September 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Down the Decadent “Ashley Madison” Avenue

What the world needs now is genuine expressions of moral purity. Our task is clear: “I urge you, says the Apostle Peter, as sojourners and exiles [in the pagan world] to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1Peter 2:11-12). We must live this way in a corrupt culture but without any sense of superiority or judgmentalism, since God’s love is sheer redeeming grace.

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A Prayer for the Day; A Prayer for a Friend

Paul longs to see his brothers and sisters in Rome again. He desires to encourage them and be encouraged by them. He knows that God grants sustaining grace and peace through the Word, prayer, and the fellowship of the saints. So while they are praying for them, he is praying for them as well.

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The Importance of What We Do in Secret

Nevertheless, hypocrisy lurks everywhere, not least in Christian ministry, and we ignore it at our peril. Godliness must be found in the heart if it is to be genuine. The one who prays more in public than in private, or only gives at special events when likely to be thanked for it, or practices spiritual disciplines and lets everyone know just how difficult a spiritual routine he keeps, is more concerned about the outward appearance than a heart-relationship with Jesus.

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Did Religion Make the American Civil War Worse?

From the Civil War onward, American Protestantism would be locked deeper and deeper into a state of cultural imprisonment, and in many cases, retreating to a world of private experience in which Christianity remained of little more significance to public life than stamp-collecting or bridge parties. Appeals to divine authority at the beginning of the Civil War fragmented in deadlock and contradiction, and ever since then, it has been difficult for deeply rooted religious conviction to assert a genuinely shaping influence over American public life.

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Pope Francis To Followers: “Koran And Holy Bible Are The Same”

The pontiff drew harsh criticisms in December after photos of the 78-year-old Catholic leader was released depicting Pope Francis kissing a Koran. The Muslim Holy Book was given to Francis during a meeting with Muslim leaders after a lengthy Muslim prayer held at the Vatican.

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In A Liberal Society Trinity Western Should Be Free To Educate According To Its Beliefs

The forces against Trinity Western may say that they are in the business of advancing rights and justice, but they are really on a crusade to subdue and punish everyone who does not see the world exactly as they do. Canadians who actually hold liberal principles should support the university’s efforts to have its law program duly recognized.

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University of Tennessee Tells Staff And Students To Stop Using ‘He’ and ‘She’ – and Switch to ‘Xe’, ‘Zir’ and ‘Xyr’ Instead

‘When our organizational culture shifts to where asking for chosen names and pronouns is the standard practice, it alleviates a heavy burden for persons already marginalized by their gender expression or identity.’  There is no information on the numbers of students on campus who do not identify as the traditional genders, as the university’s official data only recognizes male and female…. After a backlash from critics who called the proposals ‘ridiculous’ and ‘absurd’, the university clarified that nobody would be forced into using the terms.

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13 Things a Pastor Should Never Say to a Congregation

“If you don’t [fill in the blank], I will leave.” Never give a congregation an ultimatum, or you will find yourself on the losing end of that proposition.
“In closing. Finally.” (For the 5th time) Never tell the congregation you’re almost through. They will not hear another word you say. But if you do, keep your promise.

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What does Trump believe anyway?

D. C. Innes has a short piece on Donald Trump’s religious beliefs. Here’s the long and short of it. Even though Trump claims to be Presbyterian, he seems only to be a nominal Presbyterian at best. Innes writes:

So Donald Trump, the early Republican frontrunner for 2016, has come under scrutiny for his own religious beliefs. If he were an ordinary candidate, he would simply say he’s a “Presbyterian,” and that would be the end of it. But because he comes across as so arrogant, coarse, and self-absorbed, the opposite of Christian humility, people have been prying into the substance behind his boasts of religion.

He says he’s Presbyterian, but, in his own words, he’s an infrequent churchgoer: “Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there’s a major occasion.” He attended Sunday school as a boy at a Presbyterian church in Queens. He was later affiliated with New York’s Marble Collegiate Church (Reformed Church in America), where he has fond memories of hearing Norman Vincent Peale, the celebrated author of The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). Peale’s teaching was popular because it downplayed sin and grace, focusing instead on human ability. You can imagine The Donald perking up in his pew. He seems to have little understanding of even the basics of Christianity. He takes the bread and wine because he feels “cleansed” when he does. But he doesn’t ask God for forgiveness; he just tries not to make mistakes. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right,” he said last month in Iowa. “I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

He tells crowds at campaign rallies that his best-seller, The Art of the Deal, is his “second favorite book of all time.” His first, he assures them, is the Bible. But when asked in a recent interview for his favorite passages of Scripture, Trump became uncharacteristically bashful and declined to say. He said it’s very personal, as though he were asked about his medical history or the details of his marriage bed. But it was clear that he simply didn’t know any particular verses, not even John 3:16 or Psalm 23. For evangelicals, this was his Sarah Palin moment.

Read the rest here.


Evangelicals in the World of Islam :: Schwartz in First Things Blog

by Stephen Schwartz
First Things
August 25, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5462/review-heyrman


ISIS Demolishes 2,000 Year-Old Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria: ‘This is the Most Devastating Act Yet’


Chinese Lawyer Faces Up to Six Years Detention for Protesting Cross Removal Campaign, U.S. Calls Arrest a ‘Particularly Alarming Development’


Controversial California Right-to-Die Bill Inspired by Brittany Maynard and Opposed by Rick Warren Advances in Special Session


Former Lesbian Shares How Churches Can Better Minister to LGBT Community: ‘Only Jesus Can Make You Whole’


150 Students Stage Protest After Transgender Student Requests Access to Female Locker Room: ‘Girl’s Rights Matter’


Pope Francis U.S. Visit 2015 Schedule and Dates: Pontiff Invites Rick Warren To Speak at Philadelphia Conference on Family


Interview With Skip Vaccarello, Author of Finding God in Silicon Valley: ‘Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Reach Out’


Franklin Graham Praises Christian Students at Duke University Who Refused to Read Assigned Porn Novel, Warns Parents About LGBT ‘Propaganda’


R.C. Sproul Suspended from Ligonier Ministries After Visiting Ashley Madison Adultery Website, Says Hacking Scandal Was a ‘Means of God’s Grace’


Serena Williams’ Quest to Win 2015 US Open: What Makes Her Such an Enduring Champion?


Seances, Spirits and 12 Steps

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire brings to light what most people are unaware of: the occult origin of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. is not a Christian organization, brethren:

“[He] knew little of psychics and had heard nothing before this of my adventures.”–A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, from his official A.A. biography, Pass It On, pg.277

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

Author Richard Burns, better known as Dick B., has been churning out books and articles on the alleged Christian origin of Alcoholics Anonymous for years. Regrettably, in his numerous books, Dick B. has never acknowledged the demonic origin of the 12 Steps.

His books, however, have deeply influenced the Body of Christ. People frequently justify A.A. attendance with statements like, “Well, Alcoholics Anonymous was originally Christian.” Or, “The 12 Steps are based on the Bible.” A common misconception is that one or both Alcoholics Anonymous co-founders, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, were Christians.

http://mywordlikefire.com/2008/09/24/seances-spirits-and-12-steps/


Rainbow Reality: Submit or Else

When the militant homosexual lobby and its supporters tell you no one will be adversely impacted when homosexual marriage goes through, they are lying. They knew full well that everything changes – for the worse. Everyone must bow the knee and submit fully to the homosexual jackboot.

In my recent book Strained Relations I documented around 170 cases of this happening. There I offer one shocking case after another of ordinary citizens being dragged over the coals by employers and governments, resulting in the fines, loss of jobs, and even imprisonment.

Try telling these folks that homosexual marriage will not impact them. And while you are at it, try telling Kim Davis this. She is a committed Christian and a Kentucky county clerk who will not allow her faith to be violated by the militants.

She has been another supersaint, standing strong for her faith in the face of severe persecution. Her story goes as follows:

davis, kim 2Davis’ office has steadfastly denied marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage this summer, and that practice continued Tuesday morning when at least two same-sex couples were denied as Davis invoked “God’s authority.” Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins says the federal court alerted him later Tuesday morning that a hearing was scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday in Ashland. Watkins says clerk Kim Davis is summonsed to attend, along with all the deputy clerks who work in her office.
After Davis initially stopped issuing marriage licenses, two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses, an appeals court upheld that decision and the Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the case, seemingly leaving Davis with no legal ground to stand on.
But Davis has refused to issue the licenses, saying her deeply held Christian beliefs don’t let her endorse gay marriages.
As an elected official, Davis can’t be fired. Any impeachment of her would have to wait until the legislature’s regular session next year or could come during a costly special session.
“I have received death threats from people who do not know me,” Davis said in the statement. “I harbor nothing against them. I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience.”

Another recent report says this:

A homosexual duo left the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk’s office early Tuesday “red-eyed and shaking,” according to the Associated Press, after the clerk, citing “God’s authority,” refused to issue them a marriage license despite a court order.
Clerk Kim Davis’ appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay a lower court’s order to issue the licenses was rejected late Monday.
On Tuesday, she was barraged by catcalls of “bigot” when she met people lined up waiting for services.
AP reported James Yates and Will Smith Jr. “marched” into the office to get a marriage license. Davis, however, continued her position of not issuing marriage licenses for anyone in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision June 24 creating a right to “same-sex marriage.”
Law-enforcement officers told both “gay”-rights activists and the clerk’s supporters to leave.
Randy Smith, who was among Davis’ supporters, said he was aware that Davis might go to jail on contempt charges for defying the federal court order.
“But at the end of the day, we have to stand before God, [who] has higher authority than the Supreme Court,” he said.
When asked on whose authority she would not issue licenses, Davis replied, “Under God’s authority.”
One homosexual activist said, “We’re not leaving until we have a license,” AP reported.
“Then you’re going to have a long day,” Davis reportedly said.

Kim Davis recently issued a very strong statement about why she is risking everything for her Christian convictions:

I have worked in the Rowan County Clerk’s office for 27 years as a Deputy Clerk and was honored to be elected as the Clerk in November 2014, and took office in January 2015. I love my job and the people of Rowan County. I have never lived any place other than Rowan County. Some people have said I should resign, but I have done my job well. This year we are on track to generate a surplus for the county of 1.5 million dollars.
In addition to my desire to serve the people of Rowan County, I owe my life to Jesus Christ who loves me and gave His life for me. Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish. There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.
I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage. To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our history is filled with accommodations for people’s religious freedom and conscience. I want to continue to perform my duties, but I also am requesting what our Founders envisioned – that conscience and religious freedom would be protected. That is all I am asking. I never sought to be in this position, and I would much rather not have been placed in this position. I have received death threats from people who do not know me. I harbor nothing against them. I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience.

Yet again we see the intolerant activists, coupled with the heavy arm of the rainbow state, seeking to break the will and the resolve of ordinary men and women who choose to put the lord Jesus Christ over and above the tide of filth and perversion sweeping the land.

These are modern day Christian martyrs, standing steadfast for biblical truth despite everything the gaystapo can throw at them. I and others have been warning about this for many years now. We said this is exactly where we would get to when we start granting special rights to this militant sexual lifestyle group.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. It is getting worse every single day. Please, stand with Kim Davis. She is a hero who needs our prayers and needs our support. And thank God for those groups offering her real tangible help, such as Liberty Counsel.

Also, thank God for others, such as the Foundation for Moral Law in Alabama. As they say in a press release:

The Montgomery-based Foundation for Moral Law, a nonprofit corporation established to defend the Constitution as written and the right to acknowledge God in the public arena, stands firmly with the Kentucky clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples….
Foundation President Kayla Moore called Ms. Davis a “woman of exemplary courage who is willing to risk her career to stand for what is right.” Ms. Moore added, “I hope and pray that millions will be inspired to follow her example.”
Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe said, “The reason the Supreme Court’s Obergefell fails to command respect is that it has no basis in the Constitution. Rather, it is simply an edict of five unelected lawyers, two of whom had no business deciding the case because they had themselves performed same-sex marriages. To regain the respect of the American people, the Court needs to interpret the Constitution for what it says rather than what the Justices wish it said.”

It is time for all true Christians to stand against the rainbow warriors and their war on faith, family and freedom. Thank you Kim Davis for leading the way.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/09/01/will-clerk-issue-gay-marriage-licenses-after-court-ruling/?intcmp=hpbt2
http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/marriage-clerk-cites-gods-authority-to-defy-federal-court/?cat_orig=faith
http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=14102&AlertID=1965
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/9114876621.html


The Danger of Islam and “Chrislam”

According to the 1 John 4:3 Islam is a religion of anti-christ.  Islam denies that Jesus Christ is God, instead referring to him as a prophet who is less than Muhammad. Muslim terrorists and fanatics continue to murder innocent Christians and others in the Middle East.  And yet the Bible teaches us to love and […]

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The Willow Creek Church (PCA) Situation Explained…

Who doesn’t love spot on tongue in cheek theological excoriation?

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If You Could Get God’s Blessing Without God, Would You Take It?

Most of us assume—effectively if not explicitly—that when life is good, that it’s because we’re good folks. But when things are going wrong, we assume that God isn’t pleased with us. You don’t have to read far in Scripture, however, to see that our circumstances aren’t a great barometer for how God feels about us. In fact, in many places, Scripture actually seems to say that circumstantial success is more dangerous than trouble itself.

You probably don’t believe that. Most of the time, I act like I don’t believe it either. But then I come across a passage like Exodus 33.[1]

By the time we get to Exodus 33, Israel has just left Egypt. They are on their way to the Promised Land, but make an important pit stop at Mt. Sinai to get the Law. As Moses is on top of the mountain collecting the tablets, Israel responds in the worst way imaginable: they melt their jewelry down and make a golden cow to worship. Not good.

God is understandably peeved. So we might expect him to tell Moses that he’s going to bring destruction, or stop blessing them, or just do something bad. But here’s what he says instead:

“Depart; go up from here … I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites … Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you.” (Exodus 33:1–3).

Don’t miss this: God promises Moses all the success he could desire. The Promised Land would be theirs. But there’s a caveat. God won’t be going with them.

Most people—particularly Americans—would actually consider this a dream offer. Outward success coupled with no real obligation to God? No religion, and just blessing? Think of it: if you could get all of the blessings of God with none of the obligations that come with his presence, isn’t that the best of both worlds? What could be better than that?

Moses, however, knows it’s a raw deal. “If your presence will not go with me,” he says, “do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). In other words, “What’s the point of getting everything we dreamed of … without You? You can keep all that success—money, health, legacy, family. If we don’t have your presence, we don’t have anything at all.”

Moses had a level of insight that most of us lack. He was able to see that God+nothing was the better deal, for two reasons.

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Worship Roots

adam_and_eve_in_the_garden_of_eden_by_wenzel_peter_pinacoteca_vaticanaCreation is the very basis of and foundation for worship. The central principle of biblical worship is the fact that it is God-initiated and based upon his self-revelation. There would be no worship had he not created humankind and revealed himself to them. Indeed, this is the very purpose for which man and woman were created (Rom 1:20-21; Ps 19:1).

God himself expressed this purpose in Genesis 2:15 when he put Adam in the garden to “dress and keep” it. Often we interpret these terms to meant that Adam’s purpose was to be a gardener, but remember that this was before the Fall, and thus there was no need to till the ground or pick the weeds. Rather, most Old Testament scholars note that the Hebrew terms translated “dress and keep” are most often used late in the Old Testament to describe the work of the Levitical priests in the Temple. Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden—the perfect sanctuary of God—to literally “worship and obey.” This purpose for humankind is expressed elsewhere in Scripture, such as in Isaiah 43:7. God created Adam and Even in order that they might serve as priests in his Holy Sanctuary.

What did this worship entail? Several clues give us early indication of what worship is all about. First is the nature of the relationship between God and his image-bearers in the Garden. Each day God “walked” with them in the cool of the garden. His desire was to fellowship with them, to commune with them, not as equals, but as the Creator with his creation. This idea of communion with God in his sanctuary as revealed by him distills the essence of worship as it is developed through the entirety of Scripture.

But other elements appear in the early chapters of Genesis that help to fill out our understanding of biblical worship. For example, this communion with God was on his terms. He set specific boundaries and limits to what that communion would entail, and disobedience of his instructions would result in death—separation from this communion in his very presence.

And, of course, Adam and Eve disobeyed. Their sin broke the perfect communion they had enjoyed with him in his holy sanctuary, and thus God expelled them from his presence. Before he did, however, God himself provided the solution to that broken communion. By slaying an innocent animal and covering Adam and Eve’s nakedness with the animal’s skin, God was already picturing the means by which he would restore the broken communion. He made a promise to Adam and Even in the form of a protoevangelium—a “pre-gospel” in Genesis 3:15. In this way, two key elements of worship that would be developed later appear in the Creation/Fall narrative, namely, atonement and covenant.

Thus all the elements that later describe biblical worship are already available to us in these early pages of Scripture: worship entails drawing near to communion with God himself in his holy sanctuary. This communion is on his terms and it is initiated by his revelation to his people. Sin breaks this communion, however, and erects barriers that prevent people from drawing near to God’s presence. God responds to this terrible situation by establishing a unilateral covenant with his people and providing atonement by which they can draw near to (for now) imperfect fellowship with him.


Tullian Tchividjian Hired as Director of Ministry Development at Willow Creek PCA in Winter Springs, Florida

Tullian Tchividjian
Director of Ministry Development

We’re so delighted to welcome Tullian Tchividjian to the staff of Willow Creek Church. A graduate of Columbia International University (philosophy) and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando (M.Div.), Tullian is a best-selling author, having written seven books on the gospel of Jesus Christ and its liberating implications. Most recently, Tullian served as the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and founded Liberate, a ministry devoted to connecting God’s inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world. He loves the beach, loves to exercise, and when he has time, he loves to surf. He’s also a huge fan of both the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Heat.

From the Willow Creek PCA web site

UPDATE: Willow Creek has removed the video (see end of this post) at Vimeo where Tchividjian’s position was announced. The Daily Announcement series is now set to private requiring a password.

Just days after former Coral Ridge Presbyterian pastor Tullian Tchividjian acknowledged that he filed for divorce, he has taken a ministry position at Willow Creek Church (PCA) in Winter Springs, FL.

The video above was a Daily Announcement provided by pastor Kevin Labby for August 28. It has been removed. I have an email in to Willow Creek asking why they removed the video announcement. For some reason, the church leaders want to remove indications that there was a Daily Update with this information included.

Source


Down the Decadent “Ashley Madison” Avenue

Dr. Peter Jones of truthXchange explores the ways in which our debased culture continues to take a toll on the Church. TruthXchange is a ministry that seeks to understand the culture, as Paul did in his day, so that we will know how share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors and friends. Because of the research he does, Dr. Jones has become a culture specialist. As always, he offers a biblical perspective on the world the flesh and the devil.

Family ripped apart

Classy name, eh! Thirty nine million adulterers, signed onto “the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.” “Life is short: Have an affair,” intones the publicity, with an accompanying song: “ I’m looking for someone other than my wife.”

Noel Biderman, the entrepreneur behind the company, claimed he was not looking for someone other than his wife. Hypocritically, while he and his wife made millions on cheaters, he claimed he was a devoted husband and father. She said she would be devastated if he were unfaithful. Not surprisingly, when the site was recently hacked, among the millions outed was Biderman himself, with emails proving he had used the site for multiple affairs with other women. The dissimulation continued, since evil has a way of multiplying its effects.

https://truthxchange.com/articles/2015/08/31/down-the-decadent-ashley-madison-avenue


New Planned Parenthood Video: Sometimes Intact Fetuses “Just Fell Out”

The Weekly Standard reports:

AbortionThe Center for Medical Progress is out with another horrifying video exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting the organs from aborted fetuses for money. One of the people that appears in this latest video is Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, whose sister was the health policy advisor for Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner until very recently. According to CMP’s press release accompanying the video:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/new-planned-parenthood-video-sometimes-intact-fetuses-just-fell-out_1023450.html


Movie Critics ‘Trash’ and ‘Destroy’ Hit Christian Film

The Wrap recently posted a recap of the most scathing reviews, claiming that they “destroy” the film. Just consider, more specifically, what Kimberly Jones of the Austin Chronicle — whose review wasn’t included among the Rotten Tomatoes lot — had to say.

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Satanism At The United Nations And The Coming Antichrist

Months ago, I wrote a two part article on the origins of the occult in the United Nations. I explained what is called the “Lucis Trust” and gave a brief history of Alice Bailey who was instrumental in bringing Luciferian worship to the U.N.

In light of rapidly changing events concerning the United Nations; particularly the scheduled address by Pope Francis on Climate Change and world depopulation, I felt that it would be good to update the prior articles. Christians need to know what is happening and why it is happening. We need to be able to explain to the unsaved how the United Nations will be used by Satan to bring about the NWO – One World Government, and eventually the Antichrist himself.

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Can a Christian Be a County Clerk in America?

Citing her Christian beliefs, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refuses to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Can a Christian be a county clerk in the United States?

This is a question it now appears may ultimately be decided by five Supreme Court justices. With it, too, will ride such questions as: Can a Christian be a doctor? A nurse? A public-school teacher?

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Singing for Pope Francis in an Ecumenical Setting

By The Berean Call CHRISTIAN SONGWRITER DARLENE ZSCHECH IS SINGING FOR POPE FRANCIS IN ST PETER’S SQUARE She will appear alongside fellow worship leader Don Moen and classical tenor Andrea Bocelli at the “Voices in Prayer” event held by Catholic charismatic group ‘Renewal in the Spirit’. Thousands are expected to gather in St Peter’s Square […]

Your Shattered Dreams and Shaken Faith

Your Shattered Dreams and Shaken FaithSometimes my faith is shaken when my dreams are shattered.

I wonder where God is in the midst of my suffering. I cannot sense his presence. I feel alone and afraid. My faith wavers.

I question what I have long believed. I wonder what is real, especially when my experience doesn’t match my expectations.

This wavering deeply troubles me. I have tasted God’s goodness, enjoyed close fellowship with him, rested in his tender care. I have known both his power and his love. Yet in the midst of profound struggle, I have no answers. Just questions.

John the Baptist understood this as he waited in prison. He, above all men, knew who Jesus was. Even in the womb, he leapt for joy in the presence of the unborn savior. At the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, before any of his miracles, John declared, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He baptized Jesus and saw God’s Spirit descend on him, testifying that he indeed was the Son of God.

And yet, at the height of Jesus’s ministry, John sent word to him from prison, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

At one point, John was sure that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus further confirmed his divinity by performing miracles, yet now John was wondering what was true.

Why?

Unfulfilled Expectations

John knew from Scripture that he who gave the blind sight, made the lame walk, and preached good news to the poor could surely “open the prison of those who were bound” as prophesied in Isaiah 61. But Jesus didn’t do that for John.

So perhaps at this point, John doubted what he knew. If Jesus was indeed the Messiah, John probably expected to have a role in his earthly kingdom. He wouldn’t have expected to start with such a high calling, preparing the way of the Lord in the wilderness, only to end his life and his ministry in a small prison cell. Besides, John preached that the Messiah would come with an unquenchable fire. With judgment. With power. He likely expected that to be in his lifetime.

None of those expectations coincided with reality. And that may have caused John to doubt. Unfulfilled expectations often elicit that response in me. Especially when I’ve been faithful.

Jesus doesn’t condemn John for his doubts. He even says that no one greater than John has ever lived. He understands why John is asking the question. And Jesus’s response to him reinforces what John already knows — that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.

At the same time, Jesus knows that John’s public ministry is over. Just like the saints in Hebrews 11, John wouldn’t receive all God’s promises but could only greet them from afar. He would not serve with Jesus or see the fulfillment of God’s kingdom. But one day he would. One day he would see his glorious part in God’s magnificent plan. He, the last of the old-covenant prophets, would see how God used him to prepare the world to receive Jesus.

And John would rejoice.

But for now, John has to accept the Messiah’s plans for his life. Plans that are different than what he envisioned. He has to dwell on what he knows to be true rather than fixate on his circumstances. He has to remember who God is and trust him from a dark prison.

And so it is with me.

When Your Plans Crumble

When my plans crumble and God takes me away from my dreams, I must trust in God’s infinite wisdom. When my cup of suffering seems too much to bear, I need to rest in his immeasurable love. When my life spins out of control, I need to remember God’s absolute sovereignty.

I may not understand what is happening. But I cannot stop talking to him. Or turn away in fear. I must simply go to Jesus and tell him my doubts. Ask him to help me see.

John’s doubts are the same as mine. I wonder if God is who he says he is. And if everything is under his control. And if he truly loves me.

And when I doubt, God calls me, as he did John, to trust what I know to be true. To trust the bedrock principles that I know from Scripture and from experience. That God is completely sovereign. And loving. And wise. Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from his will.

In this life, I may never see how God is using my trials. But one day I will be grateful for them. All I can do now is trust that he who made the lame walk and the blind see, who died on a cross so I could spend eternity with him, is going to do the very best thing for me.

It all comes down to trust. Will I trust my circumstances that constantly change? Or will I trust God who is unchanging?

On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.


Related Articles


The Daily Discovery (September 2, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Lazy Writing, Cheap Restoration – “War Room follows the increasingly dreary pattern familiar to anyone who has seen more than a handful of Christian films. Karen Abercrombie and Priscilla Shirer are easy to like as a spiritually mature senior on the one hand and a beleaguered housewife on the other whom the older woman teaches to pray. T. C. Stallings plays a flatter character: Tony, the not-yet philandering but not exactly faithful husband to Shirer’s Elizabeth. The women deliver lines like ‘Devil, you just got your butt kicked!’ and ‘Go back to hell where you belong, and leave my family alone!’ with the requisite earnestness to make viewers believe that they believe.”

How to Survive World Religions 101 – “Michael Kruger entered his freshman year at the University of North Carolina as a committed Christian. He thought he was ready for the intellectual challenges college would mount against his faith—that is, until he found himself sitting in a New Testament introduction class with Bart Ehrman as his professor. It left him shell-shocked.”

Foolish, Ignorant Controversies – “So, as faithful Christians, we are to be perpetually fleeing these youthful lusts and continually running from these sinful passions that began when we were young.  Further, we should be perpetually pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace.  With that context in mind, we move to 2 Tim 2:23 where Paul commands Timothy to, ‘Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.’”

A Sample Statement on Regular Church Attendance – “The following is a statement from the elders at Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. Recently, they began releasing “Shepherd Studies” to help their congregation think well about important Biblical topics that affect the life of their church. This first statement was crafted to help set an expectation of what it means to regularly attend the weekly worship service. This is not a binding document, but rather a study that seeks to help their church understand how they intend to live together.”

Your Newsfeed Is Not New – “Judges is one of those books in the Old Testament where we’re regularly called to pause and stare in bewilderment at Israel. As we read we cannot help but ask, ‘How did they get here? How did things get so bad so quickly?’ But like most of the stories about Israel, they’re not just about Israel—they’re about us. And as I’ve been reading Judges lately, I haven’t been able to help but notice the parallels to our present day.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Tom Buck – 1 Timothy 5:1-8


VIDEOS:

Sorry Girls, I’m Gay

A Roman Catholic, a bi-sexual and an Open Air Preacher


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (September 2, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (September 2)

Here are some Kindle deals that may be worth a look: The Apologetics Study Bible ($2.99); God’s Not Dead by Rice Broocks ($2.99); On Guard by William Lane Craig ($0.99); A Handbook for Minister’s Wives by Dorothy Patterson ($0.99); Visions of Vocation by Steven Garber ($2.99).

Youth-Driven Culture

Stephen Nichols has an important article about the way we perceive age and youth. “There is something about being young that makes the young think they are immune to the mistakes or missteps of those who have gone before. We all think too highly of ourselves and our capacities. Simply put, we need the wisdom of the past and of the elderly.”

My Goal in Every Conversation with Mormons

Here is some helpful counsel for the next time you interact with Mormon missionaries. The point: Don’t expect that one brief conversation will immediately convert them, and don’t let that fact cause you to give up.

A Dangerous Posting

I am quite inclined to agree with Mark Jones here. He finds himself concerned by Paul Tripp’s public statement about Tullian Tchvidijian and the necessity of making such information public.

Word Biblical Commentary Sale

Logos users will want to check out this outstanding sale on the Word Biblical Commentary series which are down to just $9.99 each. Genesis, Psalms, Colossians, the Pastorals, Hebrews—they all come highly recommended by the commentators on the commentaries.

God Made All of MePre-Order Worthy: God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb is available for pre-order and ships next week. It is written for young children to help them recognize and respond to sexual abuse. (Amazon, Westminster Books)

Once In a Blue Moon

Enjoy this incredible footage of a moon rise over Australia.

Should We Go Down the Ashley Madison Rabbit Hole?

Erin Straza wrestles with an important question: When information is made public, as in the Ashley Madison dump, does that give us the right or responsibility to search through it? What are the consequences if we do?



Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, September 2, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Josh Duggar Loses Support from Family Member over Ashley Madison Scandal

#TrumpBible Trends on Twitter, Poking Fun at Trump’s Refusal to Give Favorite Bible Verse

Somali Christians Fleeing Islamic Extremists Lose Family, Fingers

Pastors Say September’s ‘Blood Moon’ Could be Sign of Apocalypse

R. C. Sproul Jr. Suspended from Ministry after Admitting to Visiting Ashley Madison Website

Christians in India Honor 7th Anniversary of Hindu Attack on Christians

Mississippi Church Revokes Prize of Gun for Person Who Brings in Most New Members

Gang Members Being Converted Through California Schools’ Bible Classes

Kentucky Clerk Refuses to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses Despite Supreme Court Ruling

Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage Rally in South Carolina Attracts Thousands

Opinion

4 Reasons Hillary Clinton Should Apologize for Her Inflammatory Abortion Rhetoric

Amazing Grace Amazingly Staged

400 Pastors Resigned Last Sunday

God’s Crime Scene: Examining the Evidence for Creation

Learning How to Have Humility


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


Resource Links

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.

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

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

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