All Articles For All Around Us

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Preparing to write for the rubric “All Around Us” requires searching the papers, scrolling through blogs, flipping through periodicals, and watching the news to identify that which would be edifying to reflect on and write about. As I did this over the last few months, there has been one event that has dominated the news: the spread of COVID-19. The title of this rubric is “All Around Us,” and unquestionably over the course of the past few months what has been “all around us”—what seems like the only thing to be “all around us”—is news and analysis concerning this coronavirus....

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Who Is to Blame for the Scandal of Rome’s Priests (OR: What Else Would One Expect?) In the wake of Rome’s sex-abuse scandal the U.S. conference of Catholic bishops undertook an in­vestigation into the allegations against its priests and the irrespon­sible response of its Bishops. The results have recently been pub­lished. According to the study, the bishops concluded that 4,392 priests allegedly have abused more than 10,000 victims over a 50-year time span. [You may be sure this is the most favorable estimation (and spin) possible.] What is noteworthy is that the study was honest enough to ac­knowledge that the...

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Some details Christianity Today (CT) reported that the “12.5-million-member UMC has been in a standoff over LGBT issues for decades, culminating in a vote in favor of its traditional position against same-sex marriage and gay clergy during a special session last year. As a result, some left the UMC, some continued to defy the UMC positions outright, and some challenged the legality of the vote in the denomination’s court—ultimately putting the question of how to move forward before the delegation once again in 2020.” There is a biblical way to deal with those who hold positions that are contrary to...

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In this installment of “All Around Us,” I would like to consider the progression of sin in this present evil age. We clearly see the development of depravity in all spheres of society and culture in the world today. Where it is particularly deep is in all matters relating to sexual immorality. This we know all too well from simply a cursory observation of present-day news and culture. What follows are three recent stories that demonstrate this development. In the first place, Answers magazine (the publication of the organization Answers in Genesis) reported on a recent piece written for Teen...

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Since taking on the role of contributor to the “All Around Us” rubric for the Standard Bearer, I have regularly taken notice of articles in the media on the subject of the government’s surveillance of its citizenry. It is on this topic that I write, and for reasons that will be laid out at the end of the article, this is a subject well worth our reflection upon as Christians. I begin with developments in China. China is by far the world leader in the surveillance of its citizens. Eight of the ten most surveilled cities in the world are...

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Introduction Readers will recall the recent case (September 2019) of the British doctor, David Mackereth, whose Christian beliefs were judged unworthy of legal protection. The judge ruled: All three heads, belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism, in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others. In this article I examine two other cases in England, one of which mirrors the Mackereth case, while the oth­er is a partial victory for free speech. Both deal with the right to criticize transgenderism on Twitter. A leap backward:...

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The 2019 Synod of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) received the interim report of a committee of ten individuals that was tasked to write a “theology of human sexuality.” This is a committee that was appointed at Synod 2016 “to articulate a foundation-laying biblical theology that pays particular attention to biblical conceptions of gender and sexuality” (Acts of Synod 2016, pp. 917–19). A final report is to come before the Synod of the CRC in 2021. The reason for coming to Synod 2019 was that delegates of this past year’s Synod might give feedback for the committee in its ongoing...

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John MacArthur’s non-endorsement of women “pastors” Paula White, a spiritual advisor for President Trump, has written a book titled Something Greater. Beth Moore is a popular Bible teacher in evangelical circles. John MacArthur was recently asked for his thoughts about these two women “pastors” and their work in light of their popularity in evangelical circles. His response accurately identifies the threat of feminism for the church and unflinchingly condemns the women who act like pastors along with those who receive them as if they are legitimate pastors. Leonardo Blair reports for The Christian Post: Lamenting what he sees as a...

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It is unusual that I should be able to report progress on topics recently covered in this rubric (SB, October 1, 2019), but the legal machinery has moved more quickly than I anticipated. On September 26, 2019 an employment tribunal in England dismissed Dr. David Mackereth’s case against his employer. The panel of judges found that there was no ground for Mackereth’s complaint that he was subject to discrimination/harassment on the basis of his religious beliefs. On the contrary, his beliefs are “incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others.” When I read that in the...

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Chairman Graham, Senator Blumenthal, and members of the Committee, thank you for allowing all of us to speak today. I cannot think of a more noble cause for all of us to be spending our time on today than the safety and protection of our children. I began Protect Young Eyes five years ago because the internet is complex and even diligent parents are overwhelmed by the digital choices their children are facing. Through thousands of hours of research, hundreds of presentations at schools around the country, and dozens of articles examining digital trends, we have witnessed both the wonderful...

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