Daily Archives: October 15, 2013

First Principles and God’s Existence

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

This argument has been put forth by Norman L. Geisler, a classical apologist and one of the few Protestant scholars who specializes in Thomistic thought. By the way, I don’t think God expects people to master this argument in order to find Him. I know the average person does not have the time to think through such a sophisticated apologetic.

Anyway, let’s move forward. First principles are the foundation of knowledge. Without them nothing could be known. Even coherentism uses the first principle of noncontradiction to test the coherence of its system. Realism affirms that first principles apply to the real world. First principles undeniably apply to reality. The very denial that first principles apply to reality uses first principles in the denial.  Without basic first principles of reality, nothing can be known. Everything we know about reality is known by them. Twelve basic first principles can be set forth…

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New Post: John MacArthur on the True Legacy of the Charismatic Movement

Strange Fire starts tomorrow. Throughout the last several months building up to the conference, we’ve heard critics saying that we don’t understand the true nature of the charismatic movement—that we’ve chosen too broad a brush to paint with. Defenders are quick to point out that any negative elements only represent the outer edges of an otherwise healthy Christian movement.

But is that an honest assessment? Is it true that the loudest, most notable charismatic voices only represent a rogue, fringe element? Is the heart of the movement truly committed to the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture? And is the genuine work of the Holy Spirit identifiable amidst manifestations of bizarre signs and wonders?

In the following video, John MacArthur gives his assessment of the charismatic legacy:

We understand that not every charismatic preaches heresy, perverts Scripture, contrives miracles, or fleeces his flock. But the overwhelming tide of the movement drags people away from biblical literacy, spiritual discernment, and disciplined maturity.

From the beginning of our conference promotion, we have worked to encourage faithful charismatics to be vocal critics of the abuses they see within the charismatic movement. We will continue to give that encouragement throughout the conference as our speakers lift up the sufficiency of Scripture and the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.

We hope you’ll join us for rich exhortation and encouragement from the Word of God. Please be sure to watch via the free live stream at tmstrangefire.org.

GTY Staff


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B131015     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

New Post: When Sexuality Goes Feral

The sexual revolution is in full flight, and has been so for some decades now. Voices of sanity back in the 60s warned that this would not be good – and they sure were right. The disastrous consequences of the sexual revolution continue to unfold and be fully displayed to a world losing the ability to even be shocked anymore.

Every day we learn of more cases of sexual moonbattery, sexual perversion, and sexual idiocy. Everyone is harmed by this massive social experiment, but it is often our children who are the biggest losers. The destruction of this sexual tsunami shows no signs of abating, and it will only likely get much worse in days ahead.

Of course much of this is driven by the militant homosexual lobby and their efforts to destroy marriage and family and even the very idea of biological sexuality. For them one’s sex is purely a matter of social construction, and biology has nothing to do with who we are as sexual beings.

Thus the whole push for all things transgender is all the rage at the moment. And it is costing us all big time. Let me look at a few recent examples of this. In the US transgender students are making life hellish for other students. California recently passed a law allowing transgender folks to do their thing, and everyone else must simply acquiesce to this.

Read More Here: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/10/15/when-sexuality-goes-feral/

New Article: Postmodernism Series

Postmoderism

We live in a society dominated by a philosophy of change, a departure from human values, and the rise of anti-authoritarianism. We hear “post” frequently in terms such as post-Christian, post-liberal, and post-conservative; this is also a time of globalism and neo-paganism. Philosophers call the philosophy of this age Postmodernism. Before we look at just […]

Postmodernism 2

Characteristics of Postmodernism There are several characteristics of postmodernism that lie at the foundation of this worldview. Just as in the previous two meta-worldviews (premodernism and modernism), not everyone accepts all of these. Nevertheless, we can see some similarities among the postmoderns and draw at least some general conclusions. Gene Veith has identified five key […]

Postmodernism 3 – Characteristics

Gene Veith identifies a series of characteristics held by most postmodernism. Social Constructivism. Meaning, morality and truth do not exist objectively. This is at the heart of the postmodernist worldview. Truth, with its attendant concepts of meaning and morality, are “constructed” by society. Everything centers around the story that the community has created to establish […]

Postmodernism 4 – Art

Art brings philosophy down to earth. While this writer is not artistic, he does understand to a limited extent the philosophy of art. Modern art believes in several concepts. First, modern art believes in the uniqueness of the artist. The artist is the creator. Because of the emphasis on the individual, the modern artists are […]

Postmodernism 5 – Society

How does a postmodern mindset affect the way we live? Its effects upon art, literature, and architecture are, to a great extent, merely “interesting.”  We can ignore the postmodernism in these areas without it affecting how we live. When postmodernism begins to change the society in which we live, however, we will take notice. There […]

Postmodernism 6 – Politics

Constitution Day seems an appropriate time to discuss postmodern politics. While postmodern thinking has been around for a number of years, we have now in the White House America’s first postmodern president. America was founded by people deeply engrained in the modern mindset. Individualism, with both the protection and encouragement of the individual, is at […]

 

New Article: Evangelical Scholar Norman Geisler: Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

Evangelical scholar and Southern Evangelical Seminary co-founder Norman Geisler spoke on the pluralistic aspect of Christianity at the school’s 20th annual Christian Apologetics conference last weekend and answered the question of whether there are several ways to God.

Here are videos of all the messages delivered at “The People, The Land & The Future of Israel” conference.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

CPMconf-2013-videosIf you missed the recent conference in Manhattan that focused on “The People, The Land & The Future of Israel,” I’m glad to announce that all of the messages are now posted online.

You can watch them free of charge by clicking here.

It was absolutely fascinating conference and the messages are rich in Biblical content and quite thought-provoking.

Here is a list of the speakers and the messages they presented, and a link to the specific video of their presentations:

  • Dr. Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries,giving the conference introduction. WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Panel discussion on the current dynamics in the Middle East. WATCH THE VIDEO.
  • Pastor David Epstein, senior pastor of the historic Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan, giving a powerful and moving presentation on “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel and the Local Pastor.” WATCH THE VIDEO.

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Will there ever be peace for Israel & her neighbors? Video of my address in NYC.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Joel-CPMconfOn Saturday, October 5, 2013, I delivered the closing address to a conference in New York City on “The People, The Land, and the Future of Israel.” The following night, I delivered a variation of this address at a conference of Korean Christians in New Jersey.

It was an honor to hear the messages of some of the world’s leading Biblical scholars and experts on what the Scriptures teach about Israel and the Jewish people, and I’m grateful to have been invited to participate.

My remarks focused on the question, “Will There Ever Be Peace For Israel & Her Neighbors?”

To watch this message — which runs about 48 minutes — please click here.

To read the text of this message, as originally prepared for delivery, please click here.

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New Post: Seven Reasons Your Church Needs to Go on a Diet –

Most churches—more than eight out of ten—are busy. Too busy. These churches need to slim down their plethora of programs, activities, and ministries. They need to go a busyness diet.

Unfortunately, many church leaders equate activities with godliness or ministry fruitfulness. For certain, churches must have some clear plan of discipleship for their members. Sadly, some of the busiest churches actually diminish discipleship fruitfulness. And ceasing certain activities in the church can be extremely hard. You can run into sacred cows and favored ministries. Still, most churches should pursue a busyness diet for at least seven reasons.

Read More Here: http://thomrainer.com/2013/10/14/seven-reasons-your-church-needs-to-go-on-a-diet/

New Post: Should Type-R Charismatics Get a Free Pass?

(The following blog post was first published by Phil Johnson in November of 2007. Phil is one of the featured speakers at Strange Fire, and we wanted to share this article with you in advance of his teaching later this week. Remember, you don’t need to miss a minute of Strange Fire—we’re live streaming the entire conference at tmstrangefire.org. We hope you’ll tune in. –GTY Staff)

by Phil Johnson

A prodigious wacko fringe has always been one of the charismatic movement’s most prominent features. In little more than a century, the Pentecostal and charismatic movements have spun off so many bad doctrines and bizarre characters that I have a thick dictionary in my office just to help me keep track of them all.

Furthermore, I’m convinced it’s not just some kind of fantastic cosmic coincidence that has loaded the movement with an unusually high number of charlatans and heretics. I’ve suggested on more than one occasion that a major reason the charismatic movement has produced more than its fair share of aberrant behavior is because the distinctive doctrines of charismatic belief foster gullibility while constantly seeding the movement with all kinds of whimsy. Specifically, the charismatic belief that it’s normative for Spirit-filled Christians to receive extrabiblical divine revelation through various mystical means has opened the door for all kinds of mischief.

I would not for a moment deny that there are some relatively sane and sensible charismatics who love Scripture and generally teach sound doctrine while avoiding most of their movement’s worst errors. I think they represent a fairly small minority of the worldwide charismatic community, but they do exist. A few of them are good friends—even longtime friends—of mine. I have friends (for example) in the Calvary Chapel movement, which is mildly charismatic in doctrine but whose worship is generally more Bible centered than even the typical non-Charismatic seeker-sensitive church. As a matter of fact, my chief concern about the Calvary Chapel movement would not even be its advocacy of charismatic views, but its increasingly aggressive campaign against Calvinism.

That’s not all. I have warm affection and heartfelt respect for most of the best-known Reformed charismatic leaders, including C.J. Mahaney, Wayne Grudem, and Sam Storms. [Let’s call them “Type-R charismatics.”] I’ve greatly benefited from major aspects of their ministries, and I regularly recommend resources from them that I have found helpful. I’ve corresponded with the world-famous Brit-blogger Adrian Warnock for at least fifteen years now and had breakfast with him on two occasions, and I like him very much. I’m sure we agree on far more things than we disagree about. And I’m also certain the matters we agree on—starting with the meaning of the cross—are a lot more important than the issues we disagree on, which are all secondary matters.

But that is not to suggest that the things we disagree on are nonissues.

Candor, and not a lack of charity, requires me to state this conviction plainly: The belief that extrabiblical revelation is normative does indeed “regularly and systematically breed willful gullibility, not discernment.” Even the more sane and sober [Type-R] charismatics are not totally exempt from the tendency.

Remember that Paul Cain and the Kansas City Prophets found an amazing amount of support from Reformed charismatics on both sides of the Atlantic, even after it was clear to more objective minds that the “prophets” were regularly and systematically issuing false prophecies.

And that fact ought to have been clear very early. In 1989, the senior Kansas City Prophet, Bob Jones, acknowledged that he could claim an accuracy rate of no higher than two-thirds. By 1991, Jones was utterly discredited because of his own sexual misconduct with women who came to him seeking prophetic counseling.

Shortly after that (in early 1992), John MacArthur, Lance Quinn, and I met with Paul Cain and Jack Deere in John MacArthur’s office at Jack Deere’s request. Deere wanted to try to convince John MacArthur that the charismatic movement—especially the Vineyard branch—was on a trajectory to make doctrinal soundness and biblical integrity the hallmarks of Third Wave charismatic practice. He brought Cain along, ostensibly so that we could see for ourselves that Cain was a legitimate prophet with a profound gifting.

But Cain was virtually incoherent that day. Lance Quinn remarked to me immediately afterward that it seemed as if Cain had been drinking heavily. (In retrospect it seems a fair assumption that this may indeed have been the case.) Even Deere apologized for Cain’s strange behavior that day, but Deere seemed to want us to assume it was because the Spirit was upon Cain in some unusual way. They both admitted to us that Cain’s “prophecies” were wrong at least as often as they were right. When we cited that as sufficient reason not to accept any of their prophecies, they cited Wayne Grudem’s views on New Testament prophecy as justification for ignoring the errors of prophecies already proven false, while giving credence to still more questionable pronouncements.

That meeting was extremely eye-opening for me. Deere was unable to answer basic questions about certain practices that Lance and I had personally observed him participating in at the Anaheim Vineyard just a few weeks before. Specifically, we asked him about two “prophets” whose public words of knowledge in the morning service were flatly contradictory. (The dueling prophets were apparently using their “gifts” to air out a dispute over some decision the church’s leaders had recently made.) Deere acknowledged that the prophecies that morning were contradictory. And he could not explain why John Wimber let both prophecies stand without a word of explanation or clarification. (He seemed to shrug off our concern by speculating that perhaps even Wimber wasn’t sure which prophecy, if either, was the true one.) Again, he appealed to Grudem, perhaps the most theologically sound of all charismatics, as justification for accepting the two prophets’ gifting as legitimate anyway.

I left that meeting amazed that anyone would give credence to such “prophets.” But several of the best Reformed charismatic leaders—all citing Grudem for authority—continued to give credence to Cain, the Kansas City Prophets, and others like them for a long, long time. Some of the Reformed Charismatics who lent Paul Cain undue credibility did not really renounce him as a prophet until about twelve years later, when his personal sins finally came to light.

(And it may be stretching things to say that everyone concerned actually “renounced” Cain’s supposed prophetic gifting even then. He has lately made something of a comeback. [Jack Deere’s book still touts Cain as a superprophet, and the book was recently released in Romania, where it has left a massive amount of confusion in its wake. Wayne Grudem’s endorsement of the book remains unaltered. I recently wrote him to ask if Cain’s moral failure would spur him to modify or remove his endorsement of Deere’s paean to Cain, and Grudem wrote to asssure me that his endorsement of the book still stands.])

As long as Reformed charismatics justify the practice of encouraging people to proclaim “prophecies” that are unverified and unverifiable—and which frequently prove to be wrong—I’ll stand by the concern I expressed: Even the very best of charismatics sometimes foster unwarranted and unreasonable gullibility.

And gullibility about whether God has really spoken or not is seriously dangerous.

When a false belief is truly dangerous and comes replete with the kind of long and dismal track record that extrabiblical revelation brings with it, it’s not “uncharitable” for those who see the danger and are truly concerned about it to sound a shrill warning rather than humming a gentle lullaby.

My charismatic friend Dr. Warnock insists that I have been uncharitable because I have stated my opinion about the dangers of charismatic doctrine without explicitly exempting him and others whom he likes from my warning against gullibility. It makes him “uncomfortable” to read such things on our blog as often as we post them (even though the vast majority of our [2007] posts on the charismatic issue were in fact made at his behest).

I have to say in reply that his appeal to how our posts make him feel, while he declines to give any rational or reasonable explanation for why he thinks our candor must be motivated by a lack of charity, is an echo of the very tendency that I think is so dangerous in the charismatic mindset.

I do realize some people are uncomfortable with such a firm stance against the charismatic position. I’m equally uncomfortable with the charismatic position itself. Let’s both remember that our respective comfort levels are not reliable gauges of our brothers’ charity (or lack thereof), and let’s try to focus on the actual issue under discussion.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B131014     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Questions about Prayer: What Is a Prayer Shawl?

The Jewish prayer shawl is a fringed garment worn by Jewish men on the outside of their regular garments in the synagogue, especially during morning, Sabbath, and other holiday services. The Hebrew name for this prayer shawl is tallit, which simply means a robe, a cloak or a sheet. The Jewish prayer shawl is usually made of wool or silk, is often long enough to cover most of the body, with special twined and knotted fringes attached to each of its four corners. In modern times it is not uncommon to see Jewish men wear a silk prayer shawl that is no more than a scarf around the neck. The ultra-Orthodox Jewish men wear the prayer shawl over the head when they recite the more important prayers.

Although the Hebrew word tallit is not found in Scripture, the biblical command for Israelites to wear a “fringed” or “tasseled” garment can be found in the Torah, in which God says to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God’ ” (Numbers 15:38–40). And also, “Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear” (Deuteronomy 22:12). So the original scriptural intent behind this fringed garment was to remind the Israelites of God’s commandments to them. According to Jewish understanding, the numerical value of the Hebrew word tzitzit (fringes) is 600. Each of the fringes contains 8 threads and 5 knots, making a total of 613. Based on rabbinical Judaism, this number corresponds to the 613 commandments contained in the Torah.

Jewish prayer shawls are being promoted and marketed quite heavily today in the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movements, and they have also begun to make their way into some mainline Christian communities as well. Some Christians believe that if the fringed garment is a garment that Jesus wore, it therefore should (must) be worn by Christian believers today, both Jewish and Gentile, if they are going to observe Torah in accordance with the laws that God commanded. To this it is important to say that believers in the Jewish Messiah should avoid getting caught up in unhealthy practices. It is one thing to recover the Jewish foundations of the Christian faith; it is quite another to follow observances or traditions that bind us and put us once again under a yoke of legal bondage.

God’s New Covenant people are not called upon or required to wear the prayer shawl or any other type of fringed garment. Sadly, however, many well-meaning Messianic and Gentile believers seem to confuse the idea of Torah with that of covenant and therefore fail to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Law of Moses was given to the nation of Israel and intended to function as a “tutor” for receiving and understanding the Messiah’s greater instruction (Galatians 3:19–25). Followers of Jesus the Messiah, both Jewish and non-Jewish alike, are admonished not to revert to childish thinking but to understand spiritual matters with maturity (1 Corinthians 13:11, 14:20; Hebrews 5:12–14). Failure to make a proper distinction between law and gospel (grace) always leads to doctrinal confusion within the covenant community of God’s people.

Even the most zealous among the Jewish people were not able to bear the burden of the yoke of the Law of Moses (see Acts 15). We who follow Jesus the Jewish Messiah are now led by the Spirit of God as God’s sons and are therefore no longer subject to religious regulations that command us to “touch not, taste not, handle not.” We are now called to seek those things that are above, where the Messiah reigns from on high (Colossians 2:20–3:1). Followers of Jesus have a “better covenant based on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6), and the Law was only a shadow of a greater Substance that was promised by the prophets, namely Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:6).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Marriage: What Is the Purpose of Marriage?

Is it necessary for a Christian to marry? What is the purpose of marriage? The Bible has a lot to say about this topic. Since the first marriage was between the first man and the first woman, it is assumed that marriage is God’s will for most people. It was instituted “in the time of man’s innocence” and is therefore a holy institution. The first reason that the Bible gives for the existence of marriage is simple: Adam was lonely and needed a helper (Genesis 2:18). This is the primary purpose of marriage—fellowship, companionship, and mutual help and comfort.

One purpose of marriage is to create a stable home in which children can grow and thrive. The best marriage is between two believers (2 Corinthians 6:14) who can produce godly offspring (Malachi 2:13–15). In Malachi, God tells the Israelites that He will not accept their offerings because they have been unfaithful to the wives of their youth. This shows how much God cares about marriage being kept intact. Not only that, but He tells them He was seeking “godly offspring.” This is a puzzling passage, and has been interpreted to mean a) that godly offspring are the purpose of marriage; b) that a good marriage between two godly people will mean that any children they have will tend to be godly as well; c) God wanted the Israelites to be faithful to their wives instead of leaving them for foreign women who would produce for them ungodly offspring because of the idolatry of those nations; and d) that God Himself was seeking His own offspring (the people) to exhibit godliness by their faithfulness. In any of these interpretations, we see a common theme: the children of faithful people will tend to be faithful too.

Not only does marriage teach children how to be faithful and give them a stable environment in which to learn and grow, it has a sanctifying effect on both marriage partners when they submit to God’s law (Ephesians 5). Every marriage has difficult moments or difficult dynamics. When two sinful people are trying to create a life together, they must submit to God’s command to love each another as God has loved us—selflessly (1 John 3:16). Our attempts to follow God’s commands in our own strength tend to end in failure, and that failure tends to make the believer more aware of his dependence on God and more open to the Spirit’s work in him, which tends to result in godliness. And godliness helps us to follow God’s commands. So, marriage is very helpful for the one trying to live a godly life; it helps to scrub the heart clean of selfishness and other impurities.

Marriage also protects individuals from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2). The world we live in is full of sexual images, innuendo, and temptation. Even if a person doesn’t pursue sexual sin, it pursues him or her, and it is very hard to escape it. Marriage provides a healthy place to express sexuality, without opening oneself up to the severe emotional (and many times physical) damage that is caused by casual, non-committed sexual relationships. It is clear that God created marriage for our good (Proverbs 18:22), to make us happy, to promote a healthier society, and to produce holiness in our lives.

Finally, marriage is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. The body of believers that make up the Church are collectively called bride of Christ. As Bridegroom, Jesus gave His life for His bride, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:25–26), and His selfless act provides an example for all husbands. At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7–9; 21:1–2).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: Why Is Living Together before Marriage Considered Living in Sin?

This question could be much more easily answered if the Bible made a clear proclamation such as “living together before marriage or outside of marriage is living in sin.” Since the Bible makes no such definitive statement, many (including some who profess to be Christians) claim that living together outside of marriage is not living in sin. Perhaps the reason the Bible does not make a clear statement is that in Bible times, unmarried people living as husband and wife was relatively rare, especially among the Jews and Christians. For the purposes of this article, when we refer to living together, we are referring to living together in the sense of living as husband and wife, including sexual relations, without being married. We are not referring to a man and woman living in the same house without sexual relations. That issue is covered in another article.

While the Bible does not make an explicit statement about living in sin, that is not to say the Bible is completely silent on this issue. Rather, we have to put several Scriptures together and glean from them the principle that any sexuality outside of the marriage of one man and one woman is definitely sin. There are numerous Scriptures that declare God’s prohibition of sexual immorality (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Greek word translated “sexual immorality” or “fornication” in these verses is porneia (from which we get the English word “pornography”), and it means literally “unlawful lust.” Since the only form of lawful sexuality is the marriage of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5), then anything outside of marriage, whether it is adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, or anything else, is unlawful, in other words, sin. Living together before marriage definitely falls into the category of fornication—sexual sin.

Hebrews 13:4 describes the honorable state of marriage: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” This verse draws a clear distinction between that which is pure and honorable—marriage—and that which is sexually immoral—anything outside of marriage. As living together outside of marriage falls into this category, it is definitely sin. Anyone living together outside of lawful marriage invites the displeasure and judgment of God.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

New Article: US Army defines Christian ministry as ‘domestic hate group’

Several dozen U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told last week that the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values.

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New Article: Rev. Franklin Graham: ‘Our Country Is a Mess’

Rev. Franklin Graham tells Newsmax that the nation is “in a mess” because politicians “have turned their backs on God.”

“Our country is in a mess, no question, and it seems like we’re just in an ever-tightening spiral downward, and it doesn’t seem as if anybody is listening to what is happening,” Graham said Monday on Newsmax TV.

“We, as a nation, we’ve turned our back on God. Politicians have turned their backs on God. They have taken God out of our schools, out of just about everything you can imagine, and now we find ourselves in great danger,” said Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham.

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New Article: Israel: God’s Prophetic Time Clock

Today other than the U. S., Israel has the most powerful army with the greatest intelligence department in the world. This is a must for their survival as the late former Prime Minister Golda Meir once stated, “The Arabs could lose and live to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.” Over five million Jews have returned to Israel in recent times, helping to fulfill Ezekiel 37. This is unprecedented in human history. Also, another miracle was the restoring of a pure language (Zephaniah 3:9) when in the 19th century, a Zionist movement brought about the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language. In 1948, Hebrew became the official tongue of the state of Israel, thus fulfilling another modern day prophecy.

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New Article: 50 ‘Hand-Picked’ Christians Trained To Convince Churches To Re-Interpret Scripture’s Gay Boundariecs

Fifty hand-picked Christians were part of a seminal conference last week planned by Matthew Vines, a 23-year-old Christian who believes Scripture allows for monogamous homosexual activity, in an effort to spread the idea in the American church over the next decade.

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New Article: Falling on Deaf Ears?—Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible – Mohler

The sentence above comes from Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today in an essay entitled, “Yawning at the Word.” In just a few hundred words, he captures the tragedy of a church increasingly impatient with and resistant to the reading and preaching of the Bible. We may wince when we read him relate his recent experiences, but we also recognize the ring of truth.

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3 Cultural Changes That Create the ‘Perfect Storm’ Against the Church

Josh McDowell, an apologist and evangelist, spoke at Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Christian Apologetics conference on three culture changes that create a “perfect storm” that challenges and poses a threat to the church.

McDowell says the first is an epistemological shift that is occurring regarding Biblical truths due to modern perspectives on God’s word.

“We’ve had a major shift in what truth is and where it comes from. We’ve gone from being God-centered to self-centered, from being objective to being subjective and from being internal to external,” he said.

He argues that the truth that the church upholds is merely viewed as personal opinion by some people, especially young individuals due to the idea that most think that God is dead.

“In 1991, 51 percent of evangelical young adults said there is no truth apart from their own views. Today, that number is 91 percent,” said McDowell.

Read More Here

Brothers Do not be Surprised that the World Hates You

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

[13] Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13 ESV)

There are many ministries in our time that are run by people who have either forgotten that friendship with the world is a sin or they are deliberately overlooking it. If a ministry operates in such a way that the world loves it then there is at least one missing component in it, which is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture is clear that Christians cannot be friends of the world. Why? Satan is the one who dominates the evil world system, which is in rebellion against God (John 14:30). Therefore, the world not only hates Jesus, but also those who follow Him. This hatred is also focused toward the Father because He sent Jesus to testify against it. Now, since this is true and clearly taught in Sacred Scripture, what does this…

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