HALLMARK COMPROMISING WITH THE WORLD’S VALUES

Candace Cameron Bure starred in thirty Hallmark Channel movies, ten of which were Christmas films. Many of her fans were surprised when she announced last April that she was leaving Hallmark Media to develop, produce, and star in projects for the new traditional family-oriented network Great American Family.

Now she has explained her career move in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: “My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them. I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”

By contrast, Hallmark will release The Holiday Sitter next month, the network’s first original film to focus on a same-sex couple. Bure has no plans to follow suit: “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.”

While Bure did not touch on her departure from the Hallmark Channel, she did say, “It basically is a completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership.”

I know that in the past Hallmark was a Christian motivated company as I met Mr. Hall and members of the Hallmark family when they purchased the Christian card company Dayspring in 1999. My company at the time, Care & Share Products was the distributor of Dayspring cards and gifts in Australia. Hallmark had a distributor in Australia so I was concerned that I would lose distribution of Dayspring in Australia. Dayspring called for a meeting with all of its international distributors in Siloam Springs, Arkansas to explain what the acquisition of Dayspring by Hallmark would entail particularly with regard to its international operations. It was encouraging for all the international distributors to hear from Mr. Hall that nothing would change with Dayspring. It would be managed as an independent entity. Hallmark was at the time wholly owned by the Hall family and the Hallmark employees. If an employee left the company they had to sell their share back to the company. I am not sure if that is still the case. This radical change with Hallmark jettisoning Christian values leads me to believe that the Hall family is no longer in control.

Predictably, Bure is being criticized by some in the industry. Actress Hilarie Burton Morgan slammed her as “disgusting” and a “bigot,” adding, “I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.” Dancer and actress JoJo Siwa called Bure’s stance “rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.” Siwa shared her thoughts on Instagram. “Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press,” she wrote.

PROGRESS ACCORDING TO WHO?

The Air We Breathe: How we all came to believe in freedom, kindness, progress, and equality Glen Scrivener Good Book Company, 2022

I gave a brief review of this book by the Australian pastor Glen Scrivener (now living in the UK) in a recent post. However, I would like to share more and encourage you further to purchase his book. It will equip you to engage in good conversations with the lost and with the Holy Spirit’s guidance help you to bring them to a knowledge of the truth. As a reminder Scrivener’s main thesis for his book:

Today in the west, many consider the church to be dead or dying. Christianity is seen as outdated, bigoted, and responsible for many of society’s problems. This leaves many believers embarrassed about their faith and many outsiders wary of religion. But what if the Christian message is not the enemy of our modern Western values, but the very thing that makes sense of them?

SCRIVENER ON PROGRESS

Progress does have a dark side. Darwin proclaimed biological progress (evolution by random chance versus creation by an intelligent designer), Hegel, historical progress (Hegel’s providence is not the providence of the Judeo-Christian God. Rather, Hegel argues that universal history is itself the divine Spirit or Geist manifesting or working), Freud, psychological progress, and Marx, economic and political progress. The ugly fruit of such philosophies notwithstanding, Christian ideals run through them like veins in blue cheese. But without a vertical reference (God unacknowledged), the desire for progress all too easily spawns violence. The 20th century was the most blood-stained in history, the ‘murder century’. Think of Stalin’s Holodomor (Ukrainian: murder by famine) and purge of tens of millions in the 1930s, or of Chairman Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forwards’ (1958–1962), where over 45 million died of overwork, starvation, or murder—not to mention the horrors of death camps like Auschwitz. Post-WWII, a moral standard was needed to establish the ‘self-evident’ moral truths so bespattered by the Nazis. As with slavery, those atrocities were deemed “crimes against humanity” but few admitted they were crimes against God. If they were mere “crimes against humanity”, we have a dilemma, for humanity was on both sides (evil oppressors and their victims). Scrivener states pithily, “If
we’re all squabbling apes, then there’s no transcendent justice in condemning Nazism” (p. 181). So what price progress?

Secularism today, having fled past evils, now pursues values like rights, freedom, and progress, but divorces them from their source. This concurs with Tom Holland’s thesis in Dominion—without Christianity’s humanity-enhancing teaching about the image of God, the ruthless suppression of weaker minorities fits evolutionary logic: “To believe that God had become man and suffered the death of a slave was to believe that there might be strength in weakness, and victory in defeat. Darwin’s theory, more radically than anything that previously had emerged from Christian civilization, challenged that assumption. Weakness was nothing to be valued. Jesus, by commending the meek and the poor over those better suited to the great struggle for existence, had set Homo sapiens on the downward path toward degeneration. For eighteen long centuries, the Christian conviction that all human life was sacred had been underpinned by one doctrine more than any other: that man and woman were created in God’s image.”

Transgender advocates want equality, compassion, and consent, but they divorce these from Christianity and recombine them
differently. Equality becomes a radical individualism as people emphasize rights over institutions and community. Compassion risks becoming what sociologists have termed ‘competitive victimhood’, and perceived victim status is used to gain an advantage. This leads to clashes between different minority groups—e.g. feminists versus trans-rights activists—so whose suffering takes precedence? Divorcing sexual consent from Christian values is a wrecking ball as far as marriage, family, and the wider community are concerned. As Scrivener points out, “Consent is vital, but it is not a sufficient foundation for sexual ethics” (p. 194). Progressive secularization is not a sustainable strategy! The WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) values upon which Scrivener’s book focuses are strongly believed by all, but people in Western society are
making a hash of applying them in everyday life. Compared to the ancient world, equality, compassion, consent, enlightenment, science, freedom, and progress were given a makeover by Christianity, and these are dear to the hearts of modern people. As
Scrivener says, “These are our creedal convictions, and, by and large, we are a society of believers” (p. 197). But even as people are straining to discard Christianity, they continue with their moralizing: “If anyone blasphemes our WEIRD values … we ‘cancel’ them—that is, we ostracise them socially and professionally. This is really a modern form of ‘ex-communication’ for modern kinds of ‘heretics’” (p.198). And anyone can find themselves a target, especially, as the author wryly observes, with the turbo-charging of outrage made possible by social media. In today’s ‘cancel culture, there is plenty of guilt, but without grace, forgiveness is nowhere in sight! Scrivener is right on the money in noting that the denial of King Jesus while trying to retain Christian ideals,
brings judgment, not liberation: “In order to pursue the kingdom without the King, we have had to dethrone the person of Christ and install abstract values instead. … [But] Values can only judge you” (p. 200). People need the Gospel of hope, so the author invites readers to consider how history will judge them— more especially how will God judge them? Wonderfully, Christ came not to police people’s morals so much as to heal them, cleanse them, and forgive needy, despondent human beings.

Scrivener skilfully defends the Gospels and their accounts of Christ, and he does so in a highly original and compelling manner,
demonstrating their sheer genius. The strong evangelistic approach is fresh, not hackneyed. Jesus, the History Maker, is the One behind the values so cherished by the West—He embodies them. In fact, Christ loved this world to death, pioneering life for all violators of those values through His Resurrection. This is not a book that fizzles out toward the end. In its closing pages,
Scrivener appeals in turn to the three categories of readers mentioned in the second paragraph of this review. It is refreshingly honest and very well executed. To Christians, he writes, “In all this, great wisdom is needed to discern the Christian-ish values of a
WEIRD culture from true Christianity” (p. 230). Absolutely, and this book deserves to be very widely read to equip us to convey the truth to those the Holy Spirit brings across our path.

CHRISTIANS CANNOT COUNSEL TRANSGENDER YOUTH

The recent U.S. Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals calls on the administration to “safeguard LGBTQI+ youth from dangerous practices like so-called ‘conversion therapy’—efforts to suppress or change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” It contends that conversion therapy is a “discredited practice that research indicates can cause significant harm, including higher rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors by LGBTQI+ youth.” Biden also directed the Federal Trade Commission to determine “whether so-called conversion therapy constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and to issue such consumer warnings or notices as may be appropriate.”

In my recent post on SELLING THE TRANSGENDER STORY, I showed a very appealing video that attempts to sell the transgender agenda as a positive step forward whereby we are told that tens of thousands of children out there identify as transgender. We are also told that Ryland and the Whittington family is a typical ‘American family’. As well, we are told that gender and sexuality are different. All three claims are false. If you have not viewed this video can I suggest you do. It was posted five days ago.

God and his commandments have been rejected by the majority of people as they were by the people of Noah’s Day bringing God’s judgement upon them. Jesus warned us that the world would reject God and His values prior to His return. Persecution of active Christians (living out their faith) will be considered just.

Is the church preparing Christians for this escalating persecution?

This is another appealing video selling Ryland’s transgender conversion beginning at age 3.

TRUE EQUALITY

Equality Begins in the Womb’: Tens of Thousands of Pro-Lifers Defend the Unborn in Washington, D.C.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
EQUALITY BEGINS IN THE WOMB
March for Life
Many young people attended for the first time which is a great sign

Tens of thousands of pro-life citizens took to the streets in Washington, D.C., on Friday to affirm a powerful message about the importance of protecting the unborn: “equality begins in the womb.”

That proclamation — the official theme of the 2022 March For Life — is one that has been echoed for decades by activists and advocates seeking to reframe the abortion debate in America.

The annual march is a peaceful demonstration aimed at visually showing that the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case legalizing abortion across the U.S. did anything but solve or dismiss the moral quagmires surrounding abortion.

The first March For Life unfolded in 1974 in the wake of the Roe decision, but the annual event has only grown and intensified over the years. The group initially assumed the March For Life would be a one or two-time event. They based this speculation on their belief that Roe was an inappropriate legal ruling that stretched beyond what the Supreme Court was called to do. Thus, they didn’t believe it would stand for long. “They thought it would go after a year or two, and so they planned this one or two-time event,” she said. “And were shocked.”

But once it was clear the law wasn’t changing, Gray decided to make the march an annual happening — pledging to hold the event until Roe v. Wade would one day be overturned.

Will Roe v. Wade ever be overturned? Yes, it will be, maybe not before Jesus returns, but it will be when He does in the not too distant future.