Missouri Family E-News

February 13, 2018

Billy Graham Stood Tall for Life and the Family of God  
The spiritual legacy of revered preacher Billy Graham is being memorialized by countless Christians in the wake of his passing last week.

Reverend Graham commanded such universal respect that he was often called "America's pastor," and he is unquestionably regarded as one of the greatest evangelists of the Gospel of all time.

Graham's stadium-sized crusades had a huge impact in Missouri early on in his traveling preaching career. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in 1953 nearly 12,000 people crammed into Kiel Auditorium every night for an entire month for one of Graham's revivals.

Graham was 34 years old at the time.  The wisdom of his words about American culture were prophetic.  "The problem of sin is a bottle of poison.  We like to change the label and call it mistakes."

Graham returned to St. Louis in 1973 and 1999 for multi-day crusades that drew audiences that approached or exceeded 200,000 people.

Billy Graham avoided political commentary over most of his years behind the pulpit, emphasizing the centrality of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Yet he was straightforward about certain moral issues.  One of them was the right to life.  "My heart aches for America and its deceived people," he wrote in 2012, lamenting how the nation seemed largely unconcerned about the "millions of babies" being aborted each year.

"Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle," Graham observed.  "The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control."

Reverend Graham was also a firm defender of traditional marriage.  "I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage.  The Bible is clear.  God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman."

Graham was also unafraid to stand up to the "gay rights" revolution.  "Today, experimentation in sexual perversion is admired.  But let me say this loud and clear.  We traffic in homosexuality at the peril of our spiritual welfare."

Billy Graham was a trailblazer in promoting civil rights for African Americans.  He mandated integration in his crusades in 1953, and in 1957 invited Martin Luther King Jr. to preach with him at a New York City revival.

Michael Farris, President of the Alliance Defending Freedom, noted the impact Graham had on individuals who were living out their faith journey in many different walks in life. 

"Billy Graham inspired millions, from heads of state to missionaries, from clergy to teenagers.  His legacy will live on in the hearts, souls, and minds of all those who work tirelessly to proclaim the Good News and the healing power of Jesus Christ."

Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins praised Graham as a rare example of dignity and integrity.  "At a time in which so many leaders in politics, the pulpit, and entertainment have proven flawed, Billy Graham stood as a man of honest humble leadership, communicating timeless truths with love and respect."

In the wake of his death, one of the most generous and insightful tributes to Graham came from a Catholic, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.

"Billy Graham navigated a century of turbulent conflict and change with a zeal for the Gospel that made him one of the greatest Christian presences in American history."

"His witness to Jesus Christ reached across denominational lines and inspired millions.  May the example of his life lead others to the freedom of Christian discipleship." 
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Ohio Parents Lose
Custody of Daughter
Over Gender Identity

A Christian couple in Ohio have lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter because they did not agree to allow the child to receive hormone "therapy" in her efforts to identify as a male.

A judge in Hamilton County ordered that the teenage girl be placed in the custody of her maternal grandparents, who will now have exclusive authority to make medical decisions for their granddaughter, and to support her personal efforts to officially change her name and her physical development.

The girl was hospitalized in 2016 due to depression and anxiety.  Officials at Cincinnati Children's Hospital diagnosed her as suffering from so-called "gender dysphoria."  They recommended that the child receive hormone "treatments" so that she could transition to "becoming" a male.  The parents objected, saying that they did not believe such harmful "therapy" was in their daughter's best interests.

Judge Sylvia Hendon ruled that the "the child truly may be 'gender-noncomforming' and has a legitimate right to pursue life with a different gender identity than the one assigned at birth."  Hendon scolded the parents for not accepting "the reality of the fact" that their daughter considers herself to be a male.

The parents of the girl had originally been investigated by family service authorities for child abuse and neglect for refusing to support their daughter's delusional behavior.  The parents were accused of causing "trauma and anxiety" by enrolling their daughter in a Catholic school where the dress code includes a girls' uniform.  They were also accused of triggering trauma in their child by calling her by her real female name.

Karen Brinkman, the attorney for the parents, argued that the child's unstable mental and emotional condition made clear that she was in no position to be making decisions resulting in permanent physiological changes to her body.  Brinkman pointed out that the parents had consulted medical professionals and examined extensive research, and concluded that hormone "therapy treatments" would do more harm than good to their daughter.

Judge Hendon used the occasion to urge the Ohio Legislature to revise juvenile law in that state to allow minors the right to self-consent to "gender therapy."  The judge said that such a change would "give a voice and a pathway to youth."

"This a major setback for advocates of parental rights and religious freedom," writes Nicole Russell of the online publication The Federalist.  "The clear message from the juvenile court to parents seems to be--'Mutilate your child or we will do it for you.'"

"Beckoning lawmakers to draw up legislation which strips parents of custody seems to align more with a police state than a free society in which parents have primary authority to steward their children," Russell added.   
Christian commentator Jonathan Van Maren also condemned Judge Hendon's actions. "Gender ideologies that are barely a decade old can now result in the loss of your children.  The ideologues will never be satisfied until children of all parents are indoctrinated into their ideas."

Dr. Paul McHugh, the longtime psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was a leader in pioneering sex change surgery, often now described as "gender reassignment" surgery.  However, McHugh now concludes that "there is little scientific evidence that these therapeutic interventions have psychological benefits."

McHugh now calls doctors who administer puberty-delaying hormones as "misguided," saying that more than 80% of gender-confused children "will abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated."  In fact, a study by the American Psychiatric Association found that 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls accepted their biological sex after going through puberty.

"'Sex change' is biologically impossible," Dr. McHugh now states.  "People who undergo sex reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa.  Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women.  Claiming that this is a civil rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."

Dr. Michelle Cretella, the President of the American College of Pediatricians, has accused hospitals like Cincinnati Children's of promoting a political agenda over science and the well-being of children.  "When academic, medical, and other public institutions propagate the lifetime use of toxic hormones and the surgical removal of healthy body parts as healthcare for children they are engaged in institutionalized child abuse."

Today there are more than 45 "pediatric gender" clinics across the nation.  We reported in January of last year that St. Louis Children's Hospital in St. Louis had established their own "Pediatric Gender Center."  That facility is providing "hormone blockade" and "cross-hormone" treatment to children being seen at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  The director of the program said at the time that their goal was to be "a shining star in the region for 'transgender' patients and families."

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