Book Review :: Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance

Title:  Desire and Deceit:  The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance

Author: R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Published: 2008

Websitehttp://www.albertmohler.com/

Reviewer: Charlie

Comments: (The following two paragraphs are from the back of the book.)

“Lifetime monogamy is passé.  Pornography infiltrates nearly every home.  Homosexuality is accepted.  Lust has been redefinied.  The family as an institution is questioned.

We are reminded every day that assumptions about what is right and wrong, sexually, are different today than they were fifty – or even ten  – years ago.  Christian principles that formed the pattern for generations of American families are conspicuously absent.  What happened and why?  How do we respond to the dramatic shift in our culture’s perspective on sex?”

I originally bought this little book at the $5 bookstore because there are certain authors that I seek out and will buy anything they write; Dr. Mohler is one of those authors.  I greatly enjoyed the other two books I’ve read by my future Seminary President, Culture Shift and Atheism Remix.

The book starts out with a chapter that looks at J.R.R. Tolkein’s Christian and traditional view of sex, and the candid letters he wrote to his sons about the subject.  He takes the next two chapters to look at lust from the secular view and the Christian view.  He shows the disparity between the rationalizing of the secular mind (and the defanging of the term “lust” with its sinful connotations) and the explicit biblical definitions and condemnation of a sin against one’s own body.  Chapters five and six deal with the mainstreaming of, and easy access to, pornography and the damage that ensues.  The next four chapters deal in a straightforward, yet clear-headed way with homosexuality.  He focuses on the modern homosexual movement, especially its main movers and shakers and their culture shaping manifestos.  Chapter ten speaks to the tainting of male friendships by the mainstreaming of homosexual views; men no longer feeling as free to love and be affectionate out of fear of appearing homosexual.  The last  three chapters in the book deal with the topic of “polymorphous perversity.”  It is the secular idea that infants are completely free in their sexuality, unbound by civilization’s boundaries, restrictions and prejudices.  This idea has been a driving force behind a free sexuality movement to remove the “antiquated” restraints seemingly put on by society.

Although the book started slow with the necessary comparing and contrasting of lust within worldviews, it picked up steam quickly, and by the second half of the book the insights into the homosexual movement and its foremost founders became very interesting.  I love documentaries, and that section had that feel to it.  The chapters on polymorphous perversity gave me great insight into the driving dogmas of the movement and their goals to free sexuality from any restraints.  And of course it was appropriate that they identified the Judeo-Christian religion as their main enemy.

I would definitely recommend the book.  If you are in a position to minister to people with a variety of sexual backgrounds, this tool would serve as a great foundation of knowledge of the strategic modern homosexual strategies that have successfully moved our culture towards entrapping people in sexual sin and targeting the idea of objective morality in the realm of sexuality.

Quotes:

Tolkien writing to his son on being separate from the sexually liberal culture, “I imagine the fish out of water is the only fish to have an inkling of water.”

“Living with lust, is like living shackled to a lunatic.” Simon Blackburn

“…we are called to be nothing less than a corps of the mutually accountable amidst a world that lives as if it will never be called to account.” Al Mohler

“…the homosexual movement has organized itself as a liberation movement, based on an ideology of liberation from oppression that finds its roots in Marxist philosophies.” Al Mohler

Liberal NT professor Victor Paul Furnish, “To deny an entire class of human beings the right peaceable and without harming others to pursue the kind of sexuality that corresponds to their nature is a perversion of the gospel.”

Trying to make a homosexual / hierarchal connection, liberal writers Kathleen Corley and Karn Torjesen argue, “We need to grapple with the possibility that our conflicts over the appropriate use of human sexuality may rather be conflicts rooted in a need to legitimate a traditional social structure which assigns men and women specific and unequal positions.  Could it be that the continued affirmation of the primacy of heterosexual marriage is possibly also the affirmation of the necessity for the sexes to remain in hierarchically structured relationships?  Is the threat to marriage really a threat to hierarch?  Is that what makes same-sex relationships so threatening, so frightening?”

“The concept of sexual orientation was an intentional and quite successful attempt to redefine the debate over homosexuality from same-gender sexual acts to homosexual identity – that is, from what homosexuals do to who homosexuals are.” Al Mohler

“Evangelicals must reject the category [of homosexual orientation] as a therapeutic contruct employed for ideological and political ends.” Al Mohler

“We must deconstruct the deconstructionist, turn the hermeneutic of suspicion upon the revisionists, and bear undiluted witness to the gospel and the Christian worldview.” Al Mohler

“East of Eden, not one of us has come before God as sexually pure and whole, even if we have never committed an illicit sexual act.  Our ministry to homosexuals is not as the sinless ministering to sinners, but as fellow sinners who bear testimony to the reality of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.” Al Mohler

On the ruining of appropriate love in friendship between males, Anthony Esolen says, “With every chanted slogan and every blaring sign, they crowd out the words of friendship, they appropriate the healthy gestures of love between man and man.  Confess – has it not left you uneasy even to read the words of that last sentence?”

“The emergence of lesbians as leaders of the major gay rights organizations was, Sullivan suggests, largely due to the fact that the gay male leaders were mostly dead [from AIDS].”  Al Mohler on why so many homosexual organizational leaders are now lesbians.

Structural Likes: There is plenty of blank space on pages for notes.  As usual for Mohler, the book is short and easy to read.  His witty style keeps the book from becoming boring.  The chapters are short.  He is very organized and informative.

Structural Dislikes:  All of Dr. Mohler’s books to tend to have the feel of his radio show.  He presents the information and then gives his take on it.  It’s not a bad thing necessarily, but just seems a little disjointed at times (in style, not content).

Acclamation: John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Timothy George, David Dockery, James Merritt

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

The “Ida” Monkey: The Missing Link?

Click here for the response by Ken Hamm of Answers In Genesis.

Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Multiple Intelligences and How We Can Use It to Raise Our Children Up in the Fear and Admonition of the Lord

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

Surely we all agree on the ends, but how are we to discover the means of fulfilling this biblical command?  How do we train up our children?  Is there a sure-fire, cookie-cutter method we can use?  Or are differentiated methods based on talents, abilities and tendencies necessary to achieve the optimal outcomes in our children’s lives?

We are commanded by God through the Scriptures to train our children in such a way that when they are older they will not depart from God’s path.  The purpose of this post is to show that there is needed diversity and variety in the ways of raising our children.  We can best train them, by utilizing, not ignoring their internal hard-wiring.

I am not referring to utilizing their original sin nature; for we are to train them in the way that we hope for them to operate after having been regenerated by the Savior.  Matthew Henry says as such in his commentary:

Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Savior.

We should seek to train up our children in all sorts of ways; especially in ways that they learn best.  Deuteronomy 6:7 speaks in a proverbial way of coming at this task from all angles:

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~Dueteronomy 6:7

The theory of multiple intelligences, developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, and long-known in the educational realm, has profound relevance in the area of training our children in the way of the Lord. Multiple intelligences are not new, having existed as long as mankind; but our understanding of them has improved.

For an explanation of Multiple Intelligences, I would like to use Thomas Armstrong’s article on Multiple Intelligences.  Here are some appropriate excerpts:

“The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at
Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:

  • Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
  • Spacial intelligence (“picture smart”)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
  • Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
  • Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
  • Intrapersonal intelligence (“self-smart”)
  • Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Dr. Gardner says that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence.”

“For example, if you’re teaching or learning about the law of supply and demand in economics, you might read about it (linguistic), study mathematical formulas that express it (logical-mathematical), examine a graphic chart that illustrates the principle (spatial), observe the law in the natural world (naturalist) or in the human world of commerce (interpersonal); examine the law in terms of your own body [e.g. when you supply your body with lots of food, the hunger demand goes down; when there’s very little supply, your stomach’s demand for food goes way up and you get hungry] (bodily-kinesthetic and intrapersonal); and/or write a song (or find an existing song) that demonstrates the law (perhaps Dylan’s “Too Much of Nothing?”).”

Here are some charts that demonstrate multiple intelligences.  Two of the charts include a ninth category; that of Existential intelligence (“Deep-Thinking intelligence”):

Because our academic culture most prizes logical/mathematical and verbal/linguistic intelligence, many children have unnecessarily lowered self-esteem.  This is not to say that we should puff up children to believe they are something they aren’t, but we should allow our children to excel and take pride in their own type of intelligences.

With this knowledge, we have the ability to foster that which God has instilled intrinsically.  These intelligences are reflections of our humanity; having been made in the image of God.  We should allow our children to discover their gifts and then as parents we are to train them up in the way of the Lord, by fostering the redeemed qualities of their gifts.

In an unregenerate person, the gift of visual/spatial intelligence might be seen in forms such as illegal graffiti, graphic illustrations, or even refined degenerative art forms (see “ecce homo“, by Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin).  However, the redeemed qualities of this intelligence creates things that bring glory to God.  It may be a montage of pictures of God’s gift of creation, a mosaic of a biblical scenes, or for those so gifted, refined redeemed art forms (see “ecce homo“, by Antonio Ciseri).  For verbal/linguistic intelligence – not Henley’s Invictus, but Longfellow’s Christmas Bells.  For existential intelligence – not the work of Richard Dawkins, but the work of Jonathan Edwards.  On and on it goes; we are to nurture the redemptive qualities of whatever intelligences our children possess, to the glory of God.  Nurturing the redemptive qualities of their particular intelligences is training them up, in their own abilities, in God’s way.  It is taking the gifts God has given to them, and using it (that which comes most natural) to guide them down the path of godliness.

All these intelligences are gifts from God, and come from God as a imperfect reflection of his own characteristics.  By training our children in the redeemed qualities of their gifts, we teach them of the One who gave the gifts, and of His ways.  We open their minds to the One who is the interpersonal Counselor; the God-man who became bodily incarnate, to whom we sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs; whose literary masterpiece is the Holy Scriptures, and who has numbered the hairs on our head and the stars in the sky; who created all of nature as His handiwork, day to day pouring out speech, and night to night revealing knowledge; who has painted the truest sunset and whose color palate overflows the boundaries of the visible spectrum; knowing all things – who can instruct Him?  For He was there when the foundations of the Earth were laid; the First and the Last, the I AM; who through Him, and to Him, and for Him are all things.

He has given our children His image.  And it is not a single gem, but a crown of jewels.  Let us polish them all, to reflect glory onto the Giver of all good gifts.

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 10:08 pm  Comments (8)  

Your Children in Public School – the Easy Way Out?

hallway-1

I would not normally use such an inflammatory title to an article I would like to be one of calm, rational and open-minded consideration; but knowing some of my audience and the sure-to-be lengthy nature of this article and it’s reference article, I need to show the importance of the subject matter.

I want to consider here the question of whether or not we as Christians should currently be sending our children to public schools, and if we do, whether or not we might need to pull them out in the future.

Before I begin, I feel the need to relate my credentials and experience in this area. I do not do so to claim full understanding, but to show that I have experience in this field. I would also like to state a couple of things that will hopefully verify my heartfelt consideration in this area.

Experience:

1 ) I spent one year as a student in a Montessori school.
2 ) I spent 12 years as a student in a Christian grade school.
3 ) I grew up the son of a Christian school principal.
4 ) I spent 3 years in and graduated from a public
high school.
5 ) I spent one year in a secularized private college.
6 ) I spent three and a half years in a Christian college.
7 ) I have an undergraduate degree in Middle Level education from
a Christian college.
8 ) I have a Masters degree in Middle Level education from a
secular university.
9 ) I am in my 9th year of teaching
10 ) I spent 2 years teaching in a Christian school
11 ) I spent 7 years teaching in a public school

As you can see, my life has been divided between both sides of the secular / Christian academic playing field.

For those that may be tempted to think that I am a rabid anti-public school proponent, let me state the following:

1) I am currently a public school teacher
2) I am open to allowing my children to attend our local public
school system during their early grade school years.

There are some things in life that are worthy of research. I believe this to be one of those things. If we are willing to research HD TVs, car parts and the newest cell-phones, God help us if we are too lazy to research the education of our children, for which God will one day hold us accountable.

The ultimate influence on the lives of our children is the internal influence of the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. However, I believe there is a triangle of external influences that shape whom we will become. The typical triangle is this: Home – School – Church. They are purposefully placed in that order. It is the order of influential power. I would have us notice that school is placed before church. Research clearly indicates that a person’s family, their home-life, is the most powerful influence on them. A more surprising factor may be that school is more influential than church. The fact that may blur this truth from some Christian’s view is the relationship between church and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the supreme influence, but this argument is made from the view of external teachings, worldview and peer influence.

A child spends more time at school than at church. The peers that will sway them the most are the ones at school, with whom they spend their time. The culture and teachings of school can permeate a child’s worldview. The family and church can work together to counteract the secular influence of a public school, but it is undeniable the tremendous impact the culture of a school makes upon children over the years. The point of all of this is to bring to the forefront the power of the school.

The idea for this post was inspired by a short (I promise) article written by Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before you continue in this post, I invite you to read this short article. The suggestion being posed by Dr. Mohler is that Christian parents begin creating an “exit strategy” from the public school system. He is not advocating that all Christians immediately pull their children from public schools, although that could be necessary depending on the circumstances; but that all Christian parents should be aware of their particular school system and be mentally prepared to change the educational situation of their children if need be.

I will link here to the article. For those that would not be willing to read an entire short article I will at least post the following quotes:

————

As a rule, schools in more rural areas, with local political control more concentrated in the hands of parents, the effects of this educational revolution are less evident. In some school systems, the majority of teachers, administrators, and students share an outlook that is at least friendly and respectful toward Christianity and conservative moral values.

In other places, the situation is markedly different. In many metropolitan school districts, the schools have truly become engines for the indoctrination of the young. This process of indoctrination pervades, not only the more recognizable aspects of radical sex education programs and so-called “health education,” but other aspects of the curriculum as well. Unless something revolutionary reverses these trends, this is the shape of the future.

————

I believe that now is the time for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools. This strategy would affirm the basic and ultimate responsibility of Christian parents to take charge of the education of their own children. The strategy would also affirm the responsibility of churches to equip parents, support families, and offer alternatives. At the same time, this strategy must acknowledge that Southern Baptist churches, families, and parents do not yet see the same realities, the same threats, and the same challenges in every context. Sadly, this is almost certainly just a matter of time.

—————
I am not advocating that my friends or I immediately pull their children from public school. What I am imploring the reader to do is simply this: Be fully aware of the worldview culture of your child’s school. Know about their teachers. Know about their peers. Know about their curriculum. Question your children with open-ended questions to determine the influence secularism may be having on their critical worldview.

I believe that most Christian parents would affirm that there is an imaginary line that the public school system could cross, that would cause them to remove their children. The difference between some people is what they believe about how close to that line public schools systems actually are. I think Dr. Mohler said it best when he said, “…parents do not yet see the same realities, the same threats, and the same challenges in every context. Sadly, this is almost certainly just a matter of time.

We are fortunate in the South, to have resisted the newest severe and offensive curriculum of the secular educational machine. During my graduate level work, I became more familiar with the agenda that is being imposed in the inner city schools, and in the Northeast and other liberal areas.

Some examples are the placing of pink triangles on classroom doors to indicate a safe-zone for homosexual students. The prevalent teaching of the new definition of “tolerance” in the character curriculum (required in every public school nationwide), that teaches that students are to accept everyone’s beliefs as equal and acceptable.

There are plenty of examples; some of which are not new news to us. We are already aware of the teaching of evolution as truth and fact, which works itself out with the devaluing of life. We already are familiar with the anti-God mentality of the public school system. The newest trends are those of the homosexual movement and of the postmodern tolerance movement, which logically works itself out in aggression towards Absolute Truth claims made by Christians. The gay-friendly curriculum is even reaching, with full-force, into the elementary grades. You may be familiar with the title of elementary books such as “Jennifer Has Two Daddies.”

Having “gay safe” zones with gay symbols on classroom doors is not something that just could happen, it has been happening pervasively for years. If you move to the inner-city, especially in a non-Bible belt area, you will experience it all firsthand.

I am including here a list of a few links of actual examples:

This becomes extremely relevant for those of us living in the South, because the ideological movement is making its way south. Although the public school system is already Godless and anti-religious in nature, these further extreme liberal views will invade Southern public schools in a matter of years.

Although it is often unbeknownst to the Christian teachers and administrators themselves, there is what amounts to a last stand of Christian influence in certain local school systems. It is there that the liberal influences are resisted. But the national educational machine is fascist in nature and is slowly tightening the clamp on this resistance, of which I am a part. Eventually, it will come to a “personal convictions” climax not only for Christian teachers and administrators, but for Christian parents as well.

Perhaps you were already aware of this crisis, or perhaps this is a Paul Revere warning to you, or perhaps you do not agree. In any event, if you have read this post, you can see that ignorance can no longer be an option.

Having said all this, perhaps you wonder why it is that I say that I would consider sending my children to the public school system in my area, during their early grade school years. As I mentioned earlier, there are still a vast number of local school systems in this country that are attempting (on a personal level) to resist these liberal influences. In the upper grades, it is now impossible to stop the flow of liberal curriculum. It is mandated by the state standards to be taught. If it is not sufficiently taught, the students will then begin to score low on the standardized tests based on those standards. That will eventually result in the removal of the teacher from that classroom. Also, as we all know, peer influence has the capability to become powerful during the pre-teen and teen years. But during the earliest of grades, many classrooms, when manned by Christian personnel or at least a Christian-like environment, these liberal influences can be small to non-existent. However, for me personally, this is not a free pass to close my eyes during the early elementary years of my children. It is a year by year, teacher by teacher process of evaluating the environment of my children’s would-be teacher and curriculum. If the environment is deemed acceptable, then I would have no problem allowing my children to attend there. I am fortunate to live and work in a Georgia county that is extremely Christian-friendly, as far as public school systems go. But even in my Christian-friendlier county, I see every workday, firsthand, the unstoppable, evil corruption of the Christian worldview that can happen.

Some argue that they send their children into the public schools because their children should get used to being around non-believers and they should learn to be a Christian influence where they are. I, and this is my opinion, reject that notion out of hand. The early years of our children’s lives are when we are to train them so that when they are learned, they can defend themselves intellectually and spiritually from evil thoughts and worldviews. You do not send a civilian into combat so that they will learn to be a soldier.

God commands His people to raise their children in the way of the Lord. Whether or not we have them in public school, we are responsible for paying close attention to what they are being taught. I believe for some, the day has already come, and for the rest of us it is coming, when the evil written and living curriculum of the American public school system will necessitate the removal of our children from it. Until that day comes to your family, be aware. Just be aware.

——————————————————-

[Originally written January 12th, 2008; revised 2009]

Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 12:51 pm  Comments (5)