Pastor Harry Reeder: Why would we be surprised when culture lives out sexual sin it has promoted for years?


 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the 10 min audio

 

Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to return to a story that we’ve talked about before, but the story gets bigger, and bigger and bigger. Towards the end of last week, more names have come out and more accusations have come out.

We’ve got the host of a major morning network television show – he’s been accused, he’s been fired. We have the head of Disney Animation, John Lasseter took a leave of absence after there were allegations toward him. Oliver Stone, Hollywood director, there are allegations against him. And now another lawmaker, John Conyers, there are allegations against him.

Harry, there is a tidal wave of women coming forward claiming sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Why is this all happening now?

DR. REEDER: I think it’s fair to note that the predominant accusations and revelations surround the world of power in politics, in the media. It’s pretty clear that those entities, which have focused their powers, and their skills and their abilities to promote the sexual revolution since the 1950s all the way into this century from the very halls of influence, now come some of the consequences back to them.

In this present eruption of accusations, there is the statement that this was unwanted advances. Those who are being accused are saying, “Well, I thought it was consensual. I thought it was wanted.” They probably thought it was wanted because they wanted to think it was wanted and so you have this environment in which one’s sexuality exists for gratification.

Well, the flimsy barrier of consent gets interpreted, reinterpreted and erased in just a moment. The reality is, any time you violate God’s law, then the judgment of that begins to be experienced immediately, not only the ultimate judgment such as when God brought destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah, but immediate judgments of shame and guilt and those things that occur in the life of someone.

Tom, when I sit down and deal with young couples who are on the verge of a marital breakup, Tom, it’s absolutely astounding how many times in the conversation we get back to the reality and the fact that they had premarital sex and the woman, in particular, is still to that day, ashamed and feels that she was taken advantage of.

The guy will say, “Well, I thought you consented,” and then we’ll have to go back and deal with that and bring the Gospel solutions of asking for forgiveness of the Lord and giving forgiveness to each other as you ask forgiveness of each other because you have sinned against them. Only then will we be able to rebuild the marriage to go back and deal with that.

Therefore, what you have is the reality of the shame and guilt that some women have been carrying now, in these cases, some are 20, some are 30, some are 40 years and it hasn’t disappeared.

With this current environment of cultural affirmation of women bringing their accusations back to those who had pursued them or forced themselves upon them and, now, there seems to be, “Oh, here is a way I can get rid of my shame and guilt,” and here is a way that they have to own what they did.

Certainly, I believe that all of this needs to be dealt with – it’s fine for it to be dealt with, it needs to be dealt with – but here’s what we need to understand: When you break God’s law, God’s law breaks you.

You can’t engage in sexual anarchy, you can’t engage in sexual promiscuity and sexual perversion without consequences and the first place the consequences are felt are in shame and guilt because of sexuality outside of the sacred bonds and boundaries of marriage.

Tom, let me make this as clear as I possibly can: Sexuality is a gift from God. It is a good gift, but only where God has designed it. Any time the idolatry of sexuality is embraced by a society, there will be the ramifications and judgments from sexually transmitted diseases, to broken hearts, to broken lives, to shame, to guilt, to all of those things that one feels.

These women have felt used. The amazing thing is that the corporate America that financed it, the political world that protected and promoted it, and the entertainment world that sold it, celebrated it and redefined it in terms that would make the unthinkable thinkable – and, once it’s thinkable, to become doable and then it will be acceptable – the fact that these people in power that were promoting that actually lived that out, somehow, we’re amazed.

Why would we be amazed? This is what the movies told us happiness was, this is what our children went to see, this is what our culture embraced and we are amazed that they actually lived out what they were selling by the song, by the movie, by the book, what they were approving legislatively and what they were financing from corporate America? Why would that amaze us?

The church of Jesus Christ not only needs to speak to the issue and the horrors of public sin, but we also need to deal with it in our own lives. We need to get back to Godly evangelism – what all of these people desperately need is to hear the Good News of forgiveness in Jesus Christ and even the power to forgive those who violated you because of what Jesus can do in your life and that needs to be proclaimed, that glorious Gospel that He will take you right where you are, He will forgive you, His blood was shed to forgive all of our sins and the very things that have destroyed your life can be removed in a whole new life in which our previous weaknesses and sin become strengths of His grace.

I’m not saying that people don’t need to pay for what they’ve done – that’s what the State needs to do and that is called justice. Getting justice will never remove the shame and the guilt for us, but there is a Savior who can remove it and even bring you above it and beyond it.

That becomes salt and light and it filters into society so that the entertainment industry – which, at one time, wouldn’t even show a couple getting into the same bed that was married in order not to bring temptation into the public square – with its unfettered celebration of sexual immorality and perversion, but if we, again, begin to announce that which is true in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and observe all that He has commanded – do not commit adultery, that sexuality belongs within marriage – if we did that, that would produce not only the light of truth that was proclaimed to society to restrain the darkness of evil, but it would also bring the salt of the Gospel so that the restraint upon sin would take place and that’s another way to love our neighbor.

“We want you to come to Christ, but we also do not want your life broken and we know a society is much more beneficial and inviting to live within when that society embraces Biblical morality.”

You’re seeing this eruption of, “I’ve been victimized. I’ve been the object of sexual gratification,” and it is so destructive to anyone’s life and, particularly, to these women who are speaking up.

And I want to pray for them, I want to ask God to be at work in their heart and, where justice needs to be established, let it be, but I want the transforming power of God’s grace to be brought to these ladies and then I want the truth of the Gospel to come to bear upon men as well as women to understand that there is a better way and that better way is to come to Christ and then, by His grace, have your life conform to His Word, and then know the joys of walking in obedience to Christ. That’s what I long to see and we, the church of Jesus Christ, that’s what we’re called to do.

Therefore, I call upon the courts to deal with these things rightly, but I call upon the church, “Let’s get back to evangelism and discipleship and, by God’s grace, having lives changed.”

He really changes your life and His good gifts can be enjoyed as he has given them to be enjoyed and, whether you eat, or drink or whatsoever you do, when you are walking in obedience to Christ through the Spirit of God, you can do it to the glory of God.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

26 mins ago

Merrill: Alabama’s ‘greatest champion and favorite son’ Richard Shelby delivers once again

Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill on Wednesday released a statement praising U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby’s role (R-AL) in the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.

Merrill also touted the overall leadership being provided to the nation by Trump, as well as the work Governor Kay Ivey is doing for the Yellowhammer State.

Shelby is Alabama’s longest serving senator, and his accomplishments for his home state are well recognized by political observers. Merrill outlined that the COVID-19 stimulus package is merely the latest example of Shelby delivering for his fellow Alabamians.

“Our state is incredibly lucky to have leaders who are willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for Alabama, which is precisely what Senator Shelby has done,” Merrill stated.

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“The historic coronavirus relief package recently appropriated to the states would not have been possible without the leadership and guidance of Senator Shelby,” he continued. “How do I know this? I know this to be true because those words came straight from Senator Mitch McConnell and his team. When liberal extremists pushed their agenda, Senator Shelby drew a line in the sand and said, ‘no farther!’”

There were reports that Democrats were trying to insert provisions related to the Green New Deal into the package, as well as voting measures championed by the left that Merrill and others believed could have jeopardized election security and increased voter fraud.

“I am most grateful for the $400 million provided by Congress to protect the 2020 elections. I am also thankful for the provisions that allow each state to do what is best for that state,” Merrill commented.

He said, “Senator Shelby and his team have been receptive and engaged in finding proactive solutions to ensure the safety and security of our elections are not compromised.”

“After countless calls from me and other election officials from across the country, Senator Shelby made it a priority to see that states were granted the flexibility to best accommodate their respective communities under the bill’s stipulations,” the secretary of state added. “Unlike others who have attempted to implement nationwide election changes – many that would increase the likelihood for voter fraud and voter intimidation to be committed – Senator Shelby has proven yet again that federal interference into the elections process in unwarranted and unnecessary.”

Merrill concluded by lauding the stalwart service of Shelby, as well as casting an optimistic and unifying message as the nation continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we work to get through these trying times, we must remember there is much to be grateful for, such as the collaboration of federal, state and local officials across the country who are working together to provide assistance to those who are most in need,” he advised.

“At the forefront of this fight, finding a solution to the problems we face is Alabama’s Senior Senator, our greatest champion and favorite son, United States Senator Richard C. Shelby!” Merrill concluded.

RELATED: ‘From Alabama to the Moon’ — Richard Shelby is the driving force making America’s space dreams a reality

Merrill’s full statement as follows:

As we navigate these unchartered waters, we must remember that Alabama has a lot to be grateful for.

The leadership exemplified by state and national leaders like President Donald J. Trump, United States Senator Richard Shelby and Governor Kay Ivey should not go unnoticed.

Our state is incredibly lucky to have leaders who are willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for Alabama, which is precisely what Senator Shelby has done.

The historic coronavirus relief package recently appropriated to the states would not have been possible without the leadership and guidance of Senator Shelby.

How do I know this? I know this to be true because those words came straight from Senator Mitch McConnell and his team. When liberal extremists pushed their agenda, Senator Shelby drew a line in the sand and said, ‘no farther!’

I am most grateful for the $400 million provided by Congress to protect the 2020 elections. I am also thankful for the provisions that allow each state to do what is best for that state.

Senator Shelby and his team have been receptive and engaged in finding proactive solutions to ensure the safety and security of our elections are not compromised.

After countless calls from me and other election officials from across the country, Senator Shelby made it a priority to see that states were granted the flexibility to best accommodate their respective communities under the bill’s stipulations.

Unlike others who have attempted to implement nationwide election changes – many that would increase the likelihood for voter fraud and voter intimidation to be committed – Senator Shelby has proven yet again that federal interference into the elections process in unwarranted and unnecessary.

While we work to get through these trying times, we must remember there is much to be grateful for, such as the collaboration of federal, state and local officials across the country who are working together to provide assistance to those who are most in need.

At the forefront of this fight, finding a solution to the problems we face is Alabama’s Senior Senator, our greatest champion and favorite son, United States Senator Richard C. Shelby!

RELATED: Keep up with Alabama’s confirmed coronavirus cases, locations here

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 hour ago

6 suggestions to protect yourself from stimulus check scams

Congress moved quickly to help the American public with a $2 trillion stimulus bill.

Unfortunately, fraud experts believe scammers will move just as quickly to try to take your share away. The key is to arm yourself with information.

“No doubt, there will be fake messages that will make countless claims,” said Don White, head of Corporate Security at Regions Bank. “Scammers may text, email or call you, asking for your banking information or claiming they can process your stimulus payment for you. Don’t take the bait. Do not, under any circumstance, give away your personal information via text, email or phone to someone you do not know who is soliciting you.”

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The bipartisan legislation to boost the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic includes economic relief for American taxpayers in the form of stimulus checks. Each eligible adult will receive up to $1,200, based on gross income.

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the checks could go out in the next two weeks, although there are still questions as to how the money will be distributed. For example, someone who received a refund on 2019 taxes via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) could receive a direct deposit.

Meanwhile, scammers are ready to take advantage by reaching out and saying your account information is needed, or that you can have their relief check for a small fee.

To avoid fraud, consider these suggestions:

1. Hang up. Don’t reply. The IRS, Treasury Department or other government agencies will not call, email or text message people to collect account information, Social Security numbers or credit card information. Anyone who does is likely a scammer, White said.

2. Do not pay anyone offering to get your stimulus funds early or sell you additional stimulus checks. This is a promise that they will not be able to fulfill.

3. Enroll in your bank’s or credit card company’s online and mobile applications to monitor your account activity frequently, looking for suspicious activity.

4. Avoid clicking on unknown links, which may expose you to viruses or malware.

5. While online, verify the legitimacy of websites you visit.

– Turn on browser tools, which can help identify fraudulent websites.

– Ensure the websites are secure and encrypted with HTTPS.

– Look for links that are broken or take you away from the original website.

– Shop through websites you know and trust.

6. As always, slow down, verify, and verify again the legitimacy of financial transactions before approving. Look for changes to account numbers, phone numbers, email addresses or other identifying information.

“We are seeing a spike in fraud activity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jon Kucharski, Fraud Strategy Manager at Regions. “No matter what this payment winds up being, only scammers will ask you to pay to get it. Just keep in mind, these unusual times require patience and a little extra vigilance to keep your finances safe.”

(Courtesy of Regions)

2 hours ago

‘Don’t let the corona get on ya!’ — Alabama retirees sing during COVID-19 crisis

An Alabama retirement community shared a helpful message on social media this week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a video posted on Facebook, residents of Wesley Gardens Retirement Community in Montgomery joined with facility driver Lee McBryde (while practicing social distancing by staying six steps away) to dance and sing some important lyrics during the COVID-19 crisis such as properly washing hands and covering up when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread.

“Don’t let the corona get on ya!” McBryde sang as residents danced around him while holding containers of disinfectant wipes.

Watch:

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Birmingham meal prep business offers buy one, give one to help feed those in need

During the novel COVID-19 economic and health crisis, one Birmingham based small business has created a way to give back. Mealfit, a catering and meal preparation company, is donating a free meal to someone in need for every meal that is ordered.

Each customer who purchases a meal for themselves will be offered an opportunity to identify someone who may be in need. Mealfit will provide a meal to those in need at no additional costs.

Mealfit founder and CEO Thomas Cox launched the program as a way to help the community during a time of need.

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“I’ve been racking my brain as a small business owner on how I can provide high-quality, healthy food in a time when people are stuck at home, while also helping people who are in need,” said Cox.

“Everyone has someone who is in need whether it be an elderly person, a single parent or someone who has been laid off because of the crisis we are going through. So from now until further notice, every time you order your Mealfit meals, we will give to a family in need,” Thomas stated.

Customers can order through the company website by 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and pick up food between 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Monday at one of 17 different locations in Birmingham. Once an order is placed the customer can simply respond to their confirmation email and identify the name, number of family members, phone number and email of the person they would like to have a free meal. Mealfit will handle the rest.

Cox only has one small request for the greater Birmingham community: “We ask that you spread the word. We can’t reach everyone on our own, but with your help, we can reach more of the people who are in need that we aren’t directly connected with.”

Go to this website and order food for you and your family. 

3 hours ago

Jefferson County: Recovering elderly COVID-19 patients must be returned to their nursing homes

The Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) is asking nursing homes in the area to take back patients still testing positive for the coronavirus, according to a letter brought to light by the Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA).

The leading studies available have shown that COVID-19 is much more deadly for people over 65 than any other age group.

ANHA communications director John Matson told Alabama Media Group that the new county guidelines go “against sound medical advice.”

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The JCDH cites “the possibility that our hospitals will not have the capacity to care for a large number of patients infected with COVID-19” as the reason for nursing homes to take in the coronavirus-positive patients.

According to the department, individuals testing positive for the virus will only be returned to a nursing home if two conditions are both met:

  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
  • At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

The department added that some patients may be returned before those conditions are met if their facility is able to adopt certain extra precautions.

Because the new guidelines are being issued by the Jefferson County Department of Health, they only apply to nursing homes in Jefferson County.

Additionally, patients hospitalized without COVID-19 symptoms do not have to test negative before being readmitted to their nursing home.

“For weeks we haven’t allowed family members and volunteers to visit our nursing homes, and our families understand why,” Matson told Alabama Media Group.

“Now they can’t visit, but we’re supposed to admit someone that’s COVID-19 positive?” Matson added.

The Jefferson County Health Department is assuring the public that it is following guidelines laid out by the CDC.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.