Daily Archives: June 18, 2018

June 18: What Is Love?

Ezra 5:1–6:22; 1 John 3:19–24; Psalm 106:30–48

I find it easy to talk about myself. I like to get to the root of why I act the way I do. Sometimes this is helpful—it helps me nail down where I struggle. But this tendency also reminds me that I’m geared inward.

The danger is that I often filter others through the sieve of my experience. Our culture encourages the mindset that other people ought to make us feel good about ourselves and help us fulfill our dreams. In this mindset, our relationships ultimately become about self-fulfillment.

John squashes this idea. He tells the recipients of his letter, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). He’s not saying we should refrain from expressing love and care through words. But displaying love—putting others’ needs before our own—requires much more of us.

John doesn’t go on to define love. However, he does describe the ultimate example of love: “We have come to know love by this: that he laid down his life on behalf of us, and we ought to lay down our lives on behalf of the brothers” (1 John 3:16). Love is best displayed in the cross, not in poetry and with eloquent words that demonstrate more about ourselves than actual, concrete care for others.

The love displayed on the cross is a reminder that we aren’t meant to lead comfortable, self-focused lives. Jesus’ actions show us that love isn’t merely emotion—it’s sacrifice and self-denial. We live to love both God and others, and that’s best done with actions that serve.

Are you really loving the people around you? How can you love them better?

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.

June 18 Looking Beyond Externals

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

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Your true worth is based on the value of your soul, not on external considerations.

Jesus is “our glorious Lord” (James 2:1)—the Sovereign One who rules over all His creation, the One in whom the fullness of God’s glory is revealed. John said, “The Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Paul said, “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).

As God, Jesus shares the impartiality of the Father. He knows that a person’s worth is based on the value of his soul, not on external considerations. That’s why He always looks on the heart and never judges on externals alone.

That was evident in the way Jesus dealt with sinners when He was still on earth. He never hesitated to confront them—whether they were influential Jewish religious leaders or common folks. Even His enemies acknowledged His impartiality when they said, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any” (Matt. 22:16).

Like the Father, Jesus also extended the offer of salvation to men and women of every race, social class, and moral standing. That’s illustrated by the parable He told in Matthew 22:1–14 about the marriage of a king’s son (an illustration of Himself). The invited guests (Israel) didn’t show up, so the king commanded his servants to go out and gather everyone they could find to furnish the wedding with guests. As a result, people of every station in life attended the wedding, just as people of every station in life are called to salvation.

As you have opportunities to minister to others today, don’t be influenced by externals such as looks, clothing, or economic level. Do as Jesus did: treat them with compassion, and speak the truth without compromise.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise the Lord for His impartiality, and ask Him for special grace as you reach out to others today.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 20:1–16. How does that parable illustrate the impartiality of God?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 182). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Is Jesus the Only Way?

The Christian Post ran a lengthy piece recently on the question, “Is Jesus the only way?” That is, is the message of the cross of Christ exclusive: do only those who repent and believe receive eternal life? The article began by quoting a megachurch pastor in New York City who certainly doesn’t think so.

Reportedly, Michael A. Walrond Jr. of First Corinthian Baptist Church declared in a sermon,

There was a time when you would see people in the pulpit say, “well, if you don’t believe in Jesus you going to Hell.” That’s insanity in many ways because that is not what Jesus even believes. . . . And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally, I celebrate that.

The article went on to discuss institutions of higher education, including supposed Christian ones, that are undermining the biblical belief that only Christ is the way to God and to salvation. In our pluralistic society, the message of the exclusivity of the cross is offensive. But that shouldn’t surprise us: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (Romans 9:33).

Our western culture teaches that all roads lead to God and that you just have to be good or sincere. And many Christians are beginning to think this way. (In doing research for my coauthored book Ready to Return, America’s Research Group found that 65% of millennials who regularly attend churches in the USA think good people get to heaven.) Why? For the same reason so many Christians compromise with God’s clear words in Genesis. It’s not that the Bible isn’t clear on the issue of salvation. It is, just as it is clear on the details of creation in Genesis, the six literal days of creation, Adam made from dust, death after sin, global Flood, etc. Here are some salvation verses:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Scripture is abundantly clear: salvation is found in Christ alone. To deny that truth is to deny the authority of God’s Word. No longer is God’s Word the authority in many places—we are. And the thoughts of our culture, or our own thoughts, become our standard, rather than God and his Word.

Biblical authority is what I’ve been speaking on for decades now. No matter what the issue, God’s Word must be our authority. And that’s what the AiG ministry is all about—proclaiming biblical authority and the saving gospel. Whenever we allow sinful man to be the authority over God and his Word, compromise follows.

Get More Answers on Answers News

I discussed this item on Answers News today with regular cohosts Bodie Hodge and Dr. Georgia Purdom. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also discussed the following intriguing topics:

  • Is Europe not as secular as previously thought?
  • Earliest known insect tracks discovered.
  • Is earth’s magnetic field a “solar shredding machine”?
  • And more!

Be sure to join us each Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m. (EDT) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

Source: Is Jesus the Only Way?

Revoice Conference Bans Pro-Christian Activist from Attending, Refunds Registration Fees — Pulpit & Pen

In case you’ve yet to hear, the Revoice Conference is an event designed to celebrate “Queer Culture” within the Christian Church, to “de-sin” Same Sex Attraction (SSA), and to move American evangelicals to abandon a traditional, historic and orthodox understanding of human sexuality. Although a conference like this is standard fare among mainline liberal denominations like the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), the Presbyterian Church USA, or the United Methodist Church, embracing and celebrating celibate homosexuality is not typical among more conservative denominations like the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) or the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The Revoice Conference, however, will be hosted by the PCA, is being promoted by Southern Baptists affiliated with the SBC entity, the ERLC (Matt Chandler, Karen Swallow Prior, and many more), is being organized by a Southern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate and former faculty member (Nate Collins) and is even being promoted by a Master’s Seminary graduate (Preston Sprinkle). The conference is seen as a bellwether   for the direction of conservative evangelicalism, or at least the remnant of it that still exists. Members of the Evangelical Intelligentsia who aren’t promoting the conference explicitly are (laughably) claiming they’re unaware of it (as Russell Moore claimed at the annual meeting of the SBC, even though his ERLC research fellows are helping to promote the conference, and its infamy has been reported widely in the media). As Revoice is aiming to make the evangelical church more inclusive to the LGBTQXYZLMNOP lobby, its organizer, Nate Collins, has rejected the registration of conservative Christian advocate, Peter LaBarbera, excluding him from the event.

LaBarbera is the founder of Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). AFTAH was founded in 2006 and educates the public regarding homosexuality and argues that homosexuality is not inborn or innate, but a decision made by the homosexual and is in part created by the environment rather than genetic variables. LaBarbera was once the editor for the highly esteemed Family Research Council (FRC), and has a long track record of social conservatism, particularly on the issue of human sexuality. Prior to serving the FRC, LaBarbera was a reporter for the Washington Times. He first came to wide acclaim for his 1994 video, The Gay Agenda, which was promoted by the Christian Coalition. That documentary is seen in the eyes of many as being nearly prophetic in its accuracy of the homosexual goals and their fulfillment in America. LaBarbera has promoted traditional marriage and the Sanctity of Life in both the United States and Canada and is a well-known opponent of the normalization of sodomy as a valid lifestyle choice or identity group.

via Revoice Conference Bans Pro-Christian Activist from Attending, Refunds Registration Fees — Pulpit & Pen

Journalist Booted by ERLC For Asking Russell Moore Questions Gives Full Testimony — Pulpit & Pen

We covered the breaking news that Thomas Littleton, a conservative Southern Baptist and freelance journalist with press credentials, was tossed from the SBC annual meeting after  ERLC employee, Brent Leatherwood, allegedly made a false accusation toward him in retaliation for asking Russell Moore inconvenient questions about the LGBTQ Revoice Conference. You can read that post here.

In no uncertain terms, the Ethics and Religous Liberty Commission (ERLC) has thrown its unofficial support behind the queer-normalizing conference through its underlings, while allowing Russell Moore to maintain plausible deniability. However, in one of the most egregious acts of censorship and thuggery ever committed by the Southern Baptist Deep State, a member of the press was literally hauled off the property being rented by his own denomination just for asking questions (and asking them politely).

Littleton has explained the encounter with Leatherwood and his ouster from the Convention on Janet Mefferd’s program, and has gone on to write about it extensively on his blog, Thirty Pieces of Silver. You can read it below…

via Journalist Booted by ERLC For Asking Russell Moore Questions Gives Full Testimony — Pulpit & Pen

Four in 10 people have deleted a social media account in the past year due to privacy …

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There is a serious lack of trust in social media such as Facebook and Twitter and consumers expect brands that advertise on such platforms to urgently find solutions, according to research published Monday.

Privacy concerns and the circulation of fake news are contributing to people’s distrust of content on social platforms, said the study by public relations consultancy Edelman, with 70 percent of respondents expecting businesses and advertisers to put pressure on social media sites to address false information and remove offensive content.

Obama-Land Fiasco Worsens – Chicago Taxpayers Now Face $224 Million Bill

Authored by Mark Glennon via Wirepoints.com,

The taxpayer bill for the Obama Center to be built on Chicago’s Southside now appears to be $224 million, not $172 million as initially reported, and it’s certainly not privately funded as initially promised.

And how many Chicagoans know they may be subject to a special property tax, in addition to those amounts, for the center?

Obamaland rendering, coming to Chicago

The elements of that $224 million are described in a Washington Examiner article yesterday. We shouldn’t be surprised because funding was stuck into the new Illinois budget — over 900 pages presented to the General Assembly only hours before being voted on it. It’s only now being read closely.

My monthly article in Crain’s, written early last week, is a polite request to former President Obama to turn down public funding and raise the money himself. Scratch that. With more known and public anger rising, a demand is in order, and maybe the whole project should be scrapped.

The public has been bamboozled. To see why, you should first understand what’s nicely laid out in the federal lawsuit filed last month by Protect Our Parks, a not-for-profit.

That lawsuit is focused mostly on how the transfer of parkland for the center to the Obama Foundation trampled state law. The case looks strong. The complaint is in plain English and straightforward so you can read it yourself. Jackson Park is among the finest parks in Chicago and beautiful by any city’s standards. Some of it is being taken for the center with no compensation.

To get the parkland transfer properly authorized, Springfield amended the state’s Museum Act to cover the center, which the complaint describes. That’s how authorization for additional property taxes also resulted because the Museum Act provides for that. See paragraph 119 of the complaint.

That tax money forms the basis of a First Amendment claim, which is also in the complaint. The First Amendment not only protects free speech, but has also frequently been used to strike down “compelled speech.” Using taxpayer money for political purposes can be challenged as compelled speech. (Coincidentally, compelled speech is also central to the Janus case on forced public union membership, an important decision on which will come this month.)

Why would the Obama Center be compelled speech? That’s where the “bait and switch” happened, which is the phrase used in the lawsuit. A presidential library became Obamaland.

The center was initially pitched as a presidential library to be privately funded. Per my Crain’s article:

“Your foundation’s request for proposals in 2014 explicitly described a presidential library and contained nothing about state funding. ‘Construction and maintenance will be funded by private donations, and no taxpayer money will go to the foundation,’ the foundation’s spokeswoman said, and the interpretation was that you and your wife assured 100 percent private funding.”

Planning how to spend your money.

But that’s not what we got.

The center will not be a presidential library because Obama’s archives and documents won’t be there there and it won’t be federally run. From my Crain’s article:

What’s left without the library is unquestionably political, at least in large part….

You’ve been open about its political mission. The RFP described “an institute that will enhance the pursuit of the president’s initiatives beyond 2017 and have local, regional and global impacts.” You’ve said, “What we want this to be is the world’s premier institution for training young people and leadership to make a difference in their communities, in their countries and in the world.”

And now, with no public debate or legislative hearings, $172 million appeared in the Illinois budget presented to the General Assembly for vote with no time for review. We know how that happened: Chicago politicians simply asked for it, and they control the General Assembly.

The money is for mass transit and roadways associated with the center, but that’s part and parcel of the project…. [M]uch of the state money will be reimbursed by the federal government, but that’s no consolation. Taxpayers outside Illinois, who won’t benefit from any economic impact, have even more reason to object than Illinoisans.

Protect Our Parks’ lawsuit was filed before the budget was published and the state money became known. I assume the complaint will be amended to describe the state funding, which bolsters the First Amendment claim.

But forget the legal aspect. This is just wrong. Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding an Obama political operation and the whole thing stinks. $224 million is a lot of many that Illinois desperately needs. Obama could easily raise it from his friends. Heck, just those folks giving a standing ovation to Robert De Niro at the Tony Awards probably would be glad to cover it and get their names somewhere on the center.

Beyond the Washington Examiner article, FOX News and others are now on the story. Our initial story on this from June 1 was also reproduced nationally. More will come.

Maybe the controversy would abate if Obama rejects the public money and raises it privately.

He probably won’t. He’ll take the money from taxpayers and the center will be known forever as Obamaland, a monument to little more than misuse of government power, hubris and Chicago machine control over Illinois government.

Source: Obama-Land Fiasco Worsens – Chicago Taxpayers Now Face $224 Million Bill

50 Media Mistakes in the Trump Era: The Definitive List

We the media have “fact-checked” President Trump like we have fact-checked no other human being on the planet—and he’s certainly given us plenty to write about. That’s probably why it’s so easy to find lists enumerating and examining his mistakes, missteps and “lies.”

But as self-appointed arbiters of truth, we’ve largely excused our own unprecedented string of fact-challenged reporting. The truth is, formerly well-respected, top news organizations are making repeat, unforced errors in numbers that were unheard of just a couple of years ago.

Our repeat mistakes involve declaring that Trump’s claims are “lies” when they are matters of opinion, or when the truth between conflicting sources is unknowable; taking Trump’s statements and events out of context; reporting secondhand accounts against Trump without attribution as if they’re established fact; relying on untruthful, conflicted sources; and presenting reporter opinions in news stories—without labeling them as opinions.
What’s worse, we defend ourselves by trying to convince the public that our mistakes are actually a virtue because we (sometimes) correct them. Or we blame Trump for why we’re getting so much wrong. It’s a little bit like a police officer taking someone to jail for DUI, then driving home drunk himself: he may be correct to arrest the suspect, but he should certainly know better than to commit the same violation.
So since nobody else has compiled an updated, extensive list of this kind, here are:

JUNE 18 TRUTH HAS A SOUL

Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Matthew 11:27

I believe there is a positive warning in the Gospels that a person’s faith may stand in the revealed Bible text—and still be as dead as the proverbial doornail!

Consider the prayer of our Lord in Matthew 11:27: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

There is more than a body of truth—and if we do not get through to the soul of truth, we have only a dead body on our hands.

When the power of God moves in on the text and sets the sacrifice on fire, then you have genuine Christianity! We try to call that revival, but it is not revival at all. It is simply New Testament Christianity.

People who thought they were saved get saved! People who have only believed in a code now have placed their faith and trust in Christ’s person. It is not any deluxe edition of Christianity—it is simply New Testament Christianity having its place!

Lord, I am grateful for the day that You called me to Yourself. I invite You to do Your cleansing work in my soul so that I may be a more useful servant.[1]


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