Daily Archives: August 3, 2018

August 3: The Art of Discipline

Isaiah 5:1–6:13; Luke 1:67–2:21; Job 2:1–10

Jesus didn’t die for us so that we could continue to sin—He sacrificed Himself so that we could have sinless lives. God is patient, but His patience does not last forever. We wouldn’t test His patience so often if we had not lost sight of the notion of discipline, a concept that is at the forefront in the ot.

In the book of Isaiah, God describes His people using the image of a vineyard:

“And now let me tell you what I myself am about to do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall become a devastation. I will break down its wall, and it shall become a trampling. And I will make it a wasteland; it shall not be pruned and hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thornbushes.… For the vineyard of Yahweh of hosts is the house of Israel, and the man of Judah is the plantation of his delight. And he [Yahweh] waited for justice, but look! Bloodshed! For righteousness, but look! A cry of distress!” (Isa 5:5–7).

The vineyard described in this passage is eventually restored through Christ, who creates a new vine and new branches. Yet the vineyard still requires the same level of care and discipline (John 15:1–17).

It’s tempting to justify our behaviors by arguing that it is impossible to not sin, but is this true? Jesus came to make it possible for us to live as God has always desired for us to live—this is one of the many things that makes His birth so glorious (Luke 2:14; compare Isa 6:3). While no one other than Jesus has been sinless, Christians are meant to be people who are freed from sin (Rom 6:1–14). Thus, it may be unlikely to live a sinless life, but it’s not impossible: “All things are possible for God” (Phil 4:13).

Discipline is one way that God teaches us to become more like Him—as He intended us to be (Gen 1:26). God disciplines believers because He cares too much about His people to allow us to throw away all the grace and goodness He offers. If sin had no repercussions, we would live the lives we desire, not the lives we are meant to live. And if we don’t live the lives we’re meant to live, we miss out on God’s blessing and lose sight of the goals He has for us, leading others astray in the process. When we openly sin (without repenting), we discourage others from wanting to live in God’s likeness.

God has called us to do everything we can, with the Spirit’s empowerment, to live sinless lives. We must repent daily and move closer toward that goal. As we seek that goal, we have greater opportunities to live so that others may know and find Him. In the meantime, we should expect His discipline to help shape us to become more like Him.

How is God currently disciplining you? What are you learning from it?

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.

August 3 Filling Up an Empty Word

“I show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31).


Biblical love is characterized by humility, obedience to God, and self-sacrifice.

In our society, love is a common word but an uncommon experience. Often those who use the word most understand it least. Many who think they’ve found love have really settled for something far less than God intended for them.

For many, love means a romantic or sexual relationship. While Scripture has much to say about intimacy within marriage, the word love takes on a different meaning in the New Testament. Even Ephesians 5:25 (“Husbands, love your wives”) doesn’t refer to romantic love.

Other common errors include equating love with emotionalism or sentimentality, or confusing it with a friendly spirit of tolerance and brotherhood toward others—often apart from any consideration for doctrinal purity or Biblical convictions. But Biblical love is none of those.

The “more excellent way” Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 12:31 is love that comes from God Himself and conforms to His holy attributes. We have no capacity to generate this on our own. The Greek word for that kind of love is agapé, and it is characterized by humility, obedience to God, and self-sacrifice. John 13:1 says of Christ’s love for His disciples, “He loved them to the end.” That literally means He loved them to perfection—to the limits of love. In verses 4–5 He demonstrates His love by washing their feet. Love is humble. It focuses on meeting needs.

In addition, love is obedient and willing to make sacrifices for others. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). God made the supreme sacrifice for us in that He “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

First Corinthians 13 applies to Christians of every generation because we all face the danger of misusing our spiritual gifts. As we study this and other passages about love, ask yourself if your love is all that God wants it to be. If not, take note of what changes you need to make in light of what you’re learning.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for loving you. ✧ Ask Him for wisdom and grace to understand and walk in love.

For Further Study: Read John 14:23–24, noting how Jesus described those who love Him.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 228). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Dinesh D’Souza on His Provocative New Film “Death of a Nation”

RUSH: Now, we are happy to welcome back to the program Dinesh D’Souza. His new movie is opening in a thousand theaters tonight. It is Death of a Nation. You’ve had a lot of success with your previous movies. Have you ever opened on a thousand screens?

D’SOUZA: Uh, Rush, no. In the past, we’ve tended to open on limited screens and then spread out to more screens, so we do these pre-screenings to get us set up. But this time we decided to go for it, a thousand theaters nationwide and DeathOfaNationMovie.com is the way to find out where it’s playing near you. If you just put in your ZIP Code, boom! It tells you the theaters right near you. So I couldn’t be more excited. I’m a little anxious but this movie could be a very powerful force in firing people up.

RUSH: I can understand with a project like this, but I have to ask you — and as a powerful, influential member of the media, I, my friends, have seen a special copy. Meaning it’s been captioned and so forth. Dinesh, are you really worried…? Death of a Nation, that’s a very provocative title. Are you really worried that we’re looking at the death of our nation here and your movie here is attempting to fire people up to the danger, the severity we face?

D’SOUZA: I’m alerting people to what will happen if we let the logic of the progressive Democrats play itself out. In fact, almost a hundred years ago the progressive Democratic president, Woodrow Wilson, showed the movie Birth of a Nation, a pro-Ku Klux Klan movie in the White House, and this led to a national revival of the Klan. And the reason that movie was titled Birth of a Nation, is that the progressive Democrats were saying, “We don’t like the founding; we’re starting America all over again.”

And the unifying glue of that was actually racism. So ironically, my argument is that if you play out the logic of the progressive Democrats, ultimately they will kill America. I don’t mean they’ll destroy the land. But what they will destroy is the soul of America, what makes America unique, the principles of the American founding. That’s why I used the title Death of a Nation. It in a sense is a reference to the progressive, racist film Birth of a Nation.

RUSH: Folks, you really… If you do go see this, there is a bombshell in this movie, where Dinesh D’Souza makes the case that the left in this country is so far gone on race and so far gone on progressivism that even the Nazis back in the ’30s and ’40s thought the Democrats of America were too extreme, correct?

D’SOUZA: Yes, we have a riveting scene, Rush —

RUSH: Wait until Jim Acosta sees that.

D’SOUZA: We have a riveting scene in the movie in which the Nazis who are drafting the infamous Nuremberg Laws — the laws that make Jews into second-class citizens. Some people call it a dress rehearsal for the Holocaust. The Nazis have in their hands the Jim Crow laws of the Democratic South. Now the point here is that every segregation law in the South was passed by a Democratic legislature, signed by a Democratic governor, enforced by Democratic officials.

So the Nazis knew that, and they were using the Democratic laws. They crossed out the word “black;” they wrote in the word “Jew”. So what I’m getting at is it isn’t just that the two laws were parallel. The Nazis were using the blueprint of the American Democratic Party for their vicious schemes. Now, amazingly, Rush, this is not taught in the textbooks. You won’t find it on the History Channel.

The left has been suppressing this kind of information ever since World War II because they know that if people realized the deep connections between the Democrat Party and the progressive movement on this side of the Atlantic and the fascists in Italy and the national socialists in Germany, that it would be… It would leave the progressives and Democrats discredited. That’s why “The Big Lie” came in effect.

RUSH: We’re talking to Dinesh D’Souza. His latest movie opens tonight on 1,000 screens across the fruited plain, Death of a Nation. Let me talk to you about the art of persuasion. This is a provocative scene, a provocative portrayal in your movie — and it is true. But as you said, it’s been suppressed. It’s not been taught. It’s not widely known. Even today, one of the greatest tricks in modern day America has been the Democrat Party shifting away the blame from themselves as the true segregationists and racists to the Republican Party.

When in fact, as you just mentioned, every Democrat in the South — everybody who shut a university door, turned a firehose and set the dogs on African-Americans — was a Democrat. They were the segregationists, and they’ve been able to erase that. Now we live in an era where the left and much of the media tries to draw a connection between Donald Trump and Hitler or George W. Bush and Hitler. Now, here you come. Are you…? In using this historical fact and the way you present it in your movie, are you trying to persuade? Are you trying to get people’s attention? What are you hoping people’s reaction, not just to the whole film, but to that specific scenario you just described, is?

D’SOUZA: Rush, what I’m trying to do is to educate. And I’m actually trying to challenge the left and draw them into a debate, which they are scared to do. But I do it not really just by arguments. I also do it in a sense through investigative journalism, and I’ll tell you what I mean. The left has been saying ever since the Charlottesville rally — the infamous white supremacist rally in Charlottesville — that these white supremacists, the white nationalists are right-wingers.

And this is a very valuable, important argument for the left because, think about it: The Democrat Party has been the party of slavery, of segregation, of Jim Crow, of racial terrorism, of the Ku Klux Klan, of opposing the Civil Rights movement. So what the left gets is a get-out-of-jail-free card because they’re able to say, “Yeah, but look at the white nationalists here right now! They’re wearing Trump hats. They’re right-wingers,” and it’s this elephant in the living room that I actually crush in the movie.

Because I show — both in the book, the accompanying book and the movie, Death of a Nation — that these white nationalists have a deep history of left-wing activism. Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Charlottesville rally? Obama activist. Occupy Wall Street guy. Now how many Obama activists are white supremacists? Something is really fishy about this, and the media knew about this. It was on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.

But the media suppressed it because it was inconvenient to their narrative. They wanted to peg the white supremacist tail on the Republican elephant. In the movie, I have a riveting interview with the poster boy of white supremacy, Richard Spencer, and it becomes very, very clear in this interview that this guy is not only a left-winger, he’s on the far left. I mean, I asked him, “Do you think all men are created equal?”

“No.” “Do you think our rights come from God?” No. “Where do our rights come from?” “The state.” So this is a guy who wants an all-powerful state, and then I asked him, “What do you think of Reagan?” “Terrible president.” “Who are your favorite presidents?” One Democrat after another, starting with Andrew Jackson, and I go, “Well, these are Democrats.” He goes, “Well who cares about party labels?” I go, “Andrew Jackson was the founder of the Democrat Party.”

So what really emerges, Rush, when you’re watching this — and I’m not coaching this guy. I’m just asking him. It becomes really clear that we’re seeing a massive media, an orchestrated campaign to falsely peg the right — conservatives, Republicans, patriots, Christians — as being the bigots. Whereas in reality, these white nationalists, one after another, are actually anchored in the left. They’re playing a theatrical role for their own media exposure, and the left is using them and they’re allowing themselves to be used. This is the biggest of all the big lies.

RUSH: Well, not just that they are the true racists and bigots. They’re the true oppressors they’re the ones that want to limit people’s freedom want to define terms under which people can behave and cannot. It’s not us. I’ve often… The reason your premise fascinates me is that back in the early days of this program… I forget. I was talking to a political scientist.

I don’t remember who, but the point is I think that the graphic that we use to describe where ideologies lie in America, the straight line — you have centrists and supposedly the independent moderate is in the middle. You go right; you go right. You go left; you go left. I don’t think it’s a straight line. I think it’s a circle, af you go far enough left, as with Hitler, you’re going to find pure socialism, which is what Hitler even called Nazism. It was National Socialism.

So if you diagram it as a circle, it’s much easier to demonstrate how all these ideologies do not keep going farther left and farther left and farther right. They will dovetail at some point. But I don’t know how you make the point to people that don’t have an open mind that liberalism is not this open-minded and tolerant and compassionate thing and it’s rather selective, it’s suppressive. It is where racism is defined and practiced with impunity and it always has been.

D’SOUZA: I think that what I find, Rush, is by and large the left can only protect themselves in these arguments by misstating what I’m saying. I mean, there’s a blizzard of criticism descending on the movie right now and it basically goes like this: “Dinesh has put this movie out, Death of a Nation; he’s claiming that Hitler was a liberal Democrat.” Well, that’s nonsense I’m not claiming that Hitler was a liberal Democrat.

But what they do they construct this strawman in order to knock it down, and what we’re really showing — what we’re really showing — is the deep vein of racism and fascism on the Democratic left today. Today! Because look. Here’s Antifa wearing these black costumes and acting in a fascist way. Mussolini would recognize them right away. In fact, he couldn’t tell the difference between them and his own Blackshirts.

Look at the way the left uses the weapons of the state — the IRS, the FBI, the DOJ — against political opponents. That’s what the fascists did! They merged the party and the state. So for Hitler, the Nazi Party was the government, and that’s the way Democrats see it today. And then finally, of course, fascist economics. It’s kind of funny, Donald Trump Jr. came to our red carpet premiere. He co-hosted it with me here in D.C., and he was reading through — we put up on the screen — the 25-point Nazi platform. The Nazis, of course, were elected.

They were the largest political party in Germany in 1933 when Hitler became chancellor, and as you read through the platform, this is what they campaigned on: State control of banks; state control of insurance; state control of education; state control of energy; state control of religious liberty. Basically Donald Trump blurted out, he goes, “Well, that sounds like the platform of the Democrat Party!”

RUSH: It’s the platform of tyrants!

D’SOUZA: Because the Nazis were socialists, you can see there actually is going to be, in fact, a resemblance.

RUSH: Well, it’s the platform of tyrants — and tyrants, you’re always going to find them on the left. I don’t think there’s any doubt that you’re right about this. I know you’re not saying that Hitler was a liberal Democrat. But Nazism, if you’re going to put it anywhere on the ideological chart, it’s going to end up being on the left. It cannot be — it can’t be — on the right.

Now, Dinesh, where are we headed here? Death of a Nation. You obviously have made a number of these movies to try to alert the American public as to the truth of things opposite what they see in most of pop culture, in most of the news. Are you optimistic about the country’s direction with Trump, are you optimistic about the midterm elections, or are you not?

D’SOUZA: Rush, I am optimistic. I think the way in order to avert problems… The way to actually prevent us from moving in the kind of direction, for example, that Lincoln had to move in — which is the moving from merely an exchange of words to an exchange of hostilities — is actually not to back off. But, rather, to be very firm, kind of in the way that Lincoln was. And what I mean by this is by and large when Lincoln was elected, the RINOs of his own day, the weak Republicans, came up running to him and said:

“You have to give up the platform that you campaigned on because things are looking really dark. We want to avert secession. So you have to agree to stretch the Missouri Compromise line, the slavery line, all the way to California and allow slavery west of that line.” Lincoln basically said, “No.” He said, “I will suffer death before I agree to this. Why? Because we campaigned on this. We had a democratic election. I got an electoral majority.

“The mandate doesn’t belong to me; it belongs to the American people.” So Lincoln ultimately opted for firmness, and what I like about Trump is that he has some of that Lincoln-ite courage which Republicans have often not had in the past. So Trump’s fierceness, his willingness to punch back and his ability to take a punch, I think these are some of his greatest qualities. And I think even early in his presidency, he has an opportunity to establish himself as a great president.

RUSH: Dinesh D’Souza, and the movie opens up on some 1,000 screens. It’s got to be on one near you. Death of a Nation. Extremely entertaining, highly provocative in a couple of places. Congrats, Dinesh. Thank you for spending time with us telling people about it. Best of luck with it.

D’SOUZA: Thank you very much.

RUSH: You bet.

Source: Dinesh D’Souza on His Provocative New Film “Death of a Nation”

Does a Loving God Believe in Capital Punishment? By Adrian Rogers (Sermon)

Date Preached: November 7, 1999

Main Scripture Text: Romans 12:1–21; 13:1–4

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Romans 13:4



  1. God Prohibits Revenge
  2. God Promises Retribution

III.       God Provides Restraint

  1. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment to Obey God
  2. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment to Protect Society
  3. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment for the Good of the Criminal
  4. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment Because of the Justice of God



Be finding Romans Chapter 13. Title of the message: “Does a Loving God Believe in Capital Punishment?”

There has been much discussion today. The radio has been talking. The newspapers have been publishing information. Preachers have been going to Nashville making proclamation. I’m hearing very little about what the Bible has to say. It seems to me that more heat than light is being generated, and I want us to see what the Bible has to say. And the answer, of course, is not going to be from sentiment; the answer is not really going to come from logic. The answer is not going to come from do-gooders or hate either way. The answer must come from the Word of God.

So now notice in Romans chapter 13, beginning in verse 1: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God …” Now, the word power here you may substitute to word “authority,” because that is literally what the translation means. There are no authorities but of God. And the powers that be are ordained of God. Now, he’s not talking here about ordaining a minister to the Gospel ministry, but ordaining a public servant to the ministry of God. And he goes on to say in verse 2: “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: for they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation …”—the word damnation here does not necessarily mean consignment to hell. It’s a generic word, which means you are going to receive judgment in whatever realm the word demands—“… for rulers—that is civil magistrates, whether they be judges, or police, or governors, or presidents—… rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will thou then not be afraid of the power—that is, of the governmental authority? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For He—that is the governor, the magistrate, judge, the jailor, the warden, whomever he may be—is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:—that is, he is not wearing the sword just for decoration—for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but for, also for conscience sake. And for this cause pay ye tribute also:—hate to tell you that, but that means taxes—for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

Now, Romans chapter 12 and Romans chapter 13 are conjoined together. And I remind you that when the Bible was written there were no chapters with verses, with numbers going down the side. All of that has been added by the translators so that you and I can find our place in the Bible more easily, and sometimes I think it is divided into chapters to keep preachers from preaching too long. But, the divisions there, the numbers and all of that, were not given by divine inspiration, though they are most helpful. In this particular instance, though, chapter 12 and chapter 13 are one continuous thought. Now, we have to look at it.

Beginning in chapter 12, you’re going to see that a Christian has a three-fold relationship. First of all, we have a relationship with God—that’s verses 1 and 2, where he talks about “presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” That is, I am to say to the Lord: “Lord, I don’t belong to me; I belong to you. I present myself to you.” I don’t want to say anymore about that. Our time will go from us. But then, beginning with chapters 9 through chapter 12, verses 9 through 16, we find about our relationship to other brothers and sisters in Christ. And he says: “Let love be without dissimulation—that means without hypocrisy—abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” and so forth, talking now about our relationship to our fellows in Christ.

And then, the third relationship that he talks about—first of all our relationship to God; secondly, our relationship to our brothers and sisters; and then, thirdly, he talks about our relationship to those who are not in Christ, those who are in the world. And that’s, beginning with verse 17 and going down through verse 21, Romans 12. Now, I am going to read that: “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger …—not talking about those in the church, he is talking about our enemies—Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Now, he is talking here about how we are to act toward those who are not saved. Now, keep that in mind, and we’re going to endeavor to answer this question from the Word of God: “Should a person, who has taken the life of another person, forfeit his own life? Does the government have the right, indeed the duty and the responsibility, to put murderers to death? Is capital punishment a heinous thing? Is it barbaric? Is it cruel? Or, is it ordained from a loving God?” Again, I want to tell you that the answer is not going to come from sociology. It is not doing to come from bleeding hearts. It’s not going to come from vengeful people. It must come from the Word of God. Three great principles I lay upon your heart.

  1. God Prohibits Revenge

First of all, number one, God prohibits revenge—God prohibits revenge. When you’re dealing with those who are not a part of the church, you have no right to take revenge. Look again—chapter 12, verse 19: “Beloved, avenge not yourself.” We are never to take revenge upon those who do us wrong. We rather are to give place to wrath. We are told not to seek revenge. Now, the Bible does not say we cannot protect ourselves. Now, I’m not going to talk about that right now, but the Bible does give the right of protection, but the Bible does not give the right for a child of God to seek vengeance or revenge. When you try to get even with another person, that is exactly what you do: you get even with him. He’s down here, and he does you wrong, and you say “he has done me wrong—I will get even.” You see what happens? That brings you down to his level; it doesn’t lift him to your level. Vengeance belongs to God; it doesn’t belong to you.

Now, later on, we are going to receive an offering in this building, and I hope that none of you will put your hand in the offering plate and take something rather than putting something in. Well, you say, “Pastor, I wouldn’t do that—that’s God’s money.” That’s exactly right. You wouldn’t steal from God. I hope you wouldn’t steal from anybody, but certainly you would not steal from God. When you take vengeance, you are taking that which belongs to God. You are laying your hands upon something that doesn’t not belong to you. Now, don’t worry about somebody getting off the hook. God says that He will repay. “Vengeance is mine. I will repay, saith the Lord.” Don’t ever think that any sin ever goes unpunished. Get that in your heart and mind: no sin goes unpunished. Even when you as a child of God go to heaven, you go to heaven because your sin was punished. Your sin wasn’t overlooked. Jesus took your punishment. He became your substitute. Your sin will be pardoned in Christ, punished in hell, but it will never be overlooked. God never, ever overlooks sin. “Vengeance is mine,” God says, “I will repay.” If we were to try to take vengeance, we would botch things up; we might do a bad job, or might not do a good enough job. God will take are of it; leave it with God, in spite of what your sense of justice says. So that’s the first thing: God prohibits revenge. Have you got it? Say, got it.

  1. God Promises Retribution

Okay, now, number two: God promises retribution. Look again now, in verse 19: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” Now, God promises retribution. God does not want us to live in a society where sin is not punished. There is an element in society that would like for there to be no retribution. The criminals want no retribution, no restraint. The rapists, the murders, the pornographers, the drug dealers, and Satan himself, want no restraint. If there were no restraint, no retribution, hell would have a holiday. Now, the reason I said that Romans chapter 12 and chapter 13 are linked together is in Romans chapter 12 God forbids us to take personal vengeance. God tells us not to take vengeance. As a matter of fact, we are to do good to our enemies. But God is talking there on a personal, not a governmental, level. So you read Romans chapter 12, verses 20 and 21: “if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Now, that’s the way we personally respond to those who are our enemies. Somebody says, “Well, that settles everything. Therefore the criminal is not to be punished.” No, that is not what is says. It just says you are not to do it. You are not to become a vigilante. You are not to take personal vengeance. Continue to read it all, and you will see the balance in the Word of God. In chapter 12, He tells us we are not to take vengeance. He says, “I will repay.” And then, in chapter 13, He tells us how He will do it.

III.    God Provides Restraint

So, number one: God prohibits revenge. Number two: God promises retribution. Number three: God provides restraint. And that’s what I really want us to think about now—look in chapter 13, verse 1: “Let every soul—that is every one of us—be subject unto the higher powers”—the governmental authorities. “For there is no power—there is no authority—but of God: and the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power—that is the governmental authority—resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power—the authority? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he—that is the minister of God—For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid—underscore that—for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” We personally are not to take vengeance. But take chapter 12 and marry it to chapter 13, and you are going to understand the power of government, the purpose of government, and the prerogatives of government.

You and I are never to be a part of a personal vendetta. We are not to become vigilantes. We should never be part of a lynch mob. We are to leave that with God, and God has given the government the right and the responsibility to practice capital punishment.

When He talks about the sword now, He’s not talking about a jail. He’s not talking about a whip. He’s not talking about some civil tribunal that will assess a fine; He is talking about an instrument of death. And He says here that the governmental authority is not wearing that sword for decoration: “He bears not the sword in vain.”

Let me give you four reasons why the Bible teaches capital punishment, or why society should believe in capital punishment.

  1. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment to Obey God

Number one: to obey God—to obey God. God has commanded it. God commanded it. In the dawn of civilization, God instituted the death penalty. In Genesis chapter 9 and verse 6, black print on white paper, the Bible says this, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” There is something so terrible, so horrible, so heinous, so hurtful, in taking another’s life, that God says if a man willingly, premeditatively takes another’s life, he is to forfeit his own life. Somebody says, “Pastor Rogers, doesn’t the Bible also say in the Ten Commandments ‘Thou shalt not kill?’ ” Yes, it does, but the word there for “kill” is the word that means “murder.” You do not murder somebody else. It has nothing to do with capital punishment; it deals with murder. And, when the Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill,” in Exodus chapter 20, it does not prohibit capital punishment. If you have your Bibles, just turn over to the next chapter, Exodus 20.

In Exodus chapter 20, when God says, “Thou shalt not kill,” He is not prohibiting capital punishment. That’s Exodus chapter 20. Then, look in Exodus chapter 21 and verse 12. The Bible says, in the very next chapter, “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall surely be put to death.” Now, do you think Moses was insane when he wrote the book of Exodus, that in one chapter he said, no capital punishment, and the next chapter he says, the man that kills another man shall surely be put to death? Be reasonable. God wants you to see that you and I should not murder someone—“thou shall not kill”? If we do murder someone, in the next chapter, he says, “the murderer shall be put to death.” I cannot recall the number of times that I have seen people demonstrating against the death penalty, holding up a placard that says, “Thou shalt not kill.” What that says clearly and plainly is, “don’t do any murder.” And the next chapter says, “If you do, you are going to be put to death.”

Now, you say, “Pastor Rogers, that was in the Old Testament.” Indeed, it was, but both the Old Testament and the New Testament teach the death penalty, as we shall see later on. The first reason—the first reason—therefore, is obedience to the Word of God. The Bible is clear: no stutter, no stammer, no apology in this matter.

  1. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment to Protect Society

The second reason is to protect society. Now, I asked the question in the title of this message, would a God of love favor the death penalty? Yes. Why? Because He is a God of love. You see, God is against hate. God is against violence. God is against murder. God is against the taking of innocent life, and a loving God has ordained to do something about it. Some people have the idea that God is too good to punish murder. You’re wrong. God is too good not to punish murder. God is a loving God.

Now, there is a kind of love that is not love at all; it is a synthetic love. In Romans chapter 12 and verse 9, the Bible says, “Let love be without dissimulation.” Well, that’s a big word we don’t use often. What does is mean? Don’t let love be hypocritical. Don’t let love be feigned. Don’t let love be synthetic; let it be real love. A God of love doesn’t want your wife raped. He doesn’t want your child murdered. He doesn’t want you to be abused and robbed and killed in cold blood, because he is a God of love. Now, listen to me. Softness to the criminal is cruelty to the community. If you love people, you will hate sin.

Punishment, according to the Bible, should be swift, and it should be sure, in order to preserve the very fabric of society. Now, society is grievously sick. If you go to the doctor, and he tells you, you have cancer, and you need surgery—or at least he knows that you have cancer and you need surgery—and he prescribes an alcohol rub, that, to me, is not kindness. And any person who refuses to have surgery for a malignancy that will kill him in the course of non-surgery is suicidal. And, when a society refuses to deal with the criminal element, that society is suicidal. Now, people ask this question—and you will hear it argued all the time: “Is the death penalty a deterrent?” You’ve heard that. They say: “Well, it’s not a deterrent.” Well, the math is simple to Once a man that kills is put to death, he won’t kill anymore. He won’t kill anymore.

Henry the VIII, King of England, once pardoned a man who had committed murder. The man who was pardoned got out, and committed a murder again. They came back to Henry the VIII the second time and asked him to pardon the man again. Henry the VIII said, “I will not do it. He killed the first man; I killed the second man. But I will kill no more. He will be put to death.”

Sometime ago, and I kept in my files an article from the National Enquirer in which it interviewed a 21-year-old man named Carl Junior Isaac who was convicted of six murders. He claimed to have murdered fifteen people, boasted about it, but he was convicted for murdering six people. He said his goal was to murder 1,000 people. In the interview, they asked him what he thought of capital punishment. I want you to hear what this murderer said—and I quote: “The death penalty should be in place to prevent people, like me, from killing again. The death penalty always used to deter me, because I knew I would die for murder. I would walk into a place to stick it up, and would think twice about blowing that man away. But when you know you won’t fry, and the worst you can get is life, and maybe parole later, why not get rid of the evidence? As long as killers know all they will get is life, they will keep right on killing—and that includes me.” And then, Isaac laughed about the time a judge let him off. The judge said, “Give me your word that you will go straight, and I will set you free.” “Imagine that,” Isaac sneered. And I said, “I promise, Your Honor.” Isaac said the judge was a dumb old blankety-blank. “I promise, Your Honor, if you will let me go, I won’t do it anymore.”

Recently, in our Commercial Appeal, just last month, I read this article—you read it also, many of you. It was last month, in October 1999. The heading was “Restroom Slayer Asks Death Penalty.” This is from Vista, California:

A drifter, who murdered a third grade boy in a beach restroom, told jurors that he would kill again if given the chance, and recommended they sentence him to death. Here’s what he said—and I quote: “My whole purpose in life is to help destroy your society.” Brandon H. Wilson told the juror—this was in the paper just last month. The twenty-year-old man spoke against the advice of his lawyer, as jurors decide between life in prison and an execution. Matthew Cecchi was killed on November the 14th at a family reunion at Oceanside Harbor. Wilson admitted that he crept up behind the nine-year-old boy in the restroom, slashed his throat, and stabbed him five times in the back. In a calm deliberate voice, Wilson told jurors that he felt no remorse. “I would do it again in a second, if I had the chance,” he said, as the boy’s mother, Sharon Cecchi, gasped from her front row courtroom seat, and said: “Execute me!” “Execute me!” that man said, “If I had the chance, I would do it again in a second.”

Now, we believe that capital punishment is a deterrent. Now, let me read something here that came out of the newspaper last month also. Of course I’ve been clipping the newspaper, because this has all been going on. This happened right over here in Arkansas. The Commercial Appeal, October the 5th, 1999: “Escaped Killer May Have Killed Again Before Capture.” Varner, Arkansas:

A murderer, who taunted his victim’s family after being spared the death penalty, broke out of an Arkansas prison, and may have killed again before he was captured Monday in Missouri, police said …—skipping part of the article—… Williams was convicted September 14th of killing a college cheerleader. He chuckled when his life prison sentence was announced the next day. Turning to the woman’s family, and saying, “You thought I was going to die, didn’t you?’ The cheerleader’s father remembered Williams’ behavior on Monday. ‘He was cold. He had no remorse. He had no feelings for anything,’ Rick Heard said. ‘He turned around and cursed at us several times. Then one time, he just totally turned around and smiled, as if to say, ‘I’m going to get away.’ ” And that’s exactly what he did: he got away.

By the time the escape was noticed, Cecil Barron, age 57, had been found dead on his farm about 4 miles northwest from the prison, shot in the head and back. His truck was stolen, and several guns were missing from his home …

It’s a long article; those are just a few parts of it.

I tell you one thing folks—again the math is simple: the people who do that killing will do no more killing, if they are put to death. If they’re not, what have they got to lose, except a life sentence, and an opportunity to escape?

  1. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment for the Good of the Criminal

So, number one: For obedience to the Word of God. Number two: As a deterrent to crime. Number three: For the good of the criminal. Now, notice, look in Romans 13 and verse 3—he says here, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” Did you know that the best thing that could happen to murderers is to be afraid to commit murder? “Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?—that is, authority. Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Now, the idea is plain that there is to be terror in the heart of evildoers. The problem today is that the terror is not in the heart of evildoers. The problem today is that terror is in the heart of citizens. Little ladies who go to the grocery store in the evening are afraid to go to the grocery store at night, afraid they may be mugged, raped, robbed, or killed. It’s the wife who has to stay home at night alone while her husband is on a business trip. It’s boys and girls who are walking alone to school, who are in terror. Now, the death penalty should be practiced for the welfare of the criminal, to keep him from committing more times. When the principle of restraint has been taken away, you have not been kind to the criminal; you have been cruel to the criminal. You have tantalized and enticed him into more crime. He does not realize that judgment is coming upon him, and it is swift and sure. And you say, what about the man who has been sentenced to death? Is it kind to him? In a sense, it is. Number one: he can say, at least I am paying for my crime. Number two: he knows the time of his death. He knows that thus-and-such a time, I am going to die. I submit to you, if there ever were a time when a man was going to get right with God, that would be the time. Many people don’t know when they are going to die. At least there is a strange benefit to the death sentence that a man knows that he is gong to meet his Maker, a God of justice, and he is going to do it very soon. And time and time and time again, have we seen those on death row repent of their sin and give their heart to Jesus Christ.

Now, the government is there to cause terror in the hearts of evildoers. Now, some say statistics don’t show that the death penalty is a deterrent. I beg to differ. As a matter of fact, there were ten years when the death penalty was put in limbo, more or less, outlawed. And during that ten-year period, the number of murders in the United States almost doubled. There were 10,000 murders in 1967, that increased to 19,000 by 1978. During the time that executions were in decline, murders were rising exponentially. In 1955, there were 76 executions and 7,000 murders. In 1972, there were no executions and 18,000 murders; in 1978, no executions, 19,555 murders.

As a matter of fact, a professor, Gordon Tullock of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, concluded this; he did research. He said, “Eighty percent of people who seriously think about crime think about punishment as a deterrent, except for the sociologists, and they wrote all the books.” (And then, Professor Isaac Ehrlich of the University of Chicago, who, incidentally, is himself not a proponent of capital punishment, nevertheless stated this: that his studies indicate that if the death penalty were really enforced, eight murders would be prevented for every one execution. Execute one murderer, you save eight innocent people. Others looked at Dr. Ehrlich’s research, and decided that he was wrong by a factor of five, and they said that for each execution at least fifty murders would be deterred.

  1. We Should Believe in Capital Punishment Because of the Justice of God

Reason number four that I believe in the death penalty is the justice of God. Now, we have talked about the love of God, and God loves society—but the justice of God. God is a holy God. And “He is a minister of God to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,” verse 4. Verse 5: “Therefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. “God is a God of wrath. Now, some people have tried to get that out of the Bible, but you cannot get that out of the Bible. God is a God of love; He’s also a God of wrath. Now, when you take part of the truth that God is a God of love, and try to make that part of the truth all of the truth, that part of the truth becomes an untruth. God is also a God of wrath.

We have the idea today that people are not wicked, but they are weak. They are not sinful, but they are sick. They are not evil, but they are ill. And, therefore, what they need to have is they need to somehow to be trained not to be bad. They need to be rehabilitated. That’s what behavioral psychology is all about. And I grant you, some people are sick. And a person who has no concept of what he is doing should never be put to death. A person who is beyond his own control should never suffer capital punishment. But not all people are sick; some people are sinful and wicked. Some people are cold-blooded, premeditated murders. And for these people, the principle is not one of restoration. The principle is one of retribution. God is a God of retribution.

Do you believe that people without Christ die and go to hell? If we had more hell in the pulpit, we’d have less hell in the community. God is a God of retribution. Do you think that if God let somebody go to hell for a while, God says, Well, are you sorry now? I’m going to let you out. Have you learned your lesson? No. No. The purpose of hell is not restoration. The purpose of hell is shear punishment. You know, I believe if the Supreme Court, if they could vote on it, they would outlaw hell as cruel and unusual punishment. They would say, God, that’s un-American. You don’t have any right to do that. But you cannot take the doctrine of hell out of the Bible.

Not all judgment is meant to be remedial. Some are the pure law of sin and judgment. Now, indeed, there are times when mercy should be given. But mercy can never be given until justice is established. There needs to be a law. And against that law then sometimes mercy can be extended.

Let me give you one of the great proofs in the New Testament besides the passage that we are looking at right now. Paul the apostle, a brilliant man, was arrested by the governmental authorities. He was charged with the crime of insurrection. That is, it was a capital crime in that day, worthy of death. Paul was taken before Festus, who was the Roman authority. And, of course, Paul had been falsely accused, and here is what Paul said, in Acts chapter 25, verses 10 and 11: “Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged:—underscore that—“where I ought to be judged, for to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die …”—now, that’s very clear. Paul said, Look, I am standing here in the courtroom. If I am guilty of a capital crime, I refuse not to die—“… but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.” Wonderful balance. In Bible times, as in this time, a criminal should have the right to appeal the adjudication of the court, and no stone should be left unturned, so that an innocent person would not be accused, adjudicated, and executed in a capital case. Now, Paul said, I have not been properly accused. I appeal to Caesar.

In the Bible, the Bible made it very clear, in capital cases, that a person is to be tried extremely carefully—in the mouth of two or more witnesses shall a thing be established. In the Bible, if a man bore false testimony in a capital case, the man himself would be put to death. That might be a good idea today, don’t you think also? The man himself would be put to death. In the Bible, there were cities of refuge where a person who felt that he was being falsely accused could flee to a city of refuge, until the judges would come, and judge carefully.

Remember this, that Jesus never diminished the law of God. Jesus never diluted God’s law. Matthew chapter 5, verse 17—Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Jesus never watered down justice. Have you ever thought about the fact that God Himself practiced capital punishment? God put one whole society in the gas chamber—the flood. Two gases—hydrogen and oxygen: put them together and make water. He put a whole society in a gas chamber. God is a God of wrath, and a God of justice. Somebody says, But, Pastor, what about the possibility that an innocent person who never really committed a capital crime may be judged guilty, sentenced to death? Look up here, and let me tell you something: in this imperfect world in which we live, innocent people suffer. But I want to remind you, innocent people are often killed by criminals also. The greater damage is always in the other direction. We are already condemning many innocent to death, as murderers, with no fear, are left free on the streets, or free to escape from prison and commit that crime again.

Now, be reasonable: many innocent people are going to die. The Bible is a book that makes sense. If we are going to err on any side, it would be far better to err on the side that protects the many than to protect the few. And it would be very rare. Sometimes it does happen that an innocent person is put to death. But, again, I remind you, that many innocent people in this land will die tonight, because this society has been slack on enforcing the law of God. The Bible says that there is no fear of God before there eyes. The government is meant to have terror to the evildoer.

Paul Harvey said this, concerning the death penalty in Kentucky, and I want you to listen to it. Here’s Paul Harvey, who said what he says in his own inimitable way: “It is now the honest people who are locked up in their homes or places of business, while the pursuit of happiness has become the exclusive right of the criminal. Today’s society should be blaming the criminals, but instead it is blaming itself. Just because someone is underprivileged, they do not have a right to steal and to kill. And a big majority of the underprivileged don’t buy it either. Some legislators have visited prisons to see what we’re doing to criminals. Shouldn’t they also visit hospitals and convalescent homes and cemeteries to see what criminals have done to us? In no other nation are the rights of wrongdoers, however vicious, so jealously protected, while the rights of the victims are so callously trampled. Every wanted poster—every wanted poster—in the post office includes a long string of previous offenses; a career in which the odds are 1 in 100 that the criminal will get caught, and 1 in 500 that he will go unpunished. Does the death penalty serve as a deterrent? Evidence shows that it does. Not one of the 162 killers executed in Kentucky has killed anyone since.” So said Paul Harvey.

Now, what must we do? Well, first of all, we need to pray for a national revival. Government can’t make us good. All government can do is to restrain evil. When people say you can’t legislate morals, they’re 100 percent correct. There’s not a law on earth that can make you love me; so I have to have a law to keep you from killing me. We don’t legislate morals; we legislate against immorality. And it is wrong to kill; it is wrong to take another’s life. You and I don’t need to spirit of revenge. We don’t need to rejoice when anybody is put to death. When people harm us personally, we are to show them love. We are to return good for evil—that’s what the Bible teaches; that is what Jesus taught us to do. We cannot become vigilantes. We must look to God. If we have a government in this state, or in this nation, that is too weak to punish a crime, then we must work for a better government. Because ultimately, we get the kind of government we deserve.

Would a God of love allow capital punishment? Yes, He will. As a matter of fact, He has commanded it, because He is love. It is not that God is too good to punish the criminal; God is too good not to punish the criminal. And, listen to me: for the criminal’s sake, there needs to be a law to keep him from committing these kinds of crimes—to strike terror in his heart, to know that if he does this, there will be justice and judgment; it will be sure, and it will be swift.


One last word about capital punishment: did you know that Jesus suffered capital punishment? Did you know that Jesus, on the cross, suffered capital punishment, and he was innocent, but God allowed it? Do you know why God allowed it? Jesus was taking my place, and Jesus was taking your place. Do you know who really—the bottom line—put Jesus to death? Almighty God. The Bible says, in Romans chapter 8, that God spared not His own Son. The Bible says, in Isaiah chapter 53, that it pleased the Lord to bruise him; Jehovah has put him to death. Why? Because you and I deserve the death penalty. You say, Well, what? We’ve never killed anyone. No, we’ve been guilty of a sin greater than that. And that’s the sin of treason against Heaven’s King. We are sinners by birth, sinners by nature, sinners by choice, and sinners by practice. But, thank God, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, took our place, died on the cross, suffered capital punishment, that we might have eternal life.

That’s what it’s all about. I don’t rejoice when anybody’s put to death. I am pro-life, not pro-death. That’s the reason I believe in capital punishment. My heart breaks to think that anybody would have to be put to death. I took a course in criminology when I was in college. I visited Rayford Prison. I went in to that chamber where they put people to death. I sat down in the electric chair. I put my hands up to the electrodes. I put my feet down by the electrodes. And I tried to imagine what it would be like for a man to sit in that chair. And a chill went over me when I thought about it. It is a terrible and a horrible thing, but I cannot get around the fact that a God of love, who loves us so much, believes that we must—we must—deal this way with a criminal element.

Let’s bow our heads in prayers. Heads are bowed; eyes are closed. Friend, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? I am not asking, are you religious? Not asking, are you a Baptist? I’m not asking, are you a good person? In the first place, you’re not. For the Bible says, “There is none that doeth good, no not one.” I’m asking, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Has he come in to your heart? Do you have a vital relationship with Him? Are you twice-born? You can be tonight. May I lead you in a prayer? But, first of all, may I tell you that God loves you tonight, and He wants to save you. And He will save you, no matter what you’ve done, or who you are. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses from all sin. I promise you, on the authority of His Word, that He will cleanse you, and make you His child, if you’ll pray and receive Him as your personal Savior. He died for you. He paid your sin debt with His blood, and now you must receive what He did, by faith.

Pray this prayer: Dear God—that’s right; just speak to Him—I am a sinner. I’m lost. I need to be saved. And I want to be saved. My sin deserves judgment, but I beg for mercy. Jesus, you told me that you would save me, if I trust you. I do trust you now, like a child, with all of my heart. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Jesus. Would you pray that? Save me, Jesus. Pray it from your heart. Pray it and mean it. Save me, Jesus. Did you ask Him? Then thank Him. Just by sheer faith, just take the gift now, and thank Him. Say, “Thank you, Jesus, for saving me. I receive it by faith. I stand on Your Word. I don’t look for a sign; I don’t ask for a feeling. I stand on Your Word. I claim You now as my Lord and Savior. And now, Lord Jesus, because You have saved me, I will live for You. I turn from all I know to be wrong, and I choose to follow You. I’m weak, so You will have to help me, Lord. But I will live for You, not in order to be saved—that’s a sheer gift—but because You’ve saved me. Begin now to make me the person You want me to be, and help me never to be ashamed of You. Give me the courage to make it public. In Your name I pray. Amen.”[1]

[1] Rogers, A. (2017). Does a Loving God Believe in Capital Punishment? In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Ro 12:1–13:4). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.

Revoice: Sliding into Heresy — TruthXchange

A mixed bag of straight and gay pastors, celibate and non-celibate gays, parents and children—450 in all—have just met in a church (PCA) in St Louis. The conference attempted to integrate into the church and its ministry homosexuals who accept the biblical view of sex and marriage as limited to heterosexual people, but who see their same-sex orientation as unchangeable, even as a normative part of creation. This frees them to have a non-sexual “gay” attraction to their same-gender friends. According to the organizer, Nate Collins, this conference (one of many to come) is a time of dialogue to determine acceptable biblical and Christian practice. Can a gay man who rejects homosexual practice still be proud of his “gay identity” and his “gay” way of doing things as pleasing to God? Can he engage in deep friendship, even life-long commitment with another same-sex attracted celibate male friend—even adopt children? Can the church accept this as a valid option?

I did not attend the Revoice conference and cannot directly address the issues studied and affirmed there. I recommend reading Al Mohler, “Torn between Two Cultures” (August 2, 2018). Rather, based on my pre-conference reading of various speakers, I will consider the possible future implications of the event. I hope I am wrong in thinking that it will have serious implications for biblical orthodoxy, as the following three issues suggest.

  1. The definition of non-sexual gayness emerging at Revoice is theologically problematic since (with a great deal of theological ignorance) it creates a third category of human sexuality, denying the biblical, ontological principle of distinctions (what I call Twoism). God is separate from his creation and has placed distinctions in his creation, one of which is the male/female distinction. Whenever we lose sight of distinctions, liberalism quickly follows.

In hyper-orthodox language, the convener, Nate Collins, says he wants to be biblical: “What we’re talking about is how to develop the historic Christian teaching about marriage, gender, and sexuality in ways that are faithful to Scripture, faithful to our only final authority.” But he wants the “evangelical perspective on marriage, gender, and sexuality…to be more filled out and rounded out.”

“Rounded out” becomes clear in his definition of the term “queer.” In an interview for Christianity Today, Collins observes that “[t]he word [queer] basically points to the experience of people who live on the margins, who don’t experience their gender or their sexuality in purely binary ways, and they don’t want to feel limited to that.” Revealing an ignorance of biblical ontology, Collins goes on to state: “Sadly, this emphasis on binary, yes/no dilemmas has produced a cultural Christian trajectory that avoids nuance, inhibits conversation, and discourages consensus.”

Others agree with this rejection of the binary. According to “evangelical” lesbian Rachel Gilson who was not a participant at Revoice but who occupies an influential position as director of theological development at CRU Northeast: “‘Queer’ means opposition to binary thinking. I never became straight. Perhaps that was never God’s goal.”

Greg Coles, who led the worship at Revoice, also rejects the binary. In his book, Single Gay, and Christian he says, I’ve never been fluent in the language of binaries.”[1] That is a pity. The “language of the binaries,” of Twoness or Twoism, is the language of the Genesis account of creation, evoking the distinctions God placed in the creation between Himself and the creation and especially in the creation of male and female. Thus Coles must create his own imaginative addition to Scripture, based on a clearly mythological view of Genesis:

My orientation before the Fall was meant to be a gift…within God’s flawless original design there might have been eunuchs…What if God dreamed homosexuality for me, wove it into the fabric of my being as he knit me together, … I believe that God could have possibly said over me, as he did over all creation, “It is good.”[2]

The organizers at Revoice should know that native American animistic pagans speak of homosexuals as “two-spirit beings,” distinct from males or females, who merge male and female and are thus considered spiritual shamans in the community, celebrating a “non-binary” way of thinking about the divine. These animistic shamans express the fact that the divine is not a distinct other, like the God of the Bible, but the divine is within us, part of us, like all the gods of paganism. This spirituality is espoused by Fr. Richard Rohr, the Buddhist-Christian guru who, over the course of his priesthood has sought to normalize same-sex “marriage,” by denying natural law and insisting that binary genders (male and female) are an imposition of dualistic minds rather than the nature of reality, which is Oneist. Rohr argues that homosexuals are “non-binary” in their DNA.

Is it any wonder that a leading modern theorist for homosexuality calls this sexuality “the sacrament of Monism”? It is a fundamental, spiritual embodiment of Oneism.[3]

Today’s progressive ideology promotes the notion of the “non-binary,” a state in which everything is relative and fused together. It is part of the Easternization of the West, by which we accept the Hindu “Advaita” (not two) way. Everything, including our relationship with the divine, is “non-binary.”

Carl Jung, the most influential pagan psychologist of the 20th century, states that the central problem for human beings is to be able to “integrate the opposites within the unconscious,” which for him means integrating male and female, right and wrong and Satan and Christ.[4]

In other words, speculation on biological sexuality has vast spiritual repercussions that the folks at Revoice do not seem to understand. Their dependence on personal experience will lead them out of orthodoxy. Greg Coles states: “I’m convinced that in the end, God is more concerned with the depth and the recklessness of our love for him than he is with our right answers.”[5] He goes on in his book: “There are plenty of Christians who disagree with me about gay marriage…other people’s hearts are none of my business.[6] …Don’t wait to have all the right answers.”[7] Coles speaks of a lesbian friend who is “desperately in love with Jesus who married another woman.” He says he cannot judge her.[8] Apparently he has no theological criteria for such a case and is not helped by Scripture. So, regarding the Nashville Statement on Sexuality, he states: “In short, I’m not sure how helpful an impersonal statement is in a conversation that’s been so destructively impersonal. We need more conversations and authentic relationships; and we need less statements.” Apparently we need less theology. His authorities are pastors like Ken Wilson, who wrote a book[9] promoting the acceptance of homosexuality in the church under the influence of a contemplative Ignatian or Jesuit spirituality. Coles calls Wilson “a godly man,” who clearly has deeply influenced him.

It might seem like a long shot to go from “harmless” non-binary celibate homosexuality, to liberalism, but Ken Wilson has just published Solus Jesus,[10] co-authored by his co-pastor, Emily Swan, married to a woman. The book rejects the five solas of the Reformation, especially the sola scriptura, involves “a massive rethink of traditional theories of the atonement,” argues for a subjective relationship with “Jesus,” and seeks to be “post-evangelical and post-Protestant.” Needless to say, this book is enthusiastically endorsed by the Christian apostate, Brian MacLaren. This is where Coles’ “desperate love for Jesus” will surely take him—out of evangelical Protestantism, out of historic orthodoxy and into some form of progressive “Christian” liberalism.

A few years ago the liberal Phyllis Tickle put her finger on what is happening, which she favors: “Sola scriptura, as a plausible answer to the authority question, is over—and the stake in its heart is the gay issue.”[11]

The theologically naive and uninformed Coles is one of the speakers setting policy for the Church via Revoice. He seems already to have bamboozled D. A. Carson, who says in his endorsement of Coles’ book: “To say this book is important is a painful understatement. It is the candid, moving, intensely personal story of a gay young man who wants to live his life under the authority of King Jesus and who refuses to accept the comforting answers proffered by different parts of the culture.”

Coles does not want to live under the authority of King Jesus, for King Jesus defined sexuality as male or female, and Coles wants to live with his own comforting, non-binary answers, without any serious Jesus-honoring thinking.

Incidentally, the justification of the “non-sexual” gay life-style overlooks the scriptural rejection of effeminacy. If homosexuality is a perversion of maleness, then non-erotic homosexual attraction by males to other males is still a perversion of maleness. This is surely why effeminacy associated with homosexuality is condemned in Scripture: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind” (μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται) will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9–10, KJV).[12] Any eager Christian who reads the biblical rejection of cross-dressing (Deut 22:5) and sees the importance of maintaining sexual distinctions in dress (1 Cor 11:2–16) should surely resist and mortify same-sex attraction.

Phyllis Tickle was spot on. Biblical orthodoxy is gone if we accept homosexuality. In denying the binary, as liberalism did in the last century, we eventually lose sight of what J. Gresham Machen called the “very center and core of the Christian teaching, namely…the awful transcendence of God.”[13] That transcendence is the great binary distinction between God and the creation.

According to Scripture, the binary is the key to the cosmos and the only way to live successfully in God’s created world. We must observe the distinctions God created. The Revoice ignorance of this essential binary notion leads me to the second issue: the nature of human culture.

  1. The Revoice view of sexuality downplays the dangers of generalized pagan homosexual culture. Nate Collins calls for a “non-discrimination,” pro-gay policy in secular culture.

Nate Collins seems to understand cultural decay. He states: “As God is increasingly marginalized in our culture, fewer and fewer people understand their life as a response to a call from God; instead, they seek to create their own subjective identity.” Yet, he carves out a special social place in society and in the church for a certain kind of subjective gay identity, what he calls “a new generation of Christian gender and sexual minorities.” He also sees himself as a spokesman for the general “gay community.” Using social justice terminology of “minority issues,” he calls for the end to “straight privilege” and a full-acceptance of gay culture. He thus makes common cause with the entire gay community:

Christian leaders need to move beyond the safety of sterile doctrine and abstract morality and teach their followers how to understand the day-to-day realities of LGBT experience, even when it’s uncomfortable.[14]

He goes on: “…we must also consider the possibility that antidiscrimination legislation might be not only inevitable but also a good idea in general.”[15]

“Fairness for All” is an initiative taken on by certain Christian organizations and colleges. It promotes housing and hiring antidiscrimination measures for LGBT people. In return it expects that religious liberty exemptions will be granted for churches and other religious institutions (assuming that evil will be fair). Collins believes that this approach “has a significant potential to succeed, so conservative Christians should strongly consider supporting it.”[16] “[I]t’s possible to show support for increased civil protections for LGBT people while maintaining a commitment to traditional views on sex and marriage.”[17]

Is such a rosy view of culture guaranteed? Will we not rather find ourselves in a culture as immoral as pagan Rome, which Paul denounces in Romans 1:26–27? All memory of God the Creator expressed through humanity in the heterosexual “image of God” (Gen 1:27–28) will be virtually expunged from human consciousness.

For a number of years Linda Harvey has been tracking the influence of the gay agenda in the schools. She notes a disturbing trend. Only a few years ago, the government-sponsored Centers for Disease Control claimed that there were only 1.7% homosexuals in the American culture. But in two recent nationwide surveys by the Centers for Disease Control, homosexual practices and identities had risen among youth. After years of sowing sexual confusion, over 15% of American high schoolers now believe they are “gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure.”[18] In school, seventh graders are explicitly urged by groups such as Gay, Lesbian Straight Educational Network (GLSEN) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC, see below) to consult pornographic gay websites, to masturbate and to try out various sexual options. Is this what Collins wants?

Christians who uphold man/woman marriage as affirmed by Christ are now treated as “haters” and sometimes suffer job-loss, law suits and other harassment. In spite of anti-discrimination “agreements,” gay control of culture will get worse. As examples:

  • In July 2018, at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans, the “Drag Queen Story Hour” for children was officially introduced to librarians across the country.
  • The historic St Patrick’s Day parade was forcibly transformed from a celebration of Irish Catholic heritage to an overtly LGBTQ event.
  • New Planned Parenthood guidelines for children state: “Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl. It doesn’t matter too much what parts someone has.”

This is just a peek into the pro-gay culture the Revoice conference will inevitably help produce.

In the meantime, in spite of the Scripture’s clear teaching against homosexual activity (which Collins says he believes), the church will be splintered, divided not so much by justification by faith or the status of Scripture but by non-binary homosexuality, which claims to be god-honoring but will lead to outright paganism.

Collins’s future culture will not be a kumbaya love-in. It will quickly lead to a culture like the one in the days of Noah, in the days of Lot, and in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, when materialism, pride, violence, and gross sexual immorality prevailed (Matt 24:12; Luke 17:26–30). How many will be saved in the day of God’s wrath?

  1. The theological intentions of future conferences envisaged by Revoice indicate a further, troubling turn to the Left.

Revoice, says Collins, is the beginning of something new. He is tired of not being heard and, with deep emotion, describes orthodox pastors and believers as false prophets or unloving Pharisees. Like Jeremiah, Revoice is a “righteous branch” within God’s people, issuing a call to struggle against injustice (Collins lecture in session 2).

The Revoice organizers are planning a conference in October, 2018, called Devoted, for youth pastors. This one-day seminar is “designed to equip youth pastors to take practical steps towards loving the LGBTQ+ students with a new boldness. They plan to answer the question: “Is it possible to maintain a traditional biblical view on sexuality, yet remain devoted to the youth in your care who identify as LGBTQ+?” Among the speakers are Nate Collins and Gregory Coles, who, as we noted, defend “non-binary” thinking. This conference is co-sponsored by the ministry LOVEboldly, also highly recommended by Brian MacLaren. Indeed, one of the resource speakers at Devoted, Christy Messick, is a board member at LOVEboldly, as is Nate Collins. She is also joined at Devoted by Alan Chambers, once the head of Exodus International who now supports “open and affirming churches.”

Christy Messick is a key addition to the next conference. She has worked as a Fellow in the Religion and Faith Department of the Human Rights Campaign, so she brings the support of HRC, America’s largest and wealthiest civil rights organization that works to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality throughout the world. Doubtless, Messick helped formulate the HRC Foundation’s attempts to attract specifically Evangelical Christians. The Coming Home series is “designed to help LGBTQ people live fully in their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and… to help LGBTQ evangelical Christians navigate these difficult waters.” The guide says that LGBTQ Christians

find it difficult to be fully themselves in their church communities. They may have been taught that sexual or romantic relationships that are not heterosexual are sinful…Yet those same LGBTQ people of faith know deep within that they were born this way.

They cite David Gushee and Matthew Vines as authorities on Bible interpretation and include heart-warming gay evangelical testimonies of life with Jesus.

Triumph through Faith, another HRC document, mobilizes faith communities—especially those in areas where marriage and non-discrimination measures are pending—to be at the forefront of pro-equality activities in ways that are culturally, spiritually and socially competent. HRC demonizes its opponents. It states: “The opposition [from classic Christian teaching] isn’t just about how we interpret the Bible or maintain Christian tradition. At the end of the day there’s just a systematic prejudice or bias.” In this text, biblical orthodoxy is simply demonized.

The Devoted website says of Christy Messick: “Christy lives in Georgetown, KY with her wife, Sarah.” Gay marriage now slips into the Revoice agenda. As noted above, Coles speaks of a lesbian friend who is “desperately in love with Jesus who married another women…whom he cannot judge.” Clearly, he will have no problem working together at the same conference with Christy Messick. In the same vein, Ray Low, one of the presenters at Revoice, is a non-practicing homosexual minister, who nevertheless serves on the staff of an “affirming” church, that is, a church that fully accepts the gay life style.

Already, in the next Revoice conference a massive breach with orthodox teaching on marriage will flower. This movement will bring great turmoil and division to the heart of orthodox Christianity. One thinks of Deborah Jian Lee’s Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism.[19] Lee writes a pro-interfaith foreword to Solus Jesus, as do two notable ex-Evangelicals David Gushee, and Brian MacLaren. Is this the destination of many Revoice followers—post Protestant, post evangelical?

Until I discovered the background of some of the Revoice leaders, I never thought I could agree with the sharp judgments made by two young orthodox blog-post junkies at CrossPolitic. A day before the conference began, they concluded their interview with Greg Johnson (PCA host pastor of the church where the conference was held) by saying:

You should cancel the conference, which will do inconceivable harm to the body of Christ. We do not think you and the others associated with this conference are healing wounds lightly. You are not healing wounds at all. You are ensuring that these wounds will never be healed. You are essentially encouraging Christians to make peace with their sin.

Johnson did not hear the call. The conference went on. We must be prepared for a massive splintering in the ranks of orthodox Christianity over the powerful issue of sexuality. The devil knows where to strike—God knit one-man/one-woman marriage into the very fabric of the universe to show us an expression of his own Trinitarian image and about the divine Son’s eternal marriage to his Bride, the Church, a marriage sealed in his blood. May God have mercy on us and teach us to love His Word and the distinctions he has placed in creation for true human flourishing.


[1] Greg Coles, Single, Gay and Christian (IVP Books, 2017), 105.

[2] Ibid., 4, 6–7.

[3] June Singer, Androgyny: Toward a New Theory of Sexuality (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1976), 207, 267, 275.

[4] See Eric Kurlander, Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich (Yale University Press, 2017), 68.

[5] Coles, Single, Gay and Christian, 112.

[6] Coles, Single, Gay and Christian, 110.

[7] Coles, Single, Gay and Christian, 117.

[8] Coles, Single, Gay and Christian, 109.

[9] Ken Wilson, An Evangelical Pastor’s Path to Embracing People who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender into the Company of Jesus (David Crumm Media, 2014).

[10] Ken Wilson and Emily Swan, Solus Jesus (Read the Spirit Books, 2018).

[11] Solus Jesus, Introduction.

[12] On this, see Tim Bayly, The Grace of Shame (WarHorn Media, 2017).

[13] J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 62–63.

[14] Nate Collins, All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions at the Intersection of Faith, Gender, and Sexuality, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), 76.

[15] Collins, All But Invisible, 72, fn.

[16] Collins, All But Invisible, 72.

[17] Collins, All But Invisible, 71.

[18] Linda Harvey, “Tell Jimmy Carter about the Damage of Homosexuality,” Mission America. July 2018.

[19] Deborah Jian Lee, Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism (Beacon Press, 2016).

The post Revoice: Sliding into Heresy appeared first on TruthXchange.

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CNN’s Jim Acosta Continues To Prove He Is A Political Activist, Not A Journalist

The liberal media still don’t seem to understand that their over the top hostile coverage of President Trump is working to his benefit. Instead of reflecting how they can restore public trust, which remains at record lows, they double down on their condescension for Middle America and continue to reveal a systemic bias against the president.

Jim Acosta’s behavior and reporting as a White House correspondent for CNN is a perfect example.

Take his response to being heckled at a Trump rally in Tampa on Tuesday. Rather than ignore the Trump supporters chanting “CNN sucks!” and hurling insults his way — wrong as they may be to do so — Acosta clutched his pearls. Instead of reporting on the rally, he made the story about himself, tweeting dramatically about the “sad scene” he had faced.

“I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt,” Acosta tweeted. “We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.”

If he thinks his treatment at the Trump rally was wrong, he should try being a conservative speaker visiting a college campus. There has literally been riots simply because a conservative was invited to speak, a danger far more serious than the “whipped up” crowd Acosta was worried about at the Tampa rally.

Secondly, his warning that the “hostility” towards the press will “result in somebody hurt” rings hollow when Trump officials are the ones being confronted by angry people in restaurants, book stores, movie theaters, and on street corners. And especially when it was Republican lawmakers who were targeted in an assassination attempt last year, not the press or Democrats. Yet Acosta doesn’t seem concerned that someone on the left could get carried away and hurt someone on the right.

Here’s another gem from Acosta that night.

“One of the surprising things I heard tonight in Tampa is Trump supporters saying I should be on their team,” Acosta said. “Anybody remember when we were all on the same team? I do.”

Gve me a break Jim.

Sure, we should all be on the “same team” as Americans, but partisanship has prevented that from happening. The right offered no praise or credit for Obama when it was warranted, and now the same is happening to Trump. And that extends to the press.

Journalists should be on the same team as the truth. Instead, many cherry-pick facts  to push their own narratives and personal interest, particularly on television and on social media. The biggest problem with Acosta is that he thinks he can be a reporter by day and a pundit by night, all while claiming to be objective. This attitude is a systemic problem in the press, and especially at CNN.

It’s fair to criticize Fox News for their coverage of the president, but they at least make a clearer distinction between their news programs, anchored by folks like Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Martha MacCallum, and Shannon Bream, and their opinion shows starring Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson. MSNBC is at least sort of transparent with their leftward slant to the point that if you’re on their payroll, you’re either a liberal or a #NeverTrump conservative.

What CNN does, though, is present itself as an unbiased network that simply reports the facts. But their shows and news anchors exhibit hostility towards the Trump administration all day. Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Jake Tapper, and Don Lemon will tell you they objectively report on this presidency while they consistently attack, mock, and shame Trump, Republican lawmakers, and their voters.

But Acosta separates himself from the rest of his colleagues. Because he is strictly a so-called “reporter,” his performance is constrained to emotionally-charged exchanges with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and his judgment-fueled reporting from the White House lawn, which leads viewers to believe that what he’s doing is serious journalism. It isn’t. He is as self-serving and attention-seeking as any opinion host, but because he believes himself to be an objective reporter, his smug demeanor far outstrips them.

He puts on a show at every press briefing. He doesn’t simply ask questions, he debates the White House, grandstands, and injects virtue signaling in his reporting, turning what’s supposed to be journalism into outright activism.

Just look at his latest brawl with Sanders, when he said that the press “deserves” not to be called the “enemy of the people.” She refused to meet Acosta’s demand as she was literally doing her job speaking on behalf of the president. He tweeted shortly after that it was “shameful.”

Acosta apparently believes that this White House should play nice in their war of words, while he and his colleagues in the media should be exempt from criticism by the White House after they call Trump a racist, sexist xenophobe, question his ability to serve, and make constant ridiculous comparisons to Hitler and Stalin.

If you don’t think Acosta isn’t an activist, just listen to what he told Brooke Baldwin after that briefing.

Maybe we should make some bumper stickers, make some buttons, you know, maybe we should go out on Pennsylvania Ave like those folks who chant ‘CNN sucks’ and ‘fake news,’ maybe we should got out — all journalists, should go out on Pennsylvania Ave and chant ‘We’re not the enemy of the people.’ Because I’m tired of this! … It is not right, it is not fair, it is not just, it is un-American to come out here and call the press the enemy of the people.

If you’re so “tired” of this Jim, then retire your position as a reporter and organize that protest on Pennsylvania Ave you desperately desire. And instead of lecturing Trump supporters and this administration about how mean they are to them, Acosta and the rest of the media should reevaluate their own journalistic practices.

Source: CNN’s Jim Acosta Continues To Prove He Is A Political Activist, Not A Journalist

The Persecution of Christians by Islamic Radicals in Nigeria is Being Ignored

 ICC Note:  The persecution of Christians in Nigeria continues to escalate dramatically. Christians farmers continue to be targeted because of their religion, being forced to leave their homes and communities.

8/03/2018 Nigeria (ABC.Net) – We’ve heard a lot lately about white South African farmers being killed in farm murders. But another group of African farmers are being killed in far greater numbers and we’ve barely heard a whimper.

What would you think if you heard that there was a group of people, all belonging to one religion, who were being savagely attacked by another group so that they were forced out of their homes?

If whole villages were being destroyed, churches burnt to the ground and hundreds of people including women and children murdered? If the region’s government was doing little to intervene?

[Full Story]

Source: The Persecution of Christians by Islamic Radicals in Nigeria is Being Ignored

Ben Shapiro: ‘Socialism Violates Three of the Ten Commandments’

(CNSNews.com) – Socialism, a leftwing ideology that calls for government ownership and control of the economy and civil society violates at least three of the Ten Commandments, said nationally syndicated columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and syndicated talk radio show host Ben Shapiro at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

“Socialism violates three of the Ten Commandments,” Shapiro told the crowd of mostly young activists and students. “Idolatry, because you’re not supposed to worship government, you’re supposed to worship God.”

“It violates the prescription against theft, because socialism is indeed theft even if you vote for the theft,” he said.

“And it violates the prescription against jealousy — you’re not supposed to envy your neighbor, you’re not supposed to covet your neighbor’s property,” said Shapiro. “That’s what socialism is about.”

Recently, people like Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders have been able to excite the Democrats and the left, Shapiro said. They claim to be democratic socialists, but there is no difference between them and socialists.

“Socialism seeks to destroy the system of action and consequence,” Shapiro said.

Read more: Ben Shapiro: ‘Socialism Violates Three of the Ten Commandments’

False Flag Operations August 4 protests FALSE FLAG warning – a “perfect storm” for staged deaths…

Article Image
https://www.naturalnews.com, by Mike Adams

Today I’ve posted an urgent warning video, which you can see in full, below. This video — which would have been banned by YouTube and Facebook — is available exclusively on REAL.video.

It explains that Aug. 4 is shaping up to be a “perfect storm” false flag event, where deaths are staged in order to blame conservative Americans and sway public opinion for the upcoming mid-term elections. While we hope no such events ever take place, this weekend is a prime target for anti-America forces to stage precisely such a crisis.

What’s the motivation behind it? If Democrats gain a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, they promise to impeach President Trump — an act that would likely set off a nationwide civil war. By staging events that allow them to blame Trump supporters for violence or deaths, they hope to sway public opinion against conservatives and “steal” the mid-term elections.

Abortion and Dehumanization (Pearcey)

The Reformed Reader

 I’m very much enjoying Nancy Pearcey’s new book, Love Thy Body.  I’ll come back to it again later, but for now I wanted to share an insightful observation of Pearcey’s in the first chapter:

If you favor abortion, you are implicitly saying that in the early stages of life, an unborn baby has so little value that it can be killed for any reason – or no reason – without any moral consequence. Whatever your feelings, that is a very low view of life. Then, by sheer logic, you must say that at some later time the baby becomes a person, at which point it requires such high value that killing it would be a crime.

The implication is that as long as the pre-born child is deemed to be human but not a person, it is just a disposable piece of matter – a natural resource like timber…

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