Daily Archives: July 8, 2014

Catholic Questions: Is Mary the Mother of God?

 

The phrase “mother of God” originated with and continues to be used in the Roman Catholic Church. One of the topics at the Council of Ephesus in AD 431 was the use of the Greek term Theotókos, or “God-bearer,” in reference to Mary. That council officially proclaimed Mary as the “mother of God,” and the doctrine was later included in the Catholic catechism. The idea behind calling Mary the “mother of God” is that, since Jesus is God and Mary is the mother of Jesus, she is the mother of God.

The major problem with this logic is that the term “God” implies the totality of Yahweh, and we know that Yahweh has no beginning and no end (Psalm 90:2). First Timothy 6:15–16 says that God is immortal. Being immortal, God never was “born” and never had a “mother.” The second Person of the Trinity, Jesus, did have a beginning to His earthly ministry when he was conceived in Mary’s womb and was born, but from eternity past He had always been the Son of God.

Philippians 2:6–7 gives us a bit more insight on what transpired when Jesus left heaven to become man. The New Living Translation says, “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” Jesus was already one with the Father, but He set aside His rights as Divinity and took the form of a baby (John 1:1). He went on to live the normal life of a Jewish boy, obeying His earthly parents (Luke 2:51).

A mother by definition precedes her child and at some point is more powerful than her child. So to call Mary the “mother of God” gives the misleading implication that Mary preceded and at one time was more powerful than the Lord God Almighty. Although Catholic doctrine tries to deny this implication, it is inescapable.

It is biblical to say that Mary was the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ during His incarnation on the earth. However, Catholics believe it is not enough to say that Mary was the mother of Jesus. Pope John Paul II, in a speech in 1996, encouraged people “not only to invoke the Blessed Virgin as the Mother of Jesus, but also to recognize her as Mother of God” (L’Osservatore Romano, 4 December 1996, p. 11). This is not biblical. The Lord God Almighty has no mother, since He has no beginning and no end (Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:8).[1]

 

 

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

Questions about Life Decisions: How Should a Christian Respond to Hollywood?

 

Hollywood is more than a city in California. The name has become synonymous with the values, lifestyles, and hedonistic philosophies of movie stars, celebrities and wannabes. In the Bible, the cities Sodom and Gomorrah had the same stigma (Genesis 18:20; Jude 1:7). They had become defined by their extreme values and lifestyle. To this day, when we hear of Sodom and Gomorrah, we think of sexual perversion great enough to bring God’s judgment (Genesis 19:24–25).

We often use the termHollywoodto refer to anything pertaining to the entertainment industry, even though other cities such as New York and Nashville contribute to it also. Although there are many Christians and ordinary people living in Hollywood, the city is known for its lavish materialism, adultery, sensuality, self-worship, idolatry, and anti-God bias. The overwhelming majority of movies and television shows Hollywood produces are filled with profanity, graphic or implied sex, and blatant promotion of all types of sin. Children are seduced by the “glamor” of Hollywood from their preschool years and grow up longing to be movie stars. Parents who recall their own star-struck childhood race to buy the latest product endorsed by the current heartthrob, regardless of the morals or lifestyle that idol embraces. Unfortunately, we are reaping the disastrous results of another generation raised by Hollywood’s standards.

There are several questions to consider in forming a response to Hollywood.

  1. What, exactly, so attracts us to Hollywood?Part of Hollywood’s appeal is the covetousness it champions. From every newsstand and television set, we are told that we want what the celebrities have. Headlines such as “America Wants to Know!” or “The Life Every Woman Dreams Of” scream at us from checkout lines, planting the message that we cannot possibly be content if we are not following celebrities. Millions gobble it up and, in their attempt to live like their idols, become indebted, anorexic, or promiscuous. Hollywood is in the business of creating idols and foisting them upon us whether we want them or not.

God has strong words for the sin of covetousness. He included it in His Top Ten List (Exodus 20:17). Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). Covetousness is a thief that steals joy, peace, and contentment—qualities God wants His children to have in abundance (Galatians 5:22; 1 Timothy 6:6). So, for a Christian to become enamored with the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous is to break God’s tenth commandment and forfeit the contentment He wants us to develop.

  1. Why is Hollywood so influential?Aside from the materialism it wallows in, Hollywood has come to represent the great American fascination with entertainment. Entertainment is an idol that has crept quietly through the back door of Western Christianity. It goes mostly unnoticed as a threat because it does not wear the mask of evil. Entertainment itself is neutral. We use it to distract crying babies, quiet restless children, and relax weary workers. Entertainment can help unify a family on vacation, give teenagers something healthy to do, and bring enjoyment in stressful times.

But in prosperous cultures, entertainment has become an addiction. Entertainment for its own sake steals time, money, and mental energy that could be spent on more worthwhile pursuits. The world’s appetite for entertainment is Hollywood’s lifeblood. Without a demand for entertainment, celebrities would have to get real jobs like everyone else. Hollywood could not sustain itself without the public’s hunger for more. As with any addiction, the craving for greater thrills increases, and that’s why the public demands spectacles that are bigger, louder, more exciting, more beautiful, and more sensual. The lust for entertainment replaces the joy of the Lord until time with God is seen as an interruption in the pursuit of pleasure. At that point, entertainment has replaced God as our supreme delight and has become an idol (Exodus 20:3; 34:14; Jeremiah 2:13).

Entertainment is also wrong when we allow ourselves to be captivated by things that displease the Lord (Romans 1:32). When we excuse a movie’s sex scenes with “It had a good message” or become fans of openly immoral entertainers, we are crossing a line. We are allowing Hollywood rather than God’s Word to define our values. When making entertainment choices, one good question to ask is: “If Jesus was coming to spend the weekend with me, would I be happy to share this with Him?” Would He approve of the movie? reality show? new CD? Would He buy aPeoplemagazine and feast on the stories of mate-swapping and infidelity? Would He applaud the sensual dancers on the stage? If He would not, then why do we?

  1. Do we excuse language and behavior in movies and television shows that we would never endorse if it was done in our homes?If we willingly sit through acts of violence, immorality, profanity, and anti-Christian themes without it bothering us, then perhaps we have allowed the values of Hollywood to invade our lives. When we can fill our minds with vulgarities on Saturday night, yet show up for worship on Sunday morning with no awareness of the inconsistency, we have fallen victim to the lure of the Hollywood god.

Philippians 4:8 instructs us about our thought life: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (ESV). Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). When our minds have entertained that which God calls evil, our thought life and eventually our actions will be affected. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

How we spend our time eventually defines us. If Hollywood is not reflecting the values we claim to cherish, then we must be careful how much time we spend with it. To honor God, we must compare the values coming out of Hollywood to the unchanging standard of Scripture. Then we must “hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). Hollywood flaunts what God despises. Why do we suppose God is indifferent when a culture clamors for depictions of sin? As Christians, we are to seek after God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). If any form of entertainment does not support that goal, our response must be to reject it.[1]

 

 

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

Questions about God: How Can I Get to Know God Better?

 

Everyone knows that God exists. “God has made it plain” that He is real, “for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:19–20). Some try to suppress the knowledge of God; most try to add to it. The Christian has a deep desire to know God better (Psalm 25:4).

In John 3 we read about a man who clearly wanted to know God better and who became more studied than most in the things of God. His name was Nicodemus, and he was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. This Nicodemus knew that Jesus had come from God, and he was truly curious to learn more about Jesus. Jesus patiently explained to Nicodemus how he must be born again (verses 3–15). In order to know God better, Nicodemus had come to the right person—“In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). Jesus is indeed the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus revealed God through His words and works. He even said that no one comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). If you want to know who God is, look at Jesus.

So, we must start with faith. The first step in knowing God better is to know Jesus Christ, who was sent from God (John 6:38). Once we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can truly begin to learn about God, His character, and His will. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). By contrast, “the person without the Spirit … cannot understand [the things of God] because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (verse 14). There is a difference between the “natural” man and the “spiritual” man.

Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. It cannot be emphasized enough how the study of God’s Word, the Bible, is paramount to knowing God better. We must, “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it [we] may grow up in [our] salvation, now that [we] have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2–3). God’s Word should be our “delight” (Psalm 119:16, 24).

Those who are learning more about God are also those who obey the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Born-again believers always have the Holy Spirit, but Ephesians 5:15–21 teaches us to walk in the Spirit and surrender to His will.

Prayer is also an important part of knowing God better. As we pray, we praise God for His character and for what He has done. We spend time with Him, relying on His power and allowing the Spirit to intercede for us “through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

Also consider that one can get to know God better by fellowshipping with other believers. The Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. We learn more about God through the preaching of God’s Word and the godly counsel of those who walk with Him. Make the most of your church experience, get involved, do small-group Bible study, go witnessing with fellow believers. Just like a log ablaze on the hearth soon goes out when it is removed and placed aside, so we will lose our fervor for God if we do not fellowship with other believers. But put the log back into the fire with the other logs, and it will burn brightly again.

To summarize how to get to know God better: 1) Accept Christ as your Savior. 2) Read His Word … it is alive (Hebrews 4:12). 3) On an on-going basis, be filled with the Holy Spirit. 4) Seek the Lord through prayer. 5) Fellowship and live out your life with the saints (Hebrews 10:25).[1]

 

 

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

July 8: Intel Memo

When America dictated the terms of the peace and the post-war monetary system at Bretton Woods in 1944, our political/financial leaders set up a system that would greatly enrich America (especially themselves) at the expense of everyone else. All international transactions (business, government, trade, etc.) would have to be transacted in US dollars. This would greatly enrich our government, Fed, Wall Street, and the big banks in the years to come, but that was tolerable to everyone since the US was the most powerful country in the world and our dollar the strongest currency – which was “as good as gold.” And of course, to the winner went the spoils.

Today all that has changed: The dollar is no longer backed by anything; it has been so diluted by 69 years of non-stop inflating (printing) that it has lost 95% of its value. The official government debt has risen to $17 trillion (having doubled in just the past seven years) – with real-world US total debt at over $80 trillion. An endless series of wars and police actions (i.e., Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens more military interventions and overthrows of governments, with our military now in over 130 countries); massive foreign aid – which went almost totally into the pockets of corrupt politicians we were buying; decades of out of control deficit spending; and three decades of massive monetary expansion via the Fed printing presses – have all combined to destroy all credibility for the Fed, Wall Street, and for the US dollar.

Thinking people and governments now understand that America is bankrupt – and most of the world wants out of US dollars and debt instruments. In the 30 days prior to March 13, 2014, foreign entities sold $100 billion in US Treasury bonds – something the US government is trying to keep a secret. That is why the Fed had to buy over a trillion dollars of US Treasury bonds last year – foreign dollar holders were dumping them, and no one else wanted them.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, May 2014)

End Times Prophecy Headlines: July 8, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
July 8, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

CHINA: China thinks it can defeat the USA in a military match-up – It will have plenty of help from the other side, so the Chinese should be feeling pretty good.  The fix is in.

SWITZERLAND: Chief Governing Body of the WCC Begins its Meeting in Geneva – The World Council of Churches will be meeting until Wednesday.  The WCC works tirelessly to help bring about the worldwide end times church.  It is so close to success, it’s a wonder they don’t stop and have a party?!?

ISRAEL: Israel calls up 1500 troops to deal with tensions

SYRIA: USA says Syria’s ‘machinery of death’ worst since the Nazis – This is one reason so few people round the world believe what the USA says.

IRAQ: ISIS set to destroy Biblical history

NIGERIA:Report:…

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‘Christianity Today’ Compiles List of 33 Millennials Shaping the Church

Christianity Today magazine has compiled a list of 33 Christians that shaping that church today, and not one of them is over the age of 33. The millennial generation has sparked a great deal of conversation, and not all of it is positive. But Christianity Today named 33 young people involved in ministry who are having a real impact; many of them use their faith in surprising ways. From pastors, to musicians, to philanthropists, the way that these millennials are working for the Lord may change the church forever.

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These 23 Charts Prove That Stocks Are Heading For A Devastating Crash

Following the bull market pattern of the past five years, the U.S. stock market continues to climb to new highs while shaking off all reasons for pessimism as well as the warnings of skeptics. Stock market bulls are becoming increasingly brazen as they drive the market to nosebleed heights, which is convincing a greater number of people into believing in the economic recovery. Unfortunately, the public is being fooled because the U.S. stock market and economy is experiencing another classic central bank-driven bubble that will end in a calamity, erasing trillions of dollars of wealth.

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Gallup Poll: Americans feel less free, feel the government is more corrupt than 7 years ago

This is a trend which began in earnest under Mr. Bush and which then began to snowball under Mr. Obama. And most people don’t even know anything about the NDAA (which Obama signed which allows him to jail US citizens without trial, attorney, or even notification of abduction). They just feel it. They know that the NSA lurks online, somewhere and everywhere. They stand with hands up in the radiation machines at the airport. They witness the increased police checkpoints. They see the president disregard the rule of law to pursue naked political ends. They feel the loss of dignity. People feel the loss of freedom and of their liberty.

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For a family of 4 it takes roughly this much money per year to live the “American Dream” (Most families don’t come close.)

Answer: $130,000/year.

In places like Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco it costs a heck of a lot more than that. Life is not inexpensive. The median income per household in the USA by the way is about $51,000/year. So good news everyone, you’re almost halfway there!

Wages adjusted for inflation are actually in decline and have been since the beginning of the Great Recession. This is what happens in a crony economy. The connected get wealthier, and those on the outside have to hustle that much harder.

Are you a banker with access to Federal Reserve funds or a government employee who has a guaranteed COLA built into your taxpayer funded job (and ridiculous pension), or a government contractor which has ridden the wave of warfare over the last decade or so? Well, then things haven’t been so bad for you over the past few years. The productive part of the economy? Well, we live in reality.

And I sure am glad the Middle Income Healthcare Redistribution Act aka Obamacare went through. (And don’t forget the health insurance corporations wrote a bailout for themselves into the law.) Middle class folks have plenty to spare. Yeah, Obamacare is “fair.”

I am about done with the word “fair.”

Click here for the article

Only 47.7% of adult Americans are working full time, This is a huge problem

When everyone checks out of the labor market the unemployment rate goes down. It’s not unlike the management of “medical populations” we reported on over the weekend. If enough sick people die the overall population becomes healthier.

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The Mega-Church Culture – A Toxic Report

The greatest question that comes to mind (at least at the moment) after these meetings is “what kind of ‘church’ is America exporting?” The church in the Middle East (speaking specifically of Jordan) is heavily influenced by the Western church, particularly the American church, far more than I realized. For instance, ministries receive millions of dollars despite the relative lack of growth. According to some local Christians we met with, those ministries spend millions, send back reports, use anything they can to show how “effective” they are, and use local Christians as, in their word, “trophies” to testify to their supposed effectiveness, and thus justifying why they should continue to receive millions more. According to them, ministries such as these, despite the best of intentions, have transformed the Church into a corporation, an organization, rather than the Body of Christ made up of the people of God bound together by familial ties.

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Founding Fathers Of Black Cults: Seven Black Preachers Who Derailed Christianity In America

My goal with this article is to introduce you to seven preachers from the previous century that reached God like status in the minds of their followers. I call these Pastors The Forefathers of Black Cults. Though the origin of many of these ministries took root over 100 years ago, the lies and false teachings they established back then are still being practiced today. At the conclusion of this article you will see very clearly how average everyday men were able to use the Bible, and Jesus, to accomplish wealth and fame at the expense of extremely impoverished people – Black People.

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Why Is Obama Encouraging Illegal Immigration When We Can’t Take Care Of Millions Of Our Own Citizens?

For years, the Obama administration has been making it abundantly clear that it is a friend of illegal immigrants. Border security is a joke, the federal government refuses to go after “sanctuary cities” even though they are breaking federal law, there is a website that instructs immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States, and the Obama administration has distributed flyers that tell illegal immigrants that their immigration status will not be checked when they apply for food stamps. And Obama has even instructed officials to use “prosecutorial discretion” in deportation cases involving non-criminals. In other words, Obama has been flashing a huge green light to illegal immigrants, and so of course our borders were going to be inundated with them. (Read More….)

The Almighty Dollar Is In Peril As The Global ‘De-Dollarization’ Trend Accelerates

As the Obama administration continues to alienate almost everyone else around the entire planet, an increasing number of prominent international voices are starting to question why the U.S. dollar should be so overwhelmingly dominant in global trade. In previous articles, I have discussed Russia’s “de-dollarization strategy” and the fact that Gazprom is now asking their large customers to start paying in currencies other than the dollar. But this is not just a story about Russia any longer. As you will read about below, China and South Korea have just signed a major agreement to facilitate trade with one another using their own national currencies, and even prominent French officials are now talking about the need to use the dollar less and the euro more. John Williams of shadowstats.com recently said that things have never “been more negative” for the U.S. dollar, and he was right on the mark. The power of the almighty dollar has allowed all of us living in the United States to enjoy an extremely high standard of living for decades, but as that power now fades it is going to have profound implications for the U.S. economy. In future years the value of the dollar will go down substantially, all of the imported goods filling our stores will become much more expensive, and it is going to cost the federal government a lot more to borrow money. Unfortunately, with the stock market hitting all-time record highs and with the mainstream media endlessly touting an “economic recovery”, most Americans are not paying any attention to these things. (Read More….)

This Is Odd…

One of the oddest things to happen with the stock market since it has recovered is that the number of shares trading hands each day has slowly disappeared.

In the table that I have created for you below, I list the trading volume for the S&P 500 for each June since 2009 and the percentage change in volume from the previous June.

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Happy Days Are Here Again … Or Are They?

Happy times are here again and the financial crisis seems like a distant memory, at least judging by record highs on the U.S. stock indexes.

But is everything really hunky-dory? I might be crazy, but some interesting patterns I’ve noticed in consumer confidence and the velocity of money suggest perhaps not.

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These Are The “Worst Possible States To Live In” As Ranked By Their Residents

And some commentary from Gallup:

Residents of Western and Midwestern states are generally more positive about their states as places to live. With the exception of the New England states of New Hampshire and Vermont, all of the top 10 rated states are west of the Mississippi River. In addition to Montana and Alaska, Utah (70%), Wyoming (69%), and Colorado (65%) are among the 10 states that residents are most likely to say their state is among the best places to reside. Most of these states have relatively low populations, including Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, and Alaska — the four states with the smallest populations in the nation. Texas, the second most populated state, is the major exception to this population relationship. Although it is difficult to discern what the causal relationship is between terrain and climate and positive attitudes, many of the top 10 states are mountainous with cold winters. In fact, the two states most highly rated by their residents — Montana and Alaska — are among not only the nation’s coldest states but also both border Canada.

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Report: 300,000 Central American immigrants heading to U.S.

This is… troubling.

The ongoing and apparently worsening calamity at the southern border as protected individuals like Central American women and children stream across the border is not merely a humanitarian and political crisis but a health crisis as well. While the influx of immigrants is not being curtailed, the health risks associated with that inflow are apparently being mitigated.

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