Friday, November 2, 2018

Signing-Off … For Now

For over 5-years (since 2013), I’ve posted on this blog three times a week (every Monday-Wednesday-Friday).  Though I’ve had very few comments rendered (in response) on my blog, I’ve had a consistent readership 5-times as great as I’m now registering.  Postings on my Facebook page previously resulted in many comments (pro & con) and numerous persons ‘sharing’ – but that has significantly diminished.  Perhaps Facebook has determined my postings to be contrary to their agenda.  With so few readers, it pains me to cease what I’ve enjoyed doing over the years – but I must make the best of my time.  It’s been a stimulating experience, and I thank those of you who took the time to read my blog.  Maybe someday it will return to Empowering God’s People for Engaging the Culture ... by Equipping them with an Understanding of a Biblical Worldview.”  Until then, may God bless you!

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Liberals Panic Transgender Annihilation

The New York Times (NYT) located its newest, freshest outrage on the Trump Administration in a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo that’s not new – but circulated since last spring.  Some insensitive bureaucrat argued that federal policy on gender should be based on “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”  [read my blog posting of Monday, November 29 – “Here is How the Trump Administration Aims to Define Transgender”]

But, wait a minute!  Don’t liberals believe policy should be grounded in science?  Of course, they do! … but apparently not when it conflicts with their cultural dogmas on “gender fluidity.”

The NYT headline was not just skewed; it came with a hint of holocaust: “Trump May Limit How Government Defines One’s Sex.”  The HHS memo bases gender policy on the genitalia you’re born with.  “The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4-million Americans,” the story says.  It ends with a former Obama bureaucrat denouncing any change that would return to biology because it “quite simply negates the humanity of people.”

The NYT was not alone. Time magazine tweeted, “Reports that the Trump administration plans to erase the definition of transgender spark alarm.”  Leftists quickly started the Twitter hashtag “#Wont-BeErased.”  A Boston Globe tweet warned that the change could be drastic, quoting the NYT piece: “The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people.”  The Daily Beast headline was “Trump Wants to Pretend Trans People Don’t Exist.  Well, We Do.”  The Daily Beast tweeted, “The Trump administration’s potential new rule on gender would take transgender rights even further into the Dark Ages than they already are.”

Then the celebrities on Twitter really took the “eradication” language into absurdity.  Actor Bradley Whitford (of “The West Wing” and “Billy Madison”) tweeted: “This is obscene. This must not stand.  This is, and I use this word intentionally, what the Nazis did. Otherization, vilification and exclusion of vulnerable minorities.”  Deaf “America’s Next Top Model” winner Nyle Di-Marco used the word “genocide.”  He tweeted: “Disgusting. Alarming.  TRANS PEOPLE ARE REAL.  THEIR EXISTENCE ARE NOT UP FOR DEBATE.  AND this is genocide.”

All this because a memo is circulating that suggests the federal government shouldn’t force every local school district into a federal mandate to provide a taxpayer-funded panoply of redefined bathroom spaces and other “protections.”

Liberals inside and outside the media can’t seem to grasp that Obama’s transgender mandates caused alarm with conservatives, science lovers and religious people alike … and that the mandates were a serious reason those people marched to the polls to vote for President Trump.  

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sex and Gender – Two Different Things

Anatomy at birth may prompt attending physicians or nurses to check the ‘male’ or ‘female’ box on a birth certificate, but according to The Associated Press (AP), sex and gender isn’t always the same thing.

As shared in my previous blog posting [October 29 – “Here is How the Trump Administration Aims to Define Transgender”], The New York Times (NYT) reported the Trump Administration is considering rolling back the Obama-era expansion of Title IX – a move that essentially redefined the word “sex” in the statute that bans sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding.  LGBTQA groups decried the proposed rollback, believing it’s a violation of their civil rights.

In a follow-up report, AP asked the following question of Dr. Jason Rafferty of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Aren’t sex and gender interchangeable terms?  “Sex typically refers to anatomy while gender goes beyond biology,” Rafferty told AP.  “Gender identity is more an inner sense of being male, female or somewhere in between – regardless of physical anatomy.  It may be influenced by genetics and other factors, but it’s more about the brain than the sex organs.”  According to Rafferty, transgender is a term “accepted across science and medical groups” to mean people whose gender identity doesn’t match what Rafferty calls their “sex assigned at birth.”

OneNewsNow spoke with Dr. Michelle Cretella, Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians, who sees things differently.  “The lie is that people have sex and that they have something else called gender,” she begins.  “That’s the foundational lie – and Dr. Rafferty is the author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ pro-transgender policy statement that was just torn to shreds by an openly gay psychologist who looked at the AAP’s policy statement, authored by Dr. Rafferty, and pulled all the references.”  According to Cretella, the references that Rafferty cites for the AAP do not support the claims that he makes.  “He claims, and the AAP claims, that every child – regardless of how young – must be accepted for whatever gender identity they declare and that we need to go ahead and raise them as the opposite sex, whether they are two or sixteen or eighteen,” she continues.  “That is demonstrably false [and] that’s what the AP story is basing their so-called science on.” 

The truth, says Dr. Cretella, is that every human being is conceived with a biological sex, which is determined by an individual’s DNA alone.  “Our identity, our self-awareness of being male or female, is something that is learned, and it develops over time,” she adds.  “It is not until the child is seven years old that a child’s brain is capable of understanding that sex does not change when you change your appearance.  That is the science ... the psychological science, the neurological science ... that the transgender activists – including the transgender activists who wear white coats and stethoscopes – are ignoring.”

As for the Trump Administration’s possible “rolling back” of the Obama-era expansion of Title IX, it was never a change in the law – as implied by the reaction and protests of LGBTQ activists.  In 2010 the Obama Administration wrote a letter that added “non-conforming genders” to the Title IX civil rights law passed in 1972 … redefining the concept throughout the entire federal bureaucracy.  A memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), referenced in the NYT article, would simply put the original, scientific definition back.  As columnist David French writes, the proposal would be simply “applying conventional rules of statutory construction to correct the Obama Administration overreach.”

American Family Association’s Sandy Rios says the madness has gone far enough. “We’ve allowed that to happen because we have not spoken back firmly and said, No – this is biology.  This is the way God designed things,” she exclaims.  She contends there are signs many Americans are ready to stand up to those who continue to peddle the “gender identity” lie.  “I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why President Trump has taken the imagination of the American people, because he’s willing to say the things that the American people have been afraid to say,” she shares.

The NYT reports the HHS memo was drafted and has been circulating since last spring.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, October 29, 2018

Here is How the Trump Administration Aims to Define Transgender

The Trump Administration is attempting to do away with the official term of ‘transgender’ by changing the definition of gender to one of a biological condition determined at birth as either male or female.

According to a memo obtained by The New York Times (NYT), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is leading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX – the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex.  Under it, a person’s gender designation could not be changed once it was defined by the genitals a person is born with.

Under the Obama Administration, the legal concept of gender was loosened through a series of decisions … recognizing gender as an individual choice and not one determined at birth.  The policy led to legal challenges concerning bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other areas where gender had previously been identified as either male or female.

The NYT reported an HHS spokeswoman declined comment on what she called “allegedly leaked documents.”  But HHS officials said they were following a ruling by a Texas US district judge as a guide to transgender policy.

In 2016, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled on a challenge to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that forbade discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, and other characteristics. He has written that “Congress did not understand ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity.’”

“The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is abiding by it as we continue to review the issue,” Roger Severino, Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement.

But the NYT points out that other court decisions have gone in favor of the Obama Administration’s position.  That was one of the reasons for the move for a new, standard definition by HHS.  The department’s memo says the lack of a stand-alone definition allowed the Obama Administration and courts to take “advantage of this circumstance to include gender identity and sexual orientation in a multitude of agencies, and under a multitude of laws,” which in turn “led to confusion and negative policy consequences in health care, education and other federal contexts.”  HHS also called on major federal agencies to adopt its definition of gender, so it will be the same in various government regulations, which would increase the likelihood that courts will accept it.

God’s Word is clear: “And God created them … male and female He created them.”  (Genesis 1:27)

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Friday, October 26, 2018

When Religious Discrimination Goes Beyond Your Doorstep and Into Your Home

A law firm that fights religious discrimination is accusing a senior living community in Virginia of unlawfully punishing a retired pastor.  [I previously wrote about this in my blog posting of August 29, 2018 – “Evicted for a Bible Study in a Senior Community?”]

Rev. Ken Hauge, a retired Lutheran pastor, was conducting a Bible study in the common area at Evergreens at Smith Run in Fredericksburg, VA when the owner, Community Realty Company, instituted a policy that bans religious activities in the community room.  Abiding by the corporate policy, Hauge then moved the Bible study into his apartment, where First Liberty Institute (FL) attorney Lea Patterson says Hauge was told that is not allowed either.

“The letter that they sent to [Hauge],” says Patterson, “basically told him that he could not lead a Bible study either in the common area or in his own apartment.”

Last week, attorneys at FL submitted a complaint to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on behalf of Hauge and his wife.  The complaint alleges that the Evergreens and Community Realty violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating on the basis of Hauge’s religion.  According to the eviction letter given to Hauge, the Bible study amounts to business activity, which the company claims is a violation of the lease agreement.

“It is both shameful and illegal to threaten elderly residents with eviction simply for holding a Bible study,” Patterson tells OneNewsNow.  “Treating residents unequally simply out of hostility to religion violates federal law and taints Virginia’s long history of religious freedom.”

FL first sent Evergreens and Community Realty a letter in August advising them they were discriminating against Hauge.

If HUD doesn’t resolve this matter, let it go to the U.S. Supreme Court … where the conservative majority can render a constitutional opinion on behalf of Rev. Hauge’s religious liberty.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Angry Parents Over 5th Grade Sex Survey

According to a Boston CBS affiliate, a group of parents in Vermont (VT) is mad after a number of 5th grade students were given a survey asking about sexual activity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

One question in particular asked: “Have you been in a romantic relationship?  By relationship, we mean more than friends, like having a partner for planned events, like a school dance, going to the movies, or having a sexual partner.”

Vanessa Beach, a mother from Windsor, VT, told WPTZ, “My daughter is 10.  So are all the other kids who took this.  A sexual partner at 10 years old would be called sexual abuse.”  While Beach went on to say that she did not take issue with the subjects of gender identity and sexuality being discussed in the classroom, she felt that asking the children about their own personal experiences constituted an invasion of privacy.  She also believes the questions were not age-appropriate.

The survey was reportedly conducted by the organization WISE, a domestic violence prevention and advocacy group that also performs educational trainings in Windsor-area public schools.  The survey questions were developed by WISE in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire, with whom the data results were shared.

Although a form was supposedly sent home to parents allowing them to opt their students out of the survey, Beach claims she never received it.  And a researcher involved with the survey claimed that “passive-consent” policies are not uncommon in VT.  A spokesperson for WISE added that before the survey is handed out, students are informed that they may choose not to take it.  But Beach, along with a number of other parents, isn’t satisfied with that explanation.  She immediately posted a photo of the survey, and voiced her disapproval, on Facebook.  “I find this ridiculous and unnerving to say the least,” wrote Beach.  “I am so pissed I haven’t read the rest yet!!”

Jane Stapleton is co-director of the Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.  Stapleton reportedly told Yahoo Lifestyle that the questionnaire was merely meant to help WISE evaluate school-based prevention programming.  Stapleton also denied the claim that children were being asked whether they’ve engaged in sexual activity.  “It’s asking a range of behaviors,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.  “It’s a general question that asks about romantic relationships.  Yes, it does say sexual relationships, but it’s not asking about specific acts.”

But Beach apparently isn’t alone in her feelings about the intrusive survey questions.  She says she was contacted by the superintendent of Windsor Schools, who claimed neither he nor the school’s principal were informed about the survey, and that he was “enraged” by it.  School administrators have also said that they’ve received many parental complaints similar to those from Beach, and are presently working to address them.

This is just more evidence that parents must be constantly vigilant in protecting their children … particularly in the public schools!

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Cost of Firing a Fire Chief Over Religious Views

The city of Atlanta has reached a settlement with Kelvin Cochran, its former fire chief, who was fired after he distributed a book at work in which he detailed his views on sexual morality.

Atlanta’s Fox News affiliate has reported that the city agreed pay Cochran $1.2 million in the settlement.  

In 2013, the former fire chief penned a book about his faith that he gave to approximately a dozen others whom he said had either asked for a copy or who shared his views.  Yet because his book took an unfavorable stance toward homosexuality, among other things, he was ousted in January 2015.  Then-Mayor Kasim Reed said that Cochran had violated city policy by promoting the book while on the job.  

The book, a 162-page men’s devotional titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?, briefly mentions the biblical perspective on sexual ethics and morality.

Reed initially said Cochran would have to undergo “sensitivity training” and in November 2014 was put on a 30-day suspension without pay … but was ultimately fired.  Cochran then filed a federal lawsuit and was represented by Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).  Together they contended that the city had violated his free speech and due-process rights and that his reputation had been marred such that he could no longer find employment as a firefighter.

“Given my history and work throughout my career and with the city of Atlanta, I was shocked that writing a book and encouraging Christian men to be the husbands and fathers and men that God had called us to be, would jeopardize my 34-year career,” Cochran said.

The Atlanta City Council voted 11-3 Monday on the specific amount of damages and attorneys’ fees it owes Cochran following negotiations with attorneys at ADF.  Atlanta’s present-Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will now have to sign off on or veto the settlement package.

“The government can’t force its employees to get its permission before they engage in free speech.  It also can’t fire them for exercising that First Amendment freedom, causing them to lose both their freedom and their livelihoods,” ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot, who represented Cochran in court last year, said in a statement last week.  “We are very pleased that the city is compensating Chief Cochran as it should, and we hope this will serve as a deterrent to any government that would trample upon the constitutionally protected freedoms of its public servants.”

In December 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled that Atlanta’s rules restricting non-work speech, such as Cochran’s book, were too wide and had enabled the city to discriminate against viewpoints with which they disagreed and, therefore, did “not pass constitutional muster.”  “This policy would prevent an employee from writing and selling a book on golf or badminton on his own time and, without prior approval, would subject him to firing.  It is unclear to the court how such an outside employment would ever affect the city’s ability to function, and the city provides no evidence to justify it. ... The potential for stifled speech far outweighs any unsupported assertion of harm,” the text of the ruling read.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Friday, October 19, 2018

Christians Nix LGBT Reading Event

An event where a cross-dressing man was scheduled to read pro-LGBT stories to little children at a public library isn’t going to happen because a Christian group intervened.

The public library in Lafayette, Louisiana, had scheduled “Drag Queen Story Hour,” but the Christian ministry Warriors for Christ – in conjunction with Citizens for a New Louisiana – filed a federal lawsuit to stop it.  “We have been going back and forth with the judge asking for a restraining order to stop this event, saying that it’s pandering sexuality and obscene material to children,” Pastor Rich Penkoski explains to OneNewsNow.

Last week, organizers moved the event from the library to South Louisiana Community College, but soon thereafter the college gave up on the event before the court even ruled on the matter.  The organizers denied it, but Penkoski says it was all about influencing youngsters.

“We did a Freedom of Information Act request from the library and we have found out that they were doing this on purpose, [that] they were manipulating what was being shown to parents to bring these kids there so that the children would be hearing messages of stories about how to get your parents to cross-dress and stories of a prince falling in love with another boy,” Penkoski shares.  “So they were actually targeting three-to-five-year olds – and the event introducing them to the LGBT lifestyle.”

Dylan Pontiff, the drag queen scheduled to read, admitted as much to a local newspaper: “I just think that this all comes from a population of people that don’t truly understand change, that don’t truly understand open-mindedness and empathy.  And that is the exact thing that Drag Queen Story Time is trying to create in our children.”

The books reported to have been read were “Strictly No Elephants” by Lisa Mantchev, “From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea” by Kai Cheng Thom, and “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister.

Penkoski concludes: “I believe that if Christians stood together and we prayed, because the power of God is with us in this, that these events would be shut down.”

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bill Protects Religious Institutions

Perhaps you missed it.  Last week, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill to strengthen protections for religious groups and their properties against persecution.

This legislation modifies the federal criminal code to reflect prohibitions regarding intentionally damaging, defacing or destroying religious property.  It establishes a criminal penalty — a fine, a prison term of up to 5-years, or both — for a violation that results in damage or destruction to religious property, in addition to expanding the definition of “religious real property” to include real property owned or leased by a nonprofit, religiously affiliated organization.

“Crimes targeting religious institutions pose a danger to the religious freedom and security of all Americans,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT-R) who introduced the measure.

Jewish groups like the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which advocated for the bill, applauded its enactment.  “This important law, which provides for new and strengthened measures to deter, as well as punish, perpetrators of attacks on religious institutions, will provide a much-needed sense of comfort and security,” said Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director for policy.  “The solid bipartisan support for the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2018 is a reaffirmation of our freedom, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, to exercise religion, to practice one’s faith unhindered and without fear,” said Isaacson.  “The increasing attacks and threats against churches, synagogues and mosques disgrace our nation’s most fundamental values, and demand the firm response offered by the new law.”

Jews are the leading target of hate crimes annually in the United States, according to the FBI.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Monday, October 15, 2018

Planned ‘Murderhood’ Launches New Campaign to Ensure Abortion Given a Now Hostile SCOTUS

Planned Parenthood (PP), the nation’s largest abortion provider, announced last week that they are launching a “multi-million dollar nationwide effort to ensure abortion is still accessible in the United States no matter what happens at the Supreme Court.”  They claimed that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) was “solidifying an anti-abortion majority on the highest court in the land, and making it likely that the nationwide right to safe and legal abortion will be further eroded, if not eliminated, in the near future.”

PP explained that the campaign will be a 3-pronged approach:
  1. The organization will focus on expanding “services in states where abortion is likely to remain legal and accessible, and invest in technology and other resources to help people living in hostile states access abortion.”
  2. They will also partner “with state advocates and coalition partners to use state policies to ensure there’s an ironclad network of states across the country where abortion will still be legal, no matter what happens at the Supreme Court.”  Their coalition will seek to push laws that strengthen abortion access.
  3. The group’s third angle is to work on cultural change on abortion, attempting to normalize it and diminish “stigma,” particularly in “the media, in everyday conversations, and across popular culture — including working with the music, fashion, movie, and television industries, and with additional public awareness campaigns to be announced in the coming months.”

Kevin Griffis, PP’s Vice President of Communications, said that they’ve re-arranged their communications teams to work with the TV industry and that in the past they’ve worked with shows such as Jane the Virgin and Glee.  The coordination with Hollywood is hardly surprising given strong support the abortion provider receives from the industry.

Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of PP Federation of America and PP Action Fund, said in a statement about the new initiative that the abortion giant will “never back down” no matter “what those in power may say.”  “We demand a world where who you are or how much money you make doesn’t determine your access to health care or access to safe, legal abortion,” Laguens wrote.  “We demand a world where your personal health care decisions aren’t affected by stigma, shame, or silence.  We demand a world where providers can give patients the care they need without harassment or government interference.  We demand a world where our elected officials represent the vast majority of Americans who support access to safe, legal abortion.”

Laguens does not cite polling backing up her claim that the “vast majority” of Americans support abortion access.

Fact is: Gallup polling in June showed that a majority, 53% of Americans believe in restrictions on the legality of abortion.  The poll also found that 48% of Americans believe abortion is “morally wrong.”

“No matter what those in power may say, each of us deserves the right to control our own bodies,” Laguens concluded.  “That includes the right to decide if and when to become a parent.”

Here’s another fact: PP performed 321,384 abortions over this past year, according to their latest annual report.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Friday, October 12, 2018

You Double the Trouble When You Ignore Context

Recently, I had an outside, unwelcomed clergy instructing my church leaders that the final step in ‘church discipline’ is to take the wayward person … who refuses to repent … and “tell it to the church” before expelling them from the fellowship.  This clergy was quoting Matthew 18:17 … translated (today) into English from the original Greek New Testament: “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (NASB)  The problem was his lack of proper exegetical analysis of the original Greek text.  Contextually, “tell it to the church” [τῇἐκκλησίᾳ] was understood to mean “to the rulers of the church” – not to some assembly of persons (in general).  In antiquity, the early Church Father and Archbishop of Constantinople – John Chrysostom (347-407 AD) – makes this clear in his 4th century commentary: But if he shall neglect to hear them also, tell it to the church, that is, to the rulers of it; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican.” (source: Homily LX on the Gospel According to St. Matthew)

Exegeses of Matthew 18 frequently overlook the contextual fact that Jesus is not speaking (general) to the multitude, but (specifically) to the disciples (18:1) … whose successors were the hierarchs and presbyters of the church.  All of Matthew 18:15-20 pertains to the Apostles and their successors – not anyone whosoever claims to be a Christian or the whole assembly of believers.  The church leaders [elders] had the responsibility to administer church discipline by excluding the wayward person(s) from the fellowship of the church … with the purpose of causing him/her to repent.

Here’s the point: Never try to determine the meaning of a Biblical text without reading its context.  Always read a paragraph before and after.  Better yet, read the whole chapter or entire Biblical book.  If you don’t, this can create two related problems:

First, when you ignore the context, you don’t know what the author is talking about.  That’s a serious liability to figuring out what the verse in question means.  That’s because context - more than anything - determines the meaning of the text you’re reading.  When you ignore the context, then, you are ignoring the information the author is giving you to tell you what he’s talking about.  If you don’t know what he’s talking about, then it’s possible to misunderstand what he means.  If you misunderstand the author’s intended meaning, then you’re misunderstanding what God is trying to tell you.

Second, when you ignore the context, you are more likely to create new context from your life situation.  When you don’t read the text before and after a verse, you create a context vacuum that you are tempted to fill with your own life circumstances. Since context determines the meaning of the smaller unit of text, your own life situation becomes the new context that changes the meaning of the verse.

For example, many people read or cite Matthew 18:20 out of context.  They wrongly interpret that verse to mean that if two or more believers are together, then God is present with them. That’s not what Jesus meant, though.  Instead, He’s explaining how to handle a brother who sins.  You can tell because the verses before and after verse 20 (also known as the context!) are about church discipline.  Therefore, verse 20 should be understood in that light.  Jesus is telling us we need two or more people to properly judge a believer who refuses to repent.

Listen: The Holy Spirit not only inspired the Bible verse you’re reading, but He also inspired the context — the words before and after.  So, when you don’t read the context, you are simultaneously ignoring the Holy Spirit’s inspired context and overwriting it with your own life situation.  

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Don’t Support Komen Foundation

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is among the world’s largest breast cancer research organizations.  It’s the reason so many Americans know October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Foundation also has the dirty little non-secret of sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood each year.  In reviewing their financials (accessed 4/10/17) – Susan G. Komen is listed as a company that matches gifts to Planned Parenthood, and donated $465,000 to 11 Planned Parenthood chapters.

So what can you do to fund breast cancer research?  Skip around the abortion funding and send your money straight to cancer research unassociated with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Additionally, tell Susan G. Komen that if it wants your support, it can stop funding Planned Parenthood.  The breast cancer group claims that it doesn’t fund abortion; but every dollar that goes to Planned Parenthood for cancer research or any other reason helps Planned Parenthood end unborn lives.

Since 2012, Susan G. Komen has lost over $100 million in annual revenues from the public each year.  []  The reason is simple: It angered both leftist abortion backers and pro-life advocates when it first stopped, then restarted, its Planned Parenthood partnership, respectively.

I urge you to not support Susan G. Komen until it decides it wants to be a life-saving, not a life-ending, organization.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Beale, Jr.
Chaplain (Colonel-Ret), U.S. Army
Pastor, Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel