Friday, July 03, 2009

The 3 - July 3, 2009

This edition of "The 3" - 3 news stories of interest or relevance to the Christian community, focuses on the continuing reaction to Governor Mark Sanford's indiscretions, the response to the death of Michael Jackson, and the relationship between President Obama and the gay agenda.

3 - An affair to remember

The highly publicized marital unfaithfulness of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is creating quite a bit of discussion as fellow politicians and fellow Christians are commenting on his tragic indiscretion involving an Argentine woman. Not only has he been speaking out, quoting Scripture in his press conference to describe the depths of his sin, without apparently statement of repentance, and stating that he and the woman had seen a "spiritual advisor" to try to end the affair. (Who is this spiritual advisor? Click here.) His wife, Jenny, has been speaking out, too, expressing a willingness to forgive even though she has been devastated. (Her latest statement)

Sanford's sin can be a cautionary tale, according to Chuck Colson in a recent "Breakpoint" radio commentary, documented in The Christian Post. Sanford was a rising star in the political realm and a member of an evangelical community in Washington, DC. This piece from The Daily Beast gives some insight into Sanford's public religious persona quotes a well-known Christian journalist who has been following Sanford for some time.

Even if someone declares himself or herself to be a person of integrity and morality, that person is not exempt from temptation and immune from a public, embarrassing incident - that's why we need the grace of God, recognizing our vulnerability to sin and the power of God that enables us to overcome it.

2 - The King of Pop and the King of Glory

The death of Michael Jackson has rocked the world, as artists and other celebrities have spoken out and talked about his profound influence on pop music. I think that Steve Fee said it well in his Twitter post:

Crazy thought ... The "king of pop" stands before the "King of Glory" today ... Fame redefined.

There was great hope when a piece circulated on Facebook that Andrae and Sandra Crouch had related they had prayed with Michael to receive Christ just a few weeks before his death. Indeed, Andrae had posted a video link on his Facebook page and urged people to pray for Michael, which is a bit surreal, but he and his sister, Sandra, have had to release a statement that indeed Michael did not receive Christ, to their knowledge, even though they enjoyed a rich time of musical collaboration and friendship recently (read The Christian Post's take here). In this situation, we were too quick to believe this life-changing event occurred, something that we certainly wanted to believe, and perhaps the seeds that were planted resulted in a harvest of salvation. Who but God, the ultimate judge, knows?

Joanne Brokaw wrote a thought-provoking piece on BeliefNet regarding Jackson's and Farrah Fawcett's deaths, that reminds us that thousands died that same day - it's just that these 2 people had such a strong effect.

No matter how much fame we may achieve in this life, nevertheless only what is done for Christ will last and we all will stand before the throne of God. We all have influence and a writing a legacy to leave behind, and we can be challenged to make our lives count for Christ. Michael left a legacy as the "King of Pop", as well as a trail of some erratic behavior, and when he is remembered, I suspect it will be fondly, overall. But, again, as Christians, our mission is to follow Christ and allow Him to direct our steps - if that gains notoriety, fine, but faithfulness is the key!

1 - "Pride" and prejudice

It is no secret that President Obama has been friendly to the suggestions, er, demands of the homosexual community. He has been on record as saying that he would like to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military, has stated his support for civil unions, and supports so-called "non-discrimination" legislation that would prevent employers from refusing to hire someone because of his or her sexual orientation. Furthermore, he proclaimed June as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Pride Month.

To honor that occasion, he held a reception, attended by those who support the gay agenda. Having taken some heat for not moving fast enough on their issues, he pledged to fight for them, and said that essentially to watch his actions - they would be pleased with the finished product of the Obama administration. Focus on the Family Action's Citizenlink website provides some coverage of the reception and the issues at hand, and you can find the Focus Action Update at here. Also, Stuart Shepard, who produces those "Stoplight" videos at, came on my radio show, and we had a lively discussion about the topic - you can download it from - just scroll down and look for Stuart's name.

When it comes to our President, it's important that we pray for him and pay attention - to his actions, as well as his words.

Honorable Mention:
Pastor Jack Graham has cancer
Rick Warren addresses Muslims

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