Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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How to Get Away with Murder

Here’s feedback I sent to ABC regarding their new TV show How to Get Away With Murder:  (I misspelled the creator’s name – rats!)

You & Peter Norwalk have taken a much-anticipated show and made it cheap and tawdry. You’ve taken an award-winning actress & a great plot but chose to add gratuitous sex.   You could have had a broad family audience, but this is why you finished third in the network total viewers stats last week. Keep pushing your individual agendas & continue to watch your viewer numbers drop. Sadly, we won’t be watching ‘How to Get Away with Murder’.   And if Viola Davis has any class, she’ll leave the show.

Here’s a quote from that prompted my feedback:

And you can expect a lot more same-sex sex and same-sex romance as the series continues because, as Nowalk puts it, “It’s part of life.”

“I knew I wanted to push the envelope, especially with the gay sex,” Nowalk explained to me. “And to me, writing the gay characterization and writing some real gay sex into a network show is to right the wrong of all of the straight sex that you see on TV. Because I didn’t see that growing up, and I feel like the more people get used to two men kissing, the less weird it will be for people. I just feel like it’s a lack of vision that you don’t see it on TV, but ABC has never had a note about any of the weird stuff in the show, so I’m gonna keep it going.”

Nowalk reveals that Connor (Jack Falahee), the gay character, is definitely going to have a romance in the first season, right off the bat, starting with the second episode. It was in important to show a gay person as a full-fledged character.”

And of course it goes without saying, there will be lots of straight romance and straight sex, too.

If you want to give feedback to ABC:
1.  Don’t watch the show!
2.  Go to  They give you a limited amount of space, so make it short and pithy!

 To quote the movie, ‘Network’:  “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”   

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Christian Piling On – Flag on the Play!

OK – how many of you have actually read Ann Coulter’s entire article before responding?
Yep – the headline was obnoxious, but the purpose was to get you to read on.

Accusations of Christian narcissism? That hurts my pride and self-esteem! Can we please mull over her comments before we shout our knee-jerk reactions?

Does it reek of elitism to spend $2 million to send Americans back to the USA to receive a special treatment currently unavailable in the rest of the world? The Good Samaritan might have sent ‘one of the least of these’ from Liberia to receive treatment instead. Or maybe ask that the $2 million dollars be spent to make more of the vaccine to be shipped over to Liberia.

Ann’s next question is a good one, “Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?” As she sarcastically states, “America is in a pitched battle for its soul but… no, there’s nothing for a Christian to do here.” Let’s be honest, you’re a lot more glamorous in your home church when you go on a week’s missions trip overseas than when you faithfully and quietly serve those in need here at home. Hence, Ann’s example:

Right there in Texas, near where Dr. Brantly left his wife and children to fly to Liberia and get Ebola, is one of the poorest counties in the nation, Zavala County — where he wouldn’t have risked making his wife a widow and his children fatherless.
But serving the needy in some deadbeat town in Texas wouldn’t have been “heroic.” We wouldn’t hear all the superlatives about Dr. Brantly’s “unusual drive to help the less fortunate” or his membership in the “Gold Humanism Honor Society.” Leaving his family behind in Texas to help the poor 6,000 miles away — that’s the ticket.

Would I dare make the suggestion that the $40,000 your church collected to send teenagers to help at the orphanage in Guatemala for a week be better spent? Maybe send the $40,000 to the orphanage to build their own school and send the teenagers to a local rescue mission to experience serving? Did the kids raise that $40,000 themselves by working – raking leaves, washing windows… or did mom and dad help them send out a few fundraising letters so other people could pay for their trip? More things to mull over before piling on.

People! (As my sister the teacher always says) – It’s not an either/or situation. We serve Christ here at home and overseas. Ann is just pointing out our desperate need to address “the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence” here in America. I think that would preach well on a Sunday morn’n!

Ann’s next point – are we tired of fighting the culture wars here in the good ol’ USA and instead go serve in third world countries? There’s a few folks that are vocal, but the rest of us (including me) sit back in our comfort and security and keep our lips zipped. I love Lecrae, a Christian rapper, who is taking on an entire rap/hip-hop culture in need of redemption. Not in an arrogant, ‘looking down my nose at you’ way, but entering in by using his gifts and making a huge difference.

By the way, I love medical missions and the hearts of those willing to serve and sacrifice in those areas, but let’s stay on point. We’re examining ourselves in regards to narcissism. We love to ‘throw money over the wall’ into Christian organizations, but are we really willing to get out of our comfortable lives and fly to Liberia, quietly serve at a local medical clinic or speak up against political correctness? Remember, my argument is that both are correct – medical missions to Liberia AND serving here in America. Since I’ve been reading Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I thought this quote from Martin Niemöller might spur us on.
Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

I ask the Christian community to set aside Ann Coulter’s inflammatory language (that’s what has brought her notoriety and it works!) and examine the questions she poses. We also need to question our reactions when someone says something we disagree with. Can we continue a dialogue, or just respond with “If you remain a fan of Ann Coulter after reading this, you are as pathetic as she is.” That name-calling stuff is just ugly; just as ugly as calling someone’s choices ‘idiotic’ or ‘pagan foolishness’. That sort of reminds me of liberal-leaning folks that call me a ‘homophobe’ when I disagree with them, or that won’t shop at Hobby Lobby, or won’t eat at Chick-Fil-A because they disagree with the owner’s beliefs. Hmmmm….

Are you willing to discuss this with me? If not, feel free to pile on. It’s time for some Christian courage. Bring it on! Or, I might just take a lesson from our dear President and avoid anything of substance or any controversy – fly to Martha’s Vineyard, shoot some pool and play a round of golf.

Tammy Pence, Normal, IL

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Missions Insider Movements by Tammy Pence

I’ve been thinking about the Insider Movements in Missions, while also reading the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. For a quick overview, here’s excerpts from “Insider Movements And the Busted Church” by Bill Nikides, as published in Modern Reformation Magazine:

Maybe you haven’t heard, but the most explosive issue in global missions within the evangelical church today is something called “Insider Movements.” Insider Movements (IM) are variously defined as “popular movements to Christ that bypass both formal and explicit expressions of Christian religion” (Kevin Higgins, “The Key to Insider Movements,” Internal Journal of Frontier Missiology, Winter 2004). Another definition Higgins offers is that they are “movements to Jesus that remain to varying degrees inside the social fabric of Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, or other people groups.” In other words, as John Ridgeway of the Navigators relates, Insider Movements advocate “becoming faithful disciples of Jesus within the culture of their people group, including religious culture.”

Insiders are those who profess faith in Christ but remain members of their original religious communities; Muslims remain Muslims, Hindus remain Hindus, and Buddhists remain Buddhists. In the Muslim world that means they must acknowledge one exclusive God, Allah, and that Mohammed is his final and greatest messenger. They remain members of the mosque, practice the five pillars of Islam, live openly in their cultures as Muslims, participate in Muslim sacrifices and feasts, and identify themselves as Muslims.

German Christian flagDietrich Bonhoeffer was struggling with the German Christians, which were an anti-Semitic movement within German Protestantism aligned towards Nazism with the goal to align German Protestantism as a whole towards those principles. They sought to expunge all Jewish elements from the Christian church. In a process that became more daring as Nazi plans for genocide unfolded, this group of Protestant lay people and clergy rejected the Old Testament, ousted people defined as non-Aryans from their congregations, denied the Jewish ancestry of Jesus, etc. So what does this have to do with the Insider Movement?

When someone asked Dietrich Bonhoeffer whether he shouldn’t join the German Christians in order to work against them from within, he answered that he couldn’t. “If you board the wrong train,” he said, “it is no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction.”

This struck me as the correct response to the Insider Movements – I don’t think you can worship Allah as God and disavow Jesus as the Son of God in your social/cultural life, but yet bow to the Triune God of the Bible in your heart.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.




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16 More Days until Christmas ~ Get out in the cold & wind and shop til you drop!

This and That
• ChristianAudio’s twice yearly sale is back! Most of their audiobook downloads are only $7.49. The sale goes until December 20. See below:
This is truly a special time of the year. It happens only twice. Yes, The Twice-Yearly Sale is BACK! Almost all audiobook downloads on christianaudio are on sale for the amazing price of only $7.49 each; that’s an average discount of 30-70% on your favorite, bestselling authors. Hurry though, this limited time Sale ends December 20th. And remember, you can send any download as a gift to be delivered on Christmas morning! See one you like? Give it as a gift & get it for yourself! They’re only $7.49 each!

Nashville Indie Spotlight
• Jars of Clay has a new song “Ghost in the Moon”, the new Nashville Indie Spotlight album available on iTunes. The collection features 30 songs for just $7.99.


• “Ordinary Love”, the new U2 song written for the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is now available from iTunes. You can download it as a single track or as an immediate download when you pre-order the official movie soundtrack, which will be released next December 9.

Here to Stay
• John Hiatt has released Here to Stay – Best Of 2000-2012. The album features two songs from each of his 8 albums released since 2000, and includes the previously unreleased track “Here to Stay,” featuring Joe Bonamassa.


Duck Dynasty
• Two stars of the popular A&E television series Duck Dynasty will make their big screen debut in the Spring of 2014. Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, are featured in the new movie God’s Not Dead. Read more below:

A fresh music review of “Duck the Halls” has been posted to the blog (since you just can’t get enough of them there Duck Dynasty Robertsons!),
as well as a review of the movie, “Out of the Furnace”.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Guest Blogger, Tammy Pence