Daily Archives: May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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May. 3, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

When the going gets rough, the 1 percent starts selling. That’s the finding of a new paper that says people with the highest income bailed from stocks disproportionately on the worst days of the financial crisis. The share of selling by the biggest earners rose “sharply” in days following spikes in volatility, according to data on millions of sales reported to the government in 2008 and 2009.

Australia injected a double-dose of stimulus as the government handed down an expansionary budget hours after the central bank eased policy for the first time in a year.

Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said about $15 billion was lost by the previous administration to fraudulent security spending, almost three times more than was earlier estimated by the government.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Alphabet Inc.’s Google plan to develop several dozen self-driving prototypes based on the carmaker’s Pacifica minivan in the first phase of a joint project to create autonomous vehicles, people familiar with the matter said.

AP Top Stories

About seven in 10 seniors set to graduate this spring borrowed for their educations. Along with their diplomas, they’ll carry an average $37,172 of student debt as they enter the workforce, according to a new analysis by higher-education expert Mark Kantrowitz. Thatbreaks the record set by the 2015 class, which owed just over $35,000, on average.

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who spent decades as one of the state’s most powerful politicians before being convicted of corruption, is set to be sentenced on Tuesday for collecting millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks. Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan to send the 72-year-old Silver to prison for more than 14 years.

Russia said Tuesday it hoped a new ceasefire could be announced within hours for Syria’s battered city of Aleppo, where fresh fighting left at least 16 dead including in rocket fire on a maternity hospital.

Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront, spewing out of a metal pipe and turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone. The sewage has damaged Gaza’s limited fresh water supplies, decimated fishing zones, and after years of neglect, is now floating northward and affecting Israel as well, where a nearby desalination plant was forced to shut down, apparently due to pollution.

Researchers in Rhode Island say they have probably found the wreck of the HMS Endeavour, the ship that British explorer Captain James Cook sailed on his expedition that reached Australia in 1770, previously unknown to Europeans.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter used a U.S. military changing-of-the-guard ceremony Tuesday to blast Russian aggression in Europe, saying Moscow is “going backward in time” with warlike actions that compel a U.S. military buildup on NATO’s eastern flank.

Australia blamed refugee advocates on Tuesday for “encouraging” asylum seekers held in remote camps towards acts of self-harm after a woman set herself on fire, while the United Nations renewed its criticism of Australia’s harsh immigration policy.

Spain’s king signed a decree Tuesday dissolving parliament and setting a new election for June 26 after legislators chosen in an inconclusive December vote failed to agree on the country’s next prime minister. Spain has never had to repeat elections since democracy was restored in 1978.

Scientists captured video footage of the jellyfish while exploring an area of the Mariana Trench at a depth of about 12,140 feet. It belongs to the genus Crossota and it has two sets of tentacles. In the video, the jellyfish has its long tentacles extended while its body stays still. That behavior suggests it hunts by ambushing its prey, according to the researchers.

There’s a new piece of nasty Android malware floating around that Android users should be on the lookout for. Masquerading as a update for Google’s mobile Chrome browser, the malware is hosted on webpages designed to look like they are official Google or Android landing pages. The malware is designed to monitor call logs, browser history, text messages and banking information. Once installed, the malware logs the aforementioned data and sends it all back to a remote command and control server. The malware is capable of checking if a user has any antivirus apps installed, and if so, “terminating them to evade detection.”

Oil fell on Tuesday as rising output from the Middle East renewed concerns about global oversupply while economic data painted a negative backdrop for the outlook for demand.

BBC

A six-month-old girl has been rescued from the debris of a building that collapsed four days ago in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She has no physical injuries.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut its benchmark interest rate to a historic low of 1.75%, the first reduction since May 2015.

Ransoms of up to $400,000 have been paid to gangs which hijacked ships in the Gulf of Guinea in 2015, a maritime report said.

Police in Germany investigating the deaths of two women say they were the victims of a couple who held them hostage and tortured them.

WND

Hundreds of “Frozen” cartoon film fans took to Twitter to press Disney, the producer of the children’s mega-hit musical, to make a sequel – only this time, give the leading lady, Elsa, a lesbian love interest.

A nationally recognized charter school in Minnesota is fighting a complaint filed by the parents of a transgender kindergartner who allege the school enabled discrimination against their child.

Missouri State University has joined a growing number of government institutions that punish Christians for their biblical view of marriage and homosexual relationships, dismissing a student from a counseling program for expressing concern about counseling same-sex duos, according to a new lawsuit.


Top News – 5/3/2016

Pope’s exhortation is a ‘breach’ with Catholic Tradition: leading German philosopher
“When it comes to sexual relations which are in objective contradiction to the Christian order of life, I would like to know from the pope after which time period and under which conditions such an objectively sinful behavior becomes a conduct which is pleasing to God,”

Reinstating the Mitzvah That Brings The Third Temple Down From Heaven
When the first holiday marking the beginning of Passover ended a week and a half ago on Saturday night, a group of Jews went out to a field near Sderot in the south of Israel and harvested a small quantity of barley for a purely Biblical purpose rarely fulfilled these days: to offer up the omer, or the wave offering, to God.

German plot to keep EU army a SECRET till June 23 EXPOSED as plans drawn up in Berlin
BRITISH Brexit campaigners have been boosted with news from Berlin that Germany is once more pushing for an EU army encompassing all 28 member states with a joint HQ and shared military planning.

Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data
A data-sharing agreement obtained by New Scientist shows that Google DeepMind’s collaboration with the NHS goes far beyond what it has publicly announced.

U.S. Security “Assurances” and the End of UN Resolution 242
John Kerry took Israel’s primary requirement — “secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” (the language of UN Resolution 242) — off the negotiating table. Under Kerry’s new formulation, Israel’s sovereign legitimacy and secure boundaries do not have to be recognized by the Arab states, the Palestinians or anyone else; just determined, accepted and guaranteed by the United States — and for how long is not clear…

One of Africa’s most active volcanoes is showing new signs of life
What they were hearing was the sound of earthquakes deep below the surface. The movement knocked giant rocks off of the crater walls. And at the same time, a new vent appeared on a ledge. Since that day, the vent explodes about every 30 seconds, throwing lava up to 90 feet in the air. Most of that lava flows back into the volcano, while the rest of it cools in the crater itself.

Earthquake Measuring 5.5 Occurs Off Russia’s Eastern Shikotan Island
A 5.5-magnitude quake occurred Tuesday off the coast of Russia’s eastern Shikotan Island, which is part of the Kuril chain, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported. According to USGS, the epicenter of the quake was located some 57 kilometers (35 miles) east of Shikotan’s coast at a depth of 69.3 kilometers.

Iranian Supreme Leader Warns U.S.: Flee the Persian Gulf
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei…warned the United States against keeping a military presence in the Persian Gulf and vowed that the Islamic Republic will continue to carry out a range of war drills in the area, despite warnings… Khamenei blasted the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf in wide-ranging remarks that ordered America to return its forces “back to the Bay of Pigs.”

In 6 Months Since Budget Deal: Debt Up More Than $1 Trillion
In the six months that have passed since then-retiring House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cut a budget deal with President Barack Obama that suspended the legal limit on the federal debt until March 15, 2017, the federal debt has increased by more than $1 trillion.

Migrant crisis: EU ‘to back’ visa-free travel for Turkey
The European Commission will give conditional approval for Turks to travel without visas to Europe’s passport-free Schengen area, sources have told the BBC. The move is part of a deal in which Turkey is taking back migrants who have crossed over the Aegean Sea to Greece. But Turkey must still meet EU criteria, and the deal must be approved by the European Parliament and member states.

Houthi leader: Israel participating in the aggression against Yemen
The leader of Ansar Allah, the Houthi rebel movement, accused Israel of taking part in the war in Yemen directly by fighting the war, and indirectly, by training and inspecting the Saudi forces… Abdul Malik al-Houthi said: “It is well-known that everything that is happening in our region serves the interest of one party – the Zionists and the US.”

Palestinian Authority Deceives US, Uses Taxpayer Money To Pay Jailed Terrorists
Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that not only monitors Palestinian media but also does research on issues related to the Palestinian Authority, just released a new report detailing a billion-dollar fraud with money donated to the PA by Western countries, including the United States.

Obamacare To Unveil “Price Shock” One Week Before The Elections
Marilyn Tavenner, who until January 2015 ran the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, aka the massive Federal agency that oversaw the rollout of Obamacare and the disastrous implementation of HealthCare.gov and who is now as an insurance lobbyist, said she sees big jumps in Obamacare insurance premiums.

U.S. to Pakistan: Pay for your own F-16s
The United States has told Pakistan it will have to finance the purchase of U.S. F-16 fighter jets itself after members of the U.S. Congress objected to the use of government funds to pay for them.

Military tests unmanned ship designed for seafaring missions
The military is starting tests on the world’s largest unmanned surface vessel — a self-driving, 132-foot ship designed to travel thousands of miles out at sea without a single crew member on board.

Venezuela opposition files 2 million signatures for recall vote
Venezuela’s opposition presented reams of signatures to election authorities calling for a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro, who they say is to blame for a crushing economic crisis.

Visa Unveils Plan To Burden Millennials With Billions In Debt
Visa has come up with a plan to add infinitely more debt to millennials who are working diligently as bartenders and waiters: credit cards. Visa has even unveiled a detailed timeline by which they can accomplish the task.


Top Headlines – 5/3/2016

  • Global stocks slide as yen, euro gains question policy potency (Read More)
  • U.S. Index Futures Signal Stock Losses as AIG Drops on Earnings (Read More)
  • EU Sees Weaker Growth in Eurozone and Wider EU as China Slowdown Weighs (Read More)
  • Euro Set for Longest Run of Gains Since 2013 as Fed Focus Fades (Read More)
  • German Bonds Advance as EU Cuts Euro-Area Inflation Outlook (Read More)
  • Trump hopes to land decisive blow in Indiana showdown with Cruz (Read More)
  • Hedge Funds Under Attack as Cohen Says Skilled People Are Scarce (Read More)
  • China’s banking regulator moves to contain off-balance sheet risk (Read More)
  • Two Sigma Co-Founder `Very Worried’ Machines Will Take Jobs (Read More)
  • Aeropostale Preparing to File for Bankruptcy This Week (Read More)
  • Fairway Group Holdings files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (Read More)
  • Pfizer Beats Estimates as Vaccine, Cancer Drug Sales Surge (Read More)
  • UBS Drops as Profit Misses Estimates on Wealth, Trading Income (Read More)
  • Commerzbank Plunges as Low Interest Rates Hit Sales, Trading (Read More)
  • Halliburton adjusted profit beats estimate, helped by cost cuts (Read More)
  • The Super Rich Were the First to Bail During the Financial Crisis (Read More)
  • Islamic State breaches peshmerga defenses north of Mosul (Read More)
  • Iraq Cleric’s Moves Test Political Order (Read More)
  • Australia Budget Highlights Low-Growth Challenge: Moody’s (Read More)
  • Drought-hit Zimbabwe sells off wild animals (Read More)

Jordan’s FM discusses Israel-PA peace talks with Kerry

Trump: Seeing Israel, Palestinians Sign Peace Deal Would Be ‘A Beauty’

Israel gathering intelligence on Paris peace summit, Danon says

Israel’s justice minister pushes for Israeli law to be applied in West Bank

UN to quiz Israel on torture complaints

UK’s Labour ‘secretly suspended 50 members for anti-Semitic, racist comments’

After F-35 makes aliyah, it will get new Israeli identity

Iran criticizes US presence in the Persian Gulf

Iraqi PM seems to be in ‘strong position’ despite protests, US defense secretary says

Syria conflict ‘out of control’ warns Kerry amid push to save truce

Report: ISIS struck deals with Assad on the battleground in Syria

Married American jihadis reportedly killed in Syria drone strike

Terrorism in the tropics: ISIS turning to recruitment in the Caribbean

Turkish MPs hold mass brawl during constitution debate

UK said using ‘covert propaganda’ to stop Muslims joining IS

Saudi minister confirms warning on proposed U.S. law on 9/11

CIA director says secret 9/11 report pages full of hearsay, inaccurate info

Oil fallout: Laid off Saudi workers torch buses

Navy boss: Russian jets should stop buzzing US planes, ship

Iran leader urges for nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula

North Korea capital gears up for congress; South fears nuclear test

North Korea could retaliate for defections with kidnappings, South Korea warns

Kim Jong Un issues temporary ban on weddings and funerals for ‘security’

Wi-Fi hotspot named ‘detonation device’ causes bomb scare at Melbourne airport

Greenpeace Leaks U.S.-E.U. Trade Deal Documents

Media Monitors Report Decline in Global Press Freedom

World Press Freedom Day: Japan latest to crack down on reporters

The dire state of the global economy in six charts

Apple’s stock heads toward longest loss streak in 18 years

This Tech Bubble Is Bursting

Inside the Secret Meeting Where Wall Street Tested Digital Cash

Next big thing for virtual reality: lasers in your eyes

Obamacare To Unveil “Price Shock” One Week Before The Elections

Election fraud feared as hackers target voter records

Physicists Abuzz About Possible New Particle as CERN Revs Up

A Rare Celestial Crossing: Mercury Will Transit the Sun on May 9

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Shikotan, Russia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Merizo Village, Guam

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Central East Pacific Rise

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 22,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 18,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

State of emergency declared as wildfire forces hundreds of evacuations in Alberta

Controlling Zika mosquitoes may be ‘lost cause’

Runner’s high: the athletes who use marijuana to improve their training

Texas women’s use of abortion pills sharply increases, Planned Parenthood says

The Anti-Planned Parenthood House Panel Must Go, Say 98 Members of Congress

Planned Parenthood CEO: My Proudest Moment is Forcing Christians to Pay for Abortion Drugs

Colorado Woman Who Cut Stranger’s Baby From Womb Gets 100 Years

In the EU capital, churches are now restaurants

Religious freedom under ‘sustained assault’ around the world, report finds

NAR “apostles” are as phony as a three-dollar bill

What’s up with the National Day of Prayer?

The Strong Delusion and Jesus’ Warnings to Safeguard Believers

Saeed Abedini: Americans Crave Revival but Some Pastors Only Care About Church Growth

Failings in end-of-life care revealed as 40,000 dying patients subject to secret ‘do not resuscitate’ orders every year

Cruise with a Cause: Eddie Long, John Hagee, Ergun Caner, LeCrae, and Johnny Hunt Milk the Gospel Like a Cow of Bashaan

Thousands flock to ‘miracle’ icon at south suburban church

Psychedelic drugs can deepen religious experiences

Ted Cruz’s Dad: My Son Ran for President After God Sent His Wife a Sign

Education Dept. Releases ‘Shame List’ of Faith-Based Colleges Seeking Title IX Exemption

Two American missionaries are found murdered outside a church in Jamaica


Something Big Coming In 2016?: Five Prominent Watchmen Issue Exceedingly Ominous Warnings

Planet Earth Globe Ominous - Public DomainIs a great shaking about to hit America?  Is 2016 going to turn out to be one of the major turning points in our history?  On The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream, I am constantly warning my readers about what is coming, but today I want to shift the focus to what other watchmen are telling us.  And as you will see below, when I use the term “watchmen” I am also including women.  All five of the individuals that I am featuring in this article are people that I highly respect, and all five of them have issued extremely ominous warnings about our future.  So hopefully you are ready to receive what you are about to hear, because their messages are not to be taken lightly. (Read More…)


The End Of America?: 13 Catastrophic Events Which Could Soon Lead To An American Apocalypse

Apocalyptic - Public DomainIs the strongest and most powerful nation on the planet headed for an apocalypse which will bring it to its knees?  We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and apocalyptic themes have become very common in books, movies, television shows and video games.  It is almost as if there is an unconscious understanding on a societal level that something very big and very bad is coming, even if the vast majority of the population cannot specifically identify what that is going to be.  Last week, the Global Challenges Foundation released a new report entitled “Global Catastrophic Risks 2016” in which they discussed various apocalyptic events that they believe could wipe out more than 10 percent of the population of our planet, and they warned that these types of events “are more likely than we intuitively think”(Read More….)


A New Digital Cash System Was Just Unveiled At A Secret Meeting For Bankers In New York

Secret - Public DomainLast month, a “secret meeting” that involved more than 100 executives from some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States was held in New York City.  During this “secret meeting“, a company known as “Chain” unveiled a technology that transforms U.S. dollars into “pure digital assets”.  Reportedly, there were representatives from Nasdaq, Citigroup, Visa, Fidelity, Fiserv and Pfizer in the room, and Chain also claims to be partnering with Capital One, State Street, and First Data.  This “revolutionary” technology is intended to completely change the way that we use money, and it would represent a major step toward a cashless society.  But if this new digital cash system is going to be so good for society, why was it unveiled during a secret meeting for Wall Street bankers?  Is there something more going on here than we are being told? (Read More….)


Report: Religious freedom under 'serious and sustained assault' around the world

Report: Religious freedom under ‘serious and sustained assault’ around the world

Posted on May 3, 2016 by Christian Today

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom found that religious liberty has deteriorated across the globe, with abuses committed by both state and non-state actors.

Read Full Article »


How to Explain the Trinity to Children

How to Explain the Trinity to Children

Posted on May 3, 2016 by Crosswalk

We can teach children “The Bible Is True.” We can explain atonement by saying, “Jesus paid for our sins and is alive forever.” The Trinity is another matter.

Read Full Article »


5 Essential Insights for Deepening Your Spiritual Life

5 Essential Insights for Deepening Your Spiritual Life

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Crosswalk

How do we actually take our spiritual life to the next level?

Read Full Article »


5 Amazing Christian Films You May Have Missed

5 Amazing Christian Films You May Have Missed

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Crosswalk

We’ve all heard of movies like God’s Not Dead and Fireproof, but has anyone else missed these five amazing Christian films?

Read Full Article »


Report: Persecution causing global suffering

Report: Persecution causing global suffering

Posted on May 2, 2016 by World Magazine

PERSECUTION | U.S. commission’s annual report highlights ongoing deterioration of religious freedom

Read Full Article »


What Denomination are You, Really? Take This Fun Quiz!

What Denomination are You, Really? Take This Fun Quiz!

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Crosswalk

Not sure what kind of church you should join? Take our quiz to find out!

Read Full Article »


But They Said It Wasn’t an Agenda

By David Fiorazo

Back in 1963, the United States House of Representatives went on record and listed 45 Communist Goals that were being enacted across America. I first heard of these in a book, The Naked Communist, by Cleon Skousen. To some, this is old news but others may find some of these Communist goals extremely interesting:

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‘Make America Mexico Again’: Why Americans are fed up with illegals – Todd Starnes

There is something a bit unsettling about watching violent, foul-mouthed protesters waving the Mexican flag on American soil.

Over the weekend, Hispanic children lined the streets in Fort Wayne, Indiana – hurling filthy insults at Donald Trump supporters.

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Control Means Everything – Terry James

Everything looks to be out of control, while those elitists who want to bring all peoples back to Babel and a one-world order of absolute rule search for avenues to reach their utopian goals.

Uncertainty is the disorder of the day, however, no matter how far reaching are the programs and manipulations of the would-be globalist masters.

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An unseen battle rages behind world events—in Nehemiah’s time and ours

If this present American presidential campaign has been the most unpredictable and crazy season you have ever seen—lies, libel, slander, dirty tricks, curve balls, improbable twists—you must consider that we are not dealing with flesh and blood but with rulers and authorities in unseen places. May the sons of light gird their loins for the fight.

View Article


Prophecy News in Review Video

The Making of Good Little Global Citizens

Jan Markell and Eric Barger spend the hour with David Fiorazo who exposes the real goal of the Common Core agenda: The making of good little global citizens. Students are being taught what to think, not how to think. It is about government control, not education—about socialism and globalism. The standards will soon apply to private schools, Christian schools, and home schooling. Find Fiorazo’s book, “The Cost of Our Silence: The Consequences of Christians Taking the Path of Least Resistance,” here. Learn more about the Common Core agenda at http://www.fpeusa.org or at http://www.davidfiorazo.com. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

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Glenn Beck Invites America to Join Him in Another Fast

Glenn Beck loves playing the role of America’s spiritual leader.  However, we must remember that Mr. Beck is a member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aka Mormonism. Mormonism is a pseudo-Christian cult.  Glenn Beck makes no bones about the fact that he embraces LDS theology, which is decidedly unbiblical. […]

The post Glenn Beck Invites America to Join Him in Another Fast appeared first on Berean Research.


NAR “apostles” are as phony as a three-dollar bill

In their blogpost “The Apostles Who Don’t Do Anything,” Cameron Buettel and Jeremiah Johnson of Grace to You team up to answer the question many folks have been asking: Does the Church have modern-day apostles as NAR top dogs purport?  And if what they say is true, who determines when God has commissioned someone as an apostle? Buettel […]

The post NAR “apostles” are as phony as a three-dollar bill appeared first on Berean Research.


Congratulations, Target: You’re The First Company I’ve Ever Boycotted

After thinking about Target’s new policy for a few days, Christine Pack of Sola Sisters  has decided to boycott Target.  “What can I say?” stated Christine.  “There is a first time for everything. I’m boycotting not because I hate homosexuals or those who identify as transgender. I don’t hate them. In fact, God’s love and […]

The post Congratulations, Target: You’re The First Company I’ve Ever Boycotted appeared first on Berean Research.


He still hasn’t found what he’s looking for (Bono meets Eugene Peterson)

The following is posted by Pastor Jim Jenkins over at Herescope: “It’s entirely possible to look at something so long that you can’t really see it anymore. For years I have been calling people back to simple faith in the inerrancy of God’s Word. I’ve been patronized, mocked and more times than not, simply ignored. […]

The post He still hasn’t found what he’s looking for (Bono meets Eugene Peterson) appeared first on Berean Research.


Emotional manipulators: The truth must die

I’m about to share complete blasphemy with you, wrapped and bound snugly in the heartstrings of emotionalism and self esteem. Before you see this in your youth group, in your women’s Bible study, on your timeline, or even from the Jumbotron at your church, I hope you see it here first. I post this story […]

The post Emotional manipulators: The truth must die appeared first on Berean Research.


Quick Thoughts: What is the “Seven Mountains Mandate”?

Lyndon Unger of Mennoknight, who also blogs for The Cripplegate, has written an excellent piece on the Seven Mountains Mandate (SMM).  This is a subject we’ve reported on many times to remind people of the unbiblical nature of this so-called mandate.  Still, a large number of professing evangelicals are unaware that SMM is the brainchild of the New Apostolic […]

The post Quick Thoughts: What is the “Seven Mountains Mandate”? appeared first on Berean Research.


A La Carte (May 3)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Story of Everything by Jared Wilson ($2.99) along with The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($0.99 each). Also, yesterday I incorrectly linked to Christian Audio and their free audiobook, so here’s a correct link to download Tozer’s Delighting in God.

Stop Saying “I Feel Like”

This is fascinating and well-reasoned: “Here is the paradox: ‘I feel like’ masquerades as a humble conversational offering, an invitation to share your feelings, too — but the phrase is an absolutist trump card. It halts argument in its tracks.”

Puritans on the Potomac

Timothy George has penned a great profile of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. “To reverse the fortunes of a flagging downtown congregation required skill, pluck, and some sanctified grit. [Mark] Dever had all of these, but he also put in place a strategy that most church growth gurus would have deplored.”

A Q&A with the Apostle Paul

Justin Taylor somehow convinced the Apostle Paul to take time out of his busy schedule to do a bit of Q&A.

The Preacher and Personal Productivity

I was a guest on a new episode of Jason Allen’s podcast Preaching and Preachers. We discussed pastors and personal productivity. Speaking personally, I really enjoyed the conversation since it was obvious that Allen has thought deeply about these issues.

You Are What You Eat

“The nation’s most popular recipe site reveals the enormous gap between foodie culture and what people actually cook.” The article has some stellar lines in it like this: “The casserole tasted exactly as you’d imagine: an alchemy of salt and lipids designed to flow to the pleasure centers of your brain before, shortly afterward, migrating to the shame centers and then hardening in the arteries.”

Aimee Semple McPherson and Early Pentecostalism

Robert Godfrey tells the bizarre story of Aimee Semple McPherson’s disapperance and offers his guess as to what really happened.

7 Troubling Questions About Transgender Theories

Trevin Wax: “These newfound controversies are complicated, at least in part because of transgender theory itself. The unmooring of ‘gender identity’ from ‘biological sex’ leads to a number of unresolved questions, as well as troubling inconsistencies among advocates of transgender rights.”

This Day in 1738. 278 years ago today, preacher and evangelist, George Whitefield, arrived in the United States for his first of seven ministry tours. *

Why American Passenger Trains Are So Bad

“Amtrak turns 45 today, leaving many people wondering how is it that a rich and powerful country that was a pioneer in railroad adoption in the 19th century has such terrible passenger trains today.” It’s not like the Canadian equivalent is any better.

Owls’ Silent Flight

This is an amazing little video from the BBC.

Flashback: Little Jumps in Studios

President Obama slow-jammed with Fallon and danced with Ellen. Prime Minister Thatcher refused to make a little jump. Here’s why it matters and why I admire her for it. (Note: Readers have requested that I link to my daily “Flashback” in A La Carte. I’m going to try it…)

Carey

I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter. —William Carey


Links I like

Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Today’s deals include The Story of Everything by Jared Wilson ($2.99), John by John MacArthur (99¢), and Lincoln’s Battle with God by Stephen Mansfield ($1.99). Logos’ free book of the month is Why God Won’t Go Away by Alister McGrath.

How Bodies Fight to Regain Weight

This was extremely helpful for me to read.

“Mean Tweets” Video Shows Us How Messed Up We Are

Eric Geiger:

Last week a video of guys reading mean tweets to female sportscasters went viral. [Caution: the language is offensive] The women had read the tweets beforehand, as they likely saw them in their twitter feed in real time. The guys had not read the tweets and were recruited to read them to the women as cameras captured the interactions. As they tried to read the tweets, the guys were dumbfounded, stunned, and unable to look the women in the eyes or continue reading. They were embarrassed, heart-broken, and apologetic. The tweets were cruel, filled with hatred, and laced with sexually abusive language.

As a father of daughters growing up in our culture, it was difficult to watch. The tweets show my daughters are growing up in a world that is deeply broken and flawed. I showed the video to Kaye, my wife, who did not want to finish watching it. The “mean tweets” show us how messed up we are in at least three ways.

How do you initiate a conversation with a parent about their child’s special needs?

Jared Kennedy:

April was Autism Awareness month. As a Family Pastor and father of a child with special needs, I want to address a question I often hear from children’s ministry volunteers: “How do you start a conversation with parents about the possibility of their child having special needs?” This can be one of the most awkward situations in children’s ministry. Often children’s ministry volunteers have a background in education. They may have strong suspicions about a child’s needs but the parent seems completely unaware. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, here are a few brief encouragements.

Did the Early Christians Get the Jesus Story Wrong?

Michael Kruger reviews Bart Ehrman’s latest.

Four Steps to Kill Nagging Sins

Gavin Ortlund:

Many Christians struggle with “nagging sins” — those entrenched, persistent, difficult-to-dislodge sins that continually entangle us in our efforts to follow Christ. Sometimes we struggle for decades, with bouts of backsliding and despair recurring. Most godly Christians, who have made true progress in their pursuit of holiness, can sing with feeling “prone to wander, Lord I feel it,” or share the lament of Augustine: “I have learned to love you too late!”

Dostoevsky vs. Superman

Louis Markos:

Crime and Punishment is rightly hailed for its psychological depth and realism, but it has another claim to fame that makes it required reading, especially for Christians concerned about moral relativism’s devastating effects on the modern world. Just as Alfred Lord Tennyson, in his epic poem In Memoriam (published in 1850 but written mostly in the 1830s), wrestled with the implications of Darwinian natural selection more than a decade prior to the publication of The Origin of Species (1859), so Dostoevsky, in Crime and Punishment, exposed the dangers and delusions of Nietzsche’s theory of the übermensch more than 20 years before Nietzsche introduced that figure to the world in Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883).

How to Spot a Social Media Neo-Televangelist

Aaron Earls:

So who really cares? Why call attention to these individuals? Because just like exploitive health and wealth televangelists, these neo-televangelists harm the body of Christ. They undermine both our reputation and our character.


Check Out

Blogs

4 Ways Pornography Hurts The Environment And National Security | Dustin Murphy, The Federalist
“Some say climate change is the greatest threat to national security, but pornography actually poses a serious national security threat. Pornography is harmful to the environment and a national security risk in four ways: it (1) is an intellectual-environmental hazard; (2) changes our view of sexuality and women; (3) causes selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered (S₃), and narcissistic people; and (4) discriminates against women.”

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Evening Worship | Danny Hyde, Meet the Puritans
“A while back in my weekly email to my congregation, I gave my people my ‘Top Ten Reasons to Attend Evening Worship’ in an ongoing effort to educate, encourage, and exhort. They are not exhaustive and they apply to my context, in particular, but the principles should be applicable to any who reads this. May God move his people in our time to sanctify the Christian Sabbath, leading to a renewal of evening worship.”

4 Methods To Organize Your Prayer Life | Tim Challies
“But the principle is clear: Give time and effort to your prayer life, not only in praying, but also in preparing yourself to pray. A healthy prayer life consists not only of prayer, but also of preparation. I have long since found that the absolute best motivator in prayer is knowing what I am going to pray for. Vague ideas of prayer promote vague prayers. Disorganized methods of prayer promote disorganized prayers. Methods for prayer promote meaningful prayers. Why don’t you take some time today to organize your prayer life?”

10 Essential Pre-Reformation Writings | Nick Batzig, The Christward Collective
“…below is a list of 10 Pre-Reformation works that I would recommend to every young seminarian and pastor. While many, many others could be recommended, the following works from the Pre-Reformation era have been significant aids to my own Christian life, as well as to my preaching and teaching: ”

What Are We To Do? | Kyle Borg, Gentle Reformation
“What are we to do? I suspect that’s a question many Christians have been asking lately. The rapid sexual descent of our culture either has or will force every Christian to seriously ask it–Christians who might otherwise be content to play the part of the ostrich with their head stuck firmly in the sand. ”

A Q&A with the Apostle Paul on What’s Wrong with the Human Race and What God Did About It | Justin Taylor, TGC
“We sometimes think of the second half of the first chapter of Romans as a discourse about atheists…But in reality, it’s much more than this: a universal text that applies to all of us apart from Christ—what we are, what we do, and what we would do apart from God’s restraining and redeeming grace, with graphic examples to illustrate our truth-suppression and idolatrous identity.”

The Most Powerful Apologetic Tool in the World | Jon Bloom, Desiring God
“The Bible itself is the greatest apologetic device that exists in the world. More people come to know and love Jesus Christ simply by reading the Bible than anything else.”

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.


The Christian Mom’s Idea Book (Revised Edition): Hundreds of Ideas, Tips, and Activities to Help You Be a Great Mom by Ellen Banks Elwell ($2.99)


The Story of Everything: How You, Your Pets, and the Swiss Alps Fit into God’s Plan for the World by Jared C. Wilson ($2.99)


Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading by John C. Maxwell ($3.99)

Video

What If I Can’t Find Jesus in the Passage? | Tim Challies


Preview Of Peace Summit- France Votes To Deny Jewish Connection To Temple Mount

Posted: 03 May 2016 07:34 AM PDT

France’s recent support of a UN resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount is a “total travesty,” a prominent French-Israeli artist and political activist told The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Frozen’ fans tweet Disney: Make princess a lesbian

Posted: 03 May 2016 07:28 AM PDT

Hundreds of “Frozen” cartoon film fans took to Twitter to press Disney, the producer of the children’s mega-hit musical, to make a sequel – only this time,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Michael Savage: Obama will sabotage economy on way out

Posted: 03 May 2016 07:26 AM PDT

If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination and defeats likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November, President Obama will sabotage the economy in his final months in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Missouri State boots student over Christian belief about ‘Gays’

Posted: 03 May 2016 07:21 AM PDT

Missouri State University has joined a growing number of government institutions that punish Christians for their biblical view of marriage and homosexual relationships, dismissing a student from…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Franklin Graham Urges Every Believer to Join Him in This Prayer

Posted: 03 May 2016 06:46 AM PDT

Evangelist Franklin Graham is taking liberals to task after their outrage over Phil Robertson’s invocation at a NASCAR race. “Father, thank You for founding our nation. I…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

How This Church Is Morphing Into a Spirit-Filled Awakening

Posted: 03 May 2016 06:40 AM PDT

(Steve Strang)Part of my role as a Christian journalist the last four decades is to cover what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world. We’ve had…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thailand Bans ‘Rude’ Opinions…

Posted: 03 May 2016 06:36 AM PDT

From the question of Britain’s place in Europe to the choice of New Zealand’s flag, referendums worldwide are usually preceded by unbridled debate. Not so under Thailand’s…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dead could be brought ‘back to life’ in groundbreaking project

Posted: 03 May 2016 06:33 AM PDT

A groundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people, has won approval from health watchdogs. A biotech company in the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Unstoppable Disease Has Killed A million Trees In California

Posted: 02 May 2016 08:02 PM PDT

Healthy forests are especially important at a time of climate change — they’re an incredible tool to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Dead forests, on the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Billy Graham Reveals the Biggest Spiritual Mistake People Make

Posted: 02 May 2016 07:34 PM PDT

World renowned evangelist Billy Graham revealed what he thinks is the greatest spiritual mistake people often make. Graham wrote in a May 2 post for his Billy…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Something Big Coming In 2016?: Five Prominent Watchmen Issue Exceedingly Ominous Warnings

Posted: 02 May 2016 05:14 PM PDT

(Michael Snyder) Is a great shaking about to hit America? Is 2016 going to turn out to be one of the major turning points in our history?…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ohio lawmakers to consider controversial bathroom bill

Posted: 02 May 2016 05:04 PM PDT

An Ohio lawmaker plans to bring a version of the controversial North Carolina Bathroom Law to Ohio. Representative John Becker of Clermont County tells NBC4 he will…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

LGBT Activists ‘Out’ Christian Schools over Title IX Exemption

Posted: 02 May 2016 04:59 PM PDT

Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper says he’s not concerned about LGBT activist efforts to “out” Christian colleges seeking a religious exemption from Title IX. Title…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Atheist Activist Group Objects to Public School Visits to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum

Posted: 02 May 2016 04:25 PM PDT

A professing atheist activist organization is expressing its objection to three public schools that either have already or plan to visit Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Typhoon Jets scrambled to identify “An Unresponsive Civilian Aircraft”

Posted: 02 May 2016 04:21 PM PDT

Loud bangs heard in parts of Yorkshire were sonic booms from Typhoon jets scrambled to identify “an unresponsive civilian aircraft”, the RAF has said. The aircraft were…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mercury Will Transit the Sun on May 9th In Rare Celestial Event

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:45 PM PDT

Next week, on Monday, May 9, skywatchers on Earth will be able to see Mercury make its way across the surface of the sun. The so-called transit…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Iran Warns US To Stay Out Of Persian Gulf

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:42 PM PDT

Iran’s supreme leader on Monday warned the U.S. military to stay out of the Persian Gulf, where it has an aircraft carrier strike group. “What are you…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Japan Sends Signals of Trouble on Horizon

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:37 PM PDT

Last week’s FOMC decision of doing “nothing” has been “supportive” for various markets like the emerging markets, commodities and so-on, but not for everybody. When we look…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Provocations From Russia and War Games Raising Risk Of War

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:34 PM PDT

It’s happened again. Last Friday, a Russian Air Force fighter jet intercepted an American reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea, in international airspace, and engaged in a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Halley’s Comet Producing Visible Meteor Shower

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:31 PM PDT

We are in the midst of a meteor shower. Right now, Earth is twirling through the tail of Halley’s Comet, arguably the most famous comet in our…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Father Of Ted Cruz Urges Body of Christ to Vote According to Word of God’…

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:27 PM PDT

Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Ted Cruz, asked members of the Body of Christ to vote Cruz: “I implore every member of the Body of Christ to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Millions Of Dead Fish Wash Ashore In Vietnam

Posted: 02 May 2016 02:21 PM PDT

Millions of dead fish stretched out over 200 kilometers of central Vietnamese beaches are posing the biggest test so far for the new government. The Communist administration…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Scientists Discover New Potentially Habitable Planets

Posted: 02 May 2016 01:57 PM PDT

Three exoplanets resembling Earth have been discovered orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star dubbed TRAPPIST-1, an international group of astronomers said in the interdisciplinary scientific journal Nature on…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Glenn Beck Urges America To Join Him In Fasting For “God’s Help”

Posted: 02 May 2016 01:48 PM PDT

Glenn Beck, former Fox News host and the founder of Blaze media products, called on America to join him for a fast in the lead-up to the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Judge blocks KY Confederate monument removal…

Posted: 02 May 2016 01:44 PM PDT

A Jefferson County Circuit judge on Monday issued a restraining order to block removal of the controversial Confederate monument near the University of Louisville. Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

APPLE stock heads toward longest loss streak in 18 years…

Posted: 02 May 2016 01:40 PM PDT

Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.10% pared earlier losses to be down 0.5% in morning trade Monday–they were down as much as 1.4% earlier in the session–but…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Are You Crossing a Line With the Almighty?

Posted: 02 May 2016 12:15 PM PDT

(Lisa Great) “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea Reveals Invasion That Would Leave A Million Dead

Posted: 02 May 2016 12:08 PM PDT

Starved of food, North Korea is on the brink of collapse, and in its desperation threatens an invasion of its South Korean neighbours. Reports from the country…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

British Muslims Want Their Own Islamic Nation

Posted: 02 May 2016 12:03 PM PDT

Muslims living in the UK increasingly want self-determination and the implementation of Sharia law nationwide, according to radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary. Choudary, speaking in an exclusive…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

7 Sure Signs That America Has Declared War on Our Faith

Posted: 02 May 2016 11:42 AM PDT

(Michael Brown) Is there an increasing hostility to Christian values and religious freedoms in our country today? Here are seven representative examples, all from the last few…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


Christian Headlines

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

 Historic NYC Cathedral Engulfed in Flames on Orthodox Easter Sunday
 Ted Cruz on Transgender Bathroom Issue: it ‘Opens the Door for Predators’
 Is Sex-Change Treatment Planned Parenthood’s New Moneymaker?
 Army Reinstates Green Beret Who Confronted Afghan Rapist
 Woman is Miraculously Healed from Cancer through Power of Prayer
 Kobe Bryant Shares How Talking to a Priest Helped Him through Trials
 India: Catholic Bishop Kidnapped and Beaten before Eventually Being Released
 Tennessee Adopts Protections for Christian Counselors
 New Bill Would Force Colleges to Publicize Religious Exemptions
 Jen Hatmaker’s Pro-Gay Post Got One Thing Right, Says Christianity Today Columnist

Opinion

 Teacher Sickout Shuts Down Detroit Schools
 New Discovery of Light at Conception Should Direct Focus to God’s Creation, Not Ours
 Weasel Shuts Down the World’s Largest Machine
 Evangelicals: We Don’t Have All the Answers
 How Different Would Europe be without Christianity?

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.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


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


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Connecting the NAR dots: Gumbel, Brodersen and the Neo-Calvary emergence

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research connects the dots for us:

Yes, London is the hot spot for next week’s big gathering of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) leaders, peddling their latest “words from God” and visions from the realms of glory.

Before you say “ho hum, another heretic convention,” let me point out what makes it newsworthy. These are the false teachers now being embraced by some mighty big church hitters from several mainline denominations.

The Empowerment 21 Conference May 11-13 showcases all the usual cast of prophets and prophetesses, plus one more: Nicky Gumbel, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton.  This should make those in the Calvary Chapel movement squirm, as it points to yet another recent signpost of a departure from Chuck Smith’s original standards and doctrinal distinctives — not to mention warnings against these dangerous wolves.

Four Things God Supplies to Overwhelmed Leaders – Unlocking the Bible

Have you ever felt out of your league as a leader? You may be surprised to know that one of the greatest leaders in the Bible, Moses, can totally identify with those feelings. Even so, God used Moses in the most amazing ways.

The good news about being used by God is that God uses insecure, overwhelmed, intimidated leaders like you and me, to accomplish his work in this world.

The story of God calling Moses in Exodus 3 and 4 give us a picture of an overwhelmed leader.

When God called Moses to deliver his people from Egypt, it is helpful to put yourself in Moses’ sandals. He grew up in the house of Pharaoh and fled as a wanted fugitive after killing an Egyptian. Then, God spoke to him through a burning bush, telling him to go back and do the impossible.

Moses questioned God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:7-11)

What does God do for Moses? Does he act like a divine drill sergeant saying, “Just move it!” No. Does he respond like Donald Trump saying, “You’re fired!” No.

God in his infinite mercy supplies four things to Moses that apply to overwhelmed leaders today:

1. God supplies his presence.

He said, “But I will be with you…” (Exodus 3:12)

God manifesting his presence in a special way is one of the great benefits of the gospel. Before you came to Christ, you were at odds with God. You were his enemy. You were actually under his wrath.

But in Christ, you have been reconciled to God. And as one of God’s people, you experience his presence to bless you. You see God doing this with Moses and the people of Israel in the wilderness. He was with them in a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. He helped them. He led them. He protected them. He provided for them. He blessed them.

And God has promised to be with you. After Christ gives his disciples the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples, he says, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

God is with you as you fulfill the ministry he has called you to lead. God has promised he will be with you forever.

2. God supplies his power.

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:19-20)

What were the chances of Moses waltzing into Egypt and freeing the Hebrew people on his own? Let’s face it. They were zero. There was no chance.

This was not about Moses’ power, but about God’s. God basically said to Moses, “You provide the obedience Moses. I’ll provide the power.”

What power do you and I have to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, change a human heart, or make someone grow spiritually? None.

In fact, Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He means that apart from him you can do nothing of spiritual significance. Why? Because only God has the power to make a spiritual difference in the lives of people.

Here’s the challenge for us: In Moses’ situation, it was so obvious that Moses couldn’t accomplish the challenge on his own. He knew he had to rely on the power of the Lord. For us, we sometimes think we can handle ministry on our own. That’s a trap.

We need to rely on the power of God for effective ministry. And here’s how we can tell if we are depending on his power: How much are we praying? Prayer indicates our dependence on the Lord. Prayer demonstrates that we know we don’t have the power. That we know we are relying on God’s power.

3. God supplies his providence.

But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:10-12)

Moses is immobilized by his own inadequacies. He says, “I don’t have the verbal skills to do this. I’m slow of speech. I’m not a good public speaker!”

And God says, “Moses, trust my providence.” God’s providence is how he orders the circumstances of this world to make sure his will is accomplished. God says, “Look Moses…who controls these things? And I have made sure that you have what you need to accomplish what I called you to do.”

Do you believe that? Do you believe that God is in control of the abilities, the education, the background, the intelligence, the physical characteristics that you have? Do you believe God has given you what you need to accomplish the task he has put before you?

Even with all God has given us, we still have weaknesses  The words of Jesus to Paul are a comfort:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Trust that he has given you those weaknesses so you will depend on him.

4. God supplies his partners.

But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do.” (Exodus 4:13-15)

Moses is complaining about his lack of speaking ability. And God says, “I’ll give you a partner to fill in where you are weak.” That’s God’s way throughout the scriptures. That is why he calls the church the body of Christ. We all need one another. We each have a role to play. We each have a unique contribution to make. You need people around you who can fill in where you are weak. And you can do the same for them.

In the midst of this passage that shows us the mercy of God, we also see God’s anger triggered by Moses saying, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13).

God puts up with our fears and insecurities. But he does not accept our disobedience.

“Send someone else” is not an acceptable answer to the Lord. He won’t take no for an answer. If God calls you to do something, he won’t accept no for an answer. “Send someone else” will not fly with God.

Here is the encouraging part: You can obey because of the four things God has promised you. Yes, God has given you great responsibility as a leader. Fortunately, he has given you equally great resources and promises to empower you to fulfill that responsibility as well.

Can you think of anything else God supplies to overwhelmed leaders?

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The post Four Things God Supplies to Overwhelmed Leaders appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

An Addict in Your Home! – Biblical Counseling Center

Do you love an addict who lives at home? Are you counseling an addict? Biblical counselor Julie Ganschow, director of Reigning Grace Counseling Center in Kansas City, MO, shares this thoughtful and encouraging article that appeared first on her website. It is used with permission.

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When you learn your loved one is an addict, it rocks your world.

The first thing you have to understand is that life will never be the same. Whether the addict is your spouse or your child, your life is now going to be different. I realize that is a rather hopeless statement on face value, but it doesn’t have to be.

Life not being the same doesn’t mean it will always be bad and chaotic; it means it will be different.

Crazy Life with an Addict Now Makes Sense

The realization that your spouse or child is an addict is horrifying and terrifying. Suddenly all the crazy things that have been happening make sense. Their moodiness, anger or rage, isolation, disappearing for periods of time, financial problems, secrecy, all these things come together in an ugly realization.

When you really think about it, life has not been “the same” for a while now. The difference is, now you can identify the reason why. Now you can make changes that will help you and your family—including the addict—to adjust to the changes.

As terrifying as learning the truth about your loved one is, there is something strangely comforting about understanding the reason behind all the crazy things that have been happening in your lives. Now you can arm yourself and become informed about what you are dealing with. You can learn how to respond and what not to do.

So while life will never be the same, and no one ever wishes for these kinds of changes, you can now at least meet life on life’s terms and deal in reality. Accept what you are dealing with and that you will grieve and endure suffering in this process.

Crazy Life with an Addict Brings Suffering

Life with an addict brings suffering and it brings sorrow, but you already know that. You have taken steps into suffering and sorrow already. Having a loved one that is addicted to alcohol or drugs tends to be seriously distressing.

Having an addict in the family causes problems in a wide range of areas. An adage that you need to remember is, “Addicts don’t have relationships. They take hostages.”

An addict is interested in having a relationship with only the substances that he ingests. There is no room in his heart for a relationship with any person that will detract or distract him from pursuing what he really loves: His addiction.

The people in the addict’s life are tools to help him get what he wants which is drugs or alcohol. People are there to be used. I won’t deny that the addict may still love you on some level, but if the choice is you or the substance he ingests, any good addict will choose the substance over you.

This is why in families the addict can cause such a disruption. They are highly manipulative, skilled in lying, and playing on the sympathetic heartstrings of those who love them. When they are denied what they want, you see their true love and allegiance come out as they scream, and tantrum, and threaten, and rage against anything and everyone that gets in the way of them getting high.

Why “Stop it” Won’t Work

The addict’s life becomes all about self-gratification – meeting the felt needs of excitement, pain relief, escape, or comfort. They are inward-focused and all that matters is getting their needs met in whatever way possible, whether it is begging, borrowing or stealing from you. The pursuit of self-gratification becomes all-consuming.

Please understand, you cannot fix or change your addict’s behavior.

We consider attaching the label “addict” when a person’s desires have become idols. The addict is an idolater because he worships something other than God.

We have been created to worship God, but the addict’s sinful lusts have driven him to worship and idolize other things; the things of the world. This is why having an addiction is a kind of worship and why addiction is a worship disorder. The addict has a heart/soul problem, not a medical or psychological problem.

Continually feeding the idol of drugs or alcohol will eventually create a physical dependency, but the heart which Jeremiah 17:9 identifies as self-focused, deceptive and desperately wicked, has been enslaved long before the body becomes addicted. The addict’s heart—his thoughts, beliefs, and desires—were hooked first.

The mind is focused on the flesh. Therefore it becomes hostile to the things of God, and the person becomes a commandment breaker and very often a lawbreaker (Romans 5:8).

“Addiction” becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of self-worship and self-abuse as the addict becomes a slave of self. What he or she once controlled, now controls them.

Here Is What You Can Do

While you can’t stop them from sinning, you also don’t want to continue to do things that will enable them to get high or drunk. The phrase “don’t be an enabler” may be familiar to you as coming from the 12-step world of Al-Anon. Don’t discard the principle because you don’t like the source. Other words for enabling are: allowing, permitting, empowering, aiding, assisting, facilitating, making possible. In other words, don’t willingly help them to get high, and don’t do things that make it easier for them to do so.

Implement boundaries to detach yourself financially from your addicted loved one. You do not control whether the addict uses or not, but you can control whether (or how much) you contribute to funding the addict’s chemical use. Do not give money to your addicted loved one. (Most people I counsel this way refuse to implement financial boundaries. The result is usually more of the same.)

Do not provide vehicles, insurance funding, or tuition to addicted persons. I commonly see parents let addicted children live in their homes rent free. Ousting the addict into independent living will not necessarily stop chemical use but it will require them to divert more money from funding their addiction to paying for their independent room and board.

If your son, daughter, or spouse makes the decision to live as a homeless person, it will hurt you terribly. But please understand that they will do this until it is time for them to change. You cannot change them or those circumstances. It will not help them for you to give them a bed in your home if they continue to live the lifestyle of an addict. In fact, you will be hurting them.

The emotional struggle to truly turn the addicted loved one over to God and the fearful “natural consequences” that the addict may encounter (or possibly die from) such as crime, personal neglect, or intoxicated accidents commonly prevents family and friends of the addicted person from truly “letting go.” This requires a leap of faith, and constitutes a trial for friends of the addicted person.

I have heard transformed (repentant) former addicts refer to it as “Coming to the end of one’s self.” Often a similar dynamic holds true for the family and friends of the addicted person and their unwillingness to trust God in the full vent outcome for the addicted person. This may seem harsh and unloving, but I assure you, pain is a strong motivator for change.

If you are in such circumstances, please seek help from a knowledgeable Biblical Counselor for yourself and your other family members to deal with the pain and resulting emotions from having an addicted-idolater in your family.

The post An Addict in Your Home! appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.

Gossip: When Assassination Becomes Acceptable – The Cripplegate

As I type this, there are three ladies right next to me that are assassinating reputations.

gossipSome girl they all know can’t keep a job. Another common friend is always complaining about everything. One of the girls’ boyfriends is selfish, and his mother makes Jezebel look like the Proverbs 31 woman. They have probably talked about over a dozen people whom, if they were standing here in my place, would be in a puddle of tears. It is grossing me out. But now I’m thinking about my conversations over the past weeks and suddenly I’m grossed out with myself.

Gossip is seen as inevitable in our day and age. People are so bored with their own lives that they must talk about everyone else in order to have a conversation that lasts longer than 5 minutes. TV shows, Magazines and blogs use the word in their title as a positive.

Gossip is something that we all struggle with, but it is something we must fight as hard as the sins we deem unacceptable. Matthew 12:36 says “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak”; we must take it seriously and fight to kill this sin in our lives.

As I’m sitting here listening to these ladies, and rethinking my own careless words there are several truths about gossip that are coming to mind.

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TMS: Preaching in Dangerous Days

In the verses surrounding 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul provided his protégé with much-needed motivation to stand firm and persevere to the end. For Timothy, the command was clear: preach the Word; and the calling was deadly serious: souls were at stake.

In order to equip him for the task, Paul gave Timothy five compelling reasons to persevere in ministry faithfulness. These motivations, found in 2 Timothy 3:1–4:4, are as applicable today as they were when the apostle wrote them nearly two millennia ago.

In today’s post, we will consider the first of these motivations.

Motivation 1: Preach the Word
Because of the Danger of the Seasons (2 Timothy 3:1–9)

In 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul warned Timothy “that in the last days difficult times will come.” Used here, the phrase “the last days” refers not merely to the end of the church age, but to the entirety of it, from the Day of Pentecost to the Parousia. Paul’s point is that, until the Lord comes back, the church will continually experience difficult times. As commentator William Hendricksen explains, “In every period of history, there will be a season during which men refuse to listen to sound doctrine. As history continues onward toward the consummation, this situation grows worse” (Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, 311).

The phrase “difficult times” does not refer to specific points of chronological time, but rather to seasons or epochs of time. And the term “difficult” carries with it the meaning of being “savage” or “perilous.” Paul is expressing the reality that, throughout the church age, there will be seasons of time in which believers are savagely threatened.

With his execution imminent, the apostle certainly knew a great deal about the difficulty that Christians might face. He also understood that Timothy was facing persecution and hostility; and that his young apprentice would be tempted by sins of cowardice and compromise. But that was exactly why Timothy needed to preach the Word. The looming threat made his ministry mandate all the more necessary and urgent.

In 2 Timothy 3:13, Paul wrote, “Evil men during these dangerous epochs will proceed from bad to worse.” Such men are “lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (3:2–4). They are externally religious, “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power,” as they “enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (vv. 5–7). Being of a depraved mind, they are filled with sin, error, and destruction. They oppose sound doctrine and reject the faith.

Significantly, based on Paul’s description, it is clear that the greatest threat to the church comes not from hostile forces without, but from false teachers within. Like spiritual terrorists, they sneak into the church and leave a path of destruction in their wake. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15); and it is their treachery that makes the difficult times of the last days so perilous.

The church has been threatened by savage wolves and spiritual swindlers from its earliest days (cf. Acts 20:29). Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), has always sought to undermine the truth with his deadly errors (1 Tim. 4:1; cf. 2 Cor. 11:4). It is not surprising, then, that church history has often been marked by difficult times—seasons in which falsehood and deception have waged war against the pure gospel. Consider, for example, the havoc created by the following errors:

Sacramentalism

One of the earliest deceptions to infiltrate the church on a massive scale was sacramentalism—the idea that an individual can connect with God through ritualism or religious ceremony. As sacramentalism gained widespread acceptance, the Roman Catholic Church supposed itself to be a surrogate savior, and people became connected to a system, but not to Christ.

Religious ritual became the enemy of the true gospel, standing in opposition to genuine grace and undermining the authority of God and His Word. Many were deluded by the sacramental system. It was a grave danger that developed throughout the middle ages, holding Europe in a spiritual chokehold for nearly a millennium.

Though sacramentalism was exposed, by God’s grace, during the Reformation, it still represents a lingering threat. Even today, it continues to thrive in the apostate systems of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, destroying those who are doctrinally ignorant.

Rationalism

Not long after the Reformation, a second major wave of error crashed upon the life of the church: rationalism. As European society emerged from the Dark Ages, the resulting Age of Enlightenment emphasized human reason and scientific empiricism, while simultaneously discounting the spiritual and supernatural. Philosophers no longer looked to God as the explanation for the world; but rather sought to account for everything in rational, naturalistic, and Deistic terms.

As men began to place themselves above God and their own reason over Scripture, it was not long until rationalism gained access into the church. Higher critical theory—which denied the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible—infiltrated Protestantism through seminaries in both Europe and America. So-called Christian scholars began to question the most fundamental tenets of the faith, as they popularized quests for the “historical Jesus” and denied Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.

The legacy of that rationalism, in the form of theological liberalism and continual attacks on biblical inerrancy, is yet alive and well. As such, it represents a continued threat to the truth.

Orthodoxism

A third historic threat to the church might be labeled orthodoxism. With this movement came the desire to return to orthodox Christianity. But the primary means used to accomplish this goal was the imposition of external standards. The end result was not true Christianity, but a cold formalism and superficial moralism. This kind of dead orthodoxy was prevalent, for example, in early eighteenth-century England, where the church had become a spiritual desert. Even in Puritan New England at that time, the spiritual climate was characterized by apathy and hypocrisy.

Though the truth was accessible, genuine belief was severely lacking. True conviction had been exchanged for a lifeless indifference to the Word of God; true conversion for a shallow pretense of spirituality. It was in the midst of this spiritual deadness, that the Spirit of God sparked a revival—both in England and in colonial America—through the ministries of George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and John and Charles Wesley. Yet, dead orthodoxy still persists in the church today. Twenty-first century congregations are filled with cultural Christians—professing believers who look good on the outside, but internally do not truly know God.

Politicism and Ecumenism

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially in America, the church grew increasingly fascinated with government and political power. Many Christians became convinced that the best way to influence the world was through civil action and social activism—whether the issue was prohibition or, more recently, prayer in public schools. Over the last 150 years, and especially in recent decades, millions of man hours and billions of dollars have been spent attempting to legislate morality. Yet, the results have been less than encouraging, as American society grows continually worse.

In its preoccupation with politics, the church has neglected the fact that its primary purpose on earth is not political but redemptive. The Great Commission is a call to make disciples, not to change the government. If society is to be truly changed, it must be through the transformation of individual sinners. But that kind of heart renewal cannot be legislated; it is only possible through the preaching of the gospel by the power of the Spirit.

Sadly, the church’s desire for political influence opened the door to rank ecumenism. In their quest to moralize America, some evangelicals began to view other religious groups (like Roman Catholics and Mormons) as political allies, rather than the mission field. The assumption was that by partnering with such groups, the church could increase its influence in society. But nothing could be further from the truth; when the gospel is compromised, any real influence is lost (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14).

Experientialism, Subjectivism, and Mysticism

In the 1960s and ‘70s another dangerous doctrine arose called the Charismatic Renewal Movement, as Pentecostal experientialism began to infiltrate the mainline denominations. As a result, the church was tempted to define truth on the basis of emotional experience. Biblical interpretation was no longer based on the clear teaching of the text; but rather upon feelings and subjective, unverifiable experiences, such as supposed revelations, visions, prophecies, and intuition.

In the 1980s, the influence of clinical psychology brought subjectivism into the church. The result was a man-centered Christianity in which the sanctification process was redefined for each individual, and sin was relabeled a sickness. The Bible was no longer deemed sufficient for life and godliness; instead, it was replaced with an emphasis on psychological tools and techniques.

Mysticism arrived in full force in the 1990s, ravaging the church by convincing people to listen for a paranormal word from God rather than seeking out truth in the written Word of God. People began neglecting the Bible, looking instead for the Lord to speak to them directly. Consequently, the authority of Scripture was turned on its head.

All three of these movements attacked the sufficiency of Scripture. Whether people supplemented the Bible with supposed miraculous gifts, or with the human wisdom of psychology, or with their own imagined intuitions, many in the church began to seek something beyond the pages of God’s Word.

Pragmatism and Syncretism

At the end of the twentieth century, the church was also greatly damaged by the Trojan horse of pragmatism. Though it looked good on the outside (because it resulted in greater numbers of attendees), the seeker-driven movements of the 1990s quickly killed off any true appetite for sound doctrine. Ear-tickling became the norm—as “seekers” were treated like potential customers. The church adopted a marketing mentality, focusing on “what works,” even at the expense of a biblical ecclesiology.

Pragmatism inevitably gave way to syncretism, because popularity was viewed as the standard of success. In order to gain acceptance in a post-modern society, the church became soft on sin and error. Capitulation was masked as tolerance; compromise redefined as love; and doubt extolled as humility. Suddenly, interfaith dialogues and manifestos—and even interfaith seminaries—began to sprout up on the evangelical landscape. So-called evangelicals started to champion the message that “we all worship one God.’ And those who were willing to stand for truth were dismissed as divisive and uncouth.

* * * * *

The church today is the hodgepodge product of these accumulated errors—from sacramentalism to subjectivism to syncretism. The “difficult times” that Paul spoke of certainly characterize the contemporary situation. Yet, in the midst of this chaos and confusion, faithful ministers are still required to carry out the very task that Paul gave to Timothy. In fact, the only solution for the church today is for pastors to diligently fulfill their God-given responsibility to preach the Word.

The post Preaching in Dangerous Days appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

Top podcasts for Christian leaders – Southern Blog

Podcasts are on the rise. When Serial took the world by storm at the end of 2014, many were exposed to this medium for the first time. Since then it seems like new podcasts are appearing every week. As many have discovered, podcasts are an especially accessible way to consume content. For pastors and other leaders who spend much of their time on the go, podcasts can be a game-changer. With that in mind, we asked several evangelical leaders who are also podcast aficionados for their recommendations:


 

Dan DumasDan Dumas, @DanDumas


Senior Vice President for Institutional Administration, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Make sure to check out Exemplary Exposition, one exemplary sermon published a week for your progressive sanctification.

What are 3-5 podcasts you would recommend for pastors or other Christian leaders?

  • The Briefing: A daily news and cultural commentary by Dr. R. Albert Mohler.
  • Serial: A fascinating listen about true stories and plots as they unfold week after week.
  • Five Leadership Questions: Barnabas Piper and Todd Atkins ask 5 questions of various guest leaders. This is insightful and light-hearted.
  • Five Minutes in Church History: This is five minutes you will want to spend as Dr. Stephen Nichols travels back in time, condenses the history and makes it a digestible experience.

 

Trevin WaxTrevin Wax, @TrevinWax

Managing editor of The Gospel Project, a gospel-centered small group curriculum for all ages, published by LifeWay Christian Resources.

Don’t miss Trevin’s new podcast, Word Matters. Each week Trevin and Brandon Smith seek to help Christians understand some of the most confusing passages in the Bible.

What is your routine for listening to podcasts?

I listen to podcasts when I’m driving to the office, walking in the neighborhood, or when doing chores around the house. I usually set the podcast to 1 1/2 speed, to benefit from Apple’s “skipping” technique that speeds the podcast up without making everyone sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I use Apple’s podcast app.

What are 3-5 podcasts you would recommend for pastors or other Christian leaders?

  • The best place to start is still The World and Everything In Ita half hour newsmagazine that summarizes the day’s top news and features commentary from a conservative Christian perspective. The quality is excellent, and you can forward to the next segment in case you’re not interested in what’s being discussed.
  • NPR is still king when it comes to masterful storytelling in an audio format. My three favorites in this genre are released weekly or twice a month. This American Lifelong a staple of public radio, carries over well as a podcast. I don’t listen to every episode, but I rarely go a month without dipping into this series.
  • The Five Leadership Questions podcast hosted by Barnabas Piper and Todd Adkins comes out twice a week and features great topics and guests.
  • Thom Rainer’s podcast is also worth downloading. Rainer talks about different trends he observes in the landscape of churches and ministries in North America. Always food for thought here.
  • For more in depth conversations about religion, theology and public life, I recommend the weekly Research on Religion from Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, and the monthly-released Thinking in Public.

 

Dan DarlingDaniel Darling, @DanDarling

Vice President for Communications, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dan is also the host of The Way Home, a weekly conversation with Christian leaders on church, community, and culture.

What is your routine for listening to podcasts?

My routine is that I listen whenever I can. I always, always have a podcast going while driving, unless my kids are in the car and torture me with their music requests. I have a half-hour commute, so this is fertile listening time. I don’t take phone calls in the car. I don’t listen to the radio in the car. This is time for podcasts (unless I’m listening to an audiobook, which I’ve been doing lately). I also listen while I’m walking in the morning. I typically take about a 2 mile walk in my neighborhood and listen. Then I also try to listen to podcasts while I’m doing some kind of mundane chore or other such things around the house.

I’m still pretty sold on the Podcasts app by Apple. This was a game-changer. Back in the day, it was a bit more cumbersome and involved syncing the phone to the computer and finding the “podcasts” tab in iTunes. Now that podcasts have their own app and update “over the air,” listening is a breeze. In the car, I hook the up via audio cable. Otherwise its either headphones (while walking) or Boze portable bluetooth speaker at home.

What are 3-5 podcasts you would recommend for pastors or other Christian leaders?

  • Signposts with Russell Moore (I’m biased, of course): Dr. Moore is very interesting and eclectic. He will talk difficult cultural issues one day and break down a movie or artist another day. Sometimes he’ll talk about his personal devotional life. Other times he will discuss a recent book he’s read. Whatever he’s talking about, it is must-listening.
  • Longform: If you enjoy good, longform journalism and storytelling, this podcast interviews the leading practitioners. Pastors need to read and understand about their world in order to bring God’s truth to bear upon it. This podcast features interviews with a wide variety of journalists and storytellers and offers a window into the human condition in a way that few do.
  • 9Marks Interviews: Great discussions on discipleship, church polity, and other important matters. Some are more compelling than others, but if you do nothing else, you should listen to the three part interview with Mark Dever and Tim Keller.
  • Rainer on Leadership: Hosted by Jonathan Howe and LIfeway CEO, Thom Rainer. This podcast digs into practical church matters like few do and is helpful for both large-church pastors or pastors of small, country churches.
  • The World and Everything In It: Produced by World Magazine. Perhaps the best-produced 30 minute audio newscast out there. Features explanation of headlines, interviews, and opinion on what is happening in the world.
  • The Axe Files: Interviews with leading newsmakers by David Axelrod, President Obama’s former chief campaign strategist. I know what you are thinking: why listen to a guy we agree with on virtually nothing? Because a) he is one of the best interviewers and b) it is good to hear the perspective of people on the other side of the issues.
  • Conversations with Bill Kristol: For the above reasons

Bonus recommendations: Presidential by Washington Post and Whistlestop by John Dickerson (if you are a presidential history nerd like me), Help Me Teach the Bible with Nancy Guthrie (The Gospel Coalition), Imago Dei Church (Pastor Tony Merida).


 

 

Bryan BaiseBryan Baise, @BryanBaise

Assistant professor of worldview and apologetics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

What is your routine for listening to podcasts?

I listen to podcasts on my commute to work. It gives me close to an hour a day (to work and back home). I’ll also listen to them when I’m running. I use the basic Apple podcast app.

What are 3-5 podcasts you would recommend for pastors or other Christian leaders?

  • Whistlestop: A podcast of presidential campaign history, told by John Dickerson of Face the Nation. It’s really well done and informative. It gives a window into presidential history that is unique and really enjoyable.
  • Signposts with Russell Moore: This is a podcast where Dr. Moore has conversations about gospel ministry, politics, books, culture, etc. I’ve found it really helpful.
  • Conversations with Bill Kristol: In-depth conversations with leading figures and thinkers. It’s really well done.
  • Note to Self: A podcast about the relationship between our humanity and technology. As a self-professed lover of most things technology, it’s helpful for me to hear other perspectives on the promises and dangers of tech. They don’t always do exactly that, but it’s really excellent. And they’re relatively short episodes.
  • Longform: it’s an hour long podcast with writers, journalists, and the like about their careers, stories, etc. But it’s especially a podcast on writing as a craft. I’m not a gifted writer so I’m always looking for tips, advice, or stories from writers about how they were, once upon a time, the same as me!
  • Limetown: a fictional investigation into how the residents of Limetown — home to a mysterious research facility — vanished. All of them. At the same time. It’s riveting.

_______________

Colby Adams is the Director of Media Relations and Digital Communications at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is also completing a Master of Divinity degree. He and his wife Amanda have been married since 2014 and have one child.

Source: Top podcasts for Christian leaders

Unnatural, Undeserved, Unconditional, and Sacrificial Love for Enemies

Unfathomable Grace

With words, Jesus teaches his disciples to be merciful and gracious. They are to love their enemies, do good to those who are harming them,  pray for those abusing them, and bless those in the process of cursing them.

On the evening of his arrest, Jesus again teaches his disciples to be merciful and gracious, but this time he does so through his action. Malchus is one of those who comes illegally and surreptitiously to arrest Jesus. He is numbered amongst the antichrists, and in the process of binding Jesus his ear is removed by Simon Peter’s sword. However, despite his animosity, Jesus expresses love and heals this man before he is carried away to the place of inquisition and torture.

The next day, while being crucified, Jesus again teaches his disciples to be merciful and gracious. After a horrid night and day, Jesus is weary. He is bleeding from head to toe. A crown of thorns is imbedded into his skull, and his face is bruised and raw from being punched and having…

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Rescuer in the Drama Triangle

Happy Living!

Smothering_mom_1763Every dysfunctional interaction takes place on the Drama Triangle. Each person has a primary or most familiar role – their “starting gate” position. This is the place where we enter or “get hooked” onto the triangle. We first learn our starting gate position as children and in our family of origin.

The Rescuer might be described as a shadow aspect of the mother principle. Instead of an appropriate expression of support and nurturing the Rescuer tends to smother, control, and manipulate others – “for their own good,” of course. They have a misguided understanding of what it is to encourage, empower, and protect.

A Starting Gate Rescuer (SGR) is the classic co-dependent. The SGR tends be enabling, overly protective – the one who wants to “fix it.” Rescuing is an addiction that comes from an unconscious need to feel valued. There is no better way to feel important than…

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Only In America Could a Career Criminal Run For President (VIDEO)

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Hillary-Clinton-dead-bodies

No words of mine could adequately expose Hillary Clinton better than this video. It has gone viral – over 4 million hits; and yet she remains the front runner for the Democratic ticket for the presidential election.

Whatever happened to the FBI investigation of Emailgate?  It has disappeared, just like all of the scandals of Clinton; dirty politics at its finest.

Please share this with anyone you know who is determined to vote for this woman.

COME LORD JESUS!

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