Sky Links, 5-26-18

Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0

Iconic boy on U2 album covers slams band for supporting abortion in Ireland
-Rich Campbell

As a child, he graced the cover of U2's debut album "Boy" and their 1983 breakthrough album "War." Now 44-year-old photographer Peter Rowen is speaking out against U2's recent embrace of legalized abortion. On May 1, the Irish band tweeted its support for repealing Ireland’s pro-life Eighth Amendment and legalizing abortion on demand across the Emerald Island.

Rowen posted May 15 on his Facebook page: "Horrified to see U2 using their voice to promote something that’s so obviously wrong! Shame on them. Proverbs 6 v 16 -19 #savethe8th."

On May 25, the Irish people will vote on whether to repeal their pro-life constitutional amendment that guarantees pre-born humans the right to life.

Rowen went on to write:"The 8th amendment is the only legal protection that the unborn currently have under the Irish constitution. Removing it (which is what’s being proposed ) will literally pave the way for abortion on demand. The most difficult, the most complex and complicated cases are being used to sway the Irish people on the run into this referendum. The reality is that if abortion is made legal in Ireland most of the children who die will be healthy babies aborted by healthy mothers."

"It’s very sad to see this band (who once professed a strong Christian faith) come to this."

Pastor, at the funeral of an unbeliever…
-Joe McKeever

Recently, when I sounded forth on how pastors should conduct funerals for saints, a friend pointed out that a harder assignment is officiating at the services for an outright unbeliever. He looked forward to my points on that.

I was tempted to say, “Yeah. Me too!”

But, as always, I appreciate a good suggestion for an article in this blog, particularly something that would help pastors and other church leaders.

We will begin with questions which pastors frequently ask among themselves concerning the funerals of unbelievers…

  • Should I acknowledge in the service that “Mr. John was not a believer in Jesus Christ”?

My answer: Not unless it was the most obvious thing about the man. In that case, I imagine he would not have wanted a Christian minister to say anything over his casket. So, the answer is almost always “No.” Either everyone already knew this about “Mr. John” or it’s unnecessary to point it out.

  • Should I preach the service as though he were a devout believer?

Absolutely not.

  • What if he joined the church as a youth but lived an ungodly life ever since?

We’ve all done such funerals. In most cases, my advice is to have someone who knew and loved the deceased to eulogize him while you follow that with the Scriptural message. But be wary of “sending him to heaven.”

You don’t want to leave the impression that how a person lives has nothing to do with where he spends eternity.

  • So, should I “send him to hell”? 

No. You are not his judge. (For which you should give thanks every day!)

Leave the judging to the One who will get it right every time.

  • But should I do a little research to find out if the man ever made a profession of faith at any time in his life?

In my earlier years of ministry, I did this. But it was time poorly spent. Even if you learned that the deceased started right but ended wrong, it would be a mistake to “celebrate the homegoing” of one who lived a Christless life. Best not even to mention his religious position and just stick to the basics.

  • So, what are those ‘basics’?

Preach the gospel. Celebrate what Jesus Christ did by His death, burial and resurrection. Remind everyone of the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ and Him alone. Preach that “neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12) and “no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).

Stossel: Red Pills: New Generation Wakes People Up
: Candace Owens took "the red pill," and now gives “red pills” to millions through her online videos.
-John Stossel & Maxim Lott

Citing the movie The Matrix, Candace Owens says she "took the red pill," waking up to see that conventional wisdom as wrong.

Now she shares her perspective with millions of people on YouTube.

"I launched my career on YouTube....My second video went trending worldwide with 80 million views," Owens tells John Stossel.

She hopes to convince other black people that Democrats' big government policies are harmful.

Owens argues that the big issue facing blacks is not racism or police shootings, but dependence on government. That began, she says, more than 50 years ago with Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Since then, the rate of black unwed mothers has risen to 77 percent.

Owens blames the government, "they incentivized mothers not to marry their fathers. That's why single motherhood is up. The government would give you more if you didn't marry him."

Owens tells Stossel regulation and overreach hurt the black community. "We've got the government regulating nail salons, eyebrow salons. Government has extended an overreach into every single arena of our lives."

As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says 'Goodbye' To The New Life He Hoped To Build
-Julieta Martinelli

When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

It’s 4 o’clock on a Saturday in late April, and over a dozen people have gathered for a surprise “goodbye” party for Matthew Charles at his girlfriend Naomi Tharpe's home.

Charles is a little late, which is good, because guests are still making their way in through a side door when a friend who’s been entertaining him sends Tharpe a text announcing their arrival.

The guests — an assorted bunch including members of his church congregation, coworkers, volunteers from a local food pantry and even a former cellmate — are bursting with laughter. Tharpe has just passed out tiny, colorful water guns so they can spray Charles.

A hush passes over the crowd as they spot him approaching through the narrow slats of the tall wooden gate.

As the door swings open, Charles is greeted by a loud “surprise!”

Some shoot the water guns, at him, then at each other. Everyone’s whooping and clapping.

Charles stands quietly for a moment. Finally, he says, “alright.”

Charles is a man of few words. But his eyes are filled with tears.

Divorce Mythology
-Joseph J. Pote

Our modern Christian culture has, to a large extent, embraced an unbiblical Divorce Mythology. Note I call it mythology, not theology. The mythology has little biblical basis, but is shored up by lots of biblical references plucked out of context.

It starts with the false assumption that “divorce is sin” and “God hates divorce.” It then goes on to equate divorce with adultery…not the single act of divorce but the ongoing state of remaining divorced. So divorce is falsely seen as an ongoing state of sinful rebellion against God.

Then, it’s neatly capped with a poorly substantiated policy that people who have divorced are disqualified from ever holding church leadership positions. This edict provides a basis for always remembering who has divorced and never letting it go, no matter how much time passes or what other life events transpire.

Put it all together and divorce becomes the one unforgivable sin within many churches. Any other sin can be repented, forgiven, and forgotten. Not so with divorce…it is always remembered and always held against the person.

Add to that the many sermons falsely proclaiming “God hates divorce!” and “Divorce is not an option for a Christian!” And it is easy to acquire the perception that a divorce moves someone from being an object of God’s love to being an object of His wrath. And, in some ways, these unspoken conclusions are even more powerful for being unspoken. If they were voiced, they could be exposed as false. By remaining unspoken conclusions to which the false teachings logically lead, they remain unchallenged and retain their deceptive power.

This Divorce Mythology unnecessarily imprisons many abused spouses in a dangerously toxic marriage. Convinced that divorce would make them an object of God’s wrath, condemned to eternal damnation, they stay in the abusive marriage, endangering the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of themselves and their children.

Similarly, many godly believers who have experienced divorce lead desperate lives of quiet guilt, avoiding church and feeling distant from God, in the belief that they are living under God’s constant disapproval.

I grew up in church, accepting the Divorce Mythology as truth. Although I didn’t see divorce as condemning someone to Hell, I did see it as permanently condemning someone to a sort of second-class Christian status…someone who had failed so horribly and irresponsibly that they could never again be entrusted with anything of importance…whose children were doomed to a second-class high-risk raising…who should never remarry and if they did remarry would almost certainly divorce again…who must never be given any form of responsibility in the church…