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  • Apr 25 / 2017
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Commentary

Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, the Church, Dressing Modestly, and the Culture of Sexual Harassment (The Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture #25)

Welcome to the Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast where we consider different perspectives on what is happening in our culture and apply a biblical worldview. I am your host, Daniel Whyte III. This is episode #25.

This episode is titled, Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, the Church, Dressing Modestly, and the Culture of Sexual Harassment.

Over the past nine months, it would seem as though judgment day has come over at Fox News, the most-watched cable news network in America. Numerous women, some of them longtime contributors such as Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, alleged sexual harassment against the network’s founder and longtime head, Roger Ailes. He resigned in July 2016 after 20 years leading the network. His stepping down was followed this past week by the stunning ouster of Bill O’Reilly who has been with the network since its inception, with fifteen of those years being spent, unchallenged, at the top of primetime cable news ratings. He had been hit with similar allegations of sexual harassment by female co-workers, which prompted the network to pay out $13 million in settlements. In total, Fox News has paid $38 million to women who have worked at the network, which, according to one employee, “operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.”

The downfall of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly is just one facet of the growing public dissatisfaction regarding the way women are often treated by their male superiors in the workplace and the so-called “rape culture” on college campuses (even some Christian campuses such as Baylor University), in the military, in general in society, and, yes, even in the church. According to Christian Post, a quarter of Christian women who work in a ministry setting admit that they have experienced sexual harassment, including “demeaning comments, suggestive jokes, glances with sexual overtones, and unwanted touching or sexual contact.” and requests for sexual favors. (This does not count women who simply attend, but do not work, in a church or ministry.) Research conducted by the United Methodist Church found that “half of laywomen” reported experiencing sexual harassment in the church.

In order to keep their jobs or to keep from being shut out from leadership circles, women often feel as though they cannot speak up against this activity. The Christian Post report notes that ‘50 percent of women said they tried to avoid the perpetrator, 45 percent ignored it, 38 percent shrugged it off, and 31 percent prayed.’ Only one percent took legal action. What’s worse is that men, even Christian men, perpetrate the notion that ‘this is just the way it is’ and/or that ‘this is just the way men are.’ This outlook only serves to give men an excuse for unseemly behavior towards women while continuing to put women in the position of appearing as willing participants in order to not rock the boat or upset the powerful male leader(s).

The church must reject the mindset of the world regarding this issue. How can we begin to course-correct?

First, pastors, fathers, and older male and female leaders in the church must instill in young men that, just because they have sexual desires for women, that does not give them license to behave in an inappropriate way toward women in the church, in the classroom, or in the corporate world. Christian men must hold themselves to a higher standard than the world.

Second, pastors, fathers, mothers, and older female leaders in the church must inform young women that, yes, the culture often looks the other way when men make inappropriate sexual remarks or sexual advances toward women. The world says, “Boys (including grown-up boys) will be boys.” But just because this is the way things are does not mean that this is the way things should be. No woman should feel like she has to quietly go along with behavior or language that is sexually suggestive, inappropriate, or demeaning, just to keep a job, keep from being shamed, or climb the corporate ladder.

Third, all women need to be informed that they have an obligation to speak up when they are subjected to inappropriate remarks or behavior from men in leadership, whether it is coming from a pastor, ministry director, or boss. Things will not get better unless women begin refusing to abide by the culture of harassment. Will some women lose their jobs or be demoted in retaliation? Absolutely. Will some women get the cold shoulder from pastors and others in the church who feel like they should have just kept their mouths shut in order to avoid tarnishing the pastor’s reputation? Yes. But a little suffering now will go a long way toward making the world safer for future generations of women.

These things must be spoken about by pastors at their sacred desks, by mothers and fathers in the home, and by older men and women in the public square. That is the only way we can begin to change the church and the culture for the better.

In closing let me give young single ladies some advice. According to the Scriptures you have a responsibility to dress modestly. If you do not want the lustful attention of men, do not draw attention to yourself by dressing immodestly. One of the problems at Fox News is that women do not dress modestly and this is going to attract the attention of redblooded men. That does not justify them making innappropiate remarks, but it does draw their attention by what you’re showing such as cleavage and thighs. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

Also if you’re a single woman and a single man asks you for a date, that is not sexual harassment, so don’t waste your time running down to the courthouse to sue.

In closing, let me leave you with a Scripture and a quote to think about.

In First Timothy 5:2 Paul writes, “Treat the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”

And Genesis 1:27 reminds us that women, too, are image-bearers of God and ought to be treated as such: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

The Christian Reformed Church of North America published the anonymous testimony of a woman who experienced sexual harassment in the church. She concluded her article by saying, “To churches and ministries, I would say don’t wait for assault or sexual propositions before you take action. Follow up if you hear about or witness even one inappropriate comment or touch. Know that women might be afraid to report it even if you ask them directly, especially if they have family depending on their income. You may have to be very thorough and offer total anonymity to uncover what is quite possibly a whole pattern of inappropriate behavior. Finally, remember that our Christian witness is damaged more when we protect those who abuse power than when we deal with those people quickly, honestly, and justly.”

In light of what we have discussed today, I want to remind you that in our ever-changing world, there is one Person who never changes. That person is Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not subject to the whims of society or popular opinion. He has an unchanging, eternal love for you. If you do not know Him as your Savior, I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thank you for listening to this Torch Leadership Cross in Culture Podcast.

Visit us online at www.torchleadershipfoundation.com

Until we meet again, remember to keep Christ first in our ever-changing culture.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

  • Apr 17 / 2017
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Commentary

Tim Keller and the Offensiveness of Christianity: This New Age is Just Like the Old One (The Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast #24)

Welcome to the Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast where we consider different perspectives on what is happening in our culture and apply a biblical worldview. I am your host, Daniel Whyte III. This is episode #24.

This episode is titled, Tim Keller and the Offensiveness of Christianity: This New Age is Just Like the Old One

Recently, Princeton Theological Seminary announced that it would be awarding Tim Keller, who has pastored Manhattan’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church for over 25 years, the Kuyper (Ki-per) Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. The aftermath should have been predictable because we have seen it time and time again in recent years.

Cue shock and disgust over a Bible preacher actually preaching what the Bible says against homosexuality. Cue liberal horror over Keller’s traditional views regarding female preachers among other things. Cue Princeton therefore backing down from its intentions and compromising to assuage the outrage of those crying foul simply because a good pastor has preached the truth of the bible mainly regarding traditional marriage between a man and a woman and being against the abomination of homosexuality or sodomy. “We won’t give him the award,” they said, “but he can still speak at the annual Kuyper Conference at our school.”

It is worth noting that, according to Christianity Today, fifteen Kuyper Conference participants and presenters, including influential philosophers Nicholas Wolterstorff and Alvin Plantinga, released a statement expressing their disagreement with Princeton’s decision to rescind Keller’s award, saying the reversal ‘gives evidence of a policy unworthy of its history of free academic debate and diversity that characterizes this great institution.'”

That aside, what’s interesting is that some Christians still act like they are surprised by this outcome. They are offended that the world is offended by traditional Christian beliefs. We know that the Bible hasn’t changed in two millennia. Perhaps an even stranger truth is that the world hasn’t changed either. Both Jews and Gentiles found the Christian faith offensive. The Jews didn’t like Christian claims of Jesus’ divinity and how He did not honor and obey their traditions they added to the law. The Gentiles didn’t like the exclusivity of the Christian message and its requirement that believers turn away from worshiping traditional pagan gods and the Roman emperors.

We should not be surprised when the world is offended by the cross of Jesus Christ or our beliefs based upon the bible which dictates our lifestyle or how we live. Our purpose is not to offend, but when a person is told the truth about their standing before God — namely, that they are a sinner — because of the pride and rebellion in the human heart, the natural response is indignation. If we understand this, we do not have to be shocked when the world responds in clamorous negativity to the gospel message or any message that aligns with the Bible and traditional Christian doctrine. We ought to expect it.

Perhaps, in America, the notion of a “Christian nation” has been deeply ingrained and Christians have been coddled too much for our own good. We should not be discouraged when the world expresses disdain toward God, God’s word, or God’s people. We are of a different kingdom. We are not of this world. We are, in the words of C.S. Lewis, a part of “the invasion” into “hostile territory.” There is no way we can expect to be welcomed.

In closing, let me leave you with a Scripture and a quote to think about.

First Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

And Jesus Christ said in Luke 12:51-53, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

John Piper said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ, as the Bible presents it, is offensive and it is extreme until God opens the eyes of the heart and calls people out of darkness, the darkness of rebellion into the light of faith. We need to settle it in our hearts that we are willing to be criticized and even persecuted by bringing the best news in all the world, and having it characterized as foolishness. That has happened everywhere the gospel has been preached for 2,000 years. Some believe and rejoice in the gospel as the greatest news in the world. Others do not see it, and regard it as the height of arrogance.”

In light of what we have discussed today, I want to remind you that in our ever-changing world, there is one Person who never changes. That person is Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not subject to the whims of society or popular opinion. He has an unchanging, eternal love for you. If you do not know Him as your Savior, I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thank you for listening to this Torch Leadership Cross in Culture Podcast.

Visit us online at www.torchleadershipfoundation.com

Until we meet again, remember to keep Christ first in our ever-changing culture.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

  • Mar 18 / 2017
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Commentary, Podcast

Both Russell Moore and Jack Graham Are Wrong: They Should Have Never Let a Stupid Election Cause a Stupid Rift Like This (The Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture #21)

Welcome to the Torch Leadership Foundation’s Cross in Culture Podcast where we consider different perspectives on what is happening in our culture and apply a biblical worldview. I am your host, Daniel Whyte III. This is episode #21.

This episode is titled, Both Russell Moore and Jack Graham Are Wrong: They Should Have Never Let a Stupid Election Cause a Stupid Rift Like This Continue Reading

  • Jul 30 / 2016
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Commentary, Podcast

Some of America’s Pastors are Waving the Wrong Flags (The Cross in Culture #20)

This episode is titled, Some of America’s Pastors are Waving the Wrong Flags

In recent decades, religion — particularly Christianity, has become entwined with the American political system. With the rise of the Moral Majority under the leadership of Jerry Falwell Sr. and other leaders such as E.V. Hill and D. James Kennedy speaking out boldly on political and social issues, politicians came to realize that the “faith vote” was very important. At first, this applied mostly to conservatives and the Republican party. But, soon, Democrats caught on and they have made increasing efforts to reach out to pastors and church-going voters as well.

Both the Republican National Convention last week and the Democratic National Convention this week featured several pastors and preachers speaking on behalf of and in support of presidential candidates and their party’s respective platforms. Both campaigns are relying heavily on Christian ministers to serve as surrogates in the media and to their congregations. Both sides wish to be seen as having a corner on the Christian vote. Continue Reading

  • Jun 20 / 2014
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Commentary

Ben Carson: America Can Still be ‘One Nation’

One Nation Book Tour Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

One Nation Book Tour Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

My wife and I have been on a book tour by bus through several states recently, and I have been struck by the number of people who have already read “One Nation,” but also by the large, enthusiastic crowds whose constituents include all political parties. People are concerned about our future as a nation and the poor prioritization of issues by our leaders, to put it mildly.

We wrote “One Nation” to try to convince our fellow Americans that “we the people” are not each other’s enemies and that our strength is derived from unity and common sense, which should be ubiquitous. The real enemies are the forces that are constantly trying to divide and conquer. They create divisions based on race, gender, age, education and, especially, income. It is important that we discuss who the purveyors of division are and what drives them to seek a radical alteration in the American way of life.

We discuss the tools used to manipulate the populace into feeling that they should be offended so easily by words, while diverting their attention away from the real issues that desperately cry out for a solution. One of the major keys to avoiding manipulation is knowledge. Our system of government was designed for people who could easily understand the issues and vote intelligently based on knowledge, rather than blindly following political leaders who are often enshrouded with less-than-honorable motives.

One of our major themes in the book is that knowledge is a formidable enemy of falsehood and a formidable ally of truth. There are specific steps that each of us can take, such as reading about something new for a half-hour every day for a year. Such a simple move will profoundly change the life of the reader and will vastly increase his effectiveness as an involved and responsible citizen.

In today’s world of widely disseminated information, one can become quite knowledgeable in a variety of areas quite rapidly, regardless of his occupation.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: The Washington Times

  • Jun 20 / 2014
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Commentary

Ben Carson: As Long as U.S. Leaders Game the Immigration System, Illegals Will, Too

(Illustration by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency)

(Illustration by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency)

In 2012, the current administration made it clear that certain unaccompanied illegal minors would not be deported if caught. This helped create an atmosphere of tolerance that would be conducive to the current rash of illegal dumping of thousands of children from south of the border into the United States. Now we have a humanitarian crisis that appears to have been manufactured for political reasons.

One would not have to be incredibly bright to predict that families in South and Central America, as well as in Mexico, would recognize a veiled invitation to get their children into the United States with little chance of deportation. Of course, the media are asking opponents of the administration for solutions to this crisis. Almost anything these opponents suggest will be either harsh, making them appear cruel and callous, or weak, making them appear to be amnesty supporters. Either way, they will take a political hit. Meanwhile, the administration can stay above the fray and receive the political benefit of gratitude from many legal and illegal immigrants. It’s a clever and effective ploy with the added benefit of redistributing even more American wealth. It remains to be seen how many people will be hoodwinked.

We have all heard it said many times that America is a land of immigrants, some voluntary and some involuntary, but immigrants nevertheless. We have plenty of space in our country, but insufficient jobs and insufficient resources to support everyone who wants to come here. When we see innocent children used as political pawns, it still tugs at our heartstrings, which is the desired intent. The real question is what are we going to do about it. The combination of immigration reform being a very tough issue as well as a political football has led to governmental stalemates and no useful solutions for decades.

To begin to solve this problem, we must have some understanding of why it exists. Despite all of its problems, America is still the place of dreams. As such, it is small wonder that so many from other nations would like to live here. The benefits of an American domicile are so great that they outweigh issues of legality currently.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: The Washington Times

  • Dec 17 / 2013
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Commentary

The Monster of Political Correctness

by La Shawn Barber
WORLD Magazine

The dictionary defines political correctness as: “demonstrating progressive ideals, esp by avoiding vocabulary that is considered offensive, discriminatory, or judgmental, esp concerning race and gender.” I’ll go two steps further: Political correctness was created to suppress the expression of conventional wisdom and subvert traditional values.

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