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.

 

13 hours ago

Goat Island Brewing is an Alabama Maker concocting interesting beers

Their slogan is “Life is too short to drink baaad beer” and Goat Island Brewing Co. is doing its part to produce nothing but good brews in Cullman.

Started by a couple of homebrewing friends, Goat Island has added a head brewer, who is a microbiology major with no homebrewing history. The result is an array of tasty beers that are finding a following in northern Alabama.

“People across the board love all of our beers,” said Mike Mullaney, president and co-founder of Goat Island Brewing. “If you want to come in and have a whole bunch of good, variety of craft beers that have a lot of flavor, try us out.”

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Goat Island Brewing is an Alabama Maker of interesting beers from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The brewery is open to community events and fundraisers in Cullman.

“I like the fact that we are kind of a cultural community center,” Mullaney said.

With seven beers on tap – excluding a seasonal or a small batch – there is always something for any beer drinker. The Blood Orange Berliner Weisse is the bestselling beer on tap, and keeping up with the demand has been a little challenging. A new canning line should help.

The growth is welcome, but the beer has to be the star.

“We always emphasize quality and making sure everything we put out of here is up to the highest standard,” said Paul White, head brewer and operations manager.

Goat Island Brewing Company

The product: Craft beer.

Take home: A growler of Blood Orange Berliner Weisse.

Goat Island Brewing Co. can be found online and on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

15 hours ago

Renew Our Rivers kicks off 21st year

The third decade of Renew Our Rivers (ROR) gets underway in February with the first of the year’s 32 cleanups of Alabama rivers and waterways. If last year is any indication, there will be more volunteers and more trash removed in 2020, said Mike Clelland, ROR coordinator.

Since 2000, when the program began, 122,000 volunteers have collected almost 16 million pounds from waterways and shorelines in the South. In 2019, more than 5,000 volunteers removed almost 450,000 pounds of trash, including old boats, mattresses, tires, appliances and other unsightly items, a 4% increase over the previous year’s haul.

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“We not only picked up more trash in 2019. We also had more volunteers,” said Clelland, an Environmental Affairs specialist for Alabama Power who helps coordinate the cleanups with multiple partners. “Twenty years in and the enthusiasm and participation remain strong. I fully expect 2020 to be just as successful as 2019, if not more so.”

An Alabama River cleanup in Autauga County on Feb. 15 leads off this year’s schedule, which concludes the first week of November at Lake Martin.

Volunteers elevate Alabama through Renew Our Rivers from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Renew Our Rivers began in 2000 with a cleanup by Alabama Power employees along the Coosa River at the company’s Plant Gadsden. It has grown to become one of America’s largest river cleanup initiatives, with the help of community partners, volunteers and organizations.

“Alabama is a beautiful place with extraordinary natural resources,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president for Environmental Affairs. “Protecting those resources, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for our customers, is at the heart of our company’s mission. The commitment by Alabama Power employees to Renew Our Rivers remains strong, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our community partners across the state who support the effort year after year.”

Renew Our Rivers is one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state. The 2020 schedule of Renew Our Rivers cleanups is below. For updates to the schedule, visit alabamapower.com/renewourrivers.

2020 Renew Our Rivers Schedule

Feb. 15: Alabama River

Contact: John Paul O’Driscoll at 334-850-7153

or johnpaulod@juno.com

 

Feb. 29: Bankhead Lake (Warrior River)

Contact: Ronnie Tew at 205-908-4857

 

March 7: Lake Eufaula (Chattahoochee River)

Contact: Brad Moore at bmooreless@gosuto.com

 

March 14: Valley Creek (Spring)

Contact: Freddie Freeman at 205-424-4060, ext. 4188

or ffreeman@bessemeral.org

 

March 21: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Mike Clelland at 205-354-9348

 

March 28-April 4: Logan Martin (Coosa River)

Contact: Bud Kitchin at 256-239-0242

 

March 28: Minor Heights Community at Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087

or yohancevilcreek@yahoo.com

 

March 28-April 4: Lay Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Judy Jones at 205-669-4865

 

April 11: Lay Lake at E.C. Gaston Plant (Coosa River)

Contact: Tanisha Fenderson at tfender@southernco.com

 

April 4: Cahaba River

Contact: David Butler at

info@cahabariverkeeper.org

 

April 14-15: Mobile River (Plant Barry)

Contact: Bo Cotton at 251-331-0603

 

April 18: Lake Jordan (Coosa River)

Contact: Brenda Basnight 334-478-3388

 

Date TBD: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)

Contact: TBD

 

April 22-23: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Allison Cochran at 205-489-5111

 

April 24: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

 

April 25: Weiss Lake

Contact: Sam Marko at 404-626-8594

 

May 1: Plant Gorgas (Mulberry Fork)

Contact: John Pate at 205-686-2324

or johpate@southernco.com

 

May 15: Lake Seminole

Contact: Melanie Rogers at mlrogers@southernco.com

 

May 16: Chattahoochee River (Plant Farley)

Contact: Melanie Rogers at mlrogers@southernco.com

 

May 18-19: Smith Lake (Walker County)

Contact: Roger Treglown at 205-300-5253

 

Aug. 8: Holt Lake (Black Warrior River)

Contact: Becky Clark at 205-799-2449

 

Aug. 14: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)

Contact: Madison Maughon at 205-438-0150

or mtmaugho@southernco.com

 

Aug. 15: Valley Creek

Contact: TBD

 

Aug. 15: Upper Tallapoosa River

Contact: Lex Brown at 256-239-6399

 

Sept: 8-9: Smith Lake (Walker County)

Contact: Roger Treglown at 205-300-5253

 

Date TBD: Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087

 

Sept.18: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

 

Sept. 24: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Jim Eason at msgjeason@yahoo.com

 

Oct. 2-3: Lake Demopolis

Contact: Jesse Johnson at 334-289-6160 or 251-238-1257

 

Oct. 13: Dog River (Mobile County)

Contact: Catie Boss at 251-829-2146 or clboss@southernco.com

 

Oct.17: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Dale Vann at 205-910-3713

 

Oct. 20-22: Lake Harris (Tallapoosa River-Lake Wedowee)

Contact: Sheila Smith at 205-396-5093

or Marlin Glover at 770-445-0824

 

Oct. 26-31: Neely Henry Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Lisa Dover at 256-549-0900

 

Nov. 6-7: Lake Martin (Tallapoosa River)

Contact: John Thompson at 334-399-3289

or 1942jthompson420@gmail.com

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

18 hours ago

Time-lapse video of Birmingham’s new downtown interstate bridges

The new Interstate 59/20 bridges through downtown Birmingham are scheduled to open within the next few days, 12 months after they were closed for replacement.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) announced Jan. 13 the contractor, Johnson Brothers Corp., would have the bridges completed and ready to open no later than Jan. 21. The interstate bridges were closed to traffic Jan. 21, 2019, as part of ALDOT’s phased repair plan for the more than 45-year-old bridges.

Alabama Power recorded the demolition and construction of the western half of the bridges from a 17th-floor window overlooking the junction of the bridges with I-65. The 12-month recording was condensed into a one-minute time-lapse video.

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Time-lapse video of Birmingham bridges replacement from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17 at 2:00 p.m. Once the bridges reopen to traffic, ALDOT says crews will spend the rest of 2020 repairing detours and completing work around the bridges. Plans to develop public space underneath the bridges are not yet finalized.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

19 hours ago

Roby: More flexibility for America’s working parents

The American workforce has witnessed considerable change in dynamics during the 21st Century: it is more diverse than ever before.

Statistics consistently show the percentage of U.S. families with at least one working parent is on the rise, and it’s no secret that today’s working parents struggle to balance the demands required of them by their jobs and their children.

Time is the most precious resource, especially for mothers and fathers who are putting forth their best efforts to manage families while simultaneously excel in their careers. These hard-working parents deserve and need more choice and flexibility in their daily schedules in order to accomplish both. As a working mom myself, I understand the challenges parents face in managing these responsibilities. I always say that Congress cannot legislate another hour into the day, but we can update our laws to allow more choice and fairness in how employees choose to use their time.

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As the dynamics of the workplace have changed over time, our policies that govern the workplace have not adapted to keep up with these changes. I am proud to again introduce the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2020. This piece of legislation offers compensatory time, or “comp time,” benefits in lieu of cash wages for overtime, allowing private-sector workers the same opportunity that currently exists in the public sector.

This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and removes an outdated and unnecessary federal restriction on the use of comp time in the private sector for hourly employees. Comp time would be completely voluntary for the employer and employee with strong worker protections to prohibit coercion. This is the same legislation I have introduced numerous times, and it passed the House on several occasions. This change in law would provide more flexibility for working moms and dads who need more time to manage their families.

Think about it this way: should a working dad be forced to use all of his vacation time to be involved in his child’s school? Should a military mom have to take sick leave in order to make sure her child is properly taken care of? Whether it’s a parent coaching a child’s sports team, caring for a sick or elderly family member, or getting children to and from school and extracurricular activities, family responsibilities often require parents to take time away from work.

As times have changed, so have demands on our time. This is one proposal that would offer private-sector American workers more freedom and more control over their time in order to spend it the way they choose. This piece of legislation is about the working moms and dads across the country who value their time. I am honored to introduce this bill again in order to show my support for all of the working parents across our nation and to hopefully make life a little easier for the moms and dads in our American workforce.

Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.

20 hours ago

Alabama hunter grants wishes for kids

Jeff Carter didn’t have a plan in 2011 when he started Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic, an organization that takes sick kids on a weekend hunting trip in northwest Alabama.

“At that time I really didn’t know what it looked like,” Carter said. “The Lord put it on my heart and he called me to do this. We stepped out on faith.”

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Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic grants wishes for kids from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Carter’s faith paid off. The event, now in its ninth year, has grown from a hunting trip for one child into an extended weekend experience for three kids at a time. The kids are selected through the United Special Sportsman Alliance, all recovering from a life-threatening illness, such as cancer, or a life-altering disorder like autism.

“This is just an opportunity that God has given us to be able to give these kids and their families a chance to get away and get their mind off of a lot of what they’ve been dealing with,” Carter said.

Beau Terry, 18, is one of the young people hunting in this year’s classic. Terry said he was thrilled to get the chance.

“It’s kind of like having a lot of uncles around,” Terry said. “It means a lot.”

In addition to the hunting trip, the kids are given hunting clothes, a DVD video of their weekend and a canvas picture. Carter said their smiles are a blessing to him and his volunteers.

“It’s awesome,” Carter said. “When God calls us to do something, there’s no sense in worry about how much and how, just step out on faith and roll with it because he’s got it figured out already. He will provide.”

For more information about the Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic, visit the organization’s Facebook page here.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)