There’s No Such Thing as “Safe Sex” For Kids

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: There’s No Such Thing as “Safe Sex” For Kids

image001 (11)

In 1984, only 14 percent of Americans wore seat belts. Anyone else remember bouncing unrestrained around the back of the family station wagon like I did? Three years later, after seat belt laws were enacted in 30 states, that percentage tripled to 42 percent. Last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 90 percent of Americans faithfully buckled up while on the roads…

READ MORE

 

 

Protecting Females in Sports and Just Telling the Truth

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: Protecting Females in Sports and Just Telling the Truth

image001 (5)

Since 2015, World Rugby, the international governing body of a sport with a lot of hitting but little protective gear, has allowed biological males who identify as female to compete in women’s leagues. They were early adopters of what seems to be a growing trend of sports officials who pretend biological and physiological realities no longer exist in light of new ideas from social science and activist groups.

But they do. Canadian kinesiologist Linda Blade, writing at Quillette recently, summed those realities up this way: “male athletes are, on average, 40 percent heavier15 percent faster30 percent more powerful, and 25–50 percent stronger than their female counterparts.”

READ MORE

Christian Living,
Christian Worldview,
Culture/Institutions,
Politics & Government,
Religion & Society,
Sports,
Worldview,
Youth Issues,

A Schooling Renaissance?

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: A Schooling Renaissance?

kids

JOHN STONESTREET WITH MARIA BAER

Earlier this month, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper made an announcement. Actually, he made more of a non-announcement: He wasn’t sure whether North Carolina schools would reopen this Fall.

A few hours later, the state government’s website handling parents’ applications to homeschool crashed. According to the error message, the crash was “due to an overwhelming number of submissions.”

Like so many problems brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic, the schooling crisis doesn’t have an easy solution. (Last week, Governor Cooper gave schools “Plan B” and “Plan C” for reopening, but not, apparently, “Plan A.”)

READ MORE

 

A Letter to ‘Cancel-Culture’

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: A Letter to ‘Cancel-Culture’

BP 7 10 2020

JOHN STONESTREET WITH SHANE MORRIS

To do or to say something insufficiently progressive these days risks the wrath of what’s being called “cancel-culture.” A mostly young and mostly online gaggle of so-called “social justice warriors” will attempt to silence anyone they deem to hold views sufficiently problematic or insufficiently “woke.”

So far, the list of cancel-culture’s casualties includes editors who publish controversial op-eds, campus speakers whose views were labeled “unsafe,” professors who quote from egregious classical literature, and researchers who published their politically incorrect findings…

READ MORE

 

The Link Between Marijuana, Psychosis, and Suicide

BreakPoint Daily

The Link Between Marijuana, Psychosis, and Suicide

sch

JOHN STONESTREET WITH ROBERTO RIVERA

Recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states and another 21 states permit the use of so-called “medical marijuana.” I say “so-called” because, as NYU drug policy expert Mark Kleinman has put it, “the vast majority of ‘patients’ buying ‘medical marijuana’ aren’t doing so under any sort of active medical supervision . . . Many of them aren’t ‘treating’ anything but their desire to get high . . .”

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

 

Tweeting Something Isn’t Necessarily Doing Something

BreakPoint Daily

Tweeting Something Isn’t Necessarily Doing Something

tw

JOHN STONESTREET WITH MARIA BAER

“You are not a social media handle. Don’t feel pressure to post and repost everything to show that you care. Advocate locally. Be incarnate.”

Last week, a pair of activists launched a social media campaign that quickly went from advocacy to unintentional irony. To show solidarity with African American victims of police brutality, the women encouraged Instagrammers, especially major corporations, to post a black square in lieu of a picture, in order to leave space on the platform for people of color.

As well-intentioned as Blackout Tuesday was, with people across the country continuing to express outrage over the police killing of George Floyd, it started to unravel nearly as fast as it caught on. Upon further reflection, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to ask people to post in order to show how they weren’t going to post.

Nor was it practical. So many individual and company Instagrammers posted black squares, that entire portions of the site went essentially blank. If the intent was, as described, to amplify black voices, a sea of black squares drowned them out instead…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

 

Our World Split Apart and the Hope of Pentecost

On the heels of my article yesterday Riots and the Need a Heart Transplant BreakPoint offers their take on the matter:

BreakPoint Daily

Our World Split Apart and the Hope of Pentecost

thumbnail_riot

Christians in a Time of Social Breakdown

JOHN STONESTREET

Think about it. We can go to space. We can instantly communicate with anyone anywhere in the world. We might even develop a treatment for COVID-19. It’s amazing what humans can do. And yet, and yet, we are, by any objective measure, a nation barely holding itself together. Our best scientific achievements and our brightest technological innovations offer no solutions for our deepest divisions or our most serious problems.

Though no one who witnessed the scope and scale of the chaos this weekend could conclude “all is OK,” there are indicators everywhere that our nation’s health is worse than we’re willing to admit. We are what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called, in his famous 1978 Harvard University commencement speech, “a world split apart.” Like his audience that day, we too risk underestimating just how deep the fissures are.

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

 

Rediscovering Truth

BreakPoint Daily

Rediscovering Truth

thumbnail_john

“Truth. Love. Together” Begins Today

JOHN STONESTREET  WITH DAVID CARLSON

In February, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit on behalf of three female high school track athletes who are being forced to compete against biological males. During the oral arguments, the presiding judge demanded that ADF attorneys refer to the biologically male athletes as females, and to do otherwise would not be “consistent with science” or “human decency.”

Of course, as ADF attorneys noted, the entire case is based on whether it’s a fact that biological males are males, and whether a chosen gender identity is consistent with science or reality. ADF has called for the judge’s recusal, and rightly so since, at least in this case, he’s not capable of adjudication, only activism.

Francis Schaeffer and Chuck Colson were among the loudest prophetic voices of decades past, warning of the loss of what Schaeffer often called “true truth,” the idea that truth is objective and, to a large degree, knowable.

When a federal judge announces that affirming observable biological reality is “indecent,” it demonstrates that more than our views about gender have changed. The basic definition of truth has changed. In other words, the most basic conflict in our culture is not just what is considered to be truth and what is not, but what we mean by truth in the first place.

The classic definition is that truth refers to that which corresponds to reality. For decades now, beginning among intellectual elites and then shaping the academy and now various segments of culture, the correspondence theory of truth has been challenged by another definition: that truth is nothing more than a social construct, or views imposed on us by previous generations and those in power.

As the comments of this judge make clear, this new definition of truth is now largely taken for granted, not just in universities but across different segments of our culture. How this happened is important to understand.

At a very simple but hopefully not simplistic level, humans can look to three resources in seeking knowledge: revelation, reason, and experience. By revelation, I mean we can know something because “God said it.” By reason, I mean that through our intellects and logic, we can arrive at truth. By experience, I mean we can know because of what we’ve been through, or what we feel or know to be true.

Throughout history, different religions and philosophies would emphasize one or more of these over the others. For example, religions that believed in God would prioritize revelation. Classic Greek thought often prioritized reason, as did the ideas of the secular Enlightenment.

The Christian worldview teaches that God has revealed Himself through His creation, in His Word, and ultimately in Jesus Christ. By revelation, we know that as Image Bearers of God living in His orderly universe, our reason and intellect can grasp certain truths about the universe. In this view, knowledge is nothing less than what astronomer Johannes Kepler described as “…thinking God’s thoughts after him.”

In the decades since the Enlightenment, and especially into the 20th century, as scientific discovery and technological innovation exploded, reason became elevated as the central and definitive means of knowing truth. Skepticism about the supernatural led to a cynical distrust of revelation.

There’s so much more to this story than I have space for here, but the violence and bloodshed of the twentieth century, especially among those nations and cultures considered most scientifically advanced, damaged trust in reason. If revelation was a myth and pure reason a catastrophe, what’s left? Experience.

This is largely where we are today, where both revelation and reason are secondary, and even expected to serve our own internal sense of reality. Experiences may not be questioned. And so, here we are, with judges who insist that males are females, governors who call abortion “life sustaining,” and with politicians claiming their own facts.

It’s easy in such a situation for Christians to miss the deeper aspects of the real challenges we face, but it’s not simply this issue over here or that battle of ideas over there. The struggle of our time is, at its most basic level, a struggle to define reality. That’s why, as a friend of mine says, we so often find ourselves using the same vocabulary but not the same dictionary.

The battle for hearts and minds is quite often the battle over the definition of words. Defining truth is as essential as defending it.

The opening module of our Truth, Love, Together virtual event is all about recapturing a Christian vision of Truth, one that is, ultimately grounded in the person of Jesus Christ. This first module is entitled “What Is Truth?” Os Guinness opens the module in a session called, “The Roots of the Present Crisis.” Dr. Sean McDowell follows with “What Happened to Truth?” and Abdu Murray’s session is about “Loving Truth in a Post-Truth World.” After all, if truth is grounded in the person of Christ, our proper response must be to not only know truth, but love truth. And, in a special bonus session, Natasha Crain speaks on “Teaching Your Kids Truth in a Noisy World.”

Over 8,500 people have already registered for this free, weekly on-demand, online event.

Come to Conference.ColsonCenter.org to register today.


Adoption Is Beautiful, Surrogacy Isn’t

BreakPoint Daily

Adoption Is Beautiful, Surrogacy Isn’t

thumbnail_adoption

Responding to Concerns and Questions

JOHN STONESTREET  WITH MARIA BAER

Recently, prompted by the news that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and his homosexual partner paid a woman to carry a child for them, my colleague Maria Baer and I released a BreakPoint commentary on the serious ethical problems of surrogacy. Surrogacy intentionally breaks the mother/father/child connection, commodifies both babies and women’s bodies, and puts both women and children at risk of exploitation. That this immoral practice is now normal is, as we said, another chapter in the bad ideas of the sexual revolution and its victims.

A few readers and listeners wrote in to ask whether our concern that surrogacy intentionally severs the bond between mothers, fathers, and children also extends to adoption.

In short, the answer is no. Adoption repairs a fracture. Surrogacy creates one.

God’s design for the family is that a man and wife become one flesh and raise children together. The Fall frustrates this design in different ways. Families can break. Couples may find that their sexual union is infertile. Biological parents find themselves unable to care for their children for various reasons. A sexual act, disordered toward illegitimate pleasure or even selfish violence, produces a life unintended and unexpected.

Whatever the brokenness, adoption offers a means of restoration. Implicitly, the act of adoption recognizes that something is not as it should be, whether or not someone is morally culpable. A family break of some kind, typically at the beginning of the procreative act, is addressed and, many times, even restored by a new family. As open adoptions become more common, there is even, to some degree, a merging of families or of biological parents into the new family.

In all of these ways, adoption portrays God’s relationship with us. Adoption is among the many marriage-and-family metaphors used in Scripture to describe how God relates to His people. Paul, in Ephesians, calls Christians “adopted” sons and daughters of God, though Jesus Christ. The fracture created in the Garden and extended by our own brokenness is repaired by Jesus. As a result, we are adopted children of God, with all of the rights and benefits and status involved.

In the comments we received about the previous commentary on surrogacy, some questioned whether a woman’s relationship to the children she bears is really all that important. This was asked by adoptive moms who are just as emotionally and spiritually connected to their children as any biological mother could be. In our view, that’s obviously and beautifully true, and not something we questioned in our commentary.

What we did say is that women who bear children do have an inherent connection to the children they bear. This is true whether or not she enters into a surrogacy situation or an adoption contract. When a mom relinquishes her right to raise a child, which in some adoption cases is a wise and selfless thing to do, she is still a mom. Adoption recognizes that reality and attempts to, at some level, redeem the brokenness. Surrogacy intentionally creates the brokenness. A mother-child relationship is created only to be knowingly and intentionally severed.

Adoption is proof that physically bearing children is not the only way a woman becomes a mother. Among the darkest evils of surrogacy is that it treats a mother as less than a whole person, wanted for her procreational parts that are increasingly treated as consumer products, especially as commercial surrogacy becomes more common (driven as it is today as part of the LGBTQ remaking of marriage and sexuality). Surrogacy also treats children as consumer products, instead of as gifts.

We received other feedback on the surrogacy commentary, too. Unfortunately, it confirmed the concern that led us to take on this issue in the first place. Surrogacy has been so normalized, even in the Christian world, that speaking against it is quite controversial.

It shouldn’t be. In our fallen world families break, but we should never break them on purpose.


Resources:

Anderson Cooper and the New Normal

John Stonestreet & Maria Baer | BreakPoint | May 8, 2020

New York Legalizes Commercial Surrogacy

John Stonestreet & Roberto Rivera | BreakPoint | April 15, 2020

Marriages Hit a New Low

Mark ‭10:6-9‬ “But from the beginning of the creation, God made ...

Above added


BreakPoint Daily

Marriages Hit a New Low

marriage2

How We Rebuild a Culture of Commitment

JOHN STONESTREET  WITH SHANE MORRIS

According to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics, marriage in the United States of America has never been less popular. Today, in the U.S. there are only 6.5 weddings for every 1,000 people, the lowest rate since we started keeping records just after the Civil War, and despite the fact that millennials, who are the biggest generation in American history, are in their peak marriage years right now. And, these numbers are pre-COVID-19. As the report’s lead author suggests, the economic fallout of the virus will likely “further discourage marriage in the near term….”

Economic factors do, of course, affect marriage rates. Even before COVID closed everything down, single breadwinners could find it quite difficult to support a growing family. In recent decades, the “marriage gap,” the different marriage rates between upper and lower income Americans, has become more pronounced, with marriage becoming more and more a luxury of the wealthy.

At the same time, it’s a worldview mistake to think that economics alone can explain what’s happening to marriage. As Bradford Wilcox with the Institute for Family Studies reminds us, “there was no marked increase in divorce, family instability, or single parenthood at the height of the Great Depression.” By contrast, Cornell sociologist Daniel Lichter points out that some of the biggest drops in marriage rates, at least in recent years, have occurred during economically prosperous times.

The bigger factor here is not money but culture.

Exhibit A: As marriage has receded, cohabitation has increased in both numbers and social acceptability. Pew reports that a quarter of unmarried young adults are living with a partner. That’s the highest percentage since our record-keeping began.

The rise of cohabitation has followed not only a shift of attitudes about out-of-wedlock sex, but about the institution of marriage itself. Several years ago, another Pew study found that more than half of young people in America thought marriage was “obsolete.” As one pastor remarked on Facebook, young people who pursue the skills necessary for marriage are often treated as if they’re wasting their “real” potential, and those who get married in their early or even mid-twenties can inspire a level of shock and shame that was once reserved only for couples “living in sin.”

Even worse, our culture’s current portrayal of the “good life” involves career-minded singles living in chic urban apartments, sowing their wild oats on casual dating and hookup apps, and leading lives incompatible with a spouse, much less children.

The road to rebuilding a culture that values marriage will be long and arduous, but we do have some clues about what works when it comes to creating and preserving that kind of culture. The Institute for Family Studies reports that, contrary to a popular but mistaken talking point, the institution that remains the single best refuge for marriage is the Church. It is still true, even today, that among the surest predictors that a couple will get and stay married is how regularly they attend religious services. That’s why bringing people to God and bringing people together are so often a package deal.

Even so, the Church simply must first embrace her God-given task of re-catechizing His people about what marriage is. Too often, the Church is trying to put a band-aid of sexual morality on the gaping wound of bad Christian thinking about marriage that is often no different than the larger culture: That marriage is either a lifestyle accessory, a waste of youth, or an institution of personal happiness. We won’t know what marriage is, or how to do it, unless we know what God created marriage for.

Hint: Though companionship is certainly a wonderful side-benefit of a healthy marriage, God didn’t create marriage to solve Adam’s loneliness problem. Check the text again: He created marriage to solve Adam’s aloneness problem. It’s an important distinction that not only explains what marriage is for, but sets the groundwork for all of the moral expectations God gives us about sex and marriage.

Even after the wedding, the Church is still the best place to strengthen marriages, a necessary task if we are to see the kind of culture where people think of lifelong marriage as part of the good life. Recently, J. P. DeGance joined me on the BreakPoint Podcast to talk about a unique, data-driven approach to help pastors identify struggling marriages and then works to help save them in their communities. Working with pastors and churches in Jacksonville, Florida, DeGance’s organization, Communio, saw the divorce rate drop 24 percent in just three years. That’s many times faster than the national average.

Saving existing marriages is essential to encouraging new ones. How many young people are out there that have never seen a single marriage work? How can we expect them to trust an institution that, in their view, not only consistently fails but also causes so much pain and heartbreak when it does?

J.P. DeGance will join Katy Faust, Pastor Bob Fu, and Student for Life president Kristan Hawkins for Module 5 of our upcoming  “Truth. Love. Together” virtual event. He’ll be talking about how the Church can help restore a marriage culture. The Truth.Love.Together event is absolutely free. Sign up and learn more here.