Archives for July 2011

David Beckham Derided as “Bad Example” — For Having 4 Children

Just in case you’ve been asleep the past thirty or forty years, western culture has been waging a relentless war on Christianity.  From news journalists to learned professors to savvy politicians, cultural leaders have undermined and attacked biblical virtues such as marriage being between one man and one woman, and the sanctity of human life.

They have cast suspicion on the Christian stance of absolute truth.  They contend that one cannot know truth, because truth is relative, dependent on different cultures and contexts.  Consequently, they increasingly portray Christians as being intolerant to any other lifestyle or belief system.  At worst, they cleverly insert the suspicion that our intolerant attitudes lean toward insurrectionist and violent tendencies.

Last week’s tragedy in Norway is a perfect example.  The legitimate story was that of a madman on a murderous spree.  But the media was quick to label the killer as a conservative, fundamentalist Christian.  Obviously, the deranged man is not a Christian, which is clear from his murderous acts as well as by reading his own beliefs in the manifesto he left on his Internet web site.  But this didn’t stop those with the power of the pen from leveraging yet another opportunity to wage their relentless war on Christianity.  They hope an unsuspecting public will make the connection: Christians can’t be trusted.

I am surprised by Christians’ surprised response to this treatment.  Shouldn’t we expect the world to mistreat us?  While Jesus was still alive, He cautioned His followers to expect to endure hatred and malice from the world.  He said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).  Did not the “world” – the system of thinking and being that stands in opposition to God’s truth – kill the very Son of God?  It most certainly did, so we should expect to see a plethora of worldly attacks on Christianity and biblical virtues today.

The Beckham family prior to the arrival of child number 4 earlier this year, a baby girl

Consider the following article by way of example.  For background, David Beckham is a famous English soccer player.  His wife, Victoria, was one of the Spice Girls, a pop music group.  They are married (hint: a biblical virtue), and they have four children, whom they are raising in the traditional manner – dad, mom, and children as part of a family (hint: yet another “archaic,” biblical virtue).  The British press is actually attacking the Beckham couple, suggesting that they are “bad role models” for having so many children.  Here is an excerpt from the article.


David Beckham Derided as “Bad Example” – For Having 4 Children

By: Timothy P. Carney | Senior Political Columnist Follow Him @TPCarney | 07/26/11 8:53 AM

Soccer player David Beckham and his wife Victoria (formerly a performer) are being derided in the British press as “bad role models.” No, they’re not publicly carrying on affairs, fighting in public, or abandoning their children. Their sin: having four children.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby sees this latest finger-wagging — including, ominously, scorn from a Member of Parliament — as just the latest in a string of baseless warnings about overpopulation. Here’s Jacoby’s rebuttal:

Yes, more babies mean more mouths and therefore more consumption. But more babies also mean more minds and arms and spines – and therefore more new ideas, more effort, more creativity, more initiative, more enterprise. “Human beings do not just consume, they also produce,’’ writes George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan. “The world economy is not like a party where everyone splits a birthday cake; it is more like a potluck where everyone brings a dish.’’

The evidence is obvious. Are we better off today than we were 100 years ago, and 100 years before that? And than we were 2,000 years ago? Obviously.

Victoria Beckham with her newborn daughter

The advances in health and knowledge have not come from outside agents — crocodiles and aliens haven’t invented penicillin or the lightbulb — but from the very human beings that population scolds from Malthus to Ehrlich to Friedman tell us are killing the planet.  Sure, many humans consume more than they produce, but on net, over time, humans have clearly added more to human prosperity than they have taken away. Put the way an economist might: the expected value of each human being is positive.


I found this excerpt to be both alarming and encouraging.  It is alarming, because clearly the culture-shaping machine is leveling its aim at the traditional family, suggesting that too many children are bad for the environment.  How clever of them.  Barely concealed is their true message: children, as opposed to being blessings from the Lord, may actually be an unwanted curse in many circumstances.

I found the article encouraging, however, because it showcased the logical, practical nature of God’s truth.  The men referenced in the article don’t have a Christian axe to grind; in other words, they are merely speaking as experts in their respective fields.  And what they are saying is that which is always true: God’s ways are always best.  And the facts always substantiate this assertion.

How, I ask, can children be bad for the environment when God is the one who created the environment to need humanity’s stewardship?  Honest, unbiased assessment of our planet reveals that babies are blessings and are therefore a blessing to the well being of life on planet earth.

Don’t be discouraged by secular attacks on Christian truth.  On one hand, the attacks give evidence to the truth of Christ’s prediction.  Expect the attacks, but defend the faith by boldly and lovingly pointing to the facts.  Timothy Carney’s article is a great example of doing just this.  Meanwhile, parents: love your children, raise them to know and love the Lord, and have as many of them as God leads you to have!

Independence Day 2011

Today is Independence Day.  I wonder what runs through the minds of typical Americans.  Do we ponder anything deeper than a vacation day and fireworks celebrations?  One of the teachers in our children’s Sunday School department asked some of the kids yesterday, “Why do we celebrate Independence Day?”  Only one of the little boys answered correctly.  Is this a commentary on the lack of education in our public schools, or does it signal a larger problem regarding our country’s disinterest in history?

I am certain of one thing: few Americans recognize something that our ancestors believed with firm conviction – God’s powerful hand in the winning of our independence from England.  Few Americans are aware of the Founding Fathers’ deep faith in God and of their belief that democracy would survive only so long as we remained thankful to and mindful of the Lord.  Of the fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence, twenty four of them (nearly half) were seminary trained ministers.

The incomparable General Washington, the greatest man on the planet but humble before his God.

Our earliest presidents acknowledged God’s providential assistance in winning our independence.  George Washington, while still fighting the Revolutionary War, said,

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

John Adams, one of our most influential Founding Fathers as well as our second president, paused long enough on July 3rd, 1776 to pen a letter to his beloved wife, Abigail.  He and his fellow Founders had worked long and hard to craft the document they titled, The Declaration of Independence.  Make no mistake; each of the fifty six men knew that signing their name to the document was in all likelihood like signing their own death warrant.  Signing signaled treason against the king of England.  Should these men be caught, or should the war turn in England’s favor, these men would be hung as traitors to England.

Adams, knowing the dangers, was in fact flush with excitement over what this Declaration could mean for America.  I invite you to feel his passion and enthusiasm as you read the following excerpt from his letter to his wife.

John Adams, son of a deacon who hoped young John would become a minister...God had other plans!

“The fourth day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.”

Amen!  I believe President Adams wonderfully captured the spirit that should still race through our great country, from “sea to shining sea.”  He highlighted the extreme need to demonstrate “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”  He encouraged fanfare and exuberant demonstrations of remembrance.  Rudyard Kipling later picked up on this need to never forget the sacrificial deeds of those who earned our freedom: “All we have of freedom, all we use or know – This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.”

Five decades following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, our second and fourth presidents, were still alive, each elderly but devoted friends to one another.  Each passed into eternity on the same day, July 4th, 1826, fifty years to the day that each signed the Declaration.  Our young country cried tears of sadness and yet bowed in worship to the God who gives and takes life.  You could search far and wide throughout America following that sad day and be hard pressed to find one citizen who denied God’s hand in these two presidents’ lives and deaths.

Thomas Jefferson, who hosted weekly worship in the Congress each Sunday, using the military band for music!

I don’t know what this 235th celebration of Independence Day means to you, but I believe it is incumbent upon us all to pause, remembering our Founding Fathers, their faith, and their God.  Benjamin Franklin said it well over two centuries ago.

The setting was the Constitutional Congress in Philadelphia, ten years after having won independence.  The Founders were meeting once again, this time to agree upon the Constitution that governs our nation to this day.  With tempers flaring and debates raging, our fledgling nation poised on the verge of collapse.  Franklin, the oldest delegate present, stood up and said:

“Have we forgotten our powerful Friend?  Or do we imagine we no longer need [His] assistance?…The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

Franklin concluded, quoting the Bible, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”

Happy Independence Day!