Calling Evil Good

How terrible it will be for those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute what is bitter for what is sweet and what is sweet for what is bitter! — Isaiah 5:20, ISV

The Battle of Yorktown effectively ended the American Revolutionary War. When British General Cornwallis surrendered, tradition has it that the British band played the “The World Turned Upside Down”, a tune that underscored the strange turn of events which had brought defeat at the hands of the provincial forces of America, to the most powerful country in Europe.

Today there is another battle going on where insurgents have taken on one of the most powerful forces in the world and may also win.

There is an assault on the Judeo-Christian worldview by a coalition of groups among them: atheists, Muslims, and secular-humanists who have very little in common except for their common hatred of Judaism and Christianity in all its forms.

Same Sex Marriages

While recognizing same sex marriages has made inroads across the world (see figure above), some of the most vehement attacks are coming from within.

The Enemy Within

More and more Christian denominations are open to ordaining openly, practicing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) pastors for their flocks. The first mainline denomination in the United States to ordain openly gay clergy was the United Church of Christ—UCC in 1972. Other groups include the Church of Sweden where clergy may serve in senior clerical positions. In 2003 the United Church of Christ General Synod called for full inclusion of transgender persons. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided in August 2009 to accept gay, lesbian, and bisexual clergy in sexually active monogamous relationships. (The first openly transgender leader of an ELCA congregation wasordained in 2014 in San Francisco.)

Many more congregations allow their clergy to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. Anglicanism, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Anglican Church of Canada (in some dioceses) are some of the churches. The United Protestant Church of France performs blessings of same-sex couples. In 2013, Church of England indicated that it plans the blessing of same-sex unions.[19] It is, however, forbidden by law to conduct same-sex marriages within its churches. In New Zealand, the Aotearoa Quaker Meeting in 1995 pledged “to seek formal ways of recognizing a variety of commitments, including gay and lesbian partnerships.” On March 18, of this year, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to formally sanction homosexual marriage.

Even with this degradation of the meaning of marriage, many people are lobbying for even more inroads into defining what a marriage is. There are people who want to extend marriage rites not only to a man having multiple spouses (polygyny) or a woman having multiple husbands (polyandry), but also for a marriage having multiple husbands and wives (polyamory). While these practices have been around for millennia, it is only recently where “First World” countries are starting to recognize them.

Abortion

Abortion has been practiced for millennia; through most of history, it was induced by herbal chemistry. Both contraceptives and abortion-inducing agents were used by a variety of cultures. An inscription from ancient Sumer lists what is likely a recipe for inducing abortion, and Egyptian papyri dating as far back as 1500 BC make references to chemicals being used to induce abortion. The earliest medical writing from Egypt, dated around 1850 BC, contains recipes for preventing conception.

Historical Context

A variety of opinions seem to have surrounded the practice of abortion in antiquity. For example, Virgil used the word “children” to describe the unborn, and Juvenal used the word “humans” to describe a fetus in the womb. On the other hand, Aristotle wrote about abortion in a way that may indicate the practice was considered normal.

The Early Church

Many of the early church fathers spoke out about the practice of abortion. John Chrysostom in the East and Jerome in the West both condemned it.

Other examples include:

» The Didache, one of the most prominent extra biblical early church documents, explicitly forbids abortion: “[D]o not abort a fetus or kill a child that is born”.

» Basil declared that a woman who had induced an abortion should be tried for murder.

» Augustine extensively spoke against abortion, particularly as he wrestled with theological issues such as the existence of the soul.

In the first few hundred years of Christianity, the discussion of abortion revolved around when the unborn fetus actually became human. That practice has continued to this day.

As medical advances have shown a baby can survive outside the womb at an earlier and earlier age, ethicists have posited that a fetus becomes human at a later and later time. Many now consider it ethical to kill a child as it starts down the birth canal, but not fully delivered. When all but the head is delivered, a procedure called “partial-birth abortion” kills the baby just seconds before the baby takes its first breath of life.

But it does not end there.

Many now put a “quality of life” as a measure of life. If a child is born with a birth defect that could cause an “undue economic or emotional” hardship on the mother, that child can be aborted. As one woman said, “I believe that my rights, my health, my consciousness, and my obligations to others—including to my toddler daughter—outweigh the rights of the unborn human inside me.”

But it still does not end there.

Some medical “ethicists” believe that a child can be killed even after it has been born. The Journal of Medical Ethics prepublished electronically an article by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva entitled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

The abstract of the paper states:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health.

By showing that:

» Both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons,

» The fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and

» Adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people

The authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

They have also stated that abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health.

Their reasoning goes as follows:

»  1) The fetus and the newborn are morally equivalent. “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

» 2) The fetus and the newborn are both “potential persons”. Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’: that is, the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life.”

They also disallow adoption as an alternative to post-birth abortion. They state that the argument for carrying a child to term and beyond, “… it is not strong enough to outweigh the consideration of the interests of actual people. Indeed, however weak the interests of actual people can be, they will always trump the alleged interest of potential people to become actual ones, because this latter interest amounts to zero.”

In the conclusion of the paper they state:

If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.

It is a sad, but true statement that the most dangerous place in the world for a child is inside their mother’s womb.

You Can’t Make This Up

In another new and disturbing paper that has been peer-reviewed and published, two philosophers recently profiled by Australia’s ABC network have taken what is already a runaway definition of “equality” to a whole new level of ridiculous.

Professors Adam Swift of the University of Warwick and Harry Brighouse of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, think they’ve found the root source of inequality in society: the family.

Social scientists have long realized and written on the benefits that loving, intact families give children. Studies have shown that the children in these types of families are more likely to attend college, less likely to suffer or perpetrate abuse, less likely to do drugs or cross the law, and have a higher likelihood of passing on these advantages to their own children. One would think this would make us want good families in our society. But Swift and Brighouse don’t think that’s fair.

Swift stated, “If the family is this source of unfairness in society, then it looks plausible to think that if we abolished the family there would be a more level playing field.”

As the humorist Dave Barry would write, “I’m not making this up.”

While even Swift and Brighouse realize that abolishing the family would be overboard (for now), they offer an alternative. Their alternative is to hobble intact families—especially those with means—by prohibiting private school, inheritance, summer camp, and other “purely economic means” of conferring advantage on children.

They also believe that since bedtime stories also give kids a leg-up in life, they think those that to read to their children should “occasionally” feel bad about reading to their kids.

A World Turned Upside Down

Such a scenario brings to mind C. S. Lewis’ famous epilogue to The Screwtape Letters, entitled, “Screwtape Proposes a Toast.” In it, the retired tempter tells graduates of a demonic college to teach humans that good habits—the kind that improve society (kind of like the family does)—are “undemocratic.” Instead of nurturing and encouraging virtues like morality and academic excellence, he says, humans should be trained to resent and destroy them.

The goal, says Screwtape, is the “elimination of every kind of human excellence—moral, cultural, social, or intellectual.”

There are other examples on the world calling good evil and evil good. A new game called, “Charlie, Charlie”, summoning demons has taken social media by storm. There is also a new TV series coming out called “Lucifer“ The series will focus on Lucifer, ”who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell and resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the beauty of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.”

While one would hope that the above scenarios will not be taken to their logical conclusion, past recent history paints a different scenario.

In a world that has been turned upside down, we need to be like the Christ’s disciples in the Book of Acts:
When they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials and shouted, “These fellows who have turned the world upside down have come here, too,” (Acts 17:6, ISV)

If we turned this world upside down, maybe it will be “right-side up” again.

Additional Reading

» Ordination of LGBT Christian clergy — Wikipedia

» List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality  — Wikipedia

» Pastor warns of demon possession playing Charlie-Charlie  — Jamaca Observer

» Professor: If You Read To Your Kids, You’re ‘Unfairly Disadvantaging’ Others — National Review

» Post-Birth Abortions: An Idea That’s Gaining Ground on Campus  — Aleteia News

Original Source: khouse.org "eNews for June 01, 2015"
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Watchman

pseudonym: Ball-peen Hammer Green

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