August 21, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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An Accidental Feminist?

I rarely read complementarian literature these days. I felt it lost its way when it became an all-embracing view of the world and not simply a matter for church and household.   I am a firm believer in a male-only ordained ministry in the church but I find increasingly bizarre the broader cultural crusade which complementarianism has become.  It seems now to be more a kind of reaction against feminism than a balanced exposition of the Bible’s teaching on the relationships of men and women.   Thus, for example, marriage is all about submission of wife to husband (Eph. 5) and rarely about the delight of friendship and the  kind of playful but subtly expressed eroticism we find in the Song of Songs.

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10 Descriptors of Bad Teachers and Bad Leaders

Their Christian walk is debatable. That is, some who know them best question the depth of their walk with God – primarily because the leaders they are in public are not always the people they are in private. Needless to say, this problem is, among all these listed here, the most serious one for Christian teachers and leaders.

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Heidelberg 114: Between Moralism And Antinomianism

The moralist always implies or says that God is satisfied with our best efforts. In other words, he always seeks to dull the cutting edge of the law. He suggests that God will impute perfection to our best efforts (congruent merit) but the deal requires that we set aside the imputation of Christ’s perfect righteousness. In contrast, we confess the “perfect obedience” of Christ for us and imputed to us as the ground of our justification and salvation (WCF 8.5).

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One in Three Americans Say Divorce Is Still a Sin in Cases of Abuse

A 2014 LifeWay Research survey found that domestic abuse remains a taboo subject in the pulpit. Almost two-thirds of the 1,000 Protestant pastors in that survey said they speak about domestic violence once a year or less. Earlier this year, the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, won a Pulitzer Prize for its series on domestic abuse, entitled “Till Death do Us Part.” Reporters found that churches in South Carolina struggled on how to address abuse.

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The Divisive Person is the One Who Departs From the Truth

The person who objects is often told they are “singling out” this particular sin as over-important, as more important than unity! But it is not those who protest who are singling out particular sins. It is those bringing the revision, the ones asking, “Did God really say…?”, the ones who suggest it should now be normal what we previously agreed was objectionable who are singling it out, elevating it above the agreement. They are the ones making it the sticking point.

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Shower for an Unknown Baby

All the gifts donated went to Charlotte’s Pregnancy Resource Center. It’s a wonderful organization that helps and supports women in a variety of ways.  They provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and counseling for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. They also have mobile units that offer free ultrasounds.  Hundreds of babies are saved every year by these vans that offer a glimpse inside a mother’s womb.  I have a story about one such baby that I’ll write about in a future post.

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Practicing Hospitality When All You’ve Got Is Boxes

And, just as I got really good, we moved. We packed up the habits of hospitality along with our commentaries and we joined a new church community. Our first act of hospitality to our church was to open the doors of our new house and invite them to bring a box from the moving truck on their way in. Hour after hour, they unloaded our stuff, and unpacked it in the kitchen and bedrooms. They saw my odds and ends, my miss-matched assortment of coffee mugs, my embarrassingly large brood of kitchen gadgets. They saw me at my most disorganized.

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When ‘Discernment’ Leads to Disaster

Just one generation ago, virtually all of the churches now in the CBF clearly affirmed the sinfulness of homosexuality. Now, many are moving to affirm same-sex marriage and to ordain gay ministers. The lesson — once a church or denomination is untethered from the inerrancy of the Bible, there is no brake on the relativizing effects of cultural pressure.

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Chick-Fil-A’s New Coop At DIA Questioned By Denver City Council

Chick-fil-A thought they had something cooking at Denver International Airport but some Denver City Council members are questioning the franchise’s return to DIA.

According to the Denver Post, Councilman Paul Lopez believes the franchise’s stance against same-sex marriage is a “moral issue on the city.”

Openly gay councilmember Robin Kniech told the Denver Post she was worried about a franchise in Denver generating “corporate  profits used to fund and fuel discrimination.”

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Time to Choose: God or Man – Whom Will You Serve?

Here’s the bottom line: Homosexual activists don’t want the white picket fence; they want to burn down the white picket fence. The endgame is not to achieve so-called “marriage equality” but rather, to render marriage reality meaningless.

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Jesus is Coming: Are You Ready?

I am one among many thousands of Bible teachers, evangelists, and other Christians who believe we are in the time just prior to the Lord’s return. Scores of events are happening. geopolitically, economically, and culturally that point to His soon return. Prophecy is being fulfilled. One look around the world and especially in the Middle East should tell you, this world is on the brink. Many countries are on the verge of economic collapse which could lead to a global economic meltdown.

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The Calculated Decision to Place the Hindu Demon “Kali” on the Empire State Building

It was certainly no random decision to light up the Empire State building with the face of Kali; a powerful and ruthless demon goddess of Hinduism. I will show the reader that the face of Kali just weeks after the heartbreaking videos of Planned Parenthood is a mockery by the devil in the faces of the people of America. And the timing was no coincidence.

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33 Things of Significance for September

Is September 2015 going to be a month that changes history? For months, there has been an unprecedented amount of buzz all over the Internet about what is going to happen in September. And without a doubt, we are going to witness a convergence of events during that month that is quite remarkable.

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9 Hopeful Thoughts for When You Feel Like a Failure

9 Hopeful Thoughts for When You Feel Like a Failure

Sometimes it is real, other times it’s imagined, but the feeling of failure is acute. Disappointment in one’s self is heart breaking and soul damaging.

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My Spouse Isn't the Person I Believed I was Marrying!

My Spouse Isn’t the Person I Believed I was Marrying!

An unbeliever commits adultery while single, then deceives a believer into getting married. Does the believer have biblical grounds for divorce?

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Truth About Homosexuality the MSM Will Not Tell You

The mainstream media is fully in bed with the homosexual activists – certainly metaphorically speaking, but likely often literally as well. Homosexuals have done a great job of taking over the MSM, and so they very handily control the social narrative.

They determine what the cultural storyline will be. And it is all pro-homosexual. Anyone or anything that differs from the official party line is strictly censored out. It is only on the rarest occasions that a bit of truth sneaks into the media, and then it is roundly attacked.

A few inconvenient truths that almost never see the light of day in the MSM has to do with the reality about homosexual “marriage” and parenting. While the MSM is obsessed with pushing the homosexual marriage agenda, it is not keen to tell us the whole story here.

One brave media outlet was willing to go against the grain with this unheard of headline: “US gay marriage court ruling triggers divorce rush.” The story begins this way:

June’s US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage is sending couples to court for a very different reason: same-sex divorce. Marie Griffin, who lives in Savannah, Georgia, moved out of the home she shared with her wife in May. But the couple, who married last year in Washington, could not end their marriage because Georgia did not permit same-sex marriage or divorce.
On the day of the June 26 ¬Supreme Court ruling that all states must recognise same-sex marriages, she said she recalled thinking, “We have to, and we can, get a divorce now.” She contacted a lawyer and is pursuing a divorce.
Her wife, Sandy Rogers, didn’t return requests for comment. Ms Rogers’s lawyer, Martin G. Hilliard, said his client and Ms Griffin were in a “legal hinterland” when they separated. The ability to divorce lifts a “huge burden”.
Couples in US states such as Georgia are lining up both to wed and divorce in the wake of the court ruling, say lawyers, some of whom are reaching out to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities for business.
Some say they have clients who have been waiting for years to divorce. Even some counties that initially refused to issue marriage licences following the ¬Supreme Court ruling say they are allowing same-sex divorces.

Hmm, homosexual marriage? Given that so few actually want it, it is not in the least surprising to see this rush to the divorce courts. This is a lifestyle that is not exactly known for faithfulness, monogamy and exclusivity. But the media would have us believe otherwise.

greyland moiraIt is the same with the issue homosexual parenting. In the pink storyline of the MSM, all children raised in such households absolutely love it, and there are no gainsayers to this narrative. Thus the alternative media has to rain on the parade, and offer a few stories which demolish the reigning pro-homosexual paradigm.

I have written often about various individuals raised in homosexual households, and the hardships – if not the hell – they have had to endure. These persons of course are not supposed to exist. There are no unhappy children of homosexual households – or so we are told.

But I prefer those who have been there and done that to tell their own stories. One of the most demining stories is that of Moira Greyland. Hers is a shocking and horrific story, yet she had had the courage to tell it publicly. She starts her tragic tale this way:

I was born into a family of famous gay pagan authors in the late Sixties. My mother was Marion Zimmer Bradley, and my father was Walter Breen. Between them, they wrote over 100 books: my mother wrote science fiction and fantasy (Mists of Avalon), and my father wrote books on numismatics: he was a coin expert.
What they did to me is a matter of unfortunate public record: suffice to say that both parents wanted me to be gay and were horrifed at my being female. My mother molested me from ages 3-12. The first time I remember my father doing anything especially violent to me I was five. Yes he raped me. I don’t like to think about it. If you want to know about his shenanigans with little girls, and you have a very strong stomach, you can google the Breendoggle, which was the scandal which ALMOST drummed him out of science fiction fandom.
More profoundly, though was his disgust with my gender, despite his many relationships with women and female victims. He told me unequivocally that no man would ever want me, because all men are secretly gay and have simply not come to terms with their natural homosexuality. So I learned to act mannish and walk with very still hips. You can still see the traces of my conditioning to reject my femininity in my absolute refusal to give in and my outspokenness, and my choice of theatrical director for much of my life. But a good part of my outspokenness is my refusal to accept the notion that “deep down I must be a boy born in a girl’s body.” I am not. I am a girl reviled for being a girl, who tried very hard to be the “boy” they wanted.
Suffice to say I was not their only victim of either gender. I grew up watching my father have “romances” (in his imagination) with boys who were a source of frustration because they always wanted food and money as a result of the sex they were subjected to, and didn’t want HIM. (OF COURSE!) I started trying hard to leave home when I was ten, after the failure of my first suicide attempt, and to intervene when I was 13 by telling my mother and her female companion that my father was sleeping with this boy. Instead of calling the cops, like any sensible human being, they simply moved my father into their apartment, which I called “The Love Nest” and they moved back into our family home.

She continues:

Now it should be noted that boy lovers do not think of what they are doing as “molestation.” To them it is sex, they imagine it is consensual, and any objections will certainly be overridden by the orgasms they are certain they can produce, and it is the shame of these orgasms that silences the boy-victims, and persuades them they “must” be gay. (Regardless of subsequent heterosexual marriages and children.)
Apparently, 33 reports against my nameless male relative for pedophilia were not enough, and he’ll skate on all this. Not my circus: not my monkeys. I did what I could, and I am easy to find, if ever I am needed to testify. Pardon my fatalism, but serial sexual offenders don’t stop, and there is likely to be another victim. Either someone will come forward, or he’ll offend again, or perhaps, being that he is older, he’ll pass on before he ever has any consequences.
Between the time of my reports of father’s offense and my nameless male relative’s, I went and got a Bachelor of Music Performance, and had a career as a wedding harpist and singer, then I married and had children, then I got a Master of Music Performance, and since 2007 I have mainly taught voice and harp and directed operas with two opera companies I founded: one in Southern CA and one in Northern CA. I also made an album of Celtic music. Yet I’ve always been dissatisfied with my career: artists need to tell their story, and mine was rather too ugly to be told.

Her concluding words must be shared far and wide:

Due to my long experience with the BSDM community (bondage/discipline, Sado-Masochism) it is my belief that homosexuality is a matter of IMPRINTING, in the same way that BDSM fantasies are. To the BDSM’er, continued practice of the fantasy is sexually exciting. To the gay person, naturally, the same. However, from what I have seen, neither one creates healing. My mother became a lesbian because she was raped by her father. My father was molested by a priest – and regarded it as being the only love he had ever experienced. There are a vanishingly few people who are exclusively gay, but far more who have relationships with people of BOTH genders, as my parents and other relatives did.
What sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial, and the sure knowledge (don’t think for a second that they DON’T know) that the only way to produce another homosexual is to provide a boy with sexual experiences BEFORE he can be “ruined” by attraction to a girl.
If you’re OK with that, and you might not be, it is worth your consideration. If you think I am wrong, that is your privilege, but watch out for the VAST number of stories of sexual abuse AND transgenderism that will come about from these gay “marriages.” Already the statistics for sexual abuse of children of gays are astronomically high compared to that suffered by the children of straights.
Naturally my perspective is very uncomfortable to the liberal people I was raised with: I am “allowed” to be a victim of molestation by both parents, and “allowed” to be a victim of rather hideous violence. I am, incredibly, NOT ALLOWED to blame their homosexuality for their absolute willingness to accept all sex at all times between all people.
But that is not going to slow me down one bit. I am going to keep right on speaking out. I have been silent for entirely too long. Gay “marriage” is nothing but a way to make children over in the image of their “parents” and in ten to thirty years, the survivors will speak out.
In the meantime, I will.

We all need to understand that such stories are not unique. There are many others who have had such unpleasant upbringings, but they are often fearful of coming out of the closet to tell their stories. So thank you so much Moira for your amazing boldness in speaking out.

As I keep saying, if the MSM refuses to tell such stories, then I and other in the alternative media will. Truth is important, and if it is being suppressed in the main channels then we need to utilise any others that we can to get the word out there.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/us-gay-marriage-court-ruling-triggers-divorce-rush/story-fnay3ubk-1227485926829
http://askthebigot.com/2015/07/23/the-story-of-moira-greyland-guest-post/


Three Kinds of Christians

Townhall columnist Mike S. Adams is a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina Wilmington, author, speaker and conservative.  In the sardonic and blunt style he is known for, Mike offers three distinct categories of Christians. Recently, an angry LGBT activist (please pardon the redundancy) told me “not all Christians are alike.” He was […]

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National Day of Protest Against Planned Parenthood Set For August 22nd

Saturday August 22nd will be a nation-wide protest against the abortion holocaust of the Planned Parenthood killing machine

Recently released hidden-camera videos by the Irvine-based Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization, spurred controversy over the use of tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research. The videos, which recorded Planned Parenthood physicians discussing procedures for extracting fetal organ tissue, triggered national outrage by abortion opponents and led to political debate over whether federal funding for the reproductive health nonprofit should be cut.

protest-planned-parenthood-selling-baby-parts

Obviously, when the videos came out, I was completely shocked,” said Claire Miller, 19, of Torrance, who organized Saturday’s protest at the Planned Parenthood office in Lawndale. “They’re performing illegal partial-birth abortions and they’ve been profiting off the body parts of these dead children.”

In the past three weeks, Miller said she has reached out to local churches, various anti-abortion advocacy groups, and family and friends to join in the Lawndale protest. “I must have reached out to 2,000 people,” said Miller, a former member of the Riverside-based Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.

The exact date and time are Saturday, August 22, 2015, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. For more information, email here or call 773-777-2900.

WHAT: Protest PP’s harvesting and selling of aborted baby parts

WHERE: Over 300 Planned Parenthood facilities across America

Click here to find a location near you.

WHEN: August 22, 2015 from 9:00am-11:00am

CONTACT: Email or call 773-777-2900

#ProtestPP


Target’s decision for gender-neutral signage signals bigger issues to come, Christian experts say

Christian Examiner reports:

When retail giant Target announced earlier this month a portion of gender-based signage will be removed from specific areas in their stores, a firestorm of controversy swept over social media. While some applauded the move, citing progress and positive change, others voiced their anger and concern over what they perceive as the retailer’s attempt to remove all gender references. Some customers vowed to no longer shop at the big box chain.

Citing a need to “strike a better balance,” Target announced in an Aug. 7 press release on their website the changes ensure the retailer no longer “feature[s] suggestions for boys or girls” in their bedding departments, “just kids.” In the toy aisles, gender references will be removed including “the use of pink, blue, yellow, or green paper on the back walls of our shelves.”

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/targets.decision.for.gender.neutral.signage.signals.bigger.issues.to.come.christian.experts.say/49395.htm


John MacArthur confronted by intruder mounting the stage during Sunday Service

Elizabeth Prada of The End Times tells us what happened:

On Sunday, August 16, an intruder wearing a backpack mounted the pulpit at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church while Dr MacArthur was preaching the Sunday morning service, put his fingers in his lips and emitted a piercing whistle, pointed his finger at the pastor and began shouting that he had a message from the Lord to deliver to him.

The man, a Scottish “evangelist,” was angry that Dr MacArthur had preached in the past that the charismatic gifts have ceased, an interpretation termed “cessationism.” This biblical teaching was most recently delivered at the Strange Fire conference at Grace Community Church two years ago. That conference was a much-needed response and rebuke to the Charismatic movement which claims that Jesus delivers personal revelation to individuals today in the form of the temporary sign gifts of prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and also that people can and do perform miracles like raising people from the dead and healings, as the first century apostles performed.

http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2015/08/john-macarthur-confronted-by-intruder.html


Rapper Shai Linne calls out false teachers by name

“Shai Linne’s music teaches,” says John Lanagan. “While the form is rap, I consider him the modern equivalent of a hymn writer. Most of his songs explain and define things like the Atonement, the cross, justification etc., and this is explained to many who may not be familiar with these biblical truths.”

First, listen to the rapper explain his motive for “naming names.”

Now listen to Shai Linne’s song…

Source: My Word Like Fire


Three False Gospels You May Not Realize Are In Your Church.

The visible church today is undoubtedly full of false gospels. There is of course the cults, like Mormonism and the Watchtower Society. There is the Roman Catholic church, who is the world leader in false gospels. We have the Prosperity Gospel, the Word of Faith movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, Charismania, easy-believism, and so on. Satan’s attack on the Church is relentless and never-ending. But there are a few, less noticeable false gospels that have crept into even the most sound of churches over time. I would like to go over a few of those today.

The Gospel of Niceness. Growing up, I was always taught to be nice to people. “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” the old saying goes. The teaching is prevalent, and usually involves parents, or teachers encouraging kids to be thoughtful and kind to others. “Share your candy,” or “play nice with others.”

Christianity is often confused with niceness; “you seem so nice, are you a Christian?”

While the Scriptures do teach us to be kind and compassionate towards others, it does not teach us to do so at the expense of truth. This is where the gospel is compromised, and becomes a false gospel. We don’t want to offend people. It’s okay to talk about the positive things in Christianity, but we don’t want to upset anyone by telling them they’re a sinner. The church is afraid that if we tell people they’re sinners, and they need to repent, that they won’t come back.

We’re afraid of spoiling a friendship, or disturbing a close relationship by speaking the truth. While we’re called to engage the world, and share the love of Christ, we must not put our relationships above the work of the Holy Spirit. As a Christian, you should expect to be hated by the world (Matthew 10:22). If you have close friendships with those in the world, it need only be based on the truth. If you aren’t sharing the whole counsel of God with your friends who are lost, you are leading them to eternal torment.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:8 that Jesus is offensive–a “rock of offense.” The Word of God is foolishness to those who are lost (1 Corinthians 1:18). God is love, and God is kind, but God is also righteous and just, and full of wrath (Nahum 1:2). Yet he is merciful, and sent his son to die on the cross for our sins and be raised from the dead,  so that those who would repent and believe in him would be saved. We must not short change people by only being nice. We must offend people with the truth.

The Gospel of Unity. This one we hear all the time, the church must be united. In fact, it’s becoming clear that the evangelical church’s focus is becoming centered around unity. The call to unity in the Bible is very clear, and repeated often. 1 Corinthians 1:10 says,

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment,

1 Peter 3:8 says,

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind,

and Phillipians 2:2 says,

Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

So there is no doubt that the Church is to be united–but around what?

So many churches today have watered down the truth so much so that there is no truth left in what they preach. They have set aside sound doctrine in order to, once again, not offend people. It is around this watered down system of religiosity, usually focused on “love,” “tolerance,” and “acceptance” of everyone that they can remain united. Sound doctrine has become less important, and unity has become the central theme. Many sound churches are even falling into this trap. Solid churches standing in ecumenical unity with Rome for political and cultural advancement is becoming normal.

But the illusion of unity among these religious systems is false, and dangerous. It is not sound doctrine that causes divisions and destroys unity, as many have been led to believe. Romans 16:17 says,

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

It’s false doctrine that creates divisions, as there can be many, many false doctrines, all contrary to each other, but there can only be one truth. The true church is united around God’s truth, not error. There can be no true unity around error. Truth has no accord with error, and must be exposed to the light of truth in Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of Love. Love, who doesn’t want to be loved. The pulpits are filled with stories of God’s love for us, for the world, and for all of his creation. We are taught from a young age to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34). After all, the greatest commandment is love, right?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:37-39

But what is biblical love?John 13:34-35 says,

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

From this passage alone, many believe that they are disciples of Christ–Christians, simply because they “love one another.” But here is what biblical love is not. Love is not an emotion, or a feeling. Love is not receiving, it’s not getting something out of a relationship. And love is not accepting or tolerating sin.

Love is sacrificing, giving, and seeking the best for someone. The greatest example of love ever demonstrated to mankind was Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Why did he do this? Because God loved us (John 3:16). God did not accept our sin, or accept us for “who we are,” for if he did, there would be no need for justice. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God did not receive anything from us for his sacrifice on the cross. Ephesians 2:8-9 says,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

This was truly an act of selfless, unconditional love from God, to all who would repent and believe in him. The church cannot just teach love, it must teach the whole counsel of God, including his wrath. But this false gospel of love has become very prevalent, even in well meaning pulpits, yet it is sending people straight to Hell.

If your church doesn’t condemn sin, and call it what it is, but only preaches “love,” or if your church is focused on “unity,” or “niceness,” or any other aspect of visible Christianity in an unbiblical way, at the very least you should speak up. But if your church is not teaching the the whole truth of God, then you aren’t in a church at all, and it may be time to move on.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,let him be accursed. – Galatians 1:6-8


5 Things Pastors Should Learn from Josh Duggar’s Confession

Today is a sad day. We hate seeing headlines of Josh Duggar’s confession. We are mourning over these decisions that will certainly wreak havoc on his life and family in the weeks and months to come.

Today, Josh Duggar posted the following confession:

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.

I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.

The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.

As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.

Josh Duggar”

As pastors, we too often hear about the sins our people have committed and have the challenge of walking with them through brokenness and restoration. We are often the ones who must be so gospel-saturated that we are able to overcome the initial urge to judge or throw stones.

As you process this news, remember these pastoral ways to respond to those caught in secret sin:

  1. Be Ready to Love Unconditionally

When someone comes to us and confesses sin, we must be ready to respond with love and grace, instead of quick anger and judgment.

  1. Pray for Them

The best first response is to pray over the whole situation. Pray for them and those they have hurt. Pray for yourself as you lead them toward forgiveness and healing.

  1. Remember the Gospel Transforms the Worst Sinners

There is no such thing as a sin so bad Christ can’t forgive it. With proper humility and repentance, God can turn even the worst sinners into the most faithful saints.  That’s what he does.

  1. Protect the Church From Gossip

Shut down gossip whenever and wherever you hear it. Create a culture where talking about other’s failures is odd and unacceptable.

  1. Stick with Them Throughout Their Restoration Plan

Confessing sin is often the first step of a long road of healing and restoration. Be willing to stick with your people through the long haul.

 

How do you minister to your people when they confess secret sin in their lives? Share in the comments below so we can all learn.

The post 5 Things Pastors Should Learn from Josh Duggar’s Confession   appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Michael Brown’s New Book (Plus Some Fun Interaction Toward the End on Other Important Matters)

I was joined my Michael Brown today to discuss his new book, Outlasting the Gay Revolution.  I had read the book a few months ago, and it is now available.  We discussed the principles he lays out for a “multi-generational approach” to the subject.  We covered that during the first 45 minutes, and then we discussed two issues together, one a graphic Michael had posted on his FaceBook page about Noah, grace, and obedience, and the other Michael’s comments about T.D. Jakes in a recent Line of Fire broadcast.  As usual, our goal was to model dialogue in such a way as to clarify and edify, and hopefully that is what happened.

https://www.sermonaudio.com/code_sourcefeatured.asp?iframe=TRUE&reversecolor=FALSE&showoverview=FALSE&flashplayer=TRUE&tiny=FALSE&minimal=TRUE&eventtype=EVENTID&series=SUBTITLE&speaker=SPEAKERNAME&sermonid=820151419479

Here is the YouTube link:

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Today’s show will air LIVE at 6:00pm EDT. Follow the link below for further information about the live show.

The post Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Michael Brown’s New Book (Plus Some Fun Interaction Toward the End on Other Important Matters) appeared first on Alpha and Omega Ministries.


Planned Parenthood: Invitation, Explanation, Indignation

Planned Parenthood: Invitation, Explanation, IndignationI am writing with an urgent invitation, a personal explanation, and renewed indignation.

First, the invitation. I invite you to join us this Saturday morning, August 22, at one of the three hundred protest gatherings at Planned Parenthood sites across the nation. Find the one nearest you. It will be 9:00–11:00 AM local time.

(I will join others as part of the prayer leadership at the Twin Cities event at 671 Vandalia Street in St. Paul. Parking is sparse. Park far. Walk much. Small sacrifice.)

Your presence on Saturday morning would mean at least this: “Killing unborn human beings is not an acceptable answer to crisis pregnancies. There are better ways to care for mom and child and dad.”

If you have watched the investigative videos from The Center for Medical Progress about Planned Parenthood, I suspect you would want your presence to mean much more.

A Personal Explanation

I remember sitting in Pizza Hut with my wife in 1989, watching a newscast from Atlanta with the first glimmers of what became the Rescue Movement of peaceful protests in response to abortion. I was deeply moved, and said, to her, “That is right.” I was part of that movement in the Twin Cities for about three years. Then it faded away. I have no regrets about participating. I think it was right, and did good.

My explanation for participating in Saturday’s protest goes like this.

1. They are killing human beings in there. They cut them in pieces — usually. Sometimes, as the most recent video shows, they manage to get an “intact fetal cadaver.” That is risky, since there is a law against killing a baby outside the womb. You have to kill it first, then take it out. The moral insanity of that position is worthy of a resounding corporate “No!”

2. For three years, I lived fifteen miles from the Dachau Concentration Camp just outside Munich, Germany. I visited multiple times. They were killing human beings there too. Did the neighbors know? How quick we are to fault them! But we do know. We know beyond the shadow of a doubt. Yes, it is the same. Yes, it is the same. I don’t want to be complicit in the slaughter.

This passage of Scripture is as real and valid today as it was in the late eighties:

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? (Proverbs 24:11–12)

3. We have no moral leadership in the White House on this supremely important issue facing — staring down — our nation. President Obama refused even to support the protection of children who are four-fifths out of the womb in the process of birth (partial-birth abortion). He supports the right of doctors to pull a baby out, all but the head, and then suck the brains out, and deliver the child dead, so it can be called an abortion, and not infanticide. When a nation has no moral voice at the highest levels of governance, special means of expression may be called for.

4. There are seasons of life. Seasons of personal life, family life, and cultural life. Or call them moments. Cultural moments. Flash points. In these seasons, you do what you may not have done in other seasons. We don’t protest every day of every year.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: . . . a time to break down, and a time to build up . . . time to keep silence, and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3, 7)

It seems to me that we are in an unusual moment in our nation. For me, it is time to gather.

Renewed Indignation

Indignation is cheap. Anyone can get bent out of shape. There is no great moral capital in human anger. It comes easy. But the absence of anger (and sorrow) in some cases is a sign of a disordered heart.

When an evil is as massive as the killing of human beings is in our nation, large and hard words lose their force over time. What is needed is real stories, real experience, real glimpses — not just of the babies, but the hearts of those who kill them. We are getting those, in this peculiar cultural moment.

In the most recent investigative video about Planned Parenthood, that went online this week, we have the confession of a former employee. This is what broke her will to stay. A coworker called to her, “Hey, Holly, come over here. I want you to see something kinda cool.” So Holly (speaking on the video) goes over and sees a fully intact, manifestly human, baby, delivered by abortion. And the technician says to Holly, “Okay, I want to show you something.” So she taps the heart with one of her instruments, and the heart starts beating.

“Kinda cool.”


Related Articles


Ashley Madison, Sin, and Judgment

The Greek philosopher Plato once told a story about an ancient and magical artifact known as the Ring of Gyges. This ring possessed the power to grant invisibility to the one who wore it. Such an invisible person was given near limitless anonymity and could–it is supposed–do almost anything they wanted to without the fear of getting caught. The story is intended to be a thought-experiment. The question at issue is whether or not the invisible person would use their power for good or bad. How would you use it? If you had the guarantee that you’d never be caught, what would you do?

Apparently for some, such anonymity was used to create profiles on the social website, Ashley Madison whose tag line is: “Life is short. Have an affair.” This Proverbs 7 website exists for the explicit purpose of encouraging and cultivating an atmosphere where people can secretly break their marital vows and engage in adultery–and all under the guise of near-invisibility. It boasts of over 39-million anonymous users. It promises 100% discreet services. It has even received trusted security awards. But, as it has now become apparent, Ashley Madison has overpromised and underdelivered. As almost everyone has probably read by now, hackers have made available 32-million account profiles which are now being copied and searched by internet users around the world. Their message to exposed users–“Learn your lesson and make amends.” Secret profiles are secret no more–so much for the promise of invisibility and anonymity.

It seems the social commentary on this event has largely been the same in one way or another: they got what they deserved. Personally, I have to admit that it’s hard to feel very bad for those who have been found out even if their accounts were accessed illegally. Our hearts should ache for the spouses who will learn of their husband or wife’s infidelity and the children whose lives will be shattered as a result of lies and deception. But I don’t think we’ll see much sympathy to those who willingly and secretly found ways to exchange marital faithfulness for adulterous unfaithfulness. After all, the Bible warns us: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9).

But before we let this be an occasion for us to point a self-righteous finger, or derive some twisted sense of satisfaction, or luxuriate in the knowledge of these revelations, perhaps we should use it to reflect on the sobering reality of final judgment. Sometimes I hear people blithely say, “God is my judge.” I’ve often wondered if they have any idea what that actually means. The Bible tells us “He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). God wants us to be assured–made certain–that he will judge all the world. And when he does, we’re told “God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) and “[he will] bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart” (1 Corinthians 4:5).

That’s a humbling reality. You see, like Ashley Madison sin’s cheap marketing ploy is to try and guarantee us 100% discreteness. Often, in my own life, I have bought the lie that “no one will know.” After all, they are my thoughts, imaginations, fantasies, intentions, and motives. And sin tries to promise, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive” (Psalm 94:7). But there’s no such thing as secrecy, anonymity, and invisibility. Again, as the Bible says: “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account” (Hebrews 4:13). Whatever sin tries to promise it cannot deliver! Even my secret habits, desires, and actions will be exposed before an all-seeing God–and so will yours.

Now as a Christian I don’t think final judgment is intended to paralyze us with fear. That seems very contrary to the promises of the gospel, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). I remember as a child I was often told that the day of judgment would be like having my life played on a movie screen for all to see. How frightful (and embarrassing) that seemed to me! I doubt that’s what it will be like. But even if it is, the purpose of a believer’s judgment isn’t to terrify and embarrass us by making much of sin, but it’s to cause us to rejoice by making much of Jesus. In that day I will see, as I have never seen before, why I need Jesus Christ–his perfect life and sacrificial death. Rather than a scare tactic, final judgment motivates me here and now to live my life with Calvary as my focal point–to live visibly, openly, and transparently in the very presence of God praying, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24).


Some fatherly advice for young men contemplating an affair

1 My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
2 That you may observe discretion,
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
And smoother than oil is her speech;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of the grave.
6 She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

7 Now then, my sons, listen to me,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house,
9 Lest you give your vigor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10 Lest strangers be filled with your strength,
And your hard-earned goods go to the house of an alien;
11 And you groan at your latter end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
12 And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
13 “And I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!
14 “I was almost in utter ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And fresh water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be yours alone,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress,
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He watches all his paths.
22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

-King Solomon of Israel, Proverbs 5:1-23


5 Myths and Truths in Loneliness

Having been an ordained minister for 32 years and licensed psychologist for 18, I (Gary Barnes) have had the privilege of being entrusted with many personal stories of loneliness. As individuals from all walks of life have opened up with their struggles, I’ve been deeply affected from two different directions. From a psychological perspective, I’ve been struck by the depth of pain humans encounter in their experience of loneliness. And from a theological perspective, I’ve been amazed at how significant human loneliness is to the triune God.

This dilemma has taken on fresh importance as it’s become intertwined in the debate over same-sex marriage. Difficulties in interaction are especially pronounced with the exchange of religious and theological arguments. My aim here is not to “win” an argument over same-sex marriage. My hope is to move us all from debate to dialogue, particularly as it relates to the vital issue of loneliness.

Here are five popular myths that heighten loneliness for us all.

Myth #1: Loneliness is a result of something bad, and therefore no one should have to experience it.

Truth #1: Even before sin entered human experience, God described loneliness as “not good,” yet he used it to bring about a greater good. 

Aloneness isn’t just important to our triune God; it’s central to his design for our dealings with each other and with him. Nor is loneliness simply a result of personal choices or the world’s groaning under sin. Before the fall in Genesis 3, God proclaims, “It is not good for man to be alone” even as he evaluates his sin-free world. In infinite wisdom, then, God created a perfect human being incomplete on purpose.

In his book Fill These HeartsChristopher West refers to this as a “burning yearning” desire meant to drive us to God’s design so we’d experience our eternal destiny with him: “The yearning of eros reveals that we are incomplete, and that we are in search of another to make ‘sense’ of ourselves.” In Genesis 2 God ordains the marriage of male and female as another aspect of his design for our aloneness. Yet he never designed marriage to fulfill the incompleteness or eradicate the aloneness. Rather, it more fully reveals our need for our ultimate destiny—to be in union with him.

Myth #2: Loneliness is a result of singleness, a second-class transitional stage of life on the way to the first-class state of marriage.

Truth #2: Loneliness isn’t a result of singleness. Single and married are equal and necessary image bearers of God. Blessings of fullness and contentment (though not full completeness) are to be experienced in both states.

Neither marriage nor singleness should be deified or deprecated. Marriage and singleness reflect the love of God in different and necessary ways. While spouses reflect the exclusive nature of God’s love, singles in community reflect its inclusive nature. We don’t exist as isolated inviduals. Sexuality and bonding are part of relationships. As Stanley Grenz explains in Sexual Ethics:

This relationship between sexuality and bonding is present in single existence as well, even though the sex act as the “sacrament” of the bond is absent. . . . Single Christians, therefore, who because of their abstinence from genital sexual expression are often in touch with their affective sexuality, have a unique ministry of love to offer in service to the Lord within the fellowship of the community of Christ.

Myth #3: We can avoid loneliness by getting married. 

Truth #3: Loneliness can be equally experienced in singleness or marriage. In fact, many can feel more alone in their marriage than they did in their singleness. 

Even a great sense of satisfaction in marriage or singleness will reveal remaining unsatisfaction. As Augustine reminds us in his famous prayer, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” We have a God-wired incompleteness only he can fill. Yet sin causes us to exacerbate our loneliness and dissatisfaction by trying to fill this God-shaped vacuum with substitutes.

Psychological research yields “discovered truths” confirming this “revealed truth.” In Evidence Based Practices for Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy, which examines the outcomes in individuals and relationships, Scott Stanley and I (Gary Barnes) report on more than 30 years of scholarship in the field of marital health and success. The two primary variables considered are stability and satisfaction. Those in the stable and satisfied group are aiming to help each other grow and to protect “differentiated unity” or “oneness not based in sameness.” In other words, outcomes aren’t so much about finding the right person as they are about being the right person who makes right choices over time.

Myth #4: Loneliness can be avoided by meeting my sexual needs.

Truth #4: Trying to meet non-sexual needs sexually will heighten loneliness. Only when we meet our non-sexual needs in non-sexual ways will we begin to adequately address our loneliness. 

Healthy sexual intimacy requires many intentional healthy non-sexual choices. Sexual activity alone will never fulfill our emotional or spiritual needs.

In his book Soul Virgins, Doug Rosenau defines a soul virgin as “one who continuously seeks to value, celebrate, and protect God’s design for sexuality—body, soul, and spirit—in oneself and others.” The goal should be to build a Christlike character that seeks sexual wholeness and celebrates deep, fulfilling intimacy appropriate to each type of relationship. Along the journey, non-sexual needs must be met non-sexually.

Myth #5: Limiting my freedom will increase my loneliness.

Truth #5: Trying to preserve freedoms will heighten loneliness. In fact, having fewer choices decreases loneliness. The paradoxical truth is this: “In choosing to have less, you choose to have more.”

Christians agree that we are called to love as God does. We love with benevolent power rather than self-serving power. We love as whole people, as male and female, as single or married. And God showcases this benevolent love in the person, work, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Stanley and I (Barnes) show that one of the key predictor variables for satisfaction and stability in marital relationships is “dedication commitment” in contrast to “constraint commitment.” In “constraint commitment,” couples stay together because of what it would cost them to split up. In “dedication commitment,” couples remain together because of personal sacrifices for the sake of “us.” Self-limiting choices are more closely associated with greater stability and satisfaction.

If we’re not careful, our pursuit of satisfaction and avoidance of loneliness will lead us to treat others as things created for our sake, not as persons created for God’s sake. The solution isn’t found in more self-indulgent liberties, but in limiting ourselves with the compelling love of “the great mystery”—the sacrificial love displayed in Christ’s union with the church (Eph. 5:31–32).

Looking to Another

There are many popular myths associated with our experience of loneliness. This isn’t a gay or straight problem. We must look to God’s Word and re-examine our own beliefs and strategies in dealing with loneliness, and, as a result, better love one another in our common struggle.

Ultimately, the solution to our loneliness is not found in another person. It’s found in God.


Check out

Blogs

Happiness Isn’t the Absence of Negative Feelings | Harvard Business Review
“We’re not happy when we’re chasing happiness. We’re happiest when we’re not thinking about it, when we’re enjoying the present moment because we’re lost in a meaningful project, working toward a higher goal, or helping someone who needs us.”

Good Writing, Prioritizing, And Gospel Communication | Aaron Armstrong
“Simplicity isn’t about dumbing down, it’s about prioritizing.… What’s the core of your message? Can you communicate it with an analogy or high-concept pitch?”

27 Reasons Why Believers Should Rejoice Always | Stephen Altrogge
“Here’s a suggestion: Copy this list and put it where you will see it regularly. Or stick it in your Bible to use in your devotions occasionally. Or make your own list. I have found the more I meditate on all God’s blessings and the more I try to rejoice in Christ for these, the more joy I experience.”

9 Things We Learned in our First Year of Homeschooling | Emily Armstrong
“Well, we did it: we completed our first year of homeschooling. When we started down this road, we didn’t really know what to expect: would the kids take to it? Would they turn into potatoes? Would we face the silent (or not so silent) judging of public schooling friends, family, and strangers?”

25 Questions for a Prospective Pastor to Ask a Church | Ron Edmondson
There are some I’d strike from this list. In fact, it had never occurred to me to have such a list. But there may be a few questions on this list that could help a pastor (and a church) decide if he’s called there.


08/21/15 Praying with Our Minds Made Up

READING: Jeremiah 41-45

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  Be honest — have you ever prayed after you had already decided what God’s answer should be? Chapter 42 of Jeremiah seems to illustrate that tendency.

The remnant left in Judah after the Babylonian victory requested a word from God — via Jeremiah — because they wanted to know the way they should go (Jer. 42:3). Particularly, they feared retaliation from Babylon since the murder of Gedeliah, the Babylon appointed governor of Judah (Jer. 40:7, 41:1-3). Jeremiah agreed to pray, and the people in turn gave this promise:

Jer. 42:6  Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you so that it may go well with us. We will certainly obey the voice of the Lord our God!

That’s not what they did, though. The word through Jeremiah was that the people were to stay in Judah, where God would be with them (Jer. 42:11). They apparently feared retaliation, though, and they instead chose to go to Egypt (Jer. 43:1-7).

The apparent ease with which they rejected the word from Jeremiah suggests they had already made up their minds what the answer from God should be — go to Egypt, where surely it would be safer. When they assumed God’s answer, they were willing to pledge obedience; when His answer was something different, they rejected God’s prophet and His word.

It really is easier to declare our obedience to God if we assume God’s calling will be what we want. Real obedience, though, speaks these words with absolute integrity: “whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey the voice of the Lord.” Even when His word is unpleasant, it’s still right and best.

Am I willing to pray accordingly? Are you?

PRAYER: “God, even if this prayer makes me anxious, give me faith to trust You. I will obey You whether Your call on my life is pleasant or unpleasant.”


Seven Ideas for Increased Guest Friendliness – Rainer on Leadership #152

On today’s episode, we discuss a recent post on guest friendliness and seven steps churches are taking to increase their friendliness toward guests. Whether your church has a dedicated greeting time in the service or not, these principles will increase the friendliness in your church and help you retain guests better.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • When you conclude services on time, your members have more time to greet other members and guests.
  • Signage eliminates barriers for church guests because they will more easily know where to go.

The seven ideas for increased guest friendliness in the church are:

  1. Conclude the services on time.
  2. Use the most outgoing members in critical places.
  3. Ask your most extroverted members to sit by guests and converse with them.
  4. Ask your most extroverted members to mingle intentionally before and after the service.
  5. Have clear signage that lets guest know where to go.
  6. Encourage people to speak to each other at the end of the service.
  7. Have people wear shirts or badges that clearly indicate they are available to help others.

Resources

The post Seven Ideas for Increased Guest Friendliness – Rainer on Leadership #152 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


10 Reasons Conflict Escalates in the Church

Some years ago, I was a volunteer firefighter. It was amazing to see what could happen when a tiny spark ignited a small blaze that could quickly become a roaring fire. Given the right conditions, a spark could lead to absolute destruction.

That happens in church conflict, too. Here are 10 “right conditions” for escalating conflict in a church.

  1. The church is made up of sinners. That’s the case, of course, and that fact won’t change. Sinful people are naturally selfish and divisive. Sanctification sometimes takes a while to correct these tendencies.
  2. Members care about something. This “condition” might seem strange, so hear my point. Some conflict in the church heats up in direct proportion to how much people care about some issue in the church. Their care may be misdirected, and their sense of ownership may be problematic – but they fight for something precisely because they care about it that much.
  3. The church has no “up front” relational expectations. The churches I know that deal well with conflict are usually those who teach how to deal with relational conflict as early as their membership class. The church that ignores these potential issues invites problems.
  4. Nobody’s praying for unity.  Jesus prayed this way in John 17:21 – “May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.” If Jesus prayed that prayer for His followers, we, too, should be praying for this unity.
  5. Church leaders have not taught biblical principles for conflict resolution. Matthew 18:15-20 is a starting point. Putting others before self (Phil. 2:3) obviously matters. Believers who don’t know what the Bible teaches about reconciliation will follow the ways of the world – and the way of the world is often, “I want to win.”
  6. Leaders do not address legitimate concerns.  At times, the concerns that church members raise are legitimate. When church leaders blatantly ignore those concerns, nonchalantly hear them, or superficially address them, the conflict is not resolved. Its resolution is only delayed.
  7. Conflict is not separated from emotion. I think, for example, of battles over worship styles. These preferences are so connected with emotions that it’s often difficult to separate the two. Conflict escalates because emotions heat up.
  8. People operate in secret. You know the scenarios. Anonymous complaints. Unsigned letters. Behind the scenes meetings. Opposition rallies cloaked as “prayer meetings.” It’s all secretive – and it’s often demonic.
  9. People listen to gossip. Once conflict begins, it’s often fueled by rumor and innuendo. Those who spread the rumors are acting in sin, but so are those folks who stoke the coals by listening. As long as anyone listens, the fire spreads.
  10. Nobody carries out church discipline. It would be ideal if all conflict were resolved before discipline became necessary. The Bible, though, assumes that churches will take necessary steps to deal with troublesome members. If the church doesn’t do so (or, if they do so, but in an unbiblical or uncharitable way), they prolong the conflict.

A La Carte (August 21)

New from GLH Publishing is a Kindle edition of Jonathan Edward’s must-read book Religious Affections at just $0.99. Also consider Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($0.99); Pleased to Dwell by Peter Mead ($5.64).

Planned Parenthood: Invitation, Explanation, Indignation

John Piper: “I am writing with an urgent invitation, a personal explanation, and renewed indignation.” He calls you to protest Planned Parenthood tomorrow.

Why I Am Going to Protest Planned Parenthood

In a similar vein, J.A. Medders explains why he will be participating in this weekend’s Planned Parenthood protests.

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election

Here’s an interesting fact of the modern world: “Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.”

Is There Any Demand for Same-Sex Marriage?

Joe Carter: “One question the Court ignored—and which few people ever truly considered—was whether there is an actual demand for same-sex marriage.”

This Date in 1741: George Frideric Handel began to compose his great work Messiah. He would finish the work 23 days later. It would become his most famous composition and, as you know, is still treasured today. *

Ad Blockers and the Nuisance at the Heart of the Modern Web

This article dives into the problem at the heart of the modern web: So many banner ads are ugly, evil, and intrusive, and yet they are also at the heart of the online economy.

Snake Island

Did you know that there’s an island off the coast of Brazil that has so many venomous snakes on it that people are forbidden from even docking there?


Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, August 21, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Josh Duggar Admits Infidelity and Pornography Addiction

D. C. Bible Museum to House Large Collection of Israeli Antiquities

Bible Museum Uses Discarded Celebrity Wax Figures for its Bible Characters

Teen Trapped Under Truck Says God Answered Prayer to Save Him

Freed Pastors Arrive Home from Sudan after Ordeal of False Charges, Travel Ban

Former ISIS Sex-slaves Share Stories of Abuse

Slovakia to Welcome Christian Immigrants but Reject Muslims

Buddhist Convert Becomes Pastor in Tibet

Why Routine Divorce is Now Inevitable, Even among Christians

Josh Duggar Exposed as Ashley Madison Client

Opinion

NFL Player Ryan Broyles: a Good Role Model on and off the Field

Amazing Facts About College Freshmen

Archaeology Gives Insights into Jesus’ Hometown

Batman Dies in Car Crash

When ‘Discernment’ Leads to Disaster



Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“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


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