Daily Archives: September 12, 2018

September 12: Diversity in the Church

Amos 8:1–9:15; Acts 10:34–11:18; Job 21:1–16

In our comfortable and familiar church homes, we sometimes fail to see the Church as a community of ethnic and cultural diversity. When I returned from a year in South Korea, I was surprised when my family and friends made thoughtless generalizations about people I had come to know and love—some of them fellow believers in Christ. Most of these comments contradicted the multicultural picture of Christianity presented in the book of Acts.

Peter and the Jewish Christians in the early church underwent a shift in cultural perspective. When Peter came to Jerusalem after meeting with Gentiles, the Jews were shocked that he would eat with “men who were uncircumcised” (Acts 11:3). For so long, they had associated their religion with their identity as a nation and as a people group. Although they knew that God was extending this hope to the Gentiles, they needed to be reminded that Jesus was the Lord of all. Peter tells them, “if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” (Acts 11:17).

The hope they expected had been fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Now Gentiles were being added to their number. Peter testifies, “In truth I understand that God is not one who shows partiality, but in every nation the one who fears him and who does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34).

Strangely, Peter’s speech still needs to be heard today. We tend to confine our faith within comfortable borders—cultural, regional, or racial. We need to be challenged to see people from other ethnicities and cultural backgrounds as fellow followers of Christ. If God does not show partiality, then neither should we. The reign of Jesus extends over all people; God will draw His children from all corners of the earth, and there will be no “foreigners” in His kingdom.

How does your view of the Church need to be challenged?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


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

Attacking Syria Illegal, US ‘Has No Right to be Judge or Prosecutor’ – Author

Militants in Idlib are filming a staged provocation depicting chemical weapons being used by the Syrian army against civilians, according to the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, which cited information received from inhabitants of Idlib province.

Source: Attacking Syria Illegal, US ‘Has No Right to be Judge or Prosecutor’ – Author

Gingrich Sees Trump as Most Effective Anti-Liberal President Since WWII

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich lauded President Donald Trump Wednesday for combating liberal Democrats’ big government programs and policies more effectively than any other chief executive since World War II.

“I’ve said over and over again that Trump is the most effective anti-liberal president in my lifetime” Gingrich told host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “He’s not an institutional conservative, and he’s not a philosophical guy. But the impact of what he’s doing is disrupting the Left more than any president of my lifetime. I mean, it’s an amazing thing to watch.”

Gingrich pointed to the Supreme Court, which he said “is actually going to move substantially to a more conservative Supreme Court in a way that, if you’re a left-winger, it terrifies you.

It’s not only the federal judiciary that Trump is moving significantly in a conservative direction, Gingrich said. “He’s doing this with regulations, he’s doing it with his tax policies; the tax cuts are working. And so the Left is right on the edge of seeing their entire lifetime of effort to make this a left-wing country just go down the drain.”

Trump positioned himself as an outsider candidate who intended to disrupt the political class. His populous message resonated with working-class voters who felt left behind as elites enjoyed an improving economy. Former President Barack Obama and his highly progressive agenda have been hit hard in the almost two years since.

Related: Hassett Destroys Obama Claim He Caused Trump’s Economic Boom

Obama recently delivered a speech at the University of Illinois in which he explicitly attacked Trump and sought to appropriate credit for the improving economy. Gingrich thinks Obama is bitter because he’s seeing his legacy be replaced with something that is actually working.

“That’s why you get the bitterness in the Obama speech,” Gingrich said. “Obama sees all the radical left-wing things he believes in being put under pressure by Trump.”

Obama and his allies are correct to point out that the economy was improving under his watch as it crawled back from the Great Recession of 2008, but data are piling up that Trump’s tax cuts, deregulation, and trade deal renegotiations are the primary impetus behind record-low unemployment, job creation, and rising wages.

Related: Dem Credits Obama for Trump Economy While Unveiling Jobs Plan

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett argued Monday against Obama’s claim that the current economic boom began while he was in the Oval Office.

Hassett made his case during the Monday’s White House press briefing, with charts showing how several major trends have changed course since the election of 2016. The first trend he discussed was small-business optimism, followed by business investments, capital goods, shipments, business conditions, and working-age adults entering the labor market.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found, in its most recent monthly survey on small-business optimism, that it reached a record high at 108.8 points. Former President Ronald Reagan was in office the last time small businesses hit a then-record high at 108 points in July 1983.

Source: Gingrich Sees Trump as Most Effective Anti-Liberal President Since WWII

Lindsey Graham Goes Nuclear: Exposes Corruption in Obama Administration, Demands Action

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) defended President Donald Trump Tuesday on Twitter against critics who claimed he “politicized” the Department of Justice (DOJ) by pointing to his predecessor’s actual “politicization” of federal law enforcement.

“I completely support House Republican efforts to have President Trump declassify the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant applications, the Bruce Ohr/Chris Steele interactions, and all other relevant information regarding allegations of corruption in the DOJ & FBI,” Graham tweeted.

“It is increasingly clear it was the Obama Administration who politicized the DOJ/FBI, not the Trump Administration,” he added.

Graham’s first tweet included an article from The Daily Caller published Sunday, titled “Trump Reportedly Close to Declassifying Carter Page and Bruce Ohr Documents.”

The senator called in August for a special counsel to investigate Ohr, the DOJ’s controversial former associate deputy attorney general, and his role in the FBI’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump aides and Russian interests in the 2016 campaign.

Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was an employee of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm used by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign to obtain negative allegations against Trump from Russian sources, via former British spy Christopher Steele.

Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which she controlled as her party’s president nominee, paid for Steele’s compilation of the anti-Trump materials into what became known as the Steele dossier. The FBI used the dossier to justify its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court application and renewals to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and others.

“Bruce Ohr was at least unethical. We need a special counsel to look at all things Department of Justice and FBI when it came to the Trump investigation, particularly the counterintelligence investigation,” Graham said in mid-August during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

The president has long railed against the anti-Trump and pro-Clinton bias found within the DOJ and FBI and decried special counsel Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” against him.

Many Democrats and liberal pundits accused Trump of politicizing the DOJ and FBI with his repeated criticisms against some of the controversial former and current top officials involved in the Trump campaign investigation.

Related: Graham Calls for Special Counsel to Probe Bruce Ohr

The FBI investigated Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign season for her use of a private email server located in her New York mansion to conduct official business as secretary of state. She was absolved by former FBI Director James Comey in July 2016, even though dozens of messages containing confidential information was found on the server.

In addition to Ohr and Steele, Trump, Graham and other Republicans point to the thousands of virulently anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages exchanged between former top FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page during their work on the Russia collusion probe.

Strzok participated in both the Clinton investigation and the Trump probe.

But Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia probe after the text messages with Page became public.

Check out this video:

Source: Lindsey Graham Goes Nuclear: Exposes Corruption in Obama Administration, Demands Action

09/12/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0912

•Witness Wednesday at Georgia State
•Let’s meet the atheist president of the communist club.
•Nobody wants to admit they would go to Hell.
•If life is precious, then we should know when life begins.
•The anonymous Baptist is relying on his own repentance.
•We check in with our atheist communist club president. Brace yourself.

Download Now (right click and save)

via 09/12/2018 — Wretched

September 12 Resisting the Devil

“Take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13).

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Spiritual warfare isn’t as much a frontal attack on Satan’s domain as it is the ability to resist his advances.

Spiritual warfare has become a popular topic in recent years. Books, tapes, and seminars on the subject abound, but there is still much confusion. Some say we must rebuke and bind Satan in order to thwart his power and influence. Others say we must expel demonic spirits through “deliverance ministries.” Still others encourage us to band together to aggressively assault the strongholds of supposed territorial demons.

But spiritual warfare isn’t an outright frontal attack on the forces of darkness. Scripture says, “Submit … to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7); “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8–9). The idea that Christians have the authority to rebuke or bind Satan is foreign to Scripture. Even Michael the archangel treated him with more respect than that (Jude 9).

Spiritual victory involves submitting to God, pursuing His will, keeping your spiritual armor on, being on the alert for Satan’s attacks, and then standing firm and resisting him “in the evil day” (Eph. 6:13).

“Evil day” is a general reference to the sin that exists in this world. As “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), Satan will continue to produce evil until he and his forces are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10–15). Then “the evil day” will give way to an eternal age of righteousness.

Countless people have pastored churches, taught Sunday school classes, led Bible studies, sung in choirs, and been involved in every conceivable area of ministry only to one day abandon their ministries and embrace the world. Somehow they stopped resisting the Devil and lost the courage to stand firm.

How about you? Is your commitment strong? Are you willing to stand firm for the Lord today?

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God for the grace to boldly resist whatever might challenge your faith today.

For Further Study: Read 1 Corinthians 9:23–27. ✧ What was Paul’s great fear? ✧ What measures did he take to ensure spiritual victory? ✧ Are you taking the same measures?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 268). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Exclusive: Christopher Steele Was In Contact with British MI6 and Russian SVR During the 2016 Election — The Gateway Pundit

 

Christopher Steele was an agent of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, during the time that he was working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the DNC, according to several current and former US intelligence officials.

Christopher Steele first became known to the American public when Buzzfeed published a now largely debunked dossier that he compiled under the guise of his company, Orbis Business Intelligence, which was working for Fusion GPS as a subcontractor. Orbis was paid $168,000 plus expenses for the compilation of the dossier. Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, has testified to congress that he did not know that Steele was in contact with Russian intelligence operatives. If Simpson was paying for Steele’s operational expenses, it would seem unlikely that he would not know where he was flying and whom he was meeting with. Although the FBI had previously paid Christopher Steele, they did not pay him in 2016. It remains unclear whether he received payments from other state actors.

According to several current FBI Counterintelligence Agents in a position to know, Steele was a known agent of MI6 at the same time that he was working to compile and promulgate the DNC and Hillary Clinton funded dossier. This claim flies in the face of mainstream media reporting, which has claimed that Christopher Steele last worked for MI6 in 2008. The FBI’s counterintelligence division specifically focuses on identifying and tracking the whereabouts of foreign intelligence officers operating inside the United States.

According the FBI counterintelligence officials that I spoke to on the condition of anonymity, Christopher Steele visited MI6’s Washington DC station at least two times during the period that followed his completion of the Trump-Russia dossier. During this period, Steele also met with Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff and other mainstream media reporters, specifically with the intention of promulgating the unverified and salacious claims contained in the dossier. The dossier itself, as well as news stories planted by Steele, ultimately became the basis for the FISA warrant issued against Carter Page, a man who briefly worked as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump Campaign.

It remains unknown whether or not British intelligence officials knew of or endorsed Christopher Steele’s meddling in the 2016 election.

During the time that Steele was hastily creating the dossier, he met with several former and current members of Russia’s SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service) and FSB (Federal Security Service). Some of these contacts between Steele and Russian intelligence officers took place in Rome and Vienna, but most took place in London, where Britain’s MI5 counterintelligence apparatus would have likely taken notice. According to a former CIA operations officer who agreed to speak to me under the condition of anonymity, local intelligence officials in Rome, Vienna and London would have almost certainly taken notice when Steele met with Russian operatives, and would have passed that information onto their American counterparts. The same source said that Christopher Steele would have been an ideal target for Russian Intelligence, as they aimed to plant disinformation and sow discord in the American political environment.

Christopher Steele’s contacts with both Russian and British intelligence operatives during his work on the Trump-Russia dossier suggests that foreign powers, not just Hillary Clinton and the DNC, may have ordered him to meddle in the 2016 election. Previous reporting suggests that the FBI cut ties with Steele in 2016 for the sole reason that he made claims to them that they knew to be false, but it’s now clear that Steele’s contacts with Russian and British intelligence officers had much more to due with it. If Steele was feeding Russian misinformation to the FBI, the media and the FISA Court, that would represent an unprecedented degradation of American democracy and would likely represent a blatant violation of US laws against espionage.

via Exclusive: Christopher Steele Was In Contact with British MI6 and Russian SVR During the 2016 Election — The Gateway Pundit

Data Shows that Suicide Rate of Transgender Teens Is Breathtakingly High

One of the most celebrated groups in the mainstream media is transgendered people or people who suffer from gender dysphoria.

This lead to transgenderism becoming a fad that had many people claiming to be transgendered, especially among the young. However, data now shows that those young people who do embrace a life of transgenderism seem to have abnormally high suicide rates.

The study comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which reveals that half of those who say they are transgendered attempt suicide at a rate of near or at 50 percent:

Female to male adolescents reported the highest rate of attempted suicide (50.8%), followed by adolescents who identified as not exclusively male or female (41.8%), male to female adolescents (29.9%), questioning adolescents (27.9%).

Compared to the suicide rate of teens who do not identify as transgendered, this is horrifically high, though any suicide rate is bad. The suicide rate among young women is alarming, even without the trouble of gender dysphoria.

Female adolescents (17.6%), and male adolescents (9.8%). Identifying as nonheterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents except for those who did not exclusively identify as male or female (ie, nonbinary).

This is a shocking find, though not at all surprising. Transgendered individuals tend to suffer a 41 percent suicide rate, and they are more 19 times more likely to commit suicide if they go through with gender reassignment surgery.

What is also shocking, and yet doesn’t move the surprise needle one iota is that the mainstream is embracing this as a brave and beautiful way to live despite it being an actual mental illness, and saying anything contrary to the mainstream narrative will result in you becoming a public pariah.

In fact, the public view on transgenderism is so defended that you can garner a lot more trouble than just generating the attention of the outrage mob as I discuss in this video.

Sadly, the pressure to be “gender binary,” or “gender fluid” is pervasive among the youth at this time. Parents should be on guard if their children embrace the trend.

Source: Data Shows that Suicide Rate of Transgender Teens Is Breathtakingly High

EU will give social media giants 1hr to remove extremist content under new law

The European Union chief executive has proposed a new law which would require Google, Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms to remove extremist content within one hour or face a fine. Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: EU will give social media giants 1hr to remove extremist content under new law

“Leaking Like Mad”: FBI-DOJ-MSM Collusion Went Far Deeper Than Previously Known

The FBI’s coordination with the mainstream media surrounding the 2016 US election – a “media leak strategy” which was first first revealed Tuesday, goes far deeper than first reported, according to Fox Newswhich obtained “new communications between the former lovers.”

A December 15, 2016 email appears to discuss a “political” leaking operation, in which others were “leaking like mad” amid the Trump-Russia probe.

“Oh, remind me to tell you tomorrow about the times doing a story about the rnc hacks,” Page texted Strzok.

“And more than they already did? I told you Quinn told me they pulling out all the stops on some story…” Strzok replied.

A source told Fox News “Quinn” could be referring to Richard Quinn, who served as the chief of the Media and Investigative Publicity Section in the Office of Public Affairs. Quinn could not be reached for comment.

Strzok again replied: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried, and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.

In one passage, Strzok apparently misreads a reference to “rnc” as “mc,” and then, realizing his error, blames “old man eyes.”

It is unclear at this point to whom Strzok was referring when he used the term “sisters.” –Fox News

“Sisters” may refer to sister agency.

“Sisters is an odd phrase to use,” retired FBI special agent and former FBI national spokesman John Iannarelli told Fox News Wednesday. “It could be any intelligence agency or any other federal law enforcement agency. The FBI works with all of them because, post 9/11, it’s all about cooperation and sharing.

The US intelligence community is comprised of 17 agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the National Security Agency.

Fox News notes that the “leaking like mad” reference was texted the same day that several US news outlets reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved – and personally approved, Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Several days before that, an article titled “Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says,” was published in the New York Times, which cited “senior administration officials.”

Then, on January 10, 2017, The Times published another article which suggested that Russian hackers had “gained limited access” to the Republican National Committee (RNC) – the same day that BuzzFeed News published the “Steele Dossier” accusing President Trump of a variety of salacious and unproven ties to Russia.

Following the text about “sisters leaking,” Strzok wrote to Page:

And we need to talk more about putting C reporting in our submission. They’re going to declassify all of it…

Page replied: “I know. But they’re going to declassify their stuff, how do we withhold…

We will get extraordinary questions. What we did what we’re doing. Just want to ensure everyone is good with it and has thought thru all implications,” Strzok wrote. “CD should bring it up with the DD.”

A source told Fox News that “C” is likely in reference to classified information, whereas “CD” is Cyber Division, and DD could refer to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March for making an unauthorized disclosure to the news media, and “lacked candor” under oath on multiple occassions.

It is unclear what “submission” Strzok and Page were referring to. –Fox News

A source also told Fox News that the messages were part of the newly released batch of Strzok-Page communications obtained by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who uncovered them as part of his investigation into the FBI’s conduct in the Russia investigation.

Source: “Leaking Like Mad”: FBI-DOJ-MSM Collusion Went Far Deeper Than Previously Known

Kerry Meeting With Iran (Post-Obama 3 or 4 times) to “Salvage” Nuke Deal With Rogue Diplomacy – WHAT?

(From The Washington Examiner) Former Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed that he has been conducting rogue diplomacy with top Iranian officials to salvage the landmark nuclear deal and push the Islamic Republic to negotiate its contested missile program, according to recent remarks.

Source: Kerry Meeting With Iran (Post-Obama 3 or 4 times) to “Salvage” Nuke Deal With Rogue Diplomacy – WHAT?

It’s true: Americans don’t trust the ‘press’

(Washington Times) A major poll from Gallup and the Knight Foundation confirms that Americans don’t trust the press.

“The news media, like many other major U.S. institutions, has suffered from a decline in public confidence in recent years. A key question for the future of the news media, as well as for U.S. democracy, is whether that trust is lost for good,” advises the poll, released Tuesday.

“Most U.S. adults, including more than 9 in 10 Republicans, say they personally have lost trust in the news media in recent years. At the same time, 69 percent of those who have lost trust say that trust can be restored,” the analysis says, noting that the biggest criticisms were lack of accuracy and bias.

Source: It’s true: Americans don’t trust the ‘press’

Lights, Camera, Action, False Flag

Article Image

Lights, Camera, Action, False Flag

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

The die is cast in Syria. The mother of all battles to eliminate US-supported terrorists in Idlib province looms.

During a Tuesday Security Council session, Russia’s envoy Vasily Nebenzia repeated what he, Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov, and Syrian UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari stressed earlier.

“(U)ndeniable proof” shows US-supported terrorists and White Helmets infesting Idlib intend staging a false flag CW attack on civilians used as props – the staged incident to be wrongfully blamed on Damascus.

It’s one of the oldest most despicable dirty tricks in the book, used to launch wars based on Big Lies or escalate them.

The same ugly stunt occurred before. Not a shred of credible evidence suggests Syrian forces ever used CWs any time throughout the war –  or that it retains any now.

Its entire stockpile was eliminated. On June 17, 2015, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) headlined “Disposal of effluents from neutralized Syrian chemical weapons completed,” saying:

The OPCW “welcomes the completion of disposal of effluents resulting from neutralization operations aboard the US vessel Cape Ray.”

“These operations governed the destruction at sea of almost 600 metric tonnes of sulphur mustard and methylphosphonyl difluoride (DF) from Syria’s chemical weapons programme. DF is a key precursor chemical for manufacturing nerve agent.”

At the time, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu called the above efforts “yet another milestone on the path to eliminating chemical weapons stocks from Syria…”

US-supported terrorist alone used chemical and other toxic agents numerous times throughout the war – banned substances supplied by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and perhaps other countries.

Pentagon contractors in Jordan trained US-supported terrorists in the use of CWs, likely still doing it.

Syrian forces liberated most parts of the country using conventional weapons alone, greatly aided by Russian airpower – their operations entirely legal.

During Tuesday’s Security Council session, Russian UN envoy Nebenzia clearly explained that “the use of chemical weapons by Damascus has no military grounds and is harmful from the military and political point of view as it would be an invitation for the Western trio to attack Syria,” adding:

Permitting what Sergey Lavrov called an “abscess” to remain in Idlib is absolutely unacceptable.

On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said “(w)e cannot let Idlib remain a terrorist stronghold.”

A US/UK orchestrated CW false flag in Idlib is imminent. On Tuesday, Russia’s reconciliation center in Syria said the following:

“According to the information received from inhabitants of Idlib province, (US-supported terrorists and White Helmets) are now filming a staged provocation in the city of Jisr al-Shugur, where ‘chemical weapons’ are depicted as being used by the Syrian army against civilians.”

“The film crews of several Middle Eastern TV channels arrived in Jisr al-Shugur in the morning, as well as the regional affiliate of one of the main American television news networks.”

“The plot envisages staged scenes showing ‘activists’ from the…’White Helmets’ ‘helping’ the residents of Jisr al-Shughur after the Syrian army allegedly used the so-called barrel bombs with poisonous substances.”

“All the footage of the staged provocation in Jisr al-Shughur is to be delivered to the newsrooms of TV channels, which are to broadcast it after its publication on social media.”

In preparation for the false flag, canisters of weaponized chlorine were delivered to the planned crime scene.

Ahead of the incident, media scoundrels disgracefully claimed Assad approved use of chlorine gas (and possibly deadly sarin) in Idlib – a Big Lie, citing unnamed US sources.

Naked aggression is always based on lies repeated ad nauseam, getting most people to believe what anyone following reliable reliable independent sources of news, information and analysis knows is untrue.

The stage is set in Idlib – another CW false flag imminent – the incident to be used by the US, UK and France to terror-bomb Syrian sites, likely more aggressively than earlier.

How Russia intends responding to the scheme remains unknown. Its numerous warships in the region and state-of-the-art missile defense in Syria can neutralize a US-led attack when launched.

Much rides on whether and how it may challenge the Trump regime’s aim to prevent Idlib’s liberation, along with wanting sovereign Syria replaced by pro-Western puppet rule.

Source: Lights, Camera, Action, False Flag

Full Marxist: Gospel Coalition Says You Must Give Away Your Wealth to Be “Just” — Pulpit & Pen

The Gospel Coalition, which has a substantial problem differentiating between law and gospel, also has a difficult time differentiating between justice and mercy. The parachurch organization led by Marxist, Tim Keller, is a recipient of funds from both George Soros and James Riady (two powerful globalist and socialist billionaire financiers) and serves the purpose of changing the way a formerly conservative evangelical demographic votes. The Gospel Coalition (TGC), as we’ve explained many times before, is a political rather than a religious organization. Most recently, TGC has begun to tweet things that exude textbook Marxism.

They tweeted this on Monday.

There are a number of problems with this tweet.

First of all, there is nothing uniquely in the Gospel that opens our eyes to the fact that God is the source of all blessing. Certainly, Old Testament saints ascertained from both natural and special revelation, short of an explicit Gospel, that God was the source of blessing. 1 Samuel 2:7 says, “The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and exalts.” Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “…it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to gain wealth.” Proverbs 8:21 says, that it is God who “bestows wealth on those who love [him].

In other words, you don’t need a crucified, buried and resurrected Savior to understand that our wealth is a grace of God. While the notion is true, it is not inextricably tied to the Gospel.

Second, it is a jump of logic to presume that because God gives us wealth it is our obligation to give our wealth away. Certainly, New Testament giving would require regular, sacrificial, and joyful offerings to the Lord’s work. There is a transcendent principle we see modeled for us in the Old Testament of alms-giving to the poor. However, there is zero indication in Scripture that God requires us to give away the whole or bulk of the wealth he’s bequeathed us.

Third and finally, there is no connection whatsoever between alms-giving and “justice.” As I laid out in this post, giving to the poor is not a matter of justice, but a matter of mercy. Justice is what is required, and mercy is what is charitable. Charity is not justice. Those are two entirely different things.

Justice – “Getting what one is due, what they deserve, or that to which they are entitled.”

Mercy –  “Compassion toward one in a lesser estate, particularly done without obligation, but with empathy.”

No one is “entitled” to the wealth of others. This is the principle undergirded in the eighth commandment, which is premised upon the right of private property ownership. To believe that one must give away their wealth as a matter of “justice” is a thoroughly Marxist idea.

Tim Keller is a millionaire. The Gospel Coalition receives millions of dollars in donations per year. I would love to see them give it all away to the less fortunate.

via Full Marxist: Gospel Coalition Says You Must Give Away Your Wealth to Be “Just” — Pulpit & Pen

When the Sunday Sermon Is Really Demon Doctrine — Pyromaniacs


In my previous post, I introduced the topic of spiritual discernment and its appalling absence in the Church today. Despite God’s explicit warning (1 Tim. 4:1) that, “in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” many professing believers do just that. They proceed week to week exposed to noxious instruction that deftly yet decidedly unmoors them from the true Christian faith, blithely unaware of their predicament.

What are these “doctrines of demons,” against which the Holy Spirit expressly warns? What is this toxic teaching that jeopardizes the faith of so many? The Apostle Paul provides a framework for its understanding in his critique to the church in Corinth (2 Cor. 11:4; italics added): “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

That is the heart of the issue: a large swath of today’s professing believers are regularly “putting up” with false teaching on Jesus, His Spirit, and His gospel, with nary a suspicion of harm, let alone any objection or pushback. They come expecting to be shown the narrow path to eternal life, when in fact they are being led down the wide road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14). For this reason, 2 Corinthians 11:4 may be the most pertinent and yet underappreciated verse in the New Testament in our day, as the categories addressed by Paul remain the three key pillars of demonic doctrine plaguing the Church two millennia hence.

“Another Jesus”

Demonic doctrines all have at their core a faulty view of Christ. Oh, its proponents may make all the right claims about Jesus and His divinity—that He is indeed the Son of God, who died and rose again for the sins of the world. They may endorse and uphold all the confessional statements, and dutifully insist their Christology is fully orthodox. They will prominently feature the name of Jesus in their teaching, and oversee philanthropic church ministries designed and promoted as being Jesus’ contemporary “hands and feet.” Their Jesus welcomes all who come to Him, helps those in need, exemplifies the humility by which we are to live, brings love to the outcast and highlights mercy in response to wrongs—just as the Bible declares.

But here’s the rub: false teachers who bring “another Jesus” will inevitably exclude those aspects of the Bible’s Jesus that don’t align with their concept of who He should be. In particular, they will abridge, revise or (most likely) completely omit Jesus’ instruction regarding coming judgment. They will ignore Jesus’ emphatic warning to fear God, because not only can He kill, but He can also cast whom He has killed into hell (Luke 12:5). Their Jesus does not bring a sword instead of peace (Matt. 10:34), require complete abandonment of all worldly relationships and affections as the price of salvation (Luke 14:26), and promise everlasting punishment to those who do not repent and believe (Luke 13:1-5; John 3:18; 8:24; Matt. 25:46). In no way is their Jesus One who returns, ” . . . in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:8). In no sense would He ever supervise the eternal suffering of rebels in hell (Rev. 14:10).

“A Different Spirit”

When you get Jesus wrong, you inevitably get the Spirit wrong. Why is that? Because the Spirit to which Paul refers is the very Spirit of Christ, whose arrival was predicted by Jesus and timed with His Ascension (John 16:7). This is the same Spirit of Christ who inspired the perfect and inerrant Scriptures (1 Pet. 1:11). He is the Spirit who begat (Luke 1:35), led (Luke 4:1), and empowered Christ throughout His ministry (4:14). He is the very Spirit who regenerates and lives within those who repent and believe in Christ’s atoning work (Ezek. 36:26-27; John 7:38-39; Rom. 8:9). And He is the Spirit who convicts the world “concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).

A false Christ thus yields a false spirit—the spirit of the age—and all the attendant errors that reliance upon this spirit brings, including (and perhaps most importantly) invalid interpretation of Scripture. Don’t miss this: the true Spirit of Christ is He who guides the believer into all truth (John 16:13). The Bible explicitly states that God’s Spirit is necessary for one to know the “deep things of God,” as found in His Word (1 Cor. 2:10-13). So when a false spirit is substituted, then all bets are off when it comes to proper biblical understanding. Without the real Spirit of Christ to decode God’s Word, all forms of spiritual delusion—though dressed up as faithful biblical instruction—are guaranteed to ensue. Consequently, you will find those who represent demonic doctrines marked by continual reimagining of passages to suit their purposes (the theological term for this is eisegesis, as opposed to exegesis). These false teachers will eschew expository preaching as unhelpful or even as “too easy,” and will consult and rely upon their spirit of the age to ensure that none of their pronouncements ever offend popular thinking.

“A Different Gospel”

Finally, those representing another Jesus and a different spirit will inevitably bring a different gospel. That such a false gospel can be foisted on those who have already believed and been saved astonished the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:6-8; 3:1) and should likewise astonish us. Why? Because the true gospel is the most important message of the Bible, and is not at all veiled or obscure. Paul’s definition is both pithy and frank (Rom. 1:16): ” . . . the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . ..” The true gospel is all about salvation that comes to every sinner who, by the power of God, believes. That could not be more simple or straightforward. Unfortunately, the gospel is under such tremendous assault from enemy forces today that its defense has never been more necessary—witness recent Pyromaniac posts on this subject by Phil Johnson and Hohn Cho (if you haven’t time to keep up with their broadsides against the so-called “social gospel” in the latest controversy, here’s a tip: when the gospel you are presented is one focused on present material conditions and earthly injustices, then you’ve found yourself exposed to “a different gospel”).

The perpetual and distinguishing mark of any false gospel is the addition of human effort. This is the common denominator in all onslaughts against the true gospel. Just last year, one influential mega-church pastor and author conceded to his congregation that, yes, the gospel involves the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the redemption of the world—he’d grant that is true. But then, he added, that wasn’t all. For him, as for many, the idea that God might save those who merely repent and trust in His Son’s substitutionary atoning work is just too artless, insufficiently redemptive, and, frankly, unbelievable to be everything God requires for eternal life (he contemptuously caricatured repentant faith as some sort of “minimum entrance requirement,” in response to which God is obliged to let one into heaven). No, he insisted, there’s more to it than that, and went on to emphasize his own “gospel” addition as what we must do for God in response to what He has done for us.

But as Pastor John MacArthur has underscored throughout his teaching ministry, the one true gospel is always and only a gospel of divine accomplishment—nothing less and nothing more. Any variations adding some form of human achievement to the mix are fabricated facsimiles which ultimately derive from Satan. No matter the particulars, when human activity is presented as a necessary component of the gospel, it becomes demonic doctrine. The Apostle Paul writes (Gal. 5:4), “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace.” Seek to add your own work to that which Christ has done to save you, and you are doomed. That was true when Paul wrote Galatians, and it remains true today.

What’s Behind Demon Doctrines?

Ultimately, these assaults against God’s Word—presenting another Jesus, a different Spirit, and a different gospel—are aimed at one target: undermining the truth of God’s Word. Since Jesus is full of truth (John 1:14), came to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37), and in fact is the Truth (14:6), since the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of truth (John 15:26), and since the gospel as found in God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), what is clearly in the sights of Satan is truth. Truth is what matters most to God, which is why it is most assailed by His number one enemy. Why such a focused obsession? Because Satan knows if the truth of God’s Word can be successfully undermined, then the only manner by which one might be saved (Rom. 10:17) can be thwarted. That has been Satan’s strategy from the time his first temptation led to the first sin—”Did God really say?” (Gen. 3:1)—and it remains his modus operandi ever since.

Fortunately, God has promised that His truth will endure throughout the ages. As Psalm 119:160 declares, “The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” Meanwhile, knowing the final outcome is secure, true believers are entrenched in a battle with demon forces over God’s truth. We are vying against the enemy’s doctrines of demons and their core depictions—another Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel—with the Word of truth God has spoken and now illuminates to those who are His. May those who claim to be of this truth be made worthy by Him for such a task.

Dr. Colin L. Eakin
Pyromaniac

Dr. Eakin is a sports medicine orthopædic surgeon in the Bay Area and part time teacher at Grace Bible Fellowship Church’s Stanford campus ministry. He is the author of God’s Glorious Story.

Acknowledgement: In preparing this article, I am indebted to the teaching of Pastor Mike Riccardi of Grace Community Church, and his sermon on 2 Corinthians 11:1-4: “The Minister’s Jealously, Part 2,” delivered 4/15/2018.

via When the Sunday Sermon Is Really Demon Doctrine — Pyromaniacs

Nikki Haley warns Russia and Iran of ‘dire consequences’ if they continue airstrikes in Syria

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has told the governments of Iran and Russia that there would be “dire consequences” if they did not stop bombing rebel-held positions in Syria.

What about the attacks by Iran and Russia in Syria?

As the war in Syria continues to drag on, the militaries of Iran and Russia have been launching attacks on rebel-held positions, in an attempt to end the conflict in a way that favors their ally, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Both nations have strongly denied that Assad has possession of or has used chemical weapons in the past, despite a plethora of evidence. Assad has targeted civilian populations with sarin and chlorine gas. In addition to covering for Assad, Russia has targeted rebel territory with “barrel bombs, rockets and artillery,” according to Haley.

More than half a million people have died in the Syrian Civil War so far. According to a study conducted in March by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 85 percent of that number were civilians killed by the Assad regime.

What did Nikki Haley say?

“If Assad, Russia and Iran continue down the path they are on, the consequences will be dire,” Haley said during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council regarding the ongoing crisis in Idlib, Syria.

Haley called the “atrocities” perpetrated by the Assad regime “a permanent stain on history, and a black mark for this council which was blocked over and over by Russia from taking action to help.”

She added:

I also want to reiterate what I said last week to the Assad regime and anyone else contemplating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The United States followed through when we said that we would respond to the use of chemical weapons. We stand by this warning.

When asked by reporters on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis refused to say whether or not the U.S. would take any sort of military action against Syria, or what exactly these dire consequences might look like.

What else?

On Sept. 3, Trump tweeted that “the Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake” by assisting Assad in his assault on Idlib.

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Source: Nikki Haley warns Russia and Iran of ‘dire consequences’ if they continue airstrikes in Syria

The Number of Christian Refugees Allowed into the U.S. Has Fallen By 43%

According to a new report from NBC News, the number of Christian refugees permitted to come to the U.S. in the last fiscal year has fallen dramatically.

Since Pres. Trump took office, the number of refugees allowed into the country has fallen across the board, but one reason why the number of Christians falling is particularly notable, is that Trump specifically said helping religious minorities in the Middle East was a major priority.

Last summer, then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled. ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds and other minorities. The protection of these groups—and others who are targets of violent extremism—remains a human-rights priority for the Trump administration.”

However, despite that promise—and acknowledging these groups face a genocide—the number of Christian refugees has fallen more than 40%. That’s a drop of 11,000 refugees.

With Trump’s crackdown on immigration, many Christian refugees remain in a sort of legal limbo oversees, especially ones from countries his administration has deemed dangerous.

Mary Giovagnoli of Refugees Council USA explained to NBC News, “Ironically, these policies, while clearly aimed at Muslim refugees, ensure that Christians and other religious minorities from many of the countries on Trump’s list of suspect travel ban nations are also kept out. It suggests that the president has no real interest in religious persecution or the tenets of religious freedom.”

Christians in countries like Iran face widespread persecution. Some Christians in the report told stories of selling their possessions with the expectation of being accepted into the U.S., only to be denied under the Trump administration.

 

Mary Giovagnoli of Refugees Council USA explained to NBC News, “Ironically, these policies, while clearly aimed at Muslim refugees, ensure that Christians and other religious minorities from many of the countries on Trump’s list of suspect travel ban nations are also kept out. It suggests that the president has no real interest in religious persecution or the tenets of religious freedom.”

Christians in countries like Iran face widespread persecution. Some Christians in the report told stories of selling their possessions with the expectation of being accepted into the U.S., only to be denied under the Trump administration.

Source: The Number of Christian Refugees Allowed into the U.S. Has Fallen By 43%

AP finds Obama not accurate

(AP) WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s recent denunciation of President Donald Trump’s treatment of the press overlooks the aggressive steps the Justice Department took to keep information from the public when he was president. Obama also made a problematic claim that Republican “sabotage” has cost 3 million people their health insurance.

With his return to the political donnybrook on behalf of Democrats in the November elections, Obama has brought a once-familiar style back into the discourse. It’s measured, nuanced and distinct from the torrent of misstatements from Trump. That doesn’t mean Obama always tells the story straight.

Obama campaigned in Illinois and California last week, with more politicking planned. Here’s a look at some of his remarks:

Source: AP finds Obama not accurate

AP FACT CHECK Zings Obama’s New Attacks Against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Barack Obama’s recent denunciation of President Donald Trump’s treatment of the press overlooks the aggressive steps the Justice Department took to keep information from the public during his administration. Obama also made a problematic claim that Republican “sabotage” has cost 3 million people their health insurance.

With his return to the political donnybrook on behalf of Democrats in the November elections, Obama has brought a once-familiar style back into the discourse. It’s measured, nuanced and distinct from the torrent of misstatements from Trump. That doesn’t mean Obama always tells the story straight.

Read more: AP FACT CHECK Zings Obama’s New Attacks Against Trump

SEPTEMBER 12 OUR UNWORTHY ATTITUDES

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Psalm 89:7

Being a Christian does not exempt any of us from the necessity of self-examination, the necessity of dealing with injuries and unworthy mental attitudes.

I speak particularly of the attitudes and habits of many men and women who gather with us regularly as we come into the house of God to worship and pray.

Actually, as Christian men and women, we do have an appointment to meet with the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Just think of the preparations we would make if we suddenly had an invitation to meet the president of the United States in the White House.

But how many of us are lacking in respect and reverence when we come into the Christian church? Among us there are thoughtless tendencies to tell jokes on the way into church; to sit in the pews and let our minds rove about like sparrows; to daydream about where we have been and where we are going.

There is a great need for us to pray for grace that will improve our mental attitudes when we gather to honor our Savior and God!

Heavenly Father, I pray that I will never insult You by treating You too casually when I go to church to worship You.[1]


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