Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Government admits link between vaccine and autism!

Posted in autism, vaccines by Kathy on February 29, 2008

The first link is to the ad taken out by generation rescue, paid for by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, calling into question the safety of vaccines. I saw her when she appeared on Oprah, when she said she was convinced that the vaccines caused her son’s autism, despite the lack of scientific proof. Her quote was, “My son is my science.” She didn’t need to know what “the experts” said, she knew her son was developing normally until he got his MMR vaccine at 15-18 months of age. It is an interesting and gripping visual demonstration of just how many different diseases are being purposefully injected into normal babies and children in the name of safeguarding their health.

Then today, I found out about this article which shows the concession by the US government that this little girl’s vaccines caused her autism. The actual concession is that the mandatory vaccines “aggravated” a rare genetic condition this girl had, which made it seem like she had autism. But this “rare” genetic condition (which supposedly is only in 0.02% of all people) has been shown to be in the majority of the people who have autism. Using the government’s language of the vaccine “aggravating” an underlying condition, “manifesting”symptoms of autism, the author expertly says:

When a kid with peanut allergy eats a peanut and dies, we don’t say “his underlying metabolic condition was significantly aggravated to the extent of manifesting as an anaphylactic shock with features of death.” No, we say, “the peanut killed the boy.”

Then there is this follow-up article by the same author, which has the entire court document, so you can read the entire painful history of this girl. If you read all the way through to the end (which I dearly hope you do), you will find that she began having seizures some 6 years after the vaccines in question. At first the government said they were not vaccine-related, since they didn’t start until so long after the vaccines, but they have since reversed themselves, and said that they are a vaccine-related injury. This just makes sense to me–if vaccines can stay in your system for life (which is the whole idea behind vaccinations–get the shot so you don’t get the disease….ever), then why can’t they stay in your system and cause problems….for life?

Finally is the link to the Little Canaries website, which has the subtitle, “Understanding Autism in America.” The woman who started this site began it after her son was diagnosed with autism. The name comes from the old practice of miners taking canaries in cages down with them into the mine shaft. Because the canaries were more sensitive than humans, they would die if the air was noxious or too low of oxygen, thus allowing the miners to get out alive. She understands that not all children who are exposed to vaccines or other toxins get sick, get autism, or die….but perhaps some children are more sensitive to these poisons, just like the little canaries.

And here is a video of a news story in which a woman blames the death of her 4-month-old son on the vaccine he received 2 days before his death. His death was officially ruled as SIDS. One of the doctors in this piece says that we don’t know what causes SIDS deaths, but we know it’s not from vaccines. How amazing to know something of which you are ignorant!

Here’s a link to another video of a registered nurse who believes her son’s autism was caused by thimerosol in vaccines he received. She discusses this issue in her home with parents who are seeking information about vaccines. In this video, she discusses the studies which supposedly prove the safety of vaccines and thimerosol.

Advertisements

Reproductive Rights

Posted in abortion by Kathy on February 28, 2008

Feminists — and all people, I guess — latch onto the term “rights” when they want to promote anything. Rights are an American thing–the reason for the American Revolution and all that. So they call abortion a “reproductive right.” That’s twisting the term, and I sure hope that I’m not the first one to see that. What does abortion have to do with reproducing? It’s actually an “unreproductive right” if anything: the “right” not to reproduce. Really, I suppose it’s the right to reproduce part-way and then stop it unnaturally.

But this term got me to thinking–do men have “reproductive rights”? Or is that just a woman thing? Isn’t that a tad sexist? Do feminists not cringe to hear that women have more rights than men? Isn’t equality the name of the game? It’s obvious it’s not. They want equality on some terms, but not on others. If they were honest, they’d push for the female draft to become law, just as it is for males. They’d attack this “inequity” with as much fervor as they do any attempt to weaken Roe v. Wade.

But do men have reproductive rights? What is bound up in that term? For women, I’m assuming that term solely means the right to have an abortion if the woman chooses at any point in pregnancy. Do men have that right? Would feminists champion men’s right to force a woman to have an abortion if she didn’t want it? Some would–many women who have had abortions will say that they were coerced against their will to have an abortion, and feminists try to silence that crowd. But imagine this scene: a man goes to court to force his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife to have an abortion, because she simply refuses to enter an abortion mill. What about his “reproductive right” or “unreproductive right”? What about his right not to reproduce?

Do men have reproductive rights? Do they have the right to force a woman to reproduce? “Rape is illegal, so men don’t have the right to force a woman to get pregnant,” you may say. Why is it illegal? Why is it wrong? Are you trying to force your morality on someone else? It’s not against the rapist’s “moral code” to forcibly impregnate a woman. So you’re trying to force your morality on him. “No, no!” you protest, “he’s violating her rights! She should have the right not to have sex–no man has the right to force a woman to have sex against her will.” So, why does the woman’s right not to have sex trump the man’s “reproductive right” to have sex? What can you argue that does not have the extended implication of the woman’s “right to choose” trumping the fetus’s right to live? The fetus certainly wouldn’t choose to die; death would be against his or her will. Morality is a funny thing that way, isn’t it?

Does a man have reproductive rights? Can he get a court order forbidding a woman from seeking an abortion? Why not? “Well, it’s her body!” The baby isn’t. That baby is half his. Ask any geneticist. See, here’s another funny thing–some states have laws that would criminalize behavior that harms or kills a wanted fetus, even though most of these states probably also allow the destruction of unwanted fetuses simply if the mother chooses, at any stage of pregnancy. Some people have been successfully prosecuted for murder or homicide in the death of a fetus (for instance, Scott Peterson was convicted of killing both his wife and their unborn son–two counts of murder). I believe there have been cases in which a woman was injured in a car wreck, and her fetus died (miscarriage or stillbirth) as a result, and the other driver was prosecuted for that death. So, what happens if the man wants a baby and the woman doesn’t? If she destroys his wanted child, can he get her prosecuted for murder? Do men have reproductive rights?

Abortion and Maternal Mortality

Posted in abortion by Kathy on February 28, 2008

I just recently read a blog decrying the recent failed Tennessee bill that would have increased restrictions on abortions in the state. (It was the first I’ve heard of it, so I don’t quite have the details down.) Among the ridiculous statements the blogger made was that anyone who supported this bill hates women and wants them to die from childbirth, that US maternal mortality rates are at third-world levels (and that not having abortions is the reason for the high US maternal mortality rate), and that pregnancy is dangerous for teenagers.

As to the first statement, the Senator that introduced the bill is a woman!

As to the second, it’s just simply a lie. I agree that maternal mortality rates are too high in the US, but they are not third-world levels–check out this info from UNICEF. The U.S. maternal mortality is there stated to be 11/100,000, for the year 2005, but it is currently believed to be about 13. Here are a few countries’ maternal mortality rates (but the information for all countries is there on that link; most of the countries’ numbers are estimates, due to poor or absent record-keeping in these places): Australia is 4; Belgium is 8; Brazil is 110; Burundi is 1100; Ethiopia is 720; Japan is 6; North Korea is 370, and South Korea is 14. Sierra Leone is the worst, with 2100/100,000. At the bottom of the page, it groups countries by level of development, and shows the average maternal mortality rate:

8/100,000 for industrialized countries

450/100,000 for developing countries

870/100,000 for least developed countries

The U.S. death rate of 13/100,000 is higher than average, but nowhere near “third-world levels.” I’ve further heard it said that what skews the U.S. stats compared to other modern nations is the racial differences between the US and European nations–that when you compare maternal mortality of white U.S. women to white Europeans, the rates are similar. If you look at any birth statistics from the US, you’ll notice that blacks are consistently worse than whites regardless of rank. I’m not making any racist statements–I tend to think that it’s because blacks are more likely to be poor than whites (and poverty is a huge factor in health and mortality), or else that their quality of care is worse due to biased care-givers. Some childbirth activists say that part of the reason for the higher U.S. maternal mortality rate is that we are the only (or almost the only) country who does not have universal health care and socialized medicine. (Personally, I’m okay with that–I don’t like socialism.) Natural-birth proponents note that the U.S. has the highest rate of obstetrician-attended birth, and wonder if they use routine interventions that increase the risk of mortality, and point to cases of maternal death that are directly attributed to hospital birth (such as the woman who died from an epidural, and the two teachers who died within a few weeks of each other after C-sections).

Also from UNICEF is the following:

The most common fatal complication is post-partum haemorrhage. Sepsis, complications of unsafe abortion, prolonged or obstructed labour, and the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, especially eclampsia, claim further lives….

The foundations for maternal risk are often laid in girlhood. Women whose growth has been stunted by chronic malnutrition are vulnerable to obstructed labour. Anaemia predisposes to haemorrhage and sepsis during delivery and has been implicated in at least 20 per cent of post-partum maternal deaths in Africa and Asia. The risk of childbirth is even greater for women who have undergone female genital mutilation, an estimated 2 million girls every year……

Maternal deaths are also relatively rare events, even in high-mortality areas…..

Most U.S. women are not affected by these third-world conditions, so “prophylactic” abortion cannot be considered as life-saving for most of them. Assuming 13/100,000 deaths is accurate and there are about 4 million births per year, then about 520 women die each year due to maternal complications. The U.S. does need to work on reducing maternal mortality, but increasing abortion in the U.S. would not help much if at all. To put it another way, 100,000 babies would need to be aborted to save the lives of 13 women.

As to the statement that pregnancy in teenagers is dangerous–it’s the same skewing of the truth as elsewhere in the blog. Here is information from the Wikipedia entry on teenage pregnancy:

Pregnant teenagers face many of the same obstetrics issues as women in their 20s and 30s. However, there are additional medical concerns for younger mothers, particularly those under 15 and those living in developing countries. For mothers between 15 and 19, age in itself is not a risk factor, but additional risks may be associated with socioeconomic factors.

So, while the above statement may be considered to be accurate for third-world countries, it is not primarily the age issue as it is the other factors–poverty, social implications from teenage pregnancy, etc. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of mortality in women/girls aged 15-19 in developing countries, but not in the United States. Hence, abortion should not be considered “therapeutic” for these girls, nor should the lack of abortion be considered to raise the maternal death rate.

Worst-case scenario is Sierra Leone, in which 100,000 children would have to be aborted to save the lives of 2100 women. However, each abortion would be a “one-time only” thing. Far better would it be to attack the reasons for maternal mortality, especially poverty and poverty-based problems like nutritional deficiencies. This would not only avoid the moral and ethical issues of abortion, but would “teach a man how to fish” and yield long-lasting results.

My take on Environmentalism

Posted in Bible by Kathy on February 27, 2008

As a Christian, I believe the world was given to man to rule over and subdue. Since the earth and all the animals are in our care and under our dominion, then we have the responsibility to be wise in the use of resources, to be humane to the animals, and to preserve the health of the earth as much as possible. However, environmentalists go way too far in this. Many of them worship (or practically worship) nature, fulfilling Rom. 1:25, “who… worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator….” They will uproot humans to preserve the habitat of a field mouse. They will interfere with the production of energy, and protest against using nuclear energy (though these things are typically cleaner and more environmentally-friendly than, say, burning wood or coal for heat). Many are vegetarians and vegans because they put animals on equal footing with humans, denying the special place God has created humans in.

Let me be clear–I am not against being a vegetarian or a vegan, nor am I against various “green” or environmentally-friendly things. But the reason behind what I choose to do and what some of the environmentalists do is vastly different.

Most of my environmentally-friendly actions are related to being frugal–things like using less energy (to heat/cool the house or drive my car), reducing my waste (by buying in bulk so there is less packaging and using less of it), and eating less meat and more vegetables. I try to be conscious of how my actions fit in with my Biblical world-view.

While I enjoy the “wild untamed beauty” of the wilderness, I am also not opposed to harnessing that beauty and taming it. I enjoy walking through the woods, but there is also beauty in the order of an old English garden. I do not support the wholesale destruction of the rain forests, but I do support feeding the humans who live there, and if that includes taming the jungle, then so be it.

We should not worship the earth and the environment, but we are to be good stewards of what God has given us, and to take care of it wisely.

A word about global warming. Frankly, I think it’s stupid, but there are plenty of blogs, articles, and websites that discuss this better than I can. My understanding of what the global warming fear-mongerers say is that global warming is going to melt the ice at the poles, and flood the world. But from a Judeo-Christian perspective, this is not only ridiculous, but impossible, because Gen. 9:8-17 declares that God will not destroy the earth with water again. Also, some years ago, my brother-in-law wrote a research paper in which he showed that ozone levels varied directly with the sun-spot cycle. It would not surprise me if “global warming” (or is it global cooling?) is more affected by the sun-spots than by any actions of man. This “research” of global warming only goes back about a century because we have only been keeping records of these things about that long; but I’ve read that some people are looking at old diaries and government records (such as those kept in China 1000 years ago) to look at environmental changes. For instance, one old priest or monk’s diary reported that a few centuries ago, one Sunday the communion wine was frozen. Now that’s cold! If we take that temperature as “normal January temperatures” then it certainly looks like the earth is warmer than it should be. However, is that normal? Are current temperatures normal, or high, or low? We must first establish “normal” before we can decide what we should be doing to get or keep things normal. It’s likely that “normal” is a range, and precious little we do or don’t do changes it.

As a Christian….

Posted in abortion, Christianity by Kathy on February 26, 2008

If you’ve checked out my other blogs, you know that I am a “birth junkie.” I’m on a few email lists related to that, and recently the subject was pregnant women who had been advised to abort their babies for known or suspected anomalies (the ultrasounds were wrong, the babies were all fine). In phrasing my post on that thread, I said something along the lines of “as a Christian I’m opposed to abortion.” One of the women took exception to that phrase.

For context, I’d say that most of the women on these lists are liberals or at least left-leaning, but it seems that this particular list has a lot more centrists or conservatives on it. (We don’t get into politics too much, but some people include on their “signatures” the name of a particular Presidential candidate, or occasionally make quasi-political remarks–you know, little things like that.)

This woman that took exception to it is a pro-abortion lesbian minister in the Anglican church. So she considers herself a Christian, but I’m not sure which version of the Bible she reads that lets her feel comfortable living the lesbian lifestyle, not to mention supporting abortion and being a “minister.” She (in very broad terms, very graciously) chided me for my statement, reminding the list that “not all Christians believe the same way,” and adding gratuitously something about violence done by anti-abortion people. I let it drop, but it still rankles me.

There is nothing wrong with what I said. Not only do I stand by the statement that Christians should be opposed to abortion, but even if so-called Christians can support abortion, my beliefs as a Christian–what I believe the Bible to teach–prohibit my support of abortion, and demand that I oppose it. My statement shows nothing more than what I found my beliefs on. Other people might say “as a woman, I support abortion,” or “as an environmentalist I oppose the burning of fossil fuels.” Not every woman supports abortion; not every environmentalist opposes fossil fuels. In fact, I will insert here a reminder about “Mr. Global Warming” former VP Al Gore who uses more energy for his house in a month than most people do in a year; and all the people who have gas-guzzling SUVs instead of motorcycles or bicycles. They may say that they oppose fossil fuels, but their behavior shows them to be liars. But statements like this merely show the basis for the belief.

On what other grounds could I voice my opposition? That human life is sacred, even in embryonic form. Yes. But what about the people who believe that human life is not sacred–that we are just the products of evolution, and only slightly higher than the animals; or those who believe that only humans who have been fully born have the right to life? There are a multitude of arguments that people who support or oppose abortion use for their position. One might even argue, “As a feminist, I oppose abortion,” because one might see the dreadful consequences that frequently happen to women who have abortions. Among these are death and severe injury, even in legal abortions; or increased risk of suicide and depression, and other physical problems, such as increased risk of future miscarriage, etc.; not to mention the fact that a high percentage of women have abortions at the insistence or coercion of their boyfriends, which lets men have sex without the fear of pregnancy, while women still end up pregnant and then are subjected to the risks of abortion. This would be a valid argument, although most feminists support abortion.

So, when I wrote that original post, it was not to imply that all Christians fall lock-step into the same belief system–I wish it were so, though! All the denominations and schisms and separation among Christians is distasteful to me….but to join ranks with denominations and individual “Christians” who see no problem whatsoever in going against the Bible is abhorrent. We each must appear before God and give account of ourselves. But I must follow the Bible as closely as I can; and I must set my belief systems in alignment with what the Bible teaches, and not bend the clear teaching of the Bible to fit my preconceived notions. So, as a Christian, I do and believe a lot of things. I trust that I can point to one or more verses in the Bible that back up these actions and beliefs.

Popcorn and Bubblegum

Posted in Christianity by Kathy on February 25, 2008

My former pastor, Elder Hassell Wallis, used to say, “If it takes popcorn and bubblegum to get people into church, it’ll take popcorn and bubblegum to keep ’em in church.” He was, of course, referring to worldly programs used to get people interested in Christ, as if He were not of sufficient interest alone. What happens to churches who are filled with people who come for the youth program or children’s church or any of the other outward trappings of so many modern churches? If Christ is not the object–if the youth program or something else is–then these churches have lost their focus. They may have a lot of members, and a full auditorium most Sundays, but is God really being worshiped? Or is man exalting an idol in God’s place, and worshiping the creature and not the Creator? I invite you to listen to this message preached by our pastor yesterday for some food for thought on this subject.

Migraines

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on February 22, 2008

I’ve never had a migraine, so I can only imagine what it must be like; but several people I know suffer with them with some regularity, so I keep my eyes open for some methods of relief.

In the past, I’ve seen some things about foods that may trigger migraines. One guy finally figured out that his favorite dish at his favorite restaurant trigged migraines (I think it was the vinegar in the salad dressing); but different people have different triggers. The way to figure this out would be to keep track of what you eat, and when you have migraines, and see if there is a connection. The difficulty would be if it is a “hidden” ingredient like MSG or some artificial color or flavoring–it might be hard to narrow it down. But the pain of a migraine is a pretty strong incentive to try!

One of my friends realized that her migraines were at least partially hormonal (usually striking about the same time of her cycle), and that they were helped by regular chiropractic adjustments.

Then this morning, I read something in a little magazine my husband’s health insurance company sends out. It was talking about a new, non-surgical treatment for holes in the heart. Since I had this as a baby, and had two heart surgeries to fix it, I always read things like this. What I had was ventricular septal defect, which is one or more holes in the wall that divides the lower chambers of the heart. Without surgery, I would have died as a baby or child, so I always assumed that these things were taken care of in infancy. However, this was the story of two older people who had atrial septal defect, which is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chamber of the heart. Apparently, this defect is more common, because the hole is present in all fetuses and only closes after the baby is born, once he breathes air with his lungs, instead of relying on his umbilical cord for oxygen. And of course, sometimes the hole doesn’t close. The end of the article stated that people who have had migraines and had this treatment found that their migraines greatly diminished or totally went away after the procedure. While there haven’t been any trials done on this, the author mentioned that it might be studied soon. In the meantime, it’s food for thought if you have migraines.

Inconsistent Christians

Posted in Christianity by Kathy on February 22, 2008

In my Bible study today, I came across this note on Romans 2:24. The context is Paul writing to the churches at Rome, and here addresses the Jewish Christians, upbraiding them for their hypocrisy. The verse reads, “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.” Now, here is the note on that verse, from the Nelson Study Bible, “Israel’s superior privileges should have produced a corresponding life-style, but they did not. This inconsistency has caused the name of God to be blasphemed among the Gentiles…..” What was said then about national Israel can be said now for those who call themselves Christians. All too often the lifestyle of people who claim to be Christians has led nonbelievers to reject Christians’ God. I can’t really say I blame them, either. If Christians can be as immoral as anyone else, and live like the world, and act like the world, what’s the point of being a Christian? If Christians lie, cheat, and steal, just like everybody else, then they are not superior to any other religion.

“Christians’ superior privileges should produce a corresponding lifestyle, but they have not. This inconsistency has caused the name of God to be blasphemed among the nonbelievers.”

Until nominal Christians start acting like the Bible says they should, true Christians will be weakened. That’s the problem with the philosophy behind movements like “The Purpose-Driven Church.” I admit that I’ve not read that book, and know precious little about Rick Warren; but from what I’ve read about his book, and the results of when churches put his marketing strategies to work for their church, it appears that churches are just worried about numbers on their rolls, or bodies in a pew. They are not concerned with changing peoples’ lives. In fact, if ministers preach subjects that are too sensitive, many people leave. I say, good riddance. I’ve heard it quoted, but don’t know the originator:

“The problem with churches today, is that they are more concerned with entertaining the goats than in feeding the sheep.”

This is all too true. And unfortunately, true Christians (you know, the ones who actually believe the Bible) are getting weak from lack of food, while the so-called Christians come to church for to be entertained and get their consciences soothed. They don’t want to hear that they’re sinners. They want to hear “God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life.” Well, what does the Bible say? Look at the sermons in the Bible–those of John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Philip, Stephen and Paul. Did these sermons start out “God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life”? A quick perusal will show that most if not all of these sermons were more along the lines of, “God is holy, righteous, and just; and you are a sinner deserving of hell.” Those who were “pricked in the heart” believed this message, recognized their lost estate, and cried out, “What shall I do to be saved?!” It was only then that the message of Christ’s atoning work was preached, to soothe the sinners’ fears.

Most modern churches have it backwards.

Tagged with: , , ,

Biblical Christianity versus other religions

Posted in Christianity by Kathy on February 21, 2008

From Toplady, as quoted by William Button in Remarks on A Treatise Entitled The Gospel of Christ Worthy of all Acceptation, In A Series of 13 Letters To A Friend. Letter 4:

That the religion of Jesus Christ stands eminently distinguished, and essentially differenced, from every other religion that was ever proposed to human reception, by this remarkable peculiarity: that, look abroad in the world, and you will find that every religion, except one, puts you upon doing something in order to recommend yourself to God. A Mahometan expects to be saved by his works. A Papist looks to be justified by his works. A Free-willer hopes for salvation by his works, compliances, endeavours and perseverance. A Pagan, if he believes that there is a future state, expects to be happy hereafter, by virtue of the supposed good he does, and of the evil he leaves undone. A Mystic has the same hope, and stands on the same sad foundation. It is only the religion of Christ which runs counter to all the rest, by affirming that we are saved, and called with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to the Father’s own purpose and grace, which was (not sold to us on certain conditions to be fulfilled by ourselves, but was) given us in Christ before the world began. Toplady’s Sermon on James 2:19, p. 49-50.

Charles Barkley and “fake Christians”

Posted in abortion, Christianity by Kathy on February 19, 2008

I will admit at the outset that I did not watch this interview, and have very little of it recorded in print, but here’s what I’m going to talk about:

BARKLEY: Well, I think they — they want to be judge and jury. Like, I’m for gay marriage. It’s none of my business if gay people want to get married. I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians — first of all, they’re supposed to be — they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they’re Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all.

I will strongly concur with a previous statement made by Mr. Barkley that there are a lot of “fake Christians.” I’ve written many times on this blog touching on this theme–people who say they are Christians but don’t believe the Bible, or support abortion, or say that there are many paths to God. They may be “religious” but they do not fit the definition of Christian. The term “Christian” literally means “Christ-like.” Believing that Jesus is one of many ways to get to heaven does not accord with what He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” How anyone can pick and choose which parts or verses of the Bible to believe is beyond me. Let’s say for the sake of argument that there is error in the Bible–how would you know? Does your heart tell you that it’s wrong? Well, the Bible says that your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Can anyone envision the Christ of the Bible performing an abortion? Is that an easy mental picture to come up with?

Unfortunately, the people Mr. Barkley called “fake Christians” are probably the truest Christians there are. The ones he would identify as “real” are the ones I would probably seriously question as being any sort of Christian–those who support (or have no problem with) homosexual “marriage” and abortion. He bases his claim on Matt. 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and says that Christians judge people and are hypocritical to do so, and are not forgiving at all. Let’s examine this a tad closer, shall we?

Elsewhere in the New Testament, it is obvious that Christians are to judge, but this is a corporal judgment of other Christians–when fellow church members are in error (some of the sins listed in the Bible were illicit sexual relationships, refusing to work and gossiping among many others), the whole body was to join in judgment against the sinner. Matt. 7:1 was talking about personal relationships–as was the entire Sermon on the Mount (believe me, we had to memorize the whole thing one year at school!). That is a distinction that most people do not consider when they hear that the Bible says “Don’t judge.” Does that mean that Christians can’t be judges or jurors, because then they would have to decide the guilt or innocence of a person? That’s just ridiculous, especially when you consider the full Bible.

Now, what about “forgiveness”? Well, one can only forgive those sins committed against oneself. Let me illustrate. Suppose John steals Jim’s car. I can’t go to John and say, “I forgive you for stealing Jim’s car”–only Jim can forgive John. Justice requires that Jim be punished for his crime. All sins and crimes are ultimately against God, although some may be against other people as well. Homosexual behavior is condemned in both the Old Testament and the New, in no uncertain terms. I cannot say, “Well, the Bible says that men having sex with men is aberrant and abhorrent behavior, but I’m called by God to be forgiving, so I’ll just have to let that slide.” It’s like saying, “Well, the Bible says that stealing is wrong, but I can’t judge others!” No, I have to stand against wrong and sinful behavior.

To be Christian is to be “Christ-like.” When Jesus was here on earth, he did not sweep sin under the rug. Yes, when faced with the adulteress He did not condemn her (as a man, He had no right under the Jewish Law to do that, not having been an eye-witness to her crime–the Pharisees and Saducees were just trying to trap him; had she been caught “in the very act” then they had to have caught the man in the act as well, and both of the adulterous people were to be punished, not just the woman). However, he did say, “Go and sin no more.” He forgave sinners, because He was God. Note well the story of the man whose friends broke up the roof and let him down through the ceiling. When Jesus said to him, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” the lawyers were aghast and said, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They were correct. Only God can forgive sins. We are not to hold people’s sins against them, but if the sin is not against us, we cannot forgive it either–only God can. Vengeance is not ours; retribution is not ours; but that doesn’t mean we just turn a blind eye to the evil around us because “we can’t judge.”

Now, on to the topic of hypocrisy. The term “hypocrite” means an “actor”–to pretend you are something that you are not. If you openly oppose homosexual behavior while you are a closet homosexual yourself, you’re a hypocrite. If you protest against abortion, but go get an abortion when you get knocked up, you’re a hypocrite. If you speak out against any behavior that you engage in, you’re a hypocrite. It’s interesting to note in Romans that Paul spends several verses talking about the battle between the old man and the new man–the flesh and the spirit–and that part of him always wishes to do good while the other part wishes to engage in evil. He essentially calls himself a hypocrite when he says, “I do what I don’t want to do; and what I want to do, I end up not doing.” But that is slipping and falling into sin due to weak human nature; not deliberately going out and pretending to be what you are not. The difference between the former and the latter is that when a Christian falls into sin, he regrets it and seeks forgiveness. It is not hypocritical to be outspoken against homosexuality and be a Christian. In fact, it is hypocritical to call yourself a Christian and not oppose homosexual behavior.