Heterosexual Civil Unions
Those who do not plan on making or keeping such antiquated vows, perhaps they ought to pursue civil unions with a judge in a courthouse. Perhaps they want to live together in some sort of partnership. Perhaps they are willing to file their taxes jointly. Perhaps they want to have kids in a respectable manner. But if they plan not to honor God in the making and keeping of sacred vows, then they ought to leave the sacred deity and his church out of their civil transaction.
Think Christianity Is Dying? No, Christianity Is Shifting Dramatically
The growth of religious practice in the world is being experienced through patterns of immigration to the United States, patterns that should become a central feature of the debate over immigration reform…. The history of immigration to this country has been a story of unintended consequences which have tested our commitment to religious and cultural pluralism. The religious impact of immigration, largely unnoticed in hotly contested rhetoric around political reform, offers the potential, once again, to enrich our society in ways we have not yet imagined.
What Really Happened In Ireland’s “Gay Marriage” Election
The LGBT movement’s biggest triumph has been their ability to cut off the money supply to frontline pro-family groups. The millionaires and billionaires ostensibly on our side could easily donate many times the money necessary to fight this effectively. But they have virtually all become emasculated by fear of the “gay mafia”. It’s quite pathetic to see, and it has had terrible consequences. So we need to create new methods of funding. Average people are more becoming more important than ever.
Denomination Votes to Allow Drunken Clergy
Meeting in Las Vegas, leaders of the Evangelical Lukewarm Christians in Apostasy (ELCA-Not the Lutherans) voted in favor of giving their local congregations the authority to choose ministers or lay leaders who may be in “lifelong, monogamous relationships with alcohol.” (SPOILER ALERT: This is a parody).
Where Are The Men?
The reason why humanity is in chaos and death today goes all the way back to Genesis when Adam failed to play the man. God said to him, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife… in pain you shall eat of [the ground] all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:17). Adam failed to provide spiritual leadership at the most critical juncture in humanity’s history and we are still paying for it today. Sadly, today’s men are making the same blunder. Women are running the affairs of homes, churches, and nations while they sleep in the backseat.
Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattles the Field
There are now serious questions about whether Mr. LaCour achieved the high response rate he claimed. He has acknowledged that he did not pay participants as he had claimed, according to Dr. Green and Dr. McNutt, the Science editor in chief. In a letter that he sent through his lawyer, Dr. McNutt said, Mr. LaCour said he had instead allowed participants the chance to win an iPad, saying “that was incentive enough.” Dr. McNutt said the supposed payments had convinced the reviewers that the response rate was as high as the study reported.
Prayer and Spiritual Formation: How Does It Work?
The Bible does not say: “Pray this way and you’ll make better progress.” The Bible says: “The fundamental question before you is, do you trust God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ no matter what?” If you trust Him, then you’ll pray. You won’t be able to help it. Because if you trust Him, you will know He is your only hope.
Friendship: You Were Made For It … And It Makes You
by Pastor J.D.
I read a recent survey about friendship that was disheartening, but not terribly surprising. Since the 1980s, the number of “close friends” we Americans have has declined. Thirty years ago, most people had three confidants, people outside their family they could confide in (and did confide in). Now that average is down to two…and 25% of the survey respondents said that had no one they would consider a true friend.
Odd, isn’t it? In our Facebook world, most of us have more “friends” than ever before. But genuine friendships seem to be increasingly rare. Just think, for instance, of your own father. Can you name some of your dad’s good friends? Not “people he worked with,” but actual friends. If you can, I’m guessing you’re in the minority. Most guys quit pursuing friendship after they get married.
So friendship may be a rare commodity these days. But I suspect that most of us still yearn for it. And for good reason. Friendship goes to the very core of our identity. It is something so fundamental that a life without friends is not only sad, but literally subhuman.
STAGE TWO EXILE: ARE YOU READY FOR IT?
The Western church is about to enter stage two of its exile from the mainstream culture and the public square. And it will not be an easy time.
Bruce or Caitlyn? He or she? Should Christians accomodate transgender naming?
by Denny Burk
How should Christians respond to transgenderism in general and Bruce Jenner’s “transition” in particular? I think Christians are at their best when they recognize a need for both compassion and truth-telling. Compassion for those who experience painful alienation from their own bodies and truth-telling in the face of fictional accounts of gender identity.
What kind of future for our children?
At what age to babies in the womb feel pain? Medical professionals have proven that the nervous system is developed enough at 20 weeks, or about 5 months in utero, to not only feel but react strongly to pain. We’ve heard stories of babies at that age trying to evade the surgical tools during abortion […]
The Dennis Hastert Example and NSA Control of National Government
by Scott Alan Buss
Okay, so let’s put on our thinking caps and try real hard to concentrate for just a second or two and consider the (probably very significant) relationship between two points… 1. The NSA needs to “protect our freedom and liberty” by gathering information on the citizens of the United States on a scale and at a level […]
Corporate America Crowns Bruce Jenner King (and/or Queen) of Courage
by Scott Alan Buss
Welcome to our Brave New America, where nothing is sane and nothing is safe…except for our pride, of course. No gender is safe. No concept is safe. No area of life is safe. No word is safe. And ultimately, no thought is safe. This tragic reality becomes more and more clear when we bother to consider […]
The Bible Determines the Truth of Your Spiritual Experience
By Jackie Price
“It is very important to realize, over against modern concepts of ‘spiritual experience,’ that the biblically based experience rests firmly on truth. It is not only an emotional experience, nor is it contentless.” ~ Dr Francis Schaeffer, The God Who is There
Those words, “the biblically based experience rests firmly on truth…” is important to remember. God’s word is truth (John 17:17).
I remember having a conversation with a sweet, Christian lady whose heart I believe was in the right place but whose doctrine was a bit off. She placed great emphasis on her spiritual experiences, to the point where her experiences would often trump Scripture. She was telling me of an incident where she witnessed a friend have a fit of “holy laughter” (this is when people claim to be so filled by the Holy Spirit that they are overtaken with laughter for no reason and cannot stop). She said that it was contagious. Yes, I’m sure it was, laughter is contagious. The problem lies in the fact that these types of “experiences” don’t align with what Scripture tells us about God and how He operates in the church.
A good, logical way to think about it is this: If God the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture, and God does not contradict Himself; and the Bible tells us that our worship services are to be conducted “decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40), and that God is not a God of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33), and when God tells us that the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophet’s control (1 Cor. 14:32), and again that the fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23), then I can be sure that when I see people falling down in uncontrollable laughter, or all speaking in or praying tongues at once, that what I am seeing or experiencing is NOT of the Holy Spirit, nor is it biblical. A God who tells us that things are to be conducted decently and in order and a God of self-control would not inspire such displays. Oh, it might be a spirit all right; spirit of the flesh or a demonic spirit, but it’s not from the Holy Spirit. I can know this since the Holy Spirit who inspired Scripture and gave us the above admonitions to discern how and when He is operating is not on display here. If I were to put it into a logical syllogism, it might look like this…
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>
How the Church’s Anti-Intellectualism Will Be Her Jailor
by Michael Sherrard
Religious freedom is on the decline. There is no doubt about this. Social sexual issues will slam the prison’s door on religious freedom. And the lack of desire for wisdom and knowledge within the church is the jailor.
Solomon pleaded with his son to not scorn wisdom. Wisdom ought to be sought, and when it is sought it is found, and when it is found it pours out its treasure to its seeker. But when wisdom is ignored, it laughs at our calamity and mocks us when terror strikes. I fear we are nearing the sound of wisdom’s mocking laughter. We have not sought wisdom as we should.
Prosperity breeds contempt for wisdom. And we live in a prosperous time. It is even a prosperous time for Christianity. In this prosperity, Christian ranks are filled with those who desire an institution that can meet their needs more than a body where they can learn and grow and serve. We have become gluttons for the work of others. We would not know what to do if someone was not “pouring” into us.
The pursuit of the knowledge of God is replaced in many with a pursuit of something that merely works. And by works, often what is pursued is a version of Christianity that brings forth the American dream rather than the Kingdom of God. This prosperity and selfish attitude has caused a slumber, a slumber in the proverbial classroom, and the church is now awakening to an exam for which it is not prepared.
The culture war is nearly lost. Secular morals are winning the day, and Christianity is fading into obscurity in the market place of ideas. Scientists own the platform, celebrities have an audience, but religious folk are being relegated to the kids table. The entire world, it seems, has subscribed to the notion that people of faith have nothing valuable to say when it comes to the important things in life. Just sit in the corner, they tell us, and try to make milk come out of each other’s nose (that is what we did at the kids table growing up) and do not bother us while we talk about grown up things…
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>
Cindy Jacobs whups “Jewish witchcraft” to help Empowered21 gathering go smoothly
by Marsha West
John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire lays out the ways in which he believes Satan is using the ecumenical Empowered21 and the New Apostolic Reformation to torment the Body of Christ. Lanagan writes,
Lecturing her audience at the Empowered21 gathering in Jerusalem, New Apostolic Reformation prophetess Cindy Jacobs urged, “We need to live to torment the powers of darkness.”
In Romans 9, Paul wants to show us why we should believe in God’s unconditional election. Isaac and Ishmael were examples in the previous verses, and now Jacob and Esau are presented as better examples.
12 Signs of Mediocrity in a Church
By Chuck Lawless
I suspect this post may offend someone, but that’s not my goal. I want churches to strive for excellence simply because our calling is to do what we do for God’s glory. I fear, though, that many congregations settle for mediocrity. As a church consultant, I’ve learned that these signs are often an indicator that the church overall does not strive for excellence:
- No plans for evaluation. When I ask church leaders about their strategy for evaluating the worship service, the sermons, the programs, etc., they often have no intentional evaluations. Seldom does a church move far beyond mediocrity when no assessment occurs.
- Tolerance of mistakes. Granted, no church is perfect. On the other hand, churches that repeatedly have mistakes in the bulletin, misspelled words in PowerPoint presentations, and confusion in worship services are sending wrong signals.
- Poor maintenance of the church grounds. It’s easy for regular attenders to inadvertently miss the out-of-control bushes, the dying flowers, and the broken asphalt – but guests may not miss the same stuff. What they see when they enter the lot says something about the church’s commitment to excellence.
- Poor upkeep of the building. Maintenance is a never-ending chore, but tasks like removing clutter, painting walls, and replacing light bulbs are not that difficult. To ignore these jobs is to settle for less than the best.
- No records of attendance, growth, etc. I understand churches that don’t want numbers-consciousness to trump their God-centeredness, but my concern is the church that pays no attention to numbers. Seldom have I seen those churches strive to improve in many areas.
- No clear discipleship strategy. Few churches have a defined strategy to lead new believers toward growth and maturity. The church without a plan will wind up with stagnant, non-growing believers (often even among leaders) – and that’s mediocrity.
- Toleration of sin. The congregation that permits blatant sin to continue without steps toward redemptive discipline fosters a church that looks like the world. To ignore sin in the camp is to settle for less than God’s best.
- No class for membership. Potential members should understand what membership means before they make a commitment to the congregation. Churches without a membership class are essentially inviting members to join with no expectations. Little zeal toward the church – mediocrity, that is – is often the result.
- Lack of vision. Church vision statements are common – but so are the leaders and laypersons who don’t know their church’s vision. Churches that are not driven by a compelling, oft-stated vision are frequently stuck in the mediocrity of yesterdays.
- Little attention to the nations. I admit my biased interest in reaching the world, but I am only reporting what I have seen: churches that do not have a global passion tend to be inwardly focused and self-protective. They seldom push themselves beyond the comfort of their norm.
- No new workers in place. When all the church workers are the same ones who have worked for years (even when they’re excellent workers), something is amiss. The church may have seen no growth, or they may have no plan in place to move new members into ministry. Eventually, a lack of new workers will lead to tired workers who cannot give their best in every area of service.
- Lack of “healthy chaos.” The healthiest churches I know are continually evaluating and stretching themselves while deeply holding to the Word and the truth of the gospel. A bit of chaos is the norm. Stagnation, on the other hand, is mediocrity lived out.
What other signs of mediocrity have you seen?
Duggar and Hastert
The relative silence on Speaker Hastert’s sins and cover-ups is a reflection of our low expectations of politicians. We ought to have low expectations of all men.
“Who were the Pharisees? They were not just the religious leaders but also the political leaders of Israel! You mean Jesus was involved in politics? Yes!
The Divine Remedy for Anxiety
You’re reading the first of a several-part Grace & Truth blog miniseries on Biblical Counseling and Anxiety. In today’s post, Pastor Pat Quinn diagnoses the spiritual root causes of anxiety and then offers God’s remedy for anxiety. Continue reading
Gnostics were a first-century cult that taught that matter didn’t matter. More precisely, they held that our physical bodies were vulgar and thus lacked value, while our inner spiritual state represented true reality. They taught that because Jesus was the perfect spiritual being, he wouldn’t have even had a physical body. If he would have walked on the beach, he wouldn’t have left foot-prints (which, if true, would radically change many Christian posters).
Gnostics are still around today, only the best place to find them is inside the transgender movement. The modern transgender movement seeks to differentiate between one’s biological sex and the concept of gender. Your sex is what you are born with, while gender is a social construct foisted upon you at birth by a society that (wrongly) assumes that your sex is related to your gender.
This movement has as its goal the obliteration of that connection. Now let me be quick to say that the movement entirely lacks logic and any kind of propositional truth that is remotely plausible. Consider: in claiming that sex and gender are not connected, they also claim that some people can be born with the “wrong” sex (hence a sex-change operation). For example, they purport that a person can be born biologically male, but have an internal gender of female, and hence have the “wrong” body.
But if gender is not connected sex in the first place, then in what sense could someone be said to have the “wrong” body? If gender is all about social constructs, why change a person’s body to match one’s internal gender? It doesn’t make any logical sense. (Actually, let me rephrase that: it makes as much sense as saying gender doesn’t have anything to do with marriage.)
Last week I wrote about this issue being forced upon elementary school students in the Washington DC area, but be sure it will come to a school district near you. Short version: the Fairfax County School Board followed a Department of Education recommendation and passed a measure that would allow students to use the restroom of what ever gender they identify as, regardless of their biological sex. You maybe have heard about the gym where the male who self-identified as a woman was using the women’s locker room, or the college where the male student hung out nude in the women’s locker room. Fairfax County wants to bring that to the elementary school level.
How should we respond to this?
For the first time, the couple acknowledged that at four of the victims were their daughters, including younger sisters Jill and Jessa, who also spoke to Kelly, and one was a family friend.
Former Olympic champion, and current pop celebrity, Bruce Jenner, revealed in a recent interview his lifelong struggle with gender confusion. This week he announced that he is changing his public identity from male to female, his given name from Bruce to Caitlyn, and celebrating his gender transition by being featured in a photo shoot and cover article for the July edition of…
The Gender Revolution: Are Our Children at Risk?
How is it that we live in a culture where same sex marriage, gender reformation, transgenderism, and homosexuality is one of the hottest topics—but we worship in churches where it is almost never addressed?
And we live in homes where we aren’t talking to our children about it?
Could it be that some of us are waiting too long to introduce our children to God’s beautiful truth about gender that we’re giving way to the world to plant lies?
George Barna, founder of The Barna Group, says the majority of tweens today believe the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. This doesn’t surprise me. The Ontario (Canada) sex-ed curriculum teaches that there are six genders (male, female, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, and inter-sexed). Perhaps you’ve heard about the training pamphlet used by teachers at a Lincoln, Nebraska middle school that encourages their teachers not to call their students boys or girls. Instead, they’re encouraged to use phrases such as “campers,” “athletes,” or “purple penguins.” The pamphlet reads: “When you find it necessary to reference gender, say ‘Boy, girl, both or neither.’ When asked why, use this as a teachable moment. Emphasize to students that your classroom recognizes and celebrates the gender diversity of all students.”
Even if your children—like mine—are not in public education, they are growing up in a world of children who are.
Faith Is Like a Muscle and Needs to Be Exercised
Faith is like a muscle – if it is not used, it will atrophy.
Some of us spend time every day exercising certain muscles that we want to develop. You say, “I haven’t run for a week, and I feel the difference.” Similarly, if a week goes by without exercising faith, you will notice the difference. The longer you go without using faith, the greater the danger that you will forget how to use faith altogether.
If you have ever broken a leg and been unable to use it for a time, you will know that you need to work hard to rebuild the muscle that has been weakened by prolonged inactivity. The physiotherapist will work with you to rebuild what has been lost through lack of use.
So, faith is like a muscle and needs to be exercised.
Faith is the gift of God. It is not of ourselves; we receive it from him. It is the special work of the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to who Jesus is and to show us our need of him and to create within us the capacity to trust him. He gives you a new heart, the gift of faith.
But Jesus’ question in Luke 8:25 makes it clear that you can have this gift of faith and never use it. “Where is your faith?” he asks the disciples, after a storm blew up as they were rowing across the lake. Jesus had been asleep in the back of the boat, and the disciples panicked! But Jesus awakens, calms the storm, and then asks, “Where is your faith?” In other words, “Why aren’t you exercising the faith I have gifted to you?”
From this account, we learn three ways to exercise faith.
Observing History, More Follow Up
Q. Re: Observing History. What do you think about Isaiah 65:17? My pastor, a godly man who faithfully preaches verse by verse each week, says that in Heaven we won’t remember anything about our past lives. I think we’ll remember everything but with God’s perspective on everything.
Unforgivable Sin, Follow Up
Q. Re: Matt. 12:31. I have always understood the unforgivable sin as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, because when Christ was on earth, the religious leaders were attributing his miracles to demonic powers when they were the product of the Holy Spirit.
Q. I have been troubled for quite some time. I committed the sin of fornication before I married the man I’m now with although I’ve confessed my guilt and sin to God time and time again I still feel at times some regret over this sin in my life and feel unworthy. Please help! What can I do to completely let go of this regret.
“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime
9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.
The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?
Our Time is Short
Ready to start your new life with God?
Who do you think that I am?
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.
Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more
Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!
30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer
This post was originally posted on:
(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).
“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther
This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.
A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.