Daily Archives: March 21, 2018

March 21: Sins of Omission

Numbers 24–25; 1 Corinthians 7:17–40; Psalm 21:1–13

There’s that moment when you’re asked to do something you know is wrong, but you feel like you should respond. It’s almost as fleeting as the decision to not stand up for what is right, even when no one asks for your opinion. Many wrongdoings occur in these moments—these chances for sins of omission. Being silent is as bad as committing the wrong action, which is why the American court system prosecutes all the people committing an armed robbery for murder when only one gunman pulls the trigger.

Balaam, the prophet from Moab, had such an opportunity. After he was asked by Yahweh to bless the people of Israel—in opposition to his own king’s request (Num 22:1–6)—he could have done nothing at all. Or he could have made Yahweh like the gods of Moab—subjecting them to his will instead of their own—but he instead follows the orders of Yahweh and blesses the people of Israel (Num 24:3–9).

The psalmist addresses what can happen when things go differently: “Though they have plotted evil against you [Yahweh], though they have planned a scheme, they will not prevail. For you will turn them to flight, you will aim arrows on your bowstrings at their faces” (Psa 21:11–12).

We can hinder or help the work of God. Often this work can be done by much subtler means. Consider how you act or choose not to act in key moments, whether big or small. Today, choose to do the work that God has called you to do.

What sins of omission are currently in your life?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

March 21 Responding to Christ’s Invitation

“Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10).

✧✧✧

The only acceptable response to Christ’s offer of the Kingdom is to receive it, value it, and pursue it!

Many people who think they’re Kingdom citizens will someday be shocked to discover they aren’t. In Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” Some people think highly of the Kingdom but never receive the King. They call Jesus “Lord” but don’t do His will. Lip service won’t do. You must receive the King and His Kingdom (John 1:12).

You must also value the Kingdom. In Matthew 13:44 Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure.” In verses 45–46 He compares it to a pearl that was so valuable, a merchant sold all he had to purchase it. That’s the value of the Kingdom. It’s worth any sacrifice you have to make.

Finally, you must continually pursue the Kingdom. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says, “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” In context He was discussing the basic necessities of life such as food and clothing, reminding His disciples that their Heavenly Father knew their needs and would supply them if they simply maintained the proper priorities. Unbelievers characteristically worry about meeting their own needs (v. 32), but believers are to be characterized by trusting in God and pursuing His Kingdom.

Christ offers His Kingdom to everyone (Matt. 28:19). The only acceptable response is to receive it, value it, and pursue it. Is that your response? Have you received the Kingdom? Is it precious to you? I trust it is. If so, rejoice and serve your King well today. Make His Kingdom your top priority. If not, turn from your sin and submit your life to Christ, who loves you and longs to receive you into His eternal Kingdom.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the heavenly citizenship you hold (Phil. 3:20–21). ✧ Ask Him to help you keep His priorities uppermost in your life.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 21–22. As you do, think of what eternity with Christ will be like. What aspects of eternity do you especially look forward to?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 93). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

March 21, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

Congressional negotiators are nearing agreement on a $1.3 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this weekend after key compromises were reached during overnight talks, congressional aides from both parties said early Wednesday.

President Donald Trump says the Saudis are a “big purchaser” of American arms. A $3.5 billion discount they won from the Pentagon last year in buying an anti-missile system for $15 billion shows they’re also adept at tapping into the Pentagon’s generosity.

Emmanuel Macron, the 40-year-old president, is ramping up French efforts in the race to deploy artificial intelligence and he’s being held back by Europe’s culture of privacy. Reports that Facebook saw some 50 million U.S. profiles fed into election-campaign algorithms in 2016 are unlikely to help him make his case.

Large digital companies operating in the European Union, such as Alphabet Inc. and Twitter Inc., could face a 3 percent tax on their gross revenue based on users’ locations, according to a plan by the European Commission.

Efforts to streamline regulations to accommodate the emerging technology have been under way since the Obama administration with strong bipartisan support. And the Trump administration’s aversion to restrictions and regulations makes it even more unlikely that the accident in Tempe, Arizona, in which an autonomous Uber sport utility vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian, will result in significant new barriers, according to former U.S. officials and some safety advocates.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Canada recognizes the potential disruption major technology companies can have on government revenue and will study whether a new tax regime is required for the industry.

The commander-in-chief’s recent musings about forming a new military branch, a U.S. Space Force, revives a debate that began almost 20 years ago about whether the Pentagon’s space activities should be moved to a new command.

Chinese companies are taking advantage of America’s financially strapped higher-education system to buy schools, and the latest deal for a classical music conservatory in Princeton, New Jersey, is striking chords of dissonance on campus.

“Starter homes have become scarcer, pricier, smaller, older and more likely in need of some TLC” than they were six years ago, the real estate website Trulia reported Wednesday after analyzing housing stock across the country.

AP Top Stories

The alleged Texas serial bomber has been identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, law enforcement sources told ABC News. Local and federal authorities took up positions near a hotel where the suspect had stopped his vehicle, awaiting tactical teams to help apprehend him. The suspect, after beginning to drive away, stopped on the side of the road and as Austin SWAT team members approached he detonated a device while inside his vehicle. One officer was knocked back and suffered minor injuries, and another fired at the suspect.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said private schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students should not be eligible for federal dollars, backtracking from an answer she gave last year.

Saudi Arabia called the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers a “flawed agreement” on Monday, on the eve of a meeting between the Saudi crown prince and U.S. President Donald Trump who have both been highly critical of Iran.

A shooting at a high school in Great Mills, Maryland, on Tuesday left one student dead and two others injured, officials confirmed. A 17-year-old male student opened fire using a handgun around 8 a.m. in a hallway at Great Mills High School, striking a 16-year-old female student and a 14-year-old male student. The school’s armed resource officer, identified by police as St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputy Blaine Gaskill, exchanged fire with the shooter, Cameron said. Gaskill was not injured. The three students were transported to local hospitals. The shooter, whom police identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, died hours later.

Iran has defused all regional threats against the country, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday, as tension rises between Tehran and Washington over the influence of the Islamic Republic in the Middle East.

Authorities are seeking to have the brother of a teen charged with killing 17 people at a Florida school involuntarily committed and prohibited from possessing guns.

BBC

Pope Francis is to visit Ireland in August – the first papal visit to the country for almost 40 years.

Girls in their early teens are being trafficked into prostitution in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, a BBC News investigation has found. Foreigners seeking sex can easily gain access to children who have fled conflict in Myanmar and now face a new threat.

A US judge has temporarily blocked a Mississippi state law enacting the tightest restrictions on abortion in the country a day after it was signed. Judge Carlton Reeves delayed the bill, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks, from taking effect for 10 days while he hears more arguments. Critics say the ban, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, is unconstitutional.

The US has announced it will provide $2.5m in aid to Venezuelans who have fled the economic crisis in their homeland for neighboring Colombia.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order barring US companies and citizens from dealing in Venezuela’s crypto-currency, the Petro.

At least 35 civilians have been killed in a rocket attack on a busy market in a government-held district of Syria’s capital Damascus, state media report.

WND

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday over a California law requiring pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to post information about how to obtain abortions, a requirement that the pro-life movement considers a direct infringement on free speech.


The Briefing — Wednesday, March 21, 2018

1) Does marriage make a difference? Dueling articles in major newspapers debate the link between single parenthood and poverty

New York Times (David Brady, Ryan Finnigan, and Sabine Hübgen) –
Single Mothers Are Not the Problem

Washington Post (Robert Samuelson) –
Don’t deny the link between poverty and single parenthood

2) What do declining divorce rates tell us about our current cultural moment?

The Atlantic (Andrew Cherlin) –
Marriage Has Become a Trophy

3) Toys R Us’s announcement reveals the devastating effects of a declining birth rate

Washington Post (Andrew Van Dam) –
Toys R Us’s baby problem is everybody’s baby problem


News – 3/21/2018

Turkey-Allied Jihadists Slaughtering Christians, Yazidis in Syria’s Besieged Afrin
Turkey-linked jihadists from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda are taking advantage of the Ankara offensive in the besieged Afrin region in northwestern Syria to slaughter Christians and Yazidis, caution several activists. The warnings come as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced over the weekend that his allied forces conquered the center of the Kurdish-held city of Afrin.

Sweden Unveils Plans For ‘Total Societal Mobilization’ Against Russia
In yet another sign of what Russia expert Stephen Cohen has described as the escalating New Cold War, non-NATO aligned Sweden is initiating detailed plans to ready itself for total societal mobilization in response to military attack from a major external power. As Aaron Mehta points out in his exclusive for Defense News entitled Fortress Sweden: Inside the plan to mobilize Swedish society against Russia, that major external power is none other than Russia, whose heavily militarized port of Kaliningrad lies a little over 220 miles across the ocean from Sweden.

Trump: Sanctuary State Places ‘Innocent Americans at the Mercy of Hardened Criminals’
“This is actually a mass murder happening in the United States by illegal aliens killing American citizens,” Mendoza, who lives in Arizona, said Monday in a meeting that included Cabinet officials, members of Congress, and state and local law enforcement officials. “Over 63,000 Americans have been killed since 9/11 by illegal aliens,” Mendoza continued.

Russian warplane bombs refugee camp in Syria’s Idlib – media
…the Russian air force Su-24 bomber made two attacks on the refugee camp in the village of Khas in the south of Idlib. White Helmets, the Syrian humanitarian organization, noted that the bombs hit the camp in the night hours.

Report: N. Korean, S. Korean and US delegates had ‘constructive’ meeting
“(The meeting) explored approaches to building confidence and [reducing] tensions in Korean peninsula… The participants had a constructive exchange of views in a positive atmosphere,” foreign ministry Director General Kimmo Lahdevirta told reporters, declining to comment on the agenda.

Polish PM’s father: Jews gladly moved to ghettos to get away from Poles
A former Polish politician who is the father of the country’s prime minister said that Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jewish Poles. Kornel Morawiecki, a former senator whose son, Mateusz, became prime minister last year, made the remark in an interview published Tuesday by the online magazine Kulturą Liberalną.

The story behind Africa’s free trade dream
The European Union and its free trade agreement took decades to establish. Africa is now hoping it can achieve the same in a fraction of the time. But with Nigeria pulling out, questions are being raised over just how achievable it really is. The vision is a free trade deal encompassing 1.2 billion people stretching from Cape Town to Cairo.

Syria war: Dozens killed as rockets hit Damascus market
At least 35 civilians have been killed in a rocket attack on a busy market in a government-held district of Syria’s capital Damascus, state media report. Rebels in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region fired the rockets at Kashkoul, police told the Sana news agency. Six other civilians were injured in a separate attack to the west, they said.

Rogue TOXIC space station could crash into Earth NEXT WEEK
China’s first prototype station Tiangong-1 will come crashing back to the planet between March 30 and April 6. And space boffins have revealed it has the highest chance of crashing into cities along a narrow strip around latitudes of 43 degrees north and south. This includes a number of highly populated cities including New York, Barcelona, Beijing, Chicago, Istanbul, Rome and Toronto.

There’s a New Cold War Brewing in Space
The commander-in-chief’s recent musings about forming a new military branch, a U.S. Space Force, revives a debate that began almost 20 years ago about whether the Pentagon’s space activities should be moved to a new command. “Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” President Donald Trump said…“We may even have a Space Force, develop another one. We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force.”

EU to unveil plan to tax turnover of big U.S. tech firms
The European Commission will propose rules on Wednesday designed to make digital companies pay their fair share of tax and set to hit U.S. tech giants such as Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O). The Commission is expected to propose that companies with significant digital revenues in Europe pay a 3 percent tax on their turnover, according to a draft seen by Reuters last week.

Reviving Biblical Wedding Customs in Preparation for the Third Temple
Reuven Prager, who specializes in Biblically styled clothing, has a passion for restoring ancient Israelite customs. Twenty-five years years ago, Prager learned about four marriage customs described in the Talmud as having fallen out of practice after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE and the squashed Bar Kochba revolt in 132 CE. Prager wanted to revive those customs in order to pave the way for the Third Temple, but he also had a vested personal interest.

Firing Tillerson Removed an Obstacle to Peace
As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was being fired on Tuesday, his central assumptions about the Palestinian conflict with Israel, which are shared by the entire Washington foreign policy establishment, literally blew up in Gaza.

Austin serial bomber dies in wee-hours confrontation after police trace him to motel
The suspected serial bomber who killed two people and terrorized Austin, Texas, for three harrowing weeks was killed in a dramatic confrontation with police overnight Wednesday, according to authorities. The suspect, identified by police early Wednesday as a 24-year old male, was killed near the motel he was traced to by authorities using surveillance footage from a Federal Express drop-off store and cell phone triangulation technology

Abbas to approve new measures against Hamas
Commentators see these steps as a deliberate move by Abbas to drag Hamas into a confrontation with Israel in order to block the “deal of the century”, the peace plan being formulated by the American administration and which the PA views as biased in favor of Israel.

Storms strike college, leave trail of damage across South
The storm threatened millions of people across the Deep South, prompting tornado warnings Monday in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The area around Jacksonville State University in Alabama was among the hardest hit and thousands of buildings and vehicles were battered by large hail after the night of violent weather.

House GOP Leaders Scalise, McCarthy Sign Letter Demanding Second Special Counsel to Investigate Obama’s FISA Abuse
At the end of February, Rep Lee Zeldin (R-NY) sent a letter to AWOL Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him appoint a Special Counsel to investigate FISA abuses and how/why Hillary’s probe ended and Trump’s Russia probe began.

Cardinal Says Vatican Is Surrendering to China’s Communist Government With Deal on Catholic Worship
The outspoken former bishop of Hong Kong has launched a fresh attack on a proposed agreement between the Vatican and China’s communist government.

Official Washington flocking to Doomsday Camps
A building network of backwoods doomsday camps around the country are pulling in members from affluent areas and even Washington national security officials as the threats grow from nuclear war, an EMP or virus attack.

Afrin: Turkey’s President Erdogan threatens to expand military offensive beyond Kurdish town
Turkey’s president has vowed to keep up the pressure against a US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia after his troops captured the Syrian town of Afrin, threatening to expand the military offensive into other Kurdish-held areas across northern Syria and even into neighbouring Iraq.

Mind Control: Samsung Site Wipes Your Memory So You Can Re-watch TV Shows
Samsung has launched a website promising to wipe your favorite TV series from your memory so you can watch it again seemingly for the first time. The creepy concept, known as Unspoil me, was apparently launched in January and is available through the company’s Swedish site.

Gov’t ‘Fusion Centers’ Spying on Patriots in all 50 States
Intimidation used against activist who sought information on mosque…Fusion centers were established a few years after the 9/11 attacks by the President George W. Bush administration and expanded under Barack Obama.

Abortion Clinic Caught Selling Box Of Aborted Babies From Car
A South Carolina abortion clinic has been caught on video illegally transporting and selling the bodies of aborted babies from a car to a waste management company.

Hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto are moving forward
Hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto for personal injury and wrongful death are moving forward, after scientific analysis was heard in court, detailing Roundup’s carcinogenicity.

War Is On The Horizon
Have Washington and its British vassal set a stage for testing whether Russia has the stomach for war?

China Begins Banning People With ‘Bad Social Credit’ From Trains And Planes
China has announced controversial new measure that will ‘ban’ citizens with ‘bad social credit’ from using public transport like trains and plane, placing a restriction on their travel.

Researchers show how a moth’s brain is smarter than artificial intelligence 
Insects may be simple, and in terms of intellectual capability, they will never be able to match humans, but they do have brains. They can definitely learn, as moths do when getting acquainted with new scents. But did you know that even moths can be smarter than today’s standard level of artificial intelligence?

‘Significant damage’ in Alabama after storms hit Southeast
Severe storms smacked the Southeast Monday, bringing possible tornadoes, powerful winds and hailstones the size of baseballs. The damaging weather struck right before Tuesday, which is the first day of spring.


RenewAmerica Newsletter

March 19, 2018
WES VERNON — We fought a Civil War to force rebellious states to remain in the Union. Has anyone ever contemplated the possibility that at some point there may be movement to eject rebellious states out of the United States, to leave – – with or without their agreement to leave?… (more)

March 19, 2018
ALAN KEYES — Like a phantom blip on a radar screen, the special election in Pennsylvania is the result of a momentary systemic anomaly. Democrat Conor Lamb’s apparent victory may not be a harbinger of things to come. Thanks to a federal court decision, district lines in that region of Pennsylvania have changed…. (more)

March 19, 2018

CNN — Austin police just confirmed what residents have feared for weeks – – a suspected serial bomber is attacking their city. For the fourth time this month, a device exploded on Austin residents. What makes Sunday night’s blast especially terrifying is that the device was left on the side of a residential road and triggered by a tripwire, police said Monday. Investigators have found similarities between that device and three previous bombs, which were stuffed inside packages and left on residents’ doorsteps, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said…. (more)


March 19, 2018

WASHINGTON TIMES — Mississippi’s governor says that by enacting a law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, the state is “saving more of the unborn than any state in America, and what better thing can we do?” Republican Gov. Phil Bryant made the comments while he signed the law Monday in a closed ceremony, according to a video his office posted to social media…. (more)


March 18, 2018

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE — The last time Mitt Romney ran against a Kennedy for the U.S. Senate, he lost a bitter 1994 campaign in Massachusetts against liberal icon Ted Kennedy. Now, he is facing a Kennedy in Utah, but this one is a conservative Republican and not a member of that famous clan. Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, announced Wednesday that he will challenge Romney for the GOP nomination for the seat being vacated by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah…. (more)


March 18, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — These columns have many times observed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s failure to set limits on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. To trigger the appointment of a special counsel, federal regulations require the Justice Department to identify the crimes that warrant investigation and prosecution – – crimes that the Justice Department is too conflicted to investigate in the normal course; crimes that become the parameters of the special counsel’s jurisdiction…. (more)

March 18, 2018
BYRON YORK — Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller is authorized to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The popular word for that is collusion, and it remains at the heart of both the Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee investigations. (Majority Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee recently announced they were unable to find evidence proving collusion.)… (more)

March 18, 2018
CHANNEL NEWS ASIA — KABUL: Donald Trump flops over his pink and white baby walker and rolls it around his family’s modest home in Kabul, blissfully unaware of the turmoil his “infidel” name is causing in the deeply conservative Muslim country…. (more)

March 18, 2018

VARIETY — Roadside Attractions-Lionsgate’s faith-based “I Can Only Imagine” has crushed early box office forecasts with a surprisingly strong $17.1 million at 1,629 locations in North America. Recent estimates for “I Can Only Imagine” had been in the $2 million-$8 million range. It rang up the top per-site average by far among this weekend’s wide release movies with $10,476, and it notched an A+ CinemaScore among patrons…. (more)


March 16, 2018

WASHINGTON TIMES — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe less than two days before his retirement from the bureau. The firing, effective immediately, was announced late Friday night in a statement by the Department of Justice. Mr. McCabe was fired after a review by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz recommended the dismissal after an internal review…. (more)


March 16, 2018

NATIONAL REVIEW — Two federal law-enforcement officials who were removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for exchanging partisan text messages conspired to set up a meeting with the presiding judge in the case against Michael Flynn, according to text messages obtained by The Federalist…. (more)


March 16, 2018

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — California high school history teacher Julianne Benzel was put on paid leave after questioning in front of her students whether school administrations would let a group of students protesting abortion walk out of class in the middle of the school day like they did with students who did so on Wednesday in protests over school shootings…. (more)


March 16, 2018

IJR — A photo of a student supposedly protesting the NRA during Wednesday’s so-called “National Walkout” was going viral – – but only because of the almost unbelievable irony on display…. (more)


March 16, 2018
BOB UNRUH — The instruction and training materials used by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office teach that, in the case of a school shooting, deputies arriving on the scene should immediately confront the shooter. “History shows that when a suspect is confronted by any armed individual (police, security, concealed carry person) they either shoot it out with that person or kill themselves,” the materials state. “Either way, the shooting of innocent bystanders must stop…. (more)

March 16, 2018

ART MOORE — It didn’t take long for the horrific, deadly collapse Thursday of a newly installed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University’s Miami-Dade campus to become politicized. On Twitter, President Trump is being blamed for wanting to build a wall while “our infrastructures are falling apart, for going out of his way to loosen building regulations and passing a tax-cut bill instead of doing “some REAL work for the country.”… (more)


March 16, 2018
BOB UNRUH — A scientist with expertise in climate change is lambasting a U.S. senator for casting people who question the theory of man-caused global warming as “evil voices.” Thomas Sheahen, an MIT-educated physicist and author of “An Introduction to High-Temperature Supreconductivity,” was reacting in an interview with Marc Morano at Climate Depot to comments by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I…. (more)

March 16, 2018

GEORGE WILL — Iceland must be pleased that it is close to success in its program of genocide, but before congratulating that nation on its final solution to the Down syndrome problem, perhaps it might answer a question: What is this problem? To help understand why some people might ask this question, today’s column is being distributed together with two photographs. One is of Agusta, age eight, a citizen of Iceland. The other is of Lucas, age one, an American citizen in Dalton, Ga., who recently was selected to be 2018 Spokesbaby for the Gerber baby-food company. They are two examples of the problem…. (more)


March 15, 2018
JOSEPH FARAH — The data are in on Facebook’s war on “conservative” news sites, thanks to an impressive report published by WesternJournal.com. The king of social media has been making algorithm changes seemingly intended to marginalize the traffic of right-of-center online news operations, and they have been effective, the report shows…. (more)

March 15, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Soaring tuition costs, degrees of dubious value and nonstop student activism have combined to bring public confidence in the ivory tower tumbling down. Even college and university presidents acknowledge that the country is becoming disillusioned with higher education. In a recent survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed and Gallup, 51 percent of institution leaders said the 2016 election “exposed that academe is disconnected from much of American society.”… (more)

March 15, 2018
BOB UNRUH — Amid an ongoing surge in Christianity that developed as communism created a spiritual vacuum in people’s lives, China has launched a new crackdown, including rules introduced last month that further restrict the activities of unregistered house churches, according to a new report. Christians in China have been repressed ever since the People’s Republic was created in 1949, with the government’s control of churches and imposition of the Communist Party’s atheistic values…. (more)

March 15, 2018

U.S. NEWS — Eleven Republicans stepped forward before a Thursday evening filing deadline to challenge former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the Utah Senate race, including a state lawmaker who says an “establishment insider” can’t fix problems in Washington. Many of the candidates acknowledge the David-vs-Goliath nature of challenging the famous and popular Romney, but they say someone needs to keep the race to replace Republican Orrin Hatch from becoming a “coronation.”… (more)


March 15, 2018
FOX NEWS — Broward Deputy Scot Peterson stands safely behind a concrete wall taking no action as high school students lay dead and wounded just feet away, newly released video of the Florida school shooting shows. The Broward Sheriff’s Office released the 27-minute video Thursday of the former longtime resource officer responding to initial reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. Peterson, who was assigned to the school and on site when the shooting began, is seen with a civilian security monitor at the start of the video, but spends most of the video standing outside the school with his gun drawn…. (more)

March 15, 2018
Economic commentator, an informal adviser on presidential campaign, has differed with the president on trade issues

WALL STREET JOURNAL — Lawrence Kudlow, a conservative economic commentator whose career included jobs in the White House, Wall Street, radio and business television, will become one of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers as director of the National Economic Council…. (more)


March 15, 2018

BOB UNRUH — The results may not be official for some time, but it appears that a Democrat, Conor Lamb, now leading by only a few hundred votes, may have won a special election in a western Pennsylvania congressional district that two years ago chose President Donald Trump by 20 points. Mainstream media regard the apparent outcome as an “unmistakable good sign” for Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterms approach…. (more)


March 15, 2018

ART MOORE — long with concluding the Trump campaign did not coordinate with Russia to influence the 2016 election, the House Intelligence Committee report by the Republican majority confirmed that President Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, leaked information about the dubious anti-Trump “dossier” that ended up being reported by CNN…. (more)

In an article I penned in 2010 titled A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity I expressed my concerns over churches that were offering “Christian yoga”: It seems everyone’s practicing yoga meditation these days. Physicians recommend it to their patients which means it’s beneficial…right? Meditation is said to relieve stress, anxiety, hypertension, acne and post-nasal […]


10 invalid arguments in defense of false teachers

Rick Becker begins his piece with, Scripture warns us that in the last days some will depart from the faith, and be deceived by evil spirits and teachings of demons. Those who teach false doctrines are not on the fringes of Christianity, they are in the center in the form of the Evangelical Industrial Complex.  Bethel, […]


The entertainment-driven church

Charles Spurgeon once said of church: If you have to give a carnival to get people to come to church, then you will have to keep giving carnivals to keep them coming back. So, why would church leaders want people to come to a Sunday worship service to be entertained? In the 1800’s, Spurgeon saw […]


Mid-Day Snapshot

Mar. 21, 2018

This Just In: Facebook Collects Data About Users

The Cambridge Analytica flap is a reminder that if you are not paying for the product, then you are the product.

The Foundation

“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” —Samuel Adams (1749)


Headlines – 3/21/2018

Saudi Crown Prince Arrives at White House to Meet with Trump – Prince briefed on peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians

Saudi Crown Prince discusses Mideast peace process with Kushner

Saudi prince’s White House visit continues Kushner courtship

Iran main focus in meeting between Trump, Saudi Crown Prince

Trump asks Saudi crown prince to share kingdom’s wealth by buying more American weapons

Trump praises Saudi crown prince over economic ties

Netanyahu initially welcomed John Kerry’s peace initiative, ex-US envoy says

Palestinians doubt statehood, peace even in 100 years’ time

Israeli red tape may hold up US embassy move to Jerusalem – report

Palestinians Plan Mass Gaza March Ahead of U.S. Embassy Move

Netanyahu: ‘The US stopped coddling the PA and it’s driving Abbas crazy’

Netanyahu: PM: Abbas is like a ‘spoiled child’

Palestinian Authority calls on Hamas to hand over Gaza ‘all at once’

PA may consider declaring Gaza ‘rebel district,’ cutting enclave off

Palestinians’ new doomsday weapon has Israel scared to death

As IDF keeps destroying tunnels, Hamas rebuilds old ones

Hope for Gaza: EU creates broad international coalition to provide drinking water to 2 million people in Gaza

Strike at Defense Ministry body threatens to freeze settlement approvals

Father of Polish PM says Jews gladly moved to ghettos, aided Germans

Netanyahu says ‘flood’ of African migrants worse than Sinai terrorists

Israeli Chief Rabbi Calls African-Americans ‘Monkeys’

Ex-Israeli spy chief enlists top hackers for new cybersecurity firm

Justice Minister: Terror Groups Have Switched to Twitter Because Facebook Cooperates With Israel

Twitter stock dives after Israel threatens legal action over pro-terrorism

Trump blasts Iranian regime in Persian New Year statement

Trump’s holiday greeting to Iranians: Your gov’t is ‘brutal and corrupt’

Trump: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a hostile army that funds terrorism

Merkel said to warn Netanyahu nixing Iran deal will lead to war

Israel formally acknowledges destroying suspected Syrian reactor in 2007

Ending a decade of silence, Israel confirms it blew up Assad’s nuclear reactor

Rocket attack targeting busy Damascus market kills 35

Syria war: Air strike ‘kills children in Eastern Ghouta school’

Trump seeks Saudi Arabia’s help in eastern Syria

Turkey’s Erdogan criticizes US over Syrian Kurds

UN calls on Turkey to end state of emergency

Yemen war: Senate rejects ending US support of Saudi-led campaign

ISIS kidnapped dozens of Indian construction workers in Iraq. Their bodies were just found in a mass grave.

Sisi says he wanted more challengers in Egyptian election

UN gives strong backing to Lebanon’s political independence

Putin to Attend 2018 Inauguration of Turkish Nuclear Power Plant

Seeking closer ties, Trump and Putin plan summit

Xi Jinping warns any attempt to split China is ‘doomed to fail’

China and Russia are ‘aggressively pursuing’ hypersonic weapons, and the US can’t defend against them, top nuclear commander says

Trump to boost exports of lethal drones to more U.S. allies

G20 sees need for ‘dialogue,’ fails to defuse trade war threat

Op-Ed: The world is descending into tyranny

Illegal immigrants, who dodged California ICE raid after Dem mayor’s tip-off, re-arrested for new crimes

Border Patrol Agents Refuse To Turn Over Wanted Felons Because Of California’s Sanctuary Laws

Southern California town stands up to state, votes to reject sanctuary law

Reddit user claims to be Austin bomber, compares himself to ‘Zodiac Killer’ and says he wants world to ‘burn’

Geraldo: Texas Bomber ‘More Like The Joker Than The Unabomber’

Austin Goodwill explosion not linked to previous blasts, authorities say

Facebook ‘outraged’ by misuse of data by Cambridge Analytica

Facebook Sued by Investors Over Voter-Profile Harvesting

TSA denies accessing data on electronic devices carried by domestic airline passengers

Toyota Halts Robot-Car Tests Citing Drivers’ Emotional Toll

Tempe police chief says early probe shows no fault by Uber

Surge in wealth from stocks and other financial assets may be sending a dangerous signal for the economy

A Chinese Space Lab Will Soon Fall From The Sky. Where It Lands, No One Knows

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Cuajinicuilapa, Mexico

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

With historic snowstorm on the way, spring laughs at the East Coast

Winter Storm Toby, the Fourth Nor’easter This Month, Will Sock the East With Snow, Winds, Coastal Flooding

Snow records in trouble as wild March takes a wilder turn

Spring nor’easter could bury NYC in 15 inches of snow

This is not a drill: DC area could get up to 12 inches of snow

Emails show FEMA silent amid chaos after Hurricane Maria

Coroner Report: 1,030 People Killed By Euthanasia in Ontario

Teen suicide is soaring. Do spotty mental health and addiction treatment share blame?

Stormy Daniels offers proof she passed polygraph as Playboy model Karen McDougal sues to end silence on Trump

49% of Americans: ‘Trump affair allegations are of ‘very little importance’ to the nation’ says poll

Trump May Be Deposed in ‘Apprentice’ Groping Lawsuit

Trump, deemed ‘not above the law,’ faces legal storm

Feminists Demand Paris Sex Doll Brothel Be Shut For Fueling Rape Fantasies

Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic Sues State Over 15-Week Abortion Ban

If the NRA owns Republicans, Planned Parenthood owns Democrats

Sheriff: Armed Officer Ends School Shooting in Maryland

Gunman at Maryland high school dies after armed school officer intervenes; 2 others injured

Priest publicly wishes for Pope’s quick death because of his views on immigration and Islam

‘The Devil and Father Amorth’ Trailer: Witness ‘Exorcist’ Director William Friedkin Filming a Live Exorcism

13-Year-Old Girl Dead After 9-Year-Old Brother Shoots Her Over Video Game

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 06:51 AM PDT

13-Year-Old Girl Dead After 9-Year-Old Brother Shoots Her Over Video GameA 13-year-old girl is dead in Monroe County after authorities say she was shot Saturday by her 9-year-old brother.  Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said the girl would not give up a video game controller when her brother wanted it.  Cantrell said she was shot in the back of the head with a .25 caliber handgun. The girl was rushed to Le Bonheur’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis where she died Sunday at 6:45 p.m.

Authorities don’t yet know how the child had access to the weapon they say he used to shoot his sister. It’s also unclear how much knowledge the boy had of the dangers of guns.  “He’s just 9. I assume he’s seen this on video games or TV,” Cantrell said. “I don’t know if he knew exactly what this would do. I can’t answer that. I do know it’s a tragedy.” The investigation will not be rushed, the sheriff said, and the identities of family members are not being released. READ MORE

PROPHECY WATCH: Reviving Biblical Wedding Customs in Preparation for the Third Temple

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 06:47 AM PDT

PROPHECY WATCH: Reviving Biblical Wedding Customs in Preparation for the Third TempleWeddings in Biblical times were significantly different than they are today. One Jerusalemite, a simple tailor, has spent years and tens of thousands of dollars to recreate this joyous occasion as authentically traditional as possible. But there are still some changes that need to be made, which will have to wait until the Third Temple is built.  The tailor, Reuven Prager, who specializes in Biblically styled clothing,
has a passion for restoring ancient Israelite customs. Twenty-five years ago, Prager learned about four marriage customs described in the Talmud as having fallen out of practice after the destruction of theTemple in 70 CE and the squashed Bar Kochba revolt in 132 CE.  Prager wanted to revive those customs in order to pave the way for the Third Temple, but he also had a vested personal interest. “I met a really beautiful woman and I wanted to have it ready so I could propose to her,” Prager told Breaking Israel News.  Prager found references that in ancient Jewish weddings, there was an ateret chatanim (groom’s crown), a golden crown worn by the bride, a unique type of wedding canopy (chuppah chatanim) and a luxurious palanquin that was used to carry the bride to the canopy. READ MORE 

Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 06:29 AM PDT

Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?(By Michael Anthony) No one wakes up in the morning thinking of ways to destroy their life. But there is a sure way to ruin your life if you’re not careful, and many people are doing so without realizing it.  It all comes down to one of the smallest parts of your body, the tongue. Is your tongue wreaking havoc and destroying your success? It could be. Reign in your tongue and you will increase your chances of succeeding in every area of life.

“Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark,” says James. “The tongue,” he adds, “is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:5,6 NIV). There is enough here to motivate me for the rest of my life. How about you? Is your tongue ruining your life — and the lives of others? READ MORE

Mysterious ‘sea creature’ discovered on Wolf Island beach in South Georgia

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 06:21 AM PDT

Mysterious ‘sea creature’ discovered on Wolf Island beach in South GeorgiaA man from Waycross, Georgia found his own version of the Loch Ness Monster on Friday while at Wolf Island.  Jeff Warren was out with his son on a boat near the Barrier Islands going around Wolf Island when he saw what he thought was a dead seal.  A large heron was pecking at the creature’s carcass, but Warren was able to get a picture and video of the creature.  Warren said he went to

Skipper’s Fish House after and folks over there told him that there was a local legend named “Alty,” or Altahama, their own version of the Loch Ness Monster, in the area.  The creature is used in advertisements for Darien, Georgia, possibly as a means to attract people to the area. People have reported seeing a giant sea creature since the 1830s. At Darien’s website, you can view sketches of the creature as part of its promotional material. The sea creature has yet to be identified by a marine life expert. READ MORE

 

Children Feel Disturbed After Stumbling Across Online Porn

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 06:13 AM PDT

Children Feel Disturbed After Stumbling Across Online PornChildren are being left feeling insecure and disturbed after unintentionally watching hard-core pornography online, according to the NSPCC.  The charity has said that some primary school pupils have required counseling after stumbling across porn online.  The government recently announced that it has delayed plans to require pornography websites to verify the age of users.  According to NSPCC

figures, reported by the Daily Mail, over 2,000 youngsters contacted ChildLine’s advice service during the past three years to say they felt troubled after watching porn.  Out of the youngsters who received counseling, one in ten were eleven or under, and 63 percent were aged 12 to 15.  The charity’s research showed that 46 percent of children who watched porn were first exposed to it by accident.  READ MORE

Austin Bomber Blows Self Up, Fears of More Explosives

Posted: 21 Mar 2018 05:50 AM PDT

Austin Bomber Blows Self Up, Fears of More ExplosivesThe suspect in a string of bombings in Austin is dead, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley confirmed early Wednesday.  The name of the suspect, described only as a 24-year-old white man, has not been released, pending notification of his family, Manley said.  Although police are still investigating the possibility of accomplices, he said, “we believe this individual is responsible for all of

the incidents in Austin.”  Manley urged the community to remain vigilant for possible other explosives, adding that “we do not know where (the suspect) has been in the past 24 hours.”  Police have not identified a motive for the string of bombings, Manley said. Investigators identified several leads but the case really broke in the past 24 to 36 hours, the chief said. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Surveillance videos “could possibly” reveal suspect in Austin

Posted: 20 Mar 2018 06:15 PM PDT

DEVELOPING: Surveillance videos “could possibly” reveal suspect in AustinThe chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security committee says federal authorities informed him investigators have obtained surveillance videos in Austin that “could possibly” show a suspect in the package bombing at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio.  Congressman Michael McCaul told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he’s been briefed by the FBI, ATF and Austin police about the

situation. But he adds that investigators are still poring through the surveillance recordings. Austin police earlier said another suspicious package was discovered at a second FedEx center near Austin’s main airport. McCaul says evidence obtained from that package if kept intact could be key in finding the bomber. READ MORE

BREAKING NEWS: Austin Bomber Strikes Again! Man Wounded, Texas on Edge

Posted: 20 Mar 2018 06:08 PM PDT

BREAKING NEWS: Austin Bomber Strikes Again! Man Wounded, Texas on EdgeAt least one man was injured Tuesday night in yet another reported package explosion in Austin, Texas — this time at a Goodwill store, investigators said, just the latest in a string of blasts that have killed two people over the past month.  The victim, in his 30s, suffered injuries that were “potentially serious, not expected to be life-threatening,” the county’s EMS tweeted. Paramedics rushed the man to a hospital.

Austin Goodwill spokeswoman Valerie Swift was crying when she told Fox News: “Senior Goodwill executives and law enforcement are investigating.”  The Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with FBI San Antonio said they were responding with Austin police to the scene. At least five other explosions have rocked the Austin and San Antonio areas.  READ MORE

Grapefruit-Size Hail Strikes Alabama

Posted: 20 Mar 2018 01:17 PM PDT

Grapefruit-Size Hail Strikes AlabamaIn anticipation of the release of emergency recovery funds in the wake of Monday night’s battering hail storms, the Cullman County Commission approved a declaration of emergency Tuesday at a specially-called meeting.  The commission’s declaration of emergency follows Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s emergency declaration for North Alabama counties affected by the storms, which dropped grapefruit-

sized hail over portions of Cullman County and wrought extensive property damage. Commissioners and department heads will have a better idea of the storm’s financial impact once insurance assessors have surveyed the damage. The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office sustained damage to at least 20 vehicles, as well as significant damage to the roof, nine air conditioning units mounted on the rooftop, and exterior siding and fireproofing insulation at its Beech Avenue headquarters, including the newly-built Training Center, as well as the Cullman County Detention Center. READ MORE

China Ready For ‘Bloody Battle’ To Regain Rightful Place in World

Posted: 20 Mar 2018 01:12 PM PDT

China Ready For ‘Bloody Battle’ To Regain Rightful Place in WorldChina’s leader Xi Jinping delivered a warning to the world during a nationalist speech on Tuesday. The Communist nation is apparently ready for war to regain its rightful place in the world. In addition, Xi warned that attempts to divide China are doomed to fail and that the countries, organizations, and people seeking to do so would be “punished by history.” Xi Jinping the President of China has paved the way for a Mao-like dominance over the 1.79 billion people that reside in the Asian nation. Mr.

Jinping has set forth the ability to rule for life, just as the infamous Mao Zedong once did. Further, the Communist Leader has set in stone restrictive regulations that nearly disallow the practice of religious beliefs within the nation. On Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 Xi Jinping addressed the closing meeting of the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing with blistering warnings to the world, that attempts to divide China will be met with punishment by history and that they are doomed to fail.  READ MORE

Feds come after Facebook, Zuckerberg nowhere to be found, Shares plummet

Posted: 20 Mar 2018 12:57 PM PDT

Feds come after Facebook, Zuckerberg nowhere to be found, Shares plummetThe chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has remained silent over the more than 48 hours since the Observer revealed the harvesting of 50 million users’ personal data, even as his company is buffeted by mounting calls for investigation and regulation, falling stock prices and a social media campaign to #DeleteFacebook.  Facebook’s shares slid 6.77% on Monday following the news,

knocking $36bn off the company’s valuation as investors worried about the consequences of the revelations. Zuckerberg owns 16% of the company and personally saw his fortune fall $5.5bn to $69bn, according to Forbes’ live tracker of the world’s wealthiest people. The embattled social media company announced on Monday that it will engage a digital forensics to conduct an audit of Cambridge Analytica to determine whether or not the firm still has copies of the data in question. READ MORE


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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Francis Chan, Speaking of His Critics, Says, “Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed.”

Francis Chan

When they were few in number,
    of little account, and sojourners in it,
 wandering from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another people,
 he allowed no one to oppress them;
    he rebuked kings on their account,
 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
    do my prophets no harm!” (Psalm 105:12-15)

God gave clear instructions not to touch those especially anointed by the Holy Spirit to deliver the Word of God. David lived by this command, telling Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless? (1 Samuel 26:9). Of course, if someone is a false prophet, the people were commanded to stone them to death (Deuteronomy 18:15-22). The test of a true prophet was inerrancy; if what the prophet claimed came to pass, they were to be respected but if not, they were to be disregarded and put to death.

Unfortunately, many false prophets and false teachers today (and many true teachers who engage in category errors or have poor exegesis) apply this verse to any who dare criticize them. Not even Paul considered Peter above criticism (Galatians 2:11), and did not find that Peter’s status as a hand-selected Apostle to make him immune to correction. If the Holy Apostles weren’t applying Psalm 105:12-15 to themselves, it is doubtful that today’s celebrity evangelists should claim the special status of critical immunity. And unfortunately, that’s precisely what Francis Chan has done.

Chan started well, being educated at Master’s Seminary and gaining fame for being a stalwart teacher of God’s Word. But because Chan did not embrace Cessationism, his Charismatic Window was wide open and day by day, Chan became increasingly unreliable as a Bible teacher. Soon linking arms with the bottom of the Charismatic barrel, Chan started partnering with NAR apostles like Mike Bickel of the International House of Prayer (link). He became increasingly driven by a seeker-friendly and numbers-focused methodology (link). Chan began to partner with Mormons to promote Dominionist ideology (link). Continuationism (the belief that the Apostolic sign gifts have continued to this day) has done to Chan what it has done or will do to every Charismatic eventually; strip their discernment, ruin their teaching, and taint their testimony.

Chan has avoided receiving much of the criticism that’s been given him by those in more sound theological circles by avoiding social media, as he told Charisma Magazine. In an interview with the flagship charismatic publication, Chan lamented discernment among the godly and made an intentional decision to avoid hearing it. He told Charisma Magazine:

There are times to speak strongly. But let’s remember the story of David with Saul. Where’s that spirit in the church today? I just want to be careful with the Lord’s anointed. We’re surrounded by a culture that tries to reserve the strongest words to bash leadership.

Chan explained that the church is too critical today:

We live in a time when people are quick to criticize church and leadership, with this assumption that they know better. It’s just a very, very difficult time for Christian leaders to lead.

Chan left his church, Cornerstone Community Church, claiming that the Spirit was leading him off on what has been described as a “magical faith journey.” That magical faith journey has amounted to speaking engagements in mostly charismatic circles on the evangelical lecture circuit. Indeed, it’s a hard time for church leaders…and even a harder time for the church.

The post Francis Chan, Speaking of His Critics, Says, “Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed.”appeared first on Pulpit & Pen.

Why every woman should be a theologian: The Master’s University Table Talk

The End Time

womenThe advent of the internet has afforded Christian men and women opportunity to learn from many credible teachers and pastors, and to access a variety of different theological resources.

For example, all of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons and writings are online. John Owen is online. Pilgrim’s Progress is online. John MacArthur’s sermons, over 3000 of them, are online. Martyn Lloyd Jones, S. Lewis Johnson, BB Warfield sermons and materials, online, Valley of Vision, online. Blogs, podcasts, courses both free and paid (i.e Mt Zion Chapel Library, free; Ligonier, affordable paid), books, pamphlets, art work, lexicons, concordances, and more are available tot he  believer as resources.

Wow.

In some ways, this period of time has given people, women in particular, opportunity to become deeply involved with the Word, especially if (other than her pastor) she has no males in her life, such as a Godly husband or brothers, father, etc…

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What Many Pastors Won’t tell You, Regarding Sexual Immorality — Paul Washer

In today’s over-sexualized culture Christians face outright sexual temptations from many areas, from TV programs to social media platforms. We cannot escape from or run away from this in our culture; we must learn how to confront this issue.  God has given men and women the desire for sexual relations, this desire is given by God’s design to be satisfied within the bonds of marriage and only in those bounds. The world has turned that Godly desire into a sinful, lustful desire. Now, this over-sexualization of the culture has transcended into the church; it has corrupted many of our churches and made many pastors and men of God prisoners to its bondage. This sinful lust while when left unchecked can destroy marriages, disqualify pastors and ruin churches. We don’t have to live like heathens; there is a cure for this disease.

In this short fifteen-minute video Paul Washer talks about the cure for sexual immorality in the church and our personal lives. Washer illustrates the need for sexual purity and piety in our lives if we are to live for and to honor God. Washer explains the need for repentance before God, the need to seek to love others and through that genuine love for others sexual purity can be achieved.

 

The post What Many Pastors Won’t tell You, Regarding Sexual Immorality — Paul Washer appeared first on Pulpit & Pen.

MARCH 21 POUR YOURSELF OUT

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.

John 16:13

Science declares that nature abhors a vacuum. It should be happy knowledge to us, then, that the same principle is true in the kingdom of God—when you empty yourself, God Almighty rushes in!

The Creator God who fills the universe and overflows into immensity can never be surrounded by that little thing we call our brain, our mind, our intellect. Never can we rise to face God by what we are and by what we know!

Only by love and faith are we lifted thus to know Him and adore Him!

What a happy hour it becomes when we are drawn out of ourselves, and into that vacuum rushes the blessed Presence.

How wonderful in our humanity to sense the reality of the Holy Spirit’s invitation: “Pour yourself out! Give yourself to Me! Empty yourself! Bring your empty earthen vessels! Come in meekness like a child!”

Drawn out of ourselves by the Holy Spirit of God—for who knows the things of God but the Holy Spirit?

We are delivered from ourselves when we finally seek God for Himself alone!

Yes, Lord, deliver me from myself today! Help me to live for You and for others.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Social media has recentralized digital media under big companies controlled by the authoritarian left

In his piece entitled “Was Social Media A Mistake? Here’s An experiment To Find Out,” Robert Tracinski argues that social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, killed the blogs. He points out that one of the really good things about the blogs was that they offered a decentralized media. But people moved away from blogging when social media caught on. According to Tracinski, the result has been “shadowbanning, arbitrary Twitter suspensions, and Twitter throttling the traffic of people they don’t like and controlling what articles you can tweet links to.” So, have we traded the old mainstream media gatekeepers for “new, worse, less publicly accountable gatekeepers in Silicon Valley,” as he suggests?

In his post over at The Federalist, Tracinski offers several reasons he believes that we’re being controlled by “a new breed of pinch-nosed Puritans with pink hair, piercings, and tattoos, who will shut us down if we don’t use the right pronouns.” He writes:

Was social media a mistake? Two recent events crystallized my answer to this question. First, conservative comedian Steven Crowder had his Twitter account suspended for a week because he posted a video on YouTube that was critical of “gender fluidity” and used a Bad Word. The video was also pulled from YouTube, which you might not think of as a social media platform, even though it definitely is.

Then Brandon Morse noticed Twitter was preventing him from tweeting a link to an article by a controversial conservative columnist. This follows stories of Google-owned YouTube “demonetizing” videos by conservatives, unplugging them from the ability to make money from ads, and Facebook and Google targeting conservative sites for hilariously inaccurate and tendentious “fact checks.” It’s becoming clear that the big social media companies are targeting ideas and thinkers on the Right, and not just the far-out provocateurs and trolls like Milo Yianopoulos, but everyone.

What strikes me most is the contrast between this and the Internet era before social media, before Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube swallowed up everything. I’m talking about the 2000s, the great era of the blogs. Do you remember what that blog era was like? It felt like liberation.
The era of blogging offered the promise of a decentralized media. Anybody could publish and comment on the news and find an audience. Guys writing in their pajamas could take down Dan Rather. We were bypassing the old media gatekeepers. And we had control over it! We posted on our own sites. We had good discussions in our own comment fields, which we moderated. I had and still have an extensive e-mail list of readers who are interested in my work, most of which I built up in that period, before everybody moved onto social media.

But then Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube came along and killed the blogs. There were three main reasons they took over. View article →

Source: Social media has recentralized digital media under big companies controlled by the authoritarian left

America’s new generation of little secular psychopaths

WINTERY KNIGHT

Zombies! They can't think about policy rationally Zombies! They can’t think about policy rationally

I’ve been reading a lot about life in the former Soviet Union, where millions of innocent people were murdered for “equality”. I’m trying to understand how it was possible for an entire population to voluntarily give up their freedom in exchange for concentration camps and mass graves. The conclusion I’ve come to is that the majority of the Russian people must have lost the ability to make judgments about right and wrong. Could such a thing happen here?

According to Everett Piper, writing in the Washington Times, it already has: (H/T Ari)

For some 70 years, “The Lottery” has rightly been included in many literary anthologies for its shocking portrayal of the power of groupthink and the human inclination to accept evil.

For more than 30 years beginning in 1970, English professor Kay Haugaard used the story to spur corresponding discussions in her literature…

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Man Arriving At Holy Land Tour Confused To Not Find Himself In United States Of America

ISRAEL—John Wildrow was excited to finally take a tour of the Holy Land. It was a “childhood dream” of his, he claims. He bought tickets months in advance and impatiently awaited the day of his plane’s departure to tour the Promised Land. Finally, he took off on a flight for his scheduled Holy Land tour […]

The post Man Arriving At Holy Land Tour Confused To Not Find Himself In United States Of America appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement

The primary heresy in Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) beliefs is that Christians must keep the Torah. HRM holds the view that Christ’s death on the cross did not end the Mosaic Covenant, His death renewed it. But is the Torah the foundation of Christianity? Should believers observe the Mosiac laws? In this piece, Tim Chaffey of Answers In Genesis examines HRM and reveals the dangers of the movement.  He writes:

The Hebrew Roots Movement has influenced hundreds of thousands of Christians in recent decades, and many more have encountered arguments from those in that groupThe movement places a strong emphasis on Hebrew traditions and the Mosaic lawThis article will describe the nature of the Hebrew Roots Movement, examine some of its major beliefs in light of relevant biblical passages, and challenge those who have been influenced by its teachings.

The Growing Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement

In recent years, an increasing number of Christians have adopted teachings associated with the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM)Properly defining this movement is difficult because it has no central hierarchy or leader and no official statement of faith for members to endorseWhile this article will explain and critique some of the major teachings connected to this movement, we recognize that some adherents to the HRM may not agree with all of the positions outlined here.

What Is the Hebrew Roots Movement?

Broadly speaking, followers of the HRM believe that Christians are obligated to follow Jewish laws and practices from the books of MosesOftentimes, extrabiblical rabbinic teachings and traditions are elevated (if not in official doctrinal beliefs then in practice) to the same level as Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Although they often speak of keeping the “law,” they are usually inconsistent in how this is understood and definedFor example, certain laws are either broken or neglected while a great deal of attention is placed on keeping the Sabbath (Friday sunset through Saturday sunset) and celebrating the feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23These issues will be discussed in more detail below.

It is difficult to document the movement’s history because of its lack of organizational structure, but the modern HRM has been influenced in some ways by Seventh-Day Adventism and the Worldwide Church of God during the lifetime of its founder, Herbert WArmstrongAdditionally, the HRM has been influenced by the practices of Messianic Jews, but the similarities between the groups are superficial and should not be conflatedIn fact, many Messianic Jewish organizations have denounced the beliefs of the HRM.1

The past few decades have witnessed a growing influence of this movement among conservative ChristiansIt is not unusual to see some HRM proponents give themselves Hebrew names, write “God” as “G-d,” eat kosher foods, claim that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew (or at least several books were), condemn numerous Christian traditions as pagan, and dismiss teachings from Paul’s epistlesSome have gone so far as to challenge orthodox Christian beliefs such as the Trinity and even the deity of Jesus ChristFundamentally, the HRM teaches that many modern Christian beliefs and practices were introduced to the church by pagan GreeksThis is why they generally do not like to be identified as ChristiansInstead, they believe that they need to recover the first century Hebrew roots of Christianity. View article →

Facebook Reminds Users Its Terms Of Service Specifically Allow For Orwellian Social Engineering

MENLO PARK, CA—Responding to the recent data-hijacking scandal which has its stock price plummeting and lawmakers demanding an explanation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reminded everyone in a Facebook Live video Tuesday that the tech giant’s official terms of service specifically allow for it or any third party to utilize data it collects to engage in […]

The post Facebook Reminds Users Its Terms Of Service Specifically Allow For Orwellian Social Engineering appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

The Church and Abuse of Music for Worship

I really wish churches would quit using “radio songs” — songs that are performed for CDs and broadcast and not meant for congregational singing.
A problem is that the congregation has no song book with the music, so we have to try to figure it out while the lyrics are posted.  Of course those who buy the CDs and listen to “Christian” radio know the song, but the rest of us normal people have no clue.
Another problem is that the music is not designed for congregational singing and so can be complex.  One song we did this week is Sovereign Over Us, and the tune for the lyrics was quite like a dirge.  And of course there is the obligatory repetition of what the performing artist (in this case Michael W. Smith) decided needed repeating ad nauseam.
So, how do we learn the tune?  Well, during the offertory the “worship” band (I despise calling a band a “worship band”) played the tune until we thought it would never end.  Then after the offertory we were told of the new song as the lyrics were projected, and were informed that it was what the band had been playing.  Then, after the sermon we sang it again for good measure!
The other “radio” song we sang was Rock of Ages (Jesus is the Rock), which needed the obligatory LOUD band.  Between the volume of the band and the volume of the song-leader’s microphone, you really couldn’t hear the congregation singing — but perhaps that was because only the people who listen to the radio knew it!
At least, for the most part, the lyrics of these songs were okay, but, especially with Rock of Ages…, there was the incessant emotion-manufacturing repetition—exactly what you can expect from a Baloche song.  I had one irritant with the lyrics to Sovereign Over Us: “Your plans are still to prosper.”  Just where does Scripture say that God has ever had plans to prosper us?  That sounds like one of two things:  1) the “prosperity gospel or 2) abusing Jeremiah 29:11. I’m guessing it is an allusion to the latter.
The whole point is that NEITHER of these songs should be used for corporate worship.  They were written for performing and for private listening and should be kept there.
The second thing about abusing music in church is the ideology of singing “karaoke,” either with solo performances or with choirs.  The worst thing about this is that the volume of the recording is always way too loud, making it difficult to hear the singers.  This Sunday I couldn’t understand the vast majority of what the choir was singing because of the loud music.  There have been times when the children sing in front of the congregation and the recorded music is so loud you can’t even hear the children at all!
What is it with the loud volume all the time in churches nowadays?  The assembly we attend has the volume problem about 30% of the time, while others we’ve visited have the problem almost 100% of the time.
Please, church leaders, stop all this abuse of music!!! It gets to be very wearing.  (We left right after the sermon so as not to be put through the torture of that repeat performance, and an elderly couple came out behind us complaining about how loud it was.)

All-Seeing Eye Of Sauron Unveiled At Facebook Headquarters

MENLO PARK, CA—In the midst of a scandal involving the unauthorized transfer of its users’ data for political purposes, Facebook proudly unveiled a brand new, giant Lidless Eye of Sauron atop the company’s Menlo Park headquarters. The Eye of Sauron will be used to examine Facebook users’ every action, online and off. The fiery Great […]

The post All-Seeing Eye Of Sauron Unveiled At Facebook Headquarters appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

03/20/2018 Wretched Radio

•Paul Washer has another gut punch
•God makes the rules for His house
•Evangelicals have turned their churches into harlots
•Handel and how music communicates higher thoughts
•Why do Christians make a bigger deal of Christmas than Easter?
•Abortion support by denomination
•Get ready for a new resource about Christian Liberty
•California requires pro-life centers to promote abortion
•Joy Behar apologizes and Roma Downey is selling positivityDownload Now (right click and save)

The post 03/20/2018 appeared first on Wretched.

The Uncomplicated Essentials

Code: B180321

“You drive for show and putt for the dough.”

That’s a popular golfing proverb with more than a grain of truth to it. You can have every other technical detail locked down. But if you can’t master the basics and complete the fundamental goal, the rest of your proficiency is wasted and irrelevant. And that’s not just a problem for golfers—it’s a serious fault with many theologians today.

Plenty of celebrated theologians can wax eloquent about doctrinal fine points, but they can’t simply explain how a person can have his or her sins forgiven. They may be proficient in Hebrew and Greek, able to decipher the timing of Daniel’s seventieth week, and even know all the finer points of second-temple Judaism. But the clarity and simplicity of the gospel message eludes them—it’s lost in a sea of caveats and qualifiers.

We’ve devoted plenty of time on this blog to the immense dangers of gospel minimization and oversimplification. But overcomplicating the message of salvation is no less dangerous.

We recently asked John MacArthur about theological overcomplication and the need to keep the gospel pure and clear. His response points us to an outstanding theologian who displayed rare expertise. Surprisingly, this great Christian thinker didn’t go to seminary. In fact, he probably never went to school at all.

We should never complicate a message that’s meant to be clear and accessible to all people. The repentant thief, who spoke with Jesus while the two hung side by side at Calvary, provides a powerful biblical example of uncomplicated excellence in the theology of salvation.

His brief conversation with Jesus—just four verses (Luke 23:40–43)—reveals that this criminal was a theologian of the highest order when it came to matters of first importance. He clearly understood the essentials of theology, anthropology, eschatology, Christology, and soteriology.

Please join us in the days ahead as we examine “The Theology of the Thief.”

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180321
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March 21, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

it was unexpected

And Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze upon him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you; (3:4–6a)

In response to the beggar’s cries for alms, Peter and John fixed their gaze upon him. Atenizō (fixed his gaze upon) is the same word used in 1:10 to describe the apostles’ intense gaze at the ascending Lord. The two apostles focused their attention on the unhappy cripple, commanding him, “Look at us!” With eager anticipation, the beggar began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. He was expecting, of course, to receive money. Peter’s reply, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you,” was totally unexpected. The beggar no doubt wondered what these men could give him that would be more valuable than money. He was soon to find out.

Like all of God’s works, this miracle was based on God’s sovereign will. There were hundreds of other beggars in Jerusalem, many of them undoubtedly crippled as well. But it was this man that God sovereignly chose to receive healing. Expecting only some money to help momentarily ease his desperate situation, the beggar instead received far more than he would have ever dreamed possible.

it was done in the name of jesus christ

In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk! (3:6b)

The beggar had little reason to believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus had not changed his plight, and He had been executed as a blasphemer. He therefore must have found Peter’s use of His name perplexing. In the name of means by virtue of Christ’s character, authority, and power. As noted in the discussion of Acts 2:22 in chapter 5, Jesus Christ the Nazarene was the common designation of our Lord during His earthly ministry. It describes Him as Jesus, the Messiah from Nazareth. To do something in the name of Jesus Christ is to act consistent with His will; to do what He would do if He were here, to act in His authority and with His delegated power. Peter had seen the Lord heal countless times. Now, acting on behalf of His Lord with the power delegated to him (cf. Matt. 10:1), he commands the beggar to walk.[1]


4–6 In response to the beggar’s request for money, Peter fixed his eyes on him and said, “Look at us!” Thinking he had a benefactor, the beggar looked up expectantly. To his astonishment he heard the words, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” In Semitic thought a name does not just identify or distinguish a person; it expresses the very nature of his being. Hence the power of the person is present and available in the name of that person. Peter, therefore, does not just ask the risen Jesus to heal the crippled beggar but pronounces over him the name of Jesus, thereby releasing the power of Jesus (cf. 3:16; 4:10). And the power of the risen Jesus, coupled with the man’s response of faith (cf. 3:16), effects the healing.[2]


3:6. What a stunning and eloquent statement from this former fisherman. In seconds the beggar must have gone from disappointment at hearing about Peter’s financial condition to disbelief when told to walk. In his many years at that spot he had heard countless people claim their own poverty as an excuse for passing his bowl. No one had ever said anything like this. What a dramatic call to action this verse gives us—what I have I give you.

A missionary asks for support during the annual missionary conference, but our budgets simply cannot tolerate another five or ten dollars a month. What can we give? Can we pray? Can we write? Can we encourage and affirm, even during that week? Can we invite this missionary or someone during next year’s conference into our homes? God never asks us to give what we don’t have; he expects us to give to those in need from what he has given us, and always to do it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Within moments Peter will preach about this name, but here it becomes the power, the leverage for the first of three healings of cripples in Acts (9:32; 14:8). Longenecker reminds us:

In Semitic thought, a name does not just identify or distinguish a person; it expresses the very nature of his being. Hence the power of the person is present and available in the name of the person. Peter, therefore, does not just ask the risen Jesus to heal but pronounces over the crippled beggar the name of Jesus, thereby releasing the power of Jesus, compare 3:16; 4:10 (Longenecker, 294).[3]


6. But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Peter continues to be the spokesman as John remains silent. And while the beggar eagerly waits to receive something, Peter says, “Silver and gold I do not have.” That is, among my possessions I have no money. The money from the people who sold lands and valuables did not belong to Peter (refer to 2:44–45; 4:34–35; 5:1–2). In the service of Jesus, Peter was not a rich man (see Matt. 10:9–10). He lived by the Lord’s command that “those who proclaim the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).

What Peter gives to the crippled beggar is of far greater value to him than any amount of silver and gold. Peter heals him in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and tells him to walk. For forty years this man had been immobile and now he is about to use his legs. Peter calls upon the name of Jesus to show him that the healing power of Jesus, known to all the people in Israel, flows through the apostle to the crippled man. Therefore not Peter but Jesus grants restoration.

The term name is significant because it comprises the full revelation of the person mentioned. Hence, the name Jesus refers to his birth, ministry, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. Next, the name Christ points to the Messiah, who is the exalted Son of God. Also, the place name Nazareth is added for further identification; this was the name Pilate had written on the sign attached to Jesus’ cross (John 19:19). And last, the phrase name of Jesus (Christ) occurs repeatedly in Acts.

Healing in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth calls for faith on the part of the invalid. Peter commands him to walk, but the crippled man can walk only if he puts his faith in Jesus. The New Testament teaches that miracles occur in connection with faith.[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1994). Acts (Vol. 1, p. 100). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 762). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, p. 44). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 17, p. 123). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

MARCH 21 GOD BLESSES HIS CHILDREN FOR HOLY INTENTIONS

Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me….

JOHN 8:54

“Them that honour me I will honour,” said God once to a priest of Israel, and that ancient law of the kingdom stands today unchanged by the passing of time or the changes of dispensation. The whole Bible and every page of history proclaim the perpetuation of that law. “If any man serve me, him will my Father honour,” said our Lord Jesus, tying in the old with the new and revealing the essential unity of His ways with men.

It seems plain that almost any Bible character who honestly tried to glorify God in his earthly walk was so honored. See how God overlooked weaknesses and failures as He poured upon His servants grace and blessing untold. Let it be Abraham, Jacob, David, Daniel, Elijah or whom you will; honor followed honor as harvest the seed. The man of God set his heart to exalt God above all; God accepted his intention as fact and acted accordingly. Not perfection, but holy intention made the difference!

In our Lord Jesus Christ this law was seen in simple perfection. He sought not His own honor, but the honor of the God who sent Him.

“If I honour myself,” He said on one occasion, “my honour is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me.” So far had the proud Pharisees departed from this law that they could not understand one who honored God at His own expense.[1]


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

March 21 Promise for the Persecuted

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.… Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.—Matt. 5:10, 12

Jesus pronounces a double blessing on those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, which is for His own sake. The specific blessing promised is that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29–30).

First, Jesus promises us blessings here and now. Not every believer is rewarded in this life with the things of this life. But every believer is rewarded in this life with the comfort, strength, and joy of His indwelling Lord. He is also blessed with the assurance that no service or sacrifice for the Lord will be in vain.

Next, there is also a millennial aspect to the kingdom blessing. When Christ establishes His thousand-year reign on earth, we will be co-regents with Him over that wonderful, renewed earth (Rev. 20:4).

Finally, there is the reward of the eternal kingdom, the blessing of all blessings of living forever in our Lord’s presence and enjoying it to the utmost. The ultimate fruit of kingdom life is eternal life.

ASK YOURSELF

How do we keep these blessings and promises before us when the fire of persecution really heats up? How have you experienced the favor and reward of God even in the midst of situations in which you felt unjustly abused and ridiculed?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 89). Chicago: Moody Publishers.