Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29 August 2012

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Using Semantics to Take Down Conservative Representative Todd Akin

[2] EPC Teaching Elder Shot and Killed while Defending Wife from Burglar Breaking into Home

[3] Patrick Edouard, Former Pastor of Covenant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa, Found Guilty of Four Counts of Sexual Exploitation by a Counselor or Therapist and One Count of a Pattern or Scheme of Sexual Exploitation by a Counselor or Therapist

[4] United Church of Christ Condemns Boy Scouts

[5] New Book by Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's Only Child Inspires Next Generation to Trust God during Adversity

[6] Headlines from

[7] Raging Heathen and Vain Imagining

The Religion of Peace


[1] Using Semantics to Take Down Conservative Representative Todd Akin

[Editor’s Note: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is a member of the
Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and is an inactive ruling elder at Twin Oaks PCA in Ballwin, Missouri.]

This piece was originally published at on 26 August 2012.

By Rachel Alexander

Liberal pundits are declaring they have no idea what Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) meant when he referred to “legitimate rape” in an interview this past week. Akin stated, "In cases of legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." It was an awkward, inarticulate statement, but the substance of it was correct. Explaining what he meant since then would be a bit crude, so he has not been able to adequately defend himself. His attackers have used the awkwardness to pounce on him and pretend they don't know what he meant, or make up even worse explanations.

Does anyone actually believe his critics? It may have been a poor choice of words, but everyone knows Akin was referring to the distinction between what we traditionally consider rape - forcible rape - versus statutory rape and what some claim is also rape, having sex while drunk. Some women will have a one night stand while drunk, admit it to their friends afterwards, then change their mind and declare that it was rape. The FBI updated its definition of rape this year to include the inability to give consent due to intoxication. Any woman who has been drinking can now claim afterwards that she was raped. This may have opened a Pandora's Box considering how many people drink alcohol before sex. The cliché “rape is rape” no longer means what it says. The definition has now been broadened to include any woman alleging rape after she has been drinking.

As for women's bodies shutting down, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Akin meant that a woman is not going to get aroused if she is forcibly raped, making it difficult to become pregnant. Akin brought this up in order to explain why abortion in case of rape is not necessary. It is very rare that a forcible rape results in a pregnancy, so the issue of whether to permit abortion in the case of rape is mostly a red herring, used for fear mongering. Last week, GOP officials drafting the abortion ban for the party platform, declined to put in an exception for rape or incest. Tellingly, Akin's critics haven't bothered disputing Akin's real message, which is that less than one percent of rapes result in a pregnancy.

Akin immediately apologized for his remarks, clarifying later that he meant “forcible rape.” He has been running 30-second TV ads around the state apologizing. David Roney of Pro-Life Arizona notes that Akin's point was unborn babies shouldn't be sacrificed to punish rapists. Aborting children because they were a product of a rape would have taken the lives of gospel singers Mahalia Jackson and Ethel Waters. Ryan Bomberger, also born of a rape, wrote about Akin for Life News, “ I’m glad such a pro-family, pro-life stalwart, despite a few bumps and lots of scrapes, is not quitting under pressure from hypocritical pro-abortion radicals and spineless Republicans.“ Bomberger listed several crude jokes that liberal celebrities have made about rape, and asks, “Where was the condemnation of Whoopi Goldberg who, on The View, defended film director Roman Polanski’s 1977 drugging and rape of a 13 year old as not “rape rape”?”

It is troubling to see Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, the chairman of the RNC, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and conservative stalwarts like Rush Limbaugh demand the resignation of Akin. Limbaugh himself has been accused of comments that have made him vulnerable to intense criticism. It is reported that high-level GOP officials have told Akin they will no longer help him with fundraising. Many in the GOP have developed a herd mentality and are piling on Akin, asserting that no one can win without establishment support. Sadly, they are shooting their wounded to react so quickly and demand that Akin jump out of the race.

Fortunately, not all conservatives have deserted Akin. Because of the injustice of what has happened to him, Mike Huckabee has come to his defense, assisting with fundraising. It's notable that Akin exceeded his goal of raising $125,000 within a few days. Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, has put out a statement defending Akin.

Prior to Akin's misworded comment, he was leading in the polls over the Democrat incumbent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is considered to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate. If his chances are now so dismal, why is calling for Akin to resign? Or why is the liberal super PAC American Bridge 21st Century demanding that Romney drop Huckabee from the GOP convention for supporting Akin? The left is well aware that to put in a substitute candidate now would risk losing the seat, due to the lack of time left to set up a ground game and garner name recognition.

Akin is a solid conservative who voted against No Child Left Behind, despite being pressured in a phone call by President Bush. He has a 97% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. A favorite of social conservatives, he obtained a Master of Divinity degree from seminary and has co-chaired the House Prayer Breakfast. No doubt his background is why many are targeting him so viciously.

Most voters will forget about this in a week. Three days after the story broke, McCaskill pulled ahead of Akin in the polls but could not break 50%, according to a Rasmussen poll. Akin can still win, unless Republicans continue to turn on him. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The Republican Party could still try to force Akin out up until September 25, by challenging his candidacy in the courts.

When people can't freely express their opinions it is a serious matter. Why isn't an apology sufficient? Why make this into a career-ruining incident? Akin didn't say “rape is ok,” and everyone knows exactly what he meant. Akin told Huckabee that he "misspoke one word, in one sentence, in one day." Wait until it happens to you.

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[2] EPC Teaching Elder Shot and Killed while Defending Wife from Burglar Breaking into Home

Dr. James A. (Jim) Carr died Monday morning around 7:15 a.m. from a gunshot wound received while protecting his wife, Vickie, from someone breaking into their home. Vicki called 911 and Jim was transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina, where he later died. Carr was 60.

Jim, a retired pastor, was a regular at the “First Thursday” monthly breakfast meetings for EPC pastors in the Greater Raleigh area and was involved in "Recovery Ministries" in Greenville, North Carolina. His heart for the addicted and the down-trodden was contagious. He blessed everyone with his love for the Lord, for the "least of these," and for all.

Pastor Carr last had a staff position with Covenant United Methodist Church in Winterville in October 2009. Previously, Carr was at Williamston Presbyterian Church for 11 years. He was also a part-time van driver at Pitt Community College where his wife works as a administrative assistant in the continuing education division.

A life celebration for Dr. Carr was held 23 August 2012 at the Reimage Church in Winterville, North Carolina. A funeral service for Dr. Carr was held 25 August 2012 at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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[3] Patrick Edouard, Former Pastor of Covenant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa, Found Guilty of Four Counts of Sexual Exploitation by a Counselor or Therapist and One Count of a Pattern or Scheme of Sexual Exploitation by a Counselor or Therapist

A 24 August 2012 WHO-TV article titled “MIXED VERDICT: Pastor Guilty of Sexual Exploitation” reports that Patrick Edouard, former pastor of Covenant Reformed Church of
Pella, Iowa, on 24 August 2012 was found guilty by a Dallas County, Iowa jury of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or pastor and one count of a pattern or scheme of sexual exploitation by a counselor or pastor, related to Edouard’s having sexual relations with several women in the church. Edouard was found not guilty of three counts of sexual abuse.

Covenant Reformed Church is an independent Reformed congregation begun in 1998 by 475 members of the First Christian Reformed Church (
Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA)) of Pella, Iowa, that split from First CRC due to issues within the CRCNA.

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[4] United Church of Christ Condemns Boy Scouts

Bart Gingerich, a member of Juicy Ecumenism, the blogging community of the
Institute on Religion and Democracy, published the following on 24 August 2012:

The United Church of Christ spoke out as the newest detractor of the Boy Scouts of America. The official website of the fast-declining mainline church published an article critiquing the BSA’s reaffirmation to exclude homosexual leaders and members. This decision resulted from a thoughtful two-year process; the policy had first been established in 1999. LGBT activist groups had been putting pressure on the Boy Scouts to not only allow for openly gay Scoutmasters, but also teach sex education with an “open and inclusive” perspective. Scout leaders, on the other hand, are encouraged to avoid sexual instruction, leaving this responsibility in the hands of parents. This issue gained massive media exposure thanks to the Supreme Court case Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale.

Now an old Protestant denomination has leant its voice to the pansexual outcry. The article extensively quotes Pilgrim United Church of Christ lay member Brooke Willis, an active member of the LGBT community. “This whole situation is extremely unfortunate,” he proclaimed, “Kids are kids –– they need guidance, and leadership, and adventure, and activities. Who cares if they are gay or straight? The Boy Scouts should accept everyone.” He also stated, “Gay scout leaders are not interested in sexual orientation…They are interested in providing direction and leadership and giving kids something to do year-round. So many kids have no other role models –– why would you turn away volunteers who are trying to make a difference?” Eagle Scout Jonathan Helmick of First Grace UCC had a more even keel: “The BSA is an organization whose grand design is to give young men and boys a place to go, a place to learn essential skills, and to be better people and leaders…To close your doors to a cross-section of the population is a disservice to the intent of the organization and to future scouts.” Despite the blatant vilification of the organization in the pansexual community, Helmick still found the BSA commendable. “I still believe in the organization with my whole heart,” he confessed to UCC News, “Regardless of their decision, they are still doing good in the world. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes you have to love unconditionally. When the Boy Scouts are ready to welcome us back, we’re ready to welcome them back.”

The article also included some interesting UCC policy facts: The UCC issued a statement at General Synod in July 2003 opposing the BSA’s policy, stating that “discrimination against anyone based on sexual orientation is contrary to our understanding of the teachings of Christ.” The UCC continues to offer full support to congregations who wish to sever their ties with the BSA, as well as those who wish to remain connected to the organization. There currently are 1,200 UCC-sponsored Boy Scout troops throughout the United States. Interestingly, UCC leadership decided it unwise to expell the BSA from church property. No doubt many members would have expressed outrage at such a measure.

As an Eagle Scout myself, I consistently resent revisionist attacks against this wonderful institution and its prudent decision. An overwhelming majority of parents wanted the BSA to persevere in its stance. They had problems with their sons going on long camping trips in the woods with openly-gay men. No, homosexuality is not the same as pederasty, nor does this policy prevent all abuse. But in the post-priest scandal and post-Sandusky age, concerned fathers and mothers are wary as ever when it comes to potentialities. And there are stronger potentialities. A comparable situation would be for straight men to go on camping trips with Girl Scouts (whose standards, one must admit, are much more progressive). A man may mean well and never cause trouble, but the potentiality would be enough for parents to worry.

Furthermore, as has been established by SCOTUS and many other thoughtful articles, the Boy Scouts has every right to enforce this position. It is a free, non-governmental entity. Leadership on the lower levels is entirely dependent on volunteers who must exhibit a life and character that is consistent with the Scouting way. And it is that way—so succinctly presented in the Scout Oath and Law, Slogan and Motto—that I swore to uphold for life eight years ago.

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[5] New Book by Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's Only Child Inspires Next Generation to Trust God during Adversity

Author Valerie Elliot Shepard Takes Advice from Her Mother Elisabeth Elliot to Pen a Children’s Book about Her Unique Childhood in the Ecuadorian Jungle, Titled ‘Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot’

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

Southport, North Carolina - Valerie Elliot Shepard was ten months old when a primitive tribe of Ecuadorian Indians made a martyr of her twenty-nine-year-old father and his four Wheaton College classmates. But that didn’t stop Valerie and her mother from moving to live with those same savage Auca Indians to complete the Elliot family’s evangelical mission: to eclipse the tribe’s savagery with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

According to a news release from Gregg Wooding [no relation], of I Am PR (, Valerie, now eighty-five years after the birth of Christian missionary and hero of the faith Jim Elliot, shares the story of her unique jungle childhood with a new generation of believers.

Told through the wide, curious eyes of a child, Valerie’s new children’s book, Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, begins two years after her father’s murder when Valerie and her mother followed the Quichua and Auca Indians to the place she would call home from ages 3 to 8. The book will release on October 8, 2012, the 85th anniversary of Jim Elliot’s birth.

Now all grown up and the mother of eight grown children herself, Valerie invites a new generation to peer behind the veil of her unbelievable childhood experiences and look into the jungle surroundings where she walked, climbed, and fluttered around as “Pilipinto” — meaning “butterfly” — the Indians’ nickname for her.

“The gift to me, and what Mother and God taught me was the principle of being perfectly content,” Shepard said about the story her now-eighty-five-year-old mom, Elisabeth Elliot, suggested she write more than fifteen years ago. “God puts us in all kinds of situations as we are growing up. My situation was unusual, amazing, and simple.”

While more than a half-century old, many refreshing new messages surface from the book’s real-life accounts of simple living, faithfulness in adversity, and true heroism. Valerie chronicles in colorful detail how the Indians, their language, and even the dangerous jungle elements created a delightful playground for learning to trust God’s hand and to respect the simplest of His gifts—something Valerie instilled in her own children and is determined to pass on to the next generation.

“There is an awful discontentment among young people,” said Shepard, who recalls having only a book to read when she wasn’t outside playing in the jungle. “I do look at the youth culture and just feel only the Lord can bring about a heart contented with simple pleasures and gifts from the Lord.”

More than just a beautifully-illustrated children’s book, Pilipinto’s Happiness is a powerful tool to familiarize young people, college students, and adults alike—too often starved for Christian heroes and heroines—with powerful models in the faith who demonstrated reckless abandon for the Kingdom of God.

“Because my parents prayed and hoped to bring Indians to the Lord, when my father was killed my mother had no plan or immediate thought she should leave Ecuador,” Shepard remarked. “Human fears would flood her mind, but verses from Scripture gave her peace and assurance we would be taken care of. Mother continued to work with the Indians and continued to pray for them. And the more that she prayed for them, the greater her love grew for these people in need of a Savior.”

[Editor’s Note: Valerie Elliot Shepard is the wife of the Rev. Walt Shepard, pastor of Christ Coastal ARP Church (
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church) of Southport, North Carolina.]

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[6] Headlines from

-- Guilty: Homosexual Activist Admits Sending Death Threats to Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage Leader

-- Mom Fights Texas Hospital’s Removal of Food and Water From Twelve-Year-Old Son

-- United Church elects Canada’s First Openly Homosexual Leader of a Major Christian Denomination

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[7] Raging Heathen and Vain Imagining

Articles from the past week regarding kings and rulers setting themselves against the LORD and against his anointed:

-- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Buying Up Enough Ammo to Wage Seven-Year War against the American People

-- The Corporate Surveillance State: How the Thought Police Use Your Cell Phone to Track Your Every Move

-- Transportation Security Administration Expands Operations Across The U.S.

-- U.S. Marine Put in Psychiatric Hospital for Saying 9-11 Was an Inside Job

-- Psychiatrists Threatened to ‘Brainwash’ Marine Detained for Facebook Posts

-- Hundreds of U.S. Military Veterans Reveal “Psychiatric Detention” in Wake of Brandon Raub Case

-- U.S. Veterans Forcibly Sequestered in Mental Hospitals in Indefinite Detention

-- ‘Unconstitutional’?: Atheists Target High School Coach for Allowing Churches to Feed Football Players

-- ‘Disturbing Trend’: German Rabbi Faces Criminal Charges for Performing Circumcision

-- All Nine Bystanders Wounded in Empire State Shooting Were Hit by Police Bullets, Not Gunman’s

-- Seventeen Afghans Beheaded in Insurgent Attack on Party

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The Religion of Peace

Articles from the past week about the religion of peace:

-- Sharia in Pakistan: Eleven-Year-Old Down's Syndrome Girl Charged With Blasphemy for Burning Book with "Sacred" Text "Cannot Read or Write"

-- Islamic Slavery in Pakistan: Christian Family Asks For Protection after Being Freed after Twenty Years

-- Pakistan: A Christian Minor Girl Murdered after allegedly being Gang Raped by Muslims

-- Radical Islamists Embraced By U.S. Democratic National Committee This Year

-- Sharia: Iran Bans Women From Over Seventy University Courses: Report

-- "Moderate" Tunisia: Muslims Beat French Councilor Because of His Wife and Daughter's Summer Clothes

-- Iran's Supreme Leader Orders Fresh Attacks on the West

-- Turkish Islamic Scholar Attacked for Meeting with Jews

-- U.S. Must not Ignore Islamist Extremism in Indonesia

-- Pakistan: Orphan Christian Boy Found Brutally Tortured and Burned To Death

-- One Killed and Six Injured in Land Grab Attack in Pakistan

-- Monitoring Islam-Critics in Norway

-- Seventy Muslims Attack Hospital in Denmark

-- Caller Denies Hate Crime, Says He Left Raw Bacon near Ramadan Prayer Service for Stray Animals

-- Colorado: Five Muslims Arrested For Brutal Rape with Blunt Instrument "Horrific Sexual Assault"

-- 'American Taliban' Sues for Islamic Group Prayer in Indiana Prison

-- Jihad in Russia: Muslim Bomber Kills Seven Policemen

-- Muslims Attack Christian Residential Complex in Jerusalem

-- Two U.S. Troops Murdered by Devout Muslim Afghan 'Ally'

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