June 27-28, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Christian Blog/Article Collection

June 22 Quotes


Confidence in God

“So we see something rather remarkable in Isaiah 40. After the promise of deliverance in 40:1-11, we see a series of demonstrations of God’s power. God demonstrates His power over creation and the mighty forces of nature. He measures out the seas, He weighs mountains in a scale, and He knows the vast multitude of stars by name.”

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An Appeal to Elders

“Whenever a pastor falls, one has to ask: Where were the elders?  Sometimes, of course, the pastor can be good at hiding his faults; At other times, elders just turn a blind eye to peccadilloes, assuming that the pastor is a good chap and could not possibly be heading in a  spiritually lethal direction.”

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InterVarsity Regains Access to Cal State Campuses

“InterVarsity has experienced tensions over its religious requirements at more than 40 college campuses in recent years, including most notably Vanderbilt University and Tufts University. Meanwhile, a surprising number of evangelicals disagree with faith requirements at public universities.”

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Gearing Up for Fortnight for Freedom

“Constructing a narrative with Christianity — Calvinist or Roman Catholic — on the right and liberating side of history is just that, a construction. Sometimes it was, sometimes not so much. But shouldn’t a church gain high marks not for being on the side of John Locke but for proclaiming the good news of the gospel?”

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No Secret Key To Living The Christian Life

“Perhaps the “secret” is surrender to the Lordship of Christ, or abiding in Christ, or being filled with the Spirit, or another great biblical truth. Suddenly, the beauty and glory of this truth shines in their soul and from that instant they are changed. This becomes the key that unlocks everything that had prevented their spiritual progress.”

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You Can’t Serve God and Entertainment

“If I’m honest, I’ve had an unbridled love for frivolous entertainment — over the years I’ve used it primarily as a means of escape. Entertainment was used to distract me from the guilt of sin, friction in relationships, or anxiety about work. It became what daily prayer and Bible reading should have been — a safe haven to retreat for rest and comfort.”

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Samuel and the Witch at Endor

“However, after studying this a number of years ago, I came to the conclusion that a stronger case can be made for this being an evil spirit impersonating Samuel (just as the devil can transform himself into an angel of light). Here are some of the points I remember from that study.”

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Is Preaching Really Foolishness?

It was inconceivable to the Greek that there could be an incarnation. So what happened when Paul preached in Athens? They laughed, because his message seemed foolish. What Paul had to say to the Greeks was that mind was separated from matter, that spirit was separated from flesh. What Paul had to say to the Greeks was that this message, which appears to be foolishness, and which is communicated in a manner that is conceived to be the height of folly, is actually the wisdom of God.

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The SCOTUS Decision on Marriage: Will It Change Our Ministry?

Since this is such an important ruling from the Supreme Court, what should EPC do differently?  Nothing.  We at EPC need no new strategy to minister in this cultural context.  We will continue to be the people that God has already been shaping us to be: We will continue to be a church that preaches the gospel clearly and the whole counsel of God regularly. We will continue to be one of the friendliest churches you have ever visited regardless of your background.  

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Brief Thoughts on King v. Burwell

The war on words is a war on meaning. It is a rebellious war, a “breaking of the chains” and “loosing of the fetters” (Psalm 2) of God’s design for creation and for bearers of his image. And the rebellion goes all the way down, even to the core of our biological identities. The war against God and transcendent meaning is always, ironically, a war against ourselves as human beings. How could it be otherwise? Hate the Creator and his constraints, you surely must hate his creaturely icons, the imago Dei. 

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A Review: “Compassion without Compromise” by Adam Barr and Ron Citlau

This brings the authors to not only encourage Christians to return to God’s design, but to approach other sexual-sinners with humility, which may be what “our standing for truth needs” because none of us “lives up to the standards our faith demands.” If we do so, then, maybe “this posture of humility will gain the gospel a fresh hearing.”

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The Charleston Tragedy – Is Forgiveness Required?

Although there is considerable doubt in my mind about the need to forgive apart from contrition, one thing that is clear in the Bible is that we are to love our enemies.  Maybe this is what these families are trying to do in a round-about way?  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:44-45).  This is proof that we are the children of God.  

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Coming Out

I am not so naïve to think I understand much of anything from a press release, and that by one party. Only God knows whether the expression of regret proceeds from godly sorrow or the mourning of being caught. But I know that the gospel is not at stake and that it remains God’s remedy for sin’s guilt and power. I also know that we as the body of Christ need to pray against the efforts of the evil one to do harm to Christ’s sheep and the witness of His church.

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Word Magic

But what have we done with those simple assertions of our Fathers? We’ve said, in good Supreme Court majority style, that they can also mean several other possible concepts such as Day-Age, Analogical, or Framework. Well, I do not see any significant difference between what we have done with documents that we have vowed to maintain and defend, and what the majority of the Supreme Court Justices have done with the Fourteenth Amendment.

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Fragile Foundation of Marriage Equality, Part 2

Entitlement to self-fulfillment creates a solid philosophical basis for justifying same-sex unions. Who wants to deny anyone their inherent right to be happy? If some have same-sex attraction and that makes them feel good, then nobody should get in the way of their happiness. Approval of same-sex marriage is quite likely only a symptom of a much larger epidemic of narcissism that is infiltrating every part of our culture.

Read Part 1

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Marriage Canon Changes at GC2015 Could Seal Fate of Anglican Communion

If the Church should consider committed same-sex relationships blessed by God, should it do so as a part of the practice of Christian marriage that we have not yet recognized, or rather as an analogous yet distinct good that we have not yet named? The answer is NO on both counts. Same-sex relationships have never been countenanced by God and General Convention won’t change God’s mind for Him.

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Cheers to the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta talks of rights, but these are not Lockean Natural Rights, given to individuals through the unmediated powers of their Creator. Quite the contrary, the opening articles of the Magna Carta clearly assert that rights come from God (not “the Creator”) to the king who then bestows them, not to individuals, but to communities. All these communal, inherited rights come with duties attached to them. If any community failed to uphold their obligations, their freedoms would be jeopardized, and not only for themselves, but for their descendants, too.

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SCOTUS, the Church, Social Responsibility and Losing by Default

In any war there are actually always two enemies: an external enemy and an eternal enemy. By internal I mean when our own side does not fight because of fear, indifference, cowardice, laziness, and so on. When one is under attack yet refuses to engage the enemy, or just tries to sit on the fence, that is being an internal enemy.

In the many battles over faith, family and freedom we see this very thing occurring. The many adversaries are obvious: the new atheism, secular humanism, radical feminism, the militant homosexual lobby, expansionist Islam, and so on. They are obvious threats and genuine enemies.

But often the real problem is when our side simply refuses to engage, or is not even aware that we are in a war. Or even worse yet, when we basically side with the opposition, and betray our side. All this and more has been happening for far too long.


SCOTUS and the New Homo-Tyranny

Anyone with their eyes open, and/or not pushing the secular left agenda, should know by now that when special rights and marriage rights are granted to homosexuals, everything changes, and those who suffer the greatest are biblical Christians.

The two are of course incompatible: biblical morality cannot coexist with sinful sexuality, whether of the homosexual variety or otherwise. But it is the militant homosexual lobby which is working overtime to silence the churches and force Christians to embrace their agenda – or else.

homo 74

I have documented plenty of cases of the pink mafia in action. It always gets much worse when homosexual marriage “rights” are legislated. For example, within hours of the SCOTUS decision we had one newspaper declaring that any opposing viewpoints are now off limits.


Justice Scalia Issues Scathing Dissent in Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Ruling: ‘Pride Goeth Before a Fall’

Christian News Network reports:

As one of the four justices that dissented from today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring that all 50 states must legalize same-sex “marriage,” Justice Antonin Scalia issued a sharp rebuke of his colleagues’ arrogance, warning that “pride goeth before a fall.”

“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic,” he wrote. “It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the court to do so.”

Scalia was speaking of his disapproval of five black-robed justices issuing an edict that he opined was “highly unrepresentative” of the nation and “hardly a cross-section of America.”

“Today’s decree says that my ruler, and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” he said. “And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.”

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Christians Must Brace Themselves For The Coming Persecution In Obama’s LGBT America

Churches who will not perform same-sex “weddings” can say goodbye to their tax-exempt status, and pastors who preach against the LGBT agenda must be prepared for jail time.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9 (KJV)

Rod Dreher, writing in an article in Time Magazine, has this to say about the recent US Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage: “LGBT activists and their fellow travelers will be coming after social conservatives. The Supreme Court has now, in constitutional doctrine, said that homosexuality is equivalent to race. The next goal of activists will be a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society.”

us-supreme-court-decision-same-sex-marriage-post-christian-america-coming-persecution

This is the America that Barack Obama has created

America in 2015 has officially become a post-Christian society, led by the treasonous activities of our post-American president, Barack Hussein Obama. The massive paradigm shift towards the full-throated embrace of same-sex culture will be the main legacy that Obama will leave behind. That is if he actually ever leaves the White House. Obama ran for president on the platform of being a “committed Christian“, but obviously, he is nothing of the kind. He has completely fulfilled his promise to “fundamentally transform America”, and Christians are now in the cross-hairs of the coming persecution.

This week’s US Supreme Court decision has set up a number of situations that American Christians must be wide-awake and prepared for. One of the first casualties in the coming war will be the ostracizing of all those who will not go along with the “new normal”. Keep in mind that the LGBT have never wanted “tolerance” or “acceptance”, what they are after is control of the narrative, and this is exactly what Obama and the Supreme Court have handed them on a silver platter. Churches who will not perform same-sex “weddings” can say goodbye to their tax-exempt status, and pastors who preach against the LGBT agenda will be silenced. Already, we are seeing whole Christian denominations making the shift to embracing the LGBT agenda in order to preserve their income levels and avoid jail time.

“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 1:26,27 (KJV)

In our new LGBT-centric society, the Holy Bible will be one of the first casualties. Because the Scriptures clearly declare, in both Testaments, that God is against same-sex anything on any level, the LGBT police are busy rewriting the Scriptures and attempting to explain away what God has to say about the same-sex lifestyle. One of the most vocals proponents of this is Matthew Vines, who wrote a book called “God And The Gay Christian”. Vines is conducting a very active campaign to convince Christians that God approves of the LGBT lifestyle, and that the Bible doesn’t really speak against same-sex unions.

Since most Christians do not actually read or study their Bibles, his slick presentation, I am sure, will serve to sway some of the them to his side of the argument. But Vines argument is filled with holes and easily defeated. First, there are no examples anywhere in the Bible of a positive example of a same-sex relationship. Not one. But there are hundreds of verses dealing with the man and woman relationship. Secondly, in Romans 1, where Vines is attempting to argue that Paul is really talking about “people who turn from God to worship idols” and not condemning same-sex relationships, he intentionally glosses over Paul’s main point. Paul refers to homosexual and lesbian relationships as “vile affections”, and finishes by saying that men with men and women with women are not natural, but against nature. That all by itself is a complete refutation of Vines whole argument, and all of Vines smoke and mirrors fails to explain that away. But what you see in this video is the future of Laodicean Christianity in America now that the LGBT is control of the narrative.

America, in the past, has been greatly used of God to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. But that open window of evangelism effectually closed with the Supreme Court decision, as the coming dark days ahead will prove. Christians who will stay true to God’s word should not be surprised when their employment is terminated, when they are denied health care coverage for being anti-LGBT, and when they are hauled into court for “hate speech”. The tide has turned, and “one day, someday” has arrived. America in 2015 has become something that our Founding Fathers would only not approve of, but wouldn’t even recognize.

Are you ready for what comes next?


The Body Politic Is Queer

On the heals of the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to legalize same-sex “marriage,” Peter Jones of truthxchange penned a piece with this warning: You cannot introduce into society a life style, now considered legal, without it redefining what the culture must receive as morally and spiritually acceptable. Putting blue dye in one end of the pool affects […]

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Proposed ‘Homage to Satan’ Near Ten Commandments Monument to Be Unveiled

According to Christian News Network:

Satanic TempleA New York-based Satanist group has announced the unveiling of its sculpted ‘homage to Satan,’ which it seeks to place next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.

As previously reported, the Satanic Temple issued a news release about its intentions in 2013 following the filing of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which asserted that the presence of the Ten Commandments display on government property violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.

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Supreme’s Decision – Terry James

The buying, selling, planting, the marrying –heterosexual or otherwise– is a way of life that is going to end in one stupefying microsecond of time. The Christian will stand before his or her Lord and give an account of whether we have been working and watching for Christ, or whether we have been caught up totally in the cares of this world, with callous disregard for being salt and light as we see the end of the age approaching.

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What Your Church Needs to Know—and Do—About the Court’s Marriage Ruling

Pastors and churches have exhibited a great degree of uncertainty preceding the decision, wondering what the impact of the decision will be on their ministry. But now that the decision has been released, we can respond with greater clarity.

Here are the immediate things you need to know.

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A word to pastors preaching in the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges

I am a pastor. I preach the word of God regularly to the congregation that I serve. And this morning I am thinking about and praying for other pastors across the country who will be ascending the sacred desk tomorrow morning to deliver a message to God’s people.


Lynne Hybels’ “God”

By Jim Fletcher Prophecy Matters Lynne Hybels is a woman of vast influence in the evangelical world. She and her husband, Bill, founded Willow Creek Community Church in 1975; today the Willow Creek Association (9,000 member churches worldwide) is one of the most influential groups in Christendom.


No Compromise Radio: Sins of Omission and Commission

Additional Resources
NoCo90: Private Prayer LanguagesNo Compromise Radio: How Should We Respond to False Teachers?No Compromise Radio: The Pitiful and Damning Doctrines of Joyce Meyer


Marriage Decision Is a “Totalitarian Impulse to Redefine Reality”

The Supreme Court decision yesterday won’t just affect marriage. Giving the government the power to redefine a pre-political institution changes the relationship of the government to all of our rights.


Would the Son of God Contradict the Father?

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous decision on same-sex marriage, I’m posting an article I wrote a few years ago where I dealt the ridiculous notion that Jesus never addressed homosexuality.  That He never said anything about homosexuality is utter nonsense.  Moreover, it is one of the most outrageous lies foisted on the public by those […]

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SCOTUS and Marriage: The Fallout

I have already written on the fateful decision of the US Supreme Court to redefine marriage and show its utter contempt for the majority of Americans who know that marriage is always about a one man, one woman relationship. As I argued there, this is as momentous as the 1973 abortion decision, and is just as evil: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/06/27/scotus-declares-war-on-marriage-and-family/

The fallout of course continues with plenty of commentary from all sides of the debate. This is one of the most far-reaching and radical decision ever made by SCOTUS, and we will feel the negative after-effects for decades to come. The only good news is four of the judges had the sense, and moral and mental clarity, to strongly denounce the decision of the other five.

For example, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “They know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.”

And Justice Samuel Alito said, “The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. …Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed.”

scotus 11Let me also offer more commentary from various individuals and organisations:


SCOTUS and Marriage: Spiritual Considerations

 

I have already penned two pieces on the SCOTUS decision to redefine and destroy marriage. I have looked at the very real implication for marriage, family and society, for the well-being of children, for religious freedom, and so on. I have quoted a wide-range of people on how this decision will adversely impact on all of us.

Those pieces are found here:
http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/06/27/scotus-declares-war-on-marriage-and-family/
http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/06/27/scotus-and-marriage-the-fallout/

But those of us who are Christians must think carefully and prayerfully about the biblical, theological and spiritual implications of all this. In many ways we are now in uncharted territory. Or, more specifically, we are now in a place that we have not been for a very long time: the place of being a persecuted minority in a hostile environment.

The early church of course went through all this and survived, and managed to spread the Christian faith around the world. For a millennia at least to speak of Western civilisation was to speak of Christian civilisation. But that is no more. We are not just in a post-Christian West, but a decidedly anti-Christian West.

scotus 7We are much like the early church. Now we have to start afresh. We have to evangelise anew, disciple anew, and once again work for things like the proper understanding of marriage and family. All these battles were fought before, but now we are losing it all.

We are entering into a new paganism, and all the old Christian realities are being thrown in the air. We no longer have a Christian consensus, we no longer have a marriage culture, and we no longer have a belief in absolute truth and universal morality. So we must begin again.

There are other spiritual truths we need to keep in mind here. Here are just a few of them:


SCOTUS Decision: Best Articles & Videos

I can’t say anything better than has already been said by countless courageous Christian leaders around the country. So here’s a round up of the best articles I’ve found. If you want to make clear that, regardless of majority opinions and Supreme Court decisions, you will obey God rather than man, you can begin by joining me in signing the ERLC statement: Here We Stand.

Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed — The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage – AlbertMohler.com

Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage | Moore to the Point

Supreme Court’s Decision Is Shocking Abuse of Power, Will Never Be Accepted | Family Research Council

But What Does The Bible Say | Kevin DeYoung

CBMW’s Official Response to the SCOTUS Ruling | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Top 10 Quotes From The Dissenting Justices | Trevin Wax

50 Key Quotes from the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling | Acton PowerBlog

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission | Here We Stand

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future – The Gospel Coalition

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission | Resources for Churches in Light of SCOTUS Decision

How the U.S. Supreme Court’s Same-Sex-Marriage Will Affect Religious Liberty – The Atlantic

Black Christian Leaders Respond To SCOTUS Decision

Why The Supreme Court Decision Represents A New Era For Evangelicals | Washington Post

Praising Grace and Gay Marriage in One Day | Denny Burk

Naïve evangelicals trying to avoid the reproaches of Christ | Denny Burk

Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Bring Us Peace | The Federalist

How To Protect Your Church From Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits 

Hooray for Same-Sex Concubinage!

Anchoring in God’s Word| The Cripplegate

Video Reaction to SCOTUS Decision: Russell Moore

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Responds

Some books to help you explain the Biblical position to others and to prepare for the inevitable onslaught.

Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom by Ryan Anderson.

We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong by Al Mohler.

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung.

Compassion without Compromise: How the Gospel Frees Us to Love Our Gay Friends Without Losing the Truth by Adam Barr.

Source


What does Birmingham’s gay pastor, churches in debt, free speech, and the SCOTUS decision have in common?

I found this news article a few days ago and saved it for when the Supreme Court decided. Here are some of my personal thoughts on the nationalization of homosexuality in America.Birmingham church hires gay pastor; he’s ready to do same-sex weddings

The Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker was named senior pastor
of Pilgrim Church on June 1
and preached his first sermon on June 14.

The historic Pilgrim Church in Birmingham [a UCC denomination] has hired an openly gay senior pastor who is ready to officiate same-sex weddings. … He is ready in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court rules to make gay marriage legal nationwide, which could happen next week. “I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to happen,” Tucker said.

The United Church of Christ has been a pioneer among Protestant denominations in ordaining women pastors and openly gay ministers. It’s a historic, predominantly white denomination that embraced the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Tucker married his partner, Bill Eknes-Tucker, in Toronto in 2005. Bill is a retired nurse. Tucker said he knows first-hand how his marriage not being legally recognized in Tennessee and Alabama has been a hardship. … The congregation could serve as a major hub for gay weddings. “We’re ready Day One (that gay marriage is ruled legal in Alabama),” he said. “They wanted someone who was ready to do that.

The first gay marriage in my adopted state of Georgia took place at 12:31 pm on the day SCOTUS ruled. This is the “Bible Belt”, the “Deep South”.

We can see that the homosexual lobby is ready to advance their banner. Are we ready to advance ours? The Banner of Christ? (Exodus 17:15)

I see a few things ahead. Not prophetically, lol, just following the train tracks to the horizon. It’s pretty clear. It is only going to become harder from here on out.

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There are a lot of articles coming out about the same-sex marriage ruling from the US Supreme Court. Here are a few reflections and items on implications worth reading:


More Resources for Understanding and Discussing the Marriage Decision

Tom Gilson of Ratio Christi has gathered together “Top Christian Resources on the Marriage Debate (Books, Articles, Videos, Podcasts on Gay Marriage/Same-Sex Marriage).” Take a look and spread the word.

The decision itself and the four dissenting opinions are a lot to get through, so here are a few short cuts for you:

 


Nancy Responds to “Same-Sex Marriage” Ruling

After learning about the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize “same-sex marriage,” Nancy Leigh DeMoss takes a quick break from her LIVE recording session to respond. Be encouraged as you watch this video that heaven rules!
Source


Anchoring in God’s Word: Thoughts on the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

scotus_marriage-blog480In a historic, Romans 1-esque move today, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the 14th Amendment requires all 50 states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and recognize those marriages performed in other states.

Among professing Christendom, there has been everything from shock, outrage, fear, and indifference. Whatever our response, surprise must not be one of them and anchoring in God’s word must be all of them. In addition to what the Cripplegate has previously said on this issue, here are a few things for us to keep in mind in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling:

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Moore spearheads evangelical marriage statement

A coalition of evangelical leaders assembled by ethicist Russell Moore has issued a joint statement decrying the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage. Titled “Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage,” the statement warns of the “incalculable risks” the court’s decision poses “to an already volatile social fabric” in America.


Tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and little empathetic listening (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) I suspect I am not the only one who does not believe that my gay friends are vile sinners or that my traditional religious friends are retrograde bigots.


The only decision that matters

I am excited. While I would not choose this direction for our country or our culture, and though I lament the very real harm that this Supreme Court decision will do in millions of lives, I also believe that a sovereign God rules supreme in human affairs and He is at work making of the nations a heritage for His Son.


5 people v. 5000 years: Homosexual Marriage for all the land redefined, affirmed, and applauded

Source

Landmark: Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide (excerpts)

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Why Same-Sex Marriage [Homosexuality] Is Sinful, Part 4

This brief-audio blog series is answering the question:  

Why is same-sex marriage [homosexuality, transgenderism, same-sex attraction, LGBTQ, et al] sinful in God’s eyes?

This contains all of the messages in this audio-blog series.

Same-Sex Marriage Is Sinful because…
Part 1 = It defies God’s created design  |  listen

Part 2 = It refuses to learn from past history  |  listen 

Part 3 = It presents a damning gospel  |  listen

Part 4 = It ignores the coming wrath of God  |  listen

Part 5 = It destroys a people & sends them to hell  |  listen

Part 6 = It attempts, pridefully, to ‘play God’  |  listen

Part 7 = It provides no hope of eternal salvation  |  listen

Conclusion: The hope available to the homosexuals  |  listen

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 — Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.


WEEKLY LINKS:

J.P. Moreland on Culture
5 Tips For Beginner Apologists
The Big List of Christian Podcasts
Why We Should Expect Witnesses to Disagree
J.P. Moreland on the Command to Do Apologetics
Andy Bannister and the Atheist Who Didn’t Exist
Do Miracles Count as Evidence for God’s Existence?
The Events in Charleston Contradict the New Atheists
5 Ways to Incorporate Apologetics into Your Preaching
Why the Case for Christianity Is More Important Than Ever
How Do We Defend Christian Values to Non-Christian Audiences?
Video: What is the Quran? (Introduction to Islam) by David Wood
Is the probability of getting a universe that supports complex life 100%?
William Lane Craig debates Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: evil, suffering and God


W4YW: Readers Are Leaders, Life’s Meaning, & Same-Sex Marriage

Your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Podcasts of the Week Year

37 Christian Podcasts Worth A Listen, Clayton Kraby. We often get questions about podcasts—namely, which ones are any good. And while we’ve got our own preferences, it was with delight that we stumbled across Kraby’s list. It’s not exhaustive, but it’s the best one-stop-shop we’ve seen to date. He helpfully categorizes the podcasts by topic, and gives a brief summary of each. Peruse and find a new podcast or two. (Also, don’t miss The World and Everything in It. It didn’t register on Kraby’s list, but it’s too top notch to go unmentioned.)

Articles of the Week

Why The Church Should Neither Cave Nor Panic about the Decision on Gay Marriage, Russell Moore. There will be much, much more commentary to come on the heels of today’s landmark Supreme Court decision, in which they voted 5-4 to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide. But Moore offers a helpful perspective as we enter a new chapter in America. There is cause for concern, but much more cause for hope.

Eight Ways Young Preachers Can Help Their Hearers, Eric Geiger. As with most preaching advice, this applies to the ministry more broadly. Geiger is candid about the disadvantages of being a young man in the ministry, but instead of just telling you to wait until you happen to be old (a decent first step, admittedly), he offers practical help along the way.

How Do People Find Meaning in Life? David Brooks, N.Y. Times. Some of the testimonies in here are touching, others rather sad. But it’s impressive how many people reflecting on life’s meaning are forced to look outward. The full life, even for those who don’t profess Christ, simply isn’t one of success and wealth. (This article, sad to say, ends with a bit of a whimper.)

Five Ways Reading Makes You A Better Leader, Michael Hyatt. John Wesley used to tell young pastors, “Read or get out of the ministry.” Harsh words, but wise ones. You won’t get very far—in ministry or in leadership in general—if you refuse to read. Which is what makes the current trends about readership decline so disturbing. Hyatt points out that a readership crisis is actually a leadership crisis, and backs it up with some tangible reasons why you should be reading (and not just reading this blog).

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This ‘n’ That

  • Joseph Smith “carried off my daughter.”
  • An exceptional article by Dr. Michael Kruger on postmodernity in light of recent current events.
  • I won’t say much here on the Tullian matter. I have my thoughts, of course, and am intrigued as I watch the Christian response to this scandal. The Cripplegate offers some lessons we can learn from this incident and Elizabeth Prata shares her thoughts as well.
  • Totally bummed about this. I was hoping to be featured on the second season.
  • This whole assisted suicide, euthanasia thing is so interesting. Tell me why it is necessary to obtain society’s acceptance of one’s decision to end one’s life. Does that justify the action? Does it bring the person solace? It is not more dignified to die with the aid of a physician. In fact, it demonstrates just as much if not more cowardice than opting to pull the trigger oneself. And let us not forget that God is the One who has numbered our days (Psalm 139:16; Job 14:5).
  • Sigh. Now a whole slew of Christians will be running around boycotting Tylenol.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Mike Abendroth recently interviewed Dr. Abner Chou of The Master’s College. What a great discussion!
  • If your pastor says that preaching through the Bible is risky, especially during football season because someone might miss a Sunday and not be caught up on the passage, then you need a new pastor and a new church. Now. RUN!
  • Some thoughts on Dr. James Boice.
  • Pastor Don Green’s latest sermon is a must-listen: ‘Kiss the Rod‘.
  • Why does God allow evil?

Source


Apologetics is not my Thing

Brothers, sisters, and fellow apologists: how many times have we ever heard, “This is really interesting stuff, I’m glad someone is doing it.” Or maybe, “I just don’t have the brain for remembering all those facts; I haven’t been blessed with that.” Or even, “I don’t really feel called to be intellectual about the Bible, […]

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A word to pastors preaching in the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges

I am a pastor. I preach the word of God regularly to the congregation that I serve. And this morning I am thinking about and praying for other pastors across the country who will be ascending the sacred desk tomorrow morning to deliver a message to God’s people. Some of them are wondering what to say in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that seems designed to marginalize our ancient faith. I don’t know that I have anything particularly earth-shattering to offer here, but I would like to encourage you in several specific ways as you prepare.


More A.A. Fun Facts for you and your friends

We frequently post articles written by researcher John Lanagan that bring to light the A.A. co-founders’ involvement in spiritualism and other anti-biblical activity. In this short piece Lanagan offers convincing evidence that these men were up to their ears in what the Bible calls sorcery during A.A.’s formative years. It’s unfortunate that many people have been led to believe that A.A. is a Christian based organization, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Ouija board game

“The ouija board began moving in earnest. What followed was the fairly usual experience-it was a strange melange of Aristotle, St. Francis, diverse archangels with odd names, deceased friends–some in purgatory and others doing nicely, thank you! There were malign and mischievious ones of all descriptions telling of vices quite beyond my ken, even as former alcoholics. Then, the seemingly virtuous entities would elbow them out with messages of comfort, information, advice—and sometimes just sheer nonsense.” (A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, quoted in PASS IT ON, Wilson’s official A.A. biography, pg. 278) (emphasis mine)

“Do not seek out mediums and spiritists; do not seek out and be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)

“…[AA co-founders] Bill and Dr. Bob believed vigorously and aggressively. They were working away at the spiritualism; it was not just a hobby.” (Early A.A. member Tom Powers, quoted in PASS IT ON, pg. 280) (emphasis mine)

Want to learn more? Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps


My Favorite Posts on Mental Illness and Medication

The “My Favorite Posts” series on my blog is how I catalog posts I’ve written to help my readers find the material that is the best-fit for their interest or need. I hope this series creates a more user-friendly experience for my readers and allows this site to become a trusted resource hub for the church.

Seminar Resources:

Blog Resources:


Time to fight back

In what should rank as the worst decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the lifetime of every living American (rivaled only by Roe v. Wade) and at least one of the two or three worst decisions since the Court’s inception (compare the Dred Scott case), five lawless judges (all four Democrat-appointed judges: Obama’s Sotomayor and Kagan; Clinton’s Ginsburg and Breyer; and one traitor appointed by Reagan: Kennedy) today, June 26, 2015, defeated four Constitution-abiding judges (four of the five Republican-appointed judges: Bush Jr.’s Roberts and Alito; Bush Sr’s Thomas; and Reagan’s Scalia) to foist “gay marriage” on all 50 states. Five unelected lawyers have acted as legislators and imposed their arbitrary and extreme leftwing ideology on the American people.
Unless this decision can be reversed soon through the next two presidential elections and the retirement/replacement of renegade SCOTUS judges (Ginsburg is first up, followed by Breyer), this will turn out to be the greatest American tragedy for the civil liberties of persons of faith, for the cause of sexual purity in the United States, and for the lives of persons struggling with same-sex attraction. Prepare for a reign of persecution and abuse of people of faith as hateful, ignorant, and discriminatory “bigots” and the moral equivalent of racists in every area of life in which people of faith intersect with the secular realm, individually and in their religious institutions, with a profound negative impact as well within most mainline denominations.
As individuals, people of faith will be aggressively indoctrinated, fined, denied advancement, fired, intimidated, and subjected to ceaseless verbal abuse in public and private schools, at institutions of higher learning, at places of employment, and throughout the main communication organs of the media and entertainment industry. Their institutions will be set on a collision course with the state: denied government funding, contracts, and loans; denied accreditation and tax-exempt status; and subjected to government harassment.
Contrary to what deceived and deceiving proponents of “gay marriage” have argued, homosexual relationships will not be tamed by marriage but rather will destroy it as meaningless. The institution of marriage will not so much conform homosexual activity to the Christian understanding of marriage (lifelong, monogamous, procreative, balancing the sexes) as be transformed over time to accommodate to virtually any type of adult-consensual union. It will eradicate the very basis in creation and nature for defining marriage as complementary of body and monogamous: a male-female foundation. Taking account of sexual differentiation at any level, even opposition to cross-dressing and “transgenderism” and sex-distinguished bathroom facilities, must now be treated as malicious.
This ought to be a day of national mourning and a day of rededicating ourselves to live sexually holy lives and to do what we can as a city on a hill and a light for the world to restore liberty and morality to the nation and its institutions.
I am not saying that Christians should be driven by fear of what the state can do to us. No, Christians must always exhibit the boldness of speech that characterizes free people of the commonwealth of heaven. Christians can respond in faith rather than fear in this moment of American Crisis.
Jesus has assured us, “Look, I am with you all the days till the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20), just as God assured his people Israel: “He will go before you. He, Yahweh, will be with you. He will not abandon you or leave you. Do not be afraid and do not be terrified” (Deuteronomy 31:8). We know how the End turns out. God wins. God’s name will one day be revered as holy by all, willingly or not. God’s kingdom will come. God’s will shall be done on earth as it is even now being done in heaven.
So let us clothe ourselves with the whole armor of God (truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer) for this struggle that is not merely against “flesh and blood” but against “spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:10-20). And as Jesus reminded us, if you are going to have fear, don’t be so much afraid of human beings, who can (at most) kill only the body. Fear God “who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Let us take to heart the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8: No “pressures of life or tight straits or persecution” or “any other created thing will be able to separate us”—those of us who are under the controlling influence of the Spirit of Christ (8:1, 13-14)—“from the love of God that in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:35, 38-39). “Rather, in all these matters we are super-conquerors through the One who loved us” (8:37). For God “cooperates” with the Spirit who prays within us, working “for the good in all things for those who love God,” the good consisting of “being conformed to the image of his Son” (8:28-29, 35-39).
Who among us does not want to look more like Jesus and to resemble his beauty, the beauty of a life given over wholly to God? Among my favorite verses are these: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? The One who did not spare his own Son but handed him over (to death) for us all, how will he not also, together with him (Jesus), graciously bestow to us all things?” (Rom 8:31-32). If God offered even his very Son for us, in order to redeem us, he will not spare us any truly good thing now. He will continue to lavish his grace on us. He loves us more deeply than we can fathom for endless ages.
Yet this is not a call to moral sloth. On the contrary, “Let us not be bad in doing what is good for in due time we will reap (our harvest of eternal life), if we do not slack off” (Galatians 6:9). As the ancient image conveys, this is a time for “girding up our loins.”

The Joy of Living in a Hostile Culture

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

To the ends of the earth.

To fulfill this calling of Jesus – to take the gospel to the ends of the earth – has always meant that we, as Christians, are going to find ourselves living, serving, and witnessing in cultures that are hostile to our Savior, to his gospel message, and thus, to us.

There’s a temptation to panic when we get to these moments. But we need not panic, of course, because Jesus is still King of Kings, Lord of Lords.  But not only that, there’s also quite a bit of joy when we are called to proclaim the gospel in a hostile culture.

So on this day when the Supreme Court has handed down a decision opposed to the very design of God for humans – right from Genesis – it would do us good to remember the joy that can be ours when we live in a culture that’s hostile to Christ and his teachings.

A stand with God’s people throughout history

First, there is the joy of getting to stand with God’s people throughout history. Think of Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, Paul in the Roman Empire. The list goes on. When you stop to think about it, many of our biblical heroes were not called to cultures where Christian teachings ruled the day. They were called to incredibly hostile cultures. And why did God want them there? To do his work.

These were faithful believers to whom God entrusted important ministry by setting them in difficult places.   He wanted them in these trying situations to do his work.

So, as we enter a new era in America, we get the joy of standing with God’s people throughout history, doing what he has so often called his people to do: to bring his message to hostile cultures and places.

A fresh opportunity for evangelism

And with that, I really believe we have the joy of a fresh opportunity for evangelism – especially if you’ve lived in the “Bible Belt.”

What I’ve observed in my years of pastoral ministry is that it is often far easier to share the gospel with an atheist than someone who is a Christian-in-name-only. The atheist knows that they’re either following Christ or they’re not, while the Christian-in-name-only can often “give the right answers” without having a genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

But in a hostile culture, there will be fewer and fewer Christians-in-name-only. People will see all the more clearly that you either stand with Christ or against Christ.

Especially in the “Bible Belt,” this is going to help our evangelistic efforts, as fewer and fewer people will give us the right answers apart from genuine faith. And not only that, we will surely have more opportunities to talk about Christ, as we will stand out all the more and people will ask us increasingly why we aren’t going with the cultural flow.

A movement of love, truth, and compassion

In our culture today, Christians are frequently accused – fairly at times, quite unfairly at others – of being lacking in love and of using the cultural sway we’ve had for years without compassion.

Now that we’re “losers” in the cultural debate, we have a chance at a new reputation. What will we be like when our chips are down?

I’m thinking here of Roe v. Wade. Out of that “loss,” many, many Christians around the country made their love for the unborn very practical by starting pregnancy care centers and by stirring compassionate care for mothers with unwanted pregnancies and the children they carried. Roe v. Wade sparked a movement of love and compassion in harmony with truth, since we could no longer rely on the law of the land when it came to abortion.  (Of course, not every Christian responded like this, but that should not keep us from celebrating the many, many who did.)

I expect that the Spirit of God will move among us to do much the same in this most recent “loss.”  We will not back down from the truth of the Bible’s teaching on marriage.  But, we will find new, compassionate ways to interact with the LGBT community in truth and love, now that we cannot rely on the law of the land to promote our views.

What a joy it would be in twenty years to see that Christians have responded to our challenges today with the same kind of love, truth and compassion that has marked the response of so many, many Christians to Roe v. Wade!

An assurance of our fellowship with Christ

Christ is so clear throughout John 15. A servant is not greater than the master. If people reacted with such hostility to him, we should expect the same.

Living in a hostile culture, then, gives us the joy of knowing we are Christ’s servants. We are walking with Christ. We are sharing in his sufferings.

Suffering has always been a mark of the faithful because Jesus himself was the suffering servant. Our sufferings in a hostile culture, then, can actually strengthen our faith and strengthen our assurance, for, in suffering, we show that we are following our Master.

A freedom to lean on Christ alone

Finally, there’s a joy that comes when we lean on Christ alone.

When we feel like we’re “winning” culturally, it’s often tempting to trust in legislation to change our world, in our own skills and talents for the church to be built up, and in our own abilities to persuade others about Christ’s teachings.

But in a hostile culture, we are forced to rely on the work of the Spirit – we are forced to lean on Christ alone – because now we have no human power to lean on!

Read some missionary biographies. Consistently, there is a testimony of joy when God’s people come to learn that, truly, “All I have is Christ.”

A hostile culture, you see, often takes away the things that we are tempted to make into idols. And with idols removed, we will more fully lean on Jesus and, thus, discover sweeter and sweeter fellowship with him.

So yes, I mourn today over our culture’s further rebellion from Christ and his truth. And yes, we, as Christians in America, will feel more and more like we’re living in “the ends of the earth.” But I also look forward to the joy we will discover as we, nonetheless, fulfill Jesus’ words: “You will be my witnesses.”

RELATED POSTS:

The post The Joy of Living in a Hostile Culture appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


Number Specific Rapture Timing

You have said, “I believe the Rapture is based on reaching a specific number of believers rather than a specific date.” You keep saying that as though it is mutually exclusive; the number comes in on a certain day, and on a certain day, the number is full.

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How Long Is Half An Hour In Heaven?

Your site is much appreciated, and I have recommended it to many friends. Rev. 8:1 says that “…there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.” How does this verse fit with a timeless Heaven, i.e. time doesn’t exist.

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Supreme Court Vs. Supreme Being

What do you think about the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage?

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Will Daniel’s 70th Week Begin This Year?

How soon do you think the period known as “Daniel’s 70th week” could possibly come (worst case scenario)?  Is there any feasible way that it could occur as early as 2015?  Doesn’t 2016 or 2017 sound more plausible?

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What’s worse: Abortion or gay marriage?

Which is worse: Sanctioning abortions on demand or legalizing same-sex marriage? I know both are sins, but why do most Christian leaders feel that legalizing same-sex marriage will bring the full wrath of God upon us all? Isn’t the killing of unborn babies a far “greater” and heinous sin than two people of the same-sex getting married? Thank you in advance for your answer and I look forward each day to your question/answer emails. God bless you and all that you do!!

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More On Homosexual Marriage

I read your teachings on homosexuality, and I understand OSAS, but what about people who refuse to repent, or Christians who support them? Gal. 5:21 says people who continue to do these things will not inherit the Kingdom. Rom. 1:32 talks about people taking pleasure in those who do these things, which seems to be saying if you approve of homosexual behavior, you are as guilty as if you were doing it. I am worried that loved ones who support gay marriage will be left behind.

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A Letter From James, Part 2

book-of-james2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series A Letter From James

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

We continue our study of the letter from James. In part 1 we determined that the letter was written by James, the half brother of Jesus, around 50 AD when most of the Church was still of Jewish origin. They had been scattered throughout Israel and surrounding countries in the persecution that began after the stoning of Stephen in 36 AD, and James was sending what was probably the first letter ever written to the growing Christian community. This week we’ll look at chapter 2.

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Aren’t All Religions Basically the Same?

One of the most common claims I hear is that all religions are basically the same. Is this true? Andy Bannister of RZIM Canada looks at this important question in this helpful video.

If you are interested in more on this subject, get Ravi Zacharias’ Jesus Among Other Gods on Kindle (USA) (Canada)

The post Aren’t All Religions Basically the Same? appeared first on Stephen J. Bedard.


The Daily Discovery (June 27-28, 2015)

Why I Stopped Singing Hillsong – “Hillsong Church is a Pentecostal megachurch affiliated with Australian Christian Churches (the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God). It is one of the world’s fastest-growing ministries with a 100,000-plus strong congregation throughout campuses in Australia, London, New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Stockholm, Moscow, Kiev, Barcelona, Germany, South Africa and Copenhagen.”

So-Called Same-Sex Marriage – “Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy.”

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future – “The Bible tells us that the king of Israel once wanted to hear from the prophets, as to whether he would be victorious over his enemies. All the court prophets told him exactly what he wanted to hear. Yet the king of Judah, wisely, asked whether there might be another voice to hear from, and Israel’s king said that, yes, there was, but that he hated this prophet ‘because he never prophesies good concerning me’ (1 Kings 22:8).”

Newspaper no longer accepting opinion pieces opposing gay marriage – “A Pennsylvania newspaper has just announced that it will no longer accept op-eds and letters to the editor that are critical of gay marriage. Here’s what the editors say in their statement…”

A prophetic word from eleven years ago about today – “Eleven years ago, John Piper delivered a message about ‘Discerning the Will of God Concerning Homosexuality and Marriage.’ The message made an impression on me, and for many years now I’ve been reading a portion of this sermon every semester to my undergraduate hermeneutics students.”


SERMON:

Matt Chandler – Homosexuality Part 1 | Culture and Theology


VIDEOS:

How Can Homosexuality Be Wrong If It Doesn’t Harm Anyone?

Voddie Baucham on Homosexuality and Civil Rights


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

Source


‘Outrage and Panic’ Are Off-Limits, Say Evangelical Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage

Last words on the national perversity of the SCOTUS decision, I promise. I have other things in the hopper for the next few days I want to write about. One can only opine so much, lol.

Yesterday I avoided all photos and news and social media regarding the terrible Supreme Court decision to allow legalized sodomite marriage in the US. However this morning I was listening to Reformation Network (Refnet.fm, a must listen-to radio station online! By Ligonier). I heard a great sermon and was eager for the next sermon, but in between was Al Mohler’s The Briefing. I rolled my eyes but I stayed with the channel. I’m so glad I did.

Dr Albert Mohler, Jr. is an “American theologian and the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky” according to Wikipedia. He also has a radio broadcast called “The Briefing,” a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. He has an exceptional knack for distilling a wide range of news and drilling it down to what it means for Christians.

I listened to his analysis of the SCOTUS decision and it is superlative. I learned, sadly, that the news from the Court is even worse than we thought. The three streams of thought I gleaned from Dr Mohler’s article “Everything has changed and nothing has changed” analyzing the SCOTUS decision:

1. It’s worse for Christians. “Justice Clarence Thomas warned in his dissent of “ruinous consequences for religious liberty.” … Justice Samuel Alito stated bluntly that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

2. It’s worse for marriage. “The Kennedy opinion opens wide a door that basically invites looming demands for the legalization of polygamy and polyamory. As Chief Justice Roberts observed: “It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”

3. It’s worse for the Republic. “The Supreme Court’s over-reach in this case is more astounding as the decision is reviewed in full, and as the dissenting justices voiced their own urgent concerns. The Chief Justice accused the majority of “judicial policymaking” that endangers our democratic form of government.”

Listen to Special Edition of The Briefing or read the above article (it’s not the transcript) for context as to why each of those three will soon no longer be recognizable.

I know, no one wants to hear that the decision is much worse than we thought, because it’s already pretty bad. We want good news, we want to stay above the fray. I personally believe that this was a significant advance for satan, however. God lengthened the leash satan is on and it extended almost to the limit, perhaps. We are not to be unaware of his schemes, and we MUST be prepared. It is a spiritual battle after all, and though we don’t have to absorb every crumb of satan’s doings nor read every piece of news, this one above all is important to understand. The Briefing does that. Listen to it.

That said, I’m going to reverse myself. The culture at Sodom was worse than it is in America. The culture at Corinth was worse than it is currently in America.

I truly believe that in listening to The Briefing Special Edition, however, and/or reading the transcript (when it’s up) or the linked article, that we are WELL on our way to becoming Sodom or Corinth.

James R. White posted on Facebook this morning

God: We do not want You, Your ways, or Your law. We are our own creators, we are autonomous. We hate your good gifts—the gift of marriage, the gift of gender. We no longer want the joy of motherhood, fatherhood. We will make women husbands, men wives. We will twist and pervert everything that gives us life and light. Go away. Leave us alone.

God’s answer: as you wish.

He also posted this collage of iconic buildings or places in the US that celebrated and applauded (Romans 1:32) the nationalization of sodomy by splashing rainbow colored lights on them:

Really brings it home when you see rainbow-gay splashed coast to coast…Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

However there is no need to panic.

‘Outrage and Panic’ Are Off-Limits, Say Evangelical Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage

For most evangelical leaders, today’s discussion of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage revolves around how best to express their dissent amid the legal uncertainties for churches and pastors.

“Outrage and panic are not the responses of those confident in the promises of a reigning Christ Jesus,” read a joint statement organized by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and signed by more than 100 evangelical leaders, including David Platt, J. I. Packer, Richard Mouw, Jim Daly, Al Mohler, and Ron Sider.

“While we believe the Supreme Court has erred in its ruling, we pledge to stand steadfastly, faithfully witnessing to the biblical teaching that marriage is the chief cornerstone of society, designed to unite men, women, and children,” the group stated. [Full text]

Someone asked me about what to do in these last days to warn people about the era seemingly coming to a close. How do we warn? What should be our next steps? I responded this way:

I firmly believe that as the world darkens, the Light of Christ will shine brighter. To that end, I also firmly believe our responsibilities are still the same as they always have been since Pentecost, but to be pursued diligently and fervently knowing that we are that much closer to the rapture than Simon Peter was.

1. To remain prayerful. Connection with Jesus through prayer is our energy and power. It’s also commanded.

2. To remain in the word. Reading of and meditation on the word of God is how we keep our sword sharp. The word of God is the ONLY way to break the hardness of a Gentile’s heart and mind. It pierces. We plant the word and the Spirit grows it. But we can’t plant it if we don’t know it, and if we don’t know it we are exposed in this pitched battle that is life on earth. It pierces them, and protects us. And the battle is terrible these days, don’t leave your bible alone for even a day!

3. To find a local congregation, become a member, and to consistently worship there. Make sure to do our parts to use the Spiritual Gifts for the edification of the body. Every platoon at Boot Camp has soldiers who rely on each other, you would not want to para-jump from a plane where you know the person packing your parachute had skipped the class that day. So we go to church without skipping, involve ourselves in fellow believers’ lives, and we use the gifts the Spirit gave us for their edification and they for ours.

4. Speak frequently of prophecy. Not Illuminati/conspiracy/newspaper exegesis. But credible biblical prophecy. Many churches don’t want to or aren’t familiar with prophecy. I speak of the rapture often, and matter-of-factly. I also speak of the wrath a lot. Just because other people DON’T. I study the prophecies in Revelation and talk about them. I bring it up in conversation. The end matters!! If the creation in Genesis 1 is important to the faith and making one wise for understanding, so is Revelation’s UNcreation. As a matter of fact it is the only book of the bible that promises a blessing for reading it. So I try to be an example in fervency to diligently study all of God’s word (so when I exhort biblical truths people will listen because they know I’ve studied and I’m serious about living a holy life). Bring prophecy back into the mainstream, but not sensationally, not by date-setting, but by including it as a normal part of the bible student’s readings and interest. It’s been ignored too long.

5. Live a holy life and not one of hypocrisy. This is all-important, the more we are moral in Christ (not of our own strength) the more we will stand out in the world.

6. Be joyful! If we are just as worried about the way things are going as the pagans are, then we are no different! We have the joy of knowing the future, the peace in being reconciled to God, and the wonder of knowing Him through His word. Show it. That will speak loudly!

7. Witness with urgency, not just because of the last days, but because the person you’re speaking to may die in the next hour. Death (or rapture) comes suddenly and usually unexpectedly. Therefore don’t be afraid to say things like sin-wrath-judgment. God isn’t ashamed of His wrath, we should not be either. Removing all talk of wrath and sin and judgment takes the News out of the Good News. Witnessing is not “God loves you and has a great plan for you life.” If God already loves them then why change, and many people already like the plan they have for their life, again, no impetus to change. But every person has a conscience, understands morality and sin, and secretly wonders about heaven.

So how we act in these last days in the face of looming fulfilled prophecy is not sexy nor mystical. It is really no different than a person would have in 1843 or 1721 or 1698 or 1400 or 65AD.

As for prophecy, I’m not writing books about last days signs and I’m not doing numerology to count secret codes and I’m not receiving new revelation prophecies from some kind of trumped up not-Jesus and I’m not on nationwide speaking tours or doing anything that’s any different than the usual Christian’s slog through the bible via hard work and application. Living to His glory is hard but we persevere in joy, and simply growing in holiness is the toughest of all in these days but if and when we do do, it is a beacon to the lost!

So in order to keep our light bright, we continue to look at Jesus. It’s very simple and it’s never changing.

Source


What is The Gospel?


“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?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


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
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John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

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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 Booklet
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About Christianity
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