Larry Farlow

Commentary on Theology & Culture

November 24, 2015
by Larry Farlow

The Vestigial Nature of Moments of Silence

When tragedy strikes, nothing is more ubiquitous than calling for a “moment of silence.” In times past, we understood our powerlessness in the face of tragedy and so turned to One who was not powerless to make sense of it. In other words, we prayed. Now, however, prayer is out of the question. Prayer implies we are not in control. Prayer implies we are not the highest authority. Prayer implies, well, that God exists and we can’t have that.

So, instead, we have come up with this vestigial act that looks like prayer but is not. Something we can all participate in that seems spiritual without really being so and, most importantly, that won’t offend anyone.

I don’t do moments of silence. Having a moment of silence in response to tragedy is like choosing a Matchbox car to get you to work. It may look like the real, functioning counterpart but in reality it is powerless to help you.

We should either admit God is there and we need him or admit that he’s not and that tragic events have no rhyme, reason or purpose. They are in fact not really tragic because nothing is good, bad or indifferent if there is no God – everything just is. And if that is so, why should we stop our lives for even a moment to be quiet simply because stuff happened?


November 14, 2015
by Larry Farlow

Why (Insert Group Name Here) Leave the Church

You’ve seen the blog posts and articles – why group X is leaving the church, men, millennials, college students, teens, etc.

Can I just say something? I’m tired of that approach. There are two and only two reasons people “give up on the church” no matter their demographic:

  • They are immature Christians. (Hebrews 5:12)
  • They were not Christians to start with. (I John 2:19, 3:10)

Listen to what God’s Word says about the importance of the church to the Lord and, by extension, to His people:

  • Christ died for the church, not for a collection of autonomous individuals. (Ephesians 5:25, Acts 20:28)
  • The church is Christ’s bride (Revelation 21:2)
  • The church is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:24)
  • The church is God’s plan to sanctify His people (I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5:26-27)
  • The church is God’s plan to evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • The church glorifies God to all creation (Ephesians 3:10)

Someone who does not see the church as essential to the Christian life is not viewing life through the lens of scripture, not viewing life from the perspective of one transformed by the Holy Spirit. That’s not to deny that sometimes one must leave a particular local congregation. However, a mature Christian will always seek another local expression of the Body of Christ with which to affiliate, no matter how difficult or hurtful their experience at a specific local church. Being part of a church is what Christians do. To say I’m a Christian who has given up on the church is like saying I’m a husband who has given up living with my wife. “Husband” implies relationship with the wife. “Christian” implies relationship with the church.

So next time you see an article on “5 Reasons Why Duck Hunters in the Midwest Leave the Church,” you can save yourself some reading: they are leaving because they are either immature Christians or not Christians at all.


October 29, 2015
by Larry Farlow

Reformation Day 2015 – The Just Shall Live by Faith

For by it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. – Romans 1:17

We’re coming up on October 31, not only a day for kids to dress up and go door-to-door in search of free candy but also the day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, setting off the protestant reformation.

Many issues were debated during the Reformation but the keystone issue was justification – how can sinful man be made right before a holy, righteous God. In honor of Reformation Day 2015, here, from the late John Gerstner, is one of the best explanations of justification I’ve ever seen – as well as a clear explanation of the differences in the protestant and Roman Catholic approaches:

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for Christ’s righteousness for I have none of my own.

Happy Reformation Day!

October 12, 2015
by Larry Farlow

Why is Europe the Destination of Choice for Syrian Refugees?

I saw this on Twitter recently:


Voices of Youth is “UNICEF’s global online community for young people who want to know more, do more and say more about the world.” Far be it from me to question the motives of the United Nations but I do have a few questions:

Why are people “running towards Europe” when it is several hundred miles farther away than Jordan or Saudi Arabia or even Egypt? Why is Europe obligated to Muslim refugees to a greater degree than their Islamic neighbors are? If “no human being can be illegal” and everyone has a right to live anywhere they choose with no regard for borders or local laws and customs, why go hundreds of miles out of your way when there is an oil rich kingdom you could reach several hours sooner?

And besides, wasn’t Saudi Arabia just chosen to head the UN Human Rights Council? Given that, shouldn’t they be air lifting their Muslim brothers and sisters into the kingdom so they don’t have such a long trek?

Just seems a bit illogical to me unless there is something else at work here than mere expediency and humanitarianism.

September 7, 2015
by Larry Farlow

What Law has Kim Davis Broken?

What Law has Kim Davis Broken?The answer is none. Kim Davis has broken no law. The law in Kentucky says marriage is between a man and a woman. That law has not been changed by the Kentucky legislature (legislature being a body of elected officials tasked with making law, not to be confused with the judiciary). Also, it is not against the law to refuse to issue a marriage license no matter what reason you give for doing so. It certainly could be grounds for dismissal if that is one of your job requirements, but it is not illegal.
You might say “contempt of court” for failing to obey an injunction. Here’s how the Legal Information Institute at Cornell defines an injunction:
They are issued early in a lawsuit to maintain the status quo by preventing a defendant from becoming insolvent or to stop the defendant from continuing his or her allegedly harmful actions.
Harmful actions? Who has Kim Davis harmed by personally refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple? It goes on:
Injunctive relief is a discretionary power of the court in which the court, upon deciding that the plaintiff’s rights are being violated, balances the irreparability of injuries and inadequacy of damages if an injunction were not granted against the damages that granting an injunction would cause.
So apparently a particular county clerk in Kentucky can cause “irreparable injury” to someone by not issuing them a marriage license. Also, injunctions are only available to the court in cases of in-personam jurisdiction, meaning the court has authority over the person, as opposed to in-rem which means they have jurisdiction over the subject matter or particular location. Presumably Judge Bunning believes federal courts have authority over county employees regarding the performance of their job duties. By the way, this is not the first time Bunning has tried to use his office to bend local governments to his will (nor the first time he’s gone to bat for homosexual activists). In 2003 and again in 2006 he ordered the Boyd County Kentucky board of education to require students to undergo “diversity” training regarding sexual orientation.
Kim Davis is not legally obligated to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, or to anyone else. Issuing marriage licenses is one of her job duties. A judge has no more authority to hold her in contempt for not issuing marriage licenses than he does to hold in contempt a county employee who refuses to limit their breaks to 15 minutes twice a day (if that were a job requirement). Refusal to perform a job duty is not illegal and is not a matter for the courts – even for government employees. It’s certainly not a matter for federal courts when the job function in question is a state or local one.
Same-sex marriage is a fiction. The irreparable harm its proponents are concerned about is to the notion that two people of the same gender constitute a marriage. If dissent of any kind is allowed, others may realize the emperor has no cloths and they cannot have that. Kim Davis is in jail because she refused to bow the knee to the federal government. It’s as simple and as totalitarian as that. And that should frighten us all.

September 3, 2015
by Larry Farlow

A Tale of Two Schools

A Tale of Two SchoolsIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times…wait, how can it be both? You can’t have it both ways can you? Well, there are some people who think you can.

This week in Villa Rica, Georgia, a church conducted a baptism before football practice at the local high school. The baptism was done on school property but there is no indication any of the players baptized or any in attendance to watch were coerced to participate. There’s also no indication the event was promoted or endorsed by the school in any way.

Predictably a firestorm has erupted with the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit and the school system quickly agreeing to “investigate.”

Meanwhile at a high school in St. Louis, Missouri, 150 students walked out in protest because the school allowed a boy pretending to be a girl to use the girls’ locker room.  The school offered to provide a gender-neutral changing area for him but he insisted on being allowed into the girls’ locker room leading to concerns from both students and parents.

This situation too is likely headed for court unless, of course, the school caves to the “transgender” student.

In one situation, students who are not forcing their beliefs on anyone are treated like criminals while in the other situation, a student who is very much forcing his beliefs on others, is treated like a martyr and entitled to government protection under Title IX.

So yes, the progressive left in this country does want it both ways. They want to impose their beliefs on the public under threat of force while using that same threat of force to stop others from expressing beliefs they don’t like. They accuse others of intolerance while being among the most intolerant people in history.

Baptized football players are a threat to no one. But, they must be stopped because those who believe in God are always viewed as a threat by those who see themselves in that role.

“Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

August 24, 2015
by Larry Farlow
1 Comment

Men on A Train

Men on A TrainBy now you’ve heard of the courageous actions of three American men who prevented a massacre on a French train. As the story has unfolded, we also learned about two French men who risked their lives in the initial stages of the attack and were wounded trying to stop the gunman. The most complete coverage I’ve seen of the series of events can be read here.

The three Americans have become a cause celebre in France and were given the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor. Why such accolades? Certainly because people realize the carnage that was avoided. But, I think there’s more to it than that. This has struck a chord because these men acted like men and masculinity is in short supply these days, at least in the public arena.

Sadly we have example after example today of men who don’t act like men. Men do what these men did, they use their God-given strength and courage to stand in the gap for those in danger. They defend the weak against the strong. They do not drive their wives or girlfriends to the abortion clinic to have their baby murdered. They do not use their strength to loot stores and businesses or abuse women and children. They do not set up accounts on Ashley Madison. They do not fling their masculinity in God’s face like a spoiled child who didn’t receive the gift he wanted at Christmas and declare themselves to be women (and while we’re on that subject let’s be clear, if you want to see courage, look at these men, not at Bruce Jenner).

Of course, I cannot speak to the character of these men in all aspects of their lives because I don’t know them. But I do know that in this moment, they acted like men and many people are alive today because they did.

July 31, 2015
by Larry Farlow

But We Do More than Kill Babies!

Cecile Richards, Gauleiter of Planned Parenthood, has taken, of late, to listing all the things they do besides murdering children. On Wednesday her organization tweeted:

PP nonsense

Ok, let’s give credit where it’s due. They do indeed provide sex education. We know that ’cause we got that on video too. Here’s a Planned Parenthood official explaining the finer points of S&M and bondage to a 15 year old girl and suggesting that she (a minor) and her boyfriend visit a local sex shop.

(Warning: Graphic and sexually explicit content)

And what about providing birth control? Lest we short-change them further, I must admit they are also helpful to pimps seeking to obtain birth control and abortions for their underage prostitutes.

So, yes, Cecile, we do realize you do things other than just kill babies.

July 29, 2015
by Larry Farlow

If Cecil Was An Unborn Baby

If Cecil was an unborn babyPerhaps you’ve heard of the American dentist who killed a lion in Africa named Cecil. It’s been one of the biggest stories on the internet and in social media over the last several days. Providentially, it has been trending at the same time as the uproar over the latest Planned Parenthood video, shedding light on the mentality and priorities of our culture.

While conservatives are calling on congress to defund Planned Parenthood, where Cecil is concerned animal rights activists are calling for everything from running the hunter out of business to the death of his children. You know, the usual responses of the tolerant, “love wins” side of the political spectrum.

Here are a few examples from the comments section in one article:

I’d like to see lions feast on him.

This guy is a menace and should be hunted down.

This story makes me angry and I would like to shoot this beast of a man then behead him for a trophy.

Rot in hell!! Hope his business shuts down.

I hope he dies a painful death

What an absolute pig!


I hope this fool ends up working as a ditch digger to make ends meet AFTER he gets out of Zimbabwe prison! You pathetic man…so ashamed you are from America. Wife, divorce him. Kids, denounce him.

I don’t even want this guy, Walter Palmer, to die. I want him to suffer the most, harshest and scientifically-proven way of experiencing pain (physical and mental) for as long as possible. I would hate for him to merely suffer enormously but then find out that he could have suffered even more through some other, more advanced method. I’m talking on the level of pain receptors, neurons, axons and dendrites type stuff here. He needs to be in very serious pain.

I hate him and everything he stands for. How dare he!

I hope he and his family die.

i hope to god a million times that this piece of garbage drops dead. or is killed

pull all of his teeth out, one by one, pull off all fingernails and toenails. confiscate all ‘trophies’ and give them a burial. chain him in a dark dungeon for the rest of his life. we need some real justice here.

Naaah, let go shoot his family. Don’t see any harm in that.

Hope he gets cancer and his stupid false teeth fall out.

What an unbelievable horrible human being. Maybe he should be hunted, skinned and beheaded.


And these were not outliers, they were typical of the hundreds and hundred of comments, many of them also receiving 10, 20, 30 even 60 “thumbs up” as well. All this over the death of one lion. To put this in perspective, Planned Parenthood kills one human child every 97 seconds. Most of them don’t have names, they don’t have a world-wide fan base or people donning sackcloth and ashes as they hysterically vent their hatred at the killers, they are simply tossed in the trash or, as we’ve seen recently, sold for parts.

If Cecil was an unborn baby, you’d never have heard of him.

It’s a damn shame we live in a culture where a man who kills an animal is forced into hiding by a mob with pitchforks and torches but an organization responsible for the murder of 300,000 children each year operates openly and without shame.