Daily Archives: October 12, 2015

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:10-11 NASB)

Some “evangelical leaders” in our time will tell you that transformation is actually part of the gospel and that the evidence of salvation is how busy a person is in “working in church ministry.” No where in God’s Word is transformation given as part of the Gospel. The Gospel is based in who Jesus Christ is and what He has done to be the propitiation for the elect. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, including the elect. No one is able to do any work of…

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Whatever it is, it is not worship!

Unfathomable Grace

The following was written by Dr. James Montgomery Boice. He was a hero of mine who died some years back. Today, in heaven, he knows more about worship than he ever did. He is glorifying and enjoying God like never before. I think he would still agree with much that he wrote. Much of what people do on Sunday morning — whether formally traditional or informally contemporary — whatever it is, whatever they call it, it is not worship.

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In recent years, I have noticed the decreasing presence, and in some cases the total absence, of service elements that have always been associated with God’s worship.

Prayer

It is almost inconceivable to me that something called worship can be held without any significant prayer, but that is precisely what is happening.  There is usually a short prayer at the beginning of the service, though even that is fading away.  It is being…

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October 12, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

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What The Heidelberg Liturgy Teaches Us About Grace, Faith, And Sanctification

The key difference between the penitent and the impenitent is not good works. It is Spirit-wrought new life and Spirit-wrought true faith in Christ. There is an order to the Reformed confession of the faith. The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life. He gives new life to his elect, and with new life he gives faith, and through faith he creates a mystical union between the believer and the risen Christ and out of that new life, true faith, and union come the fruits of sanctity and good works. That order is reflected not only in our confessional documents but also in our liturgical materials.

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“I’d Rather Go to Hell Than be With You!”

It is tempting to think that if I’m doing it wrong then I should stop, or I should alter the message. We don’t have that luxury. We are called His ambassadors for a reason. We cannot alter the message, remain silent, or represent Him the wrong way. We must strive to be like Christ as we present Him to the world. May we never hear the words “I’d rather go to Hell than be with you!”

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2 Motivations for Pursuing Holiness

It’s one thing to ransom someone from slavery in this world. Many have performed this gracious act, and we thank God for it. But how do we ransom people from slavery to sin? How much do we pay to ransom them from death and hell? For such a transaction, silver and gold are of no value. There is an economy wherein the only currency is the blood of Christ.

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Nine Reasons He Didn’t Stop the Shootings

Nothing catches our LORD by surprise because He has ordained all that is to come to pass for His own glory. The mature believer rejoices in this, knowing that God truly is God. All things are under His control, from our lives that are filled with regular trials, to the kings who rule over us, to the shootings and death of believers that fill the news. The mature believer understands this and knows that our lives on this side of glory are not our endgame. Glory with our Savior is the endgame and before those nine faced their deaths on Thursday, they may have not realized that.

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A Review: Crowned

This book is ideal for those whose ministry is in a church context where there are many who are unchurched. It would be a useful tool for a spiritual mentor to use in a discipleship relationship with a new believer. The writing is clear, practical, and Biblical. Reading through Crowned, you feel as though Melissa is a friend, teaching you about who God is, what he has done through Christ, and who you are as a result. “My goal for this book is to help women uncover foundational truths about their personal identity as one crowned and commissioned by the King of the world” (p.45). In Crowned, she does just that. 

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How the Other Half Reads: What I Learned from a Book on Manhood

Rather than pursuing biblical masculinity in order to reach Christ, men should pursue Christ first and become the men God has already made them to be. This is Pyle’s banner, and it bears a striking resemblance to Hannah Anderson’s conclusion in Made for More. There, she invites women to recover their primary identity as being made in God’s image.

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The Preacher and His Technology

My aim in this article is to help preachers use technology in such a way as to get the most out of this willing servant, but also to avoid it becoming a damaging tyrant. To do that, we will honestly face some of the dangers of technology in sermon preparation; then we will outline a number of ways technology can help in sermon preparation; finally, I’ll give you a brief description of the primary ways in which I use technology in sermon preparation.

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The Wave of the Future

 I am fortunate: my ‘day job’ is something which pays a living wage, which I love doing, and which offers significant overlap with my pastoral work.  Most other bivocational pastors I know do not enjoy such privilege.   They drive buses or work office jobs or even (in one case) run a ranch in order to put bread on the table.  They have to fit pastoral life and sermon preparation into otherwise difficult schedules.  I also have some solid elders who understand that their job description is somewhat expanded in practice from what it might be at other. wealthier churches.

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Video Series Urges Abuse Survivors to 'Step Out of the Shadows'

Video Series Urges Abuse Survivors to ‘Step Out of the Shadows’

Posted on October 12, 2015 by CBN

Few problems are as pervasive, yet shrouded in secrecy as domestic violence.

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XXX Church: Seven things more popular than porn

XXX Church: Seven things more popular than porn

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Christian Today

XXX church has shared statistics about porn usage over the last 12 months, showing work is the most popular place to watch porn.

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Matt Chandler: Did Jesus really go to hell?

Matt Chandler: Did Jesus really go to hell?

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Christian Today

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Texas, tackled the question of whether Jesus actually descended into hell at his death, in a sermon on the Apostles Creed, according to The Christian Post.

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Jindal: America Needs 'Revival' Not Gun Control

Jindal: America Needs ‘Revival’ Not Gun Control

Posted on October 12, 2015 by CBN

The presidential campaign season is keeping the newly revived gun control debate alive. But one candidate is trying to revive a completely different debate — the one about the spiritual condition of America.

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Beware the 4 Pastors of the Apocalypse

Beware the 4 Pastors of the Apocalypse

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Crosswalk

Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, beware these four pastors who bring untold calamity on whatever church they inhabit.

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10 Things Every Teenage Girl Needs to Know

10 Things Every Teenage Girl Needs to Know

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Crosswalk

There are so many things I know now, that I wish I could have known then. Here are 10 things I wish every teenage girl could hear.

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How Should Christians Handle Halloween?

How Should Christians Handle Halloween?

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Crosswalk

Joe Thorn details his family’s thought process with Halloween, factoring in both his past in the occult, and the helpful ways they could engage in their neighborhood. http://www.joethorn.netwww.christianity.com

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Hindu extremists focus on Christian influence in Nepal

Hindu extremists focus on Christian influence in Nepal

Posted on October 11, 2015 by Mission Network News

Hindu nationalists say Christians are a corrupting influence in Nepal.

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Middle East (CAM) -- Light in the darkness: ISIS member comes to Christ.

Middle East (CAM) — Light in the darkness: ISIS member comes to Christ.

Posted on October 11, 2015 by Mission Network News

Militants bring terror to refugee camps, disguising themselves as refugees. Regardless, indigenous missionaries share Christ, and an ISIS member is saved.

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How Obama Ushered in the New Age of Christian Martyrdom

Everywhere that U.S. leadership helped Islamic jihadis topple secular autocrats in the name of “democracy and freedom,” indigenous Christian minorities are forced either to convert to Islam or die.

Many are accepting death.

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Israel makes massive discovery of oil in the Golan Heights. Is this a prelude to the “War of Gog & Magog”? – Joel Rosenberg

It has been a dramatic month here in Israel, and we’re only eleven days in.

At the moment, we’re experiencing a rash of violence, including a series of stabbings by Arab terrorists, Arab rioting in various cities, and other attacks against Jewish people. Last night, terrorists in Gaza also fired a series of rockets at southern Israel.

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Moscow on the Mediterranean

As we consider these events through the lens of Bible prophecy, we need to take the 10,000 ft. view because there are many things to consider. There are alliances being forged between Russia, Iran, Syria, China, and others that is very concerning. In our 10,000 ft. view of the region, there are a few key factors we should consider:

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Despisers of Good – Terry James

There is something going on that I believe can no longer be considered anomaly. It smacks ominously of forewarning found within the apostle Paul’s perilous times prophecy of 2 Timothy 3: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be…despisers of those that are good” (2Timothy 3:1-2a, 6f)

Although the signs have been on the cultural and societal horizon for years, the manifestation of Paul’s forewarning became clearer during the school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, April 20, 1999. It was the first time in such a nationwide way that hatred for Jesus Christ raised its monstrous head, producing martyrdom for the cause of Christ in America.

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Joel Osteen’s Heretical “I Am” Mantra

I cannot stand to watch Osteen because I know what he teaches is a reprehensible distortion of true Christianity. Over the past decade, Osteen has intentionally crafted his message to appeal to the widest audience. He now rarely uses Scripture references in his sermons. He is very hesitant to discuss sin as a common part of life, and he promotes a deity that allows everyone to go to heaven.

His core message is the New Age power of attraction. If you maintain a positive confession, good things will automatically come your way.

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The Fatal Mistake of Pastors Who Don’t Preach About Hell

I’m troubled by the lack of talk about, writing about, preaching about, and deeply held conviction regarding the reality of hell by pastors today.

Why is this happening?

We Pastors Want To Appear Compassionate And Inclusive

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Rebel cardinals accuse pope of stacking synod cards

The Global Post reports:

Pope FrancisConservative cardinals have accused Pope Francis of stacking the cards against them in an ongoing battle over issues including the Church’s approach to gays and to divorced and remarried believers, it emerged Monday.

In a letter sent to the pontiff on October 5, the opening day of a Church synod on the family, a group of cardinals described procedures for three weeks of discussions as “designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions.”

The ostensibly private (but quickly leaked) letter was delivered to the pope by Australian Cardinal George Pell and reportedly signed by peers including the archbishops of Toronto and New York, Thomas Collins and Timothy Dolan, and arch-Vatican conservative Carlo Caffarra, the archbishop of Bologna.

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Check out our research paper on Roman Catholicism!


The World is Coming to an End — Now!

“Well at least is was supposed to,” Bill Muehlenberg grumbles.  “But it seems another nut job Christian outfit was caught out with yet another false prediction of the end of the world. Will these folks never learn? Not only do they make a laughing stock out of the Christian faith, but they also cause many believers […]

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Strangers And Aliens (4): Living As Resident Aliens (1 Peter 1:13–21)

Peter wrote this epistle to be circulated among Christian congregations in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). He wrote to them about their faith, their hope, and their life living in this world—God’s world—as those who have been delivered out of Egypt, as it were, saved by grace alone, through faith alone about how to conduct […]

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Skeptical Climate Change Is Real? These 20 Academics Think You Should Be Prosecuted

The Daily Signal reports:

Are you skeptical of human-caused global warming or climate change like many respected scientists and climate experts? Then you should be prosecuted like a Mafia mob boss, according to 20 academics at ivory towers like Columbia, Rutgers, and the University of Washington.

Apparently, these professors either don’t believe in the First Amendment or are profoundly ignorant of the basic rights it protects. They recently wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for anyone who questions the climate-change dogma to be criminally prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act because they have “knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

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Obama’s former pastor accuses Israel of practising apartheid

According to Christian Today:

Palestinians fighting to keep their homeland are facing “one of the most egregious injustices in the 20th and 21st centuries,” a controversial pastor linked to President Obama claimed this weekend.

Rev Jeremiah Wright led Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago from 1972 to 2008, and was once Barack Obama’s long-time pastor. The President resigned his membership of the church in May 2008 after intense media scrutiny of some of Wright’s more controversial statements, including his assertion that the US government had “failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent” and should be damned.

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“Are You A Christian?” On Martyrdom

The pragmatic calculation is to deny Christ. To take a shot in the kneecap, a ride to the hospital, and return home to the embrace of your family. To live to provide and care for them all the remaining days of your earthly life. But Christianity isn’t pragmatic. It is a word of folly. The […]

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Throughout my years in ministry, I’ve encountered many people who have claimed to be Atheist or Agnostic. As Christians, it’s important to know how to communicate the Gospel to unbelievers in a logical way. This video is designed to take you through a progression of logical arguments that will help lead you to conclude there is a Truth that can both be known and experienced.

To watch this life changing sermon, click here.


Are We Becoming Afraid to teach the Truth?

When we look back over the last few years, it seems we are seeing a completely different America these days.  Who would have thought a few years back that we would see a full frontal assault on Biblical Christianity in America–a land established under Judeo-Christian law and principles? But that is exactly what is happening.  […]

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Unity, Liberty and Charity – Church & Culture Blog

There’s a catch-phrase that’s been around “Meck” (Mecklenburg Community Church, which I pastor) for a long time: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
 
It’s not original with us. Though the origin is debated, it is most commonly attributed to Augustine.
 
The idea is simple: the beliefs, convictions and doctrines that are central to the Christian faith are hills we must die on. No matter what it might cost us in terms of attendance, media coverage… Christianity is what it is. There are certain things involved in being a Christian church, certain beliefs and convictions and doctrines. If you cease to hold to those beliefs, you cease to be Christian.
 
If you want a precis, start with the Nicene Creed.
 
But in non-essentials, we want to be advocates for liberty. In other words, there are some things that thinking, devoted followers of Christ have disagreed on for 2,000 years.
 
For example, consider the various views surrounding the unfolding of the end times. At Meck we have folks who are pre-millennial, amillennial, post-millennial, and those who don’t know how many “L’s” are even in the word millennial!
 
Another area of liberty has to do with the charismatic movement. While Meck would not be considered a charismatic church, we have people attending from that background, and people who would be catapulted into speaking in tongues if they were ever exposed to that background. Yet all get along without pursuing a particular agenda for redefining the church into a particular type.
 
It’s the same with many other honest debates, such as Calvinism vs. Arminianism, or Steelers vs. Packers. (Actually, that last one isn’t a real debate. It’s the Carolina Panthers all the way. Any other view is subject to church discipline).
 
You can also put some lifestyle issues in with this. For example, the Bible states that giving ourselves over to the state of intense drunkenness is never plan “A,” but how we live our lives in order to honor that command differs widely. Some believe that it is best to abstain completely; others feel free to have wine with every meal and a cold beer watching their favorite team.
 
All should be done with discretion and discipline, but there is true freedom. Though there’s not space to parse it here, this is the central thrust of Romans 14.
 
So in the essentials, we have unity.
 
In the non-essentials, we have liberty.
 
But in all things we have charity – which is just another word for love. As we put it, we have made the decision to “agree to disagree, agreeably.”
 
Seems easy enough.
 
And to be sure, it’s created a sweet spirit at Meck. But it’s not easy for most churches. And as a result, the spirit is not sweet.
 
As I have reflected on this over the years, the breakdown comes in two ways: those who want to make essentials non-essentials, and those who want to make non-essentials, essential.
 
And then, want to fight about it.
 
In other words, they violate all three of Augustine’s dictates.
 
Why?
 
Pride.
 
Enter the apostle Paul in a most overlooked comment:
 
Now regarding your question about [fill in the blank]…Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes. (I Cor. 8:1-3. NLT)
 
The heart of the disruption of “in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity” is the heart of all sin: pride, coupled with the lack of love.
 
So how do you combat this pride?
 
By acknowledging, humbly, that there is an “essentials” bucket, and we must submit to that biblically and historically, instead of making our personal lifestyle choices and desires the guiding compass.
 
By acknowledging, humbly, that while there is an “essentials” bucket, more falls into the “non-essentials” bucket than our prideful sense of knowledge may want to admit – and its contents may be larger than what we have decided to put there.
 
By acknowledging, humbly, that no matter what we may believe, there is no excuse for lovelessness toward another.
 
No excuse.
 
I often get asked by other pastors how Meck has gone nearly a quarter of a century without a split, without a parade of pastors, without anything but a unanimous vote on every issue (yep, it’s true).
 
It’s simple.
 
Because with all those “withouts” there’s been one big “with”:
 
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
 

James Emery White


 

Binding and Loosing: A Biblical Perspective on a Popular Modern Practice

When we take verses out of context and apply a meaning that was not the intent of the author, it will result in unbiblical practices such as “binding and losing” Satan and his demons.  Context, context, context! By W.E. Nunnally This article discusses the popular Pentecostal/charismatic practice of binding and loosing certain attitudes or dispositions, […]

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Freebie Friday! In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

by Erin Davis

Are you facing a big decision? We’ve got a freebie to help you make the right call.

When You’re Face to Face with a Lion

by Beecher Proch

When a decision you’re facing looks as scary as a lion, what next?

When God Cuts Your Idol’s Head Off

by Erin Davis

Our natural bent is to put something, anything, on the throne in our hearts other than God. When that happens, He may cut our idol’s head off.

Why Did God Give Me This Feeling?

by Paula Hendricks Marsteller

“I have feelings for a guy friend. Feelings that I’ve asked God to take away from me several times, but for whatever reason, He has not. Why did God give me feelings I didn’t ask for?”


You Are Not Enslaved to Your Past

You Are Not Enslaved to Your PastChristianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. It is possible to become tender-hearted when once you were callous and insensitive. It is possible to stop being dominated by bitterness and anger. It is possible to become a loving person no matter what your background has been.

The Bible assumes that God is the decisive factor in making us what we should be. With wonderful bluntness the Bible says, “Put away malice and be tenderhearted.” It does not say, “If you can . . . ” Or: “If your parents were tender-hearted to you . . . ” Or: “If you weren’t terribly wronged or abused . . . ” It says, “Be tender-hearted.”

This is wonderfully freeing. It frees us from the terrible fatalism that says change is impossible. It frees us from mechanistic views that make our backgrounds our destinies.

If I were in prison and Jesus walked into my cell and said, “Leave this place tonight,” I might be stunned, but if I trusted his goodness and power, I would feel a rush of hope that freedom is possible. If he commands it, he can accomplish it.

If it is night and the storm is raging and the waves are breaking high over the pier, and the Lord comes to me and says, “Set sail tomorrow morning,” there is a burst of hope in the dark. He is God. He knows what he is doing. His commands are not throw-away words.

His commands always come with freeing, life-changing truth to believe. For example: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other [that’s the command], just as God in Christ also has forgiven you [that’s the life-changing truth]. Therefore be imitators of God [command], as beloved children [life-changing truth]; and walk in love [command], just as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma [life-changing truth]” (Ephesians 4:32–5:2).

There is life-changing power in the truths of this text. Ponder them with me as you pray for that power to change you.

1. God adopted us as his children.

We have a new Father and a new family. This breaks the fatalistic forces of our “family of origin.” “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, he who is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9).

I once heard a young man quote Hebrews 12:10–11 with tears of deep conviction and great joy because they assured him that he was not doomed to think of God in terms of his abusive earthly father: “They [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we share his holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

They did this . . . but he does that. This is a life-changing truth. We can know it, believe it, and be changed by it, no matter what kind of earthly fathers we have. God reveals himself in his word to revolutionize our thinking about his fatherhood. We are not cursed to think in the old categories if our upbringing was defective.

2. God loves us as his children.

We are “loved children.” The command to imitate the love of God does not hang in the air; it comes with power: “Be imitators of God as loved children.” “Love!” is the command and “being loved” is the power.

3. God has forgiven us in Christ.

Be tender-hearted and forgiving just as God in Christ forgave you. What God did for us becomes the power to change. He forgave us. That opens a relationship of love and a future of hope. And does not tender-heartedness flow from a heart overwhelmed with being loved undeservedly and being secured eternally? The command to be tender-hearted has more to do with what God has done for you than what your mother or father did to you. You are not enslaved to your past.

4. Christ loved you and gave himself up for you.

“Walk in love just as Christ loved you.” The command to walk in love comes with life-changing truth that we are loved. At the moment when there is a chance to love, and some voice says, “You are not a loving person,” you can say, “Christ’s love for me makes me a new kind of person. His command to love is just as surely possible for me as his promise of love is true for me.”

My plea is that you resist fatalism with all your might. No, with all God’s might. Change is possible. Pursue it until you are perfected at the coming of Christ.


From Shepherding To Prison Rules: The Three Stages Of Christian Parenting

I’ve stated publicly that every author of parenting books should be slapped.

Repeatedly.

With a blunt object, such as a frozen cod or old Dream Theater CD.

Why?

Because they all make Christian parenting seem so simple. As if “Step 1 + Thing 2 = Godly, Obedient Children”. Like godly parenting comes down to a holy formula that, if followed correctly, will produce venerable saints on par with Mother Theresa and St. Francis of Assisi.

As every parent of real, human children knows, parenting is muuuuccchhh more complicated. In fact, every day, Christian parents progress through the THREE stages of parenting.

SHEPHERDING A CHILD’S HEART

This stage, which lasts anywhere between 4 minutes and 4 hours, is the Promised Land of Christian parenting. I am cheerful, gentle, and heavenly-minded. My children are wonderfully compliant, and get along with each other like hipsters and insisting you’re not a hipster.

If an issue does arise, I patiently guide my children through the caverns of their hearts, helping them explore motives and repent appropriately. Discipline is administered out of a purely benevolent heart.

My house is a little utopia. Like Eden, except we’re all wearing clothes.

NETFLIXING A CHILD’S HEART*

This stage is birthed from the collapse of STAGE 1. The utopia has shattered and now we are living in a post Berlin Wall fallout.

Peaceful relations start to break down between the parents and children, and the parents begin to get slightly desperate. Panic begins to set as the parents forsee the complete war that is on the horizon. A storm is brewing. Winter is coming.

A buffer is needed. A mediator. Something to temporarily distract the children from the general angst that is beginning to foment in their hearts.

That something is Netflix.

While not quite as biblical as shepherding the hearts of my children, Netflixing the heart of my children is a legitimate option when things begin to go south. If I can’t tame the sinful hearts of my children, perhaps Fluttershy from My Little Pony can (yes, I am a grown man who can name the ponies in My Little Pony).

This stage is the tipping point. At any given moment, peace and order could be restored.

Or all hell could break loose.

PRISON RULING A CHILD’S HEART

At a certain point, usually at bedtime, all bets are off. Anarchy has descended upon the house, and my children are behaving like the girl in The Exorcist. There is no shepherding. There is no Netflixing.

It’s time for prison rules.

You will stay in your bed at all times. You will not talk. You will not joke. You will not make farting noises. You will not smuggle contraband toys under your covers. Anything you say, do, or think, can and will be used against you.

If you break my rules, you will feel my wrath.

After bedtime, I am not to be toyed with.

I am a dictator, and this is my regime.

THE CIRCLE OF PARENTING

Eventually my children will return to stage 1, restarting The Circle of Parenting (patent pending).

Then it all starts again.

Now that I think about it, The Circle of Parenting would be a great book title.

* I owe this title to Ted Kluck


Where Are All the Godly Men?

Hashtags are very popular now-a-days, aren’t they? This is funny: I tagged the word “godly” in a tweet on our Twitter account the other day and 80 percent of the tweets that were posted under the tag “godly” said “where are all the godly men at?” Then I did a Google search on the question. And I realized there were thousands of girls who were wondering the same thing.

So where are all the godly men?

Well in answer to that question, I wrote this article.

The answers in all the articles I found were about how pastors, mentors or parents could “fix the men” and their problems by talking to the boys and men about how to help them. The rest of the articles were how girls could find a Christian guy. The whole time I was thinking to myself “those poor guys!”

If we are to help the men at all, girls will need to respect the men and treat them like men. We cannot go on asking them “why aren’t you godlier?” This only demeans them and robs them of respect and honor. The question alone hurts and weakens the men in our generation.

We must make them feel needed and strong. We will need to step down from the commanding feminist role that women have been so long engaged in and give the leading role back to the men who are under God and God alone.

Every good Christian girl is wondering, “Where are the manly men in this world?” “Are there men out there besides the high-school boys who are just after drama and media?” “Are there men who love the Lord and want to raise a family like me, and if so, then where are they?”

Well, girls, I’m sorry I have to be the one to break the news to you, but it’s not the boys that are missing. It’s you. What?! Bear with me. Godly men are out there, but it’s not up to you to find them. It’s not up to you to know where they are. It’s not even your place to ask where they are! Because by asking you are failing the test; the test of faith given to all single girls (by God) asking them to entrust their hearts and futures into His wise and all powerful hands.

Would you be able to trust God with your future? With your relationship? With your life?

It might be that you are not called or meant to be married. It’s up to God. I know that’s a scary thought for some women, and to be honest, it scares me too. But what if God has called you to that lifestyle? Would you still have faith in God? Would you still choose to follow Him, or would you abandon your convictions, compromise your godly lifestyle and seek out a man without God’s help? (Food for thought)

The post Where Are All the Godly Men? appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


An Open Letter to Justin Bieber About His Faith

Dear Justin Bieber,

I’m ecstatic to see what God is doing in your life. Nobody is too far from God’s grace, and your story is one of redemption and revitalization. Your influence is beyond anything most could imagine harnessing, and I’m beyond thrilled to watch you use that influence for the sake of your faith in Jesus. Sure, you’ve made mistakes along the way, but don’t we all? Nobody is perfect, and I would encourage you to keep fighting the good fight while constantly seeking after the grace and love of Jesus. He’s got you covered.

You may find criticism along the way, but those who truly love you will be the ones who are there for you through it all. Those who love you will continue pointing you toward the foot of the cross.

Repeatedly lean into God, your pastors and those whom God has divinely put around you. Ignore the opinions of society and pop-culture and be who God created you to be—nobody else. Let Him be your guide. You have been called to something great, and I pray God continues to open up doors for you as you boldly share his name. Continue to do away with religion, and grab a hold of the all-consuming love of Jesus.

Here’s to a new you, and a new season and a fresh start. Be bold, continue to stay faithful and remember that you have millions of people praying for you on a daily basis. Thank you for your boldness, courage and audacity to share the name of Jesus through your platform. Stay well, my friend.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9

“At this point, my faith has gotten me to where I am. My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith. I think that with Christians, they’ve left such a bad taste in people’s mouths. Just like, overly pushy with the subject, overly churchy and religious. … You ever flicked on a channel and a late-night church show is on? Sometimes it’s like, “You better do this or you gon’ die and you gon’ burn in hell!” And you’re like, I don’t want anything to do with this. I’m the same way. I’m not religious. I, personally, love Jesus and that was my salvation. I want to share what I’m going through and what I’m feeling and I think it shouldn’t be ostracized.I just wanna honestly live like Jesus. Not be Jesus—I could never—I don’t want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, he died for our sins. Sometimes when I don’t feel like doing something, but I know it’s right, I remember, I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don’t have to feel what we should have to feel. … We have the greatest healer of all and his name is Jesus Christ. And he really heals. This is it. It’s time that we all share our voice. Whatever you believe. Share it. I’m at a point where I’m not going to hold this in.” —Justin Bieber 

The post An Open Letter to Justin Bieber About His Faith appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


12 Signs You Are a Modern-Day Pharisee

The Pharisees are mentioned in pulpits and classrooms all over the world. They are the source of jokes. The topic of sermons. Man, I wish I had a penny for every time a Christian teacher referenced the Pharisees. I wouldn’t be here. Maybe in the Caribbean somewhere. But not here. #truth.

Here is the reality … Pharisees still exist today. And nobody wants to be a modern-day Pharisee. It just happens. Kind of like eating at Ruby Tuesday. No one knows how you end up there. But it happens. Then you are stuck eating below par food at an above par price. Not good.

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Most Pharisees begin with good intentions. But somehow those intentions and motives morph into something not so good.

Here is my hope and prayer … you will read this and do an inspection on your heart. The following things flow from my own personal struggles with legalism and being a Pharisee. In many ways, I am a recovering Pharisee. I still have a long way to go. But I am thankful the grace of God allows me to stumble. Allows me to struggle. And still be His child.

So, here are 12 signs you are a modern-day Pharisees.

1.) You believe showing up for worship every Sunday makes you right with God.

Modern-day Pharisees try to measure everything. They must have metrics and barometers. Something to measure their righteousness. Anything to give them some security with God.

And I am not against barometers or metrics. Not at all. Barometers can reveal trends and expose inconsistencies. But modern-day Pharisees see metrics as essential to righteousness and salvation. Worship is not a time to draw into God. Worship is another check off the list.

For modern-day Pharisees, Christian living is not so much about transforming into the image of God. It is more about living up to the standard of God. And no one can live up to God’s standard. Except Jesus.

2.) You spend more time talking about what you are against, not what you are for.

Pharisees love to argue. They love to spend their time convincing others. If they had to list the actions and issues they are against, the pencil would run out of lead. But turn around and ask them to list what they are for? The pencil would not have to be re-sharpened.

Pharisees believe their job is to defend God and legislate morality. So they are against drinking, smoking, cursing, short skirts, talking back to parents, holding hands before marriage, and so on. And all of these things come before the gospel. Or maybe they are the gospel. Modern-day Pharisees can’t tell the difference.

The post 12 Signs You Are a Modern-Day Pharisee appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Alien Invasion: being right without being mean

legal alien greencard“I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, I’m an Englishman in New York.” That oddball 80’s hit single by Sting could have been the soundtrack to my experience as I arrived at JFK airport in 2000. Coming to America as a South African on a student visa, I was greeted at passport control by a sign indicating the narrow way—US Citizens Only—and the broad way, marked unblushingly, “Aliens.” Yes, the US customs considered me a foreign invader of sorts. But at least I was legal.

To obtain the coveted status of legal alien to the promised land of the free and home of the brave, I had to jump through a series of bureaucratic hoops of fire designed to intimidate anyone not dead set on obeying American law.

The process included comprehensive background checks, police clearance certificates, fingerprinting, interviews, proof of insurance, surety of a $17,000 deposit, and a hefty admin fee charged in USD but paid in my country’s languishing currency. I was eventually awarded a three year “F-1” study permit. I was permitted to work on campus, 20 hours per week. I legally and painstakingly obtained a social security card, bank account, and driver’s license. I never once availed myself of the welfare food stamps I was entitled to (since I was living below the poverty line) because I didn’t want a government hand-out I hadn’t earned.

When I wanted to remain in the country for another three years to complete a second degree, I had to go to the consulate in Canada and re-apply from scratch (and again pay the then heftier fee), despite by then being married to a US citizen.

All that to say I find it difficult to sympathize with people who enter any country illegally.

I’m not talking about refugees fleeing persecution who have been invited in—“Send me your huddled masses” and all that. But when a person crosses the border illegally, they also cross a line God drew.

Romans 13:1-2 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.crossing sign

South Africa is a magnet for illegal immigrants. We are an Elysium for physically famished, economically asphyxiated, and politically browbeaten Sub-Saharans from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. And our church has had to deal with the ethics of helping brothers and sisters in Christ while concurrently honoring our government’s laws.

Now that my position on this issue is established, I’d like to challenge myself and the Christian community to cultivate sympathy for people who find themselves in legal conundrums that are difficult to resolve.

As a dad, the drive to feed my family and provide a safe and healthy environment for my kids is an instinctual drive hardwired into my very soul. God reserves a soft spot in his heart for widows, orphans, and foreigners.

Deuteronomy 24:17-18 “You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow’s garment in pledge, but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.

Of late the news has been broadcasting, on the one hand, a lot of grandstanding generalizations about the character of foreigners, and how bigger walls will fix the problem; and on the other (left?) hand, rhetoric advocating legalizing illegals with impunity. Neither extreme is helpful.

visaThis post isn’t my attempt to spawn 2c of unsolicited opining from a remote corner of the world; it is just a reminder that being a stranger in a strange land can be bewildering and Christians are sympathetic, compassionate people.

We can treat a person with dignity and respect, while shepherding him/her toward a conscientious decision to obey the law. And in our discussions and debates on the issue we can maintain a godly compassion in our demeanor and diction.

I’m not saying we should condone sin. We need to hold the right view in the right way.

I’m all for justice. I just don’t have to be mean about it.

(I highly recommend this helpful pastoral perspective on immigration posted by Nate).


Christians Aren’t “Just Forgiven”

We Christians love our bumper stickers. I’ve never spoken with someone whose life was forever changed by seeing a cliché slapped on the back of a vehicle, yet we just can’t seem to quit the darned things. From the passive aggressive Christian (“Are you following Jesus this close?” or “Honk if you love Jesus; text if you want to meet him”) to the cheesy Christian (“C H__ __ C H , What’s missing?”) to the confrontational Christian (You’ve seen the Jesus-fish eating a Darwin-fish) … the possibilities are nearly endless, and usually rather embarrassing.

One of the worst Christian bumper stickers is this: “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” It’s true, of course, that Christians aren’t perfect. But they aren’t just forgiven.

As the Apostle Paul put it, “If we have been united with [Jesus] in a death like his [through baptism], we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom 6:5). In other words, the gospel doesn’t just provide us with a way of escaping the penalty of sin, but a way of escaping the power of sin, too.

Many Christians live their lives nearly unaware of the power God gave them in Christ. They’re looking for so little when it comes to salvation. They want inner peace, or purpose, or a ticket out of hell. And the gospel can provide those things, but it’s so much bigger than that. Union to Christ means that what is true of Jesus is now legally true of us. We have his perfect record. We have his resurrection power. Christianity isn’t about turning over a new leaf at all; it’s about the power of a new life.

This should be encouraging for messed up people like us. The people God uses to change the world aren’t those with a morally clean slate. Peter was a coward. Paul was harsh and abrasive. John was arrogant and vengeful. They were not made of more promising material that you or me. But the new birth turned them into men of incredible power. There is no brokenness or corruption or weakness that the power of Christ’s resurrection cannot remove, heal, and redeem.

And how do we tap into that power? Paul shows us the way: “Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:11).

“Reckon” is the Greek word logizomai, often translated “count,” “consider,” or “credit.” It’s the word Paul uses in Romans 4 to illustrate how God credits us with righteousness, even when we aren’t actually righteous. When God sees our faith in Jesus, he reckons our faith to be righteousness.

When it comes to accessing power over sin, it’s our turn to do the reckoning. We are to reckon ourselves as already dead to sin, and when we do, God infuses the power of new life into us. “But I don’t feel dead to sin,” you say. “Sin and wrong desires definitely feel alive in me.” That’s exactly why reckoning is so important: our feelings will tell us that we’re dead to God and alive to sin; we need to listen to God’s voice telling us the opposite.

Abraham is the perfect example of this. He was infertile and 90 years old when God declared that he would have a son. When God said that, Abraham didn’t think to himself, “You know, that sounds about right. I have been feeling a bit more frisky the last few days.” No, Romans says that he believed God, even though he didn’t feel it. And only after believing did he receive the promised strength.

You and I will only receive strength to be dead to sin when we believe God has already made us dead to sin. We always want to feel first, and then we’ll believe. But God says, “You have to believe first, and then you’ll feel.” In a sense, this is “name-it-claim-it” sanctification. The “name-it-claim-it” crowd has one thing right: we can and should claim Jesus’ power, even when we don’t feel it. What they get wrong is what you claim. Jesus’ promises of power aren’t for more prestige, influence, or wealth; they’re for something much more valuable—growth in Christlikeness.

Eternal life is at our fingertips—not simply a length of time that God allows us to live, but an entirely new quality of life that we can take part in now. The question isn’t simply, “If you died tonight, where would you go?” It’s also, “If you wake up tomorrow, how will your life look different because Christ is in it?”

 

For more, be sure to listen to the entire message here.


Positive Purity

Positive PurityWe live in a sexualized culture—a very, very sexualized culture. You already know that, of course. You can barely walk out your door or turn on a screen without seeing clear evidence of the fact. As Christians we are always in danger of being swept along with the current of the culture around us. For that reason I, like every other Christian, pursue sexual purity in my own heart and life. God calls us to nothing less. Thankfully, the Bible was written by people who also lived in sexualized cultures, and the wisdom they offer transcends the ages. (See, for example, Proverbs 7, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 1 Peter 1:15, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 4:16-18, and so on).

Sexual purity has two components to it: the turning away and the turning toward, the stopping of one kind of behavior and the beginning of another. I have seen in my own life that I am never far from making the focus of sexual purity all of those negative commands: Don’t do this, don’t behave that way, don’t carry on that habit. And I think we sometimes send the message that if you simply stop all of those evil behaviors you will be sexually pure. But sexual purity is also a positive command. In fact, I think we can say that it is foremost a positive command. Sexual purity isn’t just avoiding what is evil; it’s pursuing and enjoying what is good.

Sexual purity is not ultimately turning away from sin, but delighting in God’s gifts. The final purpose is not to stop pursuing the bad stuff, but to pursue and enjoy the good. Sexual purity is abstaining from immorality, forsaking the dirty novels, overcoming pornography, making that covenant with your eyes. These are all good and necessary. But sexual purity is so much more than that. It’s so much better than that. It’s so much more positive than that.

Sexual purity is pursuing your wife’s heart, mind, and body. Sexual purity is freely and joyfully making love to your husband. Sexual purity is relishing the memory of the last time and enjoying the anticipation of the next time. Sexual purity is teasing him about what’s to come. Sexual purity is allowing your eyes to linger and to feast upon her.

Husband, you aren’t sexually pure when you stop looking at porn, but when you love making love to your wife—when you treat her body with holiness and honor. Wife, you aren’t sexually pure when you forsake sexual temptation or sexual apathy, but when you participate in and enjoy sexual fulfillment with your husband.

Do you see it? Sexual purity is not ultimately about what to avoid, but what to pursue and what to enjoy. It’s about putting those old and ugly behaviors to death in order to free yourself to pursue the better ones. God wants to free you from sin so you can enjoy his gifts. God’s purity is a positive purity.

(A note for those who are single: God’s purity is a positive purity even for you who cannot enjoy the sexual relationship at this time. The commands to abstain from sexual immorality free you to the joy of obedience and to the blessings of obedience—the freedom experienced by Jesus who led a perfect and perfectly whole life without sex. I will write more about this on another occasion.)


Judgment According to Works (Mark Jones)

It is well nigh impossible to deny that Christians will be judged according to works when Christ returns (2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 16:27; Jn. 5:28-29; Gal. 6:7-9; Rev. 20:13; 22:12). The question arises, then, how do we maintain the teaching of the passages above with the equally clear teaching that justification is received by faith alone? We do not, as I have written previously, hold to the Roman Catholic version of “two justifications.” We hold to one justification by faith; but we must also grapple with the nature of true, saving faith, and the not too infrequent conditional language of the New Testament (see WCF 13.1, citing Heb. 12:14; 2 Cor. 7:1).
In relation to faith, Owen says: “For there is a faith whereby we are justified, which he who has shall be assuredly saved, which purifies the heart and works by love. And there is a faith or believing, which does nothing of all this; which [he] who has, and has no more, is not justified, nor can be saved” (see WCF 11.2). This concept forms the backbone of the judgment according to works.
Justification has both an “authoritative” aspect and a “declarative” (or “demonstrative”) aspect. Thomas Goodwin points out that “the one [i.e., authoritative] is the justification of men’s persons coram Deo, before God, as they appear before him nakedly, and have to do with him alone for the right to salvation; and so they are justified by faith without works” (Rom. 4:2-5) (see Works, 7:181ff.).
But there is a demonstrative aspect to our justification. God will, at the Day of Judgment, judge men and “put a difference between man and man, and that upon this account, that the one were true believers when he justified them; the other were unsound, even in their very acts of faith” (Goodwin) (Acts 8:13). God will therefore make evident, for all to see, the difference between those whom he has truly justified and those who have been left under wrath, even though they may have “professed” faith. Matthew 25:31-46 is instructive on this point.
Returning to the “right” versus “possession” distinction, Goodwin, who has affirmed that the right to salvation as received by faith alone, also posits: God will not “put the possession of salvation upon that private act of his own, without having anything else to show for it.” This language is remarkably similar to Petrus van Mastricht: “God does not want to grant the possession of eternal life, unless there are, next to faith, also good works which precede this possession, Heb. 12:14; Matt. 7:21; 25:34-36; Rom. 2:7, 10.” This is not a “Puritan” distinctive, as some seem to think. Dozens of Continental theologians spoke this way.
The key in all of this is to understand that Goodwin is making an argument for God’s own justification of himself at the Day of Judgment. God justifies apart from works, but he also will “go demonstratively to work” and clearly distinguish between a true believer versus a spurious believer. God will “justify his own acts of justification.” Or, to put the matter another way, God will justify the faith of the believer who has been justified – the judgment will prove we had a lively faith that worked through love.
The contrast between Paul and James is then brought into clearer view: “In a word, Abraham’s person, considered singly and alone, yes, as ungodly, is the object of Paul’s justification without works, Rom. 4:3-5. But Abraham, as professing himself to have such a true justifying faith, and to have been justified thereupon, and claiming right to salvation by it, Abraham, as such, is to be justified by works” (Goodwin).
Goodwin speaks about what sense “a man may be said to be judged by his works at the latter day.” All those judged will either be justified or condemned. “So there is no more danger to say, a man at the latter day shall be justified by his works, as evidences of his state and faith, than to say he shall be judged according thereto.” He essentially argues that we will be justified by works, but only demonstratively as God justifies his own act of justification in each believer. After all, Christ speaks of a (demonstrative) justification according to works in Matthew 12:36-37, “…for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Goodwin adds: “neither is it anywhere said, that God will judge men according to their faith only.” (As Calvin says, justification “by faith alone” is ambiguous; the sense of “alone” has to be understood adverbially, not adjectively). “God will say, I am to judge thee so as every one shall be able to judge my sentence righteous together with me: 1 Cor. 4:5, the whole world may know that he justified one that had true faith indeed.” The final judgment is as much about the vindication of the triune God as it is about true believers having their lives vindicated.
The result of this, for Goodwin, is that “Paul’s judging according to works, and James his justification by works, are all one, and are alike consistent with Paul’s justification by faith only. For in the same epistle where he argues so strongly for justification by faith without works, as Rom. 3-4, he in chapter 2, also declares, that ‘he will judge every man according to his works.'”
Most of the Early Modern Reformed did not view Romans 2:7-11 as hypothetical, contrary to what some in the Reformed camp today have suggested. Rick Phillips has addressed this question in the past, but I remain concerned about some historical and exegetical issues made therin; his post also strikes me as far too defensive. Better, in my view, is the approach taken by Richard Gaffin in By Faith, Not By Sight.
Should this cause people to despair regarding the future judgment? Only if one is a bona fide hypocrite. Christ will rightfully condemn the hypocrites in the church (Matt. 25:41-46). They are marked out as those who did not do good works. They are those who neglect the weightier matters of the law (Matt. 23:23).
Here is the good news for those who have a true, lively faith: the resurrection will precede the judgment (Larger Catechism, 88; 2 Cor. 5:10). Based on 1 John 3:2, we shall see Christ and be immediately transformed by the sight (beatific vision) of him. We shall appear, then, in a manner of speaking, as already justified at the judgment. Remember, when we first believed, we received the “right to life.” This is the glory of justification (Rom. 5:1; 8:1). Nothing can separate us from God’s love, especially at the judgment.
We do not need to fear the final judgment if we are children of God. But, as children of God, glorified in the presence of Christ, we “must [nevertheless] all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10). And, yes, there will be those in the church who will not do so well at the final judgment because their faith was dead (i.e., did not produce fruit, Jn. 15:2-5, 10, 16).
Sub-trinitarianism? 
One final thought. It occurs to me that some speak of the final judgment in a sub-trinitarian way. It is all about declarative justification for some. Now, of course, declarative justification gives us the right to life. Only the imputed righteousness of Christ can withstand the severity of God’s judgment. But, demonstrative justification, as I have highlighted above, is the Father’s approval of the Spirit’s work – that is, the Spirit of Christ – in his people because of our union with the Savior.
The Father who gave two gifts to us, the Son and the Spirit, will look upon us as justified in Christ and sanctified in Christ by the Spirit; and he will be well pleased with his work. He will accept us for Christ’s sake and reward and vindicate us because of Christ’s Spirit, who has enabled us to do good works, which were prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10).
So, it seems to me, we need to do a better job – at least, from what I’ve been able to read – of describing the final judgment in explicitly trinitarian terms. To that end, I believe the account above aims to do just that.
If there is a better way to bridge together the freeness of justification by faith, the conditional language of Scripture (Rom. 8:13), and the fact that Christians will be judged according to what they have done in the body (2 Cor. 5:10), I’d be very interested in such an account. But I trust and hope the basic map laid out above, with help from a well-respected Westminster divine, is faithful to the overall teaching of the Scriptures.
I do wonder, given the zeal of some today, whether Goodwin might not find himself in some trouble in certain Presbyteries, and no amount of squirming on his part (“hey, I wrote the Confession”) will absolve him from his errors.

Reject the World’s Whitewashed Words for Evil

Reject the World’s Whitewashed Words for EvilRecently, one U.S. Representative, speaking off the record about the Planned Parenthood controversy, recalled Ronald Reagan’s 1983 “Evil Empire Speech,” where he described the Soviet Union as “the focus of evil in the modern world.” One biographer writes that this speech was “the single most important speech of the Reagan presidency” (Ronald Reagan, 135).

This U.S. Representative argued for calling acts of evil what they are: evil. The abortions taking place at Planned Parenthood are not merely routine medical procedures, but are in fact the systematic killing of children. Every human being on the face of the earth knows this is murder.

It may be legal murder, but that doesn’t make it any less the killing of children.

Acceptable Terminology Doesn’t Change Reality

A recent Rolling Stone article titled “Planned Parenthood Is Not Harvesting ‘Baby Parts’” argues that research institutions and public universities who purchase “baby parts” wouldn’t use that particular term. Instead, medical professionals would use technical terms such as “fetal tissue and products of conception.” While medical terms helpfully describe medical procedures more modestly, let’s not deceive ourselves.

A colonoscopy is a much better term than a crude description of the procedure, but the formal medical term doesn’t change the reality of what is taking place: Your doctor is taking an intimate and invasive look into your large intestine. The use of the medical term doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of “products of conception” doesn’t make it any less the systematic killing of unborn children and the subsequent packaging of the bodies in order to turn a profit.

C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters writes,

The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.

These evils are indeed taking place in well-lit offices and facilities of Planned Parenthood by the well-manicured hands of abortionists.

The Hundred and One Children

Cruella de Vil, the villain in the 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, popularized by Disney, kidnaps Dalmatian puppies for their fur. Think with me for a moment, and ask what would happen if this scenario took place today.

Some upscale clothing company decides to debut a new line of coats made from the fur of golden retriever puppies. But not just any golden retriever puppies. These are unwanted golden retrievers. The breeder decided to breed more puppies than he could care for or sell, so instead of putting these puppies up for adoption, he decides to have them euthanized. And now, since the puppies are dead anyways, this breeder proceeds to sell the fur in order to make luxurious coats for red carpet fashion.

Imagine the public outrage. What would we call this? Evil. Heartless. Wicked. Cruel. Unthinkable. PETA would lose their minds. Crowds would call for the government to strip the breeder of his license or permit, and social media would be filled with worse. Fair-minded citizens would no longer patronize this clothing maker. The whole operation and anyone associated with it would come crashing down in flames.

Abortion Is Evil

Christians must tell it like it is. Abortion is murder. Left alone in our sin, we’re all capable of it, and so we pray for God to change the hearts and minds of our nation, whether through videos, or peaceful, prayerful protests, or whatever other means he chooses to use. Isaiah says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

The deeds of darkness have been exposed, they are ugly, and they must end.


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A La Carte (October 12)

Today’s Kindle deals are headlined by 3 J.I. Packer titles: Taking God Seriously, Growing in Christ, and Keeping the Ten Commandments ($2.99 each). Continuing the theme, Sam Storms’ new book Packer on the Christian Life is $5.99. Also consider: Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur ($3.99); What the Bible Means to Me by Catherine MacKenzie ($1.99); The Fruitful Wife by Hayley DiMarco ($2.99).

More than the Five Points

David Murray provides a couple of interesting facts about Calvinism, including this: “The five points of Calvinism did not originate with John Calvin, and do not provide a comprehensive summarize of his teaching.”

The Inner Workings of Becoming One Flesh

Melissa has a gift for describing the Christian life as it is. “Marriage is an on-going exercise in making fools of ourselves for love’s sake.” Amen to that!

Why Gospel for Asia Got Kicked Out of ECFA

I mentioned last week that Gospel for Asia was removed from the financial accountability organization ECFA. This article explains why it happened and how GFA is responding.

Historic Flooding in South Carolina

This photo gallery shows the devastation in parts of South Carolina.

Sometimes Africa Scares Me

Let articles like this one remind you to pray for those serving the Lord overseas. “Will this election mirror other African countries? Will there be rioting and violence? Just a few years ago, 1000 people were killed in election violence in Kenya, our neighbor to the north.”

Today. Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. In 1957 Parliament declared the second Monday of October to be “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Be sure to do that!

Building Church Community the Right Way

WORLD magazine has an extended excerpt from The Compelling Community, an excellent book from Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop. This excerpt gets right to the heart of the book. (For further information, here is my review: The Compelling Community.)

Hoo Ba Ba Kanda

Take a bit of autotune and some old Robert Tilton clips and you’ll be singing Hoo Ba Ba Kanda all day long.



Christian Headlines Daily – Monday, October 12, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Pastor Attacked in Bangladesh by Muslims Who Claimed to be Interested in His Faith

University Removes Chapel Pews to Accommodate Muslim Students

Officials Defend Prayer in Public Schools in Oklahoma and Arkansas

Phil Vischer: What Happened to Veggie Tales and What He’s Working on Now

Christian Actor David Oyelowo: Christian Films Shouldn’t Take an “on the nose” Approach

Public School Choirs Banned from Singing in Area Christmas Show after Atheist Group Takes Action

Islamic State Threatens to Kill Christians in Syria in Video Showing Executions

Creflo Dollar Removes Facebook Post Endorsing Prosperity Gospel

Netanyahu Prohibits Israeli Parliament from Visiting Temple Mount

Homeschool Family Sues New Jersey for $60 Million after Social Worker Enters House without Warrant

Opinion

Gaining Ground for Life: The Successes of the Pro-life Movement

Does Eating Bacon Ensure Long Life?

Be Cautious of Science Driven by Media Hype

Trusting God for Today in an Uncertain Time

Historic Criminal Justice Reform: Back the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act


10/12/15 Take My Yoke upon You

By Chuck Lawless on Oct 12, 2015 01:00 am

READING: Matthew 11

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I am thinking today about how many people around the world are trying to “work their way” to God. Some are striving to do enough good works to outweigh their bad, hoping their god will allow them entrance to heaven on that basis. Others are still offering goods to their gods. Still others are giving animal sacrifices to their gods. I even think of some folks who are following the religion of legalism, believing that as long as they remain within narrowly defined parameters, they will be okay with God.

In all of these cases, nothing fully resolves our sin issue. All the good works and sacrifices combined cannot atone for our sins before God who is holy. Instead, they leave us in bondage we cannot break. The burden of trying to please God on our own leads only to deeper and deeper bondage — and we’re crushed under the weight of our own failed efforts.

Meanwhile, Jesus makes it so graciously simple in comparison:

Matt. 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

When we’re weary and burdened under our own efforts, Jesus calls us to rest in Him. Following Him is not without requirements — that is, He still expects us to be yoked to Him — but being yoked to the Master brings salvation and peace. We find spiritual rest when we fully depend on God, go with Him where He tells us to go, and continually learn from Him.

ACTION STEPS:  Evaluate these questions in your life:

  • Am I trying to work my way to God?
  • If so, do I realize I’m only working my way into bondage?
  • Am I truly yoked to Christ, going in whatever direction He leads?

PRAYER: “Help me, Lord, to find my rest in You even while I follow You fully. Forgive me if my life reflects a tendency to follow You in my own efforts.”


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


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


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October 12, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Oct. 12, 2015

BLOOMBERG

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill Saturday making it against the law for concealed carry permit holders to bring handguns onto school campuses. The new law bolsters existing restrictions in the state that prohibit the possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school or college campus without written permission from administrators

Dell Inc. agreed to buy EMC Corp. for about $67 billion in the largest technology acquisition ever, creating a corporate-computing giant that will use a wider product lineup to woo customers as demand slows and competition stiffens.

Investors added $936 million to U.S. exchange-traded funds that buy emerging-market stocks and bonds, erasing two weeks of losses. Deposits into emerging-market ETFs that invest across developing nations as well as those that target specific countries totaled $936 million in the week ended Oct. 9, compared with withdrawals of $828 million over the two previous periods

Google led an investment of more than $100 million in Symphony Communication Services in a fundraising round that saw backers of the messaging startup expand to include three more investment banks and venture capital firm Lakestar.

Angus Deaton of Princeton University was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics for his analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Chinese regulators are planning to increase their oversight of algorithmic traders, extending a campaign to stabilize the equity market that some analysts say has resulted in shrinking volumes and an exodus by foreign investors.

Arcam Chief Executive Officer says the Swedish maker of 3-D printers may soon have trouble keeping up with orders as airplane and engine makers start using the technology to make parts.

A gallon of gas costs about $2.25, on average, meaning Americans are saving more than $1 per gallon compared with this time last year. Even with that discount, a retailer on the East Coast has figured out the formula for increasing gas sales and making customers more loyal: Offer even more discounts through an app.

Bad news on the global economy has been good for precious metals. Money managers increased their net-long position in gold, silver, platinum and palladium for a third straight week, helping to fuel rallies for the metals amid signs of a flagging U.S. labor market, a drop in German factory orders and a forecast by the International Monetary Fund for slower global expansion.

AP Top Stories

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been detained in Iran for more than a year on charges including espionage, has been convicted, a spokesman said.

Moscow’s military intervention in Syria will have “dangerous consequences”, escalating the war there and inspiring militants from around the world to join in, senior Saudi Arabian officials told Russia’s leaders on Sunday, a Saudi source said.

Lebanese group Hezbollah mourned one of its top commanders who was killed fighting alongside Syrian army forces in Idlib province, in a funeral procession broadcast live.

Syrian army and allied forces supported by Russian warplanes made further advances as they pressed an offensive against insurgents on Monday, in the fiercest clashes for nearly a week.

A Kurdish militia that has been fighting Islamic State in Syria with help from U.S.-led air strikes has joined forces with Arab groups in an alliance announced on Monday that may be a prelude to an attack on the jihadists’ base of operations in Raqqa.

Doctors are worried about the recent approval of OxyContin for use in children as young as age 11. The drug, which is a powerful painkiller, has been linked to the rise in heroin addiction and drug overdose deaths. The FDA approved its use in children in August.

Glencore is preparing to unveil asset sales in Australia and Chile, prompting a halt in trading of its Hong Kong listed shares on Monday morning.

BBC

The mayor of a town in western Guatemala has been lynched by a group of locals who accused him of ordering an attack on his political rival. Mayor Basilio Juracan died after being beaten and set alight in Concepcion, Solola province, on Sunday. The residents believed he was behind an earlier attack in which two women were killed and five other people injured.

A Somali woman who became pregnant after allegedly being raped on Nauru has arrived in Australia. The woman, 23, had requested weeks ago to be transferred from Nauru, to Australia so she could have an abortion.

Staying in the EU can be the “patriotic course for Britain”, former M&S boss Lord Rose said as he launched the campaign for the UK to remain a member.

President Vladimir Putin has defended Russia’s military operations in Syria, saying the aim is to “stabilize the legitimate authority” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Israelis have been stabbed in Jerusalem – the latest in a string of such attacks.

WND

New START nuclear warhead and delivery system numbers made public Oct. 1 reveal that since the 2010 arms accord went into force, Moscow increased the number of deployed nuclear warheads by a total of 111 weapons for a total of 1,648 deployed warheads. That number is 98 warheads above the treaty limit of 1,150 warheads that must be reached by the 2018 deadline of the treaty.

U.S. military cargo planes gave 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups overnight in northern Syria, using an air drop of 112 pallets as the first step in the Obama Administration’s urgent effort to find new ways to support those groups.

The pronouns “he” and “she” are being joined on American college campuses by “e/ey,” “em,” “eir/eirs,” “eirself/emse” “hu,” “hum,” “hus,” “humself,” “per,” “per,” “per/pers,” “perself, “themse,” “ze,” “hir,” “hir/hirs,” “hirself,” “ze,” “zir,” “zir/zirs” and “zirself.” “Such social accommodations finally have reached the level of “social madness.”


 

Top News – 10/12/2015

Pork Used to Bar Palestinian Terrorist from Heavenly Reward
While pig flesh is considered impure by both Jews and Muslims, Jews are only prohibited to eat the flesh of the animal. However, according to some opinions in Muslim tradition, being in contact with or being buried with part of a pig’s flesh or blood could prevent a Muslim from receiving Allah’s blessing in the afterlife.

Obama Administration Ends Effort to Train Syrians to Combat ISIS
The Obama administration on Friday abandoned its efforts to build up a new rebel force inside Syria to combat the Islamic State, acknowledging the failure of its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters and announcing that it will instead use the money to provide ammunition and some weapons for groups already engaged in the battle.

US Losing Its Positions of World Power – Former US Military Official
Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to the US Secretary of State, argued that the US is losing its importance as a world power. According to him, the use of mercenaries instead of regular soldiers has always been typical for the decline of an empire, DWN reported.

India, US, Japan kick off naval drills likely to annoy China
India, Japan and the United States will hold joint naval exercises each year, Indian government sources said on Monday, as the three countries kicked off the first such drills in the Bay of Bengal in eight years, a move likely to concern China.

Powerful, conservative Republican caucus open to Ryan as next speaker
The leader of the House Republicans’ most powerful conservative caucus said Sunday that his group would consider Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan as the chamber’s next speaker. “Paul Ryan is a good man,” Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told “Fox News Sunday.” “If he gets in the race, certainly our group would look favorably on him.”

Turkey would talk with Russia and Iran on political solution in Syria
Turkey would hold talks with Russia and Iran to work towards a political solution in Syria but would not take a foreign policy stance which “legitimises the Syrian regime”, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

Iraq Says Air Strike May Have Killed ISIS Chief Al-Baghdadi
Iraq says its troops may have eliminated Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this weekend in an air raid near the Syrian border, as Turkish leaders blame the terror group for a suicide bombing in the capital city of Ankara.

Ex-Pastor to Obama Says ‘Jesus Was a Palestinian’ at Farrakhan Rally
Jeremiah Wright, who was President Barack Obama’s pastor before it was too politically uncomfortable for him, bellowed that “Jesus was a Palestinian” at a Saturday rally featuring Islamic leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Syrian army, Russian jets drive back rebels in fiercest clashes for days: monitor
Syrian army and allied forces supported by Russian warplanes made further advances as they pressed an offensive against insurgents on Monday, in the fiercest clashes for nearly a week, a monitor said.

5.4 earthquake hits 150km from New Zealand’s capital
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake has shaken the area near Castlepoint, North Island, New Zealand, US Geological Survey has reported. The epicenter is about 155 kilometers from the country’s capital Wellington. Conflicting reports by local sources put the magnitude at 5.8.

UK police says witchcraft, exorcism cases on rise
Britain’s Metropolitan Police have reported an increase in the number of child abuse cases that involve allegations of witchcraft and exorcism. Police said Sunday a specialist unit received 46 such cases in 2014, more than twice as many as the year before.

Syria conflict: Putin defends Russia’s air strikes
President Vladimir Putin has defended Russia’s military operations in Syria, saying the aim is to “stabilise the legitimate authority” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia wants to “create conditions for a political compromise” in Syria… On Monday the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, called Russia’s role “a game-changer”. She said: “It has some very worrying elements.”

Iran test-fires new generation long-range ballistic missiles, state media report
Iran has successfully test-fired a new precision-guided, long-range missile, state-run media reported on Sunday. The Emad (Pillar) surface-to-surface missile, designed and built by Iranian experts, is the country’s first long-range missile that can be precision-guided until it reaches its target, said Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, Iran’s defense minister.

Iranian-American journalist convicted, Iran news agency says
A court in Iran has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Iran’s ISNA news agency said on Sunday, but the U.S. newspaper said Tehran was working a political angle by not disclosing details.

Syrian troops gain as Putin defends strikes
Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes advanced against insurgents in the center of the country as President Vladimir Putin defended Moscow’s intervention in the conflict, saying it would aid efforts to reach a political settlement.

El Nino curbs Australian cyclone threat to iron ore, coal miners
Australian exports of commodities such as iron ore and coal face a less-than-average chance of being disrupted by cyclones in the upcoming cyclone season due to the El Nino weather pattern. That would mark a rare beneficial effect from El Nino, which often brings drought to some regions while prompting flooding in others.

Obama Tells ’60 Minutes’ He Could Win a Third Term, Says Trump Won’t Win
It is truly nothing for our current president to stunt. When President Barack Obama was asked on ’60 Minutes’ if he thought he could win a third term if he were allowed to run again, he had a simple reply: “Yes.”


Top Headlines – 10/12/2015

Rocket launch attempt into Israel fails, falls in Gaza territory

Hamas warns Israel against ‘foolishness’ after deadly strike

Palestinians: Hundreds injured in West Bank and Gaza demonstrations

Shin Bet to cabinet: Abbas not behind terror but Fatah officials involved in incitement

Shin Bet: Abbas working to deescalate situation in West Bank

Abbas: Israel responsible for current wave of violence

Anti-Arab attacks on the rise amid recent terror wave

Liberman: Problem among Arab-Israelis is not just a ‘few bad weeds’

Israelis call up more police officers amid continued violence

Sharp increase in firearms applications across Israel as terror wave continues

India pres. ahead of Israel trip: ‘Palestine belongs to Arabs like England belongs to English’

Is Islamic Movement orchestrating terror attacks?

Why don’t our leaders care? ISIS threatens to execute 250 Assyrian Christians

ISIS touts baby boom as key to caliphate’s future

Hospital: ISIS leaders killed in Iraq airstrike, Baghdadi not among them

Supporters say ISIS will survive even if Baghdadi killed

Turkey says two male suicide bombers behind Ankara blasts

Bomb attack deepens divisions as Turkey faces bitter election

Obama defends Syria strategy, criticizes Putin’s leadership role

American missiles supplied to rebels give conflict in Syria the semblance of a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia

Putin Says Russia’s Campaign in Syria More Effective Than U.S.

Syrian army advances with help of Russian strikes; Putin reaches out to Saudis

Group preparing terrorist attack arrested in Moscow

Meanwhile, Putin Is Also Arming Iran

Iran test-fires new generation long-range ballistic missiles, state media report

Iran’s parliament reportedly approves outline of bill on nuclear deal

Reeling from protests and quakes, Nepal chooses new prime minister

New tool can identify soldiers most likely to commit violent crimes, study shows

Gold near 7-week high as traders see delay in US rate hike

Lower gas prices means no Social Security increase next year

About that doomsday asteroid that was supposed to hit Earth today… it missed by 15 million miles

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Kuril Islands

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 26,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Tropical Storm Nora to Add to Record-Breaking Central Pacific Tropical Activity

In rare event, remnants of Pacific hurricane hit Alaska

Fines Over Water Use Rankle Californians

UK police says witchcraft, exorcism cases on rise

A mob recently killed a 50-year-old Muslim man. His alleged crime? Eating beef in a Hindu culture that worships cows.

California to ban ‘Redskins’ for school sports, keep Confederate building names

Hundreds rally against Confederate sign on Mississippi flag

Pre-crime is here. Get ready for real-life “Minority Report.”

Creflo Dollar: One Tweet Says It All!

Heretical Hillsong Conference 2015 speaker Rick Warren exposed by Pulpit & Pen

The occult practice of automatic writing and A.A.’s twelve steps

eBible Fellowship Leader Surprised World Didn’t End Oct. 7th – Vows to Keep Guessing

Former ROC pastor Geronimo Aguilar faces sentencing in Texas Today

President Obama’s ex-pastor Jeremiah Wright: ‘Jesus was a Palestinian’

Sharia USA: Obama BANS PORK products from federal prisons to accommodate Muslims

California opens the door to more voter fraud with new motor voter law


Frontrunning: October 12

  • Central Bankers Urge Fed to Get On With Interest-Rate Increase (Read More)
  • Bond Market Casualties Leading Biggest S&P 500 Revival Since ’11 (Read More)… on hopes of more easing
  • U.S. Patrols to Test China’s Pledge on South China Sea Islands (Read More)
  • Merkel Under Fire: German Conservatives Deeply Split over Refugees (Read More)
  • Assault Weapons Ban Before U.S. Supreme Court (Read More)
  • Hedge Funds Are Playing ‘Dangerous Game’ With Copper (Read More)
  • What Scandal? Fantasy Sports Sites Just Had Their Biggest Weekend Ever (Read More)
  • Hillary Clinton Prepares for Crucial Campaign Stretch (Read More)
  • Why the Carnage in Ankara Has Left Turkey Even More Divided (Read More)
  • Islamic State is prime suspect in Turkey bombing: PM Davutoglu (Read More)
  • Fury towards Erdogan intensifies after Ankara attack (Read More)
  • Cyberwar Ignites a New Arms Race (Read More)
  • Define irony: China’s quality watchdog ‘highly concerned’ by VW diesel emissions scandal (Read More)
  • VW Loans for Clean Engine Development Under Scrutiny, EIB Says (Read More)
  • SEC Trims Use of In-House Judges (Read More)
  • Saudi Arabia Interprets Anti-ISIL Campaign in Syria as Russia-Iran Alliance  (Read More)
  • Enforcing a global climate deal: speak loudly, carry no stick (Read More)
  • Princeton’s Angus Deaton Wins Nobel Prize for Economics (Read More)

The Briefing

1) California bill undermining liberty of crisis pregnancy centers, requiring abortion promotion signed

Brown signs bill requiring pregnancy centers to provide abortion information, Associated Press

2) Journalist attempts to place responsibility of sex ed on schools, not parents, for sake of moral agenda

Pregnancy rate, STD stats show sex ed in U.S. not working, USA Today (Greg Toppo)

3) Secretary of Education resignation reminder of political nature of national education agenda

Arne Duncan, Education Secretary, to Step Down in December, New York Times (Gardiner Harris and Motoko Rich)

Notable & Quotable: Hamilton Jordan, Wall Street Journal

4) Embarrassment over false prediction of end of the world detracts from seriousness of cause of Christ

Leader of Christian group adjusts incorrect doomsday prediction: ‘Soon’, The Guardian (Adam Gabbatt)
In other news…


Daily Digest

October 12, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station [of President] filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 68

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Biden Gets Key Endorsement. Again.

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Barack Obama took to CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday night to hang Hillary Clinton out to dry. “She made a mistake,” Obama said, speaking about Clinton’s private email server. “She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it’s been ginned up is in part because of politics. I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly.” Having dismissed the issue as “politics,” he also called the server a “legitimate” issue — and then denied any security implications. “Well, I — there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information.” He then smirked and added, “I’m gonna leave it to … Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.” Clearly, Obama’s not happy with her decision and is content now to leave his old rival to deal with political accountability and an FBI investigation.

Meanwhile, he had nothing but glowing things to say about his vice president. “I think Joe [Biden] will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history, and one of the more consequential,” he said. “He has done great work.” Just a couple of months ago, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest gushed, “The president has indicated that his view that the decision that he made … to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense into the president’s view into the vice president’s aptitude for the top job.” It seems pretty clear that Obama’s old rivalry with the Clintons is still fresh, and that he’d love nothing more than for his No. 2 to win the Democrat nomination.

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The Left Is Simplifying the Message of Columbus Day

Today is the only day of the year when the Left loathes remembering the arrival of a group of undocumented immigrants looking for economic opportunity in America. The history of Christopher Columbus and the European explorers is certainly mixed — for example, with Hernán Cortés and his conquistadors on one side, and cannibalistic sacrifice by the natives on the other — but the Left would rather, er, whitewash the uncomfortable and nuanced discussions for a simplistic view of history. Nine cities across the country issued declarations celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day this second Monday in October instead of the federal holiday remembering ol’ Columbus. In addition to the furor to wipe out the legacy of the Confederate States of America and other “politically incorrect” chapters of our nation’s history, the Left wants to control how we think about Native Americans. As CBS News reports, “Columbus Day supporters say the holiday celebrates centuries of cultural exchange between America and Europe, commemorates an iconic explorer and honors Italian-Americans, a group that has endured its own share of discrimination.” This bickering comes as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Sunday banning the state’s schools from using the name “Redskins” for any team names and mascots. After all, how can the arc of history bend toward justice unless it’s tweaked?

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Appeals Court Checks EPA’s Clean Water Act Interpretation

In yet another check on the Obama administration’s power, the Appeals Court for the Sixth District ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency needs to stop implementing its encroachment of small waterways nationwide. In August, a federal judge stayed the EPA’s action after a conglomerate of 13 states filed suit. The states took issue with an expanded interpretation of the Clean Water Act that would, in the words of the judge in August, make states “lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters.” The agency responded by saying the stay only applied to the states named in the suit, not the rest of the nation, and continued its implementation. However, the appeals court put that bureaucratic overreach to rest Friday by ruling the stay applied to the whole of the United States. “A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law,” the court wrote. How about a little humility, EPA? This legal smackdown comes as the EPA triggered yet another wastewater spill from a mine in Colorado. The agency assumed that any questions of its actions would not be legitimate. Now there’s mud on its face from more than one direction.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

‘Settled Science’ Strikes Again

By Lewis Morris

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The federal government is finally walking back its dietary guidelines on fat consumption. This year, federal bureaucrats are engaging in a periodic rewrite of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and it appears this time they may finally be listening to what the research is telling them — because the science isn’t settled.

Since 1980, the assumption held by the federal government was that a reduction in total fat content would reduce the risk of heart disease, which has long been the number one killer of Americans. As years passed, however, independent scientists discovered that it wasn’t necessarily a reduction in total fat that was at issue, but better management of the sources of fat in one’s diet.

For decades, federal bureaucrats led people to believe they could reduce the risk of heart disease if they lowered their fat intake. to only 20-35% of their diet, regardless of the source. As a result, people ate more carbohydrates and sugars to fill up, which led to higher rates of obesity. People also reduced their consumption of beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like fish and nuts. Consequently, heart disease continued to rise.

The federal government also told Americans that whole milk was bad, and people began drinking more skim and low-fat milk. Unfortunately, in their zeal to eat less fat, people neglected the beneficial nutrients whole milk had to offer. Children in particular missed out because the nutrients found in whole milk have been proven to be highly beneficial to the body during growth phases.

“If we are going to make recommendations to the public about what to eat, we should be pretty darn sure they’re right and won’t cause harm,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at Tufts University. “There’s no evidence that the reduction of saturated fats should be a priority.”

Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutrition at Penn State and the chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee, added, “A lot of people still look at how much fat [is in foods], and we’re now saying don’t focus on that: Look at the quality of fat you’re consuming.”

It turns out the milk fat government said was bad for us actually lowered incidents of heart disease. Studies have been mounting for years disproving the long-standing guidelines that the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services refused to revisit. Perhaps they believed the science was settled. It’s just one more example of a terrible trend by the government to entrench itself in a debate in which it really should have no voice.

Just why we are listening to the federal government tells us regarding our diets is anybody’s guess. Being elected to public office or being appointed to a government board does not automatically make one an expert in any field, particularly medicine.

Now, consider the “settled science” on climate change and other similar arguments over the production and consumption of energy. Democrats claim they want to free science in the name of scholarly debate, but they reject the idea that the driving force of science is discovery. It’s about analyzing data and looking at the evidence as it is currently understood, not arbitrarily announcing a conclusion, then looking for favorable data that fits the narrative while ignoring contrary evidence — all in support of massive government economic interference.

There’s a lot of money riding on the government’s actions. There is a huge cost in health care to be paid for the higher incidences of heart disease that resulted from wrong-headed government action. But the money doesn’t seem to matter. And no one is learning the lesson.

Michelle Obama’s crusade for healthier school lunches is based on the same questionable data that have backed the federal dietary guidelines for decades. The USDA estimates that school districts will have to pay $1.22 billion in new food and administrative costs in Fiscal Year 2015. Additional costs for FY 2014 were $362 million. Rather than let local school nutrition experts determine what works, public schools across the country are forced to listen to the First Lady, whose own experience in the matter extends to planting a vegetable garden on the White House grounds.

But hey, it’s “settled science.”

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Marvin J. Folkertsma: “[I]n 2011 … a group of Green Berets, which included Captain Danny Quinn and Sergeant First Class Charles Martland, were faced with reprehensible acts that pitted them against some local officials in a classic episode involving a clash of civilizations. … Martland proclaimed that they morally could not tolerate Afghan soldiers committing atrocities against their own people in the presence of U.S. forces, and the two men made their point clear by body-slamming the soldier [raping a young boy] and kicking him off the post. … [A]lthough Quinn has since left the military, Martland is currently fighting to keep his position before he is discharged, effective November 1. Without question, these American soldiers represent the best that our country has to offer, sterling exemplars of moral rectitude and courage. However, they are currently facing an enemy that is arguably more insidious than anything they have faced so far on the battlefield. What enemy is that? It is the reigning multiculturalist ideology, a witch’s brew of moral relativism that over the past two generations has morally castrated Western civilization by expunging efforts to make principled judgments defending our values. At best, multiculturalists believe in nothing in particular. And as the West’s enemies know, something always beats nothing, and it doesn’t matter how reprehensible that something is. In short, multiculturalism represents the suicide of Western civilization.”

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SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”

Braying Jenny: “[T]he 15 Republican candidates that are left … [are] saying, ‘Yeah, let’s kick women out. Let’s kick immigrants out of this country. Let’s take away health care from women.’” —Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Identity crisis: “No, [I’m not a capitalist]. I’m a Democratic Socialist. … Look, when one of your Republican colleagues gets on the show, do you say, ‘Are you a capitalist?’ Have you ever referred to them as capitalists?” —an agitated Bernie Sanders on “Meet the Press”

The BIG lie: “It is my understanding that they made a decision, a business decision that regulations didn’t shut them down. They didn’t want to live within the regulations. So they decided to go elsewhere. That was a private sector decision on their part to do that.” —Nancy Pelosi on San Francisco’s only gun shop closing

Village Idiots: “Jesus was a Palestinian.” —former Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright

Non Compos Mentis: “If you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in, in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we’ve got a different definition of leadership. My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change, an international accord that potentially we’ll get in Paris. My definition of leadership is mobilizing the entire world to make sure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.” —Barack Obama, who contends Vladimir Putin’s recent provocations aren’t “an indication of strength”

And last… “Note to self: Remind Obama not to talk about ‘limiting gun ownership’ & ‘releasing thousands of dangerous prison inmates’ on the same day.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.


Are The United States And Russia Actually Fighting Each Other In A Proxy War?

It’s a covert effort and it’s technically deniable, but that’s what proxy wars are.”

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6 (KJV)

A very interesting dynamic is beginning to take shape as the current “fog of war” begins to lift a little. Over in Syria, for the past two weeks, Russia has been ostensibly fighting ISIS but in reality fighting the Syrian rebels opposed to the Assad regime. For the past two and a half years, the United States has been training and equipping the Syrian rebels. So using the rebels as proxy pawns, it would appear the the US and Russia are indeed fighting each other.

russia-putin-proxy-war-syria-united-states-obama-syrian-rebels-isis-islamic-state

Putin smirks and shrugs while Obama bows, who is the real super power here?

Since Wednesday, when Syrian troops launched their first offensive backed by the might of Russia’s military, dozens of videos have been posted on YouTube showing rebels firing the U.S.-made missiles at Russian-made tanks and armored vehicles belonging to the Syrian army. Appearing as twirling balls of light, they zigzag across the Syrian countryside until they find and blast their target in a ball of flame.

It’s a proxy war by happenstance,” said Jeff White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who counted at least 15 tanks and vehicles destroyed or disabled in one day. “The rebels happen to have a lot of TOWs in their inventory. The regime happened to attack them with Russian support. I don’t see it as a proxy war by decision.”

Whether it will become one is one of the key questions confronting the Obama administration in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s decision to throw Russia’s support behind Assad’s regime. It was no accident, say U.S. officials and military analysts, that the first targets of Russian airstrikes in Syria were the locations where the rebels armed with TOW missiles have made the most substantial gains and where they most directly threaten Assad’s hold over his family’s heartland in the coastal province of Latakia.

Russian BTR-82A spotted in Syria:

Several Russian made (and driven) BTR-82A has been spotted shelling positions held by forces that are opposing Al-Asad

The supplies of the missiles, manufactured by Raytheon, are sourced mainly from stocks owned by the Saudi government, which purchased 13,795 of them in 2013, for expected delivery this year, according to Defense Department documents informing Congress of the sale. Because end-user agreements require that the buyer inform the United States of their ultimate destination, U.S. approval is implicit, said Shahbandar, a former Pentagon adviser.

Russian Airforce Sukhoi SU 34 is the main fighter jet in Syria right now:

But no decision is required from the Obama administration for the program to continue, Shahbandar said. “It doesn’t need an American green light. A yellow light is enough,” he said. “It’s a covert effort and it’s technically deniable, but that’s what proxy wars are.”


Houthi Retreat in Yemen Shows the Limits of Iranian Power

by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
October 11, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5557/yemen-iran


Turkey is the Next Failed State in the Middle East

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times Online
October 10, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5558/turkey-failed-state


Why Are The IMF, The UN, The BIS And Citibank All Warning That An Economic Crisis Could Be Imminent?

Question Sign Red - Public DomainThe warnings are getting louder.  Is anybody listening?  For months, I have been documenting on my website how the global financial system is absolutely primed for a crisis, and now some of the most important financial institutions in the entire world are warning about the exact same thing.  For example, this week I was stunned to see that the Telegraph had published an article with the following ominous headline: “$3 trillion corporate credit crunch looms as debtors face day of reckoning, says IMF“.  And actually what we are heading for would more accurately be described as a “credit freeze” or a “credit panic”, but a “credit crunch” will definitely work for now.  The IMF is warning that the “dangerous over-leveraging” that we have been witnessing “threatens to unleash a wave of defaults” all across the globe… (Read More….)


Obama says Clinton Emails not a threat and Putin’s Stance not as important as “Climate Change”

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 09:56 AM PDT

President Obama said during a nationally televised interview on “60 Minutes” on CBS News he didn’t think Hillary Clinton’s private email server was a threat to America’s security – that she simply made a mistake. He also made somewhat shocking statements about his perception of climate change and its importance on the international stage when compared to Russia’s aggression into Syria. But first, the Clinton email scandal. Obama said: “We don’t get an impression here that there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information,” he said, explaining Clinton’s set-up of a private server in her New York home to send secretary of state-related messages was different from those who’ve been caught in the past storing classified information on their personal computers.

Senate investigators, meanwhile, have found Clinton’s private server had been under cyberattack several times by sources in China, South Korea and Germany, the Associated Press reported. The FBI is still looking into her server, trying to determine what information, if any, was compromised. Obama then said the controversies surrounding her use of the server have been “ginned up” by political opponents for campaign season. Obama also spoke briefly of Russia and Syria. When CBS host Steve Kroft questioned Obama about Russia president Vladimir Putin, the topic quickly turned to climate change. CONTINUE

 

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8 Things the Church Should Do to Prepare for Societal Collapse

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 09:46 AM PDT

(Joseph Mattera) For the past several years, a growing number of prophetically and culturally astute leaders are predicting the decline of the USA. Books like the New York Times best-seller The Harbinger have issued dire warnings to America based on biblical principles and Old Testament prophetic passages. There have been predictions as dire as the total breakup of our union preceded by mass rioting and chaos (catalyzed by runs on banks and economic calamities), to a severe economic crisis far worse than what happened globally in 2008! All in all, most people I speak to say a major financial correction is soon coming in the market. Since the 2012 presidential election, there have been many ominous signs of huge American decline in global influence:

China and Russia have been saber-rattling and spewing out military threats; the NSA spy scandal has alienated our allies and further validated our ideological enemies; the military experiences mass cutbacks in spending; Iran continues to move forward with their nuclear program with impunity; and the federal government continues to pump billions of printed dollars into the economy to superficially keep the nation afloat. In many ways, I believe the greatest call of the church today is to prepare to serve communities in the event our state and federal agencies go bankrupt and cannot function at capacity any longer. The church needs to almost function as a shadow government and be ready in the same way the church leadership and bishops took the lead in serving cities in the late fifth century after the Roman Empire’s infrastructure collapsed! CONTINUE

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Believers or not, most say ‘I believe in a creator’ in U.S.

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 05:54 AM PDT

According to the latest results from a study conducted by Lifeway Research, most Americans believe that the universe was designed by a creator who also defines the moral code of mankind. The Lifeway survey found that an overwhelming majority of Americans (72 percent overall) agree with the following statement: “Since the universe has organization, I think there is a creator who designed it.” This statement was also in agreement with 46 percent of the 1,000 American participants who registered as “nones” (atheists, agnostics and other non-religious individuals).

And which Americans are most likely to strongly agree with the aforementioned statement? Two groups were pointed out at the top of the list — Evangelicals and older adults. Another statement put before those participating in the survey found relatively similar results. When presented with the argument, “The fact that we exist means someone created us,” 79 percent of all Americans taking the survey agreed.

USA Today’s journalist on relgion, Cathy Lynn Grossman, contends that the results should not be surprising. “After all, three in four U.S. adults identify with a religious denomination,” Grossman points out. “The surprise is that so many people who don’t identify with a religion — so-called nones — agree.” Unexpected by many, it was discovered that more nonreligious Americans believe that logic points to a creator than those who don’t. “And although the nonreligious are less likely than other Americans to see evidence of a creator, they are more likely to agree (46 percent) than disagree (40 percent) with the statement: ‘Since the universe has organization, I think there is a creator who designed it,’” Facts & Trends magazine’s Lisa Cannon Green reports. CONTINUE

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Russia Demands Explanation After Newspaper Reports British Planes Have Permission to Shoot Down Russian Jets

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 05:31 AM PDT

Russia’s ambassador to Britain said he has requested an urgent explanation from the British government after a media report Sunday said that British pilots flying anti-ISIS missions have been given permission to shoot down Russian aircraft if threatened. Calling the report in the London Sunday Times “worrying,” Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement issued by the embassy, “We have urgently requested explanations from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.” The newspaper quoted defense sources as saying that Royal Air Force Tornados, up until now armed with satellite-guided bombs for use in the anti-ISIS mission, will be equipped also with air-to-air missiles in case threatened by Russian warplanes that are operating in the area.

“The first thing a British pilot will do is to try to avoid a situation where an air-to-air attack is likely to occur – you avoid an area if there is Russian activity,” a source from Britain’s defense Permanent Joint Headquarters in north London told the paper. “But if a pilot is fired on or believes he is about to be fired on, he can defend himself,” the source said. “We now have a situation where a single pilot, irrespective of nationality, can have a strategic impact on future events.” Russia launched airstrikes in Syria on September 30, in a campaign ostensibly targeting ISIS but seen as primarily designed to prop up the Assad regime. CONTINUE

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Are ‘House’ Churches a Fad?

Posted: 11 Oct 2015 08:44 PM PDT

In 2007, in the book Small Is Big!: Unleashing the Big Impact of Intentionally Small Churches (originally The Rabbit and The Elephant) which I co-authored with my husband, Tony, and George Barna, I wrote the following under the subtitle, “A fashionable fad”: “Another hazard we face is that of becoming fashionable, the latest phenomenon in church statistics, the trendy alternative to traditional church. There will always be people who hop onto the bandwagon because they want to be part of the latest thing, not because the Holy Spirit is leading them.”

That has proved to be very true. When house church, or organic church, or simple church became a buzz word, many people jumped in. But, as I go on to say, if people don’t truly live out the DNA, they will soon find that what they have is only a pale substitute for the real thing. Thankfully, those days are over. We’re no longer a fashionable fad. I was very encouraged to read a recent blog post by entrepreneur and author, Seth Godin. (His blog is well worth following. He is able to clarify thoughts, especially about the digital age, in an extraordinary way.) The post is very short, and so I quote it in its entirety. CONTINUE

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Legal Stands Against Same-Sex Marriage Could Spark Revival

Posted: 11 Oct 2015 08:42 PM PDT

Since the Supreme Court struck down gay-marriage bans, same-sex couples across the country threatened and enacted lawsuits, attempting to bully Christians into kowtowing to immoral marriages. But in Florida, Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, created a bill to protect clergy members from performing ceremonies that violate religious beliefs. “Theoretically, religious beliefs should be protected,” Plakon says. “But we think it’s a good idea to further clarify Florida statutory law. The more clarity, the better.” Plakon looks to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s response to Obergefelle v. Hodges as the basis for his bill.

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned,” Kennedy writes. If passed, Plakon’s House Bill 43 would prohibit legal action against pastors or churches who refused to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. At a committee meeting this week, “Everyone there, including LGBT groups, agreed pastors should be able to not perform ceremonies like that, but they disagree should be put in law” Plakon says. CONTINUE

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The Fatal Mistake of Pastors Who Don’t Preach About Hell

Posted: 11 Oct 2015 08:38 PM PDT

(Brian Jones) At first glance you’d probably think I’m resistant to change. I don’t drink Starbucks coffee. I’m still not used to women having tattoos. I’m not getting an earring any time soon. And my wife says I still have the same haircut I had when I was in fifth grade. I assume she thinks that’s a bad thing. By all appearances, you’d think I’m someone that wants to keep things just the way they are. But I’m not. I love change.

I love the thrill of staying current, or even staying one step ahead. I love anticipating trends. I’m usually not too concerned with running with the pack. But there is one change that troubles me: It’s the lack of talk about hell by pastors. I’m not troubled by who is going to hell. Unfortunately for Boston Red Sox fans, this is one thing we all agree upon. I’m troubled by the lack of talk about, writing about, preaching about, and deeply held conviction regarding the reality of hell by pastors today. Why is this happening? CONTINUE

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WAR DRUMS: Russia ‘left FURIOUS’ after RAF pilots cleared to shoot down Moscow warplanes

Posted: 11 Oct 2015 08:01 PM PDT

Outraged Russian officials asked UK ministers “to provide an official explanation” of reports that RAF Tornados operating over Iraq have been fitted with heat-seeking missiles designed for ariel combat. The Russian ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, said he had “urgently requested explanations” of the reports from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He said: “These reports are worrying, as they refer to senior cabinet members. We have urgently requested explanations from the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

“The very premise of a potential conflict of UK and Russian combat aircraft over Iraq is incomprehensible.” It emerged last night that RAF fighter pilots have been granted permission to shoot down Russian jets if they come under attack while completing missions over Iraq.  Pilots were given the shocking order as UK ministers wanted Russia is making the situation in the Middle East “much more dangerous”.  RAF jets will be armed with advanced short range air-to-air missiles and British and Nato pilots have been told to fight for their lives if they are fired upon by Vladimir Putin’s air force. Senior defence sources said it is likely British fighter jets will become embroiled in a deadly air battle with Russian aircraft sooner rather than later. CONTINUE 

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Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


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

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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.


“One Grain of Arminianism” A. Toplady

The Reformed Reader

The Works of Augustus M. Toplady (6 vols.) I’ve recently been enjoying the writing of Augustus Toplady (d. 1778).  As you may know, Toplady wrote “Rock of Ages” and “A Debtor to Mercy Alone.”  He was a defender of the doctrines of grace and debated John Wesley’s Arminianism.  Here are a few sections from his sermon on Ps. 115:1 (Not to us, LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. NIV).  In this first section, he compares idolatry to relying on one’s works/righteousness for justification:

But let me ask, If it be so very absurd to worship the work of other men’s hands; what must it be to worship the works of our own hands? Perhaps you may say, “God forbid that I should do so.” Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence for salvation, are all acts, and very solemn ones too, of…

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Will the Biblical “War of Gog & Magog” bring about the end of Radical Islam as we have known it? Here’s the answer, Part Three.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Kremlin_Moskow_2(Central Israel) — Today is Part Three of our study of Ezekiel 38 & 39 and the Biblical prophecies concerning the coming “War of Gog & Magog.”

The stunning move in recent weeks by Russia and Iran to intensify their military alliance and to actually engage in combat operations in Syria, not far from the borders of Israel, has prompted renewed interest in these ancient prophecies. So has Israel’s discovery this month of massive amounts of oil in the Golan Heights, the explosion of Radical Islam and Apocalyptic Islam in the region, and the surge of interest in eschatology (the study of End Times matters) among Muslims, Jews and Christians around the world.

As I explain in my 2006 non-fiction book, Epicenter — and the updated 2008 paperback release, Epicenter 2.0 — the prophecies of Ezekiel…

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The Gospel vs the EvanJellyFish non-gospel

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. (Galatians 5:8-10 NASB)

One of the first things lost when apostasy sets in is adherence to the genuine Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as the one and only way God has provided to save people from their sins, bringing them into an eternal relationship with Him through their propititiation, the Lord Jesus Christ. In our time, with Relationship Theology having come to the fore, it has become akin to a ‘sin unto death’ to cause grief or hurt feelings in some one else by daring to explicitly give them the truth of the doctrine of Total…

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Maples calls out the Evangelical Intelligentsia’s game for defending creed-hating Rick Warren

Rick Warren is famous for coining the phrase “Deeds not Creeds.” This anti-creedal statement of Warren indicates that he shows very little regard of the creeds. That is unless he can use them to give the impression he is a legitimate Christian minister.

In 2014, Hillsong leadership were quite relaxed in confessing that Hillsong is a non-creedal church. It was at Hillsong Conference 2015 this year where Rick Warren preached a rather anti-Christian message on how to hear from his god.

After Pulpit and Pen exposed Warren’s pagan teachings, Rick Warren now appeals that he does indeed affirm the Nicene Creed. This is just another slick attempt to keep his sheepskin in tact while he continues to destroy Christ’s church for his own selfish gain.

Nevertheless, Christianity Today continually fails to care about integrity when it comes to journalism or the Christian faith and allowed Justin S. Holcomb to use nice sounding arguments to say not much at…

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