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Shocking percentage of evangelicals accept abortion — Are silent, culture-pleasing pastors to blame?

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POLL DATA SHOWS ALARMING STATISTICS ABOUT CHRISTIAN ACCEPTANCE OF ABORTION

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, the Pew Research Center just came out with a survey that is rather alarming. It deals with abortion and, specifically, it deals with the acceptance of abortion in a number of evangelical and mainline denominations.

One of the areas that was extremely alarming, Harry, was the Presbyterian Church in America. Members of the PCA are the highest ranked evangelicals in support of legal abortion at 54 percent, according to this survey. Other denominations, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, 46 percent, the Southern Baptist Convention, 30 percent approval.

Harry, there are a number of different percentages across the map. The Presbyterian Church in America in and the Catholic Church are pretty close and what’s interesting about that is both the PCA and the Catholic Church have come out with statements affirming the fact that abortion is wrong, it’s sinful, and we need to do all we can do to prevent it from happening.

DR. REEDER: A very vigorous statement on the sanctity of life in both the Roman Catholic Church and the PCA, which have similar marks. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church has less acceptance of abortion than this Pew Research says that PCA churches have.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Do you think this is an outlier?

DR. REEDER: Tom, I don’t know what to do with it. When I read it, I said, “There’s something got to be wrong here.” And then I got to thinking through it a little bit. The air you breathe in the culture is that abortion ought to be acceptable. Now, the only way that that’s going to be undone is by a vigorous communication of the Word of God in the process of evangelism and discipleship.

The Bible says that we’re to go and make disciples. First of all, we evangelize people to come to Christ and then Jesus says, after they’re baptized and they’re brought into the body of Christ, you are to, “Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Now, that means a number of things, not the least of which would be the Ten Commandments, and of the Ten Commandments, not the least of which would be the commandment “You shall not murder.”

That is exactly what abortion is, yet strangely, our pulpits are silent. Therefore, the people who are professing Christ are not being taught that you come out of a culture of death and, as a Christian, you need to address that. Now, many of our pulpits will address the issue of racism and rightly so; many of them will address the issue of sex trafficking and rightly so, but they’re strangely silent on the matter of sexual ethics and also strangely silent on the matter of the culture of death, both on the abortion side and the euthanasia side.

THE DATA IS TRUSTWORTHY BUT ALARMING

I’ve come to the conclusion this is not an outlier — this actually probably is accurate. First of all, the Pew Research, this is no fly-by-night organization, and they did a lot of work on this and they came up with their analysis that 54 percent of the PCA have come to terms with accepting abortion as a legal fact within our culture, not to be opposed but just to be accepted.

Why is that true? I think it’s true because of the pulpits of the PCA. The pulpits are silent on the matter of abortion because most of those in the pulpit have bought into the fact that the only sins that are safe to confront from the pulpit are those that the culture approves us confronting and those that the culture has already come to terms with, such as abortion and euthanasia, you don’t want to confront those because, if you do, then the people in that culture may not come to your church to hear you.

And that’s “unloving” for you to do that. Well, I would love to sit down and ask them, “Just how loving is it for the inconvenient to be put to death through our ever-expanding euthanasia policy? Just how loving is it for those who are inconvenient at birth?” How is it that our pulpits can be silent on those matters and still say we teach and preach the whole counsel of God?

The Bible tells us to, “Hold fast the faithful word.” The Bible tells us to hold fast the faithful word and to teach and preach the whole counsel of God. Do we primarily communicate those essential truths called the Gospel? Yes. We also communicate all of God’s Word from a Gospel perspective and that includes the commandments, “You shall not murder.” The Bible does say that God created us man — male and female — and therefore how can you be silent in the current transgender ideology that is warping the minds and the hearts of our children if you’re going to be faithful to the Word of God?

WHAT IS THE CAUSE?

What I’m trying to say, Tom, is I think it is accurate. I think the problem in the pew comes from the pulpit and the problem in the pulpit is either a cowardly or misdirected silence on the matters that are facing the culture and the inability to be prophetic in the preaching of the Word of God.

When was the last time your pastor dealt with the subject of Hell from your pulpit? When was the last time he dealt with the subject of abortion from the pulpit? When was the last time he dealt with the subject of euthanasia from the pulpit?

These are expositional sermons that, when you come to the issue of life and the sanctity of life, they apply it into the sins that are being promoted and perpetuated throughout our culture. When was the last time they spoke prophetically to the culture in order to highlight the reality of sin that is destroying men and women and to highlight the reality of sin because you can’t preach the Gospel, good news, without proclaiming the bad news.

The Gospel that Jesus loves you, a sinner — no one is going to be amazed at that love of Christ for me as a sinner until they understand what sin is and you can’t understand what sin is until sins are identified.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I look at this list of the different denominations and those who support abortion. Presbyterian Church in America 54 percent, Southern Baptist Convention 30 percent, Assemblies of God 26 percent. Assemblies of God have the best numbers but, still, a quarter of the membership of that Bible-believing denomination would support abortion. Where do we go when our evangelical churches are so lost on this issue?

DR. REEDER: Well, of course, we go to prayer first of all. Prayer is that instrument that God uses to accomplish his purposes. And I would pray for my pastor, I would pray for the pulpit, I would pray for the seminaries, that they would start equipping pastors on how to deal with these issues and how to address them effectively within the culture. That’s what I would begin to do.

I wouldn’t stop there — I would challenge the seminaries, “What are you producing to send to our pulpits?” We now have church planters and we now have pastors that are going to pulpits that will not address these issues. Then, secondly, I believe church members need to go to their pastor, “How come we’re not being equipped to handle this issue in our pulpits?”

RECOGNIZING HYPOCRISY AND A CALL TO ACTION

As you went down into the survey and pointed out, two things just stood out to me. First is the Roman Catholic Church, like the PCA Church, has a very clear sanctity of life statement and that abortion is wrong — both of those denominations have a significant number of members that have embraced abortion in opposition to the public statements of the denominations. That tells me the public preachers of the denomination are silent.

Another thing that confronted me is the hypocrisy in the PCA between what its leaders claim to embrace and what they preach and do is even greater than the hypocrisy in the Roman Catholic Church because the numbers of people that have made peace with the abortion percentage-wise is greater even in the PCA than it is in the Roman Catholic Church.

I believe, like almost everything else, it’s a crisis of leadership — leadership that either lacks competency, content or lacks character. Our preachers are much more concerned of getting the applause of the culture and the acceptance of the culture than they are in addressing the issue of sin from the Word of God, which then allows you to address the only antidote to sin, which is the Gospel of saving grace in Jesus Christ.

I can’t speak to other denominations, but I’ll speak to my own. I’ll just ask every PCA pastor, “Explain to me why we’re silent on this matter, the sanctity of life? By the way, while we’re talking, explain to me why ours is any different than the confessing evangelical church in Germany with the Holocaust that they closed their eyes to its reality and closed their mouths to its confrontation?”

We desperately need that prophetic voice in the pulpit if we are to do true evangelism and discipleship.

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

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, 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.

14 hours ago

Gov. Ivey appoints interim finance chief — ‘Thorough search’ underway for permanent appointee

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday named longtime state employee Kelly Butler as acting Director of the Alabama Department of Finance to replace outgoing Director Clinton Carter, who resigned this summer to become the Chief Financial Officer for the University of North Carolina System.

According to a press release by the governor’s office, Butler began his career with the Alabama Department of Revenue more than thirty years ago and has since worked for the Legislative Fiscal Office and the Alabama Department of Finance as Assistant State Budget Officer, State Budget Officer and, most recently, Assistant Finance Director for Fiscal Operations.

Now, a “thorough search” is underway for a permanent Finance Director.

Outgoing State Treasurer Young Boozer has emerged as the clear favorite for the appointment, as he leaves office in January due to being term-limited. Former Congressman Jo Bonner, who recently left his role as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Alabama System, is also on the shortlist. Another possibility that has been floating around is state Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville).

Until then, the state is in experienced hands with Butler.

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His duties as Assistant Finance Director included overseeing the State Comptroller’s Office, the State Purchasing Division, the State Debt Management Division, and the State Business Systems Division.

“Kelly Butler has more than two decades of experience working with the state’s budgets and more than three decades experience as a fiscal analyst,” Ivey said in a statement. “I know he will do an excellent job leading the Alabama Department of Finance during this interim period.

The governor added, “I appreciate him stepping up as acting director and his commitment to my administration.”

In addition to handling his new job responsibilities, Butler will continue to work on crafting the Ivey administration’s budget proposals leading up to the 2019 Legislative Session. He accepted the new role with graciousness and thanked the employees that work with him for making the department run smoothly.

“I am honored that governor Ivey has asked me to lead the Department of Finance,” Butler announced in a statement. “The department has many talented employees who work hard to provide excellent services to other state agencies and to the people of Alabama. I look forward to working with them to continue those excellent services.”

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

15 hours ago

Alabama’s state climatologist John Christy rebuts claims of recent fires, heat waves being caused by human activity in in-depth interview

There is one particular word that Dr. John Christy turns to frequently for describing climate science: murky.

It’s a point of view foundational to his own research, and a message underpinning each of his twenty appearances before various congressional committees.

“It’s encouraging because they wouldn’t invite you back unless your message was compelling and not only compelling, but accurate,” Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist, told Yellowhammer News in an interview.

Christy, whose day job involves doing research and teaching as the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), has gained notoriety over the years for dissenting from mainstream climate scientists and policymakers who argue that climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made, and that something must be done to stop it.

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A “working-stiff” scientist

Dissent has gained for Christy the characterization as a “climate change skeptic” or “denier,” as critics refer to him, but he himself rejects those terms.

“I’m a working-stiff atmospheric scientist,” he said, “as opposed to those who support modeling efforts, those who use data sets that other people create and analyze them, but they don’t build them themselves.”

According to Christy, the result of fewer “working-stiff” scientists contributing to the prevailing climate debate is more frequent misuses of data.

“They’re not aware of what goes into it,” Christy said, referring to the data.

“Here we have a science that’s so dominated by personalities that claim the science is settled, yet when you walk up to them and say prove it, they can’t,” he said.

Christy spoke at length about what can be proven and what cannot in his self-described “murky” field, referring often to principles of the scientific method.

“You cannot prove extra greenhouse gases have done anything to the weather,” he said, responding to claims made by many scientists that more greenhouse gases have caused extreme weather patterns to intensify.

“We do not have an experiment that we can repeat and do,” he said.

Christy outlined another problem with attempts to implicate greenhouse gases: a failure to account for things countering trapping effects.

“We know that the extra greenhouse gases should warm the planet,” he said. “The weak part of that theory though is that when you add more greenhouse gases that trap heat, things happen that let it escape as well, and so not as much is trapped as climate models show.”

Economics of climate policy

Though his scientific arguments are primary, Christy also frequently discusses in interviews and testimonies the economic consequences of proposed climate change mitigation policy via carbon reduction.

“Every single person uses energy, carbon energy, and relies on carbon-based energy,” Christy said. “None of our medical advances, none of our technological advances, none of our progress would have happened in the last hundred years without energy derived from carbon.”

Christy contrasts that reality within the modern, developed world with the world he saw working as a missionary teacher in impoverished Africa during the 1970s.

“The energy source was wood chopped from the forest, the energy transmission system was the backs of women and girls hauling wood an average of three miles each day, the energy use system was burning the wood in an open fire indoors for heat and light,” Christy told members of the House Committee on Energy in 2006.

Broad availability to affordable energy enriches countries, Christy said, praising carbon.

“It is not evil. It is the stuff of life. It is plant food,” he said.

What about the fires and heat waves?

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, fires were burning in fifteen states as of Tuesday, August 14.

Alaska reported seventeen fires, Arizona reported eleven, both Oregon and Colorado reported ten, and California reported nine.

Much of the news media’s discussion about these fires over the past few weeks has established a correlation between the many fires and anthropogenic climate change, a correlation that Dr. Christy rejects.

Christy argues that exacerbating fires out west, particularly in California, results from human mismanagement. Such states have enacted strict management practices that disallow low-level fires from burning, he said.

“If you don’t let the low-intensity fires burn, that fuel builds up year after year,” Christy said. “Now once a fire gets going and it gets going enough, it has so much fuel that we can’t put it out.”

“In that sense, you could say that fires today are more intense, but it’s because of human management practices, not because mother nature has done something,” Christy said.

Data from the Fire Center indicates that the number of wildfires have been decreasing since the 1970s overall, though acreage burned has increased significantly.

As for the heat, Christy said there’s nothing abnormal going on in the United States.

“Heat waves have always happened,” he said. “Our most serious heatwaves were in the 1930’s. We have not matched those at all.”

Christy continued, “It is only a perception that is being built by the media that these are dramatic worst-ever heat wave kind of things but when we look at the numbers, and all science is numbers, we find that there were periods that were hotter, hotter for longer periods in the past, so it’s very hard to say that this was influenced by human effects when you go back before there could have been human effects and there’s the same or worse kind of events.”

Though Christy didn’t deny that the last three years have been the hottest ever recorded globally, he doesn’t concede that the changes are attributable to anything other than climate’s usual and historical erraticism.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

15 hours ago

Alabama state Rep. Standridge on ‘In God We Trust’ legislation: ‘It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message’

Alabama state Rep. David Standridge (R-Hayden) was interviewed Tuesday on “Fox and Friends First,” where he discussed the state’s new law that allows “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public buildings.

Standridge, who sponsored the legislation in the state legislature, explained that the idea came in part out of recent debate about school safety. He said he views displaying the national motto as a way to bring added comfort to students, teachers and staff while they are at school.

Along the way, Standridge was shocked by the number of people who were afraid to touch the subject, due to what he views as a modern-day culture of hypersensitivity and “political correctness.”

Media outlets like AL.com and the Associated Press reported that legal challenges are “expected,” but, like Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Standridge does not see an issue with simply displaying the national motto – which he points out was passed by Congress and is featured on American currency.

“It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message,” Standridge said on “Fox and Friends First.”

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Standridge’s wife, Danna, is a former teacher at Hayden High School in Blount County, which is being viewed as the guinea pig county for the new law.

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

16 hours ago

The media, including some in Alabama, continue endorsing aggressive action by liberals that will lead to violence

During the rise of the Tea Party, the American media pretended the group was violent and was going to get people hurt. There are multiple instances where the media disingenuously tied violent acts that were unrelated to the group or others on the American right; the facts didn’t matter.

Now, liberals are in the street punching reporters, cutting audio cables, yelling at people while they eat, showing up and screaming at town halls and throwing items at U.S. Senators like Doug Jones over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, while shouting, “You can kiss my ass if you vote yes. You can kiss my ass if you vote yes. You can kiss my ass.”

If the woman who committed this act were Republican, we would know every single thing about her and she would have been fired from her job.

But because she is fighting the liberal’s fight, the Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon praised this ridiculousness:

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This comes on the heels of CNN’s Chris Cuomo endorsing violence by Antifa in a “fight between good and evil”:

The violence is going to get worse. It is being fueled by bad people for bad reasons. The cowards in the media will make excuses for these people, and they will tell those who might be considering action that they are morally right. It implies doing nothing is complicit, and that it is more important than ever that Americans resist — even if that means violence.

It is easy to see that Josh Moon and Chris Cuomo aren’t going to get out in the street and start throwing hands, but rather, they will praise violent acts from behind their keyboards and from their televisions studios as they benefit from the carnage.

17 hours ago

WATCH: University of Alabama Police Department completes lip sync battle featuring ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

Monday, The University of Alabama posted a video of their campus police department participating in a lip sync battle against Clemson University.

UAPD chose “Sweet Home Alabama” as their song and, afterward, challenged all other SEC schools to join in on the competition.

Watch the full video here.

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

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