June 30, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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The Most Painful Interview I’ve Ever Watched

“There are some moments in the interview where Williams says that he takes ownership, accepts responsibility, etc., but despite Matt Laurer’s admirable pushing and prompting him on the “lie” issue, Williams refused to admit that he was trying to mislead people.”

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Laying a Beating on the Neighborhood Bully

“Imagine you are outside playing when the neighborhood bully comes your way. He walks up to you, shakes his fist in your face, and says, “I am going to pound you.” You know he is too strong for you, so you grit your teeth and prepare to get hurt. But then suddenly his eyes grow wide, his expression changes—is it fear?”

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Can We Really Know Our Pastors?

“I certainly agree that the megachurch model is pastorally problematic, but that doesn’t seem to me to be a plausible reason to explain Tchividjian’s fall. Or rather, to clarify, I don’t think that a small church would solve the problem. Sure, you will be able to “know” your pastor, in the sense of being on more personal terms with him, but how well?”

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Public Expressions of the Gospel

“We tend to do proclamation well in the evangelical world, but when we do, we often shout the truth from afar and shake our heads when others don’t listen. To be light, however, we need to be present. We need to be in the places where the darkness has a foothold.”

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How to Read More Books

“This past year I have attempted to become more intentional with my reading. In previous years I have read a lot but I would not say that I read well. My reading lacked a detailed attack plan. As a result, sometimes reading happened and other times it did not.”

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We … and Our Fathers Have Sinned (Daniel 9:8)

I have also learned these lessons from my elders in Augusta. They have taught me how important public confession of past sins—especially by a majority—is to racial reconciliation. What may feel to us to be something small, something that does not cost very much, communicates integrity and a desire for genuine relationship. As we as pastors, elders and congregation have admitted our church’s past sins we have gained relationships with African-American brothers and sisters in our city. Our city is being healed as a result of such public confession by whites and blacks.

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The Body Politic is Queer

Hopefully, places like City Church in San Francisco, who have recently embraced same sex marriage, will realize the full implications of that decision before queerness starts to define their entire belief system. In some ways, apostate Oneist churches are showing the way for the culture. If the body of Christ is queer, so will be the body politic. Just as apostate churches are seeking total integration of “gayness,” so must the culture.

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Theological Fidelity: An Interview with David Garner

“Theological contemplation is never private domain. The preacher doesn’t function autonomously; in fact, his work is, in a very important sense, shared and uncreative. As a contemporary spokesman, the preacher preaches the historic deposit of faith, following thousands who have gone before him with a view to the untold thousands that will follow.”

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Blindsided

“Hundreds of evangelicals were caught off guard in March when their church leaders, without any open discussion, announced that sexually active homosexuals could become members. How did that happen, and what steps can members of other churches take to forestall such surprises?”

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When the Enemy Comes in Like a Flood

Rainbows everywhere, but they sure are not God’s rainbow. The inundation in the West of all things homosexuals is shocking to behold. It is a tsunami of evil crashing over everything in its path. And the greatest casualty in all this is the Christian church.

Yet tragically most Christians are utterly clueless as to the deliberate strategy of the homosexual lobby. They would never have read any of their literature, books, or war manuals. Thus they are blissfully ignorant of the fact that the Christian church has long been a target of the homosexual militants, and their aim is to entirely shut down its resistance and opposition to the homosexual agenda.

tsunami 1And sadly they are achieving many of their stated aims and objectives. Thus we need to be very clear here as to what this fight is all about. We must know the battle plans and take steps to counter them. We need to know about the homosexual attack on Christianity in general, and we need to know how to deal with the latest full-frontal attack, the Supreme Court ruling.


Talk show host Montel Williams compares gay marriage opponents to ISIS, Taliban

Jun 29, 2015 01:16 pm | Marsha West

 

Over the weekend Montel Williams attacked the “uber-right” with all the vitriol he could muster.  What the “uber-liberal” talk show host said was chilling and will surely be the mantra of the far-left.  What he said will make your hair stand on end. The battle has begun in earnest.  Daily, put on the full armor of God my brethren. ChristianExaminer […]

The post Talk show host Montel Williams compares gay marriage opponents to ISIS, Taliban appeared first on Berean Research.


TIME: Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

Jun 29, 2015 11:50 am | Marsha West

 

Mark Oppenheimer of the liberal The New York Times has wasted no time laying out the reasons America must abolish, or greatly diminish, religious institution’s tax-exempt statuses. Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if […]

The post TIME: Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions appeared first on Berean Research.


The Body Politic Is Queer

Jun 28, 2015 10:23 am | Marsha West

 

On the heels 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 […]

The post The Body Politic Is Queer appeared first on Berean Research.


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

Jun 27, 2015 11:46 am | Marsha West

 

(Christian News Network) 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 […]

The post Justice Scalia Issues Scathing Dissent in Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Ruling: ‘Pride Goeth Before a Fall’ appeared first on Berean Research.


Would the Son of God Contradict the Father?

Jun 26, 2015 01:10 pm | Marsha West

 

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 with 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 […]

The post Would the Son of God Contradict the Father? appeared first on Berean Research.


“I will not bow to the Court on this gay-marriage decision any more than the Founders bowed to British tyranny”

Jun 26, 2015 11:30 am | Marsha West

 

The words of Gov. Mike Huckabee on the Supreme Court ruling: “The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial […]

The post “I will not bow to the Court on this gay-marriage decision any more than the Founders bowed to British tyranny” appeared first on Berean Research.


Boston doctor fired for telling truth about homosexuality

Jun 25, 2015 11:54 am | Marsha West

 

Gina Miller, columnist for Renew America, reports on what happens when a doctor dares to speak the truth that the homosexual lifestyle can be hazardous to ones health.  The truth teller, Dr. Paul Church, “cited irrefutable medical evidence that high-risk sexual practices common to the LGBT community lead to (among other things) a higher incidence of […]

The post Boston doctor fired for telling truth about homosexuality appeared first on Berean Research.


Netherlands pediatrician seeks to euthanize children under 12

Jun 24, 2015 06:35 pm | Marsha West

 

What this boils down to is that a child age 10 who shows “unberable suffering” will be able to end his own life if he so chooses. Prolife blog LifeSite News is concerned that, “no restrictions can truly safeguard against abusing policies that allegedly require terminal illness as a condition of performing the procedure.” ChristianExaminer […]

The post Netherlands pediatrician seeks to euthanize children under 12 appeared first on Berean Research.


Rick Warren’s “Power of a Campaign for Revival and Spiritual Awakening”

Jun 24, 2015 12:10 pm | A. Spreeman

 

Saddleback’s and Amurica’s pastor Rick Warren is talking revival and spiritual awakening! Can it be that he is finally preaching repentance and surrender to Christ?  Well, not exactly. We’re talking about a movement by numbers again, from his latest email blast. What does the Bible have to say about this? Rick Warren:  “If God allowed […]

The post Rick Warren’s “Power of a Campaign for Revival and Spiritual Awakening” appeared first on Berean Research.


Mohler says Pope’s climate policy would devastate, not help the poor

Jun 23, 2015 03:31 pm | Marsha West

 

According to ChristianExaminer columnist  Gregory Tomlin: Pope Francis was right to claim in his encyclical on the environment that creation care is a part of Christian theology, but dead wrong about the importance of fossil fuels for cheap, abundant energy for the developing Third World, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler said in a […]

The post Mohler says Pope’s climate policy would devastate, not help the poor appeared first on Berean Research.


 

Relativism Reeks

There are various forms of relativism, such as the belief that all truth is relative. Here I want to address more specifically the notion of moral relativism. This is the belief that morality is dependent upon one’s opinion, taste, preference or point of view.

It posits that there are no binding, objective, universal rights and wrongs. Instead, morality is relative to a culture, or an individual, or a period of time, and so on. Folks might think this is a neat, liberating and attractive way to approach morality, but it is nothing of the sort. All that it does is leave us totally unable to stand against real evil.

whatever 2Indeed, it does not even allow us to identify real evil. When everything is relative, all we are left with is the old cliché: “Who am I to judge?” Black and white in morality is replaced with 99 shades of grey, and the ability to make careful moral assessments goes out the window.

There are plenty of other problems with moral relativism, including the obvious fact that it is self-refuting. If there are no moral absolutes, then we can’t even say it is wrong to have a moral absolute. To make a pronouncement in favour of it – “It is right to affirm moral relativism” – is to deny your own premise.


Summer, Kids, and the Internet

Summer was the time we often got in trouble outside…Today, there’s plenty of trouble that kids are getting into inside…and online.
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3 Dozen Posts on the Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top 5 biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living. Continue reading →


Does the Bible Teach that a Christian Can be a Practicing Homosexual?


Rooting Out Hidden Bitterness


3 Resources for Christians Wondering What’s Next on Same-Sex Marriage


My Day at the Beach That Wasn’t Any Such Thing


The Poverty of the Prosperity Gospel

The Book of Job has both shaken me and shaped me.

When I first read it, I found it troubling. It didn’t seem fair. Job was a righteous man.


Faith-Based Crisis Management Firm Helps Pastors “Come Out”

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision to make same-sex marriage the law of the land, a few strong pastors are making biblical public statements affirming God’s Word in the matter, and taking a stand based on what He says rather than what the world says. If your church or ministry hasn’t done that […]

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Here’s How Religious Business Owners Could Protect Themselves Against Gay Marriage Decision

Kelsey Harkness, columnist for The Daily Signal, says states need to adopt their own statutes to provide business owners with sincere religious beliefs protection. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has already started the process. According to Harkness, “Last month, Jindal quietly issued an executive order that “prevents the state from discriminating against people or their business with deeply held religious beliefs.”


Can Gays Be Saved?

A new blog post at the new blog: Can Gays Be Saved? http://credohouse.org/blog/can-gays-be-saved


Losing relationships over biblical truth

Has your family been divided over the legalization of same-sex marriage? Many have paid an enormous price for standing on God’s Word as truth. Some are wondering if they are putting a stumbling block of confusion if they bake a cake for a gay wedding, or photograph a celebration of a wedding or new baby […]

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The Tin-Foil Hat Brigade

You know who you are. You’re the person other people tip toe around when it comes to discussing current events or religion. You are the person who can spend hours devouring scripture or news with equal vigor, pointing out ‘last days’ events to anyone who would listen to you. You are semi-shunned at church. You are disinvited from church socials, because you are just too intense and narrow-minded. You’re called a ‘conspiracy theorist’ or a ‘Jesus Freak’ behind your back. You’re always going on about the Lord’s return and that “Rapture thingy”. Admit it. You are one of them, one of those “prophecy nuts”.

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Daddy, am I a Christian? (Mark Jones)

I appreciate IX Marks ministries, and their desire to take ecclesiology seriously. But I did read this from IX Marks and thought it would be good to interact a little with this perspective:


Trying to Respond Like Jesus to the SCOTUS Pronouncement on Same-Sex Marriage

Many Summit members have asked how to respond to last Friday’s Supreme Court legislation of the legitimacy of same-sex marriage for all 50 states.

Let me offer four thoughts about the decision, and then suggest a Jesus-centered way to pray for our country, and ourselves, during this time.

Thoughts:

1. The institutionalizing of same-sex marriage did not redefine marriage; rather, it is the fruit of a redefinition of marriage. Same-sex marriage is one star in a constellation of changes arising from a rejection of God’s pattern for family, a rejection that began decades ago. Many are amazed at the speed at which the cultural revolution on same-sex marriage took place, but that is because our society long ago rejected the Creator’s basic pattern for sex and relationships. When we enthroned our desires, rather than God’s designs, as the ultimate arbiter for what is right and wrong in relationships, the acceptance of same-sex marriages became inevitable. Improvisations on God’s designs have disastrous effects on society as a whole–most notably on the children–and this improvisation will be no different.

2. Now more than ever we, as Christians, should realize that we are citizens of another Country. We have grown accustomed to living in a country quite hospitable to our faith, and we should be exceedingly grateful for that. But we should also realize that this has been a privilege almost unknown in Christian history.

The entire New Testament, for instance, was written not from the seats of cultural and political control, but from the cultural and political margins. The Apostle Peter did not open his letter to the church with “to those in power” but “to those in exile.”

The good news is that Christianity thrives in such a context. Many of our country’s great spiritual awakenings came in times of great political darkness, times when the country’s spirituality seemed at its lowest point. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. As the darkness becomes darker, the light becomes more distinct. Christian families, operating by the Creator’s design and with the Creator’s blessing, will become more enigmatic and attractive than ever.

The early Christians recognized that the Lordship of Jesus was a direct challenge to the lordship of Caesar. Many paid the ultimate price for it. At its core, the Lordship of Jesus is a political claim: we pledge ultimate allegiance to Jesus, not to any court or the will of the people. If the government continues to exert an ever-increasing amount of control over our lives, we will reach a point when such a counter-cultural claim will not be tolerated.

I want neither to overplay or underplay the ramifications of this. The persecution that is coming is real–the first wave being economic. Some have already lost their livelihoods for refusal to conform to the party line. For years the LGBT community argued, “What could it possibly hurt to let these two people get married?” The answer now has become clear: it means that a lot of people who will not pick up the mantle of affirmation will lose their jobs.

This is going to be difficult for many of us to get used to. We are used to living in an environment that is friendly toward Christianity, and expecting our social institutions to reflect, however imperfectly, Judeo-Christian ethics. The Supreme Court decision reminds us that we should temper our expectations, disabusing us of any hope to create a utopia here on earth. While we will never quit working for “a more perfect Union,” we know that the struggle between God and the Enemy rages in every sphere, especially in the halls of power.

3. The ruling itself reflects an illegitimate use of the Supreme Court’s power. In the dissenting words of John Roberts, this decision by the Court had nothing to do with the Constitution. Rather, it was the legislation of an agenda, the writing of a new law into our country by a body never commissioned to do so.

Some have said that we, the church, should not be making a big deal (if any) out of this, since this is only the granting of a civil right. We have to, it is said, acknowledge that not everyone in our country believes like we do and they should be free to follow the dictates of their consciences in matters of conviction or morality. That is, indeed, a principle we hold to very strongly, but it is not the issue in this case.

The questions in this case are not whether gay people should be free to be gay or to enter into whatever covenants with one another they wish. (They have had the freedom to do that for some time, a freedom we respect and would want to see upheld.) Rather, the questions in this case were (a) whether the state should institutionalize that relationship and, concomitantly, (b) whether the state possesses the ability to define, or redefine, marriage (as opposed to recognizing that the definition of marriage derives from sources of authority outside the state).

As to (a), this Supreme Court decision institutionalizes what God calls sin. The state has not taken a neutral position, but an affirming position–which God expressly condemns (Romans 1:32). This means that (b) the state has taken upon itself the right and responsibility to define marriage. This decision presupposes that the U. S. government recognizes no authority other than the state–that all things start and stop with the will of the people. This is a precarious position to be in, as it, ironically, puts all of our rights in jeopardy.

Our founding fathers recognized the basis of freedoms and rights to be the will of the Creator, not the will of the majority. As Thomas Jefferson said, rights that derive their authority from the mob can be removed by the mob. Only when our rights are seen as “endowed by our Creator” do they become “inalienable.” That God, not man, defines and bestows our most basic freedoms and institutions has been the bedrock of our Republic, and, subsequently, the basis of every significant societal reformation in our nation’s history. Martin Luther King, Jr. appealed not to the will of the majority for the equality of races, but to a higher law, the law of the Creator. Abandon the design of the Creator, and we have no higher authority than the changing will of the people, the tyranny of the majority. Ben Franklin famously quipped, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a lamb having grounds on which to contest the vote.”

4. As a church, we must speak about this with others in a tone that communicates the spirit of our Savior, who came not to judge but to save. We are not a community of the righteous condemning the sexually wayward, but fellow rebels redeemed by Jesus’ blood, calling out for others to experience the grace we’ve experienced. With the gay and lesbian community we share a common humanity; a common problem–sin; and a common hope–the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.

I was saddened to hear that one of our church members who lives with a same-sex attraction recently overheard someone saying, “There is a special place in hell for gay people.” Actually, there is a special place in hell for self-righteous people. We should never speak in a way that separates gay and lesbian people from us. If we are right with God, it is because we are forgiven. If we are awake, it is because God roused us from the sleep of death. We have absolutely nothing about which to boast–and that transforms our entire disposition. It is not enough to possess the truth of Christ, we must also reflect the spirit of Christ.

Furthermore, we cannot “give up” on our culture or withdraw from it, as tempting as that is right now. I have felt the impulse to throw up my hands and say, “To hell with the culture” and to burrow myself into the Christian community, where I feel accepted and safe. But thank God Jesus did not do that with me. He entered our world, living and loving among us. We must enter our world as he did, sending our children into it as he did.

The Summit Church must continue to be a place where gay and lesbian people feel welcome as they seek repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, a place safe to “come out” with struggles of any kind. We must be the loudest advocates against acts of injustice or abuse of gay and lesbian people. They are us. And we must prepare ourselves to receive the refugees of this sexual revolution, for they will be many.

Now more than ever we need to put forward the distinctive Christian view of marriage and sex. We need to be able to show–through word and deed–the Creator’s better way for these life-defining relationships. Those who experience the bitter fruits of following their own way will likely be in a better place to receive it.

As my friend Russ Moore has said, this is a time for the church neither to panic nor to cave. The arc of history is long and gradual, but it tilts toward Jesus. The Supreme Court can do a lot of things, but it cannot put Jesus back in the grave. He sits enthroned over history, and all of history—his story—moves his direction. “Why do the nations rage, and set themselves against the Lord’s anointed?… You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Ps 2:1, 9) The Greeks rejoiced when the high priest Menelaus put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. But God had the last word. He always does. Rome crumbles; the kingdom of Jesus endures forever.

It turns out that the hashtag is true, #LoveWins—but Love has a name, and at his name every knee in heaven and earth will one day bow.

Prayer

Over the last few days, I have felt compelled to pray the Lord’s Prayer over our country. I believe no better pattern exists for how we should pray in this, or any other, situation.

Our Father, who art in heaven, holy is your name… Father, you reign in heaven. No human court can undermine your throne, put your Son back in the grave, or thwart your plans.

Let your kingdom come, your will be done… You willed this for your church at this time. Your plans are good, and we know you will turn what the enemy means for evil into good. The salvation and glorification of your church is the goal. So we receive this as from you, and ask that you enable us to use it for kingdom purposes, as you have willed.

“Give us this day our daily bread…” This turn of events presents new challenges for us, challenges we are unsure how to meet. We trust that you will supply the wisdom, courage, and grace to be faithful for this day.

“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Father, I confess part of me wants to throw up my hands and write off our culture–to withdraw into a secluded Christian subculture where I feel safe and loved. But that is not what you did with me. While I was still in sin you came for me. By your grace, I will do the same for my neighbors. We remind ourselves that we are first sinners. Each of us is guilty of our own willful rebellion and sexual misconduct. We are included in the number of the guilty. And our own churches have been plagued by marital unfaithfulness. We need forgiveness and renewal. As you have treated us graciously, we will seek to treat others the same way. You didn’t run from us; we won’t run from others. We recognize that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. An Enemy holds our culture captive, just as he once held us captive.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We recognize in these developments an attack by our Enemy, an Enemy who wants nothing more to destroy us and ridicule your name. He will use our weaknesses in the process, and sadly, he has much to work with. God, save us from ourselves, and from our Enemy. We believe the power of your grace trumps both our weaknesses and the designs of our Enemy.

“For yours in the Kingdom, the power and glory, forever.” The arc of history tilts toward you. Why do the nations rage? You have commandeered all of history to prepare the church as a bride for your Son. This, too, will work toward that glorious end. You win, Jesus. We declare it. It’s all from you and through you and for you.

Amen.

 

**********************

Here are some other helpful responses to the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage:

Why the Church Should Neither Cave Nor Panic about the Decision on Gay Marriage, Russell Moore.

Reaction to the Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage (video), Russell Moore.

“Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed,” Albert Mohler.

Top 10 Quotes From Dissenting Judges on Same-Sex Marriage, Trevin Wax.

Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage.

Is there anything wrong with same-sex attraction? (sermon), J.D. Greear.


How to Handle Your Doubt When Times Get Tough

Dealing with DoubtIf you’re watching the culture closely, you’ve probably noticed it’s increasingly difficult (and unpopular) to hold a Christian worldview in America. Fewer and fewer of us identify as Christians in what is quickly becoming a “post-Christian” culture. Some predict it’s only going to get worse, and I tend to agree. That’s why I’m so glad I’m a Christian evidentialist. If you’re a believer, your definition of Biblical “faith” will determine the way you process your own doubt and it will shape your response in difficult times. The God of the Bible admonished Old and New Testament believers when they struggled with doubt in times of crisis, and His and response was consistently grounded in His evidential nature.

The Christian definition of “faith” is not simply “blind,” unsupported belief. Instead, Biblical faith is a reasonable trust in what cannot be seen, given the strength of the evidence that has been seen. When God’s children floundered in their faith, He repeated called them to a reasonable trust in the evidence He had provided them. Let me give you two examples of God’s evidential response to doubt; one from the Old Testament and one from the New:

An Example From the Old Testament: When the Israelites struggled with doubt and fear as they faced hostile cultures and difficult times, God provided them with an approach to help them overcome their uncertainty:

“…you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the Lord your God brought you out.” (Deuteronomy 7:18-19)

God commanded the Israelites to recall the public miracles He worked when He saved them from the Egyptian army. Yahweh told the Jewish nation to remember how He parted the Red Sea, and He used this supernatural act as an evidential point of reference. He didn’t simply tell his people to remember their own subjective, personal experiences with Him, but He instead asked them to recall the miracles He performed publicly. He gave them the evidence they needed to confirm His existence, even when they were starting to doubt this reality. In tough times, the Israelites simply needed to recall the evidence. If their faith was properly grounded and properly evidential, they could withstand even the worst of times. For this reason, they were commanded to respond rationally rather than emotionally.

An Example from the New Testament: When John the Baptist struggled with doubt while he was incarcerated (and just prior to his execution), he sent his disciples with a question. Jesus provided the same time-tested approach to help John overcome his doubt:

Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Luke 7:19-23)

Jesus called John (and his disciples) to recall the public miracles He worked in response to John’s question. Jesus told John to remember how He healed the blind, deaf, lame and sick, and Jesus used these supernatural acts as an evidential point of reference. He didn’t simply tell John and his disciples to remember their own subjective, personal experiences with Him, but He instead asked them to recall the miracles He performed publicly. He gave them the evidence they needed to confirm His Deity, even when they were starting to doubt this reality. In tough times, John and his disciples simply needed to recall the evidence. If their faith was properly grounded and properly evidential, they could withstand even the worst of times. For this reason, they were commanded to respond rationally rather than emotionally.

Jesus often pointed to the evidence of his miracles to encourage those who had doubts. He once told his observers, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (John 14:10-11). Jesus’ followers remembered the evidence (“the works themselves”), and it gave them confidence even when their Christian worldview was unpopular and inconvenient. Jesus presented them with the truth and supported His claims with evidence. What option did they have, then, when things got tough? As Peter said, ““Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68).

Times are probably going to get tougher for us as Christians. Difficulty and doubt may be just around the corner. How will you respond? If you haven’t embraced a properly evidential view of Biblical faith, now is the time. Your definition will shape your response and your ability to stand strong, even in the midst of a crisis. If you actually know why Christianity is true (if you’ve examined the evidence), you’ve got a much better chance of survival. The Israelites and John’s disciples had an evidential point of reference, and by clinging to the evidence they survived their doubt. Before the crisis becomes severe, we need to review and master the evidence supporting the claims of Christianity so we can have a similar evidential point of reference. Don’t wait. Learn the evidence now so you can lean on the evidence later.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity


Celebrating Distinction

Creator and creation. Male and female. Distinctions are important. In this excerpt from the teaching series Only Two Religions, Dr. Peter Jones explains why these biblical distinctions are under attack.


The New Secular Fascism

Of course you can have religious freedom: as long as that freedom does not show itself outside of the confines of your cranium. It cannot influence your words, your acts or anything else that would remind me that I am a rebel against the God I know is there (but refuse to honor and worship). —The New Secular Fascist living in the former United States of America—new name for that former nation pending.

The post The New Secular Fascism appeared first on Alpha and Omega Ministries.


God’s Purpose for the Supreme Court — And Everything Else

Jesus Christ is hard at work (John 5:17) and this is what he’s up to:


Preoccupied with Controversy…or Holiness?

Pastors and church leaders have seemingly endless opportunities to engage in controversy. I’m just as guilty as the next. But there comes a point when we have to believe in God.


Top Christian Resources on the Marriage Debate (Books, Articles, Videos, Podcasts on Gay Marriage/Same-Sex Marriage)


Video

How can homosexuality be wrong when it doesn’t harm anyone?


Blogs

How Should You Talk To Your Children About Same-Sex Marriage | Russell Moore

God’s Purpose For The Supreme Court – And For Everything Else | Desiring God

5 Tips for Families Considering Homeschooling | The Federalist

5 Questions I Wished My Accountability Partner Would Ask Me | Brad Hambrick

When God Flips That Switch| Tim Challies
I loved this. If you read one, read this one.

In An Instant Messaging Age Sometimes It Is Best To Sleep On It | Nathan Bingham
And if you read two, make this the second.


How Church Culture Changes – Rainer on Leadership #137

Podcast Episode #137

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes • RSS • Stitcher • TuneIn Radio


Today on the podcast we discuss how church culture has changed, is changing, and will continue to change in the future. Our society is pressing in on the church and will change much of how church is done, but we must hold fast to the unchanging Word of God in the midst of any change.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Cultural Christianity is ending.
  • As people change, culture shifts.
  • Society is changing so rapidly that it’s confusing the church and confusing church members.
  • Some church members view outdated cultural realities as the way things ought to be, and that causes conflict in the church.
  • About 75% of churches are really resistant to change, but many don’t realize it.

The six keys to dealing with power groups in your church are:

  1. ​Remember the simple truth that culture is people
  2. Leadership sets the tone
  3. Rapid societal change is normative
  4. Discern what is (1) unchangeable, (2) negotiable, and (3) must-changeable
  5. Grasp the church resistance scale to determine the type of leadership needed
  6. Look at the Autopsy principles

A La Carte (June 30)

Where You Start Determines Where You End – “This is an exciting, important time to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Our lost culture needs us now more than ever. We don’t have to be spectacular to stand out.”

On Twenty Years of Marriage – This is just a great bit of writing about the joy and beauty of marriage. (HT)

An Interview with Mark Dever – Tabletalk magazine has an interview with Mark Dever. He always has interesting things to say.

Celebrating Distinction – “Creator and creation. Male and female. Distinctions are important. In this excerpt from the teaching series Only Two Religions, Dr. Peter Jones explains why these biblical distinctions are under attack.”

5 Questions I Wish My Accountability Partner Had Asked – There is level-headed counsel in this article. And it’s not really about accountability partners at all.

Getting Ready to Forgive – I quite agree: “Rather than presenting forgiveness as a law, what we need to do is to shepherd the wounded Christian to the point where they could say truthfully that their hearts are watching the road.”


Tribulation Saints

I have a question about your study of Revelation 7. In the last 4 paragraphs you talk about the tribulation saints having a privileged existence in eternity, but yet you mention that they will not sit on a throne at the side of their beloved and will not share in God’s inheritance. Can you explain this further? This is really interesting.

continue reading


A Question About 2 Thessalonians 2:11

Why would God need to send ” a powerful delusion” to men that are already unbelieving and delighting in wickedness. What am I missing?

continue reading



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
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 Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(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

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