Christians who develop an interest in apologetics often begin to believe that the most important things to learn are logic, rational arguments, and evidential proofs. They can become very focused on making sure their logic is airtight, while completely ignoring the importance of the moral quality of their life. Historically, however, Christian apologists never separated rational arguments from their moral and ethical lives.
The 2nd century apologist, Athenagoras, challenged those who put too much stock in philosophy and logic, while ignoring their character. He noted that among the pagans were many who were skilled in logic, grammar and rhetoric, but whose character was unchanged by the truth they claimed to know.
For who of those that reduce syllogisms, and clear up ambiguities, and explain etymologies, or of those who teach homonyms and synonyms, and predicaments and axioms, and what is the subject and what is the predicate, and who…
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One of these days, I hope I have the time again to do some real writing on other subjects besides politics and global events. There are a lot of reflections on Scripture I’d love to do. However, that takes time, quiet, study—commodities of which I have very little these days.
On top of that, domestic events continue on their steady plunge to the abyss, and so I feel constrained to say what few in the media will, even conservative media, on the subject of Barack Obama.
Last week on the podcast we covered leaders of churches or Christian ministries who don’t act in the most Christ-like of ways. This week, we flip that and examine the traits of healthy, tenured pastors and leaders.
Some highlights from the episode:
- Long-tenured pastors don’t necessarily mean a church will be healthy. But several short-term ones almost guarantee it’s not.
- Praying daily for your congregation will not only give you a heart for your people but a spiritual and relational connection you would otherwise miss.
- Don’t treat your church as an island in the sea of your community.
- You don’t always have to get your way as a pastor.
- Many pastors are short-term because they pick so many fights.
- Healthy accountability is needed for healthy leadership.
- Pastors need both organizational accountability and personal accountability.
The 10 traits we cover are:
- They pray daily for their church members and staff.
- They view their family as their first line of ministry.
- They connect with and love people in their community.
- They choose their battles carefully and wisely.
- They welcome structures that make them accountable.
- They spend time developing staff.
- They expect conflict and criticism.
- They connect with other pastors and ministries in the community.
- They affirm both theology and practical ministry.
- They ask long-term questions.
- Five Stages of a Pastor’s Ministry
- Seven Ways the Pastor’s Family Comes Under Attack
- How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage
- Fourteen Symptoms of Toxic Church Leaders
The post 10 Traits of Healthy, Tenured Pastors – Rainer on Leadership #080 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.
Nothing Created Everything
We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).
It’s an old story. We would much rather complain about the way things are than make the sacrifice to change it, but character requires sacrifice. Those of us who know the Lord are called to make that sacrifice; we are called to live on a higher plane. Christians, above any other group, should be known as persons of character.
The references to character in the Bible indicate it’s something to be sought after. The Apostle Paul points out the unique relationship between suffering, perseverance, and character. The suffering he’s referring to are the trials and difficulties experienced by believers. He’s assuming, of course, that those who are persecuted would faithfully and courageously endure their persecutions; that they would not break under pressure and deny their faith in Christ.
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ObamaCare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber’s remarks about the “stupidity” of the American voter and the passage of ObamaCare is bad enough
What is even more disturbing are his comments about the bill’s deliberate lack of transparency. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s denials Thursday were also absurd.
The arrogance and condescension that has too often characterized the Obama administration’s policies have put the American public in the unfortunate position of having to learn about the health care changes the hard way, on their own.
Here are three crucial changes that the president clearly didn’t want you to know about:
1. HUGE DEFICITS AND NEW TAXES. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the latest projections for the net cost of ObamaCare over the next ten years are just over $1.4 trillion. Whereas President Obama promised in 2009 that it would cost less than $1 trillion over ten years. In order to partially pay for this, ObamaCare has added more than 20 new taxes totaling over $500 billion.
2. BUREAUCRACY. Speaking of Orwellian politics, ObamaCare includes 159 new boards and agencies to restrict and govern your health care choices.
3. STILL MORE BUREAUCRACY. Dysfunctional state exchanges with high deductible policies, narrow doctor networks, including federally-run exchanges in 36 states which may not be allowable under the law (SCOTUS currently considering this case).
Here are three new things coming up in 2015 that you aren’t going to like:
1. PENALTIES WILL RISE – INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. In 2014, people are facing a penalty of $95 per person or 1% of income.
In 2015, the penalty will more than triple to $325 per person or 2% of income, whichever is higher.
If an American failed to get coverage this year, the penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015.
2. SERIOUS RATE HIKES FOR CHEAPER OBAMACARE PLANS. According to Investor’s Business Daily, the lowest cost bronze plan will increase an average of 7 % in many cases, the lowest cost silver plan by 9%, and the lowest priced catastrophic policy will climb 18 percent on average. Double digit rate hikes are anticipated in several southern and Midwestern states including Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, and Virginia.
Subsidies will continue to be a huge part of the program. In 2014, subsidies provided ¾ of the premiums for the federally-run exchanges.
3. EMPLOYER MANDATE WILL TAKE EFFECT. After being delayed for a year, large businesses (100 or more employees in 2015, 50 or more in 2016) will be required to offer affordable (and subsidized) health plans to at least 70 percent of their full time employees or face a $2,000-$3,000 penalty per employee.
This mandate will lead to fewer full time employees being hired.
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll in July revealed that 53 percent of those surveyed had an unfavorable view of ObamaCare.
The post Three Things The White House Is Hiding About Obamacare appeared first on Now The End Begins.
November 24th is the deadline.
By then, the international community’s negotiations with Iran over its illegal nuclear program are set to conclude.
But there are four big problems.
First, Iran is giving no evidence that it willing to make any significant concessions. It refuses to reduce its capabilities to enrich uranium to military/bomb grade, much less eliminate them all together.
Second, the U.S. and the Western powers look like they are ready to make major concessions. Indeed, even extending the negotiations (for a second time) will be a major gain for Iran.
Third, theAyatollah Khamenei just issued a new call for the “elimination” of the State of Israel. He explained his approach and answering questions on Twitter. Yet most world leaders…
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Franklin Graham objected to the use of the National Cathedral yesterday for a first-ever Muslim prayer service. On Facebook Graham said,
“It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins,”
He also mentioned that Jesus claimed to be the only way to the Father – John 14:6
Carpets were arranged so Muslims could bow toward Mecca and not need to look at crosses or Christian icons, because they are not allowed to pray in view of symbols of other faiths.
Source: CNS News
National Cathedral Holds Friday Muslim Prayers – Voice of America
Christians: Muslims ‘conquering’ Washington National Cathedral – WND
The Washington National Cathedral hosted it first Muslim prayer service Friday afternoon in an effort to promote interfaith prayer and improved global relations between Muslims and Christians.
The Muslim prayer service held at the Washington National Cathedral was briefly disrupted by a protester, according to a local NBC report.
“Jesus Christ died on that cross over there!” a woman said loudly, immediately after announcements at the beginning of the service were made. “He is the reason why we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior!”
According to the NBC report, she continued, “We have built, and allowed you here in mosques across this country. Why can’t you worship in your mosque, and leave our chuches alone?”
The protester was then escorted out of the cathedral, News4’s Kristin Wright reported. She was removed without incident, but she continued her protest once she was taken to an adjoining space.
This is not the first time the National Cathedral has invited controversy with its services. In June the Cathedral invited openly transgendered Episcopal priest Rev. Cameron Partridge to preach from its pulpit in honor of LGBT pride month. Openly gay Episcopal Bishop Rev. Gene Robinson presided over the Sunday service. The Cathedral also hosts gay marriage ceremonies.
Muslims At National Cathedral Controversy: Conservative Leaders Slam Prayer Service
The Washington National Cathedral hosted its first Muslim prayer service Friday in a powerful symbolic gesture aimed at uniting Christians and Muslims at the nation’s most prominent Episcopal church. The service, however, was quickly embroiled in controversy after conservative leaders called the effort inappropriate.
The house of representatives allowed an IMAM to praise Allah on the Floor of the house and give the opening prayer today, November 13th, 2014
by Bill Muehlenberg
I have said this before, and I will keep saying it until I see some real changes taking place around here: Where are all the godly, courageous men of faith? Why do they seem to be an endangered species? Why is it that whenever some crisis comes up that demands Christian action and bravery, it is Christian women who lead the charge?
Praise God for these fearless and totally committed Christian women. But I sure wish we had some Christian men to join their ranks. I am ashamed to be a Christian male to be honest, when so often I see courageous women standing up and being counted, while all the pansy girly-men cower behind their skirts.
Enough already! We need some men with backbone – men with some Holy Ghost boldness to take back what the devil has stolen. Enough of all these wimps for Jesus and spineless wonders. Now more than ever we need real men – real Christian men – to stand, to fight, and to do valiantly for our God.
My reason for writing is this is because once again, the church of Jesus Christ is under direct Satanic attack, and it takes a brave Christian woman to make a godly stance. Where are all the Christian men? I speak to your shame! Stop all this cowardliness and start acting like soldiers of Jesus Christ.
This episode has to do with the National Cathedral in Washington DC which lost its marbles, and thought it would be a neat idea to have Muslims come in and hold an Islamic prayer service there. The folks in charge there are simply duped dhimmis, and haven’t a clue what this signifies.christine
The prayers of course take place in Arabic, so these brainless Christians would not know what was being prayed. These interfaith fools do not have a clue as to what they are allowing to happen in their own Christian houses of worship.
Do they not know anything about Islam? Do they know nothing about the Shahada, one of the pillars of Islam? It is a prayer that professes there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is his messenger. This is a direct, unilateral assault on the very heart and soul of the Christian faith: that Jesus Christ is God’s son, and the only way to the Father.
So these blind dhimmis are going to allow pagan gods into God’s sanctuary. The word of God is clear on this. As Yahweh clearly proclaims: “I will not share my glory with another” (Isaiah 42:8; 48:11). How can these people even claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and allow this desecration of God’s house?
Well one brave Christian woman refused to just sit by and do nothing. She went in there and fearlessly proclaimed Christian truth. “Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour” she boldly proclaimed. And she was thrown out of this Christian church for daring to say this! Go Figure.
A five minute video clip discussing her informs us that her name is Christine. That is about all I know about her so far, but I certainly want to know more. What a champion. What a hero. So where are all the men? Why does it always take a wonderful Christian woman to speak the truth of Jesus Christ so courageously?
Remember earlier this year the same thing happened in a church in Germany. Muslims were leading their demonic religious worship there, when a brave Christian woman, Heidi Klum stood up to proclaim Jesus Christ and his Lordship. She too was chucked out of the church! I discuss this here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/02/08/one-brave-christian-woman-contra-mundum/
Like it or not last Tuesday was a sound rejection of this president. That’s what it meant. That’s the lesson. Overwhelmingly the American people, who don’t really like the Republicans either, said “NO” to Obama. It was a clear statement. Not much ambiguity.
But it wasn’t clear to the president. He has decided that the American people and the Constitution (of which he is a supposed scholar) do not matter. The time to act (rule?) by executive fiat has come. So what if he and his policies and basically entire legacy have been rejected by most of the country. Darn it, he’s going to show America what he thinks with his “pen and phone.”
The domestic spying just keeps growing and growing. It’s a great example of the government snowball effect. Once a program or initiative has money behind it (and people with jobs who want to keep their jobs) it never ends. It just gets bigger and bigger. Such is the surveillance state today. 9-11 happened. (It started before 9-11) We freaked out. Now the surveillance snowball rolls and rolls picking up our civil liberties along the way.
Again, the voters may be stupid but their money is fun to spend.
What individual is paid $5.9 million by the taxpayers over a little more than 10 years? Apparently an individual who believes duping the American public in order to pass a massive new government program which will cost taxpayers billions (probably trillions) more is OK. But the government is US right?
A high school in Colorado Springs bans students from meeting outside class for prayer and fellowship.
Cheating. Bullying. Cybersexting. Hazing. Molestation. Suicide. Drug abuse. Murder. From scanning the headlines of the latest scandals in America’s schools, it’s quite clear that the problem is not that there’s too much God in students’ lives.
The problem is that there isn’t nearly enough of Him.
“The church’s disclosures, in a series of essays online, are part of an effort to be transparent about its history at a time when church members are increasingly encountering disturbing claims about the faith on the Internet. Many Mormons, especially those with polygamous ancestors, say they were well aware that Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, practiced polygamy when he led the flock in Salt Lake City. But they did not know the full truth about Smith.”
“Perhaps most surprising, given its status as a “foreign” religion and its close association with an earlier era of gunboats and imperialism, Christianity (particularly the Protestant variety) has been the big winner in the competition for Chinese souls. If it continues to spread at its current pace, the country is very likely to be home to the world’s largest Christian population within the next 15 years.”
by Christine Pack
Since his resignation, former megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll has reportedly fled the biblical process of church discipline at Mars Hill, perhaps in favor of setting up another church elsewhere with those willing to turn a blind eye to his sins and unresolved conflicts at his former church. (For documentation of Driscoll’s having fled the discipline process, listen to the audio of Mars Hill pastor A.J. Hamilton speaking at the 19 October 2014 Mars Hill church service, beginning at the 37 minute mark.)
Understandably, many eyes have now turned to Dr. Piper, who has in past years given Driscoll a large and generous platform, beginning with featuring Driscoll at the 2006 Desiring God conference. In a recent interview, Dr. Piper was asked if, given the magnitude of the scandals now associated with Driscoll, he had any regrets in partnering with Driscoll over the years. In essence, Dr. Piper stated in the interview published on 13 November 2014 that, despite “mistakes that Mark may have made” or instances in which “he might have walked out of step with the truth,” he had “no regrets” over partnering with Driscoll, and that despite some misgivings he had, he felt that Driscoll was on the whole a solid teacher.