Run Sheet for Friday, October 11


LISTEN LIVE AT 1:00 PM ET

Respond and Engage!
TALK TO PAUL ON-AIR: 313.272.5600


Michigan Reformation Conference

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ref-Conf-2019-1024x576.jpg

Paul will be speaking at the 16th Annual Michigan Reformation Conference in Flint, Michigan on Saturday, October 26th (10am – 4pm). More information and free registration.


Democrats are coming for churches who oppose LGBTQ+ agenda

NATIONAL REVIEW: Beto O’Rourke Calls for Stripping Churches of Tax-Exempt Status If They ‘Oppose Same-Sex Marriage’

CNN: O’Rourke: Conversion therapy ‘should be illegal’ and is ‘tantamount to torture’


WP: What’s so special about ‘religious belief’?


Albert Mohler: Why Is Legal Deference Given to Religious Beliefs? Defending Our God-Given First Liberty in an Increasingly Hostile Age

SOURCE: https://albertmohler.com/2019/10/11/briefing-10-11-19

But next, also abundantly clear is the continuing challenge to religious liberty. Just consider an opinion piece that ran just in recent days in The Washington Post. The headline in the article asked the question, “What’s so special about religious belief?” Kate Cohen is the author of the article, and she asked why, she openly questions why religious beliefs have more protection under American law and constitutional order than other forms of belief. She clearly thinks that’s nuts. It’s wrong. It should stop.

She writes about the fact that New York state has removed the religious exemption for its mandatory vaccination laws concerning children, but then she goes on to ask, “Why would there be such a provision in the first place on this issue or any other?” She writes, “45 states and the District of Columbia have religious exemption laws. Fifteen allow moral or philosophical exemptions. Facing falling vaccination rates, Vermont did away with its philosophical exemption in 2015 but it preserved the religious exemption, at which point many more parents started to have religious qualms.”

She continues, “Our longstanding legal deference to religion is why Jews can wear yarmulkes in court, Sikh soldiers can wear beards and employers with dress codes excluding hats, can’t tell Muslim employees to remove their hijabs. It’s why prohibition,” she says, “didn’t prohibit Catholics from drinking ceremonial wine.”

But then she says, “That’s just the beginning. Religious belief,” she argues, “can exempt churches and schools from providing contraceptive healthcare services to their employees. In some states, it lets pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions, elected officials refuse to do their jobs, and businesses refuse certain customers. It soon will that businesses with federal contracts discriminate in their hiring and in 9 out of 10 states, it lets parents put other people’s children at risk.” That’s a reference, again, to vaccines.

But notice what she puts in her odious list of things that have gone wrong. That is the allowance of a religious belief exemption on matters such as churches and schools, that would be Christian schools, providing contraceptive health services. This takes us back to the Obama administration’s infamous contraceptive mandate that required even religious organizations and ministries to offer and to pay for contraception coverage, including some forms of contraception that are believed by some to be a abortifacient in nature against religious conviction. And now you’re looking at the fact that this writer, Kate Cohen, in The Washington Post, is arguing, “This shouldn’t even be an issue. There’s no reason why religious beliefs should be given that kind of legal deference.”

Later she goes on to ask outright, “Why should religion exempt people from civil rights legislation and public health law?” She then makes the argument that religious beliefs are not mandatory or immutable, therefore they’re not really different from secular beliefs. But here’s where we need to step back and say there are many religious believers, and Christians would be at the top of that list, who believe that certain beliefs are indeed mandatory and are indeed immutable. But again, the whole point of Kate Cohen’s article is that there should be no particular legal deference to religious beliefs as opposed to, say, secular beliefs.

But what isn’t mentioned by Kate Cohen in this article is that document known as the Constitution of the United States of America. And that Constitution and the Bill of Rights Article One is extremely clear requiring the federal government to respect the free exercise of religion. That makes religion a particularly respected, recognized, and protected category. This is not some kind of modern legal invention. That’s article one of the original ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, which were required for the ratification of the United States Constitution in the first place.

You ask, “Where did this legal deference for religious beliefs begin?” It began in the beginning of the American constitutional order, and the framers of the Constitution understood they were not granting religious liberty, they were not inventing religious liberty, they understood that religious liberty, the first liberty was prior to the Constitution and prior to government. Government’s responsibility was merely to respect and to protect the liberties given to citizens by God.

From a Christian worldview analysis, we need to think about something. It’s not really very likely that even people in Washington D.C. reading The Washington Post are going to read this column by Kate Cohen and go, “You know, she’s making a really good point. We just need to either exclude or we need to remove or we need to amend or we need to just ignore the first amendment to the United States constitution.” That’s not likely, but here’s what we need to watch. Public opinion is changed centimeter by centimeter, perhaps even millimeter by millimeter, not yard by yard or mile by mile. It’s the accumulated force of argument, and what makes this article of singular importance is the fact that it appeared just as it appeared in The Washington Post, the most influential newspaper in the capital city of the United States.

The appearance of any article like this, and then other articles that will follow in the major media, start to push the direction of America’s public conversation. That’s what we really need to watch. A basic and insidious suspicion is being driven within the American public argument and therefore into the American mind, asking the question, why in the first place, would there be any particular respect or deference for religious beliefs? Why does that even make sense in our secular age? And in this secularizing age under all the pressures of our current moment, you can count on that question now being asked in public out loud over and over again.

Run Sheet for Wednesday, October 9th


LISTEN LIVE AT 1:00 PM ET

Respond and Engage!
TALK TO PAUL ON-AIR: 313.272.5600


Michigan Reformation Conference

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ref-Conf-2019-1024x576.jpg

Paul will be speaking at the 16th Annual Michigan Reformation Conference in Flint, Michigan on Saturday, October 26th (10am – 4pm). More information and free registration.


Mainstreaming Evangelical Apostasy

Evolving Faith conference offers evangelical ‘refugees’ shelter

In most of these sessions, the work of deconstructing one’s faith was balanced by figuring out what — if anything — to replace it with. “I think our faith is evolving now, because we are waking up to the reality that that faith — that twisted, malformed faith that spoke human hierarchy into the world and reinforced it — we’re finally waking up to it and saying ‘no,’” said activist Lisa Sharon Harper during the final session. “But now we have to figure out what it’s supposed to be. What is the vision for what it’s supposed to be?”

During the opening session, Christian author and journalist Jeff Chu, who joined Sarah Bessey and Held Evans on the Evolving Faith team after the 2018 conference, welcomed a long list of groups ranging from introverts to the disabled, from the “frozen chosen” to the pansexual, from “you who do sex work to pay the bills,” Chu said, “and (to you) who are clutching your pearls because I just said ‘sex work.’”

“You who doubt, you who struggle, you who feel lost, you are loved.” Chu continued. “Atheists, agnostics, seekers, you are loved.”

The conference also offered a POC lounge for people of color as a place to “sit and rest, have a drink and something to eat, or find some company,” according to the event’s program booklet. “While gatherings like this one can challenge all of us, they are often especially exhausting for people of color.” A care team and several Evolving Faith speakers had “office hours” in the lounge.

The doubters were well supported with pastoral elements. In addition to the POC lounge, Evolving Faith also offered an Art Area with craft supplies — “for those who would like something to do with their hands as they listen to the speakers” — prayer request boxes where attendees could submit written prayer requests, and a “Spiritual Friend,” Dr. Grace Y. Kao, who was available for conversations to help “process all that you’re feeling.”


Rachel Held Evans on LGBTQ+

Dan Evans, husband of the late Rachel Held Evans posted a article written by Rachel just before she died in which she said this (and THIS is NOT the gospel):

“If you’re a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer reader, I hope you already know you don’t need my affirmation to live whole and joyful lives, just as God made you. You are beloved children of God, and there is nothing I or any other Christian writer or church leader can say to alter that. I hope you know, deep in your bones, that there is no height or depth, no angel or demon, no denomination or church or pastor or parent who can separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ. My heart grieves over the ways this truth has been obscured and denied by the Church, often in destructive and deadly ways, and I apologize for years of complicity in that.”

https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/lgbtq

CT: Make a Joyful Silence Unto the Lord

“Today’s noise pollution, which includes both sonic noise and visual noise, is a hazard to our entire health, according to the World Health Organization. As such, we find ourselves in desperate need of quiet spaces both in our personal lives and also in our corporate life together as the church. The inclusion of silence in worship, then, is not just a matter of our physical well-being, it is also a matter of well-being before God.”


AP: Supreme Court Takes Up Cases Over LGBT Rights

[One] case involves fired transgender funeral home director Aimee Stephens. She lost her job when she told Thomas Rost, owner of the Detroit-area R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, that she had struggled with gender identity issues almost her whole life. She was planning to exchange the dark suit and tie she had worn to work for nearly six years as an embalmer and funeral director for a conservative dress or skirt that was required for women who worked for Rost.

“Rost told Stephens her plan wouldn’t work and let her go. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on her behalf and, after losing in a district court, won a ruling in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.”

CP: How a Supreme Court case about a funeral home could affect Christians across the nation


Run Sheet for Tuesday, October 8th


LISTEN LIVE AT 1:00 PM ET

Respond and Engage!
TALK TO PAUL ON-AIR: 313.272.5600


Michigan Reformation Conference

Paul will be speaking at the 16th Annual Michigan Reformation Conference in Flint, Michigan on Saturday, October 26th (10am – 4pm). More information and free registration.


Yom Kippur Begins at Sundown Today

Rabbi Glenn Harris

Paul is joined by Rabbi Glenn Harris of Congregation Shema Yisrael in Bloomfield Hills to talk about the significance of Yom Kippur for both Jews and Christians.


“Why is a Gay Hollywood Liberal sitting with a Conservative Republican President?”

FOX NEWS: Ellen DeGeneres stands up to Twitter mob, defends appearing with ‘friend’ George W. Bush


AP: Supreme Court Takes Up Cases Over LGBT Rights

[One] case involves fired transgender funeral home director Aimee Stephens. She lost her job when she told Thomas Rost, owner of the Detroit-area R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, that she had struggled with gender identity issues almost her whole life. She was planning to exchange the dark suit and tie she had worn to work for nearly six years as an embalmer and funeral director for a conservative dress or skirt that was required for women who worked for Rost.

“Rost told Stephens her plan wouldn’t work and let her go. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on her behalf and, after losing in a district court, won a ruling in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.”


Mainstreaming Evangelical Apostasy

Evolving Faith conference offers evangelical ‘refugees’ shelter

In most of these sessions, the work of deconstructing one’s faith was balanced by figuring out what — if anything — to replace it with. “I think our faith is evolving now, because we are waking up to the reality that that faith — that twisted, malformed faith that spoke human hierarchy into the world and reinforced it — we’re finally waking up to it and saying ‘no,’” said activist Lisa Sharon Harper during the final session. “But now we have to figure out what it’s supposed to be. What is the vision for what it’s supposed to be?”

During the opening session, Christian author and journalist Jeff Chu, who joined Sarah Bessey and Held Evans on the Evolving Faith team after the 2018 conference, welcomed a long list of groups ranging from introverts to the disabled, from the “frozen chosen” to the pansexual, from “you who do sex work to pay the bills,” Chu said, “and (to you) who are clutching your pearls because I just said ‘sex work.’”

“You who doubt, you who struggle, you who feel lost, you are loved.” Chu continued. “Atheists, agnostics, seekers, you are loved.”

The conference also offered a POC lounge for people of color as a place to “sit and rest, have a drink and something to eat, or find some company,” according to the event’s program booklet. “While gatherings like this one can challenge all of us, they are often especially exhausting for people of color.” A care team and several Evolving Faith speakers had “office hours” in the lounge.

The doubters were well supported with pastoral elements. In addition to the POC lounge, Evolving Faith also offered an Art Area with craft supplies — “for those who would like something to do with their hands as they listen to the speakers” — prayer request boxes where attendees could submit written prayer requests, and a “Spiritual Friend,” Dr. Grace Y. Kao, who was available for conversations to help “process all that you’re feeling.”


WEBMD: Politics Taking Mental, Physical Toll on Americans

“A surprisingly large number of American adults perceive their engagement in politics as having negative effects on their social, emotional and even physical health,” said lead researcher Kevin Smith, chair of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  • More than one in 10 people felt politics had adversely affected their physical health.
  • Nearly one-third said they’d been driven crazy by media outlets that promote views contrary to their personal beliefs.
  • Three in 10 Americans said they’d lost their temper over politics.
  • A quarter of people said that politics has led them to hate some people, and to think seriously about moving away from their community.
  • About 22% said they care too much about who wins and who loses.
  • About 15% said they wish they would have restrained themselves more in political conversations or have posted things online that they later regretted.

CT: Make a Joyful Silence Unto the Lord

“Today’s noise pollution, which includes both sonic noise and visual noise, is a hazard to our entire health, according to the World Health Organization. As such, we find ourselves in desperate need of quiet spaces both in our personal lives and also in our corporate life together as the church. The inclusion of silence in worship, then, is not just a matter of our physical well-being, it is also a matter of well-being before God.”


The Latest Trend in Legal Protection: Disgrace Insurance

INSURANCE JOURNAL: The Remaking of Disgrace Insurance

VOX: When celebrities mess up, “disgrace insurance” steps in


Identifying Wolves Who Desire to Be Shepherds

This afternoon on The Paul Edwards Program, Paul offered several characteristics or behaviors of those men within a congregation who present themselves as godly, kind, and caring “shepherds” but in reality are wolves pretending to be shepherds so that they might destroy God’s church:

  1. Their outward righteous appearance (Matthew 23:27) is a covering for insidious evil. In Matthew 7:15 Jesus is not warning us against wolves dressed like sheep, but rather wolves who wear the clothing produced by the sheep – “sheep’s clothing” – which every one of Jesus’s first century hearers would have understood to mean “the clothes worn by shepherds” which were made from the wool produced by the sheep.

    These are wolves who alter their outward appearance in order to present themselves as wise, loving, caring shepherds of the sheep, but “inside they are ravening (extortionist) wolves. In Matthew 23:25-28, Jesus – as the Word of God which “discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12-13) tells us precisely what is hidden beneath the outward righteousness of these ravening wolves pretending to be caring shepherds:

    Extortion: plundering
    Excess: lacking self-control
    Dead Men’s Bones: exactly what you would expect to find in a grave
    Uncleanness: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living
    Hypocrisy: acting a part
    Iniquity: contempt for the law
  2. They insidiously undermine the God-ordained legitimate authority of the true shepherds.
  3. They present a competing vision against the vision of the God-ordained legitimate shepherds.
  4. They divide the flock over non-essentials: “Why are we singing THAT kind of music? Why is the pastor preaching from THAT translation? Why are we not meeting mid-week? Why did the pastor cancel the regular Sunday Evening service for one week?”
  5. They bring unsubstantiated accusations against the pastor or the elders in order to plant the seed of doubt and to sow discord.
  6. They circumvent the biblical process for appointing leaders by pushing themselves forward as the one who can truly protect the flock.
  7. They have a history of causing division in previous churches.

The Bible warns us to be on the lookout for these kind of men – and even some women – within our churches who seek to “draw away disciples” after themselves and who “love to have the preeminence,” working against the God-ordained legitimate leadership of God’s church (See Acts 20:38-31).