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.

 

33 mins ago

Latest round of Alabama rural broadband grants announced — ‘Will open the way’

Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that she has awarded six grants totaling over $1.14 million to provide access to high-speed internet in several of the state’s rural communities.

The grants are the second round of awards presented by Ivey under the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund. In the latest round, some providers were awarded more than one grant to provide service in different areas.

“Alabama’s rural residents not only want, but need to be on a super highway when it comes to technology,” Ivey said in a statement.

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“Access to high-speed internet in our rural areas will open the way to improved educational opportunities, economic development projects and better health-care services,” the governor concluded. “I am very proud to award these grants to expand access to affordable high-speed internet in these communities.”

Grants awarded and coverage areas as follows:

• Roanoke Telephone Co. Inc. – $79,239 for coverage in the Five Points community in Chambers County. The project will involve more than three square miles and will include 176 households.

• R.M. Greene Inc. of Phenix City – $4,320 for coverage in the Pittsview community and in Russell County. Twenty-three households are included in the coverage area.

• R.M. Greene Inc. of Phenix City – $50,712 to provide coverage in the Dixie area in Russell County. The area includes 215 residences, two businesses and a school.

• Troy Cablevision Inc. – $575,115 for connectivity in multiple areas in Houston County (near Cottonwood and Gordon; and between Webb and Columbia) and Geneva County (near Slocomb, Coffee Springs, Geneva and Samson). The project will cover 79 miles and provide connectivity for 878 residences, 76 businesses and three community locations (like schools, libraries, fire stations and community centers).

• Troy Cablevision Inc. – $348,885 for service in Crenshaw County (near Rutledge/Luverne), Pike County (near Brundidge, Banks and Goshen) and northeast Coffee County. The project will cover 52 miles and provide connectivity for 405 households, 33 businesses and two community and public safety locations.

• Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative Inc. of Rainsville – $88,668 to provide service in the Fabius and Maxwell communities near Stevenson in Jackson County, serving 47 households and one business.

The fund was created through legislation sponsored by State Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) and signed into law by Ivey during the Alabama Legislature’s 2018 regular session. The first round of grants was awarded earlier this year. The legislature then passed a bill updating the law during the 2019 regular session.

The Broadband Accessibility Fund provides grants for service providers to supply high-speed internet services in unincorporated areas or communities with 25,000 people or less. Under the law, grant awards cannot exceed 20 percent of the total cost of a project.

A separate major piece of broadband legislation was successfully championed by State Rep. Randall Shedd (R-Fairview) this year. He is also supportive of the Broadband Accessibility Fund.

“Governor Ivey has led the way to improve rural Alabama on many issues, none more important than connectivity to technology. Alabama is committed to improving our rural areas,” Shedd commented.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is responsible for administering the Broadband Accessibility Fund.

“Like public water and sewer services, high-speed internet is an important piece of infrastructure that people, especially in urban areas, can take for granted,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell emphasized. “Providing these services in rural communities improves lives, and ADECA is proud to be a part of this important process.”

RELATED: 2019 Yellowhammer ‘News Shapers’ series continues with its rural broadband edition

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Alabama company encounters obstacles to creating jobs, renovating Fort McClellan buildings

A contentious legal dispute between the McClellan Development Authority (MDA) and defense contractor Xtreme Concepts has led to concerns that the MDA has allowed personal issues to distract them from their core mission to drive investment and economic growth for the local community, according to numerous Yellowhammer News sources involved in the dispute, including on the MDA board.

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Background:

In 2009, then-Alabama Governor Bob Riley authorized the creation of local “development authorities for the purpose of developing real and personal property of closed military installations” around the state. Among those installations was Fort McClellan, a famed, century-old military facility that was shuttered in 1999.

Since that time, the local area has struggled to find private sector suitors to fill parts of the property, including a large, concrete barracks facility known locally as the Starship. But in recent years, Xtreme Concepts, a defense contractor, leased the property with an option to buy. The property houses an Xtreme subsidiary called iK9 that trains dogs for military and law enforcement entities, including U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Yellowhammer News previously reported on Xtreme CEO Landon Ash’s commitment that his company would make $1.4 million in improvements to the facility. Ash categorized the expenditure as a win for the community because, prior to Xtreme’s arrival, taxpayers were facing the likelihood of having to spend $3 million to tear down the buildings.

But in recent months, as Xtreme moved to purchase the property a stalemate emerged between the company and the McClellan Development Authority (MDA), ultimately resulting in the MDA rejecting Xtreme’s purchase agreement. The dispute spilled into the public, with the editorial board of the local paper urging the two sides to come together and patch up their differences. Roughly three-dozen local jobs hang in the balance after a nine-hour court hearing resulted in Circuit Court Judge Debra Jones allowing Xtreme to stay on the property as the court battle proceeds.

New Developments:

In recent weeks, Yellowhammer News has spoken to numerous individuals on both sides of the issue, including members of the MDA board, Xtreme Concepts and iK9 employees, as well as local officials and private citizens with first-hand knowledge of the ongoing dispute.

The MDA board has remained publicly unified in its intent to have Xtreme’s iK9 division removed from the property, but behind the scenes, some members of the board have grown weary of fighting a legal and PR battle that does not appear to have any upside for local taxpayers.

“Some folks got crossways with [Xtreme Concepts CEO] Landon [Ash] and decided they wanted to do something else with that land,” said one member of the MDA board on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. “Whether or not that’s the best thing for the community–it comes up in conversation but I don’t think that’s the primary concern. It’s just gotten personal.”

Another member of the board disputed that characterization and said there were legitimate concerns about Xtreme’s business operations on the land.

“They’ve done military-style simulations on the property and other things that were outside the terms of our agreement,” the second board member said. “They’ve been late on their rent payments. There are a lot of things going on here and it’s not as simple as us turning down millions of dollars and losing local jobs. There’s more to it than that.”

When asked about the military-style simulations during the court proceeding, Xtreme Concepts CEO Landon Ash testified that what they had done was the equivalent of a Hollywood movie set, allowing them to create an authentic-feeling combat simulation without actually blowing anything up. According to him, that would not run afoul of the agreement.

And a spokesperson for Xtreme said they only stopped making lease payments as they moved to purchase the property, per the terms of the agreement, which they never anticipated to take more than a couple of weeks.

For now, the dispute will continue to play out in court, with stakeholders and the community having to consider the risk of evicting a job-creator without any clear alternative.

3 hours ago

SEC media days kicks off in Hoover

Southeastern Conference media days begins at the event’s longtime home.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey kicks the four-day event off Monday with his annual media address about the state of the league and college football.

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Media days returns to the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Alabama after one year in Atlanta.

The spotlight will be on LSU coach Ed Orgeron on Day 1, with Florida’s Dan Mullen and Missouri’s Barry Odom also taking the podium.

Some things have not changed: Alabama and Georgia remain the division favorites.

The Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban speaks Wednesday, a day after Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart has his turn.

All 14 teams will make the rounds, including star quarterbacks like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia’s Jake Fromm.

Every SEC head coach returns this season for the first time since 2006.
(Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 hours ago

Defense expertise helping Huntsville’s Dynetics become space juggernaut

Since being founded in the Rocket City in 1974, Dynetics has spent the last 45 years becoming an unquestioned worldwide leader in the defense, intelligence and aerospace industries.

With the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission to the Moon being celebrated this week, it is especially fitting that Dynetics recently cemented its rise in the space sector, too.

This ascent has taken place quickly, really over the past decade. It all started in 2009, when Dynetics first expanded its state-of-the-art capabilities to include the space sector, shocking longtime industry leaders with the success of its Fast, Affordable, Scientific, SATellite (FASTSAT) small satellite.

From that initial milestone, Dynetics has built a reputation as an Alabama-based company that provides reliable, rapid and efficient space solutions.

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In a statement, Dynetics Vice President for Space Systems Kim Doering explained, “Dynetics has a rich heritage in defense and intelligence, and really what we needed to do in the last few years was translate what we’ve done for those government contractors into ‘NASA speak’ and demonstrate that the rigor that we place on weapons systems development and things we do for the warfighter, that those are mission critical systems, just like the systems that support astronauts.”

The company has done just that, continuing to build a reputation on such contracts as the NASA/Boeing Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage Exhaust Gas Heat Exchanger, NASA/Radiance SLS Core Stage Pathfinder and NASA SLS Universal Stage Adapter.

Additionally, in the commercial sector, Dynetics has supported United Launch Alliance (ULA) to test the Vulcan.

Then, in November, Dynetics was also selected to develop small satellites for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) Technical Center program — Lonestar.

Now, Dynetics says their “next goal” is to “become the ‘go-to’ propulsion provider for partners in both government and industry.”

They are well on their way to doing just that, as three recent contract awards regarding lunar exploration architecture exemplify.

First, Dynetics was chosen to provide the propulsion system for Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lunar Lander, which is scheduled to land on the Moon in 2020.

The company is also a key player in NASA’s Artemis Program, which is the United States’ plan to return human beings to the Moon by 2024. Dynetics was one of eleven companies selected to study and build five descent stage prototypes for a new human lunar lander.

And, as reported by Yellowhammer News last week, Dynetics is now playing a key role in Maxar’s plan for NASA’s Lunar Gateway, a space station that will orbit the Moon and serve as a vital part of Artemis’ success, as well as future expeditions to Mars. Dynetics will provide support for the power and propulsion element of Gateway and aid establishment of a sustainable lunar presence.

So, as humankind fondly looks backwards upon one of history’s greatest accomplishments this week, Alabamians should be proud to know that the future of space exploration is in good hands, with Marshall Space Flight Center and companies like Dynetics helping turn dreams into reality.

“At Dynetics, we love challenges, and there is a spirit of tackling anything that comes in,” Doering concluded. “It’s an exciting time to be here.”

View a detailed timeline of Dynetics’ rise in the space sector over the last decade here.

RELATED: Alabama: The ‘backbone of national security space launch’

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

7 Things: Immigration raids have started, Trump tweet gives Democrats a reprieve, Doug Jones advocates for Obamacare and more …

7. Support for impeachment craters 

  • The support for impeaching President Donald Trump has fallen to new lows with only 21% of the nation agreeing it should move forward, while 18% of independents, and, more surprisingly, only 39% of Democrats are on board.
  • The poll shows that the American people do not believe the president committed an impeachable offense, that the Russian investigation came up empty and a new report finds another much-ballyhooed investigation into the Trump Organization will lead to no charges.

6. Facebook is getting fined

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  • Facebook is getting fined $5 billion for privacy violations. The fine was approved by a 3-2 vote from the FTC.
  • This was the settlement to the long debate over the Cambridge Analytica debacle that started over a year ago. Facebook later admitted to giving Amazon and Yahoo access to users’ personal data, as well as collecting call and text data from phones on Google’s Android system in 2015.

5. More tolls for Alabama

  • State Senator Chris Elliot (R-Daphne) has said that tolls coming to help build the $2.1 billion Mobile Bay Bridge could open the opportunity for more tolls coming to additional roads in Alabama.
  • Elliot warned that this could be the first case it will be used, but it will not be the last, stating, “And that toll authority legislation, while it is probably going to be rolled out for the first time in coastal Alabama, could be used in other parts of the state as well, which is why I think it ultimately passed both houses and had the governor’s signature on it because the next time it gets used is going to be in Birmingham, or it’s going to be in Huntsville between Huntsville and Decatur, or some other area like that.”

4. Chaos and terrorism at detention centers across the country

  • Talk of mistreatment, child separation, “concentration camps” on the southern border and new immigration raids have led to an escalation in rhetoric, calls for immediate action and protests to end the practice of detaining people who enter the country illegally.
  • This weekend, the American flag was ripped down in Colorado so the protestors could fly a Mexican flag, and more seriously, a domestic terrorist attack a Tacoma, Washington detention facility with “incendiary devices” and firearms by Willem Van Spronsen who sent a manifesto laying out his reasoning for his attack.

3. Doug Jones wants to keep Obamacare

  • In New Orleans, the federal appeals court heard arguments over a lawsuit that says the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Alabama is included in the lawsuit, but U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) wants you to know that the Affordable Care Act is essential to Alabama.
  • Jones said that for people with pre-existing conditions or those who rely on their health care coverage for mediations and treatment, getting rid of the Affordable Care Act “could literally be a life or death matter” and Alabama apparently “has the most to lose.” Jones also claimed that the lawsuit is just another “attempt to take healthcare away from folks.”

2. Trump tweets give the media and their Democrats a common enemy

  • As the Democrat civil war escalated, President Donald Trump decided to unify them by tweeting that U.S. Representatives Ayanna Presley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) should “go back to and help the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” amid the four congresswomen being critical of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
  • The tweet was roundly criticized with some calling it racist. Others pointed out that it was a foolish thing for the president to do while the Democratic Party was engaging in open infighting and their more vocal members were becoming wildly unpopular.

1. The raids have started

  • As promised, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun immigration raids across the country. Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli has kept most of the details quiet, including not saying whether families will be separated in the raids, which happens every-single-day in America.
  • What Cuccinelli did say is that 1 million people have removal orders. He didn’t confirm that raids have started, but according to Fox News, a senior administration official said that they began on Saturday evening.