Daily Archives: February 26, 2018

February 26 Enjoying a Bountiful Harvest

“… bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10).

✧✧✧

Your fruitfulness is directly related to your knowledge of divine truth.

Every farmer who enjoys a plentiful harvest does so only after diligent effort on his part. He must cultivate the soil, plant the seed, and then nurture it to maturity. Each step is thoughtful, disciplined, and orderly.

Similarly, bearing spiritual fruit is not an unthinking or haphazard process. It requires us to be diligent in pursuing the knowledge of God’s will, which is revealed in His Word. That is Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9, which he reiterates in verse 10.

The phrase “increasing in the knowledge of God” (v. 10) can be translated “increasing by the knowledge of God.” Both renderings are acceptable. The first emphasizes the need to grow; the second emphasizes the role that knowledge plays in your spiritual growth.

As your knowledge of God’s Word increases, the Holy Spirit renews your mind and transforms your thinking. As you gaze into the glory of the Lord as revealed in Scripture, you “are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). You “have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Col. 3:10).

One of Satan’s ploys to retard spiritual productivity is to get Christians preoccupied with humanistic philosophy and other bankrupt substitutes for God’s truth. That’s why he planted false teachers at Colosse to teach that knowing God’s will is inadequate for true spirituality. Paul refuted that claim by affirming that Christ is the fullness of Deity in bodily form (Col. 2:9). In Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). He is all you need!

Scripture commands you to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Is that characteristic of your life? Are you looking forward to a bountiful spiritual harvest?

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the privilege of knowing His will and studying His Word. ✧ Prayerfully guard your mind from sinful influences. Saturate it with God’s truth.

For Further Study: Read the following passages, noting the effects of God’s Word: Psalms 119:9, 105; Acts 20:32; Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:14–17; Hebrews 4:12–13; 1 John 2:14.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 69). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

FEBRUARY 26 THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are children of God.

ROMANS 8:16

Many men and women are seeking counsellors to aid them with their confessed feelings of emptiness and inadequacy. Each seems to have a plea about becoming a “whole person.”

The importance of coming back into right relationship with God cannot be overestimated as we seriously think and study and pray.

By the mysterious operation of the Spirit of God in the new birth, that which is called by Peter “the divine nature” enters the deep-in core of the believer’s heart and establishes residence there. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” for “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:9, 16).

Such a one is a true Christian, and only such. Baptism, confirmation, the receiving of the sacraments, church membership—these mean nothing unless the supreme act of God in regeneration also takes place!

Religious externals may have a meaning for the God-inhabited soul; for any others they are not only useless but may actually become snares, deceiving them into a false and perilous sense of security.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence” is more than a wise saying; it is a solemn charge laid upon us by the One who cares most about us![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

The Briefing — Monday, February 26, 2018

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Trump administration appeal aimed at ending deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants, steering clear for now of the debate over the fate of hundreds of thousands of people.

Xi Jinping’s decision to cast aside China’s presidential term limits is stoking concern he also intends to shun international rules on trade and finance, even as he champions them on the world stage.

China’s Communist Party’s Central Committee announced Sunday it was seeking to end a constitutional provision that bars the head of state from serving more than two consecutive terms. That would remove the only formal barrier to Xi, who is also party leader and commander-in-chief of the military, staying in power indefinitely.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, Christianity’s holiest site, was closed to visitors on Sunday in an unprecedented move to protest proposed Israeli tax and land policies governing church-owned property.

President Donald Trump said he plans to have a military parade through Washington including flyovers by warplanes if it can be done at a “reasonable” cost.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues may be willing to accept inflation rising as high as 2.5 percent as they seek to extend the almost nine-year economic expansion.

Johnnie Walker is rolling out a female version of its iconic logo, an attempt to draw more women to the world’s best-selling scotch and acknowledge a broader push toward gender equality. A limited U.S. edition of the whisky will have a striding woman on the label — rather than the traditional top-hatted man — and carry the name Jane Walker.

After more than half a decade of negative interest rates, rising property values in Denmark have left the average family with net assets of $314,000, according to the latest report on household wealth. “Right now, net assets are at a record-high level.”

AP Top Stories

State leaders of both parties worried aloud Sunday about the security of America’s election systems against possible cyberattacks ahead of this fall’s midterm elections, aware that Russian agents targeted more than 20 states little more a year ago, and the Trump administration has taken a mostly hands-off approach to the continued interference.

China reacted with anger on Saturday to new U.S. sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on nuclear-equipped North Korea, saying the unilateral targeting of Chinese firms and people risked harming cooperation on the problem.

Papua New Guinea sent troops and rescue workers Monday to respond to a powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake in the Pacific nation’s mountainous interior, with unconfirmed reports of fatalities and warnings of aftershocks and landslides.

If Iran uses its Iraqi Shia Militias, Afghans, and Pakistanis, as well as its own forces in attacks on Israel, there is likely to be war between Israel and Iran by 2019.

An Iraqi court has sentenced 16 Turkish women to death by hanging for joining Islamic State, a judiciary spokesman said on Sunday.

Russian hackers attacked South Korean government computers during the Winter Olympics, but made it look like the attack was carried out by the North, US intelligence agencies believe.

The UN Security Council approved a resolution demanding a 30-day truce to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations with the support of Syrian ally Russia after last-minute negotiations.

Iran said on Sunday that attacks will continue on Damascus suburbs held by “terrorists”, but elsewhere Iran and Syria will respect a U.N. resolution demanding a 30-day truce to allow aid access and medical evacuation, Iranian news agencies reported.

Two car bomb explosions killed at least six people and wounded 43 others including civilians on Saturday in Yemen’s southern city of Aden, security officials and witnesses said, in an attack later claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.

A well-prepared California hiker missing for six days in the icy backcountry of Yosemite National Park was found in good health after an extensive search, officials said.

China and India are engaging in an air force buildup along their shared border. Beijing has been deploying more advanced jets along its border with India. “China is upgrading its Western Theater Command in order to confront any threat from India,” the Global Times reported, citing images posted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell for a second straight month in January, weighed down by steep declines in the Northeast and South, which could raise concerns the housing market is slowing down.

BBC

Taiwan retailers have seen a rush on toilet paper over the weekend, as word spread of an imminent sharp price rise. Shoppers used social media to post pictures of empty shelves where the product would usually be.

Two car-bomb attacks have killed at least 38 people in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Saudi Arabia has for the first time opened applications for women to join its military.

WND

Thousands of gun enthusiasts flocked to the Florida State Fairgrounds for the Florida Gun Show event. Manager for the Florida Gun Show, George Fernandez, says they’ve never seen such a big crowd.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says 21 members of staff have left their jobs for sexual misconduct in the last three years. The ICRC’s director-general, Yves Daccord, said the individuals had paid for “sexual services” and had resigned or were dismissed from the aid agency.


1) How changes in America’s political landscape represent changes in America’s moral landscape

NPR (Scott Shafer) –
California Democrats Decline To Endorse Another Term For Sen. Dianne Feinstein

LA Times (Seema Metha and Phil Willon) –
California Democrats snub of party icon Dianne Feinstein could be a speed bump, or a signal

LA Times (Christine Mai-Duc) –
California Democrats agree they have too many candidates for Congress. What to do about them is the problem

2) Can Americans be financially coerced to underwrite labor unions when they are opposed to positions taken by unions?

LA Times (David Savage) –
Supreme Court’s conservatives appear set to strike down union fees on free-speech grounds

3) Why the words ‘spiritual emotion’ are nonsensical when it comes to the issue of gratitude

Wall Street Journal (Jennifer Breheny Wallace) –
How to Raise More Grateful Children

February 26, 2018 Mid-Day Snapshot

Mid-Day Snapshot

Feb. 26, 2018

The Officer Who Didn’t Fail to Do His Duty

Not one but four sheriff’s deputies failed students and faculty in Florida. Other officers bravely responded.

The Foundation

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” —James Madison (1788)

Yes, Things Are Falling Apart, But Don’t Panic. Here’s Why …

Should we be concerned about increasing immorality in the schools, and on television, and in politics? Sure. Where appropriate, we should stand for righteousness. And, of course, we should instruct our kids how to think biblically about the sin they will most certainly encounter. But if we’re constantly outraged, disgusted, discouraged, or panicked, then we haven’t come to grips with the Bible’s grim description of the world, and we aren’t fully trusting in our coming, conquering, reigning king.

It’s been a rough couple months. The shootings in Parkland and Vegas. The ongoing political vitriol constantly spewed by both sides. Constant reminders of the racism that so many people experience on a daily basis. Planned Parenthood still operating relatively freely.

Truth be told, life is pretty brutal, right?

Every so often I hear someone say in despair, “What is this world coming to?”

This kind of comment usually comes in response to a doomsday report of some kind.

You know the kind I’m talking about (none of these things are actual stats, BTW)…

  • Statistics show that kids are more sexualized now than ever, and that 70% of kids will have sex before graduating high school!
  • A new report says that 45% of Americans think that God wants them to be happy more than anything else!
  • A pew poll report shows that church attendance is at the lowest mark in twenty years!

When we hear these kinds of reports and stats, our gut instinct can be to throw our hands up in despair, panic, or disgust.

We are shocked at the behavior of young people these days. Shocked at the levels of immorality at universities. Shocked at the apathy of people toward spiritual things. Shocked at the spike in gay marriages. Shocked at the smut being produced by Hollywood. Shocked at the increase in sexual promiscuity in our culture.

What is this world coming to?!?

Whatever happened to the good old days, when a fella could leave his car unlocked without fear of having his stereo stolen? Whatever happened to the days when kids would actually respect authority? Whatever happened to the good old days when young men and women actually treated each other with courtesy, instead of trying to sleep around with each other?

I would venture to say that many conservative television shows, and radio shows, and blogs, and podcasts, perpetuate the “what is this world coming to?” attitude. It’s not uncommon for talk radio hosts to spend three hours lamenting the decay of morals in the world.

But we shouldn’t be shocked or dismayed.

The world is coming to exactly what Jesus said it would come to, and this actually gives us a lot of hope.

Living In A Godless World

The simple reality is, we live in a godless world. Of course, I don’t mean that there isn’t a God, or that the true and living God is not active in our world. I mean that the natural state of every person is wickedness, godlessness, and evil. It has always been this way, and it always will be this way.

 

In Genesis 6:5, God looked down on the earth and was grieved by what he saw:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

God brought the great flood upon the earth because the wickedness of man was great. Every intent, every desire, every thought, bent toward evil. Doesn’t sound that different from today, does it?

Acts 17:16 says, “Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.”

As Paul walked through the city of Athens, he became acutely aware that the city was absolutely jam packed with false gods. Athens was not a moral, upright, virtuous city. It was a city full of idolatry.

When we see evil and wickedness in the world, we shouldn’t throw our hands up in despair. We shouldn’t be shocked or surprised. Evil and wickedness is not an anomaly; it’s the norm.

The evil we see in the world isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s not like things have suddenly gotten out of control in the last fifty years. Wickedness has been standard practice since Cain killed Abel.

So why does this give us hope? Hold on, I’m getting there.

It Gets Worse

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but things are going to get worse. Before Jesus returns, evil and wickedness is going to increase in the world. Speaking of the last days, Jesus said:

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)

Lawlessness and wickedness and godlessness isn’t going to decrease, it’s going to increase. In fact, it’s going to increase to such a degree that many Christians will find their love for Christ going cold.

That’s some serious, intense, lawlessness. Contrary to what the Beatles proclaimed, it’s not getting better all the time. It’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, Paul spoke of the “man of lawlessness”:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

At some point, the “lawless one” will come, and he will come in power, with false signs and wonders. He will be so impressive, so powerful, that many unbelievers will be deceived by him. The wickedness promoted and perpetuated by the lawless one will be on a colossal, sickening scale.

It’s already bad, and it’s going to get worse. But don’t throw up your hands in despair. There’s good news.

But Don’t Despair!

The good news is that, in spite of the wickedness which fills the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ will continue saving sinners! Yes, evil is powerful, but Jesus is more powerful!

Yes, Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, but Jesus is the great lion slayer.

Jesus encouraged Peter that the church would not be overcome, and would even stand against hell itself:

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Jesus isn’t particularly concerned with the most recent Barna report, or church growth study, or the state of Hollywood. He will build his church, and there is absolutely nothing that can stop him.

Even as Jesus talked about the spike in lawlessness, he also promised that the gospel would be proclaimed in ALL nations:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

And when the big, bad, man of lawlessness appears, Jesus will take care of him too:

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

When Jesus returns, he will utterly decimate the man of lawlessness. Farewell, lawless one! King Jesus has arrived!

So Don’t Lose Hope

Should we be concerned about increasing immorality in the schools, and on television, and in politics? Sure. Where appropriate, we should stand for righteousness. And, of course, we should instruct our kids how to think biblically about the sin they will most certainly encounter.

But if we’re constantly outraged, disgusted, discouraged, or panicked, then we haven’t come to grips with the Bible’s grim description of the world, and we aren’t fully trusting in our coming, conquering, reigning king.

Yeah it’s bad. Yeah, it’s gonna get worse. But the gospel will continue to triumph, Jesus will remain on the throne, and Jesus will finally rid the world of wickedness.

This article first appeared on Stephen Altrogge’s website, The Blazing Center, and is used with permission.

The post Yes, Things Are Falling Apart, But Don’t Panic. Here’s Why … appeared first on The Aquila Report.

CultureWatch: Transgenderism and Scripture

Perhaps 40 or 50 years ago I could have gotten away with writing a few articles on homosexuality from a biblical point of view. But as the militant movement spread, and its tentacles reached everywhere, including in the churches and in theology, Christians have had to write much much more.

That has certainly been true of me. I have now penned three books on the topic of homosexuality (well, two and a half, with the first one being a debate book with a homosexual activist). And as an indication of just how important this whole issue has become, I have now written 837 articles on the matter as well!

And now transgenderism is in the same place. A few years ago no one was talking about it, but now it is everywhere, and again, it is seeking to undermine biblical morality and scriptural absolutes. Thus I may end up having to write some books on this topic as well. In fact, I already have 134 articles penned on the subject of transgenderism.

Of course there is plenty of overlap with these two issues, and much of what has been said about the former can just as easily be said about the latter, since it has by and large proceeded from and is based on the homosexual ideology. But here I want to focus on one verse that is quite relevant, and tie it back to our most basic biblical passage on human sexuality.

The particular passage I will dwell on is Deuteronomy 22:5, while the basic passage is from the opening chapters of Genesis. Let me first look at this original creation account of human sexuality. Gen. 1:27 says this: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Denny Burk in his helpful book, What Is the Meaning of Sex? puts it this way:

The creation norm described in Genesis involves biological complementarity for the purposes of procreation. Hence, God commands the couple, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). There is no spectrum here. There is a functioning biological dichotomy between male and female that enables procreation. In other words, what God calls “good” is binary sexual complementarity. This original situation does not present us with a spectrum. Rather, it presents us with sexual dimorphism.

Telford Work in his discussion of Deut. 22:5 says this about God’s original intentions:

The social construction of gender is grounded in the divine construction of both sex and gender. Sexual differentiation is a gift bestowed at our creation (Gen. 1:27; 2:18–25). Humanity uniquely images God (1:26) in unique human relations with God, one another, oneself, and the rest of creation (1:26–4:1). Both of Genesis’s creation stories stress that gender informs the relations that constitute humanity in God’s image, and vice versa.

All of our understanding of God’s intentions for human sexuality must be seen against the backdrop of this original design for humanity. Indeed, Jesus appealed to these texts in Genesis more than once and considered them to be foundational and normative.

So whether we are debating the issue of adultery, homosexuality, or any other type of sexuality, the original intention of God must be our unmovable point of reference. That is obviously true with the trans agenda therefore. Christians must approach this topic in light of the Genesis accounts as well.

Let’s now turn to the more specific passage found in Deuteronomy. Deut. 22:5 says this: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” Up until recently one could easily see that transvestism was being covered here in particular, but likely as well, homosexuality in general.

Now we can certainly tie in this new sexual activity, transgenderism. Let me cite some commentators here. P. C. Craigie says in his commentary that transvestitism and associated behaviours may seem to be relatively harmless, but they are not:

“First, transvestitism tends to be associated with certain forms of homosexuality; second, in the ancient world, it is probable that transvestite practices were associated with the cults of certain deities. In either or both instances, the practice of transvestitism would be an abomination to the Lord your God.”

Or as Ajith Fernando remarks, the “point addressed here is breaking God’s order for gender distinction. Of course, we know that in Christ male and female are equal (Galatians 3:28). But equality in status does not eliminate differences in physical matters and roles.”

He goes on to remind us that we need to take some caution as to types of clothing worn today: “When it comes to clothes, norms as to what is feminine and what is masculine vary according to culture. Scottish people wear kilts, which is a pleated skirt… So we must beware of making rules about clothing without thinking of the cultural backgrounds.” He goes on to say however that we should not mistake sameness with equality, reminding us of the strong wording in this passage about eliminating or blurring gender distinctions.

In True Sexual Morality Daniel Heimbach says this: “God also absolutely prohibits trying to confuse gender identity by cross-dressing…. The ban specifically addressed cross-dressing, but the moral issue was trying to confuse gender differences and acting as if they do not really matter. But gender difference matters very much to God. He is the one who made Adam a man and Eve a woman.”

Finally, let me share some further thoughts, this time from Richard Davidson. In his very important 2007 book, Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament he notes how the cult of Ishtar had male functionaries wearing female clothing and makeup, as did some of the Canaanite fertility cults. He then writes:

The wording of the legislation goes beyond a cult setting to include any and all circumstances of men dressing like women and vice versa. The cross-dressing described in this passage is called an abomination, detestable thing…. [being] violations of the creation order….
Thus cross-dressing is morally/cultically repugnant to God not only because of its association with homosexuality and the fertility cult rituals but also – and primarily – because it mixes/blurs the basic distinction of gender duality (male and female) set forth in creation. Because of the grounding of this prohibition in the creation order, it may be concluded that the intent was for this legislation to be permanent (transtemporal) and universal (transcultural) in its application.

Conclusion

Gender distinctions are part of the created order. Whenever we try to violate the creational order we are rebelling against our Creator. Pretending we can simply choose what sex we are is an affront to the Lord and the way he has made us.

Other non-theological issues, such as genuine intersex cases, will have to be discussed elsewhere. And that I have done in other articles and books. But they have little or nothing to do with the bulk of the trans agenda. Let me just offer one more quote on the intersex issue, again from Denny Burk:

Does the phenomenon of intersex undermine a complementarian view of gender? No, it does not. Scripture defines what’s normative for us, not any anomaly that we find in fallen creation. The phenomenon of intersex should call forth our compassion and our love for our neighbors who carry in their persons a painful reminder of the groaning of creation. It should not call forth from us a revision of the binary ideal of Scripture. That binary ideal is the matrix from which a binary ideal of gender roles emerges as well.

As I said, just as the homosexual debate became so broad and far-reaching that entire books had to be penned to defend the biblical position on this, the same with transgenderism: to do it full justice, one has to look at the social, scientific, biological and social issues along with the biblical data.

Also, more passages than just the one from Deuteronomy would need to be examined. But this is just one in a series of articles attempting to do just that. And who knows, I may yet end up with a few books on this topic as well.

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The post Transgenderism and Scripture appeared first on CultureWatch.

‘Doubting Evolution Is like Believing the Earth Is Flat’

(Answers In Genesis) To misrepresent and discredit creationists by comparing their position to a belief in a flat earth is a straw-man fallacy. The fact that some people in history believed the earth to be flat highlights the fallibility of man’s reasoning. Throughout history, scientists’ confident assertions have later been disproven, such as the common medical practice of bloodletting or the futile quest of alchemists to turn common metals into gold.

Scientists today are not exempt. We often elevate people in white lab coats as if their conclusions were inerrant. But an extensive education and high IQ can’t overcome any human’s inherent limitations. Scientific findings today are often contested or disproven. …

No matter how precisely the scientific method is followed or how carefully the variables are controlled, the margin for error cannot be eliminated. How much greater the margin for error when scientists seek to make conclusions about events of the past?

Particle-to-person evolution is a belief system built on assumptions about the past. It cannot be tested by the scientific method. Therefore, those who doubt it are not anti-science. Rather than trusting man’s philosophy about the past, biblical creationists trust the Word of the Creator.

Detractors of the Bible might point to passages like Isaiah 11:12Revelation 7:1, and Revelation 20:8 to claim that the Bible teaches a flat earth. But the phrase, “the four corners of the earth,” must be interpreted within its context, and figurative language must be recognized. When the historical-grammatical approachis followed, “the four corners of the earth” is identified as a figure of speech describing the whole word using the cardinal directions (such as on a compass) from north and south to east and west. The passages are all within prophetic books, which are known for using poetic language.

Interpreting the Bible literally doesn’t mean ignoring figurative language of which the Bible is rich (e.g., 1 Samuel 2:8 and Psalm 75:3 poetically describe the earth as sitting on pillars that God founded). After all, if someone says the sun has set, we don’t accuse him of not understanding that it is the earth that is spinning around the sun.

Being inspired by God the Creator, Scripture describes our globe accurately—including its shape. Passages like Job 26:10Proverbs 8:27, and Isaiah 40:22 describe the earth’s shape accurately.

Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle made some observations about these passages:  View article →

Source: ‘Doubting Evolution Is like Believing the Earth Is Flat’

Israel Has Only Had 2 School Attacks in 44 Years, Here’s How They Make Sure Their Kids Are Safe

(The Western Journal) In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that claimed 17 lives last week, there has been a renewed debate surrounding gun control and children’s safety, leading some to make a comparison to the changes Israel made in response to a terror attack more than four decades ago.

In 1974, Palestinian terrorists took over the Netiv Meir Elementary School in what has been called the “Ma’alot Massacre,” which left 22 children dead and many others injured.

The attack forced Israel to come up with a solution in order to prevent such a situation from ever happening again. The nation requires its schools to have a security system, and that policy is still going strong after 40 years. View article →

Source: Israel Has Only Had 2 School Attacks in 44 Years, Here’s How They Make Sure Their Kids Are Safe

6 Questions I’m Hearing Again from Young People Raised in Evangelical Churches

I heard these questions from young people in the 1980s, but they tended to die down (at least among young people in my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, who were then in the midst of our conservative resurgence). With no desire to use this post to enter into theological debates, I want to review some of the same questions I’m beginning to hear again—often, among college students raised in Christian homes.

  1. “How do I know the Bible is true?” Few young people I know are willing to accept their parent’s faith at face value. They respect the Bible, but that doesn’t mean they always accept it as truth.
  2. “If God is love, won’t He accept love in any relationship?” Some young folks accept the Bible’s description of God as love, but they turn to other sources to define that love. They thus broaden their definition beyond biblical parameters.
  3. “Does it really matter whether I go to church?” “If my faith is between me and God,” some say, “I don’t really need to be part of a church.” A spirit of individualism overshadows any sense of needing other believers as witnesses and encouragers.
  4. “Might there be more than one way to God?” Often raised among followers of other world faiths, many young people struggle understanding why God would judge their friends and classmates.
  5. “Who cares what denomination the church is?” The question is an honest one for a generation raised in local churches that often themselves exhibited little denominational connection or loyalty.
  6. “How do I know if this whole ‘religion thing’ isn’t just manmade?” They hear that thinking from others at times, and few believers have taken the time to try to answer that question.

Maybe these questions aren’t so new after all. Perhaps they’re simply a reminder of an important truth for church leaders: just because we tried to answer the questions in one generation doesn’t mean they won’t come around again. And, if we aren’t willing to hear and tackle the questions, we’ll lose another generation.

Source: 6 Questions I’m Hearing Again from Young People Raised in Evangelical Churches