Daily Archives: May 22, 2018

May 22: Motive Is Everything

1 Chronicles 11:1–47; 1 Timothy 6:3–10; Psalm 80:1–19

It’s not often that we take an honest look at our motivations. But it’s important to reevaluate them regularly. When our sight is not fixed on God, we might become entranced with goals that conflict with godliness. Even though we might initially be performing the right actions, our lives will start to reveal the motives of our hearts.

Paul addresses this issue within the Ephesian community, where some people were spreading conflict in order to further their own gain. And this wasn’t just a problem with the perpetrators. This “constant wrangling by people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain” was like poison, spreading envy and strife throughout the community (1 Tim 6:5).

To counteract this, Paul states that “godliness with contentment is a great means of gain” (1 Tim 6:5–6), but the gain he talks about is not success as we traditionally define it. Rather than financial riches, Paul presents the idea of complete contentment—of being satisfied with what we have and feeling secure in the life (both eternal and physical) with which God has blessed us (1 Tim 6:8).

This is not just a simple side issue. Paul states that “the love of money is a root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). When money becomes our guiding motivation, we’re very much tempted to be self-sufficient. Our motives become muddled, and we try to find our contentment in transient things. In contrast, when we’re completely satisfied in God, we won’t be tempted to conflicting motives.

Are your motives conflicted? How do you need to readjust your motives so that you desire godliness?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]

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

May 22 A Traitor Turns to Christ (Matthew)

The twelve apostles included “Matthew the tax-gatherer” (Matt. 10:3).


God can use you despite your sinful past.

I remember reading a notice in a local newspaper announcing the opening of a new evangelical church in our community. It gave the date and time of the first services, then added, “Our special guest star will be . . .” and named a popular Christian celebrity. In its attempt to appeal to unbelievers or simply draw a large crowd, the church today commonly uses that kind of approach.

Jesus, however, used a different approach. None of His disciples were famous at all. In fact, rather than drawing a favorable crowd, some of them might have repelled or even incited anger and hatred among His Jewish audience. Matthew was such a man because he was a despised tax-gatherer—one of many Jewish men employed by Rome to collect taxes from his own people. As such he was regarded as a traitor by his own countrymen.

The Roman tax system allowed tax collectors to keep anything they collected in excess of what was owed to Rome. That encouraged bribes, extortion, and other abuses.

To compound the issue, Matthew was among those who had the prerogative of taxing almost anything they wanted to tax—roads, bridges, harbors, axles, donkeys, packages, letters, imports, exports, merchandise, and so on. Such men could accumulate enormous wealth for themselves. You might remember another tax-gatherer named Zaccheus, who is described in Luke 19:2 as a wealthy man. His salvation was evidenced by his offer to repay those he had defrauded fourfold (v. 8).

Some people think God can’t use them because they’re not famous or because of their past sins. But God has used Matthew, Zaccheus, and millions of others like them. Concentrate on your present purity, and let God bless your ministry as He sees fit.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God that he has made you a new person in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Minister in light of that reality!

For Further Study: Read Luke 19:1–10. ✧ Where was Zaccheus when Jesus first spoke to him? ✧ What was the reaction of the crowd when Jesus went to Zaccheus’ house? ✧ What prompted Jesus to say that salvation had come to Zaccheus?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 155). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

VIDEO: Watch Alan Dershowitz Smackdown CNN Legal Analyst Over FBI Spying on Trump Campaign — The Gateway Pundit

Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz defended President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice demand while appearing on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday. Dershowitz faced off against CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin regarding the FBI spying on the Trump campaign. “I have to tell you, if this had happened to Hillary Clinton, the ACLU would be…

via VIDEO: Watch Alan Dershowitz Smackdown CNN Legal Analyst Over FBI Spying on Trump Campaign — The Gateway Pundit

What Does It Mean to Live in a Post-Truth World?: An Interview with Abdu Murray

by Jonathan Petersen

Increasingly, Western culture embraces confusion as a virtue and decries certainty as a sin. Those who are confused about sexuality and identity are viewed as heroes. Those who are confused about morality are progressive pioneers. Those who are confused about spirituality are praised as tolerant. Conversely, those who express certainty about any of these issues are seen as bigoted, oppressive, arrogant, or intolerant.

This cultural phenomenon led the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary to name “post-truth” their word of the year in 2016. How can Christians offer truth and clarity to a world that shuns both?

Bible Gateway interviewed Abdu Murray (@AbduMurray) about his book, Saving Truth: Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-Truth World (Zondervan, 2018).

What have you observed that prompted you to write this book?

Abdu Murray: A few things got me concerned about the way Western culture is viewing the very ideas of truth and clarity. As I speak on university campuses across North America, I’m seeing how the questions students ask have shifted away from factual issues, like evidence for the resurrection, to social and cultural questions that focus on human ability to define reality. Questions about sexual, gender, and religious identity seem to dominate. I’m seeing this in my one-on-one conversations, too. What’s emerging isn’t a quest to find out the facts that might give credibility to the gospel, but a quest to see if the Christian message can actually compete with a secular view that humanity is the determiner of right, wrong, and a better society. In other words, what I began to see was that people have taken to the idea that humanity can replace God.

The second thing I noticed is that confusion has now morphed into a virtue. Those who are confused sexually are labeled heroes. Those who see morality as a fuzzy category are considered progressive. And those who are confused about religious claims—saying that all paths are equally valid roads to God—are considered “tolerant.” But those who are clear on these matters are not treated so charitably…


What Does It Mean to Live in a Post-Truth World?: An Interview with Abdu Murray

Gingrich: Most Sobering Political Scandal in American History

“Its inconceivable that President Obama could have had this many things going on and not known it,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox Newss Sean Hannity Monday night. Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center) DONATE

Source: Gingrich: Most Sobering Political Scandal in American History

05/22/2018 — Wretched


•Voddie Bacham has no time for a sissified version of Jesus
•The majority of Christians don’t believe in evangelism
•Is your child your idol?
•Man-centered church and friendship evangelism
•Dan Steiner of Preborn dot org
•Planned Parenthood is still lying about mammograms and prenatal care
•The central role of coercion in abortion
•Training young men to be fathers is a pro-life task

Download Now (right click and save)

via 05/22/2018 — Wretched

“Holy Ghost Bartender,” Rodney Howard Browne, Appears on Info Wars — Pulpit & Pen

Rodney Howard Browne is the infamous “Holy Ghost Bartender,” the charismatic prophet who became famous by acting drunk under the supposed influence of the Holy Spirit and mesmerizing the crowd who would similarly act drunk and out of control. You can watch his drunkenness below.

I attended a Rodney Howard Browne event in Dickinson, North Dakota, in October of last year. Browne regaled the crowd with tales of false prophecy and vast conspiracy theories. He likened President Trump to the Messiah several times. After a solid hour of talking about the New World Order, I eventually interrupted the preachers and pointed out there hadn’t been any gospel (it turned out about like you would think).

In the meantime, Browne is out with a new book about the New World Order, and he went on Alex Jones’ Info Wars to shill the book. And that’s a whole lot of crazy in one place.

There was no Gospel whatsoever, but like the event in Dickinson, North Dakota with Browne, there was lots of conspiracy talk. You can watch below.

via “Holy Ghost Bartender,” Rodney Howard Browne, Appears on Info Wars — Pulpit & Pen

May 22, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


U.S. President Donald Trump signed into a law a congressional resolution overhauling a rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that aimed to bar discrimination in auto lending, the White House said on Monday.

The contest for an open governor’s seat in Georgia could set up a Democratic bid to elect the first African-American female governor in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump is willing to walk away from an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday, after North Korea called into question the meeting last week.

At least nine were killed on Tuesday after police fired at protesters calling for the closure of a Vedanta Resources-controlled copper smelter in southern India.

Texas political leaders are considering installing airport-style security at public schools and screening students for mental health issues as alternatives to gun control to thwart a repeat of last week’s deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school.

Russia and Japan have warned they could retaliate against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum by imposing sanctions worth almost $1 billion combined, filings published by the World Trade Organization showed on Tuesday.

The USS Milius, one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced guided missile destroyers, arrived in Japan on Tuesday to reinforce defenses against any ballistic missile attacks by North Korea, or anyone else in East Asia.

A blast in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Tuesday caused dozens of casualties, officials said, as fighting across the country showed no sign of easing off during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

AP Top Stories

A teenager who started a major wildfire in the scenic Columbia River Gorge in Oregon has been ordered to pay restitution for at least the next decade, though it’s unlikely the boy will ever cover his nearly $37 million bill.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday presented a lengthy list of grievances against the Iranian government and vowed to forge a new, better nuclear agreement – but he offered few details on how the United States would accomplish that goal without support from European allies, Russia or China.

Molten lava from the erupting Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island crept onto a geothermal power plant site on Monday, as workers rushed to shut down the facility to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases.

The Israeli military has used its newly acquired F-35 stealth fighters in combat, making it the world’s first to do so, the air force said Tuesday.

A suicide car bomber from Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab hit a military convoy outside Mogadishu on Tuesday, causing an unknown number of deaths.

The New York Stock Exchange is set to get its first female leader in its 226-year history. Stacey Cunningham, the NYSE’s chief operating officer, will become the Big Board’s 67th president. She will start her new role Friday.

Sears announced the company is shuttering the doors of at least 40 more stores in the coming months.

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s post-White House legacy will now include being media moguls, marking a new step in expanding their already influential cultural footprint. The Obamas will produce films and series for Netflix, the streaming service confirmed on Monday.


Salmon balls, tea lights and wet wipes. These are just some of the things Sweden has advised every household to stock up on in the case of war. Its government has sent leaflets to 4.7 million households explaining how to best prepare for various major crises. These include terror and cyber-attacks, natural disasters, serious accidents and military conflicts. Those who prepare improve “the ability of the country as a whole to cope with a major strain”, the booklet reads.

Denmark’s immigration minister has been widely rebuffed after she suggested Muslims should take time off work during Ramadan because of potential safety risks to the rest of society.

An Australian court has found Catholic archbishop, Philip Wilson, guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s and becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of the offence. Wilson will be sentenced in June and faces a maximum two-year jail term.

A study of nearly half a million people in China suggests a daily egg may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Belarus has slammed the UK embassy in Minsk for flying a rainbow flag on the International Day Against Homophobia, calling LGBT relationships “fake”. The Interior Ministry said the UK was challenging the country’s “traditional values”.

Human Rights Watch says the Egyptian army has greatly intensified the demolition of buildings and farms in North Sinai as part of its campaign against Islamist militants. The campaign group said satellite images showed that at least 3,000 homes and commercial premises had been destroyed since February, and hundreds of hectares of land rendered useless.


Government agencies, businesses and other organizations in Arizona plan to participate in an exercise to practice how the state would respond to a migration of 400,000 people following a catastrophic earthquake in Southern California.

The Boy Scouts have decided to accept people who identify as gay and lesbian among their ranks. And girls are welcome now, too, into the iconic organization, which has renamed itself Scouts BSA. A mandate that condoms be made available to “all participants” of its global gathering.

The Briefing — Tuesday, May 22, 2018

1) With a wink and a nod, Pope Francis’ reported comments signal new level of acceptance of homosexuality

2) How are evangelical Christian to think about homosexuality and sexual orientation?

3) Why an unborn child shouldn’t be recognized as an unborn child only when that unborn child is wanted by his or her parents

New York Times (Ashley Southall) –
Actress Struck by Car in Park Slope Loses Unborn Daughter

News – 5/22/2018

Second special counsel needed because DOJ can’t ‘investigate themselves’

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., argued Monday that a second special counsel will ultimately be needed to examine why the Justice Department launched its investigation into President Trump, because the department has shown it can’t investigate itself. “I don’t think that the Justice Department’s going to be able to investigate themselves,” DeSantis said on Fox News. “I think that they’ve resisted our inquiries here in Congress for long enough, and so it’s time that we did have a special counsel.”

‘Religious lingo’ a misguided effort to erode Trump’s evangelical base

A number of Never-Trump “progressive evangelicals” have banded together and released a document they hope will draw evangelicals away from the president. “I pray that people will not be misled by the religious lingo sprinkled throughout this document and [by] the either accidentally or intentionally crafted logical fallacies that permeate this very unsettling tome called Reclaiming Jesus,”

Iran Launched 32 Missiles at Israel in May: Israel Air Force Commander

“Iran launched 32 missiles and we intercepted 4 of them and the rest fell outside Israeli territory,” Norkin said on Tuesday, at an Israel Air Force senior Conference in the coastal city of Herzilya.

New explosive eruption at Kilauea summit, ash plume could affect surrounding areas

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an explosive eruption at Kilauea summit has occurred at 5:51 p.m. Monday. The resulting ash plume may affect surrounding areas. Scientists also say eruptive lava activity at multiple fissures continues with one flow entering the ocean.

Another ‘informant’ attempted to infiltrate Trump campaign under Obama, campaign aide says

“Let me tell you something that I know for a fact,” Caputo told host Laura Ingraham. “This informant, this person that they tried to plant into the campaign — and even into the administration, if you believe Axios — he’s not the only person who came at the campaign. And the FBI is not the only Obama agency who came at the campaign. “I know because they came at me,” Caputo added. “And I’m looking for clearance from my attorney to reveal this to the public. This is just the beginning.”

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus

Syrian government forces raised their flag over the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus on Tuesday as state media promoted what it said was the “liberation” of the last quarters of the capital from rebels and Islamic State group militants.

Senior IAF officer says Israel keeps disrupting Iranian activity in Syria

After the Air Force commander reveals Israel was first country in the world to use F-35 stealth fighter jet in Middle East attacks, a senior officer says Israel maintaining its freedom of action in Syria even after the May 10 strikes.

FBI reviewing claims against ‘head-twisting’ abortionist

Allegations against a Texas abortionist by former employees that he killed infants who survived abortion by “slashing or twisting their necks” are being reviewed by the FBI, says a new report.

Trump Meeting With Rosenstein, Wray On Spying Concludes: Congress To See All “Highly Classified” Information

the White House issued a statement according to which the DOJ said it has asked the inspector general to “expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign” and adds that “White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.” Translated: a lot of dirty laundry is about to become public.

F-35 stealth fighter sees first combat, in Israeli operation

The US-made F-35 stealth fighter has seen its first ever combat action, flying in an operation for the Israeli air force. The air force chief showed an image of jets over Beirut, Lebanon, and said the planes had “already attacked twice on two different fronts”. Israel recently carried out scores of air strikes in Syria.

Palestinian Authority takes Israel to task at ICC over alleged war crimes

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki met with International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at The Hague on Tuesday and said that further delay to decide on the alleged war crimes issues would allow Israel impunity. Maliki and the PA are accusing Israeli soldiers and officials of war crimes relating to the IDF’s killing of over 100 Palestinians on the Gaza border during…the last six weeks.

Australian archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child sex abuses

An Australian court has found a Catholic archbishop guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of the offence. He was found to have covered up the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest colleague in New South Wales.

North Korea summit: Pence warns Kim Jong-un not to ‘play’ Trump

US Vice-President Mike Pence has warned North Korea’s Kim Jong-un not to “play” President Donald Trump if they meet next month. Mr Pence said in a Fox News interview that such a move would be a “great mistake” by the North Korean leader. He also said there was “no question” that Mr Trump could walk away from the 12 June summit.

China Celebrates Social Credit System Blocking People from over 11 Million Flights

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper reported on Monday that over 11.14 million instances of individuals not being able to board flights – and 4.25 million similar incidents on trains – had occurred “by the end of April.”…China has not yet made clear how the numerical system works or where the cut-off score is to be prevented from flying or riding trains.

Canada granting refugee status to fewer illegal border crossers

Canada is rejecting more refugee claims from people who crossed the border illegally as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government seeks to dissuade, block and turn back thousands more, according to new data obtained by Reuters. Forty percent of such border crossers whose claims were finalized in the first three months of this year were granted refugee status, down from 53 percent for all of 2017…

Russia and Japan warn U.S. of $1 billion in tariff retaliation

Russia and Japan have warned they could retaliate against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum by imposing sanctions worth almost $1 billion combined, filings published by the World Trade Organization showed on Tuesday. The documents from Russia and Japan, following similar filings last week by the European Union and China, notified the United States of the cost of its tariff plan, based on 2017 exports.

After 7 years, Syrian government declares Damascus back under its full control

Syria’s military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State militants following a ruinous monthlong battle, bringing the entire capital and its far-flung suburbs under full government control for the first time since the civil war began in 2011.

Sweden distributes ‘be prepared for war’ leaflet to all 4.8m homes

The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of a war.

Israeli Startup Says It Is First to Copy Spider’s Silk Spinning Process

As territorial and cannibalistic creatures, Spiders have defied our attempts to domesticate them for the purpose of harvesting their silk. But because a strand of spider silk is as much as six times stronger than steel and five times lighter, scientists have long searched for ways to replicate or mimic the production of this natural protein fiber.

Russian warships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will soon be positioned off the shores of Israel – is this a message to Israel and the west

Light was shed on Wednesday, May 16, on Russia’s mysterious intentions after its puzzling non-interference in the Israeli-Iranian clashes in Syria.

FBI reviewing claims against ‘head-twisting’ abortionist

Allegations against a Texas abortionist by former employees that he killed infants who survived abortion by “slashing or twisting their necks” are being reviewed by the FBI, says a new report.

ENEMIES OF ISRAEL: Erdogan, Pope Form Unholy, Anti-Trump Alliance to Control Jerusalem

A meeting on Monday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Pope Francis may have grave implications for Jerusalem as both leaders appear to be building an agenda based upon their joint opposition to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

The majority of European politicians are traitors, says intelligence analyst

…“They lost their identity. If someone declares himself a Christian in Western Europe, he does it shamefacedly, or is even afraid to admit it. So it started with some very serious brainwashing; multiple generations have been raised by such logic.”

ISRAEL STRIKES: Iranian electronic warfare facility blown up south of Damascus, second explosion in 4 days

Powerful explosions were reported early Monday, May 21, in the Naijah area south of Damascus. A Syrian military academy situated there serves as an Iranian/Hezbollah intelligence war room and an Iranian electronic warfare facility.

Obama, Clinton Pastors and US Bishop Who ‘Stole Show’ at Royal Wedding Set to March on White House to ‘Reclaim Jesus’ from Pres. Trump; ‘America First is Heresy Against Christ’

A theological who’s who of Leftist Christian leaders are organizing a march on the White House to ‘Reclaim Jesus’ from President Donald Trump that is set for the evening of May 24. One of the leaders of the anti-Trump march is Rev. Michael Bruce Curry who ‘stole the show‘ with his lengthy sermon at the British royal wedding on Saturday between Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle. Three march organizers were spiritual advisors to President Barack Obama while one counseled President Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal and later endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

Starbucks employees, customers express concern over new policy: ‘I can’t see how this will work’

…Someone claiming to be an employee who works at a store in the loop in Chicago said they hate the new policy because the store bathrooms have turned into a hub for drug activity. “We haven’t been allowed to change our bathroom codes since April. So almost all the junkies and homeless people know the code now. About once a week we find needles, drug baggies, blood all over the toilet or walls,” the user wrote.

Condoms required at Scouts’ 24th World Jamboree

The Boy Scouts have decided to accept people who identify as gay and lesbian among their ranks. And girls are welcome now, too, into the iconic organization, which has renamed itself Scouts BSA. So what’s next? A mandate that condoms be made available to “all participants” of its global gathering.

The latest in the Left’s culture wars: Disturbing Canadian poster subtly promotes pedophilia – after all, love knows no age

…It’s the “no age” part that’s particularly disturbing, as Mrs. Maciel had her students draw a picture of an adult-age “Barney” dinosaur alongside a youth-age”Tweety” bird cartoon character. The implication, of course, is that “love” is perfectly fine between an adult and a child – and no, this isn’t talking about normal love.

Swedish police warn lots of rapes will happen this summer and advise women not to go out late

After two rape attempts in Östersund this weekend, the police urged women not to go out late. They also issued a warning that “much like this” will happen this summer, Fria Tiderreports.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Boycott Schools Over Lack of Anti-Gun Legislation?

Once again, Democrats ignore the facts to play off emotional irrationality.

Trump’s Not Messing Around With MS-13 ‘Animals’

He issued a statement titled “What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13.”

Yes, a Drop in Global Temperatures, But…

The last two years saw a decline, but that’s typical for La Niña cycles and temps are still higher overall.

SCOTUS: Contracts Mean What They Say

The Left-Right divide on the Court was once again the theme of a case that shouldn’t have been hard.

Pompeo Announces New Hardline Against Iran

The secretary of state’s warning message for Iran is ultimately aimed at Europe.

Tuesday Short Cuts

“We’ve seen that the less [Mueller and his team] come up with, the more they investigate instead of the opposite.” —Mark Penn

Tuesday Opinion

Read Dennis Prager, Tony Perkins, James Shott, E. Calvin Beisner, Jeff Jacoby and more.

Tuesday Top Headlines

China cuts tariffs, Congress to check FBI, Obama’s Netflix, “prank” mass shooting, and more.

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

The Foundation

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” —John Adams (1787)

Headlines – 5/22/2018

‘Trump peace deal to make Jerusalem suburb Palestinian capital’

Lapid challenges Netanyahu: Would you accept Abu Dis as capital of Palestine?

Flashback: Saudi offers Abu Dis as future capital of Palestine stirring widespread anger

Majority of Americans don’t believe Trump can get Mideast peace deal, poll says

As health worsens, Israeli intelligence sees the beginning of the end of Abbas’ rule

Abbas said suffering from pneumonia, but now on his feet, condition improving

Abbas to stay in hospital at least another night

Palestinians urge Arabs to sever ties with countries that moved embassies

Palestinians: Opening of Paraguay Embassy in J’lem is fulfilling Israeli, US dictates

Paraguay officially moves embassy to Jerusalem: ‘We have no better friend,’ Netanyahu says

Palestinian crowd pelts US diplomats with eggs in West Bank

US envoy accuses ‘liberal media’ of ‘glorifying’ Hamas terrorists

IDF spokesman says world ‘fell for Hamas lies’ in Gaza

Israel rebukes Spanish, Slovenian envoys for backing UN Gaza probe

5 rare Jewish coins discovered by Temple Mount project

MK pushes Israel to recognize Kurdistan as an independent state

Israeli Lawmakers Told 22,000 Jobs Could Be Lost Under New U.S. Military Aid Package

Israel lawmakers hope Trump could ease made-in-USA rules for military aid

Even hawks are wary of new law that lets PM, defense minister declare war

Netanyahu hails tough new US strategy on Iran as ‘the right policy’

Senior UAE official says US taking right approach on Iran

Pentagon threatens ‘new measures’ to confront Iran

Mike Pompeo Promises To ‘Crush’ Iran And Achieve A Better Deal

US vows ‘strongest sanctions in history’ on Iran, will ‘crush’ terror proxies

Iran’s leaders blast US ‘sham’ diplomacy on renewal of sanctions

Pompeo demands Iran withdraw forces from Syria, end support for Hezbollah and Hamas

Iran: ‘No one will take us out of Syria, we will remain there so long as it needs help’

Iran Goes Against Russia, Says It’s Staying in Syria as U.S. Military Threatens ‘New Actions’

‘We expect regime will come to its senses’: Full text of Pompeo on Iran strategy

Pompeo lays out 12 requirements for signing new nuclear deal with Iran

Rejecting Pompeo, Iran says US cannot make demands for new nuke deal

Rouhani on Pompeo: We do not accept that a spy chief decides for others

Iran’s Zarif tweets that US is repeating mistakes on Iran

Iran says US trying to divert attention from its violation of nuclear deal

Iran responds to US: we don’t need your permission to fulfill our regional role

UAE Minister of State: US strategy demands a change in Iran’s agenda

Netanyahu: ‘We call on all countries to follow US’s lead against Iran’

‘No alternative’ to Iran deal, EU’s Mogherini tells US

How Pompeo’s Plan For Iran May Further Alienate U.S. From Its European Allies

Nation’s defense firms to lose over $1b. annually with U.S. aid deal

As ISIS targets disappear in Iraq and Syria, US military shifts focus back to Afghanistan

Syria war: Army takes full control of Damascus after ousting IS

After 7 years, Syrian government declares Damascus back under its full control

Palestinian camp Yarmouk, back in Assad hands, gutted by years of war

Russia Says Syria Rejects New Constitution Diluting Assad Powers

Russia shoots down ‘unidentified drone’ near air base in Syria

At rally in Bosnia, Erdogan flexes his muscles as strongman of the Muslim world

Turkey sentences 104 people to life in prison in post-coup case

Saudi Arabia strongly condemns attack on church in Russia’s Chechnya republic

North Korean Hackers Spying on Defectors Using Facebook to Spread Android Malware

The Korean Peninsula: Peaceful Change or Back to Square One?

With N. Korea summit on shaky ground, Trump to press S. Korean leader

Trump aides growing skeptical of Kim summit as South Korea’s President visits

Russia’s first sea-borne nuclear power plant dubbed the ‘nuclear Titanic’ arrives in the Arctic

Sweden distributes ‘be prepared for war’ leaflet to all 4.8m homes

Oil rallies to multi-year highs on Venezuela worries

After Venezuela Strongman’s Victory, Isolated Nation Faces Growing Chaos

Trump administration slams Venezuela’s election as a “sham”

Trump unleashes new political earthquake with FBI spy charge

China launches unprecedented moon mission with Saudi technology

Asteroid is first known ‘permanent resident’ from outside our solar system

Storage capacity for radioactive water at Fukushima power plant nears limit

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Inarajan Village, Guam

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Esso, Russia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Inarajan Village, Guam

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Bitung, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 15,000ft

Cyclone Sagar kills 16, displaces thousands in Middle East, East Africa

Is that trouble brewing in the Gulf of Mexico? It’s not even hurricane season yet

Update: Memorial Day weekend Gulf storm? Too early to say, but something to watch

8 months after Hurricane Maria, the death toll in Puerto Rico remains a mystery

Robots grow mini-organs from human stem cells

Soldiers may soon have implantable health monitors and robotic surgeries done remotely

Nipah virus kills at least three in India, sparks alert

Vaccination method that wiped out smallpox gets unleashed today on Ebola

China Considers Ending Birth Limits as Soon as This Year

Jimmy Carter Condemns Sex-Selective Abortion, Killing at Birth of 160 Million Girls, in Liberty U Address

Former Gays, Lesbians Blast Calif. for Regarding Them as ‘Frauds’ With Pending Therapy Ban

LGBT community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remark

Vatican announces sainthood for Pope Paul VI who made history with Israel visit and reached out to Jews

On heightened alert after Santa Fe, districts report gun incidents at several schools

Lawmakers return to Washington amid calls for gun control

GOP senators point to school safety, mental health – and not gun control – for Santa Fe response

Unnecessary and accidental use of ADHD drugs increases over 60%, study suggests

Schumer: Deadly ‘super pills’ are making opioid epidemic even worse

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Darrell B. Harrison – The Misleading Language of the Social Justice Movement

Ex-Faith Healer Mark Haville Explains the Tricks of the Fake Faith Healing Trade

Are there codes in the Bible?

WOFF congregants to appear in court Friday

77 Million Square Feet Of Retail Space And Counting – America’s Retail Apocalypse Is Spiraling Out Of Control In 2018

Posted: 22 May 2018 10:30 AM PDT

77 Million Square Feet Of Retail Space And Counting – America’s Retail Apocalypse Is Spiraling Out Of Control In 2018(By Michael Snyder) In 2017 we absolutely shattered the all-time record for retail store closings in a single year, and this year it looks like we are going to shatter the record once again. In fact, there are some that are projecting that up to 9,000 retail stores could close by the time that we get to the end of this calendar year. Already, the amount of retail space that has shut down is simply jaw-dropping. If you total up all of the retail store closings that have been announced so far in 2018, it accounts for 77 million square feet of retail space.

Let that number sink in for a bit. Many shopping centers and strip malls around the country already have a post-apocalyptic feel to them, and more “space available” signs are going up with each passing day. And in case you are tempted to think that I am making this figure up, here it is straight from Bloomberg… At last count, U.S. store closures announced this year reached a staggering 77 million square feet, according to data on national and regional chains compiled by CoStar Group Inc. That means retailers are well on their way to surpassing the record 105 million square feet announced for closure in all of 2017. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Growing sinkhole opening up on White House lawn.

Posted: 22 May 2018 10:23 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: Growing sinkhole opening up on White House lawn.Construction on the US White House began in 1792. It has been almost continuously occupied by US presidents since 1800, barring a few years after the British set it on fire in 1814.  But that doesn’t mean that the present-day building is free of hazards—there are mice, cockroaches, and ants. And as of this past weekend, a sinkhole has been growing on the north lawn, Voice of America reporter Steve Herman observed, just near the press briefing room.

Often described as a “swamp” of corruption, parts of the city of Washington, DC, are also literally built on a swamp. The city’s geological issues also include “forebulge collapse,” a post-Ice Age condition that means the city could sink as much as six inches this century.  Sinkholes have opened up across the city in recent years. They forced two residents to abandon their homes in March, and swallowed up a school bus last year. This is the first report of one on the White House lawn.  Last year, a giant hole opened in the earth in front of Donald Trump’s Florida resort, but that was due to a new water main, not a geological condition. READ MORE

Evacuations ordered in Indonesia following Merapi volcano alert level being raised

Posted: 22 May 2018 07:15 AM PDT

Evacuations ordered in Indonesia following Merapi volcano alert level being raisedFollowing four new explosions at Indonesia’s Merapi volcano on May 20 and 21, 2018, authorities have raised the alert level for the volcano from Alert Level 1 to 2 at 23:00 UTC on May 21, 2018. All residents living within 3 km (2 miles) are ordered to evacuate.  The eruptions took place after a major eruption on May 11, 2018 sent ash up to 15 km (50 000 feet) above sea level. The previous eruptive phase of this volcano lasted from March 9 to April 20, 2014. It had Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 3.

According to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency, some 600 people living within the exclusion zone of 3 km (2 miles) have evacuated since early Tuesday (local time), May 22.  There have been no reports of casualties and operations at Adi Sucipto airport in Yogyakarta have not been affected, Nugroho said, adding that climbing on Merapi is now prohibited and only disaster agency personel or related researchers should enter the restricted area. READ MORE

Christians in Nepal Suspect Hindu Extremists in Sudden Attacks on Churches

Posted: 22 May 2018 07:12 AM PDT

Christians in Nepal Suspect Hindu Extremists in Sudden Attacks on ChurchesChristians in Nepal are alarmed after this month’s sudden series of arson and bomb attacks on four church buildings, and church leaders suspect authorities are lax in investigating.  At the same time, six Christians were arrested for evangelizing while suspected Hindu extremists launched attacks on three church buildings and bombed another. The attacks caused extensive property damage but no casualties.

The Hebron Church building in the eastern hilly region was set on fire on May 9, Emmanuel Church’s building in western Nepal’s Doti District was burned on May 10, and the Kanchanpur Emmanuel Church building in the midwest hilly region was set ablaze on May 11. Before midnight on May 12, the Mahima Church building in Dhangadhi, in western Nepal, was bombed.  READ MORE

3 Power-Packed Scriptures to Pray Over Your Kids and Grandkids

Posted: 22 May 2018 07:04 AM PDT

3 Power-Packed Scriptures to Pray Over Your Kids and Grandkids(By Becky Harling) Whether they are toddlers, teens or adults, your kids need prayer.  You may not have kids, but you might have nieces, nephews or friends’ kids who desperately need prayer. Or you might have “spiritual children” you have mentored. Are you willing to take time to cover them in prayer? One of the best practices you can cultivate in your prayer life is the power of praying Scripture.

When you pray God’s Word over those you love, you have an instant guarantee that you are praying in His will. As you faithfully claim Scripture over the lives of those you love, you’ll see God work miracles. To help you get started in this practice, I’ve chosen three passages I love to pray over my kids and grandkids. I know you’ll have more ideas, so I’d love to hear from you: CONTINUE

How Israel Is Fulfilling Gen. 12:3 Before Our Eyes

Posted: 22 May 2018 07:00 AM PDT

How Israel Is Fulfilling Gen. 12:3 Before Our EyesIsrael leads the world in technological advances that make the world a better place.  From a device called the “Nano Artificial Nose,” which sniffs out cancer, to technology that gives sight to the blind and a contraption called the “ReWalk” exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk again, Israel leads the world in medical innovation. Every day, millions around the world use some kind of medical

treatment that came from Israel. Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists are also pioneers in agriculture and invented techniques that allowed the tiny nation to turn rocky desert landscapes into lush orchards and mosquito-infested swamps into citrus groves. And Israel has exported those techniques to the rest of the world. READ MORE

Strange asteroid becomes first known ‘permanent resident’ from outside our solar system

Posted: 22 May 2018 06:54 AM PDT

Strange asteroid becomes first known ‘permanent resident’ from outside our solar systemHey bub, you’re going the wrong way.  The solar system’s first known “resident” that came from interstellar space — an asteroid orbiting backward around Jupiter — has been discovered, scientists announced Monday.  “How the asteroid came to move in this way while sharing Jupiter’s orbit has until now been a mystery,” said Fathi Namouni,

lead author of the new study and a scientist at the University of Cote d’Azur in Nice, France.  The planets and most other objects in our solar system travel around the sun in the same direction. This asteroid is different — moving in the opposite direction in “retrograde” orbit.  The asteroid has the inelegant name of 2015 BZ509, indicating the year of its discovery. READ MORE

Arizona prepares for mass exodus of Californians in event of catastrophic earthquake

Posted: 22 May 2018 06:49 AM PDT

Arizona prepares for mass exodus of Californians in event of catastrophic earthquakeThe state of Arizona started a full-scale, three-and-a-half-day-long exercise Monday to prepare for a mass exodus of Californians in the event of a catastrophic earthquake.  Beginning at 1 p.m., more than 1,000 participants from government agencies, volunteer organizations, and the private sector will play out the scenario of a major earthquake rattling Southern California, triggering a mass migration of

400,000 evacuees to Arizona. “We’re looking at what are we doing for mass shelter and what might we have to do to feed all these people,” says Judy Kioski, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA).  Kioski says another important issue to explore is ” family reunification.” “If it was a massive earthquake, maybe there are people who left and who can’t get in touch with their relatives and they’ve come this way due to road closures,” Kioski says. READ MORE

‘The Simpsons’ Mocks Christianity Calling It A ‘Dopey Religion’

Posted: 22 May 2018 06:37 AM PDT

‘The Simpsons’ Mocks Christianity Calling It A ‘Dopey Religion’In it’s latest mockery of religion, The Simpsons TV show makes a quick jab at Christianity when one of the characters calls it ‘dopey.’  Bart Simpson is struck by lightning in the episode and experiences nightmares that he has died and is being haunted by ghosts.  During the episode, Bart decorates his

tree house in crucifixes to ward off spirits, even though he isn’t a Christian.  Meanwhile, the character of Millhouse, who is a Christian, gets excited when he sees it and asks, “What’s going on, Bart? Are you into God now? I always was. Look at those abs. The secret is less loaves, more fishes.”  Bart then replies, “I don’t believe in some dopey religion. This is to keep out ghosts.” READ MORE

Why you need the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”

Posted: 22 May 2018 06:34 AM PDT

Why you need the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”In this message, we will show you why Jesus commanded the disciples to wait for the Promise of the Father on the day of Pentecost and how this same Baptism is readily available to believers today to empower them to fulfill the Great Commision.

Robots now capable of growing human organs

Posted: 21 May 2018 02:58 PM PDT

Robots now capable of growing human organsIs there anything robots can’t do? They can perform our jobs, get periods and now . . . grow human organs.  Scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine have developed an automated system that uses robots to produce human mini-organs from stem cells. According to Science Daily, the ability to mass produce “organoids” promises to expand the use of mini-organs in basic research

and drug discovery. “This is a new ‘secret weapon’ in our fight against disease,” the university’s Benjamin Freedman tells Science Daily. Before, scientists would grow cells for biomedical research by culturing them into flat sheets. But these were too simplistic to truly mimic the ways true cells behaved. More recently, researchers have had some success growing these cells into more complex, and three-dimensional, structures called mini-organs. READ MORE

‘Purge Against Christians’ Underway in China as Persecution Ramps Up

Posted: 21 May 2018 02:49 PM PDT

‘Purge Against Christians’ Underway in China as Persecution Ramps UpIt feels like every day we are hearing more news about China increasing persecution on the Christian community.  Abuses are escalating to unprecedented levels as we’re seeing a full out “purge against Christians” in the Zhejiang province in Eastern China perpetrated by the government, according to organizations monitoring the situation on the ground. ChinaAid, a watchdog group, stated that local

governments are stepping up and taking charge of the persecution and outlaw of Christianity.  The government has banned all kinds of religious meetings, meaning no church services, no Bible studies, and no prayer meetings. Not only are they banning religious events but they are calling for people to renounce their faith, particularly in Jesus Christ.  READ MORE

Vegas shooting victim experiences Heaven during tragedy

Posted: 21 May 2018 02:44 PM PDT

Vegas shooting victim experiences Heaven during tragedyOne of the first people shot during the Las Vegas shooting massacre has reunited with the retired firefighter who saved her.  Las Vegas resident Rosemarie Melanson wouldn’t be alive today had it not been for her the “guardian angel” who got her to safety on October 1 when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.  Melanson – a

mother of four — was attending the country music festival with two of her daughters. The tickets were a Mother’s Day gift from her eldest daughter, Stephanie Melanson.  The trio were having a great time at the concert, evident by selfies taken before the shots rang out. “I pulled them by the hand and we went all the way up to the front,” Melanson told CNN. “We were like kids in a candy store. I mean, just so excited.”  READ MORE

LGBT community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remark

Posted: 21 May 2018 11:16 AM PDT

LGBT community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remarkPope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBT community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gay people feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.  Juan Carlos Cruz, the main whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse and cover-

up scandal, said Monday he spoke to Francis about his homosexuality during their recent meetings at the Vatican. The pope invited Cruz and other victims of a Chilean predator priest to discuss their cases last month.  Cruz said he told Francis how Chile’s bishops used his sexual orientation as a weapon to try to discredit him, and of the pain the personal attacks had caused him. READ MORE

PROPHECY WATCH: Macron wants to build French-led new world order – but no-one is listening

Posted: 21 May 2018 11:10 AM PDT

PROPHECY WATCH: Macron wants to build French-led new world order – but no-one is listeningEmmanuel Macron has been a busy man. While he has a unique vision for France’s global role, his vision is falling on deaf ears.  At the end of April, French President Macron received a standing ovation from the US Congress. At around the same time, he also had a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who informed Macron the Iranian nuclear deal was “not negotiable.” Approximately

one week prior, he received similar treatment from the European Parliament as he did in Washington. Then, he went to Australia and the wider Pacific region, to try his hand at building a new Pacific relationship aimed at confronting China’s expanding influence. But what has he achieved in doing so? And why is it that, despite all of his attempts to build a close relationship with the United States, France and America’s relationship is actually at an all-time low?  READ MORE

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The Wretched Art of Loveless Discernment — The Master’s Seminary

We must wield discernment like a surgeon’s scalpel. As we contend for right doctrine, we must take care to adorn it with right attitudes and behavior. We must discern with precision, humility, and sorrow. Not to temper the truth, but rather that we might bolster the truth with love.

Christians are called to speak the truth (Eph 4:15). It is no surprise, therefore, that our enemy’s preferred tactic is deception (Rev 12:9). Consequently, because of this war between truth and deception, believers are called to exercise discernment—to be vigilant in dividing truth from error (Acts 17:11; Jude 3).

Tragically, the modern church often neglects this essential duty to contend for the truth. Even worse, professing Christians often scorn attempts at discernment as uncharitable and judgmental, subsequently dismissing it all together. This is one reason why those of us who practice discernment must be vigilant to not embody what the scoffers accuse us of. As we contend for right doctrine, we must take care to adorn it with right attitudes and behavior (Titus 2:10).

But isn’t that the exact opposite of what we see today among self-described discerners? For some Christians, what begins with a healthy interest in discernment can end in an unhealthy addiction to gossip and debate. Many of them manifest a cruelty in how they go about condemning error. There’s an almost giddiness when they get to call someone “false teacher” and a haughty attitude of superiority. These things ought not be so.

We must wield discernment like a surgeon’s scalpel We are called to speak the truth, yes. But we are called to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). That does not mean speaking less truth. But, it should be a heart check for us in how we speak the truth. How sad it would be if, in our attempts to be discerning, that ever-clever Devil twisted our love for truth into a love of gossip and contempt for others. What if he succeeded in tempting us to err in our walk even as we were seeking to reject error in our doctrine?

If we are to practice discernment in love, we must discern with precision, humility, and sorrow. Not to temper the truth, but rather that we might bolster the truth with our love that we might more honor Christ and persuade the erring.

Discern with Precision

Discerning in love means discerning with precision. Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” And John Murray said, “The difference between truth and error is not a chasm but a razor’s edge.” They are right. As you read through the New Testament epistles, you often find the writers addressing what appear to be incredibly fine points of doctrinal disagreement.

So, when it comes to doctrinal issues, we must wield discernment like a surgeon’s scalpel, carefully incising into a teaching to separate the bad tissue of error from the healthy tissue of truth. But we must be precise in how we go about exercising discernment as well. Because we are not only dissecting the false teaching, we are also trying to persuade our brothers and sister to turn away from it. Yet many self-described watchmen treat discernment less like a scalpel and more like a broadsword, wildly mowing down believers by the herd with every careless tweet.

Jesus had a whip for false teachers but he wept for the deceived Precision in how we apply discernment means marking that distinction between deceived and deceiver, and treating them accordingly. There’s a difference between a false teacher, and someone who has been deceived by false teaching. Your mother-in-law shouldn’t be burned at the stake just because she listens to a health and wealth preacher. She needs someone to take the time to make a loving, patient, prayerful exposition of Scripture to show her why it is unbiblical. Precision recognizes that your buddy with bad theology is blessedly inconsistent. He’s not necessarily a heretic, he’s just an immature believer in need of doctrinal correction. Just observe the difference in how our Lord dealt with the Pharisees versus the other people He came across. Jesus had a whip for false teachers but he wept for the deceived.

When we discern with precision, we don’t give credence to those who would dismiss us as wide-eyed zealots who have a bone to pick with everyone. Instead, we are being above reproach in our conduct that we might behave more like genuinely concerned Christians who have a love for truth and just want to see others know and obey God. But this is not as easy at it sounds, because it takes humility.

Discern with Humility

Among those who display an unhealthy relationship with discernment, there seems to be a proclivity towards a very specific sin: Pride.

Some romanticize the image of being watchmen on the wall, gate-keepers of truth, or the lone voice in the wilderness. They love to regale us with tales of how they confronted so-and-so on the internet. They seem more interested in being perceived as having won the argument than seeing their interlocutors or their followers come to a knowledge of the truth. To them, the deceived are morons who just need to read their Bibles. There is an unmistakable arrogance.

Discerning with humility means that when we encounter a deceived person, we ever remember “there but for the grace of God go I.” A humble discerner does not gloat. He is not quarrelsome (1 Tim 3:3). He doesn’t have an unhealthy craving for controversy (1 Tim 6:4). The humble discerner recognizes that it is the Holy Spirit who opens the eyes of the heart to the truth and his job, therefore, is to patiently and lovingly correct error. Sometimes those rebukes are sharp (Titus 1:13), but they are never prideful or unloving.

Practicing precision and humility in our discernment are the natural outflow of our love for others. But there is one more attitude that we should attend to as we practice discernment with love. Instead of beating our chests in triumph when we win an argument, we should be beating our breasts in sorrow that eternal souls are being deceived.

Discern with Sorrow

I hope by now the point is clear—practicing discernment is not unloving, as some would claim, but you can be unloving in how you practice discernment. False teaching is a tragedy as much as it is a travesty There should be a profound sorrow when we see error in the church. It is natural for us to feel a sense of righteous anger, even personal indignation at the dissemination of error about our Lord (Psalm 69:9). But false teaching is a tragedy as much as it is a travesty. It’s a grievous thing to see the name of our Lord maligned and to see His people tricked by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

This is another good heart check as we practice discernment. Do you only feel anger or are you moved to sorrow as well? Do you care about the people being misled enough that it causes you to weep and pray? That sorrow and care, if real, will be evident to those whom you try to persuade away from error. Genuine concern for the truth and for the deceived will result in discernment practiced with sorrow.

By God’s help may we not retreat from the fight for truth. May we be all the more invigorated by a love for our Lord, His truth, and His people. And may this commitment be evident to all as we discern with precision, humility, and sorrow.

via The Wretched Art of Loveless Discernment — The Master’s Seminary

May 22 RenewAmerica Newsletter

May 22, 2018
WES VERNON — So let’s get this straight: It’s just the entertainment properties of 21st Century Fox that the Walt Disney company wants to pick up in another media sale – not Fox News? Whew! Today’s left-leaning Disney is no longer symbolized by Mickey Mouse. (In Mickey’s time, nobody thought to wonder – alone ask – what the Mouseketeer’s politics were…. (more)

May 22, 2018
ALAN KEYES — “Now, an army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.” (Gen. George S. Patton’s Address to the 3rd Army, as rendered by George C. Scott in the movie Patton, 1970. See video above, at 2:40 mark.)… (more)

May 22, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — On Sunday, President Trump tweeted a “demand” that the Justice Department investigate political spying in the 2016 campaign. This replays the political-spying controversy that surfaced in late February. Right now, the issue involves the Obama administration’s use of at least one confidential informant – – a spy – – to snoop into the opposition party’s presidential campaign; back in February, the issue was the Obama administration’s electronic surveillance – – by FISA eavesdropping warrants – – for the same purpose…. (more)

May 21, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Trump left a Monday meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with an agreement on future steps to facilitate the release of Russia-probe documents to Congress…. (more)

May 21, 2018
NEWSMAX — The Department of Justice On Sunday said its inspector general will investigate whether the FBI engaged in politically motivated surveillance of President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 following a public demand by Trump to do so, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday…. (more)

May 21, 2018
FOX NEWS — University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper has been identified as an FBI informant in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, multiple news outlets reported Saturday. The 73-year-old academic reportedly has deep ties to American and British intelligence, having served in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations, the New York Post reported…. (more)

May 21, 2018
GLENN GREENWALD — AN EXTREMELY STRANGE EPISODE that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper…. (more)

May 21, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — There could have been more than one FBI informant snooping on the Trump campaign, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Sunday, but we do not know because the Justice Department has stonewalled congressional requests for documents outlining the impetus for the investigation…. (more)

May 21, 2018
NEWSMAX — National Review columnist John Fund told Newsmax TV on Friday that the nation’s intelligence agencies will experience “profound embarrassment” should the Justice Department’s inspector general releases its report next week on the Hillary Clinton email probe…. (more)

May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018
ROBERT KNIGHT — In the United States, surveys show that many millennials are not merely soft on socialism but openly support it. They think capitalism benefits only the “1 percent” and no one else, despite America’s matchless record of upward mobility and prosperity…. (more)

May 21, 2018
JOSEPH FARAH — Have you ever looked at octopuses and wondered how such a complex creature unlike any other evolved? You’re not alone. Dyed-in-the-wool evolutionary scientists have the same problem. And when 33 of them got together to come up with a new peer-reviewed scientific study of the mystery, they determined octopuses could just be aliens from outer space…. (more)

May 20, 2018
NEWSMAX — Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle were pronounced husband and wife on Saturday by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a glittering union that brought a measure of modern Hollywood glamour into the 1,000-year-old monarchy…. (more)

May 20, 2018
They’re actually ‘good news to everyone,’ say pro-life activists
BOB UNRUH — A study released recently by the activists at the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health center at the University of California San Francisco laments the “abortion deserts” across the United States…. (more)

May 20, 2018
NEWSMAX — The family Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who police say shot 10 people dead Friday at his Texas high school, released a statement on Saturday: We are saddened and dismayed by yesterday’s events at Santa Fe High School. We extend our most heartfelt prayers and condolences to all of the victims. We also wish to thank all the first responders from all over Texas that assisted in rendering aid and support…. (more)

May 19, 2018
17-year-old suspect in custody along with person of interest
ART MOORE — A 17-year-old student burst into an art class in a small-town high school south of Houston, Texas, smiled, yelled “surprise” and shot dead 10 people, injuring another 10, according to witnesses and law enforcement authorities…. (more)

May 19, 2018
HHS moving tax money from abortion businesses to community health centers
WORLDNETDAILY — The Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to change Title X federal funding rules and stop subsidizing businesses that provide abortions is drawing widespread praise from the faith community…. (more)

May 19, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Almost no one saw it coming. In 2012, Chief Justice John Roberts famously ruled the Affordable Care Act’s provision mandating most people purchase health insurance or else pay a fine constitutional on the basis that Congress has the authority to tax individuals, and the so-called Obamacare “fine” is effectively a tax…. (more)

May 19, 2018
BRUCE DEITRICK PRICE — It’s a common problem in the US. Children in the second and third grades, even the fourth and fifth grades, are struggling readers. They guess; they skip ahead; they search for clues from context; they look at pictures to read words. Did I mention they guess. Typically, these children are unsuccessful in most school subjects and very unhappy…. (more)

May 18, 2018
WES VERNON — John F. Kennedy has been quoted as saying that there are powerful hidden forces at work aimed at moving world events and that he intended to learn their identity before his presidency was completed. Of course, that ambition was short-circuited by an assassin’s bullet on Nov. 22, 1963. Accused shooter Lee Harvey Oswald’s (later reported) communist background was downplayed or ignored by an establishment media that had salivated to pin the blame on the “right-wing political climate” in Dallas, the scene of the shooting. The media and other key influences of public opinion attempted, in the following weeks, to recoup from the embarrassment of their early snap judgments by assigning responsibility on unidentified “hate.”… (more)

May 18, 2018
Horowitz ‘found reasonable grounds’ for violations in Hillary probe
ART MOORE — State Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing the FBI and the Justice Department violated federal criminal law in their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, according to investigative reporter Paul Sperry…. (more)

May 18, 2018
Rush Limbaugh indicts Comey, Clinton, Obama, others
BOB UNRUH — Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh Thursday released his own list of people who should be indicted as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race…. (more)

May 18, 2018
Planned ‘rolling production’ will only allow ‘dribbles of benign documents’ to be released
BOB UNRUH — A Washington watchdog lawyer suing to obtain access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s communications with the media is asking a court to order that the documents be made available now – – not in “dribbles” over coming months or years…. (more)

May 17, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — North Korea’s abrupt threat this week to pull out of the upcoming summit with President Trump was highly calculated, according to intelligence officials who say Pyongyang wanted to harden its negotiating position against a quick “Libya-style” surrender of its nuclear programs sought by the Trump White House and buy time to hide its nuclear weapons…. (more)

May 17, 2018
DAVID A. PATTON — First Baptist Dallas senior pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, whose early and heartfelt support for Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016 was a source of frustration to some establishment Republicans, fired back Wednesday at 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who on Sunday branded Jeffress a “religious bigot.”… (more)


May 22 Tuesday: God Is My Fortress

By James Boice on May 22, 2018 07:14 am

From where we sit, in safety and comfort, and frequently surrounded by luxuries, the psalms sometimes seem to be little more than quaint poetry containing noble thoughts. We lose a feel for their urgency. Yet the psalms are often very urgent and their prayers almost desperate. We catch something of the urgent quality of this psalm in the imperatives that begin each of the four swift sentence prayers of verses 1 and 2: “deliver”, “protect,” “deliver” and “save.” These are not casual utterances. In them we can sense David’s awareness of danger and of his desperate aloneness except for God.

Read more…

May 22 The Divine Wind

After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages. Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Go south to the road — the desert road — that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. Acts 8:25-26

An angel suddenly appeared to Philip. I’ve never had an angel appear to me. I do not know anyone else to whom an angel has appeared. You may ask, Does God still work through angels today? and the answer is a resounding Yes! He does. But they are not always visible. The ministry of angels, according to the Bible, goes on all the time. They are ministering spirits sent forth to serve those who are heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). All of us are being touched and affected by the ministry of angels, but we do not see them. There have been well-documented experiences and incidences of the appearance of angels recorded in church history. I believe that, as we draw nearer to the days of the return of Jesus Christ, we may well expect to see a return of angelic manifestation.

Here is an unexpected agency through which the Holy Spirit works. An angel appears to Philip and gives him an unexplained command to go south and take the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. He could not have picked an emptier stretch of road. It is desert road. There are no cities or villages there. The wonderful thing to me is the beautiful way in which Philip obeyed this command of the angel. He did not say, Well, I’ll have to pray about this. He did not say to himself, Well, I wonder if this is a call to a larger field of service. He just went, that is all. He left the awakening that was going on at Samaria, with its demands for training and teaching. He arose and went down to a desert road.

This is a beautiful picture for us of what we might call the wind of God, the sovereign blowing of the Holy Spirit, and of the adventure that is always characteristic of someone who is being led by the Holy Spirit. Verse 25 and Verse 26 are both records of Spirit-filled activity. Peter and John were obeying the Holy Spirit when they testified, prophesied, and evangelized. But Philip is also obeying the Holy Spirit when he is being sent by an angel out to a desert place. Both are part of the Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life.

That needs to be made clear because we tend to run to extremes. The Spirit often leads through the ordinary, the usual, and he can be very effective that way. But that is not the only way. This is the lesson that God is forever teaching us. This is the creative strategy of the Holy Spirit, the freedom to interfere, the freedom to override a program, and to change it, and to make something new. The church has suffered terribly by ruling that out, by so organizing everything that there is no room for the Spirit to move.

Father, thank you for the sovereign ability of the Holy Spirit to direct me in ways that I cannot predict. What a note of excitement this adds for me, Lord! What a glorious sense of expectation becomes mine as I constantly wonder when you are going to break through and do the unusual again in my life.

Life Application
Is the ‘wind beneath our wings’ the Holy Spirit, or are we guided by whim, or another lesser motivation? Are we missing the wonder and worship of being led by the Spirit of the Living God?
Related Message
For more on this portion of Scripture read the message:
The Divine Wind

Do You Have a Worldview?


Do you have worldview? The term worldview was used in the sense described by prominent German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911). Dilthey affirmed that philosophy must be defined as a comprehensiveness vision of reality that involves the social and historical reality of humankind, including religion. A worldview is thus the nature and structure of the body of convictions of a group or individual. (1) Worldview includes a sense of meaning and value and principles of action. It is much more than merely an “outlook” or an “attitude.” Each person’s worldview is based on a key category, an organizing principle, a guiding image, a clue, or an insight selected from the complexity of his or her multidimensional experience. (2)

There is no doubt that a worldview plays a huge role in our discussions with others about spiritual issues and the questions below. If you don’t think this ever happens, check out this…

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Joe Thorn To Take Part in Cultural Marxism/Critical Race Theory Event — Pulpit & Pen

Tatting up his knuckles with “1689,” the year of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, Joe Thorn cemented himself as the token representative of old-school Reformed Baptists for a new generation. The bearded hipster, who advertises his cigar and alcohol choices like George Whitefield proclaimed the Gospel, is popular among New Calvinists, the large subset of the faux-Reformed subculture of American evangelicalism. Proclaiming the gospel of coolness, many New Calvinists are carried to and fro not only on winds of doctrine but by the spirits of the age. And no group has been more susceptible to the Social Gospel blitzkrieg in recent years than the younger, hipper, more bearded, slightly less-sober anti-Bereans known as the Young, Restless and Reformed.

“The Legacy” is a group that primarily holds to two core tenets; the first are the Five Solas of the Reformation and the second is Racial Consciousness. Far from desiring to view all people independently of their ethnicity, The Legacy acts outside the color-blind legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and instead operates squarely inside the plantation of Critical Race Theory. Pulpit & Pen already brought to you the story of The Legacy hosting an event for women-of-color only at an upcoming The Gospel Coalition conference. By the time you are explicitly rejecting white women from your conference get-togethers, you have well-surpassed the Cultural Marxism milestone. Instead of integration, The Legacy promotes segregation, and ironically in the name of racial unity.

The Legacy website is replete with the explicit terminology of Cultural Marxism and Critical Race Theory. While claiming to uphold “biblical manhood and womanhood,” the conference will host a plethora of female pastors and will have women preaching to men. One can only expect their commitment to the Solas are as strong as they are to complementarianism. There’s even a time period set aside at the conference for “story-telling,” which is a core tenet of Critical Race Theory (instead of demonstrating factually that minority groups are victims with statistics or empirical evidence, they tell anecdotal stories and personal experiences). Speakers include Cultural Marxists heavily involved in the Martin Luther King veneration conference, MLK50, including Voddie Baucham’s son-in-law and daughter, Phillip and Jasmine Holmes, whose Twitter and social media feeds read like what it would look like if the Huffington Post and Malcolm X started a blogging project together (for those wondering, there is no indication that Baucham himself has anything to do with this organization or approves of his family members’ involvement, and every indication that he is as fervently against race-baiting as much as he’s always been).

Also speaking at the conference is Kyle J. Howard, the community organizer and as a “racial trauma counselor” who has become an Agent of Influence (also known as a Change Agent) in the Southern Baptist Convention’s flagship seminary. Most recently, Howard has claimed that using the term “Marxism” is just another way to use the “n-word.” Howard, pictured to the left with fellow Social Justice Warrior (SJW), Beth Moore, first became noticeable by criticizing James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. Howard, who without credibility claims to have been in the Crips gang (Howard was raised in a mixed-ethnicity, upper-class household by two parents who were attorneys in an affluent Atlanta suburb), said that he would be “afraid of being alone” with James White, implying that White would seek to harm him. White’s microaggression toward Howard was, apparently, questioning the place of the Social Gospel at the MLK50 event. According to Howard, questioning the Social Gospel was ostensibly racist.

Howard will be speaking, according to his social media page, on the topic of racial trauma. As we have previously explained, Howard has been promoting textbook Critical Race Theory at SBTS and beyond. Coming out of nowhere, having previously served as a community organizer and racial advocate, Howard has appeared with a significant social media presence with dubious and nebulous financial backing.

But even more troubling than the Holmes’ Social Gospel power couple and Kyle J. Howard, speaking at the conference as a major headliner is Soong-Chan Rah.

Soong-Chan is a major link in the rise of Cultural Marxism among evangelicals and has aligned himself heavily with men like leftist-progressive Jim Wallis of Sojourners. Soong-Chan is, according to Sojourners, formerly the founding senior pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC)—a multiethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context. Soong-Chan has previously been part of a church planting team in the Washington, D.C. area, worked for a number of years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Boston (specifically at MIT), and mobilized CCFC to plant two additional churches. He currently serves on the boards of World Vision, Sojourners, the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), and the Catalyst Leadership Center. The Christian Community Development Association serves on the Evangelical Immigration Table, a George Soros-funded organization, on which also serve Jim Wallis, Russell Moore, Matt Chandler, and other New Calvinist leaders who are going all-in for Rauschenbuschism.

Soong-Chan’s main goal in ministry seems to be to convince American Christians to divorce all aspects of their faith from “Western tenets,” and embrace a more Eastern or Global image of their Christianity. For Soong-Chan, some of those Western tenets of faith include capitalism, individualism, national sovereignty.  and personal liberty. The church has been “enslaved” to these notions and must be liberated, Soong-Chan has repeatedly taught. His book, The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity, makes the point that for Christianity to thrive in the future, it must remove whatever within it that is “Western or white.”

We should expect men like Kyle J. Howard or Phillip Holmes to take part in this Cultural Marxism, Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory and Racial Segregation event. We should not expect men with 1689 tattooed across their knuckles to take part in such an event. Speaking at The Legacy Chicago 2018 is the aforementioned pseudo-Reformed Baptist, Joe Thorn. But then again, when so much of your personal image is related to cultural relevance, you are bound to be carried about on the tide of popular fads and the blowing winds of ideological compromise.

For those of us whose Reformed Theology runs deeper than ink drawn into our epidermis like a child who never learned that crayons were only for paper, we understand that God’s chosen nation (1 Peter 2:9)  includes people from every tribe, tongue, and nation being brought into one people group (Revelation 7:9). Those of us who hold to Covenant Theology understand that there are only two races of people; those belonging to Christ and those belonging to Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) and that ethnicity is truly no deeper than Joe Thorn’s knuckle tats. For those of us with a Biblical worldview, we understand that the key to ethnic consciousness, but color-blindness without regard to ethnicity (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11).

via Joe Thorn To Take Part in Cultural Marxism/Critical Race Theory Event — Pulpit & Pen

PolitiFact Issues Blanket ‘Pants On Fire’ Rating For Any Future Statements Made By Donald Trump — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a move to both operate more efficiently and be more upfront about its writers’ biases, fact check site PolitiFact announced Tuesday it would be issuing a blanket “Pants on Fire” rating for anything Donald Trump says going forward. Anytime Trump says anything, no matter how obviously true or inconsequential, PolitiFact will automatically post…

via PolitiFact Issues Blanket ‘Pants On Fire’ Rating For Any Future Statements Made By Donald Trump — The Babylon Bee


We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:20

Oh, how I wish that I could adequately set forth the glory of the One who is worthy to be the object of our worship!

I do believe that if our new converts—the babes in Christ—could be made to see His thousand attributes and even partially comprehend His being, they would become faint with a yearning desire to worship and honor and acknowledge Him, now and forever!

I know that many discouraged Christians do not truly believe in God’s sovereignty. In that case, we are not filling our role as the humble and trusting followers of God and His Christ.

And yet, that is why Christ came into our world. The old theologians called it “theanthropism”—the union of the divine and human natures in Christ. This is a great mystery, and I stand in awe before it!

The theanthropy is the mystery of God and man united in one Person—not two persons but two natures. So, the nature of God and the nature of man are united in this One who is our Lord Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus, You are the only hope for this world. You provided the perfect plan for our redemption. Though Your supernatural being may be beyond our human comprehension, Your grace and mercy and love are worthy of all our praise.[1]

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

May 22, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Believers’ Proper Relationships

And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. (12:21–27)

Whereas the first kind of individualist says, “They don’t need me,” the second says, “I don’t need them.” That attitude is wrong enough in the world, because God has made all of His creation interrelated, especially mankind, whom He has made in His own image. The attitude is much worse in the church, whose members have a common Savior and Lord and a common spiritual body. No eye in the church has a right to say to a hand, “I have no need of you,” or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” That attitude was common in the Corinthian assembly. A few prominent and gifted members acted as if they were self-sufficient, as if they could carry on their ministries and daily Christian living completely by themselves or with only a few select friends. They overestimated their own importance and underestimated that of other believers. Disobeying the principles of Matthew 18:10 and Romans 14:1–15:7, these people were disdaining those they saw as weak and less significant.

On the contrary, Paul continues, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. As important as some of the prominent members of the human body are it is possible to live without them. They are important but not absolutely necessary. You can lose an eye or ear, a hand or leg, and still live. But you cannot lose your heart or liver or brain and live. Those organs are more hidden than the others but also are more vital. You can notice the breathing of your lungs and the pulse of your heartbeat, but their work is not nearly as obvious as what we do with our hands or feet. Those less noticed parts (internal organs) seem to be weaker than much of the rest of the body (external limbs), but they also are more necessary. Consequently they are more guarded by the skeleton and the rest of the body. They are more vital and more vulnerable, and are therefore given more protection. You can live without legs, but not without lungs.

The most vital ministries in a church always include some that are not obvious. The faithful prayers and services of a few dedicated saints who hold no office frequently are the most reliable and productive channels of spiritual power in a congregation. The Corinthian church had failed to be considerate and appreciative of those who did not have the “out front” gifts such as prophecy, languages, or healing. Those with less noticeable ministries are sometimes vulnerable to misunderstanding, and often to neglect and lack of appreciation. They should be protected by fellow believers just as the body protects its vital organs.

Continuing the analogy, Paul reminds us that those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness.

Less honorable probably refers to the parts of our body that are not particularly attractive. It seems best to see this as referring to the torso in general—the part on which we hang clothes. It might include flabby thighs or a paunch, but is usually covered and considered less attractive. The use of the verb peritithēmi (bestow, literally “to put around”) suggests the idea of clothing the body in general. We spend more time and money clothing those parts of our body than the ones that are more presentable (such as face and hands), and by doing so, on these we bestow more abundant honor.

Unseemly (aschēmōn) means shameful, indecent, or unpresentable, and here refers to those parts of the body that are considered private and to be covered. In virtually all societies of history, with the exceptions of a few primitive tribes, those parts of the body have been treated with modesty. The fact that many people today are discarding this natural modesty and are exploiting the display of traditionally private parts indicates the extent of modern depravity.

When people treat these unseemly members with care and modesty they come to have more abundant seemliness. It is not those parts of the body themselves, but the display of them, that is unseemly and shameful. When they are properly treated they become more decent, just as the less honorable parts, when properly treated, become more attractive.

It is from a warped sense of values that a Christian, well known because of a prominent gift, looks down on other Christians who possess no obvious gift and seeks great honor for his own. That attitude is a direct contradiction of the principle of concern that characterizes a body. It is far more consistent with self-preservation that members of the body that have greater outward beauty and more functional abilities devote themselves to the well-being of those parts that are not so well equipped but are essential to life. Every sensible person is more concerned with his heart than his hair.

Those in positions of leadership and prominence not only should not look down on those whose gifts are less noticeable but should take special care to show them appreciation and to protect them when necessary. Specially gifted Christians are specially obligated to “encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, [and] be patient with all men” (1 Thess. 5:14).

Those who have the more noticeable and attractive gifts are the more seemly members [who] have no need of encouragement and protection. Honor comes to them almost as a matter of course, and that honor they should share with members whose gifts and temperaments are less attractive and more likely to be ignored. They should give more abundant honor to that member which lacked.

I believe that the most surprising experience Christians will have is that of seeing the Lord present His rewards at the bēma, the judgment seat of Christ, where every believer will “be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). If there is such a thing as shock in heaven, I believe that is what most of us will feel when the secrets are revealed (cf. 1 Cor. 4:3–5). Jesus said that those who seek to be first in this life will be last in the next (Matt. 19:30), and that spiritual greatness is determined by the spirit of servanthood not by high position or impressive achievements (Matt. 20:27). Jesus’ response to the request of the mother of James and John reveals that suffering is more related to reward than is success (Matt. 20:20–23).

It is clear from what Paul says in the present text that heavenly reward will be based not only on what we do with our own gifts and ministries but on our attitudes toward and support of the gifts and ministries of other believers.

Mutual support and encouragement is necessary to avoid both underconfidence and overconfidence. It is also necessary to avoid division in the body. In our eyes, as in God’s eyes, every believer should be of the highest importance and every ministry of the highest importance (cf. Phil. 2:1–4). In a mature and spiritual congregation, church members will have the same care for one another. We should care as much for the nursery teacher as for the pastor, as much for the janitor as for the Sunday school superintendent.

In the obedient and loving church that God has planned for His children, if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Only that sort of mutual love and concern can prevent or heal division and preserve unity. The one who is hurt is consoled and the one who is blessed is rejoiced with. There is no disdain for one another, no rivalry or competition, no envy or malice, no inferiority or superiority, but only love—love that is patient, kind, and not jealous, boastful, or arrogant; love that does not act unbecomingly or seek its own and is not easily provoked; love that never rejoices in unrighteousness but always rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:4–6).

The only people that can love in that way and be unified in that way are Christians, who are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And only Christ’s love can produce such love.

Paul reminded the Corinthian believers that, individually and collectively, they were Christ’s very body, the church for whom He died. They were one in Him and so should be one in each other. They were “not lacking in any gift” (1:7) and were perfectly equipped to represent and serve the Lord. As a local congregation they were Christ’s body in miniature, a representation of Jesus Christ to all of Corinth. Every local church is fully equipped to serve the Lord, just as every believer is fully equipped to serve Him. Any lacking, any deficiency, is always in our recognition and use of what He has provided.[1]

27 It is understandable, then, how Paul concludes vv. 12–27: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” This is how Paul began the discussion about the body in v. 12, and now he ends it in a similar manner. These two verses frame the entire discussion of the church as the body of Christ.[2]

12:27 / Verses 27–31a apply and explain the metaphor of the church as the body of Christ in relation to the Corinthians’ situation. Verse 27 begins with the bold declaration, you are the body of Christ. This statement means there is diversity among the Corinthian Christians in terms of their gifts, although they are united by God’s design and work among them. Despite the differences, each one … is a part of the body, and each and all are necessary for the good of the whole.[3]

Our individuality (27)

As the body of Christ operates in this way, so the individual members will find their real needs met. The need for security is met in the assurance that ‘I belong to the body’. The need for identity is met in recognizing and working at the fact that ‘I have a distinctive contribution to bring to the body’. The need for a proper sense of responsibility is met by assuming concern for others in the body: ‘I need you; I feel with you; I rejoice with you.’ So each individual grows as a person and as a Christian in direct relation to his finding his place as a member of the body. The Scriptures speak of individuality, not of individualism. The latter phenomenon is a perversion of our calling in Christ. It plagues the church of God, spoiling its witness and shrivelling individuals.

This discovery of our individuality within the life of the Christian community remains as revolutionary a message in today’s world as it was in that of Paul and his Corinthian readers. It is a radical alternative both to the tyranny of totalitarianism and to the empty dreams of personal fulfilment through individualism.

There is a further perspective in this chapter, one which prevents such a community turning in on itself and becoming a pious ghetto of religious fanatics. The body of Christ is placed in the world to serve. Ministry is its daily vocation. As the community is mobilized under the Holy Spirit within the real world, its throbbing vitality will be sustained. Gifts are to be used in practical, costly and often very ordinary service (cf. 12:5). The ministry of Jesus through his physical body on earth is continued in the ministry of his body, the church. It is the same ministry: he came, ‘not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ That is the purpose of the body of Christ now: ‘as the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’65[4]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 319–322). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 369). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 266). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Prior, D. (1985). The message of 1 Corinthians: life in the local church (p. 216). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

This Is The ‘Depressing’ Chart Mark Zuckerberg Does Not Want You To See | Zero Hedge

“…the platforms exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and ‘FOMO’ (‘fear of missing out’)…”

Almost a year ago, we wrote about how post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been, but they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

The Atlantic’s Jean Twenge questioned  whether “smartphones destroyed a generation?”

There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives – and making them seriously unhappy.

In the period since, various former Facebook founders and Silicon Valley sicophants have had their ‘come to Jesus’ moments, recognizing and accepting that what they have created is indeed changing behaviors… and not for the better.

Mustapha Itani, via Medium.com, explained that several months ago, one of the early pioneers of Facebook and its first President Sean Parker, voiced his regret regarding helping create social media in the form we know it today, saying:

“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,”…

”God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Parker says the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments.

“It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said.

“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”

And now The Economist is coming clean against social media’s impact on the world’s youth… and how heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness.

Youngsters report problems with anxiety, depression, sleep, and “FoMO”…

May 20th marked the end of “mental-health awareness week”, a campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation, a British charity. Roughly a quarter of British adults have been diagnosed at some point with a psychiatric disorder, costing the economy an estimated 4.5% of GDP per year. Such illnesses have many causes, but a growing body of research demonstrates that in young people they are linked with heavy consumption of social media.

According to a survey in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health, Britons aged 14-24 believe that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have detrimental effects on their wellbeing.

On average, they reported that these social networks gave them extra scope for self-expression and community-building.

But they also said that the platforms exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and “FOMO” (“fear of missing out”).

Academic studies have found that these problems tend to be particularly severe among frequent users.

Nearly 63% of Instagram users report being miserable, a higher share than for any other social network. They spend an average of nearly an hour per day on the app.

Now that is a chart that Mark Zuckerberg does not want the public to see – especially parents, or European politicians.

It’s not just The Economist, another former Facebook executive opened up about the same concerns.

Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook stated at a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

”The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said.

“No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem - this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

Palihapitiya then expressed the feeling of guilt, “I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds — even though we feigned this whole line of, like, there probably aren’t any bad unintended consequences. I think in the back, deep, deep recesses of, we kind of knew something bad could happen. But I think the way we defined it was not like this.”

“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.“

Concerning the issue of social media as a whole, Palihapitiya stated that he doesn’t use it anymore since he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.” And as for his kids, “they’re not allowed to use this shit.”

Circling back to last year’s The Atlantic article, the correlations between depression and smartphone use are strong enough to suggest that more parents should be telling their kids to put down their phone. As the technology writer Nick Bilton has reported, it’s a policy some Silicon Valley executives follow. Even Steve Jobs limited his kids’ use of the devices he brought into the world.

If you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence based on this survey, it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen. Of course, these analyses don’t unequivocally prove that screen time causes unhappiness; it’s possible that unhappy teens spend more time online. But recent research suggests that screen time, in particular social-media use, does indeed cause unhappiness. One study asked college students with a Facebook page to complete short surveys on their phone over the course of two weeks. They’d get a text message with a link five times a day, and report on their mood and how much they’d used Facebook. The more they’d used Facebook, the unhappier they felt, but feeling unhappy did not subsequently lead to more Facebook use.

I realize that restricting technology might be an unrealistic demand to impose on a generation of kids so accustomed to being wired at all times. Prying the phone out of our kids’ hands will be difficult, even more so than the quixotic efforts of my parents’ generation to get their kids to turn off MTV and get some fresh air. But more seems to be at stake in urging teens to use their phone responsibly, and there are benefits to be gained even if all we instill in our children is the importance of moderation. Significant effects on both mental health and sleep time appear after two or more hours a day on electronic devices. The average teen spends about two and a half hours a day on electronic devices. Some mild boundary-setting could keep kids from falling into harmful habits.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-21/depressing-chart-mark-zuckerberg-does-not-want-you-see