims are equal.

Respect

Adult Understanding: Giving due consideration to others.

Teen Understanding: Wholeheartedly approving of other’s beliefs and lifestyle choices.

Acceptance

Adult Understanding: Embracing people for who they are, not necessarily for what they say and do.

Teen Understanding: Endorsing and even praising others for their beliefs and lifestyle choices.

Moral Judgments

Adult Understanding: Certain things are morally right and wrong, as determined by God.

Teen Understanding: We have no right to judge another person’s view or behavior.

Personal Preference

Adult Understanding: Preferences of color, food, clothing style, hobbies, etc. are personally determined.

Teen Understanding: Preferences of sexual behaviors, value systems and beliefs are personally determined.

Personal Rights

Adult Understanding: Everyone has the right to be treated justly under the law.

Teen Understanding: Everyone has the right to do what they believe is right for them.

Freedom

Adult Understanding: Being free to do what you ought to do.

Teen Understanding: Being free to do everything you want to do.

Truth

Adult Understanding: An absolute standard of right and wrong.

Teen Understanding: Whatever is right for you.

Thanks for hanging around long enough to read all this. My next blog is coming very soon.

God Bless!

~Pastor Gary