Sending your kids back to school used to be a joyful time of excitement and anticipation for millions of parents across the U.S. But for many in the Fall of 2021, it has become a time of anxiety, dread, or even fear.

The ravaging worldview of Critical Theory continues to spread its stranglehold at an alarming rate on everything in our culture from corporations and churches to media and government institutions, but especially on our educational system. For those who are unfamiliar with this worldview, Brian Overholt gave an excellent presentation at our July Friday Forum on its philosophical roots that can be traced back to Karl Marx, who borrowed from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who based his ideal on Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of “Aufheben” (destroy in order to rebuild). If you missed that Forum, it can be replayed on our website here. Perhaps the best summary of this movement can be found in the writing of Marx’s protégé Antonio Gramsci in “Audacia e Fide”:
  • Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity … in the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.
There are other agendas at play as well. The state of Oregon’s LGBTQ policies, first published in 2016, are increasingly being enforced and implemented (starting as early as preschool): Oregon Gov Link.

What can you do? Fortunately, there are many opportunities to get equipped in a biblical worldview for the challenges ahead. The Ambassadors Forum will be holding our annual conference on Oct. 8th & 9th, where these and other culturally relevant topics will be expounded from a biblical perspective. It will be an amazing opportunity to get practical training and connect with local communities that can help invigorate your faith and apply it to the circumstances around us. Registration is now open!

You also don’t want to miss our upcoming monthly forums on relevant topics. You can join us in-person at Southwest Hills Baptist Church in Beaverton, or participate online at our website. Come enjoy the excellent presentations of God’s truth by gifted speakers and lots of face-to-face time for follow-up Q&A and discussion!

Upcoming Friday Forums:
  • 20-Aug “How to Explain God's Justice in Old Testament Genocide” by Charles Jackson
  • 24-Sep “Thinking Biblically about Homelessness” by Eric Bauer

Hard Question Corner

Why do Christians think Jesus is the only way? What about other religions?

The simple answer is that the Bible records that Jesus himself clearly taught this:

John 10:7-9 – I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.

John 14:3-6 – “I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Thus, while many people may legitimately reject Christianity (God and the Bible) because they do not believe or because they refuse to submit to God’s rule in their life, they may not legitimately profess to follow Jesus but also accept that there are other ways to God. While many world religions believe there are many ways to God (Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, etc), Christianity stands in stark contrast in its claim of exclusivity. This is rooted in the first of the Ten Commandments, the foundation of the Christian worldview:

Exodus 20:3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.”

In any survey of world religions, it is useful to think about how they answer life’s big questions:
  1. Where did everything come from?
  2. What is wrong with the world?
  3. How does it get fixed?
If you apply yourself to an honest assessment of all religions through this helpful lens, you will discover that they often do not have satisfactory and consistent answers to these simple questions.

Legal Corner

Question: Precedent or pro-life: Will the Dobbs case be the end of Roe v. Wade?

supreme court building
The Supreme Court recently granted review in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which will be argued late this year or early next year. At issue is a recently-enacted Mississippi law predictably challenged by pro-abortion advocates. Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen from University of St. Thomas in Minnesota describes the case this way:

Dobbs presents a head-on challenge to the validity of Roe v. Wade. The Mississippi law at issue bans abortions later than fifteen weeks into pregnancy. That flatly conflicts with Roe v. Wade, which makes a right to abortion for any reason absolute until at least twenty-four weeks. If Roe is right, Mississippi’s law is “unconstitutional.” And if Mississippi’s law is constitutionally permissible, Roe is not right.

Simply put, the Dobbs case pits the recent tendency of certain members of the Supreme Court to rely on precedent (stare decisis in lawyer speak) against the principle in Article VI, section 4 that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Even the most ardent abortion supporters acknowledge that Roe’s constitutional analysis is badly flawed. The Planned Parenthood v. Casey case in 1992 reaffirming Roe relied primarily on Roe as precedent but did nothing to shore up its constitutional deficiencies. As Professor Paulsen says, while precedent has its place as a judicial policy dating back to Federalist #78 in 1787 and Marbury v. Madison (1803), precedent that conflicts with the Constitution must yield to the supremacy of the Constitution if we are to have a system based on the rule of law.

If overruling precedent sounds- well- “unprecedented”, consider this: no one today questions the Dred Scott decision (slaves are property) being first limited by Plessy v. Ferguson (racial minorities are entitled to separate but equal treatment) and eventually overruled by Brown v. Board of Education (equality of all races). Similarly, Loving v. Virginia (1967) overruled earlier prohibitions on interracial marriage, and Korematsu v. U.S. (upholding internment of Japanese Americans during World War II) is now regarded as a blemish on our constitutional order. Roe itself overruled earlier cases in states prohibiting abortion.

Scripture too provides an apt analogy. If we believe the Bible is inerrant, we cannot abide interpretations of God’s Word that conflict with universal biblical principles (e.g., just because God is love does not mean He approves all forms of “marriage” because He is also just and holy).

Disclaimer: The above column should not be regarded or relied upon as legal advice. The reader should consult legal counsel for specific guidance in particular circumstances.

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