Daily Archives: October 18, 2018

OCTOBER 18 MAN’S EMPTY PROMISES

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.

1 Thessalonians 5:3

We have listened throughout our lifetime to the continuing promises of peace and progress made by the educators and the legislators and the scientists, but so far they have failed to make good on any of them.

Perhaps it is an ironic thought that fallen men, though they cannot fulfill their promises, are always able to make good on their threats!

Well, true peace is a gift of God and today it is found only in the minds of innocent children and in the hearts of trustful Christian believers. Only Jesus could say: “My peace I give unto you.…Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid!” (see John 14:27).

Surely the “great” of this world have underestimated the wisdom of the Christian, after all. When the Day of the Lord comes, he may stand like Abraham above the burning plain and watch the smoke rising from the cities that forgot God. The Christian will steal a quick look at Calvary and know that this judgment is past!

Thank you, Lord, for Your Spirit who apportions to our souls a kind of “peace which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Only You can provide that kind of peace in a world dominated by war and conflict.[1]


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

OCTOBER 18 A SOLID HOPE

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

—1 Peter 1:3

Brethren, we have been born of God and our Christian hope is a valid hope! No emptiness, no vanity, no dreams that cannot come true. Your expectation should rise and you should challenge God and begin to dream high dreams of faith and spiritual attainment and expect God to meet them. You cannot out-hope God and you cannot out-expect God. Remember that all of your hopes are finite, but all of God’s ability is infinite!

Now, brethren, what is it that makes our Christian hope a living hope and gives it reality and substance for the future?

The answer is clear and plain—the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is God’s gracious guarantee of our blessed future.

I dare to say this to you, my friends—your Christian hope is just as good as Jesus Christ. Your anticipation for the future lives or dies with Jesus. If He is who He said He was, you can spread your wings and soar. If He is not, you will fall to the ground like a lump of lead.

Jesus Christ is our hope and God has raised Him from the dead and since Jesus overcame the grave, Christians dare to die. ICH041-042

Thank You, Father, that my hope is not a vain hope but rather hope in Jesus Christ. What a sure hope! Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Rick Warren Coaching Catholic Priests – ” We are all on the same team”

Pastor Rick Warren Talks to New York Priests About Maintaining Moral Integrity

Rick Warren continues his romance with Rome by addressing 800 priests in New York.

Warren homogenizes Roman Catholicism and Protestantism by using inclusive phrases such as:

  • calling the audience ,”Brothers”
  • “…the Ministry to Which God Has Called Us”
  • “…what we do matters… the Church of Jesus Christ”
  • “That’s our calling…”
  • “We are all in this together”
  • “Christians must stick together”
  • “We’re on the same team”

Unsuspecting Christians would serve themselves well to review why Rick Warren’s PEACE TRAIN causes biblical conflict and confusion, with Rome as it’s final destination.

See also:  WHY EVANGELICALS AND CATHOLICS CANNOT BE “TOGETHER”

Source: Rick Warren Coaching Catholic Priests – ” We are all on the same team”

October 18 Daily Help

CHRISTIAN man! learn to comfort thyself in God’s gracious dealing toward the church. That which is so dear to thy Master, should it not be dear above all else to thee? What though thy way be dark, canst thou not gladden thine heart with the triumphs of his cross and the spread of his truth? Our own personal troubles are forgotten while we look, not only upon what God has done, and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious things he will yet do for his church. Try this receipt, O believer, whenever thou art sad of heart and in heaviness of spirit: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and thine own soul shall be refreshed.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 295). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

The Camel’s Nose—How Moral Relativism Kills Churches — Juicy Ecumenism

Today’s Protestant churches can learn from an old Arab fable which tells of a nomad and his camel who hunkered down during a sand storm. As the storm approached, the man hurriedly crawled into his tent, with the camel kneeling just outside. When the first flecks of sand swirled past, the camel asked his master, “Master, I don’t need to ask for much. My nose is very sensitive, and the sand irritates it very much. Might I perhaps stick my nose inside your tent for protection?” The master thought this was a reasonable request—not to mention harmless—and readily granted it.

Not long afterward, the camel spoke up again. “Master, the storm has grown harsher. The sand is blasting my eyelids and ears. Would it be alright if I stuck my whole head inside the tent?” Now the master cared for his camel, and didn’t want to cause it such cruel discomfort. He allowed the camel to reach his head into the tent.

A short time later, the camel petitioned his master once more, “This storm is quite exhausting. I won’t be able to endure much longer without a short rest. I hope you will allow me into the tent to escape the storm; I won’t need to stay long.” Now the nomad needed his beast of burden in good shape to complete his journey; he told the camel that he could enter the tent and stay as long as he needed.

As soon as the camel was completely inside the tent, he kicked the master out into the midst of the storm. “What have you done?” cried the master. “Did I not give you everything you asked for? Why then have you treated me so unfairly?” The camel replied, “You are a foolish man for allowing me to put my nose in the tent in the first place.”

The Decline and Fall of the Mainline Empire

Moral relativism is the camel inside the tent of American Christianity today. Its effects are most obvious among mainline Protestant denominations. Some statistics from a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center provide a snapshot: only 32 percent of mainline Protestants believed in absolute standards of morality, and 24 percent of mainline Protestants looked to religious teachings as a moral guide. 25 percent of mainline Protestants said Christianity was the only religion that led to eternal life.

What caused three-quarters of mainline Protestants to give up on the absolute nature of Christianity’s teachings on sin, righteousness, and eternal life? It likely began with a rejection of Scripture—the authoritative standard by which to understand these things. While 62 percent of mainline Protestants agree the Bible is the Word of God, only 24 percent say that it should be interpreted literally. If the Bible is not interpreted literally, then how is it supposed to be interpreted? Metaphorically? Allegorically? Creatively? Saying that the Bible is not to be interpreted literally is for saying you can interpret the Bible to mean whatever you want.

When Biblical interpretation is unmoored from the plain reading of the text, then the reader loses confidence in even the ideas most clearly presented. As a result, now only 60 percent of mainline Protestants believe in hell and 80 percent believe in heaven. Only 63 percent believe in a personal God with whom they can have a relationship. Only 66 percent of mainline Protestants could say they were absolutely certain that God exists (substantially down from 73 percent seven years earlier).

Mainline Protestants have had a particularly hard time maintaining the core Gospel message of the Protestant Reformation, that salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone, “not a result of works” (Ephesians 2:9). In 2008 when Pew Research asked mainline Protestants how to obtain eternal life, only 16 percent believed that eternal life is obtained through belief in Jesus or God, while 10 percent speculated salvation required a combination of faith and works, and 33 percent said that eternal life was obtained through good deeds. Other noteworthy answers from mainline Protestants were that the respondent didn’t know what determines who obtains eternal life (18 percent!), that it was some other syncretistic combination of beliefs, generic beliefs, or one’s own personal truth (9 percent), that there was no eternal life (5 percent), or that nearly everyone obtains eternal life (3 percent).

If you can call yourself a mainline Protestant and believe literally anything, it’s hard to tell what the value of the label is anymore. What is the point to remaining in a mainline Protestant church? At least, it seems many members of mainline Protestant churches have followed this line of thinking. The IRD’s president Mark Tooley commented in 2015 that mainline denominations in America have shrunk dramatically both in total membership and a fraction of the population over the past fifty years. The IRD’s Anglican Action director Jeff Walton has recently noted the particular danger to the Episcopal Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Tooley noted elsewhere that the largest mainline denomination, the United Methodist Church (UMC), has only escaped the general decline because it continues to grow in other areas of the world like Africa—which is less saturated with postmodern relativism. The camel is thrashing around inside the tent of mainline American Protestantism.

Successor Churches: Successes or Failures?

The point is not to knock mainline Protestants, but to warn that evangelicals may soon suffer the same fate. During this era of mainline decline, evangelical churches have continued to grow numerically if not as a percentage of the population. However, the Apostle Paul warned, “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). In context (1 Corinthians 10:6-11), he is reiterating the well-established Biblical principle of taking heed of one’s own path based on the fate of others (Psalm 95:7-11, Proverbs 22:3, Proverbs 27:12, Hebrews 3:7-4:11, Revelation 2-3). IRD’s Evangelical Action director, Chelsen Vicari, recently pointed out that many evangelicals perceive themselves to be innovating new approaches to the culture when in reality they are veering into the same byways as mainline denominations before them.

The same 2014 Pew Research study revealed that greater proportions of evangelicals held onto traditional doctrines than among mainline Protestants, but the numbers are still concerning. 50 percent of evangelicals expressed a belief in absolute standards of morality, and 52 percent said they looked to religious teachings as a moral guide. A mere 58 percent of evangelicals said that only Christianity can lead to eternal life. While 88 percent of evangelicals declared the Bible was the word of God, only 55 percent believed it should be interpreted literally. Only 56 percent of evangelicals retained the belief that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. More evangelicals retained belief in some core doctrines. For example, 88 percent believed in heaven, and 82 percent believed in hell. 88 percent were absolutely certain God exists, and 80 percent believed in a personal God.

Is this good enough? We might be tempted to think in terms of politics, where any result over 50 percent is a win, and anything in the 80 percent range is “virtually unanimous.” We might be tempted to think in terms of schooling, where 50 percent is a failing grade, but 80 percent is a decent showing—a B average. But a little false teaching “leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). According to the Pew survey, there is more than a little false teaching among evangelicals—12 percent are not sure whether—or positively believe—that the Bible is not the Word of God and that heaven does not exist; 18 percent are not sure about—or positively deny—the existence of hell; 20 percent don’t believe in a personal God; 42 percent say, or at least remain open to the possibility, that non-Christian religions can lead to eternal life; it goes on from there.

The universal church of Jesus Christ is described as the “body of Christ” in Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians. When people in the church reject God’s teaching, they are acting as aberrant parts of the body. Modern medicine helpfully provides us with a name for a condition where cells in the body behave abnormally and stop performing their proper function; it’s called cancer. If a human body was 12 percent, 20 percent, or 40 percent cancerous, would we call that body healthy? The world thinks Christians are hypocrites; can we blame them?

Someone may object that my language is too strong, that I go beyond the pale of what the Bible teaches. Here is how Jude 12-13 describes those in the church who teach false doctrine, “These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted, wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.”

A 2018 study by LifeWay and Ligonier, two Christian publication ministries, provides further and more specific evidence of the extent to which false beliefs have permeated the church, including evangelicals. I encourage you, the reader, to investigate their findings at your leisure. If nothing else, they drive home the confusion in the church amidst a culture steeped in moral relativism.

It may be that this camel has only got its head into the tent of evangelicalism. But if evangelicals continue to imitate the mistakes of the mainline denominations, then we too will prove that where the camel’s nose goes, the rest is sure to follow. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy is as appropriate now as at any moment in church history: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

via The Camel’s Nose—How Moral Relativism Kills Churches — Juicy Ecumenism

Faith Comes by Hearing God’s Promises — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Faith comes by hearing God’s promises. In this brief clip, W. Robert Godfrey explains what John Calvin taught about faith, knowledge, and gospel preaching.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for a donation of any amount this month only, you can also receive a copy of Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer, a documentary featuring interviews with R.C. Sproul and several Ligonier Teaching Fellows, on DVD. Offer ends 10/31/18.

Transcript

Calvin wanted to say to his people, ‘faith is knowledge.’ In order to believe, you have to know something. Faith is not just an emotion; faith has content. And for Calvin, the stress of the content was always the promises of God. It’s the preaching of the gospel that works faith. The preaching of law is necessary. It’s necessary to bring us to repentance. It’s necessary to guide us in the Christian life but the preaching of the law does not bring faith. Faith comes from hearing the promises of the gospel. That’s very much the spirit of John Calvin. Faith is knowledge, knowledge particularly of the promises of the gospel, knowledge particularly of God’s will to save us in Jesus Christ.

via Faith Comes by Hearing God’s Promises — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 18, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military and close the southern U.S. border on Thursday if Mexico did not move to halt large groups of migrants headed for the United States from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told his Chinese counterpart on Thursday that the world’s two largest economies needed to deepen high-level ties so as to navigate tension and rein in the risk of inadvertent conflict.

President Putin said that Islamic State (IS) militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by U.S.-backed forces and had executed some of them and promised to kill more.

A brothel-owning Republican candidate for the Nevada state legislature who died this week will remain on the ballot and win his election in November, his campaign manager predicted.

Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a “disappointment.”

President Donald Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, on Wednesday told his Cabinet to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 percent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared.

The head of the European Parliament said on Thursday EU countries who refuse to host refugees could instead pay more for EU migration and development projects in Africa, signaling possible compromise to end a bruising dispute in the bloc.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Pope Francis on Thursday and the president’s office said he had relayed an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the pope to visit.

Russian President Putin said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told him that Tokyo could not immediately sign a peace deal with Moscow without first agreeing certain pre-conditions.

New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped last week and the number of Americans on jobless rolls fell back to levels last seen in 1973, suggesting a further tightening in labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210,000 for the week ended Oct. 13.

AP Top Stories

The United States conducted its largest air strike in nearly two years against militants in Somalia, killing about 60 Al-Shabaab fighters, the US military said Tuesday.

Texas faces the threat of further flooding after days of heavy rain – with at least one person having died thanks to the downpour. A state of emergency has already been declared in 18 counties with the flooding having led to the collapse of a bridge. Within a span of 24 hours, the Llano River, northwest of Austin, Texas, rose from 10 feet to nearly 40 feet, just shy of an all-time record.

Tourists may soon get the chance to take the perfect selfie in the highly fortified border zone between North and South Korea, where the countries two leaders had a first historic handshake in April. Discussions are under way to allow public access to the border demarcation line in the Joint Security Area, where Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President, greeted each other with smiles and a hug at their first summit earlier this year.

As Poland prepares to mark the centenary of its independence this November, thousands of Poles are training in all weathers for a part-time force meant to help defend the eastern European state from invasion. More than 12,000 volunteers have joined the Territorial Defense Forces (WOT), as well as more than 2,000 professional soldiers. The government expects to add 10,000 recruits annually, to reach a total of more than 50,000 by the end of 2021.

Los Angeles County supervisors approved a $14.3 million settlement to the family of a man shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy in 2014.

President Donald Trump presented the nation’s highest military honor Wednesday to an 80-year-old retired Marine sergeant major who five decades ago “fought with unmatched bravery” at the beginning of one of the Vietnam War’s battles.

BBC

A senior US commander has narrowly escaped a gun attack in which top Afghan security officials were killed. The gunman, reported to be acting as a bodyguard, opened fire as officials left a meeting in Kandahar province. Provincial police chief Gen Abdul Raziq died, as did the head of the NDS intelligence service, reports said. The Kandahar governor was badly wounded. US commander Gen Scott Miller escaped unhurt but two other US citizens were injured.

The US has announced plans to withdraw from a 144-year-old postal treaty, which the White House says lets China ship goods at unfairly low prices. Under the treaty, a UN body sets lower international rates for packages from certain countries, a move originally designed to support poorer nations. But the US says the discounts put American businesses at a disadvantage.

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has issued an official government apology to Norwegian women who were mistreated over World War Two-era relationships with German soldiers. Norway, a neutral country, was invaded by Nazi forces in April 1940. Up to 50,000 Norwegian women are thought to have had intimate relationships with German soldiers. The Germans were also encouraged to have children with them by SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

WND

The death of Jesus has been portrayed countless times in many famous movies, from “Ben Hur” and “The Gospel of John” to “The Passion of the Christ.” But now, a controversial ad is showing the Son of God agreeing to become an organ donor while He’s being crucified.

Most millennials agree they would take a pay cut for the ability to bring their pet with them to work, a recent survey finds.

There are 62 confirmed cases across 22 states of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating 65 additional more. About 90 percent of the confirmed cases involve children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis, including in the face, neck, back or limbs.


News – 10/18/2018

Graham laments ‘what’s happened to Democratic Party
Rev. Franklin Graham is in a quandary as to what has become of the Democratic Party – especially with its frequently exposed anti-God and anti-America agenda. “In drafting the original platform, Democratic leaders had removed references to God – and to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They didn’t merely forget to mention God – in updating previous party platforms, they made a conscious decision to remove Him.”

The US is seeing a deadly shift in tornado activity — and scientists aren’t sure why
Tornado activity is increasing most in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and parts of Ohio and Michigan,…

US forces kill 60 Somali terrorists in largest airstrike this year
This week, the U.S. Military revealed their latest airstrike in Somalia was the largest carried out in a year, and about 60 terrorists were killed. The strike was carried out on Friday in conjunction with the Somalian government and killed an estimated 60 al-Shabaab terrorists in Haradere, Somalia – the largest airstrike since a Nov. 21, 2017 attack that killed 100 terrorists, according to a statement by U.S. Africa Command on Tuesday.

Security Cabinet: Rules of the game have changed
Air strikes against terror targets in Gaza, intensifying IDF’s response to breaching attempts and launching of incendiary balloons while showing containment are presented as operational plans at Cabinet meeting; DM Lieberman’s suggestion to take more aggressive approach is rejected.

State trying to silence pastor upset over abortion for 13-year-old
A lawsuit accuses the Department of Children’s Services in Tennessee of violating free speech, petition and establishment-clause rights by seeking a court order to shut down a website exposing the agency’s facilitation of an abortion for a 13-year-old against her parents’ wishes. Attorney Van Irion filed suit in federal court on behalf of the pastor of the teen’s family, Mark Carr, who created the Johnathan’s Law website to expose the agency’s actions.

‘This is catastrophic for Democrats’
The AP reported the settlement was between Debora Nearman, who works for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the state’s Service Employees International Union. The report said the case marks “the first refund of forced fees since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that government workers can’t be required to contribute to labor groups.”

FBI sat on Hillary emails for month, says Judicial Watch
FBI agents knew there were hundreds of thousands of Hillary Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to the husband of top aide Huma Abedin weeks before they notified Congress, which was investigating the email scandal at the time, a new cache of documents obtained by Judicial Watch reveals. The Washington watchdog said Wednesday it the new documents show the FBI “didn’t even bother to look at the emails, and then again only partially, for weeks.”

‘Game change’ coming in Israeli response to Gaza terror, Gallant says
Housing Minister and former IDF Southern Commander Yoav Gallant hinted on Thursday that Israel will carry out a stronger response against Hamas in the Gaza strip. “I do not refer to the content of the cabinet discussions, but I can say one thing very explicitly – The game is about to change. We will no longer accept the fire terror,” Gallant said.

Turkey’s top oil refiner appeals to U.S for waiver from Iran sanctions
Turkey’s top refiner, Tupras, is in talks with US officials to obtain a waiver allowing it to keep buying Iranian oil after Washington reinstates sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s energy sector… The United States is preparing to impose the new sanctions on Iran’s oil industry after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers earlier this year, but is also considering offering waivers to some allies that rely on Iranian supplies.

Crimea attack: Kerch students left with horrific bomb injuries
Students have been left with horrific injuries after a bomb went off at a college in Crimea and a gunman killed 20 people with a rifle. The killer has been named as Vladislav Roslyakov by Russia, which annexed Crimea in 2014. Fifteen fellow students and five teachers died at Kerch technical college. Ten victims are in intensive care; some have had limbs amputated.

Israeli companies to secure UN forces in Africa
In a move deemed by Israel as a vote of confidence, the United Nations recently signed purchase agreements worth tens of millions of shekels with Israeli companies specializing in security and water services. In light of the deteriorating security situation that has severely affected UN aid workers operating in dozens of locations in Africa…the organization decided to launch an emergency tender in order to purchase defense systems for UN bases.

Deputy DM: Iron Dome to be deployed in Be’er Sheva area
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan stated…that the Iron Dome battery will probably be deployed in the Be’er Sheva area during the upcoming days, following the rocket fire that hit a home in Be’er Sheva and the water off the coast of a central Israeli city. Ben-Dahan was asked…whether one of the Iron Dome batteries deployed in the south of the country sustained a malfunction, leading to the destruction of the house in the southern city.

As tensions mount, Mattis seeks more resilient U.S. ties with China’s military
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told his Chinese counterpart on Thursday that the world’s two largest economies needed to deepen high-level ties so as to navigate tension and rein in the risk of inadvertent conflict. Mattis saw firsthand last month how mounting Sino-U.S. friction can undermine military contacts when Beijing up-ended plans for him to travel to China in October to meet Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

Defying US, UN gives ‘Palestine’ extra rights so it can head major bloc in 2019
The General Assembly on Tuesday voted by an overwhelming majority to temporarily grant the “State of Palestine” additional rights and privileges, allowing it to head the biggest bloc of developing countries at the United Nations.

France hit by worst flash floods in 100 years – Collapsed bridge
An aerial view shows a collapsed bridge in the city of Villegailhenc, near Carcassonne, southern France following heavy rains that saw rivers bursting banks.

What would Jesus do? Donate your organs
The death of Jesus has been portrayed countless times in many famous movies, from “Ben Hur” and “The Gospel of John” to “The Passion of the Christ.” But now, a controversial ad is showing the Son of God agreeing to become an organ donor while he’s being crucified.

Burger King Launches Demonic ‘Nightmare King’ Whopper Scientifically Proven To Increase Your Terrifying Dreams By 350 Percent
BK created this disgusting barf burger to not just offend you visually and physically, but with the goal of attacking you in your dreams while you sleep. Lest you think we are overstating our point, you should know that Burger King hired a sleep diagnostic services company to verify that your nightmares will increase a minimum of 350% after ingesting their putrid concoction.

Levi Strauss & Co. To Donate $1 Million+ To Anti-Gun Groups
The president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., Chip Bergh, has announced that the iconic company, “a pioneer of the American West,” will donate more than $1 million to gun-control groups to help end “America’s gun violence epidemic,” a step the NRA denounced as a “particularly sad episode in the current surge in corporate virtue-signaling.”

$13,799,501 Federal Contract Requires UC San Francisco to Obtain Aborted-Baby Parts to Humanize Mice
A federal contract that the National Institutes of Health signed with the University of California at San Francisco requires UCSF to obtain body parts from unborn babies to make at least two types of “humanized mice,” according to “the statement of work” included in the contract solicitation published by NIH.

Honduran Migrant Caravan EXPLODES to 4,000 People as it Approaches Mexico-Guatemala Border
On Wednesday, the caravan of mostly Honduran migrants exploded to a whopping 4,000 people as it approached the Mexico-Guatemala border, despite President Trump’s warnings to cut off U.S. aid.

Dem Operative For Soros-Funded Group Arrested For ‘Battery’ Against Republican Campaign Manager in Nevada
Thank you Eric Holder and Maxine Waters. Wilfred Michael Stark III, 50, a Democrat operative funded by George Soros, was arrested Tuesday after a Nevada Republican campaign manager accused him of grabbing her arm and refusing to let go.

The Story Of David And Goliath Gets Archaeological Evidence Backing It Up
Scoffers beware: the Biblical tale of David and Goliath just got more real than ever, thanks to an archaeological discovery that fits the Biblical description of Goliath’s armor.

Rep. Gaetz Sounds the Alarm After Footage Surfaces of Women & Children Given Cash to Join Honduran Caravan to Storm U.S. Border
On Wednesday, the caravan of mostly Honduran migrants exploded to a whopping 4,000 people as it approached the Mexico-Guatemala border, despite President Trump’s warnings to cut off U.S. aid.

Trump-Bashing Puerto Rico Mayor Raided by FBI Over Corruption Allegations
FBI agents raided the offices of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Tuesday, looking for evidence of corruption within the city’s government by the Trump-bashing official.

China To Launch Artificial Moon Into Orbit And Replace Street Lights By 2020
China is to launch an artificial moon into space in an attempt to illuminate one of the country’s largest cities by the year 2020.

CDC Searches For Answers On Why Mysterious Polio-Like Disease Is Flaring Up In US Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is searching for answers on 127 suspected and confirmed cases of a polio-like disease leaving children across the U.S. paralyzed.

Democrats Silent As Hate Preacher Louis Farrakhan Gets Standing Ovation For Blistering Attack On The Jews Calling Them ‘Termites’
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed a gathering in Detroit on Sunday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March, and used it as a platform to launch yet another attack on Jews, calling them “termites.”

U.S. Military Spokesman: ISIS Still Poses a Threat in Iraq
Iraqi and Syrian fighters, with support from the U.S.-led coalition, continue to stamp out pockets of ISIS resistance in the desert and in cities where some of the terrorists are still dug in.

More Than 1,100 People Are Still Missing A Week After Hurricane Michael
More than 1,100 people are missing in Florida a week after Hurricane Michael slammed into state’s panhandle, Reuters reports.


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Anthony Wade – The Biblical Case For Discernment

Mark Taylor: Hurricane Michael Was Created by Man to Help Andrew Gillum Win Office

Charlie Shamp 2017 Maine Fishing Industry Prophecy Failed: Fishing Industry Declined Despite Word Saying It Would Break Records

Mall Retailer Spencer Gifts Sells ‘Let’s Summon Demons,’ ‘Let’s Sacrifice Toby’ T-Shirts: Viral Video

Longtime Baptist Pastor Retired After Being Accused of ‘Inappropriate Relationship,’ Church Says

Abortionist: “I’m Proud” I Kill Babies in Abortions Because I’m “Helping People”

Facebook Takes Down Pro-Life Group’s Posts and Ads, Calling Them “Hate Speech”

12 Christians Arrested in Sudan for Sharing Gospel With Muslims


Headlines – 10/18/2018

Tensions escalate as Israeli jets pound targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire

Netanyahu: Israel will act with ‘great strength’ against Hamas

We can hit Gaza harder, general warns as leaders meet on flareup

Cabinet instructs army to step up response to Gaza violence

Security cabinet meeting ends after 5 hours of talks on Gaza flareup

Deputy DM: Iron Dome to be deployed in Be’er Sheva area

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt slams Hamas for rocket attack which destroyed Be’er Sheva home

EU says rocket fire toward Israel ‘completely unacceptable’

Hamas denies responsibility for attack; IDF: Only Hamas has these rockets

Report: Gaza factions had agreed to scale back protests before rockets launched

US official: ‘Hamas continues to cause suffering’

US peace envoy says Gaza rocket attack ‘sets back’ humanitarian efforts

Egyptian intel chief said to postpone trip to region amid Gaza tensions

Hamas denies firing rockets, ‘regrets’ cancellation of Egypt intel visit

PA accuses Israel of ‘escalation’

IDF: ‘We will not hesitate to punish anyone who helps the terrorist’

Australia’s spy agency warned government Israel embassy move could provoke violent unrest

UNESCO: Why the United States Needs to Watch Out

Twitter says no plans to ban Farrakhan after comparison of Jews to termites

Syrian representative Jaafari Calls for Exerting Pressure on Israel to Put Its Facilities Under IAEA Supervision

UN to deliver aid to Syrians trapped near Jordan border

Border Checkpoint Re-opens As Amman & Damascus Seek To Normalize Ties

US imposes sanctions on Iraq-based money exchange for ISIS ties

U.S. sanctions show disregard for human rights of all Iranians: foreign minister

Iran: Suspect Mastermind Behind Deadly Military Parade Attack Killed in Iraq

Top U.S. Military General: Islamist Terror Still Major Threat

Twitter says it found more than 10 million posts by ‘potentially state-backed’ Iranian and Russian accounts dating back to 2009

Iran accuses US of ‘blind vindictiveness’

Iranian FM: US reliance on sanctions ‘out of control’

Iran Calls US Efforts to Cut Its Oil Exports to Zero ‘Political Bluff’

Report: Israeli stealth jets flew over Iran

Trump says US needs Saudis in fight against terror, Iran

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October 18, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Excluded From Righteousness

For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. (5:5–6)

A fourth consequence of trusting in works is to be excluded from the righteousness for which the believer has hope, to forsake the true life of blessing God desires for His children.

The Judaizers’ hope of righteousness was based on adding imperfect and worthless works of law in a vain attempt to complete the perfect and priceless work of Christ, which they assumed to be incomplete and imperfect. We, that is, true believers, Paul says, through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness that is based on God’s grace.

Believers already possess the imputed righteousness of justification, but the yet-incomplete righteousness of total sanctification and glorification still awaits them. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.… The creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:18, 21). In this life, believers are still waiting for the completed and perfected righteousness that is yet to come.

Paul here mentions three characteristics of the godly life, the life that continues to live by the grace through which salvation was received. First of all, it is a life lived through the Spirit rather than the flesh. Second, it is a life lived by faith rather than works. And third, it is a life lived in patient waiting and hope rather than in the anxious uncertainty of bondage to the law.

Nothing that is either done or not done in the flesh, not even religious ceremony, makes any difference in one’s relationship to God. In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything. The outward is totally unimportant and worthless, except as it genuinely reflects inner righteousness.

Life in the Spirit is not static and inactive, but it is faith working through love, not the flesh working through self-effort. Believers are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). But their working is the product of their faith, not a substitute for it. They do not work for righteousness but out of righteousness, through the motivating power of love. In so doing they “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might” (Col. 1:10–11).

Love needs neither the prescriptions nor the proscriptions of the law, because its very nature is to fulfill the law’s demands. As Paul declares a few verses later, “the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Gal. 5:14; cf. Rom. 13:8). A person does not, for instance, steal from or lie to someone he truly loves. He certainly does not kill someone he loves. The person who lives by faith works under the internal compulsion of love and does not need the outward compulsion of law.

The story is told of an aspiring artist who was commissioned to do a large sculpture for a famous museum. At last he had the opportunity to create the masterpiece he had long dreamed of. After laboring over the work for many years, he saw it grow not only in shape but in beauty. But when it was finished he discovered to his horror that it was much too large to be taken out a window or door and that the cost for tearing down part of the building in order to remove it was prohibitive. His masterpiece was forever a captive to the room in which it was created.

That is the fate of all human religion. Nothing a person does to earn God’s favor can leave the room of this earth where his self-made works are created.[1]


5–6 Paul’s argument shifts subtly here in vv. 5–6. These two verses must be understood together, as they function at this point of the letter as a tightly packed theological statement that positively recapitulates the whole of Paul’s argument, and “each term and construction of the sentence is significant” (Burton, 279). Paul writes here of the Spirit, implicitly contrasting life in the Spirit with enslavement to law observance. In this way Paul refocuses attention where he began his supportive discussion (3:1–5) of the letter’s propositio (2:15–21) and looks immediately forward to his discussion of life in the Spirit (5:13–18). He writes also about faith, which implicitly recaptures for the Galatians his use of Abraham as the exemplar of justification through faith in the person and promise of God (3:6–18). He states that Christians “eagerly await … the righteousness for which we hope,” which often functions as background to Paul’s thought as an expression of the value of present Christian experience (as, e.g., in Ro 2:5–16; 1 Th 5:8). And he states that, in Christ, there is no soteriological significance to being circumcised or uncircumcised (cf. 3:28), which is the burden of all that Paul has written to this point. All of this is then followed up with and subsumed in the statement that what does matter for believers in Christ is “faith expressing itself through love.”

These verses are intended by Paul as a reminder to the Galatians that “Christ has set [them] free” (v. 1) from slavery to the law. But freedom in Christ does not leave one without a moral compass, as the Judaizers seemingly maintained; there is no necessity for the yoke of the law to guide one’s moral life. Instead, Paul insists here that the operative dynamic for the follower of Jesus is the ethic of love, worked out in one’s life by the Spirit as he enables righteous behavior. This is the proper expression of one’s faith in Christ.[2]


5:5 / Paul distinguishes the path the Galatians are considering from the one they are on. As believers they live in hope of righteousness, a hope that is theirs by faith … through the Spirit. Paul brings together several strands of his argument: the Spirit, which is the evidence that the promise made to Abraham is given to Gentiles (3:14), is the means by which righteousness is given; righteousness is given to those of faith (2:16; 3:6–9), who are those who have received the Spirit (3:2). But, perhaps in recognition of the Galatians’ legitimate and realistic recognition that they do not yet display the traits of righteous people, Paul also nuances his case. He speaks of the righteousness for which we hope, in contrast to his earlier statement that believers are justified through the faith of Christ (2:16). In this he possibly demonstrates respect for the Galatians’ concern that their faith in Christ has not yet made them righteous. After all, the Galatian Christians would not have been attracted to law observance unless they had felt some deficiency in their Christian lives. In response Paul declares that his converts can expect righteousness only through his gospel, which is why they and he may now wait eagerly. The outcome is assured for those “in Christ.”

The phrase “the righteousness for which we hope” can be taken to mean either hope that has righteousness as its object or hope that righteousness produces. Commentators are divided over this matter, depending on whether or not they want to harmonize this phrase with statements in the letter that present righteousness as a present state for believers. For those who think Paul is consistent on this issue the second option is chosen (so Matera, Galatians, p. 182). The first option is the choice of those who think that since righteousness refers both to behavior and standing before God, there is an “already—not yet” aspect to Paul’s view of righteousness for believers (e.g., Burton, Galatians, p. 278). It is also possible that even in those places where Paul is usually interpreted as saying that righteousness is a present reality (2:16 and 3:21), he may be speaking of righteousness as a dynamic state that has begun and will continue to grow. Paul’s subsequent advice about the character of living by the Spirit (5:16) would suggest that he understands righteousness as the new reality into which believers have been transferred and by which they now are being shaped.[3]


5. In contrast with those who presumably might fall into the error against which the apostle issues his warning, Paul’s own position, the conviction of the Galatians who have remained loyal, and, in general, the firm persuasion of believers everywhere, is set forth in the following passage, in which the emphasis falls on the word which in the original heads the sentence, namely, “we” or, as we can also render it, “as to ourselves.” Says Paul: For, as to ourselves, it is through the Spirit, by faith, that we eagerly await the hoped for righteousness. The conjunction γάρ can best be interpreted in its more usual sense as indicating the cause or reason for the thought that was expressed in the preceding verse. What Paul is saying then amounts to something along this line, “Those who yield to the Judaizers have fallen away from grace because they refuse to give due credit to the work of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, as to ourselves, we recognize that Spirit as the source of all our striving and of our ultimate victory.” That the word pneuma, which by itself can be rendered either spirit (6:1, 18) or Spirit (the Holy), must here be interpreted in the latter sense, as nearly always in Galatians, follows from all that Paul has been saying previously in this epistle and from all that he says elsewhere concerning the activity of the third person of the Trinity. Thus, the idea that it is through the Spirit that by faith we eagerly await the hoped-for righteousness is in line with the teaching that the law produces death (Rom. 7:10; 8:2), but the Spirit makes alive (Gal. 4:29; Rom. 8:3, 4, 10; cf. John 3:5); that the law creates fear and wretchedness (Rom. 8:15), but the Spirit brings about hope and assurance (Rom. 8:16; Eph. 1:13); that the law enslaves (Gal. 3:23; 4:24, 25), but the Spirit brings about freedom (Gal. 4:29–5:1). Considered from God’s side, therefore, salvation is the gift of the Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13; cf. Eph. 2:5, 8). Viewed from man’s side it is received by faith, but even this faith, both in its initiation and at every step of the way, is Spirit-given. And if faith is God-given, why should not hope be also? And why should not the thing hoped for, in this case: the hoped-for righteousness, be also assigned to the Holy Spirit, this all the more because the very presence of the Spirit in the hearts of believers is considered a pledge and first instalment of greater glories to come (Eph. 1:13, 14)?

These greater glories to come are definitely in the mind of the writer, for he says that “through the Spirit, by faith we eagerly await (cf. Rom. 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor. 1:7) the hoped-for righteousness.” To be sure, the verdict of acquittal has already been pronounced, so that even now the peace of God has smiled its way into our hearts (Rom. 5:1). But one day, namely, at Christ’s glorious return, our righteousness will be declared publicly. Cf. Matt. 25:31–40; Luke 18:1–8; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:10. To this day and to this blessing we, through the Spirit, by faith, eagerly look forward, not doubting that God will fulfil his promise.[4]


5:5–6. Contrary to the false approach described in vv. 2–4, Paul gave the proper approach. First, salvation does not require obedience to law; it is by the Spirit (cf. 3:2–3). It is not by works; it is by faith (cf. 2:16). Further, in Paul’s letters, first, righteousness is often a state of acceptance with God (e.g., Rm 3:22; 4:13; 10:5). Second, hope is often objective; that is, not a feeling but a thing hoped for (Ac 28:20; 2Co 3:12; Eph 1:18). Thus v. 5b can be rendered “we are waiting for the future hope that our present righteousness will grant us.” Furthermore, Christian living does not require obedience to law. Thus circumcision as part of conversion to Judaism does not matter. What matters is faith—ongoing trust in Christ—expressed though love. While the NT often views love as an attitude or motivation (Rm 5:7–8; 1Co 4:21; 13:3), here Paul has in mind the other side of love: godly action (1Jn 3:18). Joseph Fitzmyer, in his comments on 1Co 13:1–3, defines love as “a spontaneous inward affection of one person for another that manifests itself in an outgoing concern for the other and impels one to self-giving” (First Corinthians, The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries, [New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008], 489).[5]


5:5. In contrast with legalists, true believers by faith (not works) eagerly await (apekdechometha; used seven times in the NT of the return of Christ: Rom. 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor. 1:7; Gal. 5:5; Phil. 3:20; Heb. 9:28) the consummation of their salvation (cf. Rom. 8:18–25). Then the righteousness for which we hope will be fully realized (cf. 1 Peter 1:3–4, 13). At the coming of Christ believers will be completely conformed to all the requirements of God’s will. The inward and forensic righteousness which began at justification will be transformed into an outward righteousness at glorification. God will then publicly acknowledge all believers’ full acceptability with Him.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Galatians (pp. 136–137). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Rapa, R. K. (2008). Galatians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 621–622). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Jervis, L. A. (2011). Galatians (pp. 130–131). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Galatians (Vol. 8, pp. 196–198). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Peterman, G. W. (2014). Galatians. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (pp. 1837–1838). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] Campbell, D. K. (1985). Galatians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 605). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

October 18 Ask for Wisdom

For the Lord gives wisdom.

Proverbs 2:6

I believe God will provide the wisdom to understand any trial if we will ask Him. If we don’t ask, the Lord may allow the trial to continue until we demonstrate that we have learned to be dependent on Him through the trial.

If you lack wisdom, you’re commanded to ask God for it. Wisdom is never withheld from a believer who needs it and asks for it as he perseveres through a trial. Isn’t that a wonderful promise? Sometimes we don’t ask; we do everything but ask God. We ought to be on our knees crying out from our hearts for God to give us His direction.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 315). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

October 18 Liberty or License?

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?”

Romans 6:15–16

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Freedom from sin does not mean freedom to sin.

From Paul’s day until now, the gospel of grace has been accused of providing license to sin. If salvation is the gift of God’s grace, legalists argue, wholly apart from human works, what will motivate people to lead holy lives? In the face of such opposition, Paul never gave an inch on the vital issue of salvation by grace—and neither can we. The Bible teaches a salvation that is entirely by God’s free grace through faith and in which human works play no part.

But there is a second way in which the doctrine of salvation by grace may be perverted. Fulfilling the legalists’ fears, some believe that since God’s grace covers all their sins, they can live as they choose. In today’s passage Paul addresses that error.

The very thought of a Christian living in persistent, habitual sin horrified Paul. To the hypothetical question “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” Paul responded emphatically, “May it never be!” As in verse 2, the apostle used the strongest form of negation in the Greek language. In our English vernacular, Paul was saying “Ridiculous! Impossible! No way!” He went on to point out the self–evident truth that no one can serve two masters. Everyone is either a servant of sin or a servant of God; there is no third option. And the one to whom people habitually yield their obedience is their real master, no matter what they may claim.

Don’t be deceived by those who claim that since Christians are forgiven, they can therefore sin at will. Such people know nothing of God’s grace, which, far from giving us license to sin, “instruct[s] us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His grace, which is always greater than your sin (Rom. 5:20).

For Further Study: Read Joshua 24:14–27; Matthew 4:8–11; and 1 Thessalonians 1:8–9. Spend some time in prayer, asking God to help you renew your commitment to serve Him.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

How Our Culture Justifies Its Sexual Freedom (the 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity #9) — Canon Fodder

I continue to (slowly) work my way through my series on “The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity.”  It’s an examination of 10 core tenets of progressive (or liberal) Christianity offered by Richard Rohr, but really based on the book by Philip Gulley.

Those keeping up with the numbers will notice that I skipped #7 and #8.  Well, that is because those chapters in Gulley’s book were decidedly not progressive.  Indeed, I agreed with many things in those chapters and found them helpful.

But, as we turn to the ninth commandment, the progressive emphasis returns with vigor: “We should care more about love and less about sex.”

Of all the postmodern cliches that abound, this one may be the most common.  And it’s quite effective, rhetorically speaking. After all, it tells people what they already want to hear.  They want to hear that they have all the sexual freedom they desire and, at the same time, that they are good people who are just about “love.”

It allows a person to keep their questionable behavior and congratulate themselves on their own moral superiority–at the same time.

Gulley’s book expands this cliche into a full-blown argument for sexual freedom.  And he does so by adopting an all-too-common strategy.  I will let out his strategy step by step.

Step #1: Tout the moral virtues of those in sexual sin

The first step in the playbook is to show that those people engaging in the disputed sexual behavior are genuinely nice, wonderful and all-around virtuous folks.  This is a move designed to make people second-guess whether the sexual sin is all that bad.  After all, if it’s so bad, then how could such wonderful people be doing it?

Our put another way, if wonderful people engage in a behavior I think is wrong, then maybe I ought to rethink whether it is wrong.

Gulley brilliantly executes this move.  His first example is of an elderly couple in their eighties who are sleeping together outside of marriage (157-159).  We are told that they were “kind,” they “warmly welcome” people into their “modest home,” and pictures of “grandchildren lined the walls” (158)

Thus, Gulley’s entire strategy is built on the premise that something is wrong only if they people doing it are mean-spirited jerks. In fact, Gully draws this conclusion directly: “The home they created was one of deep love and mutual respect. . . nothing about any of that felt like sin to me” (160).

But, this is not the way Christians think about morality.  Christians don’t claim something is wrong only if “really awful” people do it.  We argue something is bad if it conflicts with God’s character, which is reflected in his moral commandments.

Thus, Christians would argue it is very possible (and very common!) for very nice people with many other virtues to be engaged in behavior that is very wrong.

Of course, Gulley (and postmodern people in general) do not live out their premise consistently.  If being nice makes a behavior OK, then what happens when a very nice person turns out to be a child molester?  They certainly wouldn’t argue, in that instance, that we must accept such behavior.

Step #2:  Insist that God has bigger things to worry about

The next step in the strategy is to downplay God’s holiness.  He’s not concerned about sexual sin anyway.  It doesn’t really bother him.  He’s got bigger things to worry about.

Gulley states this plainly to the elderly couple, “You know, friends, I think God has bigger things to worry about. Let’s just be grateful you have each other” (158).

Of course, one is free to portray God in this manner. But, they cannot claim that this is the God of the Bible.  The God of the Bible is actually very holy, and talks a good bit about sexual activity and sexual sin.  And that’s not just because God is prudish and “old school,” but because sexual sin hits at the heart of our humanity.  It also hits against the way marriage reflects the union of Christ and his church.

Step #3: Show that the sexual behavior actually leads to good results

The third strategic step is no less brilliant. Gulley then shows how the sexual sin actually has good results.  Or, if not good results, then at least that sexual activity solves other problems.

Standing behind this argument is an unspoken premise, namely that something is good if it leads to something good.  Good results justify the behavior.

In terms of the elderly couple, Gulley notes that they were financially strapped and had to live together in order to make ends meet.  Also, they were just “lonely” and needed the companionship (158).

The reason this strategic move works so well, is that anyone who insists they should not be living together sounds like they are callous to their financial situation and care nothing of their loneliness.

But, that is not the biblical perspective.  One can still by very compassionate and sympathetic about their situation, and, at the same time, remind them they still need to follow God’s guidance for sexual activity.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

Moreover, we would want to challenge the idea that good results justify the behavior.  Again, postmodern folks don’t apply that to other areas.  My inability to pay rent on my house does not give me the right to rob a bank.

Step #4: Portray those against certain sexual behaviors as mean-spirited and cruel

Every good story has a foil–a nemesis you can cheer against.  In this story of the elderly couple, Gulley describes the church elder who first informed him of this couple’s situation.  Instead of the warm, positive description given to the elderly couple, this man gets the opposite.

He is portrayed a “critical,” “unduly upset,” one who “roundly condemned” others, and eager to enforce his “rather extensive sexual code” (v.159). Gulley even implies he is financially stingy, unwilling to help this poor elderly couple.

So, according to Gulley’s overly simplistic portrayal, it’s not the people engaging in sexual sin that are the problem, but it is the guy who points it out who is the problem!

This is the morality of postmodernity.  The tables are reversed.

Completely missing in this account is the idea that sin harms people and that perhaps this elder was genuinely concerned with the damage that sexual sin causes in peoples lives.  In other words, is it possible–this is a shocking idea in our postmodern world–that is actually loving to confront sin?

Step #5:  Insist Jesus is on your side

The final step in the justification of sexual sin is to enlist the help of Jesus. To do so, Gulley trots out the standard cliches about Jesus being more gracious to sinners than to the legalists. He even appeals (not surprisingly) to the story of Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman (166).

What Gulley leaves out, however, is that the woman came to Jesus not defiant in her sins but repentant of them!  Indeed, Jesus indicates that “her sins. . . are many” but that they “are forgiven” (Luke 7:47).   Yes, Jesus forgives sinners.  But we must acknowledge and admit we are sinners.

In sum, Gulley’s ninth commandment is a masterpiece of progressive Christianity.  It runs through the classic playbook of justifying sexual sin and, at first glance, can seem quite compelling.

But in the end it just doesn’t hold up.  We are not called to care about love instead of sex.  We are called to care about both.

How Our Culture Justifies Its Sexual Freedom (the 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity #9) — Canon Fodder

Academics Claim Their Non-PC Transgender Research is Being Censored | Intellectual Takeout

“Freedom of the intellect means the freedom to report what one has seen, heard, and felt, and not to be obliged to fabricate imaginary facts and feelings.” – George Orwell

Academics Claim Their Non-PC Transgender Research is Being Censored

Academic publishing is being viewed with increasing skepticism the last several years. This skepticism, of course, is not helped with academic papers about the whiteness of pumpkins, oppressed squirrels, and dog rape, the latter being a hoax to prove that academic publishing has indeed gone off the deep end. 

If such unique, rather irrelevant topics are considered worthy of academic publishing, then surely genuine academic studies and inquiries about major issues facing today’s society must be welcome, right?

An open letter by over 50 British academics hailing from fields ranging from philosophy to neuroscience suggests that’s not the case. According to the letter published in The Guardian, these academics have discovered that the “proper academic analysis and discussion of … transgenderism” is being suppressed. The academics report:
— Read on www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/academics-claim-their-non-pc-transgender-research-being-censored

Free E-Book: The Jesus Quest: The Danger from Within

The Domain for Truth

Here’s a 722 page book edited by Norman Geisler and David Farnell.

This is the book’s description:

THE MOST SHOCKING EXPOSÉ OF THE MASSIVE EROSION OF THE DOCTRINE OF INERRANCY IN THE EVANGELICAL CAMP SINCE BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE (1978)!
This work examines the historical and philosophical strengths and/or weaknesses of current evangelical approaches espousing some forms of post-modernistic historiography and its resultant search for the “historical Jesus.” It demonstrates the marked undermining impact these efforts have had on the biblical text, especially the Gospels, as well as inerrancy issues. It compares the Jesus Seminar’s approach with current evangelical practices of searching in terms of their evidential apologetic impact on the trustworthiness of the Gospels. A number of well-known, contemporary evangelical scholars are involved in the so-called “Third Quest” for the historical Jesus. This book raises serious questions about such an endeavor.

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October 18 God’s Transforming Word

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” (Ps. 19:7).

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God can transform you through His Word into the person He wants you to be.

Many today doubt the power of Scripture in dealing with the deeper aspects of the human heart and mind. The Bible may be helpful for certain superficial or “spiritual” problems, they say, but it’s too simplistic and inadequate for the more complex psychological issues of modern man. The truth is, however, the best psychology can do is to modify external behavior. It cannot redeem and transform the soul. Only God can do that through the power of His Word.

That’s the truth behind Psalm 19:7, which calls Scripture “the law of the Lord,” thus emphasizing its didactic nature. It is the sum of God’s instruction to man, whether for creed (what we believe), character (what we are), or conduct (what we do).

The law of the Lord is “perfect.” That represents a common Hebrew word that speaks of wholeness, completeness, or sufficiency. Commentator Albert Barnes wrote that Scripture “lacks nothing [for] its completeness; nothing in order that it might be what it should be. It is complete as a revelation of Divine truth; it is complete as a rule of conduct. … It is absolutely true; it is adapted with consummate wisdom to the [needs] of man; it is an unerring guide of conduct. There is nothing there which would lead men into error or sin; there is nothing essential for man to know which may not be found there” (Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, Vol. 1 [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1974], p. 171).

Man’s reasoning is imperfect, but God’s Word is perfect, containing everything necessary for your spiritual life. It is so comprehensive that it can restore your soul. That is, it will convert, revive, refresh, and transform every aspect of your being to make you precisely the person God wants you to be.

Don’t look to impotent human alternatives when God’s Word stands ready to minister to your every need. Spiritual warfare is fought with spiritual weapons, not fleshly techniques, theories, or therapies (2 Cor. 10:4).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to keep you focused on His counsel regarding every situation you face today.

For Further Study: Memorize 2 Corinthians 9:8 as a reminder of God’s super-abounding grace to you.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 304). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Thursday Briefing Oct 18, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

After firing and settlement, it turns out all the Atlanta fire chief was guilty of was believing biblical Christianity

How changes in Brazil’s cultural and religious landscape have led to a political very dramatic political choice

In upcoming presidential election, Brazil represents far more than Brazil, and far more than Latin America

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— Read on albertmohler.com/2018/10/18/thursday-oct-18-2018/

When God Gave His Holy Spirit to Simple Men in Great Abundance

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, now in his mid-thirties, made his way to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the church door. Originally intended as propositions for public debate, the theses were written in Latin—the language of the scholar, not of the street. Luther could have had no idea that they would echo around Europe and become the catalyst for a spiritual revolution.

Many of those who saw the papers on the Castle Church door—which seems to have served as a public notice board—would not have been able to read Latin. But soon the theses were translated into German and thereafter spread throughout Europe like wildfire—indeed, like an “act of God.”

What were the Ninety-Five Theses? They were statements aimed directly at specific corruptions in the church of Luther’s day, many of them related to issues of pardon, purgatory, and the power of the pope. The first of them was particularly startling:

By saying “Repent,” our Lord and Master Jesus Christ willed that the whole of the life of believers should be repentance. (Dominus et magister noster Iesus Christus dicendo “Poenitentiam agite etc.” omnem vitam fidelium poenitentiam esse voluit.)

Luther had grasped that the Vulgate translation of “Repent” (poenitentiam agite) was open to the misinterpretation “Do penitence (or penance).” And he had also grasped a principle that John Calvin would later expound with great clarity: penitence or repentance is not the action of a moment; it is the turning around of a life—the rejection of sin effected by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit. It cannot therefore be a single act completed in a moment; it is a style of life that lasts until glory.

Luther led a full and adventurous life that only an extensive biography can well describe. He was a remarkable man with enormous God-given energy. His speech was direct and plain and not infrequently earthy. He was a teacher of theology, a preacher of the gospel, and an author of some of the most important books in the Reformation period. Notable among his early publications was his On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, which exposed the church’s failures, while in On the Freedom of a Christian he explained how in Jesus Christ believers are set free both to love God and to serve their neighbor. Thus he wrote in a beautifully crafted sentence that captures the paradox of the gospel-centered life: “A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.”

By his preaching, by writing, and especially by his influence in the explanation of salvation by grace through faith in Christ, Luther was used by God to transform the Christian church. The leading Reformers in England and Scotland were influenced by his writings, often smuggled in by merchant sailors. In Scotland in particular, the martyrs of St. Andrews, Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart (whose bodyguard John Knox had been), were disciples of Luther’s teaching. Likewise in England, the heroic William Tyndale left a legacy not only in his English translation of the Bible but in an entire body of literature that echoed the German Reformer’s work.

But what did Luther teach? His chief emphases are aptly summarized in the well-known Reformation solas: (1) sola Scriptura: we come to know God through Scripture alone, not through the traditions of the church as such; (2) sola gratia: we come to receive forgiveness by God’s grace alone, not because we are able to earn merit; (3) sola fide: we receive justification by faith alone, and not by faith plus something else; (4) solus Christus: all of God’s riches are given to us in Christ alone; (5) soli Deo gloria: the goal of all of life is the glory of God alone.

These principles simply underlined the emphases Luther found in Scripture. But in context, what is most significant about them is not only what they stressed but what they bypassed. Neither Luther nor the other magisterial Reformers despised the church. But they saw the church as only a witness to and a powerful illustration of salvation by grace—not the dispenser of that salvation. In a sense, then, the church had not only failed to teach the gospel rightly; it had usurped the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation. It was the reestablishing of the Spirit’s ministry in the application of redemption that brought such a sense of the immediacy of God’s grace and the joy and relief of pardon and new life in Christ. It is to Christ alone and not to the mediation of the church that we need to turn for grace and salvation.

We have not discussed here the other great Reformers—Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger, John Calvin and John Knox, and many others. But even this brief glance at Luther and his influence shows that the sixteenth century was a monumental period in the history of the Christian church. It was not without its faults, nor without its failures. But Christians in those days were bursting with the power and the energy of this great discovery—that the burden of their sins had been taken by Jesus Christ and they, at last, could be set free. These were days, as Knox explained, when “God gave His Holy Spirit to simple men in great abundance.”

That is what we still need!

This excerpt is adapted from In the Year of Our Lord by Sinclair Ferguson.

— Read on www.ligonier.org/blog/when-god-gave-his-holy-spirit-simple-men-great-abundance/

Core Christianity | One Big Reason the Church Doesn’t Pray

Are We Being Counterproductive?

We as people—and especially as Christians in our day and age—are smart and resourceful. There are so many things that we can do. So, we’re filled with a sense of pride which instead of increasing the sense of ambition that we have, decreases the amount of ambition that we have.

While our ambitions may increase quantitatively—there are things we want to do, churches we want to plant, people that we want to see come into the doors of the church—all of our ambitions tend to revolve around things that we can do by ourselves, in our strength, in our own power, in our lifetime.

Because of that, I think that we don’t pray because everything that we want to do, we can do ourselves if we work really hard. But, if we embrace this posture of praying together as a church, one thing we’re reminded of is that our ambition has to go far beyond our lifetime.

God’s Strength, Not Ours

As we pray, we attach ourselves to God’s agenda, and when we do that, we are reminded that God’s work always outlives God’s workers. And so, as we pray for things that extend far beyond our lifetimes, we are reminded that we aren’t going to be the ones that are in control of the goal that God wants to set, the things that he wants to do.

Our ambitions increase and our pride decreases as we realize that we can’t do the things that need to be done here in this world, but God can. What a wonderful gift for a church to come together to pray and ask for God to do and to be reminded that we’re only asking God to do the things that he, himself, wants to do. We don’t have to coerce him, we don’t have to twist his arm.

Content taken from Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church by John Onwuchekwa, originally published on Crossway.org. Used with permission.
— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/891

October 18, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

42:1 Our inner longing for fellowship with God can be compared to the vehement craving of the deer as it wanders through the parched countryside, its sides throbbing and its breathing quickened as it longs for the brooks. Gamaliel Bradford transferred the picture to himself when he said:

My one unchanged ambition

Wheresoe’er my feet have trod

Is a keen, enormous, haunting,

Never-sated thirst for God.[1]


42:1 — As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.

God’s highest priority for our lives is to develop an intimate and growing relationship with Him. He made us to thirst for Him as we thirst for water and to seek Him as we seek relief from a parched throat.[2]


42:1 As the deer pants … my soul pants. On this simile from nature, cf. Joel 1:20. In the psalmist’s estimation, he is facing a severe divine drought.[3]


42:1 As a deer longs for streams of water The psalmist’s desperation for God’s sustaining presence is like a thirst for water.[4]


42:1 As a deer pants for flowing streams. A powerful description of deep desire for God’s presence.[5]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 615). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ps 42:1). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 42:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 42:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 773). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

What Do Christians Believe is Required to be Saved? (Podcast) — Cold Case Christianity

In this blast from the past, J. Warner Wallace outlines the Christian notion of salvation. What does the Christian faith have to say about how humans can be reunited with God? How does this description impact our lives as believers?

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/7011439/height/320/width/580/theme/legacy/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/

What Do Christians Believe is Required to be Saved? (Podcast) — Cold Case Christianity