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December 11, 2018 2:45 pm
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family is happy to share part one of a two-part speech from our Winston-Salem Major Speakers Dinner. In part one, Dr. Bruce Ashford, a provost and professor of theology and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, discusses the relationship between Church and state, and the value of life in both of these arenas.
Grace makes as interest rates without true political whims of nonentities. This is family policy matters weekly radio show and Comcast from NC family designed to better inform listeners about the critical issues of the day and encourage you to be voices of persuasion for family values in your community. Today we bring part one of a speech delivered by Dr. Bruce Ashford to our NC family.
Major speakers dinner in Winston-Salem. Dr. Ashford is Provost at Southeastern Baptist theological seminary and a prolific writer, including a new book entitled letters to an American Christian's relationship to religion and politics. What is the relationship between church and state.
Often these are treated as if the same question but they're not start with the religion and politics Swift to define religion. The Bible says that all people worshipers a fiercer worshipers agnostic worshipers. Everyone is a worshiper that you want to find a person's religion look for their God the father God, look for whatever they prescribed ultimacy to be the God of Jesus Christ. The law of Mohammed might be sexual freedom. It might be wealth acquisition and mighty power accumulation success.
The approval of other people. Whatever we prescribed ultimacy to whatever we've absolutize. There is our God, the Bible, the heart is a central organizer of human existence. So whatever reason, have ascribed ultimacy to its can organize our whole existence to a person's religion who they worship what they worship is absolutely going to cascade out into their life. It's been radiate out and all of life, including political beliefs, political actions dispositions in the meters so religion cannot be separated from politics, just like he can't be separated from anything we shouldn't try to religion is not like a code you can take off and put on your chair when you walk in the public square right religion brought your skin can't take it off more like your heart, you can take it out.
The second question is what is the proper relationship between church and state. That's a little different.
I think we can and should maintain appropriate separation between church and state. Christians have every business getting involved in politics and public life. The church itself is not a public policy think tank to want to keep an appropriate separation. There finally given these realities, how can we as individuals engage in politics and public life wrote an entire book about but briefly to give a very big summary statement that we need to allow Christianity to shake not only our words but our deeds not only our beliefs public policy beliefs, but our public disposition and demeanor. In other words, we need to come on truth and grace. What do I mean by truth.
The truth content of what we believe and how we apply a policy that would apply to who we vote for grace. By grace I mean a disposition of dependence upon God and thankfulness to him for what he's done for us so that we treat all the people around us with dignity when we interact we don't demean and degrade ridicule don't help partial truth and lies about the people we debate with will treat them as morally reprehensible people in whom nothing that could be found. Even if you're on the other side of the political especially far side, the political out truth without grace makes us political bullies and jerks, grace without truth makes us political whims and nonentities in each of us and probably can attend in one direction or the other but what we want to do is we want to exhibit that combination that Jesus exhibited which is truth and grace together and that is real strength give us an example only take one. It want one Christian teaching, which is to be teaching on human dignity, and apply it to three public policy debates or disputes. Nothing most people who profess Christ with any kind of sincerity really do want what's better for the entirety of our nation, not merely from tribe we want to do good, but it's hard to know how to do good and help it to show people or goodwill, see how human dignity can help us our belief in human dignity can help us do this, which is very briefly before you do that. Talk about morals and RA just pretty pretty difficult and here's why.
Once truth is subjective. Disagreement feels like hatred and that's why we have a situation now or when we give the fourth are sincerely held beliefs in the public square.
About half of the country thinks we hate them. We don't take them.
This agreement is not hatred. Serena have to work overtime to show the were not haters in the were not bigots. Is it fair that we live in a in and in an age were viewed as haters and bigots know it's not is it a good responses that become hateful and bigoted to the letter sense of injustice about that more part dispositions so that we behave and act in ways that are ungodly know the answer is no. We can't do that.
So let's talk about human dignity. First, for a moment. One thing that human dignity teaches us is that unborn lives matter, and addresses. I hope in a way that's a little bit different from any way diverted address before the first draw upon three biblical teachings that tell us that unborn lives matter then want to draw upon legal, medical, and sociological rationales to make the same argument to show you how we can use a combination of these sorts of things to try to persuade right because public policy debates should be less like martial arts and more like a conversation with the neighborhood and at a neighbor over a cup of coffee. So let's talk about biblical passages for moment Bible teaches us in Genesis chapter 1 Genesis chapter 1, we are created in the image and likeness of God. This is a striking teaching in the Bible it was shocking to shock us anymore diverted so many times, but our great dignity is that God made us like him so that we can commune with him and know him. That's a great dignity. Great humility is or not.we are to remember that okay, but he created everybody in his image and likeness, including unborn beings number two we can draw upon teachings like Exodus 20 and the 10 Commandments to teach us that is not right ever to take innocent life to shed innocent blood. And there's no more innocent blood that could be shed than a baby in one and a moment I'm to say this was in a room like this.
There are probably a number of you in here who either yourself or close family member has had an abortion or pressured an abortion or been a doctor.
His calls. One moment I'm gonna come back and say there is grace at the foot of the cross is not condemnation judgment coming for me or from other other believers on this issue, but there is deep conviction on this issue and finally John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life, and that God was willing because the King of the universe is willing to serve as a homeless itinerary teacher be stripped naked bleeding, beaten and bloodied and crucified to save us from our sin that he gives us a kind of dignity we all describe that kind of dignity of the people around us.
There's some biblical reasons you were listening to family policy matters of radio Shell and Comcast around family.
You can sign up to receive, to listen to the shelf online and from what resources you need persuasion in one community website and family. Martin reasons to believe that abortion is get some folks in a rosy way to think with something like that environmental disaster in the moral ecology of our country. I was a candidate for abortion.
Born in 1974 my parents were almost there. It the borderline of divorcing. That could very easily chosen to view me as the products of conception and to terminate me and they did so the first thing you want to say is this reflecting on this, is a former fetus speaking, use a former embryo is that abortion is legal violence against the baby medical technology has advanced so that we can see the horrible pain that babies in the neck to describe it but but when abortion happens, I want to consider this for a moment and reflect on that unborn baby in the United States of America enjoys far less legal protection than endangered species of bird in a force outside of our house.
That's got to change horses also very bad for women is bad for women because it creates an environment that encourages men to do what they're already prone to do which is to be sexual predators and morally and sexually responsible people because it not only severed sex for marriage. We've also severed childbearing from sex. And so it just encourages men to prey on women.
If you think there's not a connection between a Harvey Weinstein culture and rosy way. The need to do some reflection because there is a strong connection. Abortion is bad for men marginalizes minute strips them of responsibility for the greatest thing they could do on earth which is to be a husband. The father a man has zero input and whether or not the child he helped to create is killed. Abortion is bad for families.
It teaches the family that if you have a problem bad enough you can solve it with lethal violence.
Abortion is bad for lawgiver democracy because ears, and in the greatest irony in him in American history just after the 1960s when it looked like our nation to turn the corner on serious forms of race, racism that maybe we could really and truly say justice and equality for all. Just a few years after that five black gown Ivy League lawyers in the Supreme Court determined that there would not be justice, equality for all, that in fact there was an entire class of human beings, not Blacks, but unborn's that would not receive justice or equality Roe V Wade was bad for checks and balances because it was 5 gallon lawyers take upon themselves with the legislator should have should have done in other words, bypassing we the people, and finally was bad for society at large.
In that it eroded on our moral foundations marrying Glendon Prof. Harvard Law school, is the one who said that Roe V Wade was something like an environmental disaster in the moral ecology of our country.
It numbed our collective consciences, it eroded our moral foundations. It it it blunted our most basic moral intuitions that were to protect the weakest, most vulnerable among us. I mean, when you hold a baby for the first time I remember holding my oldest daughter for the first time I was actually I was scared I sat in the chair beside the hospital bed before I hold the baby. I want to stand up for fear that I would drop by baby leaders are more resilient than I knew at the time but I mean we we know intuition only to treasure the weakest and most vulnerable. Roe V Wade told us we don't have to.
And so we use.
We we use linguistic gymnastics to hide.
We really know is going on instead of referring to a baby is a baby refer to him or her as products of conception masking from other people and even from ourselves trying to evade what it is we really done as a society but also human dignity teaches us the black lives matter now been conservative in America for 44 years and farther to write in Sam Donaldson's part is a view of a certain age remember Sam the farther to the right in a tricycle in Audubon anyway so I can affirm the rather left-leaning socialist agenda, the BLM movement. But what I can affirm and what we ought to affirm a little to come out of our lives are our lips regularly. As a black lives matter what we see on the on the media else's. Not the most black people think when they say black lives matter what they're saying is, would you just affirm to me that you do view me on the same level as your right brothers and sisters and conservatives. We haven't done well with that we haven't done as well as we could. We delete with that kind of comment we don't need to let you know I'm just speaking to conservatives and we probably have people on every side of the spectrum here speaks as a conservative to conservatives. We need to lead out with that when you be at the front of the parade without affirming the God-given dignity of our black brothers and sisters, black colleagues and friends whose lives don't want them to go out at night to Walmart after After Dark. You may think that's founded or unfounded, but surreal feeling and we just we need to find ways of rate reaching out loving our poor black brothers and sisters in affirming that any sin in the Bible comes in two forms personal is committed by individuals but when enough individuals in a society commit that sin. It coalesces to warp societies institutions. So with racism like with any other sin. It is likely there institutions have been worked.
We need to be willing to admit that I need to go overboard with it. We don't need we need to process it correctly but but I think is as conservative as it would behoove us and do us really well to a minute where we find it in the work against it were refined and finally on to say that undocumented lives matter, thyroid, and immigration, secure the borders got menacing articles go to daily: right for them also think that as we secure the borders which every nation has a right and usually responsibility to do the language we use in explaining why were securing the borders and the way we treat people at the borders needs to be deeply and genuinely Christian. We can do justice and mercy.
At the same time you have been listening to family policy weekly radio show and podcast from MC family designed to better inform listeners about the critical issues of the day and encourage you to be voices of persuasion, family values in your community.
This was part one of a speech delivered by Dr. Bruce Ashford to RMC family.
Major speakers dinner in Winston-Salem. Join us for the conclusion next week. You can also hear the entire speech at our website which is NC family.org/event