Apologetics, In the News

Modern Medical Technologies, Abortion, and the Gendercide of Baby Girls

The Wall Street Journal bookshelf recently posted a review entitled “The War Against Girls,” wherein Jonathan V. Last offers chilling facts about the unequal ratio of aborted female babies over males worldwide, which is the general thesis of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men (New York: Public Affairs, 2011) by Mara Hvistendahl. Whereas natural ratios in birth are 105 boys to 100 girls, with 104 to 106 being in the normal range, Hvistendahl observes certain countries fall out of the natural window. China, for example, has a ratio of 112 boys to 100 girls with some towns over the 150 mark; Azerbaijan is at 115, Georgia at 118, and Armenia at 120. Last notes, “Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons.”

Hvistendahl explains that the increased availability of new medical technologies (e.g. amniocentesis, MRI scanners, ultrasounds, etc.) has made it much easier for a person to know the sex of their child, and decide to abort on the basis of a preferred sex. Surprisingly, the decision to abort baby girls is made by women, either mothers or sometimes mothers-in-law. Socio-cultural-economic reasons also play into the decision—it is cheaper to pay for a sex test than a dowry. The unequal and unnatural ratio of more males to females, according to Hvistendahl, potentially leads to other social ills, such as increased crime, inflated dowry price, and even greater demands in the mail-order bride industry. Nevertheless, Hvistendahl remains pro-abortion, and fears unless the unnatural selection of female abortions is addressed the “worst nightmare” of feminism could come about—a ban on abortions on the basis of gendercide.

Why should Hvistendah see the ban on abortions the “worst nightmare”? If the ratios of aborted fetuses were more identical to what occurs naturally would that justify killing girls and boys inside the womb? Is not the pro-choice rhetoric resounding so vividly in the United States that abortion liberates women with full body autonomy the real farce? Is this really not a misunderstanding true human dignity? In this instance, medical technology and abortion become the means for people with a skewed sense of their own human dignity—namely the idea that it is more valuable to have a boy than a girl in this world—to essentially carryout the unnatural gendercide of baby girls. The real question is where can people rediscover their own human dignity? Is not the biblical teaching on the imago Dei (the image of God in humanity spoken of in Genesis 1:27) the foundation to the sanctity of human life, the equality of the sexes, and key to our understanding of human dignity?

— Warren Nozaki, Research

For further study, please access the following:

Annihilating Abortion Arguments

Suffer the Violinist: Why the Pro-Abortion Argument from Bodily Autonomy Fails

The Shifting Focus in the Abortion Debate: Does the Humanity of the Unborn Matter Anymore?

Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Part 1)

Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Part 2)

Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Part 3)

Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Part 4)

Also recommended is the following bookstore package:

Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-life Persuasion Audio CD Package

Apologetics, Uncategorized

The Dangers of Tuning into Andrew Wommack

Andrew Wommack is a popular Bible teacher whose ministry is extended through radio, television, seminars, the Charis Bible College and various other extensions of the Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM).[1] A close examination of Wommack’s teaching, however, clearly demonstrates he is doctrinally aberrant.[2]

The most controversial aspect of Wommack’s teaching is its incorporation of Word of Faith theology. As Word of Faith teachers twist Scripture to support the occult belief that faith is a force, words are containers of the force, and through faith-filled words we can speak things into reality, Wommack similarly takes Matthew 18:18 out of context as a proof text for his belief that “We can actually bind up the positive results of sowing and reaping in a godly person and loose the attacks of Satan against them by the words we speak (Prov. 18:21; Jas. 3:5-6, 9-10).”[3]

Just as Word of Faith teachers pitch various “give to get” cons as a means for devotees to obtain financial prosperity, Wommack likewise teaches, “Those who don’t give financially to the work of the gospel will not have God’s financial blessings in their personal lives. On the other hand, those who do give to the work of the Lord will have an abundant harvest of finances.”[4]

Word of Faith teachers tell us that all Christians must be in perfect health because healing is guaranteed in the atonement; likewise, Womack teaches, “It’s never God’s will for us to be sick; He wants every person healed every time (emphasis in original).[5] Moreover, he even makes radical statements like, “The Lord never told us to pray for the sick in the sense that we ask Him to heal them. He told us to heal the sick,” and “Jesus told us to heal the sick, not pray for the sick.”[6]

The binding and loosing mentioned in Matthew 18:18 is neither in reference to the power of words to create reality, nor the commanding of demons. Jesus’ point concerns church discipline. Here the “binding” and “loosening” terms “normally used for tying up or imprisoning versus freeing or releasing, provide a natural metaphor for condemning or acquitting in a court.”[7] Christ’s command is practically worked out when Christians demonstrate truth by condemning sin and confirming righteousness.

Although Christians are encouraged to financially support the ministries of the church they attend, there is nothing in Scripture that guarantees a financial return for our donations. Rather, the Bible sets forth the general principle that sowing seeds of unrighteousness will produce bad fruits, but sowing seeds of righteousness will produce good fruits (Gal. 6:7).

The Bible also teaches that sickness and death are the normal order of things in this life, but that those who have faith in Jesus Christ have the hope of being resurrected and glorified at the end of the age (1 Corinthians 15:42-58), and that believers will no longer experience sickness, suffering, and death (Rev. 21:1-4). Jesus never made any absurd prohibition against praying for the sick; however, James, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes, “Is anyone sick among you? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14, NASB).

Wommack’s view on private prayer languages is also controversial. Concerning 1 Corinthians 12:30, he writes, “Some people have used this verse to teach that speaking in tongues is not for every believer since the obvious answer to this question is no. However, this is speaking about the gift of speaking in tongues that operates in a church service. Not every believer will operate in that gift. But every believer (Mk. 16:17) who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit can speak in tongues in his own private prayer life.”[8]

There is good reason to believe in the perpetuity of spiritual gifts, and that the gift of tongues has not ceased with the closing of the canon; however, speaking in tongues is not normative. Scripture mentions a “prayer language,” which in a sense refers to speaking or praying in tongues (see 1 Cor. 14:14). Some identify this language with the Spirit’s “groanings” that the apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 8:26 (NASB). It is unclear whether these “groanings” refer to words inexpressible in human language or to words unspoken, and Christians disagree whether tongues can be practiced privately as well as corporately. Those who believe that Scripture allows for the practice of tongues in private or personal devotion may refer to verses such as Romans 8:23, 26; 1 Cor. 14:4, 18-19, 28. Some believe that, based on 1 Corinthians 14:19, interpretations of tongues are unnecessary when spoken privately. Scripture, however, emphasizes that without an interpretation the “mind is unfruitful” (1 Cor. 14:13-14, NASB). It is also worth noting that Mark 16:17 is not found in earlier and more reliable New Testament manuscripts, so this passage is very shaky ground upon which to establish a teaching that all Christians speak in tongues. Moreover, the spectacular signs in Mark 16:17 were wonders associated with the Apostles but one need not presume they are to be normative for all believers (cf. Acts 1-28). Keep also in mind speaking in tongues is an issue Christians can debate but over which they must not divide.

Given Wommack’s blatant use of Word of Faith theology, we do not recommend his ministry.

For further study on related issues, we recommend accessing the following Web resources:

What’s Wrong with the “Word-Faith” Movement?

Christianity Still In Crisis: A Word of Faith Update

What’s Wrong With the Faith Movement (Part 1): E. W. Kenyon and the Twelve Apostles of Another Gospel

What’s Wrong With the Faith Movement (Part 2): The Teachings of Kenneth Copeland

Answering Questions about Televangelists

The Perpetuity of Spiritual Gifts

Scripture vs. the Spiritual Gifts?

We also recommend from our bookstore:

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century


1. AWM, “About Us” (http://www.awmi.net/about_us), accessed Sept. 3, 2008.

2. AWM., “Statement of Faith” (http://www.awmi.net/statement_of_faith), accessed Sept. 3, 2008. Cf. The Essentials of Christianity,” “CP0600 – Heresy and Aberration — What’s the Difference?” and “What Is a Cult?

3. AWM, “Matthew 18:18” (http://www.awmi.net/bible/mat_18_18), accessed Sept. 3, 2008.

4. AWM, “Galatians 6:7” (http://www.awmi.net/bible/gal_06_07), accessed Sept. 3, 2008.

5. AWM, “Faith For Healing Is Based On Knowledge” (http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/healing_knowledge), accessed Sept. 3, 2008.

6. AWM, “Our Authority Releases God’s Power” (http://www.awmi.net/extra/article/authority_releases), accessed Sept. 3, 2008.

7. Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 94.

8. AWM, “1 Corinthians 12:30” (http://www.awmi.net/bible/1co_12_30), accessed Sept. 3, 2008.

Apologetics, Journal Topics

Engaging Skeptics

When is the last time you had a meaningful discussion with a skeptic? How many non-believers are you in conversation with on a regular basis?

It’s amazing to me how we often get so excited about learning apologetics that we forget to practice it! Pastor Dan Kimball wrote an article for my book Apologetics for a New Generation called, “A Different Kind of Apologist.” Dan describes how when he first became a Christian he became motivated to learn as much apologetics as possible. He went to apologetics conferences, studied books on defending the faith, and even started an apologetics club at his church.

As many people would put it today, Dan was “fired up” about his faith. But ironically, the more he learned apologetics the less he actually practiced it with non-believers. In other words, the more head knowledge he gained the less he actually used it. How ironic! Sadly, this happens all the time in the church, especially to apologists (of which I count myself).

We simply cannot let this happen. We need to step out of our comfort zones and engage a non-believing world. Recently I did just this. I actually invited myself to sit on the “hot seat” for a local freethinking group in southern California. I was definitely nervous, but it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. I made some new friends, broke down some misconceptions, and had a chance to share my faith with 20 skeptics.

I was quite surprised at how eagerly they welcomed me. They were amazed that a Christian was willing to come to their group and they treated me with appreciation and respect. I can’t promise that it will always be like this. But we only know if we try. So, I leave with the question again—When is the last time you had a meaningful discussion with a skeptic? How many non-believers are you in conversation with on a regular basis?

Sean McDowell graduated summa cum laude from Talbot Theological Seminary with a double Master’s degree in Philosophy and Theology. He teaches Bible at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools, is a nationally recognized speaker, and has authored many articles and books, including Is God Just and Human Invention, Apologetics for a New Generation, and Ethics: Being Bold in a Whatever World. This blog post is based on his article “What Skeptics Want Christians to Know” in the Volume 34, No. 3 issue of the Christian Research Journal (a 6-issue subscription is $39.50). To read the full article, please subscribe or renew your subscription or give a gift subscription.

Sean McDowell joins host Hank Hanegraaff on the Bible Answer Man broadcast on June 21, 2011 to discuss his article. Tune in at 6PM ET at our website, www.equip.org!

Journal Topics, Reviews

The Story Behind Paul Maier’s Novel The Constantine Codex

I wrote The Constantine Codex using the same formula I did for the first two novels in this series: A Skeleton in God’s Closet, and More Than a Skeleton. While the main characters are the same and the novels do build on one another, the plots are so different that each can be read independently of the other two. In all three, I also aim to educate while entertaining. In the first, the reader learns a good deal about archaeology, and in the second, how to avoid extremes in current Christianity, Codex explores how biblical manuscripts led to our preset Bible as well as the world of Islam.
While using fiction for my principal characters, I always try to paint a background of solid fact in sowing how to respond to the greatest dangers that could ever face the faith. In the first book, I deal with a plot that could have doomed Christianity, and in the second, a fraud that would have done the same thing. But in The Constantine Codex, I also take on what is clearly the greatest challenge ever to face the church—Islam—and present readers with a model of how Christian-Muslim dialogue could take place at the highest levels when Jonathan Weber, my protagonist, debates the world leader of Sunni Islam at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Christians don’t know enough about the Muslim challenge, or how easy it is to defend our faith.

Still, the most significant plotline in Codex deals with a little-known historical episode in the life of Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. He instructed his biographer, Eusebius of Caesarea (“the father of church history”) to have fifty elegantly-written copies of the Bible prepared for use in the early church, with its pages bound together into a codex, the world’s first book form. Not one of these has ever been discovered—until now (moving, of course, from fact to fiction) But this codex—the earliest Bible in book form—contains 67 books rather than the usual 66. Is it genuine? Does the extra book really complete the story of St. Paul’s martyrdom at Rome? Should it be included in the canon? How Christianity reacts to this discovery becomes the centerpiece of the novel.

Advance readers are generous in their comments regarding The Constantine Codex, I’m delighted to say. Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast, writes: “Just a few pages into it and I was hooked. Maier is that rare combination of masterful storyteller and historian. A brilliant use of the power of story to excite and educate. Bravo!”

— Paul Maier

The Constantine Codex (B1041) is available for purchase through the Christian Research Institute bookstore. Also available from Paul Maier are his novels A Skeleton In God’s Closet (B960), More Than a Skeleton (B920), and Pontius Pilate (B687). To understand more about the historical background to the New Testament, we recommend Paul Maier’s books In The Fullness of Time (SB916) and Josephus, The Essential Works (B558).

Dr. Paul L. Maier is the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University and a much-published author of both scholarly and popular works.

Journal Topics

Who is Perry Stone?

Perry Stone, an ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee),1 which is a charismatic Pentecostal denomination that affirms essentials doctrines such as the inspiration of the Bible, the Trinity, and salvation through Christ;2 however, much of what he propagates through his ministry is controversial and, at points, heretical.

Divine Healing through Communion and Prayer Cloths. Stone teaches that divine physical healings are normative for Christians. He teaches that healing can happen through daily communion in a book entitled The Meal That Heals: Enjoying Intimate Daily Communion with God (Charisma House, 2008). The book description on his Website says, “Through a daily, personal Communion service with God — right in your own home — you can experience spiritual renewal and physical healing in your life.”3

Stone appears to be arguing that if one takes daily communion that God will guarantee healing. This is a stronger statement then even Stone himself makes in his statement of faith when he says that “healing is provided for all through the sufferings of Christ.”4 The frequency in which the Lord’s Supper is to be partaken is a secondary issue that Christians can debate but not divide (Please contact us again for additional information of the frequency of partaking in the Lord’s Supper).

Many who endorse modern-day prayer cloths — such as Stone in the above quote — reason that if you say God does not use prayer cloths, you are denying His power, as well as Scripture, for He used the handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul touched to heal the sick in Acts 19:11-12. However, this response is inappropriate for several reasons. First, despite many modern claims that people today possess the same prophetic or apostolic authority as Paul and the other apostles, the Scriptures do not support this claim. (Please access “Are There Apostles and Prophets Today?”, and “Fivefold Ministry Makes A Comeback” at our Web site for this information.) Second the text specifically indicates that “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hand of Paul” (Acts. 19:11, UNASB); therefore, this was not meant to be normative, or a regular occurrence. Third, God used these miracles as an evidence to attest to the unique role that Paul had as apostle to the Gentiles. Fourth, one must realize the cultural setting in which God worked these miracles through Paul. This miracle, along with the others in Acts 19, occurred around the town of Ephesus, which “was widely reputed for its trade in magic and the need for exorcisms and protection against evil spirits.”5 So strong was Ephesus’ connection to magic and superstition that the “phrase ‘Ephesian writings’ (Epheisa grammata) was common in antiquity for documents containing spells and magical formulae.”6 It is within this cultural setting that the original recipients and readers after the fact can see that one need not trust in pagan superstition or magic, but that our trust should be in the God of the Bible.

Therefore, no one is denying that God used handkerchiefs for some type of healing in the time of the apostles; however, these healings were not normative, but were usually done to illustrate an apostle’s authority and presence in a certain region, and were for a specific purpose.

God can and does heal. Many believe healing is provided for in the atonement but it is by no means guaranteed, as Stone suggest (see “Does God Always Heal?” and “Healing: Does God Always Heal?”).

Deliverance Spiritual Warfare. Stone also propagates an erroneous deliverance model of spiritual warfare. He communicates the idea that believers that harbor unforgivness can be tormented by demons. In regards to Matthew 18:35, he points out that “if you, as a believer, do not forgive a person who has wronged you, you’ll be delivered over to a tormentor,” but then goes on to say, “the example is King Saul — a tormenting spirit.”7 What Stone apparently missed was that the order of this event for King Saul was very important. The evil spirit didn’t torment King Saul until after the Holy Spirit left him. This is extremely important because the Bible says we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). Also, demons cannot touch a believer because they have the Holy Spirit in them and they can’t coexist at the same time (John 8:49). The more accurate interpretation of Matthew 18:35 regarding forgiveness is that sin does separate us from God and others in a relation way. If we harbor unforgiveness towards others when we have been forgiven this will harm our relationship both with God and that other person.

Stone moreover affirms that Christians can be unduly influence by “generational patterns and spirits” in two CD’s he offers entitled “Reversing the Family Curse”8 and “Breaking Familiar Spirits”9. Although he does make the distinction that only the unsaved and not Christians can experience “generational curses,” the whole idea of generational curses is foreign to the biblical text.

There is no evidence in Scripture that demons are automatically transferred from one generation to another. We never see Jesus, Paul, or anyone else casting out generational spirits. Leviticus 20:6 and related passages speak of “familiar spirits” (NKVJ). These spirits are wrongly understood to mean a “family” spirit. Actually, the Hebrew word used here (‘ovb) refers to a python by whom people were believed to be possessed. In essence, it carries the meaning of a soothsaying demon.10 1 Samuel 28:7-11: Saul requests the medium of Endor to divine to him “by the familiar spirit” (v. 8, KJV). He then requests that Samuel be conjured up. Obviously, Saul did not consider Samuel to be a blood relative. Hence, the concept of “familiar” equals “family” spirit falls apart. Although it is true that the punishment of sin is carried on to future generations of haters of God (Exod. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18), there is no evidence that the generational punishment necessarily consists of demonic possession or oppression. Yet, if children follow in the occultic practices of their parents, or if such parents dedicate their unregenerate children to the forces of darkness, then such possession or oppression is more likely.

Bible Codes. Stone also endorses the highly faulty concept of the Bible Codes, even championing himself as somewhat of trailblazer saying that “a decade before most Americans had ever heard of the Bible code, Perry had not only heard of it, but had begun informing churches about this now famous phenomena.”11 The use of Bible Codes, while sensationalistic and fanciful, abandon sound methods of biblical interpretation, offer no new revelation to its practitioners, and comes directly out of the world of the occult (see “Magic Apologetics” and “Back to the Future? Does “Bible Code” offer New Clues to Coming Events?”)

Newspaper Eschatology. Stone practices “newspaper eschatology,” which involves lining up current events with certain passages from Scripture as a way of forecasting the time of Christ Second Coming, particularly the propagating of sensationalistic stories to establish Bible prophecy are presently being fulfilled in modern Israel. He purports to be one of the first Americans to confirm and publicize on the search for the ashes of the Red Heifer, as well as the first to present to the American people the ideas of “the earthquake fault line under the Mount of Olives, the huge birds of prey in the Golan, and the healing of the Dead Sea.”12 The Newspaper Eschatology, employed by Stone and many others, is a faulty method of interpreting Bible prophecy, which comes as the result of having a fundamental misunderstanding of how to read the Bible for all its worth. Although not addressing Stone’s teaching in particular, Hank Hanegraaff tackles the serous problem of Newspaper Eschatology in principle in The Apocalypse Code (Nelson, 2007), which is available through the Christian Research Institute. (For further information on the errors of newspaper eschatology please access “Apocalypse When? Why Most End-time Teaching Is Dead Wrong,” “D-Day Declarations”and “The Perils of Newspaper Eschatology.”)

Given the abovementioned problems, CRI does not recommend the teachings of Perry Stone. For further study on related issues, please consider the following bookstore resources:

The Apocalypse Code (Paperback)

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century

Counterfeit Revival

The Covering


1. Voice of Evangelism, “About International Evangelist Perry Stone” (http://www.voe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=48).

2. Voice of Evangelism, “Statement of Faith,” (http://www.voe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35), accessed on 12/19/08. Cf. also Church of God, “The Church of God is…” (http://www.churchofgod.org/about/church_is.cfm).

3. Voice of Evangelism, “Meals that Heal,” (https://store.voe.org/p-457-meal-that-heals-hardcover.aspx).

4. Voice of Evangelism “Statement of Faith,”

5. Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarstity Press, 1993), 378.

6. Richard N. Longenecker, “Acts” The Expositors Bible Commentary: John-Acts, vol. 9, gen. ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Publishing House, 1981), 496.

7. Praise the Lord, TBN, May 16, 2004.

8. Voice of Evangelism, “Reversing the Family Curse,” (https://store.voe.org/p-426-cd-reversing-the-family-curse-2cd066.aspx).

9. Voice of Evangelism, “Breaking Familiar Spirits” (https://store.voe.org/p-147-cd-breaking-familiar-spirits.aspx).

10. H. W. F. Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, trans. by S. P. Tregelles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), 18.

11. Voice of Evangelism, “About International Evangelist Perry Stone”

12. Ibid.

Apologetics, In the News

Can We Consider the Physician-Assisted Suicide of “Doctor Death” Jack Kevorkian a “Good Death”?

Jack KevorkianJack Kevorkian, who had been dubbed the moniker “Doctor Death” for his pro-euthanasia views and activism, died without assistance on June 3, 2011, at the age of 83. During the 1980s and 1990s, Kevorkian published articles on physician-assisted deaths; invented devices for suicide, such as the DIY Thanatron “death machine” and the Mercitron “mercy machine”; and even assisted 130 people to end their own lives. In 1998 he was tried and convicted for the “second-degree” murder of Thomas Youk, and imprisoned until his parole in 2007. In an article for Slate entitled, “Life after Kevorkian: He Fought for the Right to Assisted Suicide. Now What Should We do?” William Saletan praises Kevorkian as a person who “fought for the right to assisted suicide.” Yet not everyone would agree. Pointing out the dark side of Kervorkian’s career, in a blog for The Telegraph entitled, “Jack Kevorkian’s Horrible Career Offers a Warning Against Legalising Euthanasia,” Tim Stanley points to the facts that “some patients died in the back of Kevorkian’s van. The gassing procedure didn’t always go smoothly, leading to unnecessary suffering and panic. Dead bodies were left behind in motels, sometimes two at a time” and that “Kevorkian was not trained as a psychiatrist and made judgment calls about people’s mental state that were subjective.”

The issue of physician-assisted suicide is not dead. For example, euthanasia is explored in the popular television series House in an episode entitled “The Dig.” Dr. Remy Hadley “Thirteen” (Olivia Wilde), who suffers from Huntington’s chorea, shares about her own dark secret of euthanizing her own brother who had suffered from the same nerve-degenerating disease at a more advanced stage. Her greatest fear, however, is over the fact that when her time comes, there will be no one for her. After uncovering Thirteen’s secret, the brash nihilistic diagnostician Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) says that he would kill her when the time comes.

Is the idea of a “quality of life” a good way of determining whether or not a person can commit suicide? How does idea of “quality of life” square with the biblical teaching on the image of God in man, which implies humans have intrinsic worth and value in spite of their circumstances? How is the Christian to think about euthanasia?

Is euthanasia ever permissible?

Kevorkian: A Glimpse Into The Future Of Euthanasia?

The Euthanasia Debate (Part 1): Understanding the Issues

The Euthanasia Debate (Part 2): Assessing the Options

Did Early Christians “Lust After Death”? A New Wrinkle in the Doctor-Assisted Suicide Debate

— Warren Nozaki, Research

In the News

What Does the Mormonism of Mitt Romney Have to Do with the Ballot Box?

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed column entitled “A Religious ‘Test’ for Mitt Romney,” Tim Rutten ranted against objections raised against support for the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney run for the presidency on the basis of Mormon beliefs as a “dangerous turn in American politics.” Whether it be Warren Cole Smith’s warnings about how a person’s worldview beliefs would influence one’s values and behavior, or Sarah Palin and Catholic archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput’s criticisms against John F. Kennedy’s paradigm for looking at candidates and their religions, Rutten finds that such analysis threatens “the Constitution’s ban on religious test for office.”

Christians are to understand that there is a great divide between Christianity and the Mormonism of Mitt Romney. Mormon beliefs are clearly antithetical to a biblical worldview. Hank Hanegraaff, in the Complete Bible Answer Book, offers a helpful synopsis under the section entitled “Is Mormonism Christian?” Also recommended is Hank’s resource The Mormon Mirage: Seeing Through the Illusion of Mainstream Mormonism.

It is true that beliefs determine values and behavior (please see “What We Think, What We Believe, How We Act” by Gretchen Passantino), so the political candidate’s faith (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, atheism, etc.) does indeed contribute to his or her polices; however, a political candidate’s religious belief is not necessarily the game changer at the ballot box, and there are many other factors to take into consideration in a biblically sound and robust voting strategy (please see “Wise as Serpents: Christians, Politics, and Strategic Voting” and “Is it Permissible for a Christian to Vote for a Mormon?” by Francis J. Beckwith). Ultimately, the Christian must consider whether or not it is possible for churches to support non-Christian political candidates to bring about positive changes in legislation for the common good.

—Warren Nozaki, Research