In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – and everything in between – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?
“Viewpoint” allows your Prayer Team’s talented writing team to express their opinions on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree with all they have to say. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say, and perhaps even receive a response back from the writer.
Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders.
Apple’s Forbidden Fruit
Pondering the cultural war over a biblical worldview
By Nikolas Grosfield
Have you eaten your apples today? Did you know ten billion apples are hand-picked in the State of Washington every year? Back to that in a moment…
Summit Ministries has conducted academic leadership camps in Colorado for more than 50 years for high school and college students. Dr. David Noebel, founder and former president of Summit, developed a ten-point definition of a worldview in order to contrast Christianity with other faiths.
A brilliant strategy. But for today, ponder how the above-mentioned apple fits into all ten of Noebel’s categories:
-Theology – God’s beloved people are “the apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10).
-Philosophy – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)
-Ethics – Eve ate that apple in the Garden!
-Biology – Apple pies do wonders for body and soul, but Snow White might not take a bite.
-Psychology – Most people want to visit the Big Apple at least once in their lives.
-Sociology – The beloved is “as an apple tree among the trees of the forest” (Song of Songs 2:3).
-Law – Solomon wrote, “Keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.” (Proverbs 7:2)
-Politics – The Greek goddess Aphrodite won Paris’ golden apple, which led to the Trojan War.
-History – Abraham Lincoln called the Declaration of Independence the “apple of gold.”
-Economics – Ever heard of Steve Jobs, the iPhone and Apple?
This last Apple is the present concern.
For the third time since 2010, Apple Inc. has tossed out a user app for an openly Christian organization. In May, Setting Captives Free joined the Manhattan Declaration (2010) and Exodus International (2011) on Apple’s forbidden fruit list.
Setting Captives Free seeks to “help people just like you find freedom from habitual sins and learn to grow in grace,” according to a definition found on the organization’s website. Of its more than two dozen online courses, one attempts to help users “find freedom from homosexuality.” And that is where the controversy begins.
More than 140,000 people signed a petition sponsored by AllOut.org, demanding that Apple and Google remove Setting Captives Free from their respective app stores. Apple said the app violates its anti-discrimination policy. Google has not yet budged.
Jesus foretold this kind of opposition to faith-related issues – and much worse – when He said: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)
Jesus does not say two things here. First, He does not say that this group of sinners or that group of sinners will hate His followers – “the world hates you,” He said. Christians, therefore, should be careful not to single out a particular group (such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community) as their enemy. Rather, as followers of Christ, believers should heed Jesus’ teaching about judging others (John 8:7) and then – like Him – demolish the social norms and go touch the hurting lives all around them.
Second, Jesus did not say to quietly sit by and live a peaceful life. In dozens of passages, He commands and shows boldness, courage, faith and wisdom. To paraphrase Douglas Scott, one of America’s top pro-life leaders, “Christianity will succeed only to the extent that Christians are willing to be inconvenienced.” This means defending religious freedom; offering money and time to things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8); and “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to Christians and non-Christians everywhere.
In the face of persecution, the Bible gives two crucial offensive strategies: First, keep teaching and preaching, and second: Pray.
“When they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” (Acts 5:40-42). “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” (Acts 12:5).
Nikolas Grosfield edits media reports on U.S. foreign policy and national security. He has a B.A. in History from Cedarville University and has written more than 80 articles. A proud Montanan, Nik and his bride and young son currently live in the Middle East.
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