January 27, 2014

The Human Heart, So Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

by Donald G. Mashburn

Evolutionism’s glaring lack of scientific explanation for things like the human heart was brought home to me a few years back in an unexpected way.

My heart had always been strong, tolerating extreme exertion and most any reasonable physical task. That all changed when a stress test and angiogram showed some serious blockages in my coronary arteries.

I felt no symptoms – no angina, shortness of breath or weakness. The doctors said my first indication of a heart attack might be my final one. Neither my family nor I liked the sound of that warning.

Coronary artery bypass surgery seemed to be a more acceptable risk than waiting for a heart artery to block off completely, forcing a shutdown of that remarkably and beautifully designed organ called the human heart.

The quadruple bypasses were performed by surgeons at Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City. Within days I was back in the hospital with indescribable pain in both arms, spreading to both shoulder blades and concentrating in the spine.

As the pain level went through the ceiling, so did the blood pressure numbers. An alert nurse arrived with morphine to quell the pain, and the blood pressure eventually declined to less critical levels. The pain also subsided and I felt normal again. The doctors, however, had no explanation since tests showed I had not had a heart attack.

After eight days I went home. Then, seventeen days after surgery, intense pain again hit both arms, both shoulders, my back and spine. At the emergency room, the pain hit levels I never knew a human could endure, as blood pressure zoomed. By the grace of God, and the help of superb nurses and a loving family, I endured the ordeal, but the cardiologists were still baffled as to the cause.

The second angiogram revealed that three of the four bypasses had failed. The native arteries were handling blood flow so well there was insufficient flow to keep the grafted arteries open. The cardiologists had no answers for the now open heart arteries. They placed two more stents in places of more serious blockage, and I was ready to go home.

I have since pondered it all, trying to figure out what happened and why. Why had God led me to and through each event, after my family and I had sought His guidance in every decision? We believed that God led us not only to the surgery but also the surgeon who was to do it.

So why all the suffering? Why in that dark, grim struggle, with me and my entire family praying, was the pain so prolonged? And why, in that pain, did faith grow stronger, although it seems obvious that at such times, faith and our Lord’s presence are all we have going for us?

Why did the bypass failures and crises play out as they did, especially after we had sought God’s will at every step? Part of the answer may be found in Herbert Lockyer’s, Everything Jesus Taught, where Lockyer quotes F. B. Meyer: “Suffering robs us of proud self-reliance, and casts us in agony at the feet of God.”

Lockyer goes on to say, “We wonder why infinite Love does not rush instantly” to our relief. It may be that the angel of pain must complete her visitation before the Savior arrives to comfort, to restore and to let us know that He is there with us.

It may be, too, that we must arrive at the foot of the cross in complete surrender so that healing can be abundantly and graciously poured out on undeserving sinners.

Lockyer says, “Character is ennobled by the capacity to bear physical and mental suffering without losing fortitude and faith.” How much my character was ennobled by pain I can’t say, but my faith no doubt was strengthened.

As Christians, our faith grows because Jesus has already conquered pain, sin and death. And, knowing that God the Father sent His own Son to save us, we also know that we are His, and this life’s events are merely preliminary to being with Him forever.

Even if our last breath here is a fight for oxygen, and our last glimpse of life here is a grim hospital room with loved ones praying, Believers know that their first glimpse of Eternity will be the blessed face of our Savior and Lord welcoming us to our eternal home.

With that blessed assurance, we can confidently say with David, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).


MLK: Homosexuality a “Problem” with a “Solution”

By Matt Barber

This past week America honored both the life and noble work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a Bible-believing Christian minister who did more to advance the cause of race-based civil rights than perhaps any other person in recent history.

Regrettably – and as they do each year – the same flock of opportunist “LGBT”-activist vultures quickly swooped in, picking the live flesh from MLK’s character-based “dream,” to advance their own behavior-based nightmare.

In what amounts to a sort of soft racism, this mostly white left-wing faction has, over the years, disingenuously and ignobly hitched its little pink wagon to a civil rights movement that, by contrast, is built upon the genuine and noble precepts of racial equality and humanitarian justice.

What was MLK’s position on the homosexual lifestyle and so-called “gay rights”? While he said little in public on the issue, what he did say made his viewpoint abundantly clear. Unlike the “LGBT” lobby, I’ll let Dr. King speak for himself.

In 1958, while writing an advice column for Ebony Magazine, Dr. King responded to a young “gay” man looking for guidance. To avoid being accused of “cherry-picking,” here is the exchange in its entirety:

Question: My problem is different from the ones most people have. I am a boy, but I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls. I don’t want my parents to know about me. What can I do? Is there any place where I can go for help?

Answer: Your problem is not at all an uncommon one. However, it does require careful attention. The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired. Your reasons for adopting this habit have now been consciously suppressed or unconsciously repressed. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with this problem by getting back to some of the experiences and circumstances that led to the habit. In order to do this I would suggest that you see a good psychiatrist who can assist you in bringing to the forefront of conscience all of those experiences and circumstances that led to the habit. You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.

No amount of leftist spin can muddy Dr. King’s lucid position on the homosexual lifestyle. He recognized it as a “culturally acquired” “problem” in need of a “solution” – a “habit” stemming from a series of negative “experiences and circumstances.”

Although homosexual activists desperately cling to the fact that, after his death, Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, did voice some level of support for the homosexualist political agenda, the undeniable reality remains that, based upon his own words, Dr. King supported neither homosexual conduct nor “LGBT” political activism.

Indeed, it strains credulity to suggest that MLK would have thrown his weight behind a political movement hell-bent on justifying sexual appetites and behaviors that he properly identified as “a problem” demanding a “a solution” – a “type of feeling” that requires “careful attention” – up to and including “see[ing] a good psychiatrist.”

No, MLK was a Christian minister who both embraced and articulated the biblical “love the sinner, hate the sin” model on homosexuality. Every Christian should follow his lead. After all, it is the lead set by Christ Himself.

Gary Glenn is a candidate for the Michigan State House. He is also president of the pro-family group AFA Michigan. Of Dr. King’s public position on homosexuality, Glenn recently noted a glaring – if not utterly twisted – irony: “If homosexual activists had been holding awards ceremonies back in 1958,” wrote Glenn, “they would have labeled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a bigot for his published views on homosexual attraction.

“And under today’s Orwellian ‘hate crimes’ laws in Britain and other countries of Europe,” he concluded, “Dr. King would have faced criminal investigation, or worse, for publicly expressing those views.”

Indeed, were he still alive today, and when judged against today’s empty, politically correct standards, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – quite literally the “King” of civil rights – would be perpetually smeared as a “bigot,” “hater” and “homophobe” by the ever-”tolerant” left.

The polls are unequivocal. The vast majority of African-Americans resent the left’s comparison of sexual sin to the color of their skin. They understandably find such dishonest parallels both repugnant and highly offensive.

And well they should.

The left has hijacked MLK’s dream. For decades now, this pleasure-based, sex-centric political movement – delineated by deviant sexual appetites and behaviors – has ridden his coattails. They’ve dared to equate demands for celebration of bad behavior to Christian notions of racial equality. They’ve perverted the genuine civil rights movement to fit their own disingenuous designs.

It’s disgusting and it needs to stop.

Dr. Alveda King is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She agrees. Alveda has picked up her like-minded uncle’s civil rights mantle, dedicating her life, primarily, to achieving equality for pre-born children.

Still, in the years since his death, Alveda has poignantly articulated how, arguably, based upon his published position on homosexuality, Dr. King might feel about “LGBT” activists’ misappropriation of his Christian legacy for their counter-Christian purposes.

“To equate homosexuality with race is to give a death sentence to civil rights,” said Alveda in 1997. “No one is enslaving homosexuals … or making them sit in the back of the bus.”

In 1998 at the University of North Carolina, she said, “Homosexuality cannot be elevated to the civil rights issue. The civil rights movement was born from the Bible. God hates homosexuality.”

And in 2012, Alveda publicly chastised the NAACP for abandoning its founders and constituents, saying, “Neither my great-grandfather, an NAACP founder, my grandfather Dr. Martin Luther King Sr., an NAACP leader, my father, Rev. A. D. Williams King, nor my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. embraced the homosexual agenda that the current NAACP is attempting to label as a civil rights agenda.…”

Indeed, it is high time that all supporters, from all races, of the historical civil rights movement stand together and demand that “progressive” propagandists stop misusing and abusing the language of genuine civil rights to propagate self-interested moral wrongs.

It’s time for the left to begin honoring the true beliefs, work, life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an author, columnist, and an attorney. Editor’s Note: The views and comments of guest writers are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Sage Commentary.