Daily Archives: August 17, 2016

You Have No Right To Speak Unless You Are a Lefty

That the radical left is not in the least bit interested in what the masses think and believe is quite apparent by the appalling disdain they show for genuine public debate. They do not want real debate to take place, and they do not want the ordinary citizen to be able to have a say in important social and political issues.

The secular left pretends it is the voice of the people, but the truth is, it can’t stand the people. It does not want them to have a voice at all. They think their “superior” views are the only legitimate views out there. As Bill Buckley said long ago, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

Or as Mark Steyn more recently put it, “The Left does not want to win the debate, it wants to shut down the debate.” And we find this happening time and time again. Consider the issue of homosexuality and homosexual marriage. The left does not want these matters discussed and debated – they want them force fed on a hapless population whether they like it or not.

And their preferred means of “debate” is to simply attack you, call you names, and smear your reputation if you dare to disagree with them. Dare to appeal to facts, to history, to the wellbeing of children, or what have you, and you will be met with all the usual responses: “You are a bigot.” “You’re homophobic”. “You are hateful.”

Yep, that sure beats having to engage in actual debate. Just fling mud, resort to ad hominems, and never actually engage with a real argument. Thus the activists on the left simply seek to browbeat everyone into submission. They are not interested in debate – they want complete domination.

banksThey may pay lip service to genuine debate, the merits of democracy, and the place of free speech, but they demonstrate by their actions that they really care about none of these things. They want to implement their radical agendas, and want to shut down any voices to the contrary.

We have had plenty of examples of this with the homosexual marriage debate, and the issue of a people’s plebiscite on it. It seems every activist and their media buddies are demanding that we abandon the plebiscite. On the one hand they claim that everyone plus their uncle fully favours homosexual marriage, yet they are actually terrified of putting it to a vote.

They claim Australia overwhelmingly supports homosexual marriage yet they are doing everything they can to prevent people from actually having a say on this. Incredible. Just what are they so afraid of? Why are they so hostile to what ordinary Australians might say on this issue?

The latest example of this blatant hatred of democracy, free speech, and the common man comes from Tasmania. There the big cheese activists have made it perfectly clear that every single one of us should just sit down and shut up. Our opinions are not welcome, and they will decide how we proceed on these matters, thanks very much.

Consider this shocker from a recent newspaper article:

Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks has spoken out against the plebiscite on same-sex marriage, saying the rights and freedoms of society should not be the subject of a popularity opinion poll. “Equality in marriage should not be the subject to the whims of the majority,” Ms Banks said at a rally in Hobart. The rally on the lawns of Parliament House today attracted about 80 people, including Tasmanian Greens Senators Peter Whish Wilson and Nick McKim and State Greens leader Cassy O’Connor.

Wow, did you get that? The “whims of the majority”! Yep, we sure do not want the Australian people deciding on something as utterly important and revolutionary as redefining the very nature of marriage and family, and overthrowing millennia of human wisdom and common sense on these matters.

Who are these mere cretins to speak out on such issues? They must just remain silent while a handful of activists and leftist elites decide all this for us. After all, they know so much better than the common man. They are so wise and so knowledgeable.

But the other 99.9 per cent of us are just too dumb to be able to voice our opinions on this. Indeed, our voice counts for nothing. Who are we to defy the activists and the gender benders? Why, that would amount to things like free speech and real democracy if the masses actually had the right to speak on such things.

We sure do not want that now do we? What next? Allow free and open elections for who runs the country? Boy, that rabble is getting carried away here. We will let the experts and the sexperts decide for the rest of us. After all, they must know what is best for us.

But wait, there’s more. Get a load of this:

Psychologist Tim Sanderson told the rally that linking public votes to marriage equality could lead to poor mental health. Mr Sanderson said the Australian Psychological Society fully supported that the marriage equality process should not be put to a public vote. “The APS recognises that a public vote presents significant risks to the wellbeing of those affected,’’ Mr Sanderson said.

“Risks to the wellbeing of those affected”? Really. Hey, am I not affected? Are not children affected? Is not all of Australia affected? Is not every family in this country affected? But we must all just shut up and not be allowed to share our concerns.

Only the radical left social activists are allowed to speak about this. Only they can decide what the entire nation must do on this. Not us poor slobs. We must simply remain silent and submit to the diktats of our elites. The masters will decide for us. Ours is simply to obey.

Um, did we not hear this sort of thing before? Did we not send millions of our sons to die on foreign beaches and far-flung battlefields to challenge this sort of totalitarianism? Did we not decide that dictatorship, tyrants and Brave New Worlds were not to be the world’s future, but a free people?

Did we not witness the bloodshed of so many to keep us a free people? And now we are seeing all that being stamped on by the homosexual jackboots. They have become the new rainbow fascists who will demand the total compliance of the masses to the dictatorship of the pink elites.

Sorry, I will never submit to these sexual Stalinists. I refuse to bow down and worship at the feet of the pink mafia. If they so despise democracy, so hate freedom of speech, and so deplore the common man, then they can go take a hike. They should move to North Korea or somewhere more fitting of their tyrannical ideology.

But they have no place in a free and democratic Australia. I am shocked that every media outlet in the nation did not decry and condemn in the strongest terms these militants as they seek to silence the masses and pretend only they can speak and act on these matters.

But as usual, we heard crickets chirping. The mainstream media is totally in bed with the homosexual militants. Indeed, many in the MSM are in their camp, and they are doing all they can to shut down free and genuine debate, and turn 21st Century Australia into some 20th Century dictatorship and pink hell hole.

The other day columnist Andrew Bolt penned a piece entitled “We’re mad as hell and it’s time to speak out”. Well, that about summarises where I am at – and millions of other ordinary Australians. He documented a number of recent cases of the Stalinist left crushing free speech while vilifying conservatives.

He concluded with the words: “This assault by the Left on free speech has abused our intelligence and our freedom. Australians, insulted and offended, are now saying they are as mad as hell and will not take this any more. It’s time to fight.”

I hear ya Andrew. And I am fighting. Who will join me?

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/antidiscrimination-commissioner-speaks-out-against-plebiscite-on-samesex-marriage/news-story/5fbe9d654e65ab8c74a3eaf589ad1f87
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-were-mad-as-hell-and-its-time-to-speak-out/news-story/4d97f76a0b8d4716c67e450b64c55349

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The post You Have No Right To Speak Unless You Are a Lefty appeared first on CultureWatch.

 

Obama Set To Hand Over Control Of The Internet To Global Consortium ICANN On October 1

The Department of Commerce is set to hand off the final vestiges of American control over the Internet to international authorities in less than two months, officials have confirmed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Without a doubt of any kind, the invention and release of the Internet to the general public has been the single greatest economic advancement in human history. Barack Obama is willingly handing over American control of it to a faceless global entity which has a board that includes Russia and China. And why? Because that global corporation that will now run it does not have a Constitution which calls for Freedom of Speech for its citizens. That’s why. 

The department will finalize the transition effective October 1, Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling wrote on Tuesday, barring what he called “any significant impediment.”

The move means the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is responsible for interpreting numerical addresses on the Web to a readable language, will move from U.S. control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, a multi-stakeholder body that includes countries like China and Russia.

Obama talks about the “flaws” contained in our founding documents:

Critics of the move, most prominently Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, have pointed out the agency could be used by totalitarian governments to shut down the Web around the globe, either in whole or in part.

Opponents similarly made the case that Congress has passed legislation to prohibit the federal government from using tax dollars to allow the transition, and pointed out that the feds are constitutionally prohibited from transferring federal property without approval from Congress. A coalition of 25 advocacy groups like Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Action sent a letter to Congress making those points last week.

While those issues could, in theory, lead to a legal challenge being filed in the days following the transfer, the administration has expressed a desire to finish it before the president leaves office, a position that Strickling reiterated.

“This multi-stakeholder model is the key reason why the Internet has grown and thrived as a dynamic platform for innovation, economic growth and free expression,” Strickling wrote. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all the stakeholders involved in this effort and look forward to their continuing engagement.” source

Source: Obama Set To Hand Over Control Of The Internet To Global Consortium ICANN On October 1

George Soros Is The Real Controlling Power Behind The Black Lives Matter Movement

Whatever legitimacy the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement may have is lost in its funding from global puppet master George Soros.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This expose of the connection between George Soros and the Black Lives matter movement was written by Stephen E. Broden. He is the senior pastor at Fair Park Bible Fellowship, founder of Protect Life and Marriage Texas, and member of the National Black Prolife Coalition. 

George Soros is the major financial source responsible for funding the leftist movement in America. Groups like ACORN and Occupy Wall Street are a disruptive influence in our culture and seek to divide and transform our society into a Marxist design. Linked to this disruptive scheme is Black Lives Matters through Soros support and funds.

George Soros’s funding of the Black Lives Matter movement is part of an integration into a tapestry of organizations used to disrupt and weaken our society to engineer a socialistic transformation. Since the 1920s and 1930s, as presented in Harold Cruse’s book “The Crisis of The Negro Intellectual,” there has been a focused strategy by the Communist party to use the black community and the poor as a battering ram against “the system” for the purpose of fundamentally changing America into a leftist utopia. Their successful efforts in infiltrating the civil rights movement and other legitimate struggles for justice has been well-documented by many historians and scholars recording the history of the civil rights movement in America.

There is an example of how this co-optation has played out in recent history that demonstrates how the left uses black and poor communities to advance their agenda. George Wiley, who was an agent of Richard Cloward and Frances Piven, Marxist professors at Columbia University, formed a group called the “National Welfare Rights Movement” in 1969. This leftist organization exploited the poor with a plan to implement a socialistic strategy to overwhelm New York City’s welfare system. Cloward and Piven’s strategy to orchestrate crisis is evident in the tactics now employed by the BLM movement. Organizers and leaders of BLM are using the same playbook and strategy of George Wiley to advance their Marxist agenda in the public square today. This disruptive strategy is precisely the predominant influence manifesting itself in the “Black Lives Matter” movement across America. BLM is being aggressively manipulated by the left with funds from Soros in order to force a radical change in how local policing is done in America. Through overreach and the expansion of centralized systems controlled by Washington, D.C., the left is attempting to control local policing. This evil manipulation of black and poor communities is a common strategy that has been used successfully in the 70s, 80s, and 90s to advance their ultimate goal of “fundamentally transforming” America.

David Horowitz in his book “Breaking The System” write that “the left’s strategy called for a cadres of aggressive organizers to create street actions by the poor that would create a climate of militancy.” This “cadres of aggressive” community organizers are studied in two ideas, one developed by Saul Alinsky in his book “Rules for Radicals,” and other by Richard Cloward and Frances Piven in their now famous philosophy called “Crisis Strategy.” Horowitz suggested that climate of militancy will cause fear of racial violence which will pressure politicians to cave in to the demands set forth by the leftist who are leading these movements. These community organizers who are prominently positioned in the Black Lives Matters movement are committed disciples of Cloward and Piven and Saul Alinsky.

What we are witnessing in the BLM movement in simple terms are the deliberate efforts by the liberal progressives in America under the influence of Marxism to infiltrate and manipulate the black community. What’s behind their dastardly plan is to replace capitalism with socialism and to ultimately remove the influence of our Judeo-Christian heritage from the public square. These “aggressive community organizers” are fanning the flames of discontentment. By co-opting a legitimate issue related to stranded relationship between the community, local police,and police intimidation, they are using discontentment to advance their agenda. They are stirring passions into “a climate of militancy” and at the same time alienating race relationship in America.

The old adage “divide and conquer” is playing out right before our collective eyes. The plan is a simple one — weaken America and then change her. The leadership of BLM is fully aware of this scheme; however, the average participants (the foot soldier) in the movement are oblivious to this highly sophisticated, exploitive, and manipulative strategy.

The concern for the community is not the motivating reason why these Marxists are involved in this movement. The leaders of the BLM movement are careful to maintain a narrative that is devoid of the major issues adversely impacting black communities all over this country. High unemployment, gang crime, black-on-black homicide, the failure of government schools to prepare our children for a 21st century economy, and the number one killer of black people: abortion on demand. It is disheartening to see how leadership in the BLM movement have bought into this Marxist deception and refuse to address these issues, especially abortion and its devastating impact on our babies and women. Black Lives Matter’s refusal to confront the biggest provider of abortion in the black community that perpetrates the mass murder of our babies, — Planned Parenthood and its partners in death the abortion industry — is very telling about their concern for the community. These merchants of death have destroyed over 35 million black babies since 1973 and have psychologically scared thousands upon thousands of black women for profit. More black babies are aborted than any other ethnic group in America. And what’s not reported to the black community is that when we hear of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts for profit, most of those babies are our black babies! Where is the outrage from these so called leaders?

The socialists and Marxists leading BLM are unconcerned with these very real issues in our community. The refusal to address what has been historically and empirically documented as a eugenic plot to demographically demolish black and minority communities (abortion) across this globe is simply unacceptable. In addition, I find it hard to be believe the systematic dismantling of the black family through government overreach and nanny state intrusion into our families escape their notice.

That Marxist manipulators who lead the Black Lives Matter movement seem more than happy to take funding from the likes of George Soros and betray the best interest of our community in order to achieve their desire to divide and conquer our beloved nation is nothing short of evil.

It will be the black church as the prophetic voice of God to stand up and stop this Marxist takeover of our community’s fight for a more perfect union. Pastors and spiritual leaders must lead the way in this fight for justice as well as the fight against Marxism. There must be a collective community push-back against this godless movement facilitated by Marxists seeking a dark and dastardly transformation of America.

The deception is an old design sourced in Marxist/Lenin doctrine. Lie, divide, and conquer. Lenin was so bold as to call the poor and others of the proletariat class “useful idiots” necessary to accomplish their Marxist utopia. The church cannot remain silent as the godless force of progressive liberalism transforms our communities, and our nation.

As a pastor and spiritual leader working for 30 years in the inner city of Dallas, Texas, and as one who fought against abortion and the anti-life community since 1980, I will end my observations with several warnings to those caught up in the rhetoric of the left.

Caught up in their deceptions used to inflame passions on legitimate concerns, especially related to policing in our community:

First, I warn you to ask questions of those who lead the BLM movement. Why are they dismissive of black-on-black crime? Why aren’t they addressing the number one killer of blacks in America: abortion? source

Source: George Soros Is The Real Controlling Power Behind The Black Lives Matter Movement

Report: More Than 1,000 Known Child Marriages in Germany | Kassam at Breitbart

by Raheem Kassam  •  Aug 14, 2016
Cross-posted from Breitbart

http://www.meforum.org/blog/2016/08/child-marriages-in-germany

German authorities are reportedly “sounding the alarm” over a sharp rise in child marriages after noting that more and more girls are disappearing from school. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has announced “drastic” new measures to tackle the problem.

The girls are usually married to older men, and the trend is being linked to the new wave of migrants who entered the country over the past 18 months. The state has logged over 1,000 child marriages, but N24.de reports that the number of unreported cases may dwarf this number.

In the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Mr. Maas said he would be setting up a new working group which will begin its work on September 5th.

SPD parliamentary leader Thomas Oppermann said the protection of children is an absolute priority which must also apply to minors from a migrant background.

“Forced marriages are, in Germany, punishable,” he said. “…that’s how it should be.”

Germany accepts the validity of child marriages that are legal in their countries of origin.

“No one, especially not a child, should be forced into marriage.”

The marriages, the report notes, are often arranged. Oppermann notes that child marriages often result in girls becoming pregnant at a young age and subsequently leaving school. “[Y]oung refugees must be informed of their rights in Germany,” he said.

And officials are also contemplating a change in law to refuse to accept an underage marriage that took place in a different country before the migrants arrived.

In June a German judge ruled that the marriage of a 14-year-old Syrian girl to her 20-year-old cousin was valid, despite German law. The Oberlandesgericht Bamberg (Higher Regional Court in Bamberg, Bavaria) decided the marriage must be recognised as the wedding has already taken place as was recognised as legal in their native Syria, conducted in accordance with Sunni marriage rites.

In June, a German judge validated the marriage of a 14-year-old Syrian girl to her 20-year-old cousin.

“These marriages have been recognized in Germany, although they violate our rights,” said Interior Committee Bundestag spokesman Armin Schuster.

The consequences currently being touted include prison terms of up to five years, even for marriages which are conducted privately in religious, cultural, or social ceremonies.

N24 notes that even UNICEF is concerned about the child marriages.

CEO Christian Schneider said. “For the welfare of refugee children who live in Germany, the state has a particular responsibility to protect – for them the same principles apply as for German children”.

In February, Breitbart London reported that dozens of child brides had arrived in Norway, with the youngest being just 11-years of age. The phenomenon has also caused concern in the Netherlands, prompted by the disappearance of the nine-month pregnant 14-year-old girl Fatema Alkasem and her 24-year-old husband.

Last month the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has seen 188 marriages of migrants who are underage, saw calls grow for the government to intervene and stop the practice.

Meanwhile, the increasingly authoritarian and Islamist Turkey is flirting with the idea of allowing 12-year-olds to consent to sex.

Raheem Kassam is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum and editor-in-chief of Breitbart London. Chris Tomlinson is a journalist at Breitbart.

The Pulpits Are Silent!

By Jan Markell
What incredible times we live in — like no previous generation. The world is heading pell-mell for a conclusion though nobody knows the timing on this. But we are privileged to look at signs that are like clouds forming on the horizon. In the 1970s there were only a few events that were prophecy-related happening. There were minor shakings but sometimes connecting the dots was even a stretch!
Fast forward to today and there are so many prophecy-related events happening daily and hourly that it presents a major dilemma for those of us watching the signs of the times to know just where to focus. As I post stories daily on my website, I agonize that I must leave off so many as space and time won’t allow readers to zero in on all that is happening!
It is a privilege and a challenge to be born for such a time as this. Very little that is predicted to happen in the “last days” is good news and who wants a steady dose of bad? But if one can “look up” one can bear the heartache of looking around as the signs of the times explode on our news outlets.
The Bible asks us to be “watchmen” (Ezekiel 33). We’re to be sounding an alarm. Trouble is ahead. Time is short. And I have never felt such a sense of urgency and the realization that time is, indeed, short.
I am watching signs “converge.” They are stunning and breathtaking. But most pastors will not talk about them!
LifeWay Research is a Nashville-based, evangelical research firm that specializes in surveys about faith in culture and matters that affect the church. They report that a third of America’s Protestant pastors expect Christians to be Raptured — or taken up in the sky to meet Jesus — as the last of the last days begin. Over 36% believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. In spite of this glorious good news, their pulpits remain silent.
Over 50% of Protestant pastors, according to the survey, believe in a literal Antichrist — but their pulpits are silent.
Most pastors hold to the basic teachings of Christ’s Second Coming — but their pulpits are silent.
This same survey says almost 50% of Protestant pastors believe in a coming Millennium and hold to premillennialism.  At this time we finally do away with the curse and fallen human nature — but their pulpits are silent.
Pastor Tom Hughes leads The 412 Church in San Jacinto, California. He has written a thoughtful article titled, “Five Reasons Pastors Don’t Teach Bible Prophecy.” He writes, “Prophecy fills the Bible. End time prophecy touches every person alive today. Jesus taught on it. So did John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. Yet only a small percentage of churches teach this crucial part of God’s message to our generation.
“Some pastors don’t teach it for theological reasons. They don’t believe it, don’t think it applies to us, consider it symbolic, or whatever. Others believe we’re probably living near the end of the age, but still refuse to touch the topic. They see it as an elective part of God’s curriculum. Take it or leave it.”
Hughes continues, “That’s not how Jesus saw it. He reprimanded the Pharisees and Sadducees for not discerning the times. ‘When it is evening you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening. Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.’ ” (Matthew 16:2-3 NKJV)
Hughes concludes, “More than a quarter of the Bible is prophecy — much of it yet to be fulfilled. How can we give congregations a well-rounded understanding of scripture if we leave out such a vital part of it?”
He then goes on to list these five reasons pastors may not be sharing these issues in the pulpit:
1) They don’t understand prophecy.
2) They fear offending members of the church.
3) They sense this will scare people.
4) People might not tithe if they think we’re close to the end.
5) There is fear in looking like the “loony-tune fringe. The Harold Campings have done great damage.
The prophecies of the first coming of Christ were fulfilled. They stand as evidence that the Bible can be trusted. Prophecies of His second coming work the same way, except we get to witness these events in our time, often with our own eyes.
The nations of the world seem moved, as though by a hidden hand, into exactly the right positions on a global chess board. What an amazing thing to see it happening before our eyes! It builds faith and draws our attention God-ward. And it is a fantastic evangelism tool.  
I think the church is headed into the home stretch of her history! I base that not on emotions or wishful thinking. I base that on what I see happening daily.  Man can live for a week or two without food. We can live only days without water. But our spirits are crushed within hours without hope.
We have the good news of the ultimate hope — the “blessed hope.” (Titus 2:13) His glorious appearing. Pastors, please don’t remain silent!  Share the only good news out there.

Source

Overwhelmed By Debt, Nearly 1 In 5 Young Adults Live With Their Parents Or Grandparents

Young Man - Public DomainIn America today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households.  That number is so large that it may seem difficult to believe, but the truth is that vast numbers of young adults have had to move back in with their parents and grandparents in recent years due to the deteriorating economy.  Millions of our young people cannot find decent jobs once they leave school, and millions of them are absolutely overwhelmed by debt.  Of course some of them are just lazy, but whatever the reason it is undeniable that multi-generational households are on the rise.  According to the Pew Research Center, 12 percent of the U.S. population was living in multi-generational households back in 1980.  Today, that number is up to 19 percent.  That means nearly one out of every five U.S. adults now live with their parents or their grandparents. (Read More….)

ISIS Has A New Focus: Killing Christians And Bombing Churches Wherever They Can Find Them

Skulls Murder - Public DomainIf you are a Christian, ISIS wants to kill you. Our politicians keep telling us that our battle with ISIS is not a “religious war”, but to ISIS it most certainly is. As you will see below, ISIS has a new focus. They are very clear about the fact that they intend to kill as many “citizens of the cross” as they possibly can, and they plan to bomb churches wherever they can find them. In a previous article, I explained how an entire church in the U.S. ended up on an ISIS kill list, and we just saw in France that they are willing to strike anywhere and at any time. Religious targets now appear to be a top priority for ISIS, and that means that every church and every Christian in the western world needs to start thinking differently about security. (Read More…)

Is This the Most Dangerous Man?

GEORGE SOROS’S OPEN BORDER FOUNDATIONS: An inside look at the machinations of the multibillionaire and his mission to destroy national sovereignty.

Thanks to the hacking of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) by DCLeaks, we are getting an inside look at the machinations of the multibillionaire and his organizations. Soros is exploiting the refugee crisis to advance his radical left agenda. Indeed, his Open Society Foundations should be re-named the Open Border Foundations.

View Article

Million Dollar Bounty Offered For Hillary’s “True” Health Records

As questions abound over Hillary’s “mental and physical stamina,” the Clinton campaign has come out swinging blasting any concerns over the presidential candidate’s strange behaviors as “deranged conspiracy theories” adding that Trump was “simply parroting lies.” But, if the Clinton campaign thought they could brush this off with their media pals’ help, think again as TruePundit is offering an unprecedented reward of $1 Million (One Million Dollars US) for Clinton’s true medical records.

Read more

How To Destroy a Culture and Our Children

If a race of hostile aliens from another planet wanted to know how to destroy the West from within, they could scarcely improve upon what we are already doing to ourselves. By dumbing down an entire generation, teaching them to emote and feel their way through life, instead of thinking and critically reflecting, you create the perfect storm for national suicide.

And that is just what we have been busily doing. Now most people are unable to assess and reflect on the issues of the day. They instead simply run on feelings. And of course emotions are so very easily manipulated. You can get away with just about anything if you feed the feelings while starving the intellect.

I was reminded of this yesterday as I was on another airplane flight. I looked up to see the propaganda piece, Modern Family being aired for all to see, whether they liked to or not. It is far more than a mere American television comedy of course: it is an exercise in social engineering – one of hundreds found throughout popular culture.

modern familyThe show features a homosexual couple and “their” young child. Of course it is not their child: children cannot come into the world through two men. But the thrust of the show – like so many others – is to convince the gullible masses that family can mean whatever we want it to, and no family structure is any better than any other.

This in spite of a half century of social science research to the contrary. The data on all this is voluminous, yet in a culture dominated by feelings, things like facts and evidence mean very little. Thus the mountain of research is ignored as we prefer to emote about this issue.

We have hoodwinked a whole generation to have warm mushy feelings whenever the words “love” and “equality” and “acceptance” are bandied about (without any definitional content) while they will seethe with rage when they hear words like “discrimination” and the like.

So the enormous amount of social science data out there telling us children do best when raised by their own mother and father, preferably sealed by marriage, means nothing to so many folks today. Instead a TV comedy of two seemingly happy homosexuals cuddling a toddler is all we need.

But political advocacy sitcoms and vacuous emotions do not determine the truth of the matter – facts and figures do. In my various books on this topic I have offered plenty of material on the need for a mum and a dad, and how children really do suffer without them.

In my book Dangerous Relations for example I offer several well-documented chapters on this. Let me just partially quote from one of the chapters, “The Importance of Both Fathers and Mothers”. It begins this way:

As the push for homosexual marriage continues apace, with various countries succumbing to the pressure of the homosexual activists, the issue of homosexual parenting is also gaining prominence and importance. In my book Strained Relations I had several chapters documenting this issue, showing how children do best when raised in a two-parent married household, and do less well when raised in any other household.
I examined some of the studies purporting to show that children do fine when raised in homosexual households, offering plenty of data as to the flawed nature of such studies, and demonstrating that the traditional heterosexual family is always in the best interests of the child.
The simple truth is, men and women are different, and both a father and a mother are necessary to ensure the best environment for raising children. One helpful recent booklet on this is well worth consulting here. The 2007 publication 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters is a fact-filled document put together by a team of family experts, medical practitioners, and social science researchers. In just 24 pages it presents a tremendous amount of information and statistics as to why gender matters. Buttressed with 178 endnotes, the document makes it very clear that attempts at same-sex parenting are fundamentally unhelpful to children.
As it says in its introduction: “This document lays out the case for the importance of male and female genders, and argues against the new androgyny and the social engineering taking place in the arena of gender. It examines some of the evidence that shows men and women are different, including the fact that our brains are different, our biochemistry is different, our hormones are different, our strength levels are different, our physical designs and sizes are different, and therefore our needs for protection and security are different. Such hardwired differences explain why men and women are so different in areas of behaviour, perceptions, the way they process information, and so on.”
Given these fundamental differences between men and women, the case against homosexual parenting becomes that much stronger. Two men cannot take the place of a mother and a father, and neither can two women. Children deserve both, and they have a basic right to be raised, whenever possible, by their won two biological parents – a mother and a father.
This chapter will look at some of this evidence. It will first look at how father-absence harms children. Next it will discuss the importance of mothers. Finally, it will briefly examine in a bit more detail why mothers and father are different, and why children need both.

Since the poor child in the sitcom has no mother, let me cite just a small bit of what I said about this issue in that chapter:

Not only is the important role of instilling values, purpose and responsibility best met by a child’s biological parents at an early age, but so too is the cultivation of a sense of security and well-being. Indeed, as one expert put it, the attachment relationship that a young child forges with his mother “forms the foundation stone of personality.” Regular and prolonged detachment from the mother can demonstrably impair a child’s intellectual and emotional development, and affect a child throughout his or her life.
Studies in bonding and attachment theory have shown that a child’s emotional and mental well-being are inexorably tied up with continuous, sustained, stable physical and emotional contact between mother and child. Taking the child away from its mother during this critical period can result in a number of harmful results: “Children deprived of parental care in early childhood are likely to be withdrawn, disruptive, insecure, or even intellectually stunted. New research [even suggests] that the depression resulting from separation anxiety in early childhood can cause a permanent impairment of the immune system making these children prone to physical illness through their lives.”
Or as family expert Steve Biddulph writes, “It now appears that mother-baby interaction, in the first year especially, is the very foundation of human emotions and intelligence. In the most essential terms, love grows the brain. The capacities for what make us most human – empathy, co-operation, intimacy, the fine timing and sensitivity that makes a human being charismatic, loving, and self-assured – are passed from mother to baby, especially if that mother is herself possessed of these qualities, and supported and cared for, so that she can bring herself to enjoy and focus on the task.”

I concluded the chapter as follows:

When we disregard the gender distinctions of parental influence as unimportant or unnecessary, we seriously diminish the proper development of children. Kids need the active participation of a mother and a father, and both parents need to be true to their gender designs. Both bring different and equally important things to the parenting project. We impoverish children and society when we deny our kids the influence of a mother and father, because we limit their development into full, healthy adults.
As Barbara Dafoe Whitehead put it: “All this evidence gives rise to an obvious conclusion: growing up in an intact two-parent family is an important source of advantage for American children. Though far from perfect as a social institution, the intact family offers children greater security and better outcomes than its fastest growing alternatives: single-parent families and stepparent families.”

To that can be added homosexual households. But of course the radical social activists and the gender benders want us to ignore the tremendous amount of research done on this, and just emote about it all as they throw around some emotionally charged buzzwords.

And shows like Modern Family of course generate more emotional reactions while being completely devoid of any factual content. That is how you destroy a culture and that is how you destroy our children. I think both deserve far better than this.

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The post How To Destroy a Culture and Our Children appeared first on CultureWatch.

Are We Physically Healed by Jesus’ Stripes?

Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24

Code: B160817

By Cameron Buettel

Most of us have heard of faith healers. They exist almost exclusively within the charismatic movement and claim to be divinely gifted to supernaturally heal the sick.

For these miracle workers to have any longevity—some of them have thriving ministries that last for decades—they need to develop the illusion of legitimacy. Sensational claims and spectacular crusades certainly play a role in drawing an enthusiastic crowd. But enthusiasm only gets you so far; they also require a façade of biblical authority. And for many of these false teachers, Isaiah 53:5 is the go-to verse, ripped from its context and contorted to fit their self-serving interpretation.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV)

Isaiah 53 is the most renowned Old Testament passage on Christ’s atoning work. John MacArthur refers to it as “the first gospel” or The Gospel According to God. It contains vivid and precise prophetic imagery concerning Christ’s suffering and crucifixion. And the “stripes” mentioned in verse five refer to the lashes Christ received at the hands of Roman soldiers.

Word-Faith charismatic teachers routinely claim that Isaiah 53:5 is proof that physical healing is inherent in the atonement—that it was won by Christ’s physical suffering. For example, Joseph Prince argues that physical healing is the right of all believers—something they can simply “confess” into reality:

But what came on [Jesus] was not just the whip stripping the flesh off His bare back, but your sicknesses and diseases. Each time He was whipped, every form of sickness and disease, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, bird flu and dengue fever, came upon Him. “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

Today, healing is your right because Jesus has paid the price for your healing. So if the devil says, “You cannot be healed,” just declare, “Jesus has paid for my healing. Disease has no right to be in my body. I am healed in Jesus’ name!”

Every curse of sickness that was supposed to fall on you fell on Jesus instead. He bore every one of those stripes, so that you can walk in divine health all the days of your life. The price has been paid so that you can rise up and get out of your bed of affliction! [1] http://www.josephprince.org/daily-grace/grace-inspirations/single/by-jesus-stripes-you-are-healed

Prince’s view of the atonement is really only a potential atonement. It doesn’t actually deliver you from sickness but rather gives you the ability to “rise up and get out of your bed of affliction.” And how do you activate the atonement to receive the healing that’s rightfully yours? Kenneth Hagin’s testimony provides the answer.

Hagin staked the credibility of his healing ministry on 1 Peter 2:24—a New Testament quotation of Isaiah 53:5—and his claims regarding his personal experience of divine healing:

Some years ago, I was awakened at 1:30 A.M. with severe symptoms in my heart and chest. I knew something about such symptoms because I had been bedfast and given up to die with a heart condition as a teenager.

The Devil said to my mind, “You’re going to die. This is one time you’re not going to get your healing.” I pulled the covers over my head and began to laugh. I didn’t feel like laughing, but I just laughed anyway for about ten minutes. Finally, the Devil asked me what I was laughing about.

“I’m laughing at you!” I said. “You said I wasn’t going to get my healing. Ha, ha, Mr. Devil. I don’t expect to get my healing! Jesus already got it for me! Now, in case you can’t read, I’ll quote 1 Peter 2:24 for you.” And I did.

After quoting the last phrase, “By whose stripes ye were healed,” I said, “Now if we were—I was! So I don’t have to get it. Jesus already got it! And because Jesus got it for me, I accept it, and claim it, and I have it. Now you just gather up your little symptoms and get out of here, Mr. Devil!” [2] Kenneth E. Hagin, Faith Food Devotions (Tulsa, OK: Faith Library Publications, 1998) Page unknown.

For Hagin, and countless other Word-Faith preachers like him, supernatural healings need only to be spoken into reality. Joyce Meyer expands on that idea, arguing that Satan is involved in the illegal activity of inflicting “sickness on us, and there is no good reason to let him do it.”

How do you stand against sickness? For starters, plead the blood of Jesus against the sickness and over every part of your body—your immune system, your organs, your blood cells and so on. Then speak the Word over your body. You can pray, “Father, I believe it’s Your will that I be in health. I believe that by the stripes of Jesus, I am healed. Your Word is health and life to my body, and it will accomplish that which You please and purpose.” [3] http:/www.joycemeyer.org/OurMinistries/Magazine/0703/Healing+and+Wholeness.htm

So according to Joyce Meyer, healing is a right but it isn’t always fait accompli for the Christian. It’s something that’s been provided for believers, but they need to successfully claim it. It needs to be confessed into reality—spoken into existence through the power of faith. Like Joseph Prince, Meyer describes a potential atonement that requires our activation. That’s a cruel doctrine to inflict on Christians who have sought healing but continue to spend their lives in wheelchairs, on respirators, and under medication.

The belief that Christ’s physical suffering somehow guarantees our physical healing in this life isn’t merely an abuse of Scripture—it’s a form of mental and spiritual torture to those who sit under such false teaching. It’s a lie that has left many churchgoers disappointed with the gospel. Rather than longing for their heavenly home, they are gripped by unrealized expectations in the here and now. The sickness they struggle with leaves them feeling like failures who lack the necessary faith to claim the healing that’s rightfully theirs.

The fact that everyone still dies should be proof enough that on this side of eternity all people are still subject to Adam’s curse. Sickness is a very real part of life in this fallen world, and no amount of claiming divine health is going to change that. Even the disciples of the early church didn’t rebuke their physical ailments into oblivion—they dealt with them as best they could like everybody else.

Paul left Trophimus behind during one of his missionary journeys because of illness (2 Timothy 4:20). He recommended wine to Timothy for his “stomach and [his] frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23). Epaphroditus got so sick he nearly died (Philippians 2:25–27). And sometimes God sent sickness to discipline members of His church (1 Corinthians 11:29–32).

So what does Isaiah 53:5 promise Christians if it’s not an offer of immediate, unblemished health for all Christians? John MacArthur sheds clear light on the matter in his commentary on 1 Peter 2:24 (which, noted earlier, quotes from Isaiah 53:5):

Christ died for believers to separate them from sin’s penalty, so it can never condemn them. The record of their sins, the indictment of guilt that had them headed for hell, was “nailed to the cross” (Colossians 2:12–14). Jesus paid their debt to God in full. In that sense, all Christians are freed from sin’s penalty. They are also delivered from its dominating power and made able to live to righteousness (cf. Romans 6:16–22).

Peter describes this death to sin and becoming alive to righteousness as a healing: by His wounds you were healed. This too is borrowed from the Old Testament prophet when he wrote “by His scourging we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Wounds is a better usage than “scourging” since the latter may give the impression that the beating of Jesus produced salvation. Both Isaiah and Peter meant the wounds of Jesus that were part of the execution process. Wounds is a general reference—a synonym for all the suffering that brought Him to death. And the healing here is spiritual, not physical. Neither Isaiah nor Peter intended physical healing as the result in these references to Christ’s sufferings. Physical healing for all who believe does result from Christ’s atoning work, but such healing awaits a future realization in the perfections of heaven. In resurrection glory, believers will experience no sickness, pain, suffering, or death (Revelation 21:1–4; 22:1–3). [4] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Peter (Chicago: Moody Press, 2004) 171–72.

To be fair, Matthew’s gospel does seem to make a connection between Isaiah 53:5 and physical healings that occurred during Christ’s earthly ministry:

They brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.” (Matthew 8:16–17)

But was Christ’s healing ministry His end game, or did it point to an eternal cure? After all, the people he healed still died. Lazarus was raised from the dead, but he still eventually died again. People were healed but the curse wasn’t reversed. Jesus died for the sins of men, but men still continued to sin. He defeated death but His followers continued to die. There is an ultimate fulfillment of Christ’s atoning work that will not be realized this side of eternity (Romans 8:22–25). That’s why John MacArthur rightly observes:

Those who claim that Christians should never be sick because there is healing in the atonement should also claim that Christians should never die, because Jesus also conquered death in the atonement. The central message of the gospel is deliverance from sin. It is the good news about forgiveness, not health. Christ was made sin, not disease, and He died on the cross for our sin, not our sickness. As Peter makes clear, Christ’s wounds heal us from sin, not from disease. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). [5] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 8–15 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1987) 19.

There is healing in Christ’s atonement but it’s obviously not fully realized in the present. Christians and non-Christians alike still feel the effects of the curse, and will ultimately die. Our ultimate perfect healing is certain, but it awaits us in the same way that we still await our resurrection bodies. And that shouldn’t bring disappointment to this present life. Rather, it is a glorious future reality for us to anticipate with great joy.

 


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B160817
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You

3 Differences Between Christianity & Other Religions

Religion

dunningsclass.com

If there’s one thing to which human history overwhelmingly testifies, it is that we are fervently religious creatures. Among the rocks and rubble of human cultures throughout the millennia is evidence of the pursuit of spiritual things. As humanity, we have exerted extraordinary effort into the worship of figures such as Ra, Gaia, Dazhbog, Zeus, Aphrodite, Shiva, Vishnu, Izanagi, Izanami, Ahura Mazda, and gods of our own understanding. We’ve worshiped rocks, stars, trees, comfort, the dead, the living, and even ourselves. The world has seen her brahmins, caliphs, Siddartha Gautamas, and Joseph Smiths. We are natural-born worshipers.

And you’ve probably heard it said before. “When it comes down to it, most of the world religions are pretty much the same.” But is that true? For example, Judaism, Mormonism, Islam, and Christianity; they propose a problem with the world, a solution, and the worship of a deity. Other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Rastafarianism, Wiccan, and Neo-Paganism feature categorically similar threads.

Nevertheless, while many of the world’s religions have similar features, biblical Christianity differs radically from them all. There are a handful of things which put it in a category of its own. Without understanding these differences, we cannot properly comprehend Christianity.

Here are three major differences between Christianity and other religions:

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Wasted Words and Wasted Time

Today’s article is a continuation from yesterday’s post, as Dr. MacArthur provides a pastoral perspective on how Christians can think discerningly about how to use social media.

Every Careless Word

The book of Proverbs tells us that, “He who spreads slander is a fool. When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (10:18b–19). A maxim for all of life, that statement certainly applies to social media.

Those who spread slander and gossip online can now find themselves in court. Some might be sued. Others simply fired from their jobs.

But even if such potential consequences did not exist, Christians answer to a higher court. And God has made it clear what He thinks about gossip: “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do no associate with a gossip” (Prov. 20:19).

A study in the New York Daily News found that 80% of normal conversations consist of gossip. Those numbers seem to be consistent with online interactions, where talking about other people is almost as popular as talking about oneself. In a helpful article entitled “Solomon on Social Media,” Tim Challies gives this timely warning: “There are many web sites, blogs and Twitter accounts dedicated almost entirely to gossip, to sharing what is dishonorable rather than what is noble. Avoid these people and their gossip!”

But even beyond the world of slander, one has to wonder how many careless words are posted, texted, or tweeted every moment of the day. Statistics suggest that there are about 700 Facebook status updates and over 600 tweets every second. Even if some of those are profitable, that still leaves a lot of empty chatter.

Our Lord addressed this issue directly in His statement, “Every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it” (Matt. 12:36). That’s a sobering thought, especially when paired with the maxim of Proverbs 17:28: “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Many a young blogger would do well to memorize those verses.)

In 1 Corinthians 10:23–24, Paul explains an important principle about Christian liberty. He writes, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” If we apply that truth to the world of social media, we can quickly separate that which is valuable from that which is merely wood, hay, and stubble. Tweeting about the inane details of life might not be sinful, but if it doesn’t build others up spiritually, it might be better left unsaid.

Time Mismanagement

According to statistics from Nielsen, the average American worker spends almost six hours a month visiting social networking websites during work time. The majority of that time is spent on Facebook.

But this is not just about wasting time at work. It’s about wasting time, period. By its very nature, social networking is a massive distraction. It detracts from disciplined study, thoughtful meditation, and concerted prayer.

In a Time Magazine article entitled “It’s Time to Confront Your Facebook Addiction,” Kayla Webley shares some startling statistics.

One-third of women ages 18 to 34 check Facebook first thing in the morning. . . . Of the 1,605 adults surveyed on their social media habits, 39% are self-described ‘Facebook addicts.’ It gets worse. Fifty-seven percent of women in the 18 to 34 age range say they talk to people online more than they have face-to-face conversations. Another 21% admit to checking Facebook in the middle of the night.

Some Facebook “addicts,” like Maria Garcia of Philadelphia, spend as much as 56 hours a week on the site. Reporting on her story, ABC News recounted the concern of those in the medical community:

The popularity and social acceptance of networking sites is one of the reasons Dr. Joseph Garbley says Facebook addiction is becoming a very real problem. . . . Garbley says unlike alcohol or drugs, social networking addiction is psychological not physical. But he adds it is still a serious problem: “The problem comes in when life intercedes, when school work calls, when relationships demand your attention and you chose Facebook over those relationships.” (Source)

It seems social media sites have become the new soap operas!

Of course, the real problem is a heart issue, not a psychological one. But the point remains. For many Americans, the amount of time spent using social media is out of control. Whether defined as “addicts” or not, people spend vast amounts of time browsing blogs, watching YouTube videos, reading tweets, and managing their profiles.

We’ve already noted that, on average, the active Facebook user spends nearly 24 hours a month on the site. In September 2010, the amount of time spent on Facebook surpassed Google for the first time. Combine this with time spent blogging, micro-blogging, commenting, texting, instant messaging, and surfing—and the sheer hours represented become staggering.

Ironically, people can spend hours jumping from link to link without even realizing how much time they are wasting. As author Ivan Misner explains in BusinessWeek, “You go to LinkedIn or Facebook and you read a comment and it takes you to another link and now you’re on YouTube, watching someone’s video. Pretty soon something weird happens in the space-time continuum and you look up and you’ve lost two hours.” (Source)

As believers, the command of Ephesians 5:15–16 is just as binding upon our modern lives as it was in the non-technological world of the first century. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Paul’s exhortation has massive implications for how we interact with social media. One day we will stand before Christ to give an account for how we used His resources (including our time and energy). With that in mind, how much of this life can be justifiably devoted to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the like?

Just a few hours each day, over the course of a lifetime, adds up to years of wasted opportunity.

(This article will be continued tomorrow.)

The post Wasted Words and Wasted Time appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

The Holiness of God and the Sinfulness of Man

One word that crystallizes the essence of the Christian faith is the word grace. One of the great mottos of the Protestant Reformation was the Latin phrase sola gratia—by grace alone. This phrase wasn’t invented by the sixteenth-century Reformers. Its roots are in the theology of Augustine of Hippo, who used it to call attention to the central concept of Christianity, that our redemption is by grace alone, that the only way a human being can ever find himself reconciled to God is by grace. That concept is so central to the teaching of Scripture that to even mention it seems like an insult to people’s intelligence; yet, if there is a dimension of Christian theology that has become obscured in the last few generations, it is grace.

Two things that every human being absolutely must come to understand are the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. These topics are difficult for people to face. And they go together: if we understand who God is, and catch a glimpse of His majesty, purity, and holiness, then we are instantly aware of the extent of our own corruption. When that happens, we fly to grace—because we recognize that there’s no way that we could ever stand before God apart from grace.

The prophet Habakkuk was upset during one period in Jewish history because he saw the enemies of the people of God triumphing, the wicked prospering, and the righteous suffering. He raised a lament, saying: “Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof” (Hab. 1:12). He went on to a affirm the holiness of God, and how God cannot tolerate evil: “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong . . . ” (Hab. 1:13a).

This is anything but characteristic of the human condition. We can tolerate what is wrong. In fact, if we don’t tolerate what is wrong, we can’t tolerate each other or even ourselves. In order to live with myself as a sinner, I have to learn to tolerate something that is evil. If my eyes were too holy to behold iniquity, I’d have to shut my eyes anytime I was with someone else—and they would see in me a man who has besmirched the image of God.

Habakkuk then asked, “Why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” (v. 13b). He couldn’t fathom how God could endure and be patient with human evil. Yet, we can’t tolerate the idea of God’s being upset about human evil; we become antagonistic toward the idea of a God who is so holy that He might turn His back from looking at someone or something that is sinful. That is the dilemma that Scripture sets before us: we have a holy God whose image we bear and whose image it is our fundamental responsibility as human beings to mirror—yet we are not holy.

I once discussed the holiness of God with a group of pastors at a theology conference. One of the pastors said he appreciated my teaching about the holiness of God, but he disagreed with what I taught about the sovereignty of God. I said that, though as Christians we should strive to live together in peace and not be argumentative or divisive, the two of us couldn’t possibly both be right when it comes to how God’s sovereignty works. And furthermore, whoever is wrong is sinning against God at that point of error.

When we sin, we want to describe our sinful activity in terms of a mistake, as if that softens or mitigates the guilt involved. We don’t think it’s wrong for a child to add two and two and come up with five. We know the answer’s wrong, but we don’t spank the child and say, “You’re bad, because you made five out of two and two instead of four.” We think of mistakes as being part of the human condition. But as I said to that pastor, if one of us is wrong, it would be because he came to the Scriptures while wanting it to agree with him, rather than wanting to agree with the Scriptures. We tend to come biased, and we distort the very Word of God to escape the judgment that comes from it.

But to err is human—which is to say, “It’s OK.” We are so accustomed to our fallenness and corruption that, while our moral sensibilities may be offended when we see someone involved in gross and heinous criminal activity such as mass murder, normal, everyday disobedience to God doesn’t bother us. We don’t think it’s that important, because “to err is human, and to forgive is divine.”

This aphorism suggests that it’s natural, and therefore acceptable, for human beings to sin. It’s implied also that it is God’s nature to forgive. If He doesn’t forgive, then there’s something wrong with His very deity, because it is the nature of God to forgive. But this is as false as the first assumption; it is not necessary to the essence of deity to forgive. Forgiveness is grace, which is undeserved or unmerited favor. We are so accustomed to sin that we do it all the time. We can’t define a human being without defining our humanness as fallen, and we can’t possibly maintain life itself apart from grace.

How is sin to be understood? Is it accidental or essential to our humanity? The term accidental refers to those properties of an object that are not part of its essence; they may exist or not exist without changing what that object truly is. For instance, a moustache is an accidental property. If a man shaves off his moustache, he does not cease to be a man.

On the other hand, essential properties are those that are part of the essence of a thing. Remove that property, and it ceases to be that thing. Sin is not essential to humanity, unless someone believes that God made humanity sinful at the beginning. If sin is essential to humanity, then that would mean Jesus was either sinful or not human. So, sin is not essential. Adam had no sin when he was created, yet he was still human. Jesus has no sin, but He is still human. Believers will have no sin when they get to heaven, and they will still be human.

Sin is not essential, but neither is it merely tangential or on the surface of our humanity. Rather, the portrait that we get in the Scriptures of man in his fallen condition is that he is utterly and thoroughly infected by sin in his whole person. In other words, sin is not an external blemish, but something that goes to the very core of our being.

This excerpt is taken from R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions booklet How Can I Be Blessed? Download more free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series here.

Source: The Holiness of God and the Sinfulness of Man

The Briefing 08-17-16

When gay pride becomes big business: The commercialization of LGBT activism

Were the hippies right? How looking at the 1960’s helps explain our world today

The moral behind the medical stat: 1 in 5 babies born in Indiana are addicted to drugs

The post The Briefing 08-17-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Was Paul Seeker Sensitive?

“In modern times, many people try to present the Gospel in ways that will make it seem more attractive to their ‘target audience’. Whether it is the ‘seeker-sensitive’ movement in churches, contextualization in Muslim-dominated countries, or reinterpreting the Bible’s teachings on marriage or creation, people often seem to want to make the Gospel as inoffensive as possible.”

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I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινὴ καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν. John 15:1 (NA28)

 1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In John 15:1, we have our Lord’s last of His seven “I am” sayings signifying His claim of deity. The word “true” in v1 translates the adjective ἀληθινὴ, which is nominative, singular of ἀληθινός or alēthinos, “unfeigned, trustworthy, true.” The nominative case form, ἀληθινὴ of ἀληθινός means that the metaphor our Lord is making of Him being the “true vine” is subject to the main verb in the sentence with is εἰμι, which, of course, means, in this context, “am.” Therefore, our Lord is saying that the fact that He is, in fact, deity means that He is the “true vine.” What this means, of course, is that there are “other…

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