Kit Swartz

Peace on Earth

The current suppression of the self-evident truths of sexuality and gender in the unrighteousness of perverse diversity and the cruelty of genital mutilation is unsustainable.  These things will eventually and inevitably end.  Pretend marriages, make-believe families and ruined bodies will become sad relics of our present darkness.  The creational and natural truth of human, heterosexual, monogamous and covenanted marriages bearing the fruit of children out of deep roots of natural love will again resurface as true, right and good.

No human being can hold a beachball under water indefinitely. Sooner or later, the buoyancy of the beachball will overcome the stamina of the person holding it down.  Moral truth is the same.  Sooner or later, those suppressing the truth in unrighteousness will be unable to hold it down any longer.  Truth will manifest itself again and righteousness will follow in its wake.  In human history, this is known as “revival” and includes such events as The First Great Awakening in America which brought spiritual liberty and led to the pursuit of political freedom.  Note the connection and the order of these two blessings.  True revival is not the pitiful imitation created by man but the genuine outpouring of the Spirit of God applying the work of Christ by crucifying lies and sin and by resurrecting truth and righteousness with the result of peace and joy.  Lord Jesus, please send a fresh outpouring of Your Spirit to us soon, quickly and powerfully!
The current suppression of the self-evident truths of sexuality and gender in the unrighteousness of perverse diversity and the cruelty of genital mutilation is unsustainable.
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His Body. His Choice.

“It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3).  He provides everything for our bodies; therefore, we are His.  “They all wait for You to give them their food in due season” (Psalm 104:27).  Above all, He has redeemed us – including our bodies in the resurrection – out of our sin & death into Christ’s righteousness & life.  Therefore, we – including our bodies – are His. 

Since the Supreme Court’s Dobb decision overturned Roe, abortion is front and center in state and national politics.  Abortion advocates forcefully assert that women are now denied a civil right as well as essential health care.  The reasoning behind this assertion is that the fetus is part of a woman’s body and under her exclusive jurisdiction.  “My body, my choice” is the refrain.  I am aware of the insistence that we speak of “pregnant person” instead of “woman”. This is irrational and I will not do it.
A fetus in a woman’s body is not like a kidney or other organ that has always been part of her.  Her well-being does not depend on the fetus.  She can live with the fetus or without it.  The fetus is something new that will be in her body for a time but then will naturally depart from her.  The fetus is not like a tumor or other growth that may threaten the health and even the life of a woman and needs to be destroyed.  In the vast majority of cases, the fetus does not threaten the health or life of a woman.  It does put significant demands on her, but she ordinarily can continue with her activities much as before the fetus showed up.  The fetus is unlike both a kidney and a tumor in that it is the result of the arrival of an element from a body that is not hers joining an element of a body that is hers and becoming a body that is neither of theirs with its own distinctive human DNA and its own form and function very early on.  The fetus is not part of a woman’s body.  It is in her body but it is the body of a distinctly personal human being and therefore has its own rights that must be defended along with the woman’s.  The fetus is not her body and therefore it is not her choice.
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What else do you need but to know that you will be with the One who has loved you before the beginning of creation and will love you after the end of this age? We love Him because He first loved us. The glories of the new creation in Jesus will make us forget the sorrows and even the joys of this life.  That is unimaginable and more than enough to sustain us in life and at death.

I recently participated in a memorial service for my mother who died during covid, a second service for a dear friend engaged to another dear friend and a third for the son of a long time and close friend.  As a consequence, heaven has been much on my mind.  Our church group studied the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn as a means of grieving with hope; that is, with confident expectation based on the wonderful works and unfailing promises of God in Christ.
For those united with Christ and His benefits through faith, this hope includes the perfection of our spirits immediately at death and then dwelling in God’s presence in peace and joy.  During this time, our bodies “rest in their graves as in their beds” (Westminster Larger Catechism).  Departed believers will be the first to be raised in new bodies at Christ’s coming. Then other believers will be raised with them and all of us will be acquitted by Christ in judgment and will enter into His eternal joy in the new heavens and new earth.  Those outside of Christ will experience the terrors of His justice in their spirits at death and in their bodies also at the resurrection. These things we know with certainty from the testimony of the Holy Spirit in and through the Scriptures.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn is, by the author’s own declaration, a long series of extraordinary speculations about what heaven will be like.  Unfortunately, these speculations are the result of faulty reasoning from the Scriptures.  And, in any case, no speculation is able to anticipate the unimaginable blessings Christ has won for those who love Him (1Cor.2:9).  Every speculation will be like a lit candle that is vaporized into nothingness by the appearance of the glory of God in the new heavens and new earth on the day of Christ’s coming.
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Civil Duties

We must not insult our leaders in our speech nor fight with them.  We must forbear them under their heavy responsibilities and with their human weaknesses.  We must be gentle and kind.  While respectfully contending out of our convictions, we must yield to their leadership whenever we can do so without sin.  As with everyone, we must demonstrate every humble consideration to our leaders.

Civil discourse has degenerated to the point where opponents shout at each other with megaphones and even march to lay siege to families in their homes.  There is no calm conversation but only provocative volume, vocabulary, slogans and images.  We are too quick to speak and too slow to listen.  Conversation, cooperation and conciliation are anathema to all sides.  The party spirit that our founders dreaded has come to ugly flower and bitter fruit.  Civil war fought in the streets of our cities seems near at hand with many foretastes.
What are our obligations as Christian citizens in the midst of all this?  First, we must remember that the powers that be are ordained by God.  We must therefore obey our governments out of this conviction.  To rebel against them is to rebel against God.  The only time we are free from this obligation is when those in power require us to sin.  If they merely require us to support foolishness, we may seek to persuade them of a better course, but we may not disobey.  We must be prepared to do all the good we can for our governments, not just fulfilling our duties but also going the extra mile beyond what they require of us.  We must ask what we can do for our governments rather than what they can do for us.  We must focus on our duties and opportunities rather than on our rights and desires.
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Problem Gambling

Gambling is thus idolatrous and immoral, but it is also simply foolish. The essence of gambling is its unpredictability and to invest resources in totally unpredictable events is irrational. Averages can be predicted but individual events cannot. One gambling win does not affect the probability of the next wager. The “gamblers fallacy” is that, if they are winning, they will continue to win and, if they are losing, their luck is about to turn. This is utter delusion. 

Problem Gambling Awareness Month was observed in March with several items in our local media. This is an opportunity to consider what problem gambling is and how to prevent and recover from it.
A working definition of gambling is essential: gambling is putting resources at risk of loss for gain with no significant knowledge of or control over the outcome. Some consider gambling essentially immoral, others consider it only immoral if it is abused in some way and still others consider it simply foolish due to the sometimes catastrophic outcomes.
For the Christian, all questions of morality are answered by applying the moral law to an issue. The moral law is rooted in creation and valid as long as the creation endures. These creation ordinances are classically summarized in the ten commandments.
First, there are aspects of idolatry that are inherent in gambling. Lady Luck is another god, greed is an idol, and throwing the dice while calling on God for His blessing is taking His Name in vain. We take His Name in vain when we expect Him to bless us when we are not obeying a command and therefore have no promise of His blessing.  “Throw the dice, God will make you win!” is eerily similar to the Devil’s command to Jesus, “Throw yourself from the Temple, God will preserve your life.”
Second, there are aspects of immorality inherent in gambling. God’s command is to earn wages not make wagers. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.”  “If you will not work, you will not eat.” God also commands prudent investment where you do have significant knowledge and control over the outcome. See the parable of the talents. Work to earn a wage and then make your money work for you. God also commands us to make money “the old-fashioned way”; that is, inherit it. Parents are commanded to save and invest for themselves and their children, to build wealth across the generations so that they can be a blessing to many in many ways. Finally, tithes and alms are to be given from wages, not wagers. Offerings and gifts are to be given from accumulated wealth, not accumulated winnings.
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