Daily Archives: July 18, 2018

July 18: When Kings Mourn

2 Samuel 1:1–2:32; 1 Peter 3:1–7; Psalm 133:1–134:3

No one can tell you how to mourn. You have to mourn as you see fit, making sure you don’t introduce sin into the grieving process.

Several people who were dear to my heart have died. Each time, I processed it differently—immersing myself in work, weeping, or getting angry. If you’ve lost someone close to you, your experience with death is likely similar. But you may have noticed something else in the process: When someone passes away, we become weak and vulnerable to temptation. Wanting to vent our emotions, we may fall prey to sin. But loss is no excuse for sin; there is no excuse.

King David, for all his strength, was always a very broken man when someone important to him died. Such brokenness is understandable, but a king must balance his behavior; he must be careful not to insult those who have loyally fought for him. David’s mourning over his best friend, Jonathan, was completely understandable (e.g., 1 Sam 18:1–4; 19:1–7; 20), but his sense of loss over King Saul was overwrought. We should never celebrate anyone’s death, but God had disowned Saul and anointed David (1 Sam 15:10–16:13). Saul had no right to his throne (see, e.g., 1 Sam 16:14–23). Furthermore, Saul had been trying to kill David and his men (1 Sam 19:8–24; 23:14–29). Yet while David’s overly dramatic mourning of Saul may have offended his supporters, he went well beyond offense and into sin: He killed the man who put Saul to death (2 Sam 1:14–16). In this time period, it was customary for warriors to kill fallen enemies who were dying a slow and painful death, thus making David’s reaction even more outlandish.

We can learn many great things from David, but in this passage, he teaches us what not to do. Don’t let emotions control you in a time of pain, for those emotions could overtake you in temptation to sin.

How can you rely on God during times of mourning? How can you ward off temptation?

John D. Barry[1]


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

Rand Paul Savages John Brennan as ‘Most Biased, Bigoted, Unhinged CIA Director Ever’ (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) savaged former CIA Director John Brennan Wednesday morning in a Fox News appearance.

The Kentucky Senator called John Brennan the most biased, bigoted, unhinged Director of the CIA we’ve ever had in response to Brennan’s latest attack on President Trump labeling the Putin summit performance “treasonous.”

“John Brennan started out his adulthood by voting for the Communist Party presidential candidate,” Rand Paul said. “He’s now ending his career by showing himself to be the most biased, bigoted, over-the-top, hyperbolic sort of unhinged director of the CIA we’ve ever had.”

VIDEO:

On Monday, former CIA Director, John Brennan claimed Trump’s presser with Putin exceeded the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” then said it was “nothing short of treasonous.”

President Trump slammed the former CIA Director in an interview with Fox News Tucker Carlson, calling Brennan “a very bad guy.

“I think Brennan is a very bad guy and if you look at it a lot of things happened under his watch,” Trump told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “I think he’s a very bad person.”

Brennan continued to attack President Trump on Tuesday after calling his Putin summit performance “treasonous.”

John Brennan, like every other hysterical leftist, is afraid of what President Trump may have discussed during his private meeting with Vladimir Putin.

In what sounded like a signal to Deep State operatives, Brennan warned the Intel community may begin to “withhold vital intelligence” from President Trump to protect information.

Brennan routinely attacks President Trump from Twitter; he previously warned Trump about Mueller’s investigation, telling the president to “Stay tuned.”

John Brennan is also the puppet master behind the Trump-Russia collusion narrative and he helped promote Hillary’s garbage Russia dossier.

via Rand Paul Savages John Brennan as ‘Most Biased, Bigoted, Unhinged CIA Director Ever’ (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Legalism Indulges the Sinful Nature (Bridges)

The Reformed Reader

 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free” (Gal. 5:1; 13 NIV).  One awesome outcome of Christ’s death and resurrection is that we are free in Christ.  Now it is true that sometimes Christians flaunt their freedom by bragging about what kind of alcohol they drink or by using foul language.  People who flaunt their freedom actually lack love towards other Christians (Rom 14:15).

Alternatively, sometimes Christians go to the other extreme by living as if they are not free in Christ.  I appreciate how Jerry Bridges addresses this problem:

Despite God’s call to be free and his earnest admonition to resist all efforts to curtail it, there is very little emphasis in Christian circles today on the importance of Christian freedom.  Instead of promoting freedom, we stress our rules of conformity.  Instead of preaching living…

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July 18 Illuminated by the Spirit

“… that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

✧✧✧

God has granted you the ability to understand the truth and live accordingly.

In the natural realm, darkness can be a debilitating and frightening thing. The story is told of a missionary who was on board ship one dark night when suddenly he was awakened by the frantic cry of “Man overboard!” Immediately he arose from his bunk, grabbed the portable lamp from its bracket, and held it at the window of his cabin.

He couldn’t see anything, but the next morning he was told that the flash of his lamp through the porthole emitted just enough light to enable those on deck to see the missing man clinging to a rope. They rescued him seconds before his strength would have given out. The light had shone just in time to save the man’s life.

In the spiritual realm, darkness is even more devastating because it represents sin with all its disastrous consequences. First John 1:5–6 says, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

Unbelievers are characterized as children of darkness. They are enslaved to Satan, the prince of darkness, who blinds their minds so they don’t see the light of Christ’s glorious gospel (2 Cor. 4:4). They love darkness and reject light because they don’t want their evil deeds to be exposed (John 3:19–20).

Christians, however, have been called “out of darkness into [God’s] marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). That refers to God’s taking the initiative to save us. As an unredeemed sinner, you could never have turned from darkness on your own because you had neither the ability nor the desire to do so. God had to grant you saving grace and the illumination of His Spirit so you could recognize truth and respond accordingly.

That blessed privilege is known only to Christians. What a joy it is to not only recognize God’s truth but also to walk in it daily!

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for illuminating your mind and enabling you to see spiritual truth. Pray diligently for others to be so illuminated.

For Further Study: Read 1 John 1:5–2:11. Contrast the children of darkness with the children of light.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 212). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

OUT OF THE CLOSET: James Comey Begins Campaigning For Progressives Tells ‘All Who Care’ To Vote Democrat In November — Now The End Begins

Former head of the FBI James Comey, a self-declared ‘longtime Republican’, did us a favor today, he showed us definitively what side of the fence he’s on. Comey took to Twitter and urged all of America to ‘vote Democrat’ this November to ‘overthrow Donald Trump’.

FROM HUFF POST: Former FBI director and longtime Republican James Comey has urged Americans to vote for Democrats in November. “This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that ‘Ambition must … counteract ambition,’” Comey tweeted on Tuesday, quoting The Federalist Papers. “All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall. History has its eyes on us,” he concluded. Comey’s tweet comes as tensions continue to boil over in Washington following President Donald Trump’s recent remarks in Helsinki, where he met Monday with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. During an extraordinary press briefing after the meeting, the president repeatedly rejected the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies, refusing to condemn Russia for interfering in the 2016 American election. READ MORE

When James Comey investigated Hillary Clinton over her illegal email server and illegal use of private email address for government business, Comey concluded that Hillary’s actions were ‘extremely careless’ and ‘especially concerning’. Not only that, Comey concluded that her illegal email server gave access to ‘hostile actors’ from foreign countries. Yet, in spite of overwhelming evidence to indict her, James Comey astonishingly concludes with  ‘no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Hillary Clinton for emails‘.

Even though Hillary and company destroyed evidence and refused to turn over their illegal email server, Comey still found overwhelming evidence of her guilt, and despite all that, he let her walk free. That’s because he was ‘overwhelmingly convinced‘ that Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the United States. So convinced, in fact, that he reopened the investigation so that when she became president it would look like he had done everything to seek out the truth.

But what he never and the entire fake news media expected was a massive Trump victory, which completely derailed the detailed plans for a Clinton coronation. What has followed has been a complete and total breakdown of Liberals across the board.

James Comey came out of the closet today and decided to stop pretending and living a double life. James Comey, Democrat, out and proud.

via OUT OF THE CLOSET: James Comey Begins Campaigning For Progressives Tells ‘All Who Care’ To Vote Democrat In November — Now The End Begins

JULY 18 OLD THINGS PASS AWAY

If any man be in Christ…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

The New Testament is, among others things, a record of the struggle of twice-born men and women to live in a world run by the once born! That should indicate that we are not being as helpful as we ought to be when we fail to instruct the new Christian, that one who is “a babe in Christ,” that our Lord told his earliest disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33).

The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about when he told Christian believers, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Take the example of a person recently converted to Christ. His inner witness is clear and up to the light he has; he is beginning to live as he believes a Christian should. But this new world is altogether different from the one he has just left. Standards, values, objectives, methods—all are different. Many solid pillars upon which he had previously leaned without question are now seen to be made of chalk and ready to crumble.

There will be tears, but there will be joy and peace with the continuing discovery that in Christ, indeed, “old things pass away and all things become new” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Lord, sometimes it’s convenient to hide my faith when I am in the company of non-Christians. Help me take a stand for Christ even if I’m in the midst of a hostile situation.[1]


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

Trump, Obama, and Russia: A litany of hypocrisies

Where was the mainstream press back when Obama was getting rid of Europe’s missile defense, giving away the store on Iran, drawing red lines, and belittling Mitt Romney?

Isn’t it time the media reported the truth about who has been tougher on Russia among Obama, Europe, Hillary, Kerry, and Trump instead of continually regurgitating talking points that Trump is soft on Russia?

In the first year of Obama’s presidency, he reneged on a commitment to put missile shields in Poland and the Czech Republic, all to appease Russia.  He actually said he did it because Iran was dangerous.  Here is what the press was reporting then:

Barack Obama has abandoned the controversial Pentagon plan to build a missile defence system in Europe that had long soured relations with Russia.

In the first year of Trump’s presidency, on the other hand, Trump agreed to put up the missile defense to counter Russia.  Take a look:

In a move set to counter Russia’s reinforcement on NATO’s borders, Poland and the U.S. have agreed that Warsaw will purchase the American-made Patriot air defense missile, the Polish government announced Thursday.

Obama essentially didn’t lift a finger when Putin attacked Ukraine.

Trump is providing weapons in defiance of Putin and Russia.

The Trump administration has approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, a long-awaited move that deepens America’s involvement in the military conflict and may further strain relations with Russia.  Moscow responded angrily on Saturday.

President Obama and the European Union worked out a deal with Iran to give the country hundreds of billions of dollars, fortifying that regime.  There was actually no written agreement approved by Congress or Iran, and Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, admitted that the Obama administration repeatedly lied through the media to get the deal done.  Now Iran is using a significant amount of money to buy weapons, including from Russia.

Trump is cutting off the spigot from the Iranian tyrants and therefore the cash flow to Russia.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia used a smuggling route to transport offensive weapons, allegedly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

The broadsheet paper cited “Western intelligence services” saying Iran delivered “offensive weapons systems” to Russia via a military air base in Syria.

Here’s another one:

Russia is in talks with Iran over a $10 billion arms deal in which Moscow would provide advanced tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters to the Islamic republic[.]

Obama drew a red line in Syria about chemical weapons.  Then Obama did nothing about chemical attacks.  Then Obama, Kerry, and the Putin regime brokered a deal to pretend that that Syrian dictator and Putin ally Bashar al-Assad got rid of the chemical weapons.  Worse still, they trusted Putin to monitor the deal.

Trump actually bombed Syria in defiance of Russia when Assad subsequently used the weapons that Kerry said were gone.

The outcry leads us to revisit a 2014 claim from former Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry said in a television interview that in Syria, “we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”

Syria had agreed in 2013 to an ambitious program to destroy its chemical stockpiles under international supervision, as part of a deal brokered by Russia.

Germany made a private deal to take billions of dollars of natural gas through a pipeline, thereby funding Putin some more.  Trump properly called that purported ally out for being dependent on Russia while claiming to be tough on Russia.  Putin can’t appreciate Trump pressuring Europe to stop buying oil and natural gas from Russia.

In 2012, it was Obama, Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others who made fun of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for saying Russia was dangerous.  That wasn’t Trump.  The media supported Obama on Russia.

Putin invaded two countries during Obama’s eight years, and none so far during Trump’s administration.  Maybe Putin understands that Trump is not as flexible and forgiving as Obama, Hillary, and Kerry.

Trump has put tremendous muscle on NATO to spend much more money on defense, which has to tick off Putin.  Obama said he wanted NATO to pay more but never exerted that pressure.

In the summer of 2016, supposedly when the intelligence community, the FBI, the State Department, and the Justice Department were worrying about Russian collusion and meddling, and when they were monitoring Trump and his aides along with inserting informants into the Trump campaign, President Obama’s cyber-warfare chief was ordered to stand down.  Here was the news back then:

The Obama White House’s chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a “back burner” after he was ordered to  stand down his efforts in the summer of 2016.

They came during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into how the Obama administration dealt with Russian cyber and information warfare attacks in 2016, an issue that has become one of the more politically sensitive subjects in the panel’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and any links to the Trump campaign.

Why did that happen?  Don’t the media and other Democrats care?

Now, what from the above examples indicates that Trump is caving to Putin and that Obama, Europe, Hillary, Kerry, and other Democrats were strong?

In the news conference with Putin and Trump, Putin mentioned that leftist billionaire George Soros meddles in elections.  Why isn’t that being reported today?  Is it because Soros is a major benefactor of Democrats and that the media like his meddling?  We also know that the Obama State Department meddled in the Israeli election, so why doesn’t the press care about that?

I can’t understand how the intelligence agencies, the FBI and Justice Department, can say definitively that Russia hacked the DNC computers when they didn’t actually examine the computers.  It is easy to charge people with multiple crimes when they know they aren’t going to show up.  I thought our Constitution allows that people are essentially innocent until proven guilty, yet the Democrats (including the media) along with many Republicans have declared the Russians responsible.  This, even though the DNC won’t give access to the evidence.

In the future, are we going to charge people with a bank robbery without going to the bank and looking at the tapes?  Are we going to charge executives with embezzlement without actually examining the company’s books or the individuals’ records based on some third-party report?

If the media want to see collusion, they should look in the mirror.  It has been clear for at least two years that Obama, his administration, the FBI, the Justice Department, the State Department, the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and almost 100% of the media colluded to get Hillary elected and destroy Trump.  To this day, the collusion continues as they act like the fictitious Russian collusion with Trump story is true with zero evidence.

If the media and other Democrats actually were worried about election integrity, they would support photo IDs to vote, as Mexico does, and as almost all countries in the world require.  The fact that politicians from around the United States require photo IDs for so many things in daily life yet pretend that somehow people aren’t able to get them to vote shows they don’t actually care about election integrity.

Isn’t it time the media reported the truth about who has been tougher on Russia among Obama, Europe, Hillary, Kerry, and Trump instead of continually regurgitating talking points that Trump is soft on Russia?

In the first year of Obama’s presidency, he reneged on a commitment to put missile shields in Poland and the Czech Republic, all to appease Russia.  He actually said he did it because Iran was dangerous.  Here is what the press was reporting then:

Barack Obama has abandoned the controversial Pentagon plan to build a missile defence system in Europe that had long soured relations with Russia.

In the first year of Trump’s presidency, on the other hand, Trump agreed to put up the missile defense to counter Russia.  Take a look:

In a move set to counter Russia’s reinforcement on NATO’s borders, Poland and the U.S. have agreed that Warsaw will purchase the American-made Patriot air defense missile, the Polish government announced Thursday.

Obama essentially didn’t lift a finger when Putin attacked Ukraine.

Trump is providing weapons in defiance of Putin and Russia.

The Trump administration has approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, a long-awaited move that deepens America’s involvement in the military conflict and may further strain relations with Russia.  Moscow responded angrily on Saturday.

President Obama and the European Union worked out a deal with Iran to give the country hundreds of billions of dollars, fortifying that regime.  There was actually no written agreement approved by Congress or Iran, and Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, admitted that the Obama administration repeatedly lied through the media to get the deal done.  Now Iran is using a significant amount of money to buy weapons, including from Russia.

Trump is cutting off the spigot from the Iranian tyrants and therefore the cash flow to Russia.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia used a smuggling route to transport offensive weapons, allegedly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

The broadsheet paper cited “Western intelligence services” saying Iran delivered “offensive weapons systems” to Russia via a military air base in Syria.

Here’s another one:

Russia is in talks with Iran over a $10 billion arms deal in which Moscow would provide advanced tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters to the Islamic republic[.]

Obama drew a red line in Syria about chemical weapons.  Then Obama did nothing about chemical attacks.  Then Obama, Kerry, and the Putin regime brokered a deal to pretend that that Syrian dictator and Putin ally Bashar al-Assad got rid of the chemical weapons.  Worse still, they trusted Putin to monitor the deal.

Trump actually bombed Syria in defiance of Russia when Assad subsequently used the weapons that Kerry said were gone.

The outcry leads us to revisit a 2014 claim from former Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry said in a television interview that in Syria, “we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”

Syria had agreed in 2013 to an ambitious program to destroy its chemical stockpiles under international supervision, as part of a deal brokered by Russia.

Germany made a private deal to take billions of dollars of natural gas through a pipeline, thereby funding Putin some more.  Trump properly called that purported ally out for being dependent on Russia while claiming to be tough on Russia.  Putin can’t appreciate Trump pressuring Europe to stop buying oil and natural gas from Russia.

In 2012, it was Obama, Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others who made fun of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for saying Russia was dangerous.  That wasn’t Trump.  The media supported Obama on Russia.

Putin invaded two countries during Obama’s eight years, and none so far during Trump’s administration.  Maybe Putin understands that Trump is not as flexible and forgiving as Obama, Hillary, and Kerry.

Trump has put tremendous muscle on NATO to spend much more money on defense, which has to tick off Putin.  Obama said he wanted NATO to pay more but never exerted that pressure.

In the summer of 2016, supposedly when the intelligence community, the FBI, the State Department, and the Justice Department were worrying about Russian collusion and meddling, and when they were monitoring Trump and his aides along with inserting informants into the Trump campaign, President Obama’s cyber-warfare chief was ordered to stand down.  Here was the news back then:

The Obama White House’s chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a “back burner” after he was ordered to  stand down his efforts in the summer of 2016.

They came during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into how the Obama administration dealt with Russian cyber and information warfare attacks in 2016, an issue that has become one of the more politically sensitive subjects in the panel’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and any links to the Trump campaign.

Why did that happen?  Don’t the media and other Democrats care?

Now, what from the above examples indicates that Trump is caving to Putin and that Obama, Europe, Hillary, Kerry, and other Democrats were strong?

In the news conference with Putin and Trump, Putin mentioned that leftist billionaire George Soros meddles in elections.  Why isn’t that being reported today?  Is it because Soros is a major benefactor of Democrats and that the media like his meddling?  We also know that the Obama State Department meddled in the Israeli election, so why doesn’t the press care about that?

I can’t understand how the intelligence agencies, the FBI and Justice Department, can say definitively that Russia hacked the DNC computers when they didn’t actually examine the computers.  It is easy to charge people with multiple crimes when they know they aren’t going to show up.  I thought our Constitution allows that people are essentially innocent until proven guilty, yet the Democrats (including the media) along with many Republicans have declared the Russians responsible.  This, even though the DNC won’t give access to the evidence.

In the future, are we going to charge people with a bank robbery without going to the bank and looking at the tapes?  Are we going to charge executives with embezzlement without actually examining the company’s books or the individuals’ records based on some third-party report?

If the media want to see collusion, they should look in the mirror.  It has been clear for at least two years that Obama, his administration, the FBI, the Justice Department, the State Department, the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and almost 100% of the media colluded to get Hillary elected and destroy Trump.  To this day, the collusion continues as they act like the fictitious Russian collusion with Trump story is true with zero evidence.

If the media and other Democrats actually were worried about election integrity, they would support photo IDs to vote, as Mexico does, and as almost all countries in the world require.  The fact that politicians from around the United States require photo IDs for so many things in daily life yet pretend that somehow people aren’t able to get them to vote shows they don’t actually care about election integrity.

Source: Trump, Obama, and Russia: A litany of hypocrisies

Sen. Rand Paul Rips ‘Biased and Bigoted’ Former CIA Chief

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has been one of President Donald Trump’s few defenders amid a furor over this week’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, ripped former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday.

Brennan tweeted that Trump’s comments regarding Russian election meddling were “nothing short of treasonous.” Standing next to Putin at a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, Trump told reporters that he could not say for sure whether Russian agents hacked the computer systems of Democratic operatives during the presidential election.

Trump on Tuesday sought to clarify his comments and pronounce his full support of U.S. intelligence services and its conclusions with regard to Russian activities during the 2016 campaign. But critics did not buy his explanation.

Paul, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggested that Brennan has no moral authority to pronounce judgment on Trump.

“John Brennan’s gonna go down in history as the most biased and bigoted and partisan CIA head, and it should scare us all that this man had the power to eavesdrop on our every movement, our every phone call, our every email,” he said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

More outrageous, Paul said, is the suggestion floated by some former intelligence officials that current agents should withhold sensitive information from the president.

“That’s John Brennan, actually, trying to commit treason by advising people who have taken an oath of office not to give information. I mean, can you imagine?” he said. “This is somebody in the CIA saying … all the CIA agents should just go rogue and not pay attention to the orders of both the Constitution and their superiors. No, I think it’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard.”

Paul said Brennan’s conduct reinforces his belief that Brennan should not have been in the post. He noted that he led a filibuster to try to block the appointment.

“I had a bad feeling about him from the very beginning, and this was years ago,” he said.

Paul said Trump conflates two different issues. The first is whether Russia meddled, and the senator said be believes Trump accepts that conclusion. Paul said the other is whether Trump’s campaign colluded.

“There’s no evidence of that, and he takes that very personally,” he said. “So I think he does question that aspect of the intelligence investigation.”

The focus on Trump’s comments threatens to obscure a larger point, Paul said, which is that it is vital for the United States and Russia to maintain a dialogue.

“Even at the darkest hours of the Cold War [John] Kennedy had an open line of communication with [Soviet leader Nikita] Khrushchev, and I think that may have averted nuclear war and was an important thing to have,” he said.

“But did they do anything to stop Russians meddling in the election? No.”

Trump also makes a valid point in noting that the election interference occurred during Barack Obama’s presidency, Paul said. He said Obama officials and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spread information gathered from an anti-Trump dossier financed by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“But did they do anything to stop Russians meddling in the election? No,” he said. “But they’ve also set this up as a — you know, “Hillary Clinton’s been on the sour grapes, the whine tour — whine, whine, whine about everything about how she should be president. Yet none of them did anything to stop this.”

Related: Trump Clarifies Controversial Helsinki Remarks on Putin’s Meddling Denial

Paul was noncommittal about a bill sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that would impose automatic sanctions against Russia in retaliation for any future election interference. He called on Congress to beef up cyberdefense.

Russian leaders should get the message that trying to influence U.S. elections is not in their interests, Paul said. Just look at what its 2016 efforts yielded, he added.

“We’ve set this back, you know, our relationship, 20 years to the worst part of the Cold War,” he said. “So meddling, if they thought it was of benefit, it’s not.”

Source: Sen. Rand Paul Rips ‘Biased and Bigoted’ Former CIA Chief

OK for Putin to support Obama but not Trump?

Not only have Trump’s statements caused an uproar in the American media – Russian president Vladimir Putin’s claim that he wanted Trump to win, was seen as one of the big revelations of the summit. Check out http://rt.com RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT!

Fired FBI Director James Comey: Vote Democrat, Or You’re A Traitor

Former FBI Director James Comey implied anyone who doesn’t vote for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections is a traitor in a tweet Tuesday night. “All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall,” he said.

Comey has appointed himself as something of a moral compass for the country following his firing from the FBI last year.

He has been vocal in criticism of Republicans and President Trump. In April, he told ABC News he believes “the Republican Party has left me and many others.” But just a few months ago he said he doesn’t care which party Americans support, so long as they care about American values.

“I don’t think of it as my politics, I think of it as my values,” he told Meghan McCain on “The View” during his book tour. “I don’t care whether people support a Republican or a Democrat because I’m not either. I don’t care who they support. I hope the conversation with start with values, and come to policy second.”

Comey’s tweet could be considered an obstruction of justice, since Comey is currently under federal investigation. The Justice Department is examining whether he leaked classified information to the media.

The DOJ inspector general concluded his behavior as FBI director was “insubordinate” in a report released in June.

Source: Fired FBI Director James Comey: Vote Democrat, Or You’re A Traitor

Nolte: Helsinki Is One of Trump’s Finest Moments

President Donald Trump proved to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that he is nobody’s puppet — not Putin’s, not the Deep State’s, and not the establishment media’s. Like the moral strength he showed in Charlottesville, VA, last year, Helsinki should be remembered as one of Trump’s finest moments.

Source: Nolte: Helsinki Is One of Trump’s Finest Moments

Why Rep. Louie Gohmert Is Defending Trump’s Comments on Russian Election Meddling

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is one of few lawmakers defending President Donald Trump after he made comments appearing to back President Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence community’s assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Source: Why Rep. Louie Gohmert Is Defending Trump’s Comments on Russian Election Meddling

US media claims Trump betrayed America with Putin meeting – Republican voters say otherwise

Despite breathless reports insisting that President Donald Trump betrayed America by meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, a vast majority of Republicans approve of his dealings with Moscow, according to a new poll. Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: US media claims Trump betrayed America with Putin meeting – Republican voters say otherwise

Matt Chandler Preaches Charismatic Poppycock — Pulpit & Pen

Something eventually happens to everyone who calls themselves a Charismatic Calvinist;” they eventually become all of one thing and none of the other. Like with Mark Driscoll, the charismatic side of the Charismatic Calvinist grows and grows more wildly out of control as claims of dubious supernatural manifestations grow so pervasive that it strangles out any vestiges of good theology that remain. One simply cannot deny the sufficiency of Scripture (which is the foundational anthesis of the Charismatic Movement) for very long without having it grow like a pervasive and invasive fungus upon the rest of their theology, stifling and snuffing out anything wholesome or true.

This is especially seen in Matt Chandler of the Village Church, who Reformed believers have witnessed take a tragic trajectory toward mysticism, myth, water-down theology and old wives’ tales, and – most recently – egalitarianism and the Social Gospel. Long ago is the day that Chandler threw shade at Steven Furtick during the Code Orange Revival for practicing narcigesis and today Chandler speaks alongside the most nefarious Bible-twisters on the planet without any kind of protest. Endorsing Ann Voskamp – who writes theoerotic literature about making love to God – is not cool. It’s awful. Praying Jesus Culture “over” your church (the music group of what might be the most dangerous church in the country, Bethel Church in Redding, California) is nauseatingly off-putting for a serious-minded pastor. Repeatedly endorsing wild-eyed prophetess (who has the spiritual gift of speaking ecstatic utterance while still speaking English), Beth Moore, is – again – a monumental lack of discernment. Teaching the charismatic style of “binding and loosing” spirits is a bizarre departure from orthodoxy. Endorsing Lent isn’t exactly a historic practice for Protestants, let alone Reformed Protestants, let alone Particular Baptists (it has been gaining momentum the further we depart from the Reformation, however). Village Church pastors engaging in non-evangelical Interfaith Dialogues (dialogues where evangelism is not allowed) with Muslims isn’t good. Writing the foreword to Third Wave charismatic, Sam Storm’s book, “Practicing the Power,” is an atrocious departure from Reformed Theology. Chandler’s embrace of Islamic radical extremist groups in the name of a well-intentioned evangelical kumbaya was insanely wrong.

Aside from adopting the social justice, functional post-millennial culture-conquering common to New Calvinism (for an explanation of New Calvinism, click here), most of these errors are entirely due to one thing – Chandler’s insistence that the Apostolic Sign Gifts (which were only seen in Scripture as practiced by Apostles or by those upon whom the Apostles laid their hands) is for Christians today. One thing cannot be denied; the more charismatic Chandler has become, the worse the rest of his theology has become. 

In a video which Charisma Mag celebratorily says is Chandler “showing off his new theology,” he begins by quoting Andrews Wilson, who claims to be a Reformed Charismatic, insisting that there is no discernible difference between the Apostolic church and the church today, setting up the supposition that if we see certain Apostolic Sign Gifts in the Bible, we should see them today (for an explanation on why being both a Calvinist and a Charismatic are contradictory and inconsistent, click here).

Chandler makes clear in his sermon that there is not a second baptism of the Spirit, meaning that he would identify more with the Third Wave than the Second Wave of the Charismatic Movement. And then, like shooting a scattergun of scriptures out over the audience, Chandler started to randomly fire verses out about the supernaturality of the Apostolic Church and proceeded to torch the Cessationism Straw Man, scoffing at those who think the New Testament Church was not supernatural. Of course, Cessationists do clearly believe the New Testament church was supernatural, and Cessationists believe the church today is still supernatural. Cessationism, rather, holds that the supernaturality of the Apostolic Church manifested itself in the sign gifts of true Apostles (2 Corinthians 12:12) and today, a church without Apostles doesn’t see those Apostolic gifts, and the supernaturality of the church is exemplified primarily in the awesome miraculous works of regeneration, repentance, and conversion. Likewise, the Cessationist continues to believe that God Himself if supernatural and continues to do supernatural things, but – unlike the charismatics and their Montanist forbears – we believe the canon is closed and that God’s Word is sufficient.

“If this is New Testament Christianity, then why are we not seeing what seems normal there? Does that question haunt anybody else? It haunts me. It haunts your pastor. So then what happens when you’re confronted by this, you have to do something with it. One of the things becomes the easiest thing to do is that we need to do is to just say something like ‘This is just a sign given to the Apostles to validate the Word of God, and once the Word of God was written, we no longer need these things. That’s actually a theological framework called Cessationism that’s there because – not textually, but experientially (we don’t see it, we got to do something with it, because we can’t be the problem so something must be wrong because we’ve memorized Jeremiah and two of the four Gospels). It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t work – and remember my first argument – the church of Jesus has always been a supernatural community.”

Chandler essentially argues against 2 Corinthians 2:12, that signs, miracles, and wonders were given by the Holy Spirit to validate the Apostles and the Apostle’s Gospel. He says that cessationism is born out of “experience” rather than from Scripture because we don’t see miracles, signs, and wonders today. Chandler even then goes on to mock those who expect to see supernatural things by memorizing the Word of God, ostensibly making the common charismatic mistake in believing that somehow God’s Spirit does supernatural things apart from God’s Word (even though 1 Peter 1:23 says otherwise).

To explain that we don’t see signs, miracles, and wonders because we don’t try hard enough and not because they served a specific, already-fulfilled purpose in historic, redemptive history, Chandler gives what amounts to one of the most historically reckless and biased presentations of miraculous accounts in the early church that I’ve ever heard. As a student of history with a graduate degree in history and as someone who fancies himself a historian, I’m personally offended at Chandler’s half-hearted effort to defend his Neo-Montanist views by butchering history so terribly.

Using what appears to be snippets of a few of the Church Fathers on miraculous gifting that were obtained probably from a brief Google search of charismatic websites, Chandler claims that the first 500 years of church history were replete with accounts of the miraculous. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
First, for an accurate history of the early church fathers and their reports of the miraculous, I would encourage you to read Conyers Middleton’s book, A Free Inquiry Into the Miraculous Powers, Which Are Supposed to Have Subsisted in the Christian Church, From the Earliest Ages Through Several Successive Centuries. It was written long enough ago, before the three waves of the Charismatic movement, to be an impartial guide as to how the Patristic Fathers viewed the Apostolic Sign Gifts. In other words, Middleton is an impartial resource.

Middleton writes…

“Among the earliest writings like St. Barnabas, St. Clements, St. Ignatius, Polycarp or Hermas, it would be natural to expect that in their valued remains a history of the miraculous gifts, and it would be carried on in the same manner by their immediate successors to the next generation…But instead of this, it is remarkable that there is not the least claim or prevention, in all their several pieces to any of those extraordinary gifts, which are the subject of inquiry, nor to any standing power of working miracles, as residing still among them, for the conversion of the Heathen world.”

What few quotations that Chandler recycled from charismatic websites to purport the Patristic Fathers lived in a time of ordinary miracles are clearly taken out of context in view of the bigger picture. As Middleton explains, “They (the earliest writers) speak of certain spiritual gifts abounding among the Christians of that age only in general, but they can be interpreted to mean anything more than the ordinary gifts and graces of the Gospel, faith, hope and charity, the love of God and man, which they all commend.”

And again…

“Herein then we have an interval of about half a century, the earliest and purest of all Christian Antiquity after the days of the Apostles, in which we find not the least reference to any standing power of working miracles, as exerted openly in the Church, for the conviction of unbelievers, but on the contrary, the strongest reason to presume that the extraordinary gifts of the Apostolic age were by this time actually withdrawn.”

Regarding the fathers in particular, my research has determined that Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Theophilus of Antioch, Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian did all speak (briefly and minimally) of miracles and prophecy (interestingly, not tongues), but in vague terms and not done by them. They spoke only in the realm of hear-say, reporting what they had heard elsewhere. Consider this fact, none of the Church Fathers – NONE – reported performing or even seeing a miracle of any kind performed.

Justin Martyr, who some look to as being a pro-miracle kind of guy, also affirmed the miraculous story about the translation of the Septuagint, the 70 elders being locked away in Jerusalem to translate the OT into Greek, and all came up with their own translation. Justin claimed to have seen the 70 cells in Alexandria with his own eyes. The problem is, it didn’t happen. Yet  Justin claimed to have PERSONALLY seen the cells. If a charismatic wants to cite Justin as a source for what he reportedly had seen and heard, Justin claims to have personally seen something that never existed.

Irenaeus, while claiming of having heard of some miracles out there, also claimed Jesus live to be 50 or 55 years of age. Irenaeus was a good polemicist but was certainly imperfect as a historian. When Autolycus – a heathen – challenged Theophilus of Antioch to name a single person raised from the dead in his age, he couldn’t do it. He lived at the same time as Irenaeus who said such things were common, but he didn’t know of a single example. Think about that for a minute; none of the church fathers ever saw a miracle, but only reported of having heard of them. When pressed by skeptics to give a specific instance or name of one who had performed or seen a miracle, they could not provide it. Irenaeus also claimed to have heard of the use of tongues (he condemned ecstatic utterance, and believed tongues had to be actual languages) but says he never personally heard it done.

Tertullian was all about miraculous claims, but Tertullian also claims to have received a vision from God with the exact measurements of the veil that women were obligated to wear (that was a debate back then). He was also told in a vision, supposedly, to mix water with the wine of the Eucharist to make it effectual.

Cyprian claimed miracles happened, but he had a vision whenever he was in an ecclesiastical dispute, siding with his side of dispute.

However, all of the early church figures – all of them, including Jerome and Epiphanius – argued that true prophets never spoke in ecstasy (gibberish), which is one reason they were so quick to anathematize the Montanists. They all condemned the use of ecstatic utterance (nonsense gibberish) as occultic, and that is the only kind of tongues practiced by modern-day charismatics and promoted by Matt Chandler.

Eusebius said that the gifts had diminished in his day (4th Century), as virtually all other of his contemporaries did. In other words, most claimed there USED to be charismatic sign gifts previously, but not in their lifetime. Often, the miracles cited in the earliest of church history are provenly exaggerated. For example, in the tale of Polycarp’s martyrdom, Eusebius omits any tale about the dove flying out of him. Others neglect other details.

Chrysostom denied the charismatic gifts, saying, “In the infancy of the church, the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit were bestowed even on the unworthy,  because those early times stood in need of that help for the more easy propagation of the Gospel, but now, says he, they are not given even to the worthy, because the present strength of the Christian faith is no longer in want of them.” And frankly, it’s hard to get more authoritative than Chrysostom

He also says, “Because no miracles are wrought now, we are not to take it for a proof, that none were wrought then…there are none who do miracles. Why are there no persons, who raise the dead and cure diseases?” In fact, Chrysostom says that claims of charismatic gifts are “mere phantoms and illusions.”

Then, as superstition arose with the rise of Christianity’s Roman paganization, we enter a period of time of “ecclesiastical miracles,” several generations past those of the church fathers, who never saw a miracle performed. These include outrageous claims, like St. Gregory the Miracle Worker supposedly stopping a river or the many miracles of Simeon Stylites, who likely never existed at all. No doubt, Chandler is taking these insane tales into consideration.

Conyers Middleton says of the “Ecclesiastical Miracles,” that they had the following characteristics:

  1. They were of such a nature and performed in such a man, as would necessarily inject a suspicion of fraud and delusion.
  2. That the cures and beneficial effects of them were either false or imaginary or accidental.
  3. That they tend to confirm the idealist of all errors and superstitions.
  4. That the integrity of the witnesses is either highly questionable or their credulity at least so gross as to render them unworthy of any credit.
  5. That they were not only vain and unnecessary but generally speaking, so trifling also, as to excite nothing but contempt.
  6. And lastly, that the belief and defense of them are the only means in the world that can possibly support or give any form of countenance to the Romish church.

Another resource you might want to read is from John Henry Newman’s “Two Essays on Biblical and Ecclesiastical Miracles.” 

What Newman points out is that the accounts of miracles from the 2nd and 3rd Century are extremely vague, never include any identifying information, are all hear-say, and do not include accounts from the individuals themselves. Beginning in the 4th and 5th Century, they get much more vivid, to the point of fanciful, but again, no supporting evidence is ever given other than bold and audacious claims, most of which support some semblance of necromancy or Romanism.

In fact, Newman – who defends Continuationism, oddly enough, says with refreshing honesty…

“I can find not instances of miracles mentioned by the Fathers before the fourth century , as what were performed by Christians in their times, but the (gradual) cure of diseases, and particularly the cures of demoniacs.”

Likewise, the most well-known claims to miracles in this period aren’t that miraculous. These include clouds forming the shape of a cross to Constantine’s Army, rain coming to the army of Marcus Antoninus after prayer by the army, and the sudden death of Arius. These are the types of miracles lauded in the pages of Charisma Mag, hardly enough to convince even the hardcore believers pining to see something miraculous.

Historically, it was Pope Gregory in the 6th Century to be the first one recorded to have argued, “And these signs shall follow those that believe” in Acts 2 to imply all Christians should do these signs, in all ages. The reality is that the first person to hold Chandler’s view was a 6th Century Pope.

We are watching Chandler’s Downgrade right before our eyes, and it is sad to watch. Such is the result of the disease of Charismaticism. It rapes the believer of his senses, it molests the student of his wits, and it tortures the faculties of weak-minded men until they surrender the religion of Christ for vain superstitions.

You can watch the video below.

via Matt Chandler Preaches Charismatic Poppycock — Pulpit & Pen

Video: What is Modern Day Montanism? — Pulpit & Pen

Watch this video on Modern Day Montanism and discover that modern day charismaticism is actually an ancient heresy that should be completely rejected by the Christian church. Please help maintain this site by donating here. The post Video: What is Modern Day Montanism? appeared first on Pulpit & Pen.

via Video: What is Modern Day Montanism? — Pulpit & Pen

‘Important verbal agreements’ made at Trump-Putin summit – Russian ambassador to US

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump did reach key unwritten deals during their talks in Finland, but there is nothing secretive about what they discussed, Russia’s ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, says. Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: ‘Important verbal agreements’ made at Trump-Putin summit – Russian ambassador to US

Rand Paul: I Am “Worried” That “Trump Hater” Brennan Was Ahead Of CIA While Harboring Bias

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https://www.realclearpolitics.com

Sen. Rand Paul expressed concern of former CIA director John Brennan’s anti-Trump bias and what he did while “harboring” that hate when he was in charge of the agency. Paul told FOX News host Martha MacCallum that Brennan is a “Trump hater” and “completely unhinged.”

Sen. Rand Paul expressed concern of former CIA director John Brennan’s anti-Trump bias and what he did while “harboring” that hate when he was in charge of the agency. Paul told FOX News host Martha MacCallum that Brennan is a “Trump hater” and “completely unhinged.”

Brennan’s Trump Attack BACKFIRES As Rand Exposes A Dark Secret From His Past

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CIA Directors are supposed to be apolitical, or at least appear that way to the public eye. But this is not the case for former CIA Director John Brennan, who openly shows hatred and ire towards President Trump. Once again, Brennan fired off another sick attack at the President in regards to his latest meeting with Vladimir Putin. And as result, he immediately got exposed by Rand Paul. See Below Brennan, thinking he is calculated and cute, said in a tweet, “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???” Rand Paul Made Brennan’s Remarks Backfire When He Exposed A Dark Secret From The Past Rand Paul stepped forward and wiped the smirk off John Brennan’s face when he replied to the foolish remarks with: “This is coming from the guy who voted for the Communist Party USA candidate in 1976. Give me a break” As reported by CNN two years ago, Brennan admitted to a panel that he voted in 1976 for Gus Hall, who was the Communist Party candidate. And Brennan was forced to confess after failing a lie detector test in 1980, when asked if he ever was involved in a plot to overthrow the US government. Continued Below At the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, Brennan said of the failed lie detector test, “This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.”