December 31, 2006

2007: (Real) Evangelicals Must Stand Up

In 2007, the church is in desperate need for real evangelicals to take a stand. Our culture would rather that evangelicals continue their decline toward the left, no longer caring to focus on the issue life and human dignity, but rather to trade those causes in for efforts that appear to be no cause at all. In 2006 we saw Jim Wallis come out strong without much of a cause except to appear closer to the political left - and as far away from the right as possible. We've seen the church, in evangelical circles, take a theological bungee jump -- forgetting the chord -- with the lastest version of seeker drivenness in emergent circles. And keep your eye on a certain denomination in 2007 that will likely change it's name -- and question the motives when it happens. 2006 will also be remembered for the self-inflicted wound (Ted Haggard), possibly one reason some elections were lost.

2006 represents the year of evangelical intimidation and decline. If in 2007, evangelicals fail to take a strong stand on the issues that protect and promote human dignity, evangelicals should consider taking no cause at all. 2007 will either be the year of cultural renewal -- perhaps a revival of sorts? -- or the death of evangelicalism as we have come to know it through such figures as Carl F. H. Henry. This year, we need real evangelicals involved in all facets of life, pseudo-evangelicals (left wing evangelicals) to abandon use of the term and discontinue their attempt to hijack the movement.

Happy New Year!

December 28, 2006

A Christian "Fast" from Politics? May it Never Be!

One of the hottest topics in the blogosphere right now is the idea that evangelicals should actually remove themselves from the sphere of politics and disengage from the activity in the public square. David Kuo writes,’s post-election online survey of more than 2,000 people revealed that nearly 40 percent of evangelicals support the idea of a two-year Christian “fast” from intense political activism. Instead of directing their energies toward campaigns, evangelicals would spend their time helping the poor.
Creating false dichotomies such as this helps neither the poor nor the political climate in our nation. This sort of suggestion compares to the hegemony that says that women can't be intelligent contributors to society as well as nurturers to their families. Of course evangelicals can and should continue to direct their energies toward political work, just as they should continue to work in any profession. This is not an either/or but a both/and.

December 20, 2006

The Expectations on the Exploited

Only in America can the women who are exploited for someone's visual pleasure and for another's financial gain be viewed as role models. I remember watching the "beauty pageants" as they were called in the 70's and early 80's. During that time, people called them what they were. I'm sure many of the young women at that time were worthy of the title "role model" as I'm sure some are today. But we deceive ourselves when we believe that just because a vivacious beauty wears a crown, she should be regarded is a role model. 2 things here:

1. I highly question the place of Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, etc. in the lives of today's youth. Probably the only young women who watch are on the same track themselves....and others have moms like me who just like to see the pretty dresses. But today, there is no sense in which today's preteens and teens are talking about the pageant over their hot lunch at school. They didn't even know it was on, nor did they care to know.

2. Wearing the crown doesn't make anyone a role model. That's obvious, it's ashame it needs to be said. In many cases, it means that the winner survived a childhood being paraded around hundreds of stages since the age of 2, being forced to let their moms live vicariously through them. If this is the case, they deserve the crown, but that doesn't make them a role model, that makes them a victim.

I'm sure the pageant organizations are doing a lot of financial good for the winners, but I think these are traditions that can go away now, for the good of women everywhere. The two winners who have involved the pageants in recent scandals are probably deeply confused. I'm not shocked by their behaviors, but I am amused by the focus on morality in these cases - morality for which I see no basis or grounding. It's just the pageant's arbitrary rules of conduct. Interesting.

Back from the Future

Since my last post I've been a bit busy preparing for the future. In addition to working on a book on women's ministry in the 21st century, I've also been working on a new website that features a new business venture. Sarah Flashing Designs is a communications and graphic design business that will, in the long term, free me up to do more of the speaking and writing that God has called me to. But now it's back to blogging and gearing up for Nancy Pelosi taking over on January 4. Are you ready?

December 12, 2006

Press Release: Donated Aborted Children Provide Stem Cells for Treatment of 6 Year-Old Boy

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL -December 12, 2006--The Foundation for Women of Faith in Culture decries the donation and use of tissues from aborted children for any purpose, including the treatment of Batten disease.

"Though we are very sad to hear that a young boy is suffering from the so-far incurable Batten disease, we do not believe that cures should ever come at the expense or exploitation of any human life," stated Sarah Flashing, MA, Director of Women of Faith in Culture, also fellow and consultant on women's issues with The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.

Daniel Kerner is a 6 year old boy who, last month, was the recipient of stem cells from aborted, donated fetuses in hopes of combating this rare genetic disease which usually ends the life of those afflicted before they reach their teens.

"Women of reproductive age currently receive payment for their eggs for treatment of infertility and the overly-hyped embryonic stem cell research. Her genetic material-her egg, becomes an embryo-her offspring. It doesn't remain an egg. And while these women continue to be exploited and objectified, there are even more vulnerable women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies. What will protect them from the manipulative tactics of the research-at-all-costs establishment?" stated Sarah Flashing. "While the period of gestation anticipates a fruitful harvest of life, our society has taken this to mean 'kill for cures.' Women also need to open their minds and realize that their fertility is in such high demand because of the financial interests of others."

The Foundation for Women of Faith in Culture is an evangelical Christian women's ministry that seeks to be an advocate for truth on behalf of all women. WFC educates women on the issues that affect all areas of her life, assisting her in the development and practice of a Christian worldview.

For Interviews
Contact Sarah Flashing at 630.484.1855 or

December 6, 2006

A Plea to Pastoral Leaders: Women's Ministry is No Tea Party

In a culture where no one is unaffected by godless philosophies and technologies that impact the sanctity and dignity of human life, where many women choose to be single mothers mothers-by means of assisted reproductive technologies or the traditional way of getting pregnant- and are also the primary caregivers to the elderly, where extreme feminism targets the uninformed, where pragmatism reigns and truth is dead, I appeal to you, evangelical pastoral leaders, to reconsider the role of women's ministry in your church.

Ministry to women is an urgent need - as urgent as Awana and youth ministry. Women's ministry should not be treated as a place for feminine socialization but as another opportunity to make disciples. Women are at the heart of our society as mothers and grandmothers, caregivers to children and to each other. The influence that women have in the home and the workplace, in the church and in the public square is monumental and ought not be set aside or ignored. Do you wonder where the young women are?....why the numbers dwindle at the bible studies and social gatherings? While women's lives look very different from 30-50 years ago and the world has changed dramatically, ministry to women has taken on few changes.

Women need to know what they believe and why they believe it and women's ministry in the local church is a phenom place to continue that pursuit. I love a good tea party, but let's face it - women are more than tea parties and banquets - and the decisions they face in this world reveal that to be true.

So while I challenge the content of women's ministry as it currently exists in the early 21st century, I realize that a shift must start from the top. Pastors, do not let the Gwen Shamblin fiasco repeat itself. Pay attention to your women's ministry leaders, the choice of curriculum, the role of theology, and considerations of contemporary issues that affect all women. While the church engages culture in the 21st century, women's ministry must not remain in 1950.

December 5, 2006

Goals for Women's Ministry Leaders - Series

Teach women that circumstances may not always make us feel good; life is full of difficulties and complexities. Mary the mother of Jesus and Hannah from the book of 1 Samuel are examples meant to point us to God and adore him in his majesty. In their poetic songs, Mary and Hannah demonstrate not only what it means to adore God, but they show that adoration is necessarily coupled with a knowledge of God - what it means to call him 'Savior.' It means knowing who we are - or aren't - in the light of who God is. Adoring God means not elevating our selves through our issues of self-worth. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, then encouragement will be added unto you.

December 4, 2006

Does Graduated Absolutism Logically Permit Embryo Destructive Research? A Thought Experiement

This weekend I found a link at the women's bioethics blog that addresses Norm Geisler's graduated absolutism, or hierarchical absolutism as it is called in Feinberg's Ethics for a Brave New World. If you visit the link, you'll see what appears to be an outline of a book called Would You Lie to Save a Life? The Quest for God's Will This Side of Heaven: A Theology on the Ethics of Love. I was prompted to take another look at graduated absolutism and now I wonder if this position could give justification to embryo destructive research. First we need to define the concept.

Graduated, or hierarchical absolutism: there are many norms that are all universal that will eventually conflict, so they should be ordered on the basis of their significance. When the conflict occurs, one must determine which one is to receive priority consideration. Because the conflict determines that only one can be followed, no sin is committed by breaking the norm of lesser significance. Example: lying to Nazi soldiers to protect the lives of Jews.

So how does this apply to the topic of ESCR? If one actually believes that cures can be found through the harvesting of stem cells from embryos and that many of these embryos are going to be destroyed anyway (for whatever reason) then it could be postulated that the higher norm would be to save the lives of those which we all agree are human persons by use of the embryos of which there exists disagreement as to their moral status.

I'm not trying to build an argument for ESCR, heaven forbid. But I do want to see how Christian philosphy has contributed to the cultural debates.

December 1, 2006


The ice underneath all this snow is what's allowing me today to be undisturbed. Being snowed-in can be the greatest of gifts. I took this picture this morning my home in Elmhurst, Illinois. So now I get to spend most of my day in thinking and reading because I refuse to shovel snow. I hope your day is as good as mine!