Finding Truth in the Marketplace of Ideas

Sept. 24, 2010 Janet Parshall

Session Transcript

*This message was transcribed from Janet Parshall's True Woman '08 message by the same title.

Janet Parshall: We’re going to open the Word of God in just a minute, but I want to enter my credentials into the court record if I could, please. If I were your expert witness in a case, you would ask me to give you my credentials, and you would say my expert witness.

So here are my credentials: I’m a daughter of the most high King. I married my high school sweetheart. I’ve been married to him for 37 years. God blessed us with four children: Sarah, Rebecca, Samuel, and Joseph. I am now a grandmother of five and a half. I’m looking forward to see what the future holds.

But then God in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty decided that He would send me to a foreign mission field. When I was 14 years old I dedicated my life to Jesus Christ at Crescent Lake Bible Camp up in northern Wisconsin. My life was transformed, and I thought I would serve the Lord in a foreign mission field.

And I am. I’m serving Him in Washington. That is a foreign field, let me tell you.

While they walk around in fancy three piece suits, they have a hole in their heart that only God Himself can fill. And it is a field that needs Christ Jesus like none other.

And ladies I tell you I wish—oh how I wish—that Nancy had asked me during this session to give you a soft, comforting, gentle message. But she didn’t ask me to do that. She asked me to talk to you about Truth.

Here’s what I know is going to happen. In the course of our discussion, we’re probably going to end up stepping on some toes. So I tell you ahead of time, I’m sorry. I hope I do it in a ladylike fashion. But above all else, it isn’t about our feelings; it’s about the fact of our faith. We need to remember that.

Let me tell you my job description. In this foreign field here’s my job description. I’m a war correspondent. I’m an embedded journalist in “ Babylon.” It is Ground Zero in the culture war.

You all see smoke; I see fire. I have a front row seat to the marketplace of ideas. I see what is being bought and sold at the lowest price and what we’re buying into.

Now I have to tell you the encouragement I have in the midst of all of this is that this is not a new challenge. It’s a challenge that’s been around for a long time. And let me give you a wonderful example.

The second most published book in the history of publishing after the Word of God is a book that was written in the late 1600s. It was written by a man who loved the Lord with all of his heart.

Before he came to Christ Jesus he was a carouser; he was a blasphemer. He was absolutely reckless in his community. And, oh boy, the day he came to the foot of the cross, old things passed away and all things became new. He was a new man who could not like Peter and John of old to stop talking about that which he’d seen and heard.

Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth spoke. And so this man, despite what the government of the day said, would not stop preaching about salvation by grace and grace alone. “Not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9).

And the government pressed in on him. They said, “Knock it off.” And he wouldn’t do it.

Again and again and again they pressed in on this man. And he wouldn’t stop doing it. They ended up throwing him in prison. These were dungeons. I’ve seen these dungeons. There’s an infamous one in Scotland. It’s called the Bottleneck Dungeon. It looks just like an old bottle—a narrow neck and then it bellowed at the bottom.

They’d throw you down where there were no lights, no weight rooms, no color televisions. These were dungeons.

You’d crawl in the corner among your own excrement. And in the dank and in the dark, if the tuberculosis didn’t kill you, you knew that the only time you’d be carried up out of the opening of this dungeon was to be lashed to a stake and set on fire.

Well, this man wouldn’t stop. He still continued to preach. One time he was in one of these prisons for 12 years. He took with him two things—his knowledge of the world and his knowledge of the Word. And that’s it.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit this man wrote this magnificent piece in the form that is called an allegory, which means it’s filled with symbolism. But the piece became Pilgrim’s Progress.

In prison he wrote this, this magnificent story that tells the story of each of us from that moment when we finally throw off our backpack of sin and then we begin our journey from the point where we have the encounter with the living Savior to the point where we finally cross over into what Bunyan calls The Celestial City.

In this journey we’ll walk up a “hill of difficulty,” or we’ll slip into the “Slough of Despond,” or we’ll be taken captive by the “giant Despair living at his doubting castle,” or we’ll have to battle “Apollyon.” But we’ll all at various points in our life collectively, individually have the same experiences that Bunyan wrote about.

In this magnificent piece he wrote about something that you and I are experiencing in the 21 st century in postmodern America. Even though Bunyan wrote this in the 1600s, in the 21 st century it still applies.

And he said,

And then I saw in my dream that Christian and Faithful descended into the town of Vanity. They could hear the sounds of the fair which are held all year round. It is called Vanity Fair.

Most fairs are merry places, but not this one. Not for our travelers. For here one of them was destined to die. And as in other fairs of less importance, the streets are named after different countries—French Row, Italian Row, British Row—and commodities from these countries are bought and sold.

Indeed, there are stalls where every foolish trifle in the world is up for sale—knickknacks of gold and silver and bobbles and bric-a-brac and precious stones. And in addition, you can buy titles and honors and performance to high office and vain pleasures and empty delights of every kind.

You’d think he was writing about Washington, D.C.

And he goes on to say,

Moving busily among the crowd were cheats and rogues and mount banks. And the air was full of fearful oafs. And murder, they say, is as common as theft. This fair is no newly erected business but a thing of longstanding.

More than a thousand years ago there were pilgrims walking to the Celestial City as these two honest persons are. And Beelzebub, the prince of the demons, with Apollyon and Legion and their companions perceiving that the pilgrim’s way lay through the town of vanity contrived to set up a fair there so he that would pass by this town must needs go out into the world.

So Christian and Faithful had to pass through this lusty fair. And hoping that they would go unnoticed they pulled their collars up around their faces. But the rabble were quick to spot them. And first they jeered at them for their outlandish clothes. And then they jeered at them for their foreign accents.

And finally they asked them angrily, “Why aren’t you buying our merchandise? Buy! Buy! Buy!”

Now what did Christian and Faithful say in response? I’ll tell you later because it’s a very important response.

Here’s what I would love to do. I would love for us to go to Vanity Fair. Now what Bunyan was writing about was the marketplace of ideas. He was talking about things that are being bought and sold. And ladies, you know it’s out there—different ideas that arebeing bought and sold. Some of them are on the absolute Word of God and some are not. Our call as true women of God is to have such a sensitive spiritual Geiger counter that that meter goes off and we go, “Whoa! That’s not biblical truth. Whoa! That might sound good, but that is so not what God said.”

“Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. Lord write Your truths on the tablets of my heart” (Psalm 119:105).

So let us go to Vanity Fair, and let’s just walk around and visit some of the booths. Let’s see what’s being sold in the marketplace of ideas. A great way to do it is to simply look at magazine covers. These are where ideas are being bought and sold.

We see them in the checkout line waiting for our turn, do we not? All of these ideas right there being bought and sold.

Now look at this one. Time Magazine: “The Abortion Pill. It’s Finally Here.” But it’s not as easy as it looks. Here’s how it looks, and here’s what it means.

Let me tell you about that little pill. That little pill is being marketed as pro-woman. That little pill isn’t really a little pill at all. It happens to be two pills and three doctor visits; because a woman has to take the pill to make sure that the baby doesn’t get implanted in the wall of the uterus. And the second pill makes sure that the uterus cramps up and empties what the world calls “the products of conception.”

And if that happens then mama, after she self-aborts, has to count and see two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. And if she doesn’t see it all she calls her local neighborhood abortionist who will take MasterCard or Visa and then will finish the job with a quote “therapeutic abortion.”

And that gets marketed to women as pro-woman. That could not be more anti-woman. Now women will be self-aborting. When she realizes what she’s done, who is going to wrap their arms around her and say, “I know. I know. I hear the pain. And God loves you and you’ve been forgiven, and He will put back the pieces of your heart”?

But that’s what the world is selling them right now. Well, amazing because you see this whole abortion issue. And by the way, no ambiguity whatsoever in the Word of God. I’m going to say this a whole bunch of times. When you look at these issues, beloved, I want you to look at them with spiritual eyes.

These are not, in the final analysis, political issues. They are spiritual issues. And we need to see them as such.

So on this one, this is why this whole issue of abortion on demand is so tremendously important. Because where an individual stands on this subject tells us so quickly, almost as though it were a litmus test, where you stand on the sovereignty of God because He is the Author and Creator of life. He determines when we will be born and when we have an appointment with death. No one and nothing will ever change those appointments.

Now secondarily, it tells us about where someone stands on the inerrancy of Scripture. Hath God said? And He has so clearly and wonderfully said about how we’re made, knit together in our mother’s womb. Before we were, all of our days were numbered (see Psalm 139). There’s no gray in Scripture on this area.

But here’s something else. If you’ve gone to a still pond and you take a stone and you throw it in and you begin to see the concentric ripple effects out of that stone, you understand that abortion is that first stone and the ripple effects are a myriad of other subjects including, but not limited to this one—the first human clone.

Now what’s the problem with this? Well, the problem with human cloning is we start to be like God. This is the lie we hear as soon as Genesis chapter 3. “You shall be like gods” (verse 5).

So what we get is a marketing ploy to the public that says, “If we can do this sort of thing we can come up with a panoply of cures for everything from juvenile diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

And the reality is: It’s all medical fiction because we don’t have any medical fact that substantiates it.

You might be saying, “Well Janet, I don’t have a bunch of initials after my name from Northwestern University or Johns Hopkins. And I’m not sure I get this.”

Let me distill this one down very easily for you. Anybody in this room who didn’t start out as an embryo please raise their hand. You’ve just cracked the philosophical nut. Because, you see, that isn’t potential life; that is life with potential. And there’s a marked distinction between the two.

So man starts to dabble around to what’s right in his own eyes. And the marketing ploy to get the people in Vanity Fair to buy is: They say, “We’ll give you a whole bunch of cures for your disease!”

You know what my friend Joni Eareckson Tada told me? She said, “Janet, if tomorrow I knew that embryonic stem cell research would get me out of my wheelchair, I wouldn’t move a muscle. Some day in glory I’ll run. I’ll wait until that time.”

You begin to see how much we dabble and play around with this. So as you look at this subject it goes on.

“Will There Ever be Another You?” Time Magazine says. Cute. Clever. And the answer is no!

Look at your hands, your fingerprints. Do you know our awesome God—and He is the only one of whom we should say is awesome. “Boy wasn’t that show awesome? Wasn’t that dress awesome?” No! Only God is awe inspiring.

But look at your fingerprints. Do you know that there’s not another human being, has never been, will never be another human being who has your set of fingerprints? They’re unique, never to be replicated in another human being again.

So no, you cannot be replicated. Here is the God of all creation where His heavens declare His glory. And your hand says, “I’m special to him. I’m special to him.”

The Scripture says He “knows the numbers of hairs on our head” (Matthew 10:30). You know what happens with passages like that is we think, “Ah, it’s like reading a Hallmark card or that’s got to be William Shakespeare. I don’t get that.” The message in that statement means He is intimately acquainted with you.

If He says He knit you together in your mother’s womb, if you are fearfully and wonderfully made, if He knew you before time began, of course He’s going to give you fingerprints nobody else has. He’s left His mark on you because He claims you as one of His own.

So another magazine cover: “Can We Clone Human Beings?” Wrong question. Probably.

Let me tell you what they’re doing in Great Britain right now. They just passed a rule in Parliament that says that they’re going to blend together animal tissue and human tissue. It happens in Great Britain. It’s just a matter of time before that idea sails across the pond and comes over here and we’re going to start dabbling like that.

Let me tell you one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. And I have gone to a myriad of issues on Capital Hill. But this one was bizarre. And just understand that in the end, beloved, this is not about politics. This is where Satan goes, “Politics and religion don’t mix. You want to be polite and you don’t want to get your relatives mad at Thanksgiving, so you zip it and you don’t talk about it.”

And the reality is, all of this is predicated on His Word. So let me tell you how the other side knows this. Abraham Lincoln said, “A good lawyer spends 20% of his time preparing his case and 80% of his time preparing his opponent’s case.”

So being good apologists, contending for the faith as it says in Jude, I want to know what the other side thinks. So let me bring you some evidence of what the other side thinks about this.

Here’s this hearing on Capital Hill. Praise God for those men and women who stood up and said, “It’s wrong. You don’t create life to destroy life even if you think it might help another life. That is quintessential utilitarianism. This is what Hitler believed in. We don’t practice that here.”

But the reason we have very deep concerns is because people are thinking, “But it’s justifiable.”

Let me segue here one minute and say, “Here’s this whole issue in a nutshell: two mutually exclusive worldviews fighting for predominance in the human heart.”

One view says there is a moral code of absolutes that apply to all people in all times and in all places. That makes us moral absolutists.

The other side of that is when you become a situational ethicist, which basically means whatever circumstance you’re in, you let your own little truth percolate up to the top. And the problem with that is—look how many women are in this room. So how many different sets of circumstances and therefore how many different truths?

If there are that many truths, they cancel each other out, and in the end there is no truth. So that’s where we’re at.

So here’s this hearing on Capital Hill, those who were saying “no” and then those who said “yes.” A French Canadian bioethicist looked at the chairman of the committee and with great panache and arrogance said, “Within the next six months we will implant a cloned human being in the uterus of a woman.”

There really wasn’t much the chairman could say because, quite frankly, she’d come to pick a fight. So it was interesting because no defense, just basically whatever the government does to try to restrict this we’re going to disobey.

Sitting next to her was a man that looked like he just stepped out of an episode of Star Trek. He had on a white silk shirt, white silk pants, white boots that came up to his knee, padded shoulders with epaulets, a gold medallion around his neck, his hair pulled back in a pony tail that came out on the other side. He looked like an alien, I kid you not.

Now, of course, it’s Washington. I guess I see this on a regular basis. But he was up there to give his testimony. And the chairman said, “May I have your name?”

And he said, “My name is Rael.” Waiting for the last name which was not forthcoming. So the chairman said, “Mr. Rael, why are you here?”

“I’m the founder of the Raelian Movement.”

And the chairman said, “What is the Raelian Movement?”

And he said, “We believe that all intelligent life came from outer space.”

Now in Washington I too sometimes think that. But apparently this founder had an encounter with an alien on top of a mountain in France. It’s always France; I don’t know why.

So he’s meeting this alien on top of the mountain. And here’s what the alien allegedly told him. “Here is how you beat death. You clone yourself.”

So figure out how this happens. You clone yourself; you die, and the clone goes on. Then you make a clone of the clone, and the clone dies, and the clone of the clone goes on. Then you make a clone of the clone of the clone, and then when the clone of the clone dies, the clone of the clone of the clone goes on and the clone of the clone dies.

Do you see where this is going? So in other words you outdistance death by Xeroxing yourself.

Now that was his entire philosophy. And so what was amazing is he said, the French bioethicist who said, “We’re going to implant a cloned human being in the uterus of a woman in six months” apparently was a follower of Rael.

What they were going to do is to take genetic material from the six-year-old daughter of the woman who had died and they were going to clone her and implant her in the mother.

And Rael looked at the chairman of the committee—you cannot make this stuff up—and he said, “I don’t know why you people should fear us. I will be just like Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the dead.”

I love to be able to tell that because it takes sleepy saints and it wakes them up. And it lets them understand we are at war. We are at war. That is a demonic idea, and you know exactly the mailing zip code of where that idea came from. And yet we’re seeing it being marketed out there.

Well another magazine. Newsweek says, “When Does Health Begin?” Shouldn’t the title have said, “When Does Life Begin?”

So the paradox of this says that obesity, cancer, heart attacks, all of them are predetermined in your womb.

Do you think?

So again, man’s looking truth straight in the face and misses it completely. Fearfully, wonderfully, never to be replicated in another human being again. And they have these magnificent photos.

Then God in His wisdom gives us not 3 but 4-D ultrasounds now where the baby’s complete features are formed and the evidence is there right between the eyes. And people still turn their back and say, “It’s about a woman’s right to choose.”

It’s about the person who is about to suffer, the edict of capital punishment. And that little one had nothing to say about the terms of his or her conception. So we have this issue.

Now let me say something before I move on to this next topic. Here’s what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are women in this room who have chosen abortion. And here’s what we know on Sunday morning in church, one-out-of-four women sitting in the pews on Sunday morning is post-abortive. One-out-of-four in the church.

Odds are, that woman to this day has never told anybody that she’s had that abortion because the father of lies and the accuser of the brethren has slithered up next to her and rattled his tail and said, “Hath God said?” and has said to that woman, “You think He could forgive you of that?”

So she still hasn’t told anybody because somewhere in her quiet prayer closet what she thinks is the unpardonable sin can never be forgiven. It is the completed act of Calvary, the unblemished Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, all the sins of the world.

So beloved if you’re still struggling with that issue today and you’ve never told anybody, God knows. God cares. God listens and God forgives.

I’m going to tell you something about being a true woman. God may take your pain and groom you in turn to turn around and be a Titus woman to a young lady who tomorrow night will make a decision that will end up in another wrong decision. And God may plant you in the path of her life to say, “Let me tell you about my pain, my hurt, and my forgiveness.”

Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.

So now we go to this issue. Here’s the cover of Rolling Stone. If you’re as old as I am you know exactly who that old rocker is, okay? Crosby, Stills, and Nash. And here’s Melissa Etheridge who at the time was living with the woman on the couch. They were going to be quote, unquote “married,” and they wanted to have a child.

But you see the way it works in God’s world is you need a man, you need a woman. Oh, problem—two women, no man. What do we do?

Enter the aging rock star who decided he was going to donate some of his biological material to sure that they could get what they needed to make a child. So that’s exactly what he does.

If you open up the inside of article, here’s Julie and here’s her female companion. Basically what they’re trying to do is create this family. And they said, “We’re tired of living in secrets.”

They said, “We know it goes against everything we’re choosing in how to live our lives. We now want to live our lives openly.”

Except they’re no longer together. The woman with the dark hair is now married to a man and has children. And there’s Melissa still lost and caught in the bondage of that particular sin.

But it’s just like Satan isn’t it? When you realize God creates marriage and family in a place of perfection called Eden, if you’re the father of lies wouldn’t you go after the family? It just makes perfect sense from a battle plan’s perspective that what you would do is you’d want to go right after the family because you understand how precious and dear it is to the heart of God.

That’s exactly what Satan has done. He continues to radically attempt and radically redefine the family. I’m sure you just heard today that Connecticut has decided it is now the next state in the Union to accept same-sex marriage.

It’s a tsunami beloved. It’s a tsunami. God has called us for such a time as this. I will sometimes hear women who have made a profession of faith in Christ Jesus say, “Well, I’m not opposed to that. Who somebody else marries doesn’t have an impact on my life. Why would I begrudge somebody to love somebody that they love? What impact does that have?”

Whoa! Stop! Time! This has nothing to do with you or me. This has everything to do with Him. How did He define marriage? You see, this is the wonderful thing. It doesn’t matter about our being political. It’s a matter of our being obedient.

Oh great and glorious King, You defined marriage in the Garden. Your Son reaffirmed it in the New Testament. There’s no ambiguity in this Word as to how You define marriage.

There’s no ambiguity on how you define having sex outside of marriage. And by the way, it’s any sex outside of marriage: promiscuous sex, premarital sex, adulterous sex, homosexual sex. That wonderful act was designed and created by God. That alone takes your breath away.

I think we think MTV came up with the idea. It was God who designed this, but within the parameters of marriage—one man, one woman coming together in an intimacy relegated to strictly that relationship.

Yet man starts to dabble again and do what’s right in his own eyes. So we start to see this tsunami, to use the word again, of change that’s taking place all across our country where we’re trying to call good evil and evil good.

We are living in those days.

So let me tell you what happened. A bunch of people got together and they were very, very concerned that somehow there were people who were caught in the snare of this particular sin.

Let me just rest here for a moment because, folks, I’m going to tell you honestly, the church hasn’t done this sin very well. We’ve made a mistake. We somehow said it was the BIG sin out there.

Really? Wow. Because you see my righteousness is as filthy rags. And I imagine a gossiping tongue is as repugnant in the nostrils of my great King as homosexuality is.

I’ve had an argument with some pretty respected theologians, a lot of names you would know, who said, “No, it is a worse sin!” To which I said, “Well, what was the cure for sin?” Answer: “The cross.”

“I’m sorry. Do you have a version of Scripture that says He had to hang for ten minutes for my gossip but for 45 minutes for homosexuality? If the cure is the cross, then it’s all been paid and there is no distinction.”

What the church has to do is this unbelievably difficult mandate from Ephesians. Truth in love! It is not truth or love—we make it a multiple choice test. We can’t be so hard on the truth that we forget to love people who are caught in the snare of sin.

By the same token, we can’t be so “evan-jello-co” that we forget that there’s absolute truth. The two have to be done together. It is the wonderful athleticism of the believer’s life—truth and love beautifully mixed. And only the Holy Spirit can do that.

So in this particular sin, what happened is a group of organizations said, “We need to get the word out. We need to let them know that God has made a way of escape.”

So a bunch of groups got together and they decided that they would put these ads in America’s major newspapers. And shock and awe, this one shows up in the New York Times.

I love Ann. Ann started out for many years with an absolute cropped buzz haircut, a three-piece man’s suit, men’s shoes, and a tie. You would’ve looked at her and you would have thought a man had just walked past you. Look at how beautiful she is now.

So this ad goes into the New York Times and she says, “I am living proof that Truth, capital “T” can set you free.” And she says, “I knew I was running from God.”

This is all in the body of this ad. Can you see the commuters coming into Manhattan?

I knew I was running from God and one day just put it to Him. “Lord, you know I really love this lifestyle, but I want You to be my first love. I need Your help. I need You to change my heart.”

And shortly after that prayer, I met a Christian woman, a former lesbian, who listened patiently to my story and led me to a ministry helping people overcome homosexuality. Because they loved me without judgment, I was finally able to give all my relationships to God and begin the real road to healing.

At the bottom of the ad was an 800 number. And the phones rang off the hook. Isn’t that fabulous? Absolutely fabulous.

Well, then this happened. Then this ad shows up in the Washington Post—or in my town, I call it the “ Washington Compost,” but that’s just me.

We’re standing for the truth that homosexuals can change. Here’s 850 individuals where old things passed away, old things became new. They were absolutely new creations in Christ Jesus.

And that is, by the way, why the homosexual advocates want to silence this movement because this is the Truth that sets the captive free.

So in this ad it says,

This is not a Republican issue, not a Democrat or Independent issue; it’s a truth issue. We are asking you to examine the truth of homosexuality with all the facts at hand apart from the half-truths and the hostile name calling. Ask us to explain our position on sin and then ask the other side. But ask and let the healing begin.

The 800 number, again, phones off the charts.

Next day, “boom, boom, boom.”

The third day USA Today—this was supposed to show up in the sports section; instead, it showed up in the front section. I have met Reggie. He is now in the presence of our great King. This is how you have a conversation with Reggie White; he was just a monstrous man. But he had the heart of a teddy bear, just an absolutely fabulous, fabulous man.

Our friends from Wisconsin know this full well. Reggie was asked to come down and speak at the Wisconsin assembly. Scripture says it, and he lived it. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

So God blessed Reggie, this big lineman for the team that should have won the Super Bowl; but hey, that’s another discussion. So he walks down to the assembly and he starts preaching in this assembly.

He talks about homosexuality being a sin. He talks about abortion being wrong. And oh, you can imagine. They had apoplexy hearing him be able to say this.

The word spread out way beyond the assembly in Madison, Wisconsin. All of a sudden Campbell’s Soup said, “Mmm, mmm, mmm, you’re not so good.” So they took away his contract. Nike rescinded their contract. He was given a job to be a national sports broadcaster for one of the major networks and they said, “We don’t think so” because he spoke the truth.

I remember saying to Reggie, “Reggie that cost you millions.” I said, “Are you upset by that?” He goes, “Puh, no. I’m a multi-millionaire in glory.” Isn’t that cool?

So listen to what that ad says. And these are Reggie’s words. He said,

Sin and salvation are the language of religion and that’s not changed for 2,000 years. Even so, history is littered with movements who have tried to get rid of God because His message is inconvenient or uncomfortable.

The Bible says that what God says seems like foolishness to the world, which is why a concept like sin is so misunderstood. Jesus didn’t come to give people what they desired. He came to reveal God’s honest truth about deception and sin and to offer a way out with a lifetime guarantee. Now that’s the speech of real freedom.

That’s particularly poignant when you realize his free speech cost him a lot. So for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s a rule in physics. It also happens outside in the marketplace as well.

You’ve seen these ads. You’ve seen the photo. You’ve seen the font, the placement of the ad. And just like that, the same day as the USA Today ad, this ad showed up.

Looks like the other ads doesn’t it except for one profound difference, the content. This ad says, “We’re living proof that families with lesbian and gay kids can be whole, happy, healthy, and all that this great country promises.”

And then they try to countermand with what the other ads had said so far. But the content of this ad was most egregious in a completely different area because the ad said this:

There are those who want to claim God and the Bible for their own narrow vision of this nation. We feel blessed that in our congregation we’re fully embraced as a family. In our faith we follow the simple message of the Scripture, one of love and unity. When you think about it, this is the teaching of most faiths—not discrimination, not division. No one can claim an exclusive relationship with God.

I have an exclusive relationship with God. Those of us who accepted Christ Jesus have an exclusive relationship with God.

And they’re also wrong theologically: the message of most faiths is unity. Really? You know, when all else fails, read the directions.

You know what this book says? This book says that this message is a sword, and it’s going to divide family members; it’s going to divide neighbors; it’s going to divide friends. In the end we’re going to be divided into two camps—those who know Him and those who knew Him not. There is not a more stark distinction than that.

I don’t take any pride in that. My heart breaks—as should all of ours. If we’re not weeping for the lost, we have hearts of stone. We need to remember that this is the only unity as it says wonderfully in Scripture under the Shibboleth—I love that word—under the banner of Christ Jesus. That’s where we’re one.

Like Galatians says, “Neither male nor female, slave nor free man, Jew nor Gentile. But we are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). That’s where the unity comes, not because some denomination says that’s our message. Most of those denominations don’t have unity in them anyway.

So it was sad because it was a way to try to countermand.

And along comes Margaret Carlson of Time Magazine. And this was their ad: Margaret Carlson wrote a piece called “Praying Away the Gay.” In her piece she said,

No doubt there are a few people who think they’re gay but aren’t, and maybe ex-gay ministries have found every one of them. Reading their stories is like watching a spin off of the Oral Roberts show in which skeptics find Christ, shout that he’s healed and throw away his homosexual crutches. Maybe the lame walk and homosexuals become heterosexuals, but I doubt it.

Now either Margaret Carlson is right, or Christ Jesus is right. But they can’t both be right. Welcome to the marketplace of ideas. That’s being sold. This was offered to you for free.

This is Truth: Old things pass away; all things become new. We are conformed and transformed to the image of Christ Jesus. And His love sets us free.

There’s no sin that we can’t lay at the foot of the cross, nothing rancid and rotten and putrefyingly ugly in our past that He doesn’t already know about that we can’t lay before His feet and say, “Oh God, I’m so sorry. Can you possibly love me?”

He picks us up, and He cradles us in His everlasting arms of love and He says, “I’ve always loved you. I’ve always loved you.”

You see, I think Satan’s most effective tool is the tool that robs us from the reality of God’s unconditional love. We don’t get that.

Why? Because we’re conditional lovers. We love people conditionally. “Oh I just love my child when he is obedient. I could put him up for adoption when he’s not.” We love conditionally. But we have no point of reference in our mortal’s experience for unconditional loving do we?

So Satan comes along and constantly is trying to trample that underfoot saying, “You think…(dot, dot, dot)” “Could He really…(dot, dot, dot)” “Do you know what you’ve done? Do you know where you are right now? He’s a holy God. He can’t have anything to do with you.”

He specializes in taking broken, sinful, fallen, flawed, fractured pieces of clay and doing with them and turning them into absolutely amazing pieces of porcelain china and using our lives to pour out the living waters of testimony of the transformation in our lives. Our God is an awesome God.

So we had touched on this a little bit this morning. I thought that was very interesting what Mary [Kassian] was talking about. Notice how this is making a resurgence now. Now it’s a movie. Now you can go to Wal-Mart and buy the DVD.

Don’t you dare.

This is amazing because in their fanciful world who becomes HIV positive? Who gets a sexually transmitted disease? Do you know that there are 20 million cases of the human papiloma virus? Twenty million. It’s a precursor to cervical cancer. It can render you infertile. It can absolutely take away your life. And what does a condom do to stop the transmission? El zippo.

But they want to have condom distribution. Really? And what would that do to stop the transmission? Thirty-five hundred new sexually transmitted diseases out there. It’s amazing.

Do you know they’ve done surveys—and forgive me; I say this judiciously. But you know if you’re going to be a woman of God, then what you have to do is understand what’s happening outside the city gates. We can’t be cloistered, and I don’t want to forsake the assembling of ourselves as Scripture says, but I’ve gone over that Book a bunch of times and I’m looking for the “Don’t ever leave your house” verse; I haven’t heard that one yet.

I’d rather be at the mall, and I’m not talking the Washington Mall. Trust me; I’d rather be at the mall. But we’re called to go out there. And out there this is what they’re doing.

They’ve been surveying kids who have found out that their definition of sex is if you have oral sex but you don’t have sexual intercourse; you haven’t had sex yet. You’re still a virgin.

But can you see how Satan has taken people captive? In this particular series this is not only just the manifestation of radical feminism, but it’s the radical redefining of God’s model, His paradigm.

So then we turn to theology. Oh, I love it when the world is going to give us lectures on theology. They get almost everything else wrong’ why would I think they’d get this question right?

But there’s Time Magazine trying to tell us that they know a little something about heaven. So they asked the question, “Does heaven exist?”

Well, I find this very interesting because they did a survey and they said:

“Do you believe in the existence of heaven where people live forever with God after they die?” Eighty-one percent said yes; 13% said no.

  • "Do you believe in hell where people are punished forever after they die?” Sixty-three percent said yes; 30% said no.
  • “Do people get into heaven based mostly on the good things they do or on their faith in God or both?” And I love this because 25 % said on the good things they do, 60% said on their faith and the rest of them said both.

I think that’s called “hedging your bets.” So they’re asking this question about whether heaven exists.

So US News and World Report, “Hell on New Vision of the Netherworld.” Why are national news magazines talking about hell? Why would they even bring that subject up? You know, you have to stop and think about that.

They’re supposed to be writing about foreign policy and the economy and politics. So why would they feel it’s necessary to be writing on the subject of hell?

Well, would it have something to do with the idea of perhaps they’re trying to radically redefine it in their own image and that Satan will use whatever marketing ploy is necessary to systematically eat at the absolute nature of this word?

By the way, Jesus talked more about hell than He did about heaven. So if you look at this and you open it up on the inside, it’s so interesting because it says there was a Dean of a very prestigious university from my town in DC that said, “We can recover some measured intellectual understanding of hell that makes much more sense for the 21 st century.”

Another professor said, “Modern educated Americans would reject notions of a blazing underworld where anguished souls writhe in endless torment. A literal hell is part of an understanding that the cosmos simply doesn’t accept anymore.”

Oh? Thank you. No further questions your honor. Some professor at some university somewhere waves his magic wand and “poof” hell is gone. And US News and World Report is quick to report on it.

Again, Jesus talks more about hell. And let me tell you, the Bible talks about the gnashing of teeth. It’s going to be horrible. Of all of the descriptions that are there, the most agonizing part is eternal separation from the Lover of your soul.

You and I don’t have a point of reference for that other than it has to be hell.

So the magazines take it up. Who was Moses? Oh, when I want to know, I turn to Time Magazine, don’t you? New research talks about who Moses was.

And then this one. “Visions of Jesus.” Uh-oh. Scary. Now Newsweek is going to tell me who Jesus was. Well I find that interesting. What do they do? They go to Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists. “Did it occur to you to talk to a Christian about Jesus?” Apparently not.

So they go and they talk to a Buddhist whose quote is: “The figure of a crucified Christ is a very painful image to me. It does not contain joy or peace, and this does not do justice to Jesus.”

Really? Hebrews 12:1-3: “Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and is set down at the right hand of God.” The joy set before Him was the cross! And He did it for you, and He did it for me. He didn’t turn His back on it.

Even though He knew it was the most horrific form of capital punishment to this day, He still willingly mounted up on that old rugged cross.

Now either Newsweek is right or this Book is right. But they both can’t be right. And both of these are in the marketplace of ideas. So which booth are you going to shop at? Whose merchandise are you going to buy?

Then there’s this: “Why Jesus was killed.” Oh you get a headache this big. Why Jesus was killed.

“Scholars Find New Clues about the Crucifixion.” Whatever you do, don’t go to the source Book; just find new clues. You hate to put these people down, but it’s just amazing that they just can’t seem to come up with reasons when they’re so self-evident, and God made them so clear and so attainable for everything else.

You read these conspiracy theories. But again, we shouldn’t be surprised because out of all of this, then what do we get? We get the Dan Browns of the world who come up with The Da Vinci Code.

Folks, I do radio six days a week, Monday through Friday three hours every day and then on Moody for Saturday two hours. That’s a whole lot of time in front of a microphone. It’s a whole lot of time to hear what people have to say.

We have believers who are saying, “Does it make any difference if Jesus got married? Would it make any difference if He had a child?”

Well yes, because don’t you think this Word would have told us this? Don’t you think that who Jesus is is revealed in here? Because we can either make a Christ of our own construction, or we can read about the Jesus who is revealed in His Word.

By the way, The Da Vinci Code was just the beginning. Two new movies, one called Rex Mundi coming out which picks up where The Da Vinci Code left off and follows the children born to Jesus Christ.

Now if people fell into the quagmire of mythology the first time, what do you think they’ll do now?

And then another one called Mary Magdalene following the wife of Jesus Christ. Do you know who George Barna is? Guess where we get most of our values? Not from the pulpit on Sunday morning but from the movie houses on Saturday night.

So you’re going to sit there eating your popcorn, drinking your soda, and you’re going to go, “Yes, yes; that makes sense to me. Yes, I guess he was married.”

And then what do you do with the biography in this Word? Because either that will be right or this will be right. Either Dan Brown is right or this is right, but they can’t both be right. They present mutually exclusive ideas.

So the one cancels the other out because only one of them can be truth. So the magazines continue.

Well Jesus at 2,000; they decided they’d take a new look at Jesus to see exactly who He was. They talked to a novelist and they said, “Why don’t you create a new story of Jesus?” So they did a completely fabricated text of who Jesus was. Time Magazine wants a new Jesus. I’ll stick with the old one thank you very much.

So then you go to another magazine. Jesus Rocks. Oh yes, their comment on Christians making a whole bunch of money. Oh yeah? Why don’t you tell that to Bill Maher? Didn’t he just open a blasphemous film last week?

God and the Brain. This one’s so interesting. God and the Brain. There's a new science out there called neurotheology.

“What is man that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). There must be times when you just think, “Oh God one blast from Your nostrils, and we are dust.”

So these scientists now think that really there is no such thing as a conscience or a soul, that we’re wired, the synapses in our brain are wired in such a way that we have to have this need for a supreme being. So we came up in our evolutionary process with the need for a God. He doesn't really exist; it was our evolutionary manifestation. That’s why we’re wired for spirituality.

These are national news magazines. I’m not doing Moody Monthly or Christianity Today or Charisma or Today’s Christian Woman. These are news magazines at the checkout line at the grocery store. Satan knows exactly where to position this stuff so women can be taken captive.

Mystery of prayer—does God play favorites? It’s so interesting, they start asking people in their questions about prayer and how does God answer them. Does God play favorites? Eighty-seven percent say God answers prayer, 29% say they pray to God more than once a day.

Most people say that they do believe in the power of prayer, but most of them say they don’t know who they’re praying to. Interesting.

And then this one: “Prophecy: What the Bible Says about the End of the World,” Newsweek Magazine. Very interesting as we’re trying to figure out exactly how it will end.

Forty percent believe that the world will end as foretold at the Battle of Armageddon.;19% think the Antichrist is on earth now; 18% think Jesus will return in their lifetime; 68% think they’ll go to heaven when they die; 3% plan on going to hell.

And you’re happy about that are you? Three percent plan on going to hell.

Well, and then we have this one: “Evil: What Makes People Go Wrong?” You can read this magazine upside down, inside out, cover to cover. Not once do you find the word sin. This is conditioning, nurturing in the environment, the circumstances of your environment. Never once is there the concept of sin.

That’s why it’s important. When you’re asked the question, “What do you think about evil?” and someone can give you a nuanced answer. They can’t really tell you that evil is real and absolute. Then you begin to see that again as that wonderful sort of litmus test that tells you about the bigger picture of that individual.

Because if they don’t believe evil is real, then necessarily they cannot believe that the evil is countered by absolute good. If you don’t believe in evil, you can’t believe in good. That’s the dualistic world in which we live. If you don’t believe in absolute evil, you cannot believe in absolute good that will conquer evil.

These are important questions as we engage the culture.

So then this one: “How will the universe end?” I find it interesting again that they’re trying to figure out what people think. The astrophysicists in this magazine say that they now can tell us definitively that the universe will simply expire.

Wrong. Wrong. It will end with a bang, trust me.

There’s another book you could read when you get time. By the way, do you know that Nancy memorized the entire book of Revelation for her 50 th birthday? What a present to give yourself right?

“The Bible and the Apocalypse: Why More Americans are Reading and Talking about the End of the World.” Well, I’ll tell you why. Because they’re scared to death. They’re scared to death. When you start watching economic markets falling, you realize how replete terrorism is.

I don’t mean to scare you or anything, but in Washington we talk a lot about terror. I lived in a town where the jet crashed about a block and a half from where I work. I saw the incineration. I know what it was like.

I got sent by the President of the United States to go to Guantanamo Bay. I have looked terrorists in the face. I have sat through interrogations. I have had heard them say, “If we get the chance we will kill you.” Evil is real.

Now, I don’t care where you stand on the war. I’m here to tell you as a daughter of the King—evil is real. And so you and I live in a world where we’re scared to death.

The big threat right now is what they call an “EMP”. You’re going to love this. I hope this isn’t the only thing you remember of this. Electromagnetic pulse bombs. These are bombs that can be loaded on ships not too far off our shore in international water.

They send them up into the air and with electromagnetic pulses they freeze every computer we have. Planes will fall from the sky. Respirators will stop. Cars will stop dead. They think 79% of the population could be wiped out with one EMP.

So how’s it going to end? Well, maybe the question should be not “How is it going to end?” but the declarative statement “It is going to end. Are you ready?” Are you ready?

It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. I think people are interested because the Bible says eternity has been placed in our heart. Every one of us knows that at some point this ends.

And Christopher Hitchins can shout, “God is not great!” And Sam Harris can write his letters to a Christian nation. And Richard Dawkins can talk about the God delusion.

But at night when they’ve let the cat out and lowered the shades, they quake under their own sheets going, “If I’m wrong, if I’m wrong . . .”

It’s Pascal’s Wager. If I’m right and Dawkins is wrong, Dawkins has lost everything. If I’m wrong and Dawkins is right, I’ve lost nothing; I’ve simply lived in delusion most of my life. Too mutually exclusive worldviews fighting for predominance in the human heart.

Well, then we have movies about death. Is there a sixth sense? What do we do about death? All kinds of movies.

I get books to review all the time. D. Chapra—I hope you do not follow him or Charles Dire. These are the ones who are much more superciliously attractive. Chapra says, “What’s your vision of the afterlife?” And listen to what he says.

You have to laugh. This stuff does drive you a little crazy. He says,

It’s the same as before life. The soul incubates in a virtual domain only to manifest again in a form and phenomena, threads of memory, wisps of desire, manifests themselves through new biological expression.

Huh? I ain’t going there. I’m going to behold Him face to face. He’s going to wipe away every tear from my eye. I get a glorified body. I get a brand new name, and I get to sit next to my King for the rest of my life.

Eckhart Tolle—700,000 people get online with Oprah Winfrey in her new spirituality. And you open up this book. We’re talking about truth. Listen to this. This is Eckhart Tolle. I have to read this stuff. Pray for me would you?

The truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the truth. The very being that you are, is truth. Jesus tried to convey this when He said, “I am the way the truth and the life.” These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the truth if understood correctly. If misinterpreted, they become a great obstacle. Jesus speaks of the innermost. You are the truth.

No! You’re not. No! You’re not. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

And yet 700,000 people—its multiple millions of copies distributed around the world and we’re being taken captive, being taken captive because this is in the marketplace of ideas.

As long as I’m stepping on toes, let me do one more. The Shack. I challenge you to understand that there are at a minimum 13 heresies in this book. Thirteen heresies. Pastors are using it. I love Smitty. He’s a great friend. Michael W. Smith has endorsed it. God bless them. It is heresy. And let me explain why.

Because what happens is this book starts out with the idea of one of the most traumatic stories. Through the vortex of emotion you get sucked into this, and we women are particularly vulnerable in this area.

What we’ve done is we’ve juxtaposed it: fact, faith, and feeling is the caboose on our train. But we’ve made feelings be the driver, and we’ve left fact in the alleyway. C.S. Lewis said, “The will precedes the emotion.” First Peter says, “You gird your mind.” Jude says, “You contend.”

This book puts the Trinity on the same level—God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are not on the same level. It is the Godhead that we talk about. This book says that God didn’t create institutions.

Really? What did He do with marriage? What did He do with government? What did He do with the church? I could go on and on and on.

“Study to show thyselves approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

We need to be able to read this and then to be able to read this and say, “What’s the difference?” This man was raped by a missionary on the foreign field. This man had an affair for three years with his wife’s best friend. This man no longer goes to church because he’s turned his back on God.

Now do you feel good about the story? It isn’t a matter of you feeling good. It’s a matter of you knowing the truth and being able to discern the difference between the two.

One of my favorite verses comes from Colossians 2:8. I told you this was a war. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

I am talking to prisoners of war who are sitting in this room right now. You’ve heard some of these things, and your thinking has started to be eroded because it sounded good. It felt good. There was just enough of a little bit of truth in there for you to say, “It has to be truth.”

Doesn’t the Bible say we test all things? And how are we going to do that unless we’re in this Word?

Dwight L. Moody called it the “straight stick of truth.” You lay it down as your plumb line and you measure every other idea next to it.

So what did Christian and Faithful say when they were in the marketplace of ideas? I love it (and this is Bunyan, the 1600s). The merchants are shouting out, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” Christian and Faithful turn to the merchants and they say, “We only buy the truth.”

Isn’t that profound in the 1600s? Now, two things emanate out of that answer. Number one, they were discerning. They were able to draw the distinction between falsehoods and truth. That’s something we can do only because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the quickening of His Word.

If we don’t use it as the lamp and the light that it’s called to be, if we don’t drink from its living waters and feast on its bread, we will never, ever be able to prevent ourselves from being taken captive because this is not the end. This is the beginning of the tidal wave of this deception.

The second thing is that if they only buy the truth somebody had to be in the marketplace with truth. That’s not a fun place to be. I personally am tired of being called a kneejerk, right wing, homophobic, raptionary member of the religious right. It gets a little thin.

I have the hate mail to prove it. Every day I wake up and I say, “Lord, I’m putting on that whole armor You talked about in Ephesians.”

There’s the breastplate and the helmet. And I’ve got the sandals on, and I’ve got the sword, and I’ve got the shield. And whoa, I got it in the back because there’s no armor for the back. Then I ask Him to get me ready again to go out into the battlefield.

Every one of you—whether you’re sitting in front of a microphone or not is utterly unimportant. Each one of us dear ones has a circle of influence—whether it’s your kitchen table or your family or your neighborhood or the people you carpool with or the people at work.

And these ideas that the TV just spews at us . . . If we’re going to do exactly what Paul did in Acts 17—and this is the tutorial for being a biblical apologist. Here he is in that windy hill and the Aeropagus. The Bible says the great Epicureans and the Stoics of the day came to debate the great ideas.

In the margin of my Bible I’ve written “CNN” because that’s what it was. They came and they discussed and debated all these ideas. Here’s what Paul did so beautifully, and it’s a role model for us as true women of God.

He was first of all an active listener. So you’re religious? I hear what you’re saying.

So when the woman at work says, “It’s my body! I have a right to do with it what I want.” Are you listening to her apologetic? Why does she give that defense? Are you looking at the holes in her reasoning? Because, dear one, it’s going to be full of holes.

God’s truth is solid, absolute, and bedrock. It’s the granite John Piper referred to before. Their ideas are flimsy and the first time the wind blows it’s going to fall.

When she’s made that decision and it breaks her heart, you can say, “I told you there was a way that seemed right unto man but in the end there is death. And you’re left broken and bruised and battered.”

You listen. When all of a sudden someone goes, “People should be able to marry whomever they want,” what is their apologetic for that? Can you hear what they’re saying?

Then in the same winsome, brilliant way that Paul did, you can take their argument, turn it around, and fill it in with biblical truth. I love what he does. He co-ops a line from a pagan poem probably written by a Corinthian and he says, “As some of your own poets have said, ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’”

It’s not unlike the passage from Romans that we read. “In and through and by Him.” “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Our whole definition is in Him.

He co-opted it from the world.

So when Eckhart Tolle says, “You are the truth,” you can see a beautiful way in which you could start talking to somebody and say, “Well, if that’s the truth, then your truth must disappoint you on a regular basis. What do you do when your truth doesn’t protect you? What do you do when your truth lets you down? What did your truth do for you to protect you and keep you safe?”

Wonderful opportunities. But here’s the problem, and I’ll say this quickly as we close. We don’t want to engage because we have allowed Satan to rule here by saying, “Politics and religion don’t mix.”

So we’ve said, “Hey I’m a good Christian woman. I don’t talk about that stuff.” And in truth, mask off, we do it because we don’t like being called names. We want to be accepted. We want to be affirmed. We like it when people say, “That’s good.”

We know when we engage, some of these people are going to get angry at us. And we have to understand that. Now, you never have license to be obnoxious. But the message we deliver will make some people hopping mad. We have to understand that.

Now the second thing also is, we have to understand that people are perishing because of these ideas. Ideas have consequences. So when people read Eckhart Tolle, it isn’t whether or not Oprah has 700,000 people online. It’s the fact that if you believe that, you’ll end up in hell. And that should break our hearts.

So we need to understand that the Word has to be in the heart. Then what we have to do is take this myth of Satan—“Politics and religion don’t mix”—step out of it and say, “I’m challenging the language. Does my relationship with Jesus Christ have an impact on the kind of public policy I would like to see drafted and the type of officials I would like to see be elected?”

And the answer to that by a true woman of God can only be yes. When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. When the wicked rule, the people groan. We live in the day when good is called evil; evil is called good.

The church thinks they can opt this one out. Now more than ever before, the mandate is to let our light so shine before men that they might see our good works and might honor and glorify our Father in heaven.

As we’re quaking watching what the Dow is doing, we manifest a spirit of peace that says, “My God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and I don’t care what the subprime mortgages are doing. You should see the mansion under construction for me in glory.” Right?

So I have to tell you. And again I limp back to Washington right back out starting on Monday again talking about these issues, getting my daily dose of hate mail, wondering as I’m hearing brothers and sisters call going, “Oh, they’re a prisoner of war. They’ve been taken captive. They don’t know the Word. They haven’t applied it. They’re now utterly confused.”

It’s rough, and it’s hard. But I’ll tell you what. Jesus is coming soon, soon. And as long as there’s breath in our body, let’s pray that God breaks our heart for the lost and will use all of those issues as a way of fishing for men and engaging the culture and saying, “Hey, tell me your thought about that.” Then listen like Paul and then be able to slowly, steadfastly, compassionately fill in the blanks with biblical truth.

Because in the end, they’ll walk right up and be introduced to the One who said, “I am truth.” That’s what this is all about.

This isn’t politics. This isn’t Parshall going crazy talking about that stuff in Washington. This is a portal into the culture. I want to be like Christian. I want to be like Faithful. I want to only buy Truth.

Some day, as Bunyan’s glorious book ends, that trumpet will sound and we’ll cross over into the Celestial City. Then we’ll hear Him say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Even so come Lord Jesus.

Dear Father, whoa, these are rough times. These are rough times Father. Your name is denigrated and cast underfoot. It’s taken more in blasphemy than it is in reverence.

Father we don’t know what we believe or why we believe it. We the church can’t contend for the faith. We’re slipping down slopes, Father, that take us out into destruction.

And yet there You stand great magnificent King, glorious King.

Father, thank You for Your Word. It is the map for our life. It is the flashlight for our path. It contains absolute truth. It can and does get applied to all people and all places at all times and in all circumstances. It set us free, and it was given to us out of Your love, not because You’re a cosmic killjoy with a bunch of rules and regulations trying to make us strange, twisted little people in a culture that goes the other way.

Oh God, this is a tough part of our prayer, but break our hearts for the lost. Lord, break our hearts for the lost. Those feminists that gave us deadly ideas, they’re not the enemy. They’ve been captured by the enemy Lord.

Let our heart break for these women, for these people who have fallen captive into bad ideas and simply become his mouthpiece. But You said You’re not willing that any should perish.

So Father, we start boldly asking You for encounters with the culture in our carpool, with our family members, with our friends, our neighbors. Father, get us out of our comfort zone.

This is not the time for wimpy women. This is time for women of the world, women of the Word who know what’s going on in the world and can apply it appropriately.

God, give us an insatiable appetite for Your Word. Help us to memorize it, to dwell on it, to think on it day and night. Make it fire in our bones. Write it on the tablets of our heart, Father.

May we remember that we were captives once and You set us free, that somebody introduced us to the One who is truth. And as a result of that, someday we will behold Him face to face.

Father they’re such small insignificant words, but we do love You. We don’t even really know what those words mean, but as the best we can as flawed mortals. We tell You, great, glorious, magnificent King and Abba Daddy, we love You Lord and we thank You for loving us first. In the Son’s name and the One who is Truth, the Way and the Life, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Leslie Basham: This message was presented at True Woman ’10 in Indianapolis. Check out all the messages delivered there and more by visiting www.truewoman.com. There you’ll find even more ways to connect—from books and resources you can order for yourself, your friends, or your life group, to on demand multimedia, to ongoing conversations you can be a part of. And we’re updating it all the time.

True Woman ’10 is a ministry of Revive Our Hearts, helping you become God’s true woman.