Daily Archives: January 28, 2014

State of the Union? Only 3% of Americans say it is “strong.” Here’s why.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

capitol-blue(Washington, D.C.) — In 2012, President Obama concluded the State of the Union address by saying, “The state of our Union will always be strong.”

In 2013, the President told Congress and the nation, “We can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.”

Will he say it again tonight? More importantly, is it true?

A new poll finds only 3% of Americans believe the state of our union is “strong.”

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • We are giving our children and grandchildren more than $17 trillion in federal debt, and it just keeps climbing and climbing with no end in sight and no plan to pay it down.
  • We have aborted some 55 million babies since 1973, and many Americans seem to believe there will be no consequences.
  • We are deeply worried about widespread drug and alcohol abuse, a wave of violent crime and mass shootings, the…

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Preach the Word: Because It Brings Depth and Balance to Ministry – John MacArthur

 

One frequently overlooked benefit of consistent Bible exposition is that the preacher’s faith and practice is tested by every text. Over the long haul, everything I have ever taught has had to survive the scrutiny of the Scriptures. By God’s grace, I’ve been able to teach through every verse of the New Testament (using the Old Testament for support and examples). Both my doctrine and my life have been radically shaped by the Word of God, as they have had to stand the test of every single text.

In the big picture, preaching verse by verse, book by book brings a divine balance to ministry. It keeps the preacher from leaving things out or from getting on a hobby horse and riding it to death. It forces him to deal with topics he might not naturally be drawn to if not for the fact that the next verse he is preaching addresses them. Put simply, it requires him to teach God’s truth in the way God revealed it. And that’s the best way to teach.

Some preachers allow their audience to determine what topic they will address. As one popular pastor has written:

Adapt your style to fit your audience. . . . The ground we have in common with unbelievers is not the Bible, but our common needs, hurts, and interests as human beings. You cannot start with a text, expecting the unchurched to be fascinated by it. You must first capture their attention, and then move them to the truth of God’s Word. By starting with a topic that interests the unchurched and then showing what the Bible says about it, you can grab their attention, disarm prejudices, and create an interest in the Bible that wasn’t there before. [1]Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 294–95.

But such a bait-and-switch approach is really just a recipe for compromise—tempting pastors to tickle the ears of their audience or water down the gospel in an effort to be more appealing. In essence, this approach says that God’s Word is irrelevant, and makes human ingenuity the key to getting sinners interested in the gospel. It is therefore an approach that should be categorically rejected. As James Heidinger writes:

Evangelical pastors and theologians can learn from the mainline experience of placing relevance above truth. We must avoid the lure of novelty and soft sell, which, we are told, will make it easier for moderns to believe. Methods may change, but never the message. . . . We are called to be faithful stewards of a great and reliable theological heritage. We have truths to affirm and errors to avoid. We must not try to make these truths more appealing or user friendly by watering them down. We must guard against a trendy “theological bungee jumping” that merely entertains the watching crowd. [2] James V. Heidinger II, “Toxic Pluralism,” Christianity Today 37/ 4 (April 5, 1993): 16–17.

We are called to preach the Bible consistently and accurately, fixed on the text as the revealed Word of God which, through the work of the Spirit, alone has the power to save and sanctify souls. When we do this, we can be confident that God is pleased, since our preaching will be in keeping with His Word (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2).

 

(Adapted from The Master’s Plan for the Church.)


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Disney Indoctrinates With Lesbian Couple On Children’s Show ‘Good Luck Charlie

Now that Walt Disney Corporation has spent the last few generations getting you hooked on their “wholesome, family entertainment”, they are now using that relationship to teach your precious children that the LGBT way of life is just a preference. The bible says that it is an abomination before God. What do you say?

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1

The Blaze: News spread last summer that the Disney Channel was planning to introduce a lesbian couple for the first time on one of its children’s TV programs. That’s exactly what happened during Sunday’s episode of “Good Luck Charlie,” when a child with two mothers was prominently highlighted.

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The Gospel in Church History (Part 4)

Clement of RomeClick here to read Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3.

The gospel of grace was both proclaimed and preserved in the earliest decades of church history. It was overwhelmingly affirmed by the apostles at the Jerusalem Council (in Acts 15), such that Paul could later tell the Ephesians, “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8–9).

Shortly after the Jerusalem Council, Paul wrote a letter to the churches he had planted on his first missionary journey. That letter, known as the book of Galatians, admonished its readers not to acquiesce to the works-righteousness of the Judaizers. To do so, Paul stated, would be to embrace another gospel—one which was not really good news at all (Gal. 1:6–9). The apostle went on to clearly explain that justification is not based on keeping the law, but is only granted by grace through faith in Christ (cf. Gal. 3:1–14). Given the theme of that epistle (justification by faith vs. justification by works), it is not surprising to learn that Galatians was Martin Luther’s favorite book of the New Testament, because in that text he found the gospel of grace so clearly revealed.

The New Testament emphasis (on a gospel of grace apart from works) became the foundation for the Protestant Reformation and its central tenet of sola fide. The biblical teaching on that issue remains the authoritative basis on which an evangelical understanding of the gospel is built. But while modern evangelicals rightly conclude that the doctrine of sola fide is founded in Scripture, many wrongly assume that there is relatively little support for that position in pre-Reformation church history. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As we continue this series, we will consider a number of Christian leaders from the patristic and medieval periods of church history who affirm sola fide. In today’s post, we will consider just three, starting with Clement of Rome (d. c. 99).

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Bible Translations: What Is the Tyndale Bible?

 

Tyndale Bible—History
William Tyndale (c. 1494–1536) was a 16th-century Protestant reformer and scholar who was influenced by the work of Erasmus and Martin Luther. Like Luther, Tyndale was convinced that the way to God was through His Word and that Scripture should be available even to common people. Facing the same opposition from the Catholic Church as Luther, Tyndale declared, “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope himself!” Tyndale’s translations were condemned by both the Catholic Church and the king of England. Following the publication of Tyndale’s New Testament, Catholic Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic and Tyndale was first mentioned in open court as a heretic in January 1529. After years of working on his translation in exile, he was finally apprehended and tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and condemned to death. He was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned. The martyr’s last words, spoken in a loud and fervent voice, were “Lord! Open the king of England’s eyes.”

Tyndale’s Bible is credited with being the first English translation to come directly from Hebrew and Greek texts and the first English biblical translation that was mass-produced as a result of new advances in the art of printing. In 1522, Tyndale illegally acquired a copy of Martin Luther’s New Testament in German. Imitating Luther’s work, but in English, the first recorded complete edition of his New Testament was published in 1526, with revisions following in 1534 and 1536. Since Tyndale’s death in 1536, his work has been revised and reprinted numerous times.

Tyndale Bible—Translation method
Tyndale used a number of sources when carrying out his translations of both the New and Old Testaments. When translating the New Testament, Tyndale used Erasmus’s Greek and Latin New Testament, as well as Luther’s German version and the Vulgate. The sources Tyndale used for his translation of the Pentateuch, however, are not known for sure.

Tyndale Bible—Sample Verses
John 1:1, 14 “In the beginnynge was the worde and the worde was with God: and the worde was God.”

John 3:16 “For God so loveth the worlde yt he hath geven his only sonne that none that beleve in him shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe.”

John 8:58 “Iesus sayd vnto them: Verely verely I saye vnto you: yer Abraham was I am.”

Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye made safe thorowe fayth and that not of youre selves. For it is the gyfte of God and commeth not of workes lest eny man shuld bost him silfe.”

Titus 2:13 “lokinge for that blessed hope and glorious apperenge of ye myghty god and of oure savioure Iesu Christ”[1]


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

Questions about Jesus Christ: Why Is Jesus Often Referred to as Jesus of Nazareth?

 

Jesus was referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” for several reasons. For one thing, in Bible times people were often identified by their native area or place of residence. The man who carried Jesus’ cross when He was no longer able to, for example, was called Simon of Cyrene, noting his name and his place of residence (Luke 23:26). This distinguishes him from all other Simons and from all other residents of Cyrene who were not named Simon. Although Bethlehem was the place of His birth, Nazareth was the place where Jesus had lived until He began His public ministry, and therefore He is said to be “of Nazareth.”

Matthew 2:23 tells us that Joseph settled his family in Nazareth—after returning from Egypt where he had fled to protect Jesus from Herod—in order to fulfill “what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’ ” The words here are not found in any of the books of the Old Testament, and there has been much difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of this passage. Most commentators agree that the prophecies respecting the coming Messiah were that He was to be of humble origin and would be despised and rejected (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22) and that the phrase “he shall be called” means the same as “He shall be.” When Matthew says, therefore, that the prophecies were “fulfilled,” his meaning is that the predictions of the prophets that the Messiah would be of a low and despised condition and would be rejected, were fully accomplished in his being an inhabitant of Nazareth.

The phrase “Jesus of Nazareth” is first used in the Bible by Phillip who, after being called by Jesus to follow Him, told Nathanael, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). By calling Him Jesus of Nazareth, Phillip may also have been making a statement about the lowliness of His birth. The character of the people of Nazareth was such that they were despised and condemned. Nathanael’s response, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) would seem to indicate such. To come from Nazareth, therefore, or to be a Nazarene, was the same as to be despised, or to be esteemed of low birth. The Messiah who would come to save His people would be “a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness” (Isaiah 53:2). He would be “despised and rejected of men” from whom men hid their faces and “esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

Jesus of Nazareth was born and grew up in humble circumstances, but His impact on the world has been greater than anyone ever born before or since. He came to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), a feat that could be accomplished by none other than God incarnate.[1]

 


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

Muslim Questions: What is the gospel of Barnabas?

 

It’s important that we not confuse the gospel of Barnabas (ca. A.D. 1500) with the Epistle of Barnabas (ca. A.D. 70–90). The Epistle of Barnabas was written in the late 1st century, but probably not by the Barnabas named in the New Testament. While more of a pseudo-Gospel with some historical value, the Epistle of Barnabas was never considered canonical by the early church or any church council.

The gospel of Barnabas, however, has absolutely no apostolic support and was written 1400 years after the time of Barnabas. This is evidenced by the fact that it was never quoted by any church father or church historian before the 16th century!

By contrast, the books of the New Testament were all written early (before A.D. 100) and by eyewitnesses, or by those who interviewed the eyewitnesses of the Lord Jesus (1 John 1:1–5; Luke 1:1–4). The four Gospels found in the New Testament were never questioned as to their authenticity.

Even had the gospel of Barnabas been written during the time of the Apostles, it still would have never attained canonical status due to the historical and doctrinal errors it contains. For example, the gospel of Barnabas purports that Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah (see Matthew 26:63–64). The gospel of Barnabas also says that Jesus was born when Pilate was governor (but history records Pilate becoming governor in A.D. 26 or 27).

Furthermore, the gospel of Barnabas keeps some strange company, for it’s a favorite among Muslims as it teaches a Jesus consistent with the Koran. The gospel of Barnabas claims that Jesus did not die on the cross, as does the Koran in Sura 4:157. Historians are unanimous that the gospel of Barnabas was written in the 15th-16th century A.D., most likely by Muslims seeking to discredit the Biblical message regarding Jesus.[1]


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

Katy Perry: Illuminati Priestess Conducts Witchcraft Ceremony In Front Of The Entire World

Did you see Katy Perry’s performance at the Grammys? It was essentially an Illuminati-themed occult ritual. Various media reports say that Perry “dressed up as a witch”, and her performance included a Knights Templar cross emblazoned across her chest, a beast with Moloch horns, dancers in dark robes with devil horns protruding from their heads, and pole dancing with a broom. At the end of the “ceremony”, Perry was “burned at the stake” as the song ended. All of this hardcore occult symbolism did not get into her performance by accident. The attention to detail that this performance exhibited shows that someone put a lot of thought and effort into it. So was Perry actually kidding when she said that she had “sold my soul to the devil” during a television interview a few years ago? The kind of stuff that Perry is doing now is not for amateurs. She is either working with someone who is deep into the occult or she is deep into it herself. And of course the elite absolutely love this stuff. Even if you don’t believe in “occult rituals” or “Illuminati symbolism”, it is important to remember that the elite do. In fact, many of them are completely obsessed with this stuff. And they are more than happy to promote any performer that embraces their world. That is why we see this stuff pop up in high profile public performances time after time after time. (Read More…..)

White House Petitioned to Have Muslim Holidays Recognized in School Year

there is a petition posted at the WhiteHouse.gov site calling for recognizing Muslim holidays during the school year by the government education system. According to the petition: With the growing population of Muslims in the United States of America (including first, second, third, and fourth generation) we believe it is high time that Muslim holidays are recognized by schools throughout this nation. Nothing about Islam has any place here in America. Nothing. It is the death-cult ideology of a totalitarian, demon-possessed, murdering, thieving pedophile.

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Doves released in the Vatican as a gesture of peace are immediately ATTACKED by vicious seagull and crow

According to the Daily Mail:

To millions of Christians, they are a symbol of peace.

But to a pair of larger birds, the two doves released in the Vatican yesterday were nothing more than a chance for a bit of Sunday morning sport.

No sooner had the birds been set free in St Peter’s Square – as a symbolic gesture of peace for Ukraine – than they were set upon by a seagull and a crow.

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Let All Bitterness And Wrath And Anger And Clamor And Slander Be Put Away From You Along With All Malice

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV)

Steel is made through the smelting of iron ore. Iron becomes steel as carbon is added while the iron is very hot. What makes steel much harder than iron was not really understood by the ancients who created it. All they knew was that at a certain point in the shaping of a sword they would…

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