Daily Archives: October 31, 2018

OCTOBER 31 WHEN YOU COME TO THE LORD’S TABLE

Ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

1 Corinthians 11:26

God still seeks humble, cleansed and trusting hearts through which to reveal His divine power and grace and life. A professional botanist from the university can describe the acacia bush of the desert better than Moses could ever do—but God is still looking for the humble souls who are not satisfied until God speaks with the divine fire in the bush.

A research scientist could be employed to stand and tell us more about the elements and properties found in bread and wine than the apostles ever knew. But this is our danger: We may have lost the light and warmth of the presence of God, and we may have only bread and wine. The fire will have gone from the bush, and the glory will not be in our act of Communion and fellowship.

Heavenly Father, I pray that my heart will be prepared by Your Holy Spirit each time I come to the Communion table—lest the table of our Lord should become a common and careless thing.[1]


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

OCTOBER 31 THE SELF-EXISTENT GOD

The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

—Psalm 99:1

In this context, I confess a sadness about the shallowness of Christian thinking in our day. Many are interested in religion as a kind of toy. If we could make a judgment, it would appear that numbers of men and women go to church without any genuine desire to gear into deity. They do not come to meet God and delight in His presence. They do not come to hear from that everlasting world above! …

Compared to Him, everything around us in this world shrinks in stature and significance. It is all a little business compared to Him—little churches with little preachers; little authors and little editors; little singers and little musicians; little deacons and little officials; little educators and little statesmen; little cities and little men and little things!

Brethren, humankind is so smothered under the little grains of dust that make up the world and time and space and matter that we are prone to forget that at one point God lived and dwelt and existed and loved without support, without help, and without creation.

Such is the causeless and self-existent God! CES038-039

Lord, as I enter the church service this next Sunday, help me to come expectantly. I’m little; You are big. Let me wait in silence before You. Amen. [1]


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

The Mod | The (Less Well-Known) Women of the Reformation

The past year’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation have rightly focused on the achievements of the reformers and how the modern church should build on their labors.  While it’s good to remember the faithful work of our fathers in the faith, we shouldn’t neglect the labors of the women who worked alongside them.  Throughout the sixteenth century, countless women across Europe worked to spread the gospel in their families, towns, and territories, often at great personal risk.  While most of these women’s names will only be revealed in eternity, some have been passed down to us. Here are a few of their stories.

 

Argula von Grumbach (1492-1563/68?)

Argula was born into a Bavarian noble family. She grew up in a home where education was valued, and was an avid student of the Bible from the age of ten.  As a teenager, she spent time in the Emperor’s court at Munich, where she was first exposed to Luther’s ideas.  She corresponded with Luther and other reformers throughout her life, and, by 1523 (at a time when the reading and discussion of Luther’s works was prohibited in Bavaria), she claimed to have studied all of Luther’s existing works in German.  Argula was moved to write publicly when Arsacius Seehofer, a student at the University of Ingolstadt, was threatened with execution and ultimately forced to recant his Lutheran views.  In response , she wrote several widely circulated pamphlets condemning Seehofer’s treatment as an unbiblical abuse of power. In her first letter she stated boldly, “What I have written to you is no woman’s chit-chat, but the word of God; and [I write] as a member of the Christian Church, against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail.”[1]  Though she received no formal response to her writings, her first pamphlet in particular was a bestseller, and Luther spoke approvingly of Argula’s “boldness of speech” and hoped that “Christ through this infirm vessel may confound the mighty and those who glory in their strength.”[2]

 

Katharina Schütz Zell (1498-1562)

Though she had no surviving biological children, Katharina saw her primary calling as that of a Kirchenmutter—a mother of the church.  Katharina converted in the 1520s after reading Luther and hearing Protestant sermons.  She was also among the earliest Protestant wives, marrying Matthew Zell even before Luther married his own Katie.  The Zells’ parsonage in the free city of Strasbourg—a haven for dissidents and the persecuted—provided fertile ground for ministry.  It was a shelter for refugees, a center for healthy theological debate, and a home base for Katharina’s regular visitation of the sick and imprisoned.

Concerned about the scarcity of devotional material, she compiled Some Christian and Comforting Songs of Praise about Jesus Christ Our Savior, adapted from an earlier Bohemian Brethren hymnbook, and wrote a commentary on select Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer. She also sent a letter of consolation to the wives of 150 exiled Protestants, and corresponded with a roster of reformers.  After Matthew’s death, she wrote a letter to his successor as cathedral pastor, Ludwig Rabus, who called her a “disturber of the peace of the church.”[3]  Defending Matthew’s pulpit as well as her own right to speak on theological matters, she asserted, “I am writing all this because I must show how in my younger days I was so dear to the fine old learned men and architects of the church of Christ . . . They never withheld from me their conversation about holy matters and they gladly (from the heart) heard mine.”[4]  Her later years were somewhat shadowed by controversy, due to her association with members of the heterodox Schwenkfelder sect.

 

Marie Dentière (1495-1561)

“Even though we are not permitted to preach in public in congregations and churches,” wrote Marie Dentière, “we are not forbidden to write and admonish one another in all charity.”[5]

Marie spent several years in an Augustinian convent in Tournai, but in 1524, she encountered Luther’s writings and left the Catholic Church.  She married a former priest and newly Reformed pastor, Simon Robert, though he died leaving her a widow with five children.  She married again, to another reformer named Antoine Froment, and they moved to Geneva in 1535.

Her most famous work is her “Defense of Women,” a letter addressed to Marguerite of Navarre, which mounted a scriptural argument for women’s right to interpret and teach Scripture for themselves.  She was a member of a group of Protestant noblewomen who liked to discuss Hebrew language and grammar, and even mentions that her daughter, Jeanne, had created a Hebrew grammar book for girls!  She also promoted the joys of marriage, thereby tangling with a resistant nun named Jeanne de Jussie. (“Ah, poor creatures,” Marie enjoined the Poor Clares, a Franciscan order, “if only you knew how good it was to be next to a handsome husband, and how God thinks it pleasing!”[6])  Calvin regarded Marie as unruly, yet that didn’t stop him from inviting her to write the preface to his sermon on female apparel.  In the preface, Marie argued against extravagant clothing and the use of makeup, drawing on patristic writings for support!

 

Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549) and Jeanne d’Albret (1528-1572)

Though she never openly aligned herself with Lutheranism or Calvinism, Marguerite, a sister of the king of France, was a protector of the Reformation, thereby paving the way for her avowedly Calvinist daughter, Jeanne.  She intervened on behalf of persecuted reformers and was patroness of a circle of reform-minded intellectuals, corresponded with reformers, wrote extensively, and became the first published Protestant female poet with her Mirror of the Sinful Soul, a commentary on the words “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.”[7]  To the dismay of her regular correspondent, Calvin, Marguerite continued to practice Catholic rites in public. The mystical tone of many of her writings makes her theological views tricky to discern, but her reverence for the Word shines through.[8]

Her daughter Jeanne was queen of the small, strategic kingdom of Navarre. While still a teenager, she fervently resisted an undesired marriage, which may have contributed to her lifelong abhorrence of the use of force in political and religious matters.[9]  Jeanne was exposed to Reformed thought from an early age, and, after years of study, she declared herself a Protestant in 1560 by participating in public worship, making her “the highest-ranking Frenchwoman ever to become a Calvinist.”[10]  For the rest of her life, she was a champion of the embattled Huguenots. From 1555 until her death in 1572, she sought to establish a Protestant homeland in Navarre. Through an edict in 1564, she issued the first official proclamation of religious toleration within a single kingdom in European history, permitting both Catholic and Reformed worship within her lands. She wrote to a threatening Cardinal, “I do nothing by compulsion: I condemn no one to death, or to imprisonment, which penalties are the nerves and sinews of a system of terror.”[11]  She sought to instill Reformation principles through legislation and sponsorship of theological work, such as the founding of a seminary at La Rochelle and the translation of a Basque New Testament.  During the last five years of her life, when armed resistance seemed inevitable, she did everything possible to boost the morale of the Huguenot army—including accompanying it into battle.  The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre occurred mere months after her death.  Though she would have been further grieved when her son, Henri IV of France, embraced Catholicism, Henri did issue the Edict of Nantes in 1598, perhaps influenced by his mother’s religious tolerance.

 

Renée of France (1510-1575)

Like Jeanne d’Albret, Renée was a protector of the Huguenots, though like Marguerite de Navarre, she never made an open profession of Reformed faith.

A daughter of King Louis XII of France, Renée was well educated. She married Ercole, the duke of Ferrara, Italy, and a staunch Catholic. Renée’s desire to provide a haven for Protestants soon created tension between them. Ercole ultimately sent her to a remote castle, where she was isolated from family and French connections. She used her time to study, educate her children, and write to John Calvin (a correspondence they maintained for 20 years), to whom she often complained of her lack of Protestant female companions.

The Inquisition kept Renée under close surveillance.  Ercole sent a French theologian to her court in an effort to persuade her, and she was pressured to publicly attend Mass.  In 1554 she was interrogated twice and condemned to imprisonment as a heretic, and was even separated from her children while under house arrest.  A few weeks later, her daughters were returned to her on the condition that she go to confession.  Renée continued to adhere to Catholic rites publicly while advocating for Huguenots from afar.  She was able to support them materially when, after her husband’s death, she returned to France for the first time in 30 years. Her ancestral castle in Montargris became known as the Hotel Dieu as she gave asylum to crowds of Huguenots and other refugees. When many were forced to flee, she outfitted them with food and wagons.  Though Renée remained reticent about her affiliation until her death, her last will includes a confession of Protestant faith and an exhortation to others to read and listen to the Word.

As we consider the lives of the women who facilitated one of the greatest advancements of the gospel in history, some common traits emerge.  We see that theological discernment was highly prized by most of them. Many of these women struggled through periods of questioning and went to great lengths to resolve the issues that mattered to them, even corresponding with the most learned pastors of their day—exchanges that even the busiest eeformers valued as important parts of their ministry.  They hungered for regular Christian fellowship, sound pastoral oversight, and right worship, cherishing these things as vital for their own souls as well as those they cared for.  While many enjoyed unusual privileges of education and position, they were frequently mindful of the needs of those without them, seeking to bridge the gap through various means: legislation, hospitality (particularly for the persecuted), letters of consolation, and the writing and circulation of books.  Most importantly, each of these women was fired by a passion for God’s Word and genuine piety; a true love of God and his people that compelled them to speak of what they heard through whatever means were available to them in their respective context, gifting, and season of life.  May the same be true of each of us this Reformation Day.

 

Sarah White (MA, St. Louis University) is a freelance writer living in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and basset hound, Basil.

 

[1] Stjerna, 76.

[2] Stjerna, 79.

[3] Rebecca VanDoodewaard, Reformation Women: Sixteenth-Century Figures Who Shaped Christianity’s Rebirth (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017), 22.

[4] Stjerna, 123.

[5] Stjerna, 134.

[6] Stjerna, 143.

[7] VanDoodewaard, 34.

[8] VanDoodewaard, 35.

[9] Stjerna, 162.

[10] Stjerna, 150.

[11] Stjerna, 169.

via The Mod | The (Less Well-Known) Women of the Reformation — The Mod | Is Tim Keller A Marxist?

An Essential Mark of a Sound Conversion — Monergism.com Blog Feed

by Joseph Alleine

We turn from our own RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Before conversion, man seeks to cover himself with his own fig-leaves, and to make himself acceptable with God, by his own duties. He is apt to trust in himself, and set up his own righteousness, and to reckon his pennies for gold, and not to submit to the righteousness of God. But conversion changes his mind; now he counts his own righteousness as filthy rags. He casts it off, as a man would the verminous tatters of a nasty beggar. Now he is brought to poverty of spirit, complains of and condemns himself; and all his inventory is, ‘I am poor, and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked!’ [Rev 3:17]. He sees a world of iniquity in his holy things, and calls his once-idolized righteousness but filth and loss; and would not for a thousand worlds be found in it!

via An Essential Mark of a Sound Conversion — Monergism.com Blog Feed

The bankruptcy of the prosperity gospel

Leaders of the word-faith movement, also known as the prosperity gospel, say they place a high value on Scripture. Unfortunately, their unique interpretation of God’s Word leads to unbiblical conclusions about God’s design for the Christian life.

A case in point: 3 John 2, which reads: “Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”

As prosperity preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen would have you believe, this verse expresses the divine view that every child of God should enjoy financial blessing and perfect health. But is that what the passage really means?

Hardly. In the first place, the Greek word translated “prosper” means “to go well,” not to become rich. Secondly, John uses a common greeting to address his friend, Gaius, similar to salutations we place in modern-day letters.

As Gordon Fee writes in The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospels, “This combination of wishing for ‘things to go well’ and for the recipient’s ‘good health’ was the standard form of greeting in a personal letter in antiquity. To extend John’s wish for Gaius to refer to financial and material prosperity for all Christians is totally foreign to the text.”

Three common errors

In general, prosperity preachers commit three common errors when interpreting Scripture.

First, they ignore the context. A single verse must be read as part of the full narrative, and the full narrative must be considered in light of the intended audience and in comparison to the rest of Scripture.

We must bear in mind that the Bible originally was written to certain people at specific times. As Hank Haneggraff has noted, “The Bible was not written to us; it was written for us.”

That doesn’t mean the Bible is less authoritative or less relevant to us today. It simply means that we should consider the historical setting of each book and put ourselves in the shoes of its first readers.

Second, prosperity preachers rely on extra-biblical experiences to establish their interpretations of scripture. It is not uncommon to hear leaders like Kenneth Copeland say that God spoke to them in an audible voice or appeared to them in a vision.

This is not to deny that the Lord may use dreams and visions to speak to people today. For example, many former Muslims report appearances by Jesus to them in visions, leading them to consider the Christ of the Bible rather than the “Isa” of the Qur’an. But this is not the norm.

Further, we must lay all experiences against the yardstick of Scripture. The canon is closed, and we must take pains not to add to or take away from God’s Word.

As a caution, Mormonism is based largely on the alleged visions of Joseph Smith. These visions led to false doctrines concerning the nature of God, the Trinity, the finished work of Jesus on the cross, and the ultimate destiny of human beings.

Third, prosperity preachers begin with doctrine rather than with the Bible. Based on “dreams,” “visions,” “prophecies,” or other subjective experiences, they formulate new teachings that tickle the ear rather than lead to godliness (2 Tim. 4:3).

Many counterfeit forms of Christianity began this way. Charles Taze Russell, who established a Bible study that morphed into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (the Jehovah’s Witnesses), rejected the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the doctrine of an eternal hell because he found these biblical teachings unreasonable. The end result is a worldwide organization that follows the teachings of the Watchtower rather than the truth of God’s Word.

So what should we do? Read the Bible in context. Compare Scripture with Scripture. Measure all experiences by the Word of God. And trust the Bible as the starting point – and final word – of all of beliefs.

Source: The bankruptcy of the prosperity gospel

Mark Levin Challenges Speaker Ryan: President Trump ‘Is Right’ on Birthright Citizenship

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host , TV host of Fox News’ “ Life, Liberty & Levin ,” author and American lawyer Mark Levin challenged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on remarks the Speaker made concerning birthright citizenship Tuesday, and in a Facebook Note posted Tuesday, Levin suggested President Trump “is right” on birthright citizenship.

Source: Mark Levin Challenges Speaker Ryan: President Trump ‘Is Right’ on Birthright Citizenship

Midweek Apologetics Hit & Misc: Faith and Reason

 

 

 

Source: Midweek Apologetics Hit & Misc: Faith and Reason

An Entire Life of Repentance

Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church 501 years ago today. We remember it and celebrate the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Perhaps in keeping with the spirit of that day 501 years ago we should do less celebrating and more repenting.

Luther’s first thesis is this:

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

We repent because of our sin, our rebellion, our failure. And how should we repent? The Scripture teaches us how. Three wonderful prayers of repentance are found in Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, and Daniel 9.

These chapters are easy to remember with a little mnemonic device (that, to be clear, has no numerological significance).

The number 6 is the number of a man and the beast of Revelation is 666 (Revelation 13:18). If 666 is the epitome of the rebellion and failure of man, then perhaps it’s helpful to think of repentance as turning our own rebellion and failure on its head. Turning 666 upside down results in 999. So take some time today to turn to Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, or Daniel 9 and make those words your own.

An essential way to remember the Protestant Reformation is to repent of our own sin and cling to the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith.

Finally, we must be careful to guard against pride even in our repentance, as though we might somehow think that we are “dressed to the nines” in repentance just because we have prayed these passages from Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel. No, we should guard our own hearts and remember that prayer recorded in The Valley of Vision:

O God of Grace,

You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, “Father, forgive me,” and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.

“Continual Repentance,” in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust), 136-137

Source: An Entire Life of Repentance

‘Friends of Blasphemers Deserve Death’: Asia Bibi and Supreme Court Judges in Grave Danger Following Landmark Acquittal — Faithwire

Today, Pakistani Christian mother Asia Bibi was handed her life back when the Supreme Court threw out her almost decade-old conviction for blasphemy. Sentenced to hang in 2010, the noose was tightening around her neck as Islamist radicals heaped pressure on the judges to “Hang Infidel Asia.”

But those judges, putting their lives on the line, refused to bow to such violent pressure, weighed the case on its merit and decided there was zero evidence of the crime.

Pray: Three Young Siblings Killed in Horrific School Bus Stop Crash

https://www.faithwire.com/2018/10/31/pray-three-young-siblings-killed-in-horrific-school-bus-stop-crash/embed/#?secret=rkCzVSijQk

The ruling was simple and to the point:

“The appeal is allowed. She has been acquitted. The judgement of high court as well as trial court is reversed. Her conviction is set aside.”

Asia Bibi is free.

But that is certainly not the end of this story. Bibi, and many in the justice system that played a role in her acquittal, remain in grave danger as hard-line political groups continue to reel from the landmark decision. Bibi’s lawyer was spotted shortly after the verdict, flanked by armed police officers and only able to squeeze out a brief remark.

“Happy,” he said, despite being terrified for the safety of both himself and his embattled client.

And though their joy must be lofty, there is adequate reason for them to be afraid.

In 2011, shortly after Bibi’s conviction, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was brutally murdered for speaking out in support of the wrongly convicted Christian woman. Shot dead on the streets of Islamabad, his own bodyguard was found guilty of the heinous crime and, though sentenced to death himself, he has since become a cult hero with a large shrine in his honor erected on the outskirts of the capital city.

Just two months later, Christian politician and outspoken critic of the blasphemy laws, Shahbaz Bhatti, was also assassinated — shot dead by the Pakistani Taliban as he traveled to work.

Shortly before his death, and while subject to imminent threats to his life, he released a powerful statement:

“I believe in Jesus Christ who has given his own life for us, and I am ready to die for a cause,” he said. “I’m living for my community … and I will die to defend their rights.”

Just last week, religious hardliners in Pakistan vowed to administer their own justice should Bibi be allowed to go free. Today, that freedom has become a reality, and, despite it being a moment of utter jubilation, the consequences could be severe. The radical Muslim political party “Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan” (TLP), recently announced that the justices in the case would meet a “horrible” end should they choose to acquit Bibi, according to AFP.

“Western forces are trying to get Asia Bibi out of the country but she should be hanged,” said a former spokesman for Islamabad’s notorious Red Mosque.

Now, there are calls for Bibi to be granted emergency asylum in the United States.

“The sharia penalty for blasphemy is death, and it’s clear that the angry mob intends to execute the ‘justice’ that Pakistan’s court thankfully refused,” tweeted journalist and The Federalist contributor, Benjamin Weingarten. “Asia Bibi truly deserves asylum — her life depends on it.”

Bibi was initially arrested after supposedly entering into an argument with a group of women about a source of drinking water. The Muslim women accused Bibi of drinking from the same tap as them, to which Bibi allegedly responded, “Jesus Christ died for my sins. What did the prophet Muhammad do for you?” a remark which they believed offended their revered religious figure.

However, in the Supreme Court’s final judgment, it declared that the two sisters who accused Bibi “had no regard for the truth,” before adding that “the said semi-literate young sisters had a reason to level allegations against the appellant which could be untrue.”

The landmark judgment also noted that the prosecution’s presented evidence in the case “was nothing short of concoction incarnate.” Due to obvious security concerns for the personal welfare of the judges, paramilitary security forces have deployed across the capital in a bid to protect the court’s officials, as well as to secure the diplomatic zone. In addition, roughly 300 police have been stationed to guard the supreme court, where protests have already erupted.

Veteran BBC foreign affairs Correspondent, John Simpson, noted that the situation remained extremely dangerous for Bibi and her supporters.

Last week, in Pakistan’s second-largest city of Lahore, hundreds of protesters gathered together and chanted “Hang infidel Asia.” Sickeningly, the hashtag #HangAsiaDefend295C was trending among the religious extremists on Twitter, with the 295c referring to “295-C” of Pakistan’s penal code which makes it a criminal offense to blaspheme against the Prophet Muhammad.

According to the Penal Code itself, 295-B refers to the prohibiting of “Defiling, etc., of Holy Qur’an,” and 295-C is in reference to the “use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet.” Other non-Islamic-specific violations contained in Pakistan’s criminal laws include “trespassing on burial places” and “disturbing religious assembly.”

Pray for Asia Bibi, her family and supporters as their figure out a way to escape the clutches of those who would seek to bring them harm.

via ‘Friends of Blasphemers Deserve Death’: Asia Bibi and Supreme Court Judges in Grave Danger Following Landmark Acquittal — Faithwire

Fake News CNN’S Don Lemon In Racist Tirade On Cuomo Primetime Says ‘White Men Are The Biggest Terror Threat’ In America, Calls For Travel Ban — Now The End Begins

 

CNN anchor Don Lemon said it was important to stop demonizing individual groups over terrorism concerns, before immediately saying the real terror threat was from ‘white men.’

Don Lemon over at fake news CNN has made so many racist remarks in the past few months that we are getting ready to give him his own category here on the site. His recent racist attack was made in an episode of Cuomo Primetime last night.

Lemon started off by saying that we as Americans needed to ‘stop demonizing people’ and then proceeded to demonize not just some white men, but all white men anywhere in the country. He claim that white men ‘have been radicalized’ was backed up with no stats, facts or figures of any kind. He ended his racist remarks by wondering why there was no ‘travel ban’ on white men in America, directly implying that there should be one.

I wonder how his caucasian, white, male gay husband who was home watching it on television felt about Lemon’s racist rant.

Don Lemon: ‘Biggest terror threat in this country is white men’

FROM AOL.COM: “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them,” said Lemon during an appearance on “Cuomo Primetime” Tuesday evening. “There is no travel ban on them … they had the Muslim ban. There is no ‘white guy ban.’ So what do we do about that?”

“I keep trying to point out to people not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity, but we keep thinking that the biggest terror threat is something else,” he reiterated, urging people to ignore the news of the migrant caravan slowly moving through Mexico toward the United States.

Don Lemon did not cite any specifics or data and went unchallenged by Cuomo. A rep for CNN did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. It’s the second time this month that Lemon has delved into divisive racial rhetoric. On Oct. 9, a panel on his CNN program ripped into Kanye West for his support of Donald Trump.

don-lemon-fake-news-cnn-white-men-biggest-terror-threat-racist-remarks-cuomo-prime-times

On Oct. 9, a panel on his CNN program ripped into Kanye West for his support of Donald Trump.

“He’s an attention whore, like the president. He’s all of a sudden now the model spokesperson. He’s the token negro of the Trump administration,” said CNN contributor Tara Setmeyer as Lemon laughed along.

cnn-mocks-kanye-west-token-negro-host-don-lemon-laughs-hysterically-stop-racism

“Kanye West is what happens when negroes don’t read,” former Congressman Bakari Sellers added. “And we have this now and now Donald Trump is going to use it and pervert and he’s going to have someone who can stand with him and take pictures.”

Lemon — to the extent that he did comment on the remarks on-air — limited himself to noting how uncomfortable the only white panelist, CNN contributor Scott Jennings, seemed to appear.

CNN also did not respond to multiple requests for comment at the time about the “token negro” incident and the moment did not make it into Brian Stelter’s CNN media newsletter. SOURCE

via Fake News CNN’S Don Lemon In Racist Tirade On Cuomo Primetime Says ‘White Men Are The Biggest Terror Threat’ In America, Calls For Travel Ban — Now The End Begins

Halloween ‘Makes Children More Comfortable With Evil’: Pastor Issues Strong Warning to Parents — Faithwire

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

Veronica and I get this question every October. Before I share our position, let me share Anton Levey’s position (who is the founder of the church of Satan and the author of The Satanic Bible).

In an interview years ago he said, “I’m glad that Christian parents let their children worship the Devil at least one night out of the year.” The reality is, Halloween is viewed as a Satanic holiday by Satanists. It was created by pagans for the purpose of honoring darkness.

For our family, these facts checked our hearts regarding October 31st. Ultimately and unarguably, Halloween is a celebration of death. This is why your local Home Depot and Target stores are covered in morbid, decaying, witches and skeletons. It’s a season to make children more comfortable with evil and the distortion of God’s image. It’s a night to elevate nooses and demons and gore and horror and fear. So do we celebrate Halloween? No. Do we hide in a hole during Fall and the Halloween season? No.

However, we do shield our little ones from darkness. We do not partake in the Church’s creative attempt to redeem and sanitize Halloween either. We do celebrate Fall. We do understand that some families with older children established in their faith try to use it as an outreach night (which I commend).

But we must remember, in a world filled with suicide, murder, wickedness, and fear we don’t believe dressing up these horrors in cute decor one night per year makes them any less of what they really are—evil.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpQZaFkBLGX/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&wp=500&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com&rp=%2Fread%2Ffeeds%2F59670467%2Fposts%2F2051036804#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A72752%7D

via Halloween ‘Makes Children More Comfortable With Evil’: Pastor Issues Strong Warning to Parents — Faithwire

October 31 Daily Help

The Lord trieth the righteous.”—Psalm 11:5.

ALL events are under the control of Providence; consequently all the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. All providences are doors to trials. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low, for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen us.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 308). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

The Other Holiday on October 31

Happy Reformation Day! In this guest post from Dr. Jim West, professor of biblical studies at the Quartz Hill School of Theology, we are reminded of the great Reformers and how they changed the course of history.

***

The temperature outside the Great Minster of Zurich on January 1, 1519 was frigid, but inside the large structure—the central church of the city and the Canton—the frosty indolence of centuries of liturgical formalism was about to melt away. As hundreds in the assembled congregation watched, the redheaded thirty-five-year-old rose to speak and opened the Bible not to the lectionary passage, but to the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. He commenced a series of sermons from that Gospel that were so powerfully presented that always packed the Church with eager listeners. Something new was afoot—and the entire city knew it.

The thirty-five-year-old was Huldrych Zwingli, and he began moving toward reform as early as 1515 while serving as a chaplain to the Swiss troops and a pastor of the little Church at Glarus. The countless youth he buried and the mercenary service that caused their deaths weighed heavily on his soul and he sensed, innately, that there was something very wrong with any theology which resulted in such service.

Around the same time, a German monk named Martin Luther was struggling with his own salvation (or more precisely, with his fear that he was not at all right with God). While sitting on the loo in the tower of the Wittenberg University and reading Romans, he was powerfully stricken by the reality of justification by faith—not by works—and his eyes were opened to the Bible’s meaning in a new and profound way. On a dreary Saturday several years later—October 31, 1517—Luther trudged through the mud and affixed a series of Latin theses on the door of the Church thereby announcing his desire to hold a public debate on the raging fad of the day, Papal Indulgences. No one showed up for the debate, but Luther’s theses were quickly translated into German and soon the city was abuzz—for in them, Luther questioned the very foundation of Catholic practice as it then existed. Catholics weren’t redeemed by works, they were redeemed by grace—and no indulgence could purchase that gift!

Nineteen years later, a young Frenchman named Jean Cauvin published the first of many editions of his Institutes of the Christian Religion while he was living in Strasbourg. Informed by the theology of both Luther and Zwingli as well as their mediator, Martin Bucer, Calvin (as he came to be called) systematized in a way that neither Luther nor Zwingli could have (or would have) the new Reformation point of view, and the Reformation was codified.

Naturally this sketch is but the barest of outlines and fails precisely because it cannot do justice to all the forebears of reform nor the many, many people whose work and lives also exerted influence. The Reformation was the culmination of an entire series of ideas, movements, theological breakthroughs, and personal struggles.

What cannot be questioned, however, is the significance of the Reformation for the sixteenth through the twenty-first centuries. Indeed, the Reformation was a pebble cast into the pond of history whose ripples still move the lives of countless members of the human race. The Reformation changed the face of Europe and through it the face of North and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and every other corner of the globe. Never since the coming of Christ himself has history been so affected by a series of events. The economies of nations, theologies, ethics, morals, worldviews, and millions of lives continue to feel the effects and, dare I say, experience the benefits of the movement commenced by a tiny group of known and a massive group of unknown believers who simply wished to be more Christian in their faith and practices.

It is impossible to question the importance of the Reformation. The world would not—could not—be what it presently is without it, and it boggles the mind to imagine what the world would be like had the Reformation never taken place.

This guest post from Dr. Jim West, pastor of Petros Baptist Church, originally appeared in October 2013. West has authored a number of books and articles and serves as language editor for the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, as well as language revision editor for the Copenhagen International Seminar.

Source: The Other Holiday on October 31

October 31, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Know

Even so (6:11a)

The first key word (know) has to do with the mind and is implied in the transitional phrase even so. Those two words are crucial to Paul’s explanation, referring back to the truths he has just given in the first ten verses of the chapter. The idea is, “You must know and fully believe what I have just said, or else what I am about to say will make no sense. The truth that you are spiritually dead to sin, and the reality that you are spiritually alive to Christ are not abstract concepts for your finite minds to attempt to verify. They are divinely-revealed, foundational axioms behind Christian living, apart from which you can never hope to live the holy lives your new Lord demands.”

Realizing the importance of the truths he presents in verses 1–10, Paul uses forms of know and believe some four times (vv. 3, 6, 8, 9), and in other places he implies that his readers know about certain other truths (see, e.g., vv. 2, 5, 7).

Scriptural exhortation is always built on spiritual knowledge. Although God would have been perfectly justified simply to have given men a list of unexplained do’s and don’ts, in His grace and compassion He did not choose to be autocratic. The basic reason He reveals as to why men are to live according to His standards was summarized in His declaration to ancient Israel: “Be holy; for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44). Quoting that very command, Peter admonishes Christians: “Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Pet. 1:15–16).

Scripture is replete with specific commands and standards for conduct, and behind all of them are divine truths, explicit or implicit, upon which those commands and standards are founded.

Paul has just declared that, as believers, we are united with Jesus Christ in His death and have through Him had the penalty paid for our sin. We have risen with our Lord Jesus Christ in His resurrection and therefore are able to walk in newness of life. Because Christ will never die again to sin, we will never die again to sin.

For a Christian to live out the fullness of his new life in Christ, for him to truly live as the new creation that he is, he must know and believe that he is not what he used to be. He must understand that he is not a remodeled sinner but a remade saint. He must understand that, despite his present conflict with sin, he is no longer under sin’s tyranny and will never be again. The true understanding of his identity is essential.

Through Hosea the Lord lamented, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hos. 4:6). Isaiah declared, “Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; for the Lord speaks, ‘Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me. An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand’ ” (Isa. 1:2–3). Paul admonished believers in Philippi, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8). He reminded Colossian believers that they had “put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Col. 3:10). Faithful divine living without divine knowledge is impossible.

Consider

consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (6:11b–12)

The second key word (consider) has more to do with what we would call the heart. In its literal sense, logizomai means simply to count or number something. Jesus used it of Himself during the Last Supper when He disclosed to the disciples that He was the One “numbered with transgressors” of whom Isaiah prophesied (Luke 22:37; cf. Isa. 53:12). But the word was commonly used metaphorically in the sense of fully affirming a truth, of having unreserved inner confidence in the reality of what the mind acknowledges. Though both aspects actually occur in the mind, we think of this matter in the sense of being “heart felt.”

In the next chapter of this epistle Paul will illustrate from his own life how difficult it is for a Christian to realize experientially that he is free from sin’s bondage. As we look honestly at our lives after salvation, it is more than obvious that sin’s contamination is still very much with us. No matter how radical our outer transformation at the time of salvation may have been for the better, it is difficult to comprehend that we no longer have the fallen sin nature and that our new nature is actually divine. It is hard to realize that we are actually indwelt by the Holy Spirit and that God now calls us His children and deems us fit to live eternally with Him in His heaven.

To help us consider, it is advantageous to note that there are a number of reasons believers often find it difficult to comprehend that they are now free from sin’s bondage. Many of them do not realize that marvelous truth simply because they have never heard of it. They assume, or perhaps have been wrongly taught, that salvation brings only transactional or forensic holiness—that because of their trust in Christ, God now regards them as holy but that their basic relationship to sin is the same as it always was and that it will not be changed until they go to be with Christ. That view of salvation often includes the idea that, although trust in Christ brings the believer a new nature, the old nature remains fully operative, and that the Christian life is essentially a battle between his two resident natures. This makes salvation “addition” rather than “transformation.”

A second reason Christians often find it hard to believe they are actually free from the tyranny of sin is that Satan does not want them to believe it. If the enemy of our souls and the accuser of the brethren can make us think he still dominates our earthly lives, he weakens our resolve to live righteously by making it appear hopeless.

A third reason Christians often find it difficult to believe they are free from sin’s compulsion is that the reality of the new birth in Christ is not experiential, it is not physically observable or verifiable. Redemption is a divine and spiritual transaction that may or may not be accompanied by physical or emotional experiences. A believer cannot perceive or experience in any humanly verifiable way the moment of his dying and resurrection with Christ.

A fourth and perhaps the most common reason why Christians find it hard to believe they are freed from sin’s tyranny while they are still on earth is that their continued battle with sin seems almost constantly to contradict that truth. If they have a new holy disposition and sin’s control has truly been broken, they wonder, why are they still so strongly tempted and why do they so often succumb?

Paul’s answer follows, Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. He was not speaking of a psychological mind game, by which we keep affirming something over and over until we are convinced against our better judgment or even against reality that it is true. We know we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus because God’s Word declares it is so. In other words, those are truths of faith and they must be affirmed in faith.

David C. Needham wrote, “What could be more frustrating than being a Christian who thinks himself primarily a self-centered sinner, yet whose purpose in life is to produce God-centered holiness?” (Birthright: Christian, Do You Know Who You Are? [Portland: Multnomah, 1979], p. 69). Until a believer accepts the truth that Christ has broken the power of sin over his life, he cannot live victoriously, because in his innermost being he does not think it is possible.

Commentator Donald Grey Barnhouse said,

Years ago, in the midst of a Latin-American revolution, an American citizen was captured and sentenced to death. But an American officer rushed before the firing squad and draped a large American flag entirely around the victim. “If you shoot this man,” he cried, “you will fire through the American flag and incur the wrath of a whole nation!” The revolutionary in charge released the prisoner at once. (Romans: God’s Freedom [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961], p. 118)

In a similar way, Christ’s righteousness is draped over every believer, protecting him from sin’s deadly attacks.

We believe we are in God’s eternal purpose, plan, presence, and power because His Word assures us we are. Paul assured the Ephesian believers that God “chose us in Him [Christ Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4). And to the church at Philippi he wrote, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.… So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 1:6; 2:12–13).

There are many important and practical results of our considering ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. First, we can have confidence in the midst of temptation, knowing that with sin’s tyranny broken we can successfully resist it in God’s power. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Second, we have confidence that we cannot sin our way out of God’s grace. Just as we have been saved by God’s power alone, we are kept by His power alone. “My sheep hear My voice,” Jesus said, “and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27–29).

Third, when we truly consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ, we have confidence in the face of death. “I am the resurrection and the life,” our Lord said; “he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26; cf. Heb. 2:14).

Fourth, we know that, regardless of what happens to us in this life, no matter how disastrous it may be, God will use it not only for His glory but also for our blessing. “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

All of those things, and many more, are true because we are alive to God in Christ Jesus. No religion in the world can or does make such a claim. Even the most ardent Muslim does not claim to be in Mohammed or in Allah. Buddhists do not claim to be in Buddha or Hindus to be in any of their multitude of gods. As Christians, however, we know that God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3; emphasis added).[1]


You Can Count on It

Romans 6:11

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

I want to start this study with a brief quiz on the early chapters of Romans, and the question I want to ask is this: How many times in the letter up to this point has the apostle Paul urged his readers to do something? That is, how many exhortations have there been?

More than ten? Thirty? Less than five?

How many imperative statements occurred in chapter 1? Were there more exhortations in chapter 5 than in chapter 4?

What do you think? How many exhortations has Paul made so far?

The answer to this question is that there have been none at all! And the reason I emphasize this is to call attention to the most significant thing to be noted about Romans 6:11. This verse is an exhortation, and it is the first in the epistle. This is the first time in five and a half chapters that the apostle has urged his readers to do anything.

What are they to do? The text says: “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

This is an important enough statement in itself, but it becomes even more so when we realize that Romans 6:11 is also a turning point in the letter. I mean by this that, having gotten the first olive out of the bottle, so to speak, the other exhortative olives now tumble out naturally. The next verses are full of them: “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body. … Do not offer the parts of your body to sin … but rather offer yourselves to God … and offer the parts of your body to him …” (vv. 12–14, emphasis added).

What God Has Done

Most modern Americans are activists. So we are inclined to think, as we come to this verse, that we are at last getting to what matters. But, at the risk of prolonging our discussion of the earlier chapters beyond the limits of most people’s tolerance, I need to say that the point I am making—that this is the first exhortation in the letter—is of great practical importance.

Let me approach it this way. We live in an age of self-help books and seminars, in Christian circles as well as in the world at large, and these small books (they are usually small) and short (perhaps weekend-length) courses promise the consumer great things. The Christian versions offer formulas by which we are supposed to be able to move ahead quickly in our Christian lives. They teach us how to become great prayer warriors, perhaps even “change the world” through prayer. They show us how to relate to others successfully. They promise quick and effective methods of Bible study.

I do not want to suggest that these “quick fix” offerings are useless, of course. They are not useless. They are helpful to many, and I am sure they have their place, particularly in our fast-paced, solution-oriented culture. Still, if you have read any of these books or attended these seminars, isn’t it the case that you have generally been disappointed at some level, perhaps even deeply frustrated? Perhaps you have even been frustrated enough to write off completely these methods for growing strong in the Christian faith. You have said, “I am sure they must work for other people, but not for me. They help, but not enough. Probably nothing will help me. I am probably called to be just a normal [read ‘second-class’] Christian.”

What is wrong here? I suggest that because of our characteristic North American impatience with matters of basic substance or with anything requiring hard and prolonged work, we have jumped ahead too quickly to the “exhortation” parts of Christianity and have not taken sufficient time to understand and appropriate the fundamental teachings. If this is so, then Paul’s procedure in Romans should be of great help to us. Was Paul not interested in the spiritual growth of the Roman Christians? Of course, he was. But he knew that there was no use rushing ahead to tell them how to live the Christian life until he had first fully instructed them on what God had done for them in Jesus Christ. This is because the work of God in Christ is foundational to everything else about Christianity.

What Paul principally wanted his readers to understand here is what theologians call the mystical union of believers with Jesus Christ. Paul’s way of talking about this is to say that Christians are “in Christ,” “in Jesus Christ” or “in him.” Those who count such things tell us that those phrases occur 164 times in Paul’s writings. One of them is in our text, and it is the first time this exact phrase has occurred in Romans. Yet it is what Paul has really been talking about for several chapters. Romans 5 dealt with it directly, contrasting our former state of being in Adam with our present state of being in Christ. In Romans 6 this has already been presented indirectly in terms of our having died to sin and having been united to Jesus in his resurrection.

This has been done for us by God. It has been his work, not ours. We have no more joined ourselves to Jesus in his resurrection than we have died for our own sins. If we are Christians, everything that is necessary has been done for us by God.

A Bookkeeping Term

What we learn in a general way, by reflecting on the amount of teaching Paul has given in chapters 1–5 of Romans, is reinforced by the verb he uses in Romans 6:11. It is the word count (or “reckon,” as some of the other versions have it). The Greek word is logizomai, and it is related to the more common term logos, meaning “word,” “deed,” or “fact.”

In classical Greek, logizomai had two main uses:

  1. It was used in commercial dealings in the sense of evaluating an object’s worth or reckoning up a project’s gain or losses. In other words, it was a bookkeeping term. We have preserved a bit of this in our English words log, logistics, and logarithm. A log refers to the numerical record of a ship’s or airplane’s progress. Logistics is a military term dealing with the numbers and movement of troops or supplies. A logarithm is the exponent to which a base number is raised to produce a given number.
  2. Logizomai was also used in philosophy in the sense of objective or nonemotional reasoning. We have preserved this meaning in our English words “logic” and “logical.”

The common ground in these two uses of the word is that logizomai has to do with reality, with things as they truly are. In other words, it has nothing to do with wishful thinking. Nor is it an activity that makes something come to pass or happen. It is an acknowledgment of or an acting upon something that is already true or has already happened. In bookkeeping, for example, it means posting in a ledger an amount corresponding to what actually exists. If I “reckon” in my passbook that I have $100, I must really have $100. If not, “reckoning” is the wrong word for me to be using. “Deceiving myself” (or others) would be more like it.

It will also help us in our understanding of Romans 6:11 to recognize that logizomai has already been used several times in Romans and that in every case it has referred to recognizing something that is factual. In fact, logizomai has appeared fourteen times before now, and it will occur again (in Romans 8 and 9). The chief use has been in chapter 4 (eleven occurrences), where Paul employed it to show how our sins have been reckoned to Christ and punished there, and how his righteousness has been reckoned (“credited”) to us. These two “reckonings” are the two parallel sides of justification, and when we studied them (in volume 1) we saw that their strength comes from knowing that they concern realities. They are not just imaginary transactions. Jesus really did die for our sin; he suffered for our transgressions. Similarly, his righteousness really has been transferred to our account, so that God accounts us righteous in him.

This has bearing on Paul’s exhortation to us in Romans 6:11. For although he is proceeding in this chapter to the area of what we are to do and actions we are to take, his starting point is nevertheless our counting as true what God has himself already done for us.

This is so critical that I want to ask pointedly: Do you and I really understand this? We cannot go on until we do.

Can I possibly say it more clearly?

Try this: The first step in our growth in holiness is counting as true what is, in fact, true.

And this: The key to living the Christian life lies in first knowing that God has taken us out of Adam and has joined us to Jesus Christ, that we are no longer subject to the reign of sin and death but have been transferred to the kingdom of God’s abounding grace.

And this: The secret to a holy life is believing God.

The First Reality: Dead to Sin

In our text Paul says there are two things God has done that we are to count on. First, that we are dead to sin if we are Christians. We have already seen how this is to be taken. It does not mean that we are immune to sin or temptation. It does not mean that we will not sin. It means that we are dead to the old life and cannot go back to it.

That is the reality Paul first stated explicitly at the beginning of Romans 6, in verse 2. “We died to sin,” he said. In verses 3 and 4, he restated it: We were “baptized into his death” and “buried with him through baptism into death.” It was also said in verse 5: “We have been united with him in his death.” Verse 6 said it, too: “Our old self was crucified with him.” Verse 7 again made the point that we “died” with Christ. All those statements have been factual. They describe something that has happened.

On the basis of this truth, Paul now tells us to “count” ourselves as having died to sin in Christ Jesus. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones renders it: “Consider, and keep constantly before you, this truth about yourself.” In other words, learn to think of yourself as one who has been delivered from sin’s realm.

This is such a pivotal text that it is worth adding a number of things that this statement does not mean. Lloyd-Jones lists six of them:

  1. It does not mean that it is my duty as a Christian to die to sin. The text has nothing to do with duty. It is concerned with fact.
  2. It is not a command for me to die to sin. How can I be told to do what has already been done to me?
  3. It does not mean that I am to reckon that sin as a force in me is dead. That would not be true. Sin is a force in me, though it is a force whose effective power over me has been broken (v. 6).
  4. It does not mean that sin in me has been eradicated.
  5. It does not mean that I am dead to sin as long as I am in the process of gaining mastery over it. That would make the statement refer to something experimental, and it does not do that. It refers to a past event.
  6. It does not mean that reckoning myself dead to sin makes me dead to sin. That is backwards. What Paul is saying is that, because we have died to sin, we are to count on it.

The Second Reality: Alive to God

The second reality Paul says we are to count on is that we are now “alive to God in Christ Jesus.” This statement completes the parallel to verse 5, in which Paul said, “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” It explains how the earlier verse is to be taken. You may remember that when we were discussing verse 5 in the previous study, I stressed that the resurrection referred to there is not the future resurrection of believers at the end of time but rather a present experience of Christ’s resurrection life now. That is exactly where verse 11 has brought us. It tells us that just as we have died to sin (and must count on it), so also have we been made alive to God in Jesus Christ (and must count on that also).

This is the positive side of the matter, the side we were beginning to open up in the earlier study. But we only touched on it there. Here we can ask: “Just what does being made alive to God in Jesus Christ mean? What changes have taken place?” Let me suggest a few of them.

  1. We have been reconciled to God. In the earlier chapters of Romans there has been a grim sequence of terms: sin, wrath, judgment, death. But God has lifted us out of that downward-spiraling sequence by a set of opposing realities: grace, obedience, righteousness, eternal life. This means that we were subject to the wrath of God but that now, being in Christ, we are in a favorable position before him. Before, we were God’s enemies. Now, we are his friends and, what is more important, he is a friend to us. There is a new relationship.
  2. We have become new creatures in Christ. Not only is there a new relationship between ourselves and God, which is wonderful in itself, but we have also become something we were not before. In 2 Corinthians, Paul puts it like this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ …” (2 Cor. 5:17–18).

Another way of putting this is to speak of regeneration, or of being born again, which was Jesus’ term for it. He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). This was a deliberate backward reference to the way in which God breathed life into our first parent Adam, so that he became “a living being” (Gen. 2:7). Before that, Adam was utterly inert, a lifeless form. But when God breathed some of his breath into him Adam became alive to God and all things. Likewise, this is what happens when God breathes new spiritual life into us in the work known as regeneration. We become something we were not before. We have a new life. That life is responsive to the one who gave it.

Before this, the Bible meant nothing to us when we read it or it was read in our hearing. Now the Bible is intensely alive and interesting. We hear the voice of God in it.

Before this, we had no interest in God’s people. Christians acted in ways that were foreign to us. Their priorities were different from our own. Now they are our very best friends and co-workers. We love their company and cannot seem to get enough of it.

Before this, coming to church was boring. Now we are alive to God’s presence in the service. Our worship times are the very best times of our week.

Before this, service to others and witnessing to the lost seemed strange and senseless, even repulsive. Now they are our chief delight.

What has made the difference? The difference is ourselves. God has changed us. We have become alive to him. We are new creatures.

  1. We are freed from sin’s bondage. Before we died to sin and were made alive to God, we were slaves of our sinful natures. Sin was ruining us. But even when we could see that clearly and acknowledge it, which was not very often, we were still unable to do anything about it. We said, “I’ve got to stop drinking; it’s killing me.” Or, “I am going to ruin my reputation if I don’t stop these sexual indulgences.” Or, “I’ve got to get control of my temper, or curb my spending [or whatever].” But we were unable to do it. And even if we did get some control of one important area of our lives, perhaps with the help of a good therapist or friends or a supportive family, the general downward and destructive drift was unchanged. We really were non posse non peccare (“not able not to sin”), as Saint Augustine described it.

But, being made alive to God, we discover that we are now freed from that destructive bondage. We still sin, but not always and not as often. And we know that we do not have to. We are now posse non peccare (“able not to sin”). We can achieve a real victory.

  1. We are pressing forward to a sure destiny and new goals. Before, we were not. We were trapped by the world and by its time-bound, evil horizons. Being saved, we know that we are now destined for an eternity of fellowship and bliss with God. We have not reached it yet. We are not perfect. But we echo within what Paul said in describing his new life in Christ to the Philippians: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12–14).
  2. We can no longer be satisfied with this world and its offerings. To be sure, the world never did really satisfy us. The world, which is finite, can never adequately fill beings who are made with an infinite capacity for fellowship with and enjoyment of God. But we thought the world and its values were satisfying. We expected to be filled.

Now we know that it will never work and that all we see about us, though it sometimes has value in a limited, earthly sense, is nevertheless passing away and will one day be completely forgotten. Our houses will be gone; our televisions will be gone; our beautiful furniture and cars and bank accounts (even our IRAs and Keoghs) will have passed away. So these tangible things no longer have any real hold on us. We have died to them, and in their place we have been made alive to God, who is intangible, invisible, and eternal, and of greater reality and substance than anything else we can imagine.

Therefore, we know ourselves to be only pilgrims here. We are passing through. Like Abraham, we are “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).

“A Man Like Me”

Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

I think of Nehemiah as an illustration of what this means and of what our attitude should be. Nehemiah had determined to rebuild the wall of the ruined and abandoned city of Jerusalem, and he was being opposed by the rulers of the rival city-states around him. Two of his opponents were Sanballat of Samaria and Geshem the Arab. They invited him to a conference to be held about a day’s journey from Jerusalem on the plain of Ono. This was a ploy to slow down Nehemiah’s project and perhaps even to kidnap or murder him. Nehemiah refused to stop the work and go to the meeting. His words were classic: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Neh. 6:3).

Later when the same people tried to frighten him with rumors of a plot on his life, Nehemiah replied, “Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” (v. 11).

It is that courageous, self-aware attitude to life that I commend to you. “Shall I go on sinning so that grace may increase?” You should be able to answer, “How can such a one as I do it—I who have died to sin and been made alive to God in Christ Jesus?” For that is what has happened to you, if you are a Christian. You have been removed from your former state to another. Your job is to reckon it so, to count on it. You must say, “A person like me has better things to do than to keep sinning.”[2]


11 In the previous verses, Paul has been imparting information on the subject of union with Christ, and in keeping with this he has three times used the word “know” (vv. 3, 6, 9), as a way of focusing on what is true. Now he employs a different key word—“count” or “reckon” (logizomai [GK 3357], the same term used so often in ch. 4 in connection with righteousness), used in the imperative. We encounter here the oddity of the juxtaposition of the indicative and the imperative—i.e., something is flatly affirmed to be true, and then immediately we encounter the command to act in a way that manifests this truth. This interesting feature of Pauline thought is the result of the tension between what is sometimes called “positional” truth and “experiential” truth and is not unlike that between present and future eschatology. The challenge of Christian living for Paul can be stated in the maxim, “Be what you are,” or, “Act out your true identity.”

Counting something as true does not create the fact of union with Christ but makes it operative in one’s life. The charge to consider oneself “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” is thus in the present tense, stressing the necessity to keep up the process if one is to avoid reactivating the body of sin. Paradoxically, the Christian is dead and alive at the same time, as in Galatians 2:20—dead to sin and self but alive and responsive to God. The Christian is to give no more response to sin than a dead person can give. On the other hand, all the potential afforded by redeemed life is to be channeled godward: “alive to God.”

Paul seems to lay considerable stress on the importance of this process of counting true or reckoning. It is not a matter of attempting to convince oneself of something untrue, thus amounting to self-deception. Rather, it is a matter of letting the truth of union with Christ have its intended effect. What is factually true must be allowed to become a matter of experience. Christians are “to arm themselves with the mentality that they are dead to sin; for that is what happened to them in the baptismal experience” (Fitzmyer, 438).[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 1, pp. 332–336). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: The Reign of Grace (Vol. 2, pp. 673–680). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[3] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 107–108). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

October 31, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump said that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to citizenship to everyone born in the country and that he would continue his push to end it.

Ilhan Omar fled civil war in Somalia and spent four years of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya. Now she is poised to win a seat in the U.S. Congress, taking on a president who has tried to prevent people like her from coming to America.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday freed a Christian woman from a death sentence for blasphemy against Islam and overturned her conviction, sparking angry protests and death threats from an ultra-Islamist party and cheers from human rights advocates.

Russia opened an investigation into suspected terrorism after a 17-year-old youth blew himself up on Wednesday in the lobby of an office belonging to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in the north of the country.

Turkey has started work on making its first domestically produced long-range air defense missile system and the first delivery is planned for 2021, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Chinese intelligence officers conspired with hackers and company insiders to break into private companies’ computer systems and steal information on a turbo fan engine used in commercial jetliners, according to a U.S. indictment unsealed on Tuesday.

Ford Motor Co and Baidu launched a two-year project on Wednesday to test self-driving vehicles on Chinese roads, amid a global race by carmakers and internet firms to develop autonomous vehicle technology.

Russia’s drive to fill state coffers to give itself a $200 billion buffer against threats like new U.S. sanctions is prudent, analysts say, but will come at the expense of economic growth.

A landmark 11-country deal that will slash tariffs across much of the Asia-Pacific region will come into force at the end of December, New Zealand said on Wednesday, a rare bright spot for global commerce as the U.S.-China trade war intensifies.

AP Top Stories

Citing judicial ethics concerns, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh declined more than $600,000 that was donated to aid his family during the firestorm over sexual misconduct allegations that plagued his confirmation.

An Afghan army helicopter crashed Wednesday in bad weather in the western Farah province, killing all 25 people on board, including the deputy corps commander of the western zone, a provincial spokesman said.

A suicide bomber targeting a bus carrying employees of Afghanistan’s biggest prison killed at least seven people on Wednesday, in the latest militant attack in the war-torn country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday opened Istanbul’s new international airport, which his government says will eventually become the world’s largest, with great fanfare.

Cameroon’s defense minister called on all foreign nationals in the country’s restive regions to be cautious after an American missionary died after being shot in the head amid fighting between armed separatists and soldiers the northwest.

Conditions in Haiti’s chronically overcrowded jails are like “acts of torture” and inmates’ rights are being ignored, a human rights group said in a report published Tuesday.

North Korea is preparing to allow international inspectors into its Punggye-ri test site, citing a South Korean politician. Pyongyang has stopped its nuclear and missile tests over the past year during a rapprochement with the United States and South Korea.

The Chinese yuan weakened to a decade low on Tuesday on concerns over China’s slowing economy and the US trade war, but Beijing was expected to prevent it breaking the psychologically important 7 yuan per dollar barrier.

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake rattled parts of central New Zealand Tuesday, where British royals Meghan and Harry are on tour, but officials said it caused no major damage.

The United States indicted 10 Chinese, including two intelligence officers, over a five-year scheme to steal technology from US and French aerospace firms by hacking into their computers.

BBC

The US has called for a swift cessation of hostilities in Yemen, where three years of civil war have caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

France has launched a national investigation into the number of babies being born with missing arms or hands – weeks after an initial inquiry closed.

A US missionary has been killed in Cameroon about two weeks after moving there with his wife and eight children.

Tanzanian police have announced the creation of a surveillance squad whose job it will be to identify gay people on social media and arrest them.

India has unveiled the world’s tallest statue, which cost $430m to build. The 600ft high structure in the western state of Gujarat is a bronze-clad tribute to independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

WND

On Oct. 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther posted 95 debate questions or “theses” on the door of Wittenberg Church, which began the movement known as “the Reformation.”

The Russian Navy plans to test missiles in international waters off Norway’s coast this week, Norwegian and NATO officials say, as the Western military alliance conducts its largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War.

U.S. consumer confidence rose to an 18-year high in October, driven largely a robust labor market, suggesting strong economic growth could persist in the near term.

A Raleigh pastor is calling on churches across the country to consider getting armed security.


News – 10/31/2018

MSNBC Reporter Interviews Latino Texans Who Are Skeptical Of Migrant Caravan, Voting Republican
in interviews with Latino voters Atencio was stunned to find that they were voting Republican and had a bad opinion of the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. border. “When you see images like the migrant caravan and President Trump talking about the caravan, does that motivate you to want to vote in a certain way?” Atencio asked. The voter responded, “Yes, it makes me want to vote Republican. I think if you want to live in this country, you need to abide by its laws.” “That blows my mind,” the MSNBC host said after the segment.

“Organized Busing Operation” Exposed, Moving Migrants Closer To US Border
Traveling at a sluggish pace of 10 miles per day, the migrant caravan probably wouldn’t arrive at the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas until February, according to one observer, who debunked claims widely circulated by the media that the caravan would arrive before the Nov. 6 midterm election. But as it turns out, the organizations that have been aiding the caravan since it first formed in Honduras nearly three weeks ago have already accounted for this. And to help ensure that images of border patrol agents arresting families and separating small children from their parents are flashing across cable news in the days and hours before the polls open, these groups are employing a new tactic: Busing.

Bolsonaro To Close Palestinian Embassy
Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has announced that in a package of initial moves related to Israel and the Middle East, he plans to shut down the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.

Grassley Refers Avenatti, Swetnick to DOJ for Criminal Probe
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the FBI to probe Julie Swetnick and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, for allegedly false statements made during the confirmation process for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Video)

Anak Krakatau volcano explodes like fireworks with lava and lightning
The Anak Krakatau volcano, infamous for its extreme eruptions, is launching lava bombs and generating its own lightning this month, which was recently captured on video by a scientist from a nearby island.

George Soros May Not Be the Antichrist, but the Antichrist Spirit Is Certainly at Work
Is George Soros the Antichrist? Some people seem to think so. Rudy Giuliani recently retweeted a post that read, “Follow the money. I think Soros is the anti-Christ! He must go! Freeze his assets & I bet the protests will stop.” I was surprised to see how much media attention this tweet received. While I’m sure many, including Giuliani, didn’t take this Antichrist accusation seriously, others see a strong spiritual angle to Soros’ actions.

Unemployment soars among Iran’s university graduates. Galloping Inflation
Official figures released in Tehran on Tuesday indicate that Iran’s economic woes are deepening, even before the US clamps sanctions down on its oil sales next week. Inflation in September hit 6.1pc, i.e. 103 per annum. One third of all university and college male graduates, i.e. young men under 30, are unemployed, while up to half of all female graduates are out of work.

Israel’s Mossad foils Iranian assassination plot in Denmark
“I have decided to recall Denmark’s ambassador in Tehran for consultations… Denmark can in no way accept that people with ties to Iran’s intelligence service plot attacks against people in Denmark,” Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen was quoted as having told reporters. “It is the Iranian government, it is the Iranian state that is behind” the plot, Samuelsen added.

Chinese intelligence officers charged in US aviation hacking
The indictments named two officers working for the Nanjing-based foreign intelligence arm of China’s Ministry of State Security and six other defendants who allegedly conspired from 2010 to 2015 to steal sensitive turbofan engine technology used in commercial aviation. The hackers used spear phishing to deploy malware and other means to intrude into a French aerospace company that was developing the engines with a U.S. company, prosecutors said. The suspects also hacked into aerospace companies in Massachusetts, Oregon and Arizona that manufactured engine parts.

Gaza border teens’ Instagram account goes viral
Videos of Iron Dome interceptions in the sky. Photos of fields set alight by incendiary kites and balloons. The sounds of red alert sirens waking families from their sleep. A group of eight teenaged girls from the Gaza border communities want to share their experiences living under fire with the world. And within less than two weeks, their Instagram account about life under fire has gained more than 50,000 followers.

Asia Bibi: Pakistan acquits Christian woman on death row
A Pakistani court has overturned the death sentence of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy, a case that has polarised the nation. Asia Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement.

Denmark accuses Iran of activist murder plot
Denmark has accused Iran’s intelligence agencies of planning to assassinate an Iranian activist on Danish soil. The target was believed to be a member of an Arab separatist movement, Denmark’s intelligence service said. Denmark has recalled its ambassador from Tehran and is consulting other EU countries about imposing new sanctions against Iran.

Can artificial intelligence help stop religious violence?
Software that mimics human society is being tested to see if it can help prevent religious violence. Researchers used artificial intelligence algorithms to simulate actions driven by sectarian divisions. Their model contains thousands of agents representing different ethnicities, races and religions. Norway and Slovakia are trialling the tech to tackle tensions that can arise when Muslim immigrants settle in historically Christian countries.

The world’s first humanless warehouse is run only by robots and is a model for the future
At a recent technology show in Tokyo, a large robot arm reached into a full-sized mockup of a shipping container and began unloading boxes from it. Set on a platform that moved back and forth, the robot was doing a job usually carried out by warehouse workers and forklift operators. The goal of the company that’s developing it, Mujin, is total automation.

Whopping 62 percent of jobs don’t support middle-class life after accounting for cost of living
Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year. But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

Yellen says rising deficit is unsustainable: ‘If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes’
The United States is taking on too much debt right now, a problem that is will only worsen moving forward, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday. “If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes and cut retirement spending,” Yellen told CNBC’s Steve Liesman at the Charles Schwab Impact conference in Washington, D.C., who characterized the U.S. debt path as “unsustainable.”

Russia, wary of U.S. sanctions, puts saving before growth
Russia’s drive to fill state coffers to give itself a $200 billion buffer against threats like new U.S. sanctions is prudent, analysts say, but will come at the expense of economic growth. With oil prices high, Russia has been steadily siphoning revenues from its major export into the National Wealth Fund (NWF). It has also raised oil industry taxes, hiked value-added tax and — in a move that has hurt President Vladimir Putin’s popularity — sharply increased the pension age.

Countering global protectionism, Pacific trade pact nears takeoff
A landmark 11-country deal that will slash tariffs across much of the Asia-Pacific region will come into force at the end of December, New Zealand said on Wednesday, a rare bright spot for global commerce as the U.S.-China trade war intensifies. The deal moved forward after Australia become the sixth nation to formally ratify the deal, alongside Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.

Judge terminates law requiring promotion of abortion
A federal court has blocked a California law that would have required Christians at crisis pregnancy centers to promote abortion.

Yet another church in Europe has just been bought by Islamic groups, and it will be transformed into a mosque for Muslim worshipers
After the Muslim Association of Bergamo won an auction, it became the owner of a former hospital chapel. For about three years the church housed the religious services of the Romanian Orthodox community, which has more than 2,000 believers.

9/11 terrorist Mounir el-Motassadeq is freed from prison and back home in Morocco
El-Motassadeq, 44, who was described in German courts as the ‘treasurer’ for the 9/11 hijackers, spent less than 15 years in prison for his part in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon which killed 2,977 people in September 2001.

Jordan demands that Israel allow it to build a fifth Islamic minaret on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – Israel says NO
Jordan has asked Israel to allow it to build a fifth minaret on the Temple Mount, on the eastern wall of the Mount, facing the Mount of Olives. The Jordanian request is not new, and as far as it is known, at least at this stage, Israel does not intend to allow it.

The UN Wants to be Our World Government By 2030
In the 1960s, an informed but naïve undergraduate, I was walking across the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with the Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Charles C. Price. He told me that he was president of the United World Federalists, and asked if I knew what that organization was. When I said that I did not, he replied that they believed in a one-world government that would grow out of the United Nations.

Will Florida Elect Anti-Cop, Anti-Christian, Open Borders, George Soros Connected, Radical Progressive Andrew Gillum As Its Next Governor?
George Soros, through his many activist agitations groups, is a huge supporter of Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, as well he should be. Gillum and Soros have a long and close connection through the Soros-funded People For The American Way where Gillum worked in a leadership and directorial capacity in the years from 2002 all the way up to 2017.

Halloween haunted house holds ‘Swastika Saturday’ on day of Pittsburgh attack
An Ohio venue set up as a haunted house for Halloween held a “Swastika Saturday” on the same day as the Pittsburgh synagogue attack

China’s President Orders Military ‘PREPARE FOR WAR’
As China continues to battle the escalating trade war with the US, President Xi Jinping has ordered military region tasked with monitoring the South China Sea and Taiwan to “assess the situation it is facing and boost its capabilities so it can handle any emergency.”

Election FRAUD warning: Tech giants and fake news media conspiring to steal the mid-terms
The anti-speech tech giantshave combined forced with the fake news media (CNN, NYT, WashPost, etc.) to steal the mid-term elections and overthrow democracy in America. In effect, they have already carried out massive election meddling and fraud on a scale the “Russians” could even dream of.

In Pittsburgh, hatred of Jews is nothing new
Growing up in there, I was called kike, there were cross burnings, and even a murderer boasting he killed a ‘Jew boy’

Second Migrant Caravan Carrying Firearms and Gasoline Bombs: Mexican Authorities
exican authorities claim that some migrants from the second caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border are carrying firearms and gasoline bombs.

AWFUL! Liberal Jewish Group Funded by Soros Blames Trump – The Most Pro-Israel President in History – for Mass Shooting at Synagogue
On Saturday a virulently Anti-Trump Nazi went on a shooting rampage in the synagogue murdering 11 Jews in cold blood. Despite this leaders from the far left Soros-funded Bend the Arc PAC blamed President Trump for the mass shooting.

U.S. Military Sending Miles and Miles of Concertina Wire to SW Border
“By the end of this week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to the Southwest Border,” as part of Operation Faithful Patriot, Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, head of the U.S. Northern Command, told a news conference on Monday.

Senator Richard Pan is pushing a bill that would make it a “crime” for anyone to question vaccines
Fake News. The term that didn’t even exist five years ago has now become everybody’s favorite way to suppress free speech. The latest person to jump on the censorship bandwagon is California’s Senator Richard Pan, the very same politician who has already done untold damage by mandating vaccinations for all Californian schoolchildren with his infamous SB277 bill of 2015.


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Reformation Day Should be Bible Appreciation Day

Anthony Wade – The Anatomy of a Foolish Argument

$250,000 After Committing Adultery Says Todd Bentley “That Was It”: Bentley’s Post-Adultery Suffering

Roma Downey Promotes New Age Doctrine (God “In” Everyone & Everything)—Christian Leaders Say Nothing

After long shunning Halloween, religious groups are now all-in

‘Churches’ Celebrate Halloween With Zombies, Dancing Skeletons, ‘Haunted Hayrides’ and ‘Spooktaculars’

Pence stuns Jews with prayers by ‘Christian rabbi’ after temple massacre
Note: Pence did not plan this event nor was he responsible for the other speakers

Can artificial intelligence help stop religious violence?

Police Officers Disrupt Indian House Church Service, Attack and Injure Worshipers

Asia Bibi, Christian woman on Pakistan death row for blasphemy, acquitted in landmark ruling


Headlines – 10/31/2018

Likud minister calls for ‘peace and security’ at Dubai conference

Palestinian body’s decision to suspend recognition of Israel could end Oslo Accords

Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue shows he is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism

Thousands protest Trump visit to synagogue where massacre took place

Sarah Sanders blasts reporters blaming Trump for violent acts: ‘Outrageous’

Nikki Haley compares Pittsburgh response to Charleston: ‘We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama’

Bennett: It is ‘unfair’ to attack Trump over Pittsburgh shooting

How the Pittsburgh massacre is driving American Jews apart

Holocaust survivors shaken by Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Halloween haunted house holds ‘Swastika Saturday’ on day of Pittsburgh attack

U.S. Agency Investigates ‘Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Semitism’ Against George Soros

Protests and violence as Druze in Golan vote in local elections

Israeli border kibbutz on frontlines of ‘prolonged war’ with Palestinians fears escalation

Caroline Glick: Jordan’s King Abdullah – Weak, Untrustworthy, and Irreplaceable

Turkish military says kills seven Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

Erdogan Vows to Crush U.S.-backed Kurdish Fighters East of Euphrates in Syria

Iranian Intel Service Suspected of Attempted Assassination of Opposition Figure in Denmark

Israeli Diplomat Calls for ‘Strong’ European Response to Iran After Revelation of Thwarted Denmark Attack

Denmark recalls ambassador to Iran over foiled attack

Denmark pushes for fresh Iran sanctions over ‘assassination plot’

Zarif acknowledges impact of US sanctions on Iran’s economy

Iran: U.S. curbs to have ‘severe consequences’ for global order

Mattis calls for Yemen ceasefire, peace talks within ‘next 30 days’

Khashoggi case ‘could affect UK support for Saudi actions in Yemen’

Erdogan claims people behind Khashoggi killing being protected

Saudi Arabia waives $6 bln worth of debt owed by underdeveloped countries

Army helicopter crash kills 25 in Afghanistan

US missionary killed in Cameroon in what family says was ‘targeted’ attack

‘Disappearance’ of billions from frozen Qaddafi funds investigated by Belgium

Countering global protectionism, Pacific trade pact nears takeoff

Trump says he expects ‘great deal’ with China, but more tariffs if not

Chinese military secretly placing scientists in U.S. universities

North Korea readies nuclear, missile sites for international inspectors: Yonhap

NATO’s Stoltenberg calls on Russia to comply with INF nuclear treaty

Russia Plans Missile-Firing Exercise Off Norway Amid NATO Drills

NATO Exercise Sends Warning to Russia, Message to Members

Special counsel Mueller’s team asks FBI to probe ‘false claims’ against him

Dems blast Trump’s ‘birthright citizenship’ plan, call it midterm election gimmick

More US troops will deploy to Mexico border on top of 5,200 already sent, top US general in North America says

Merkel’s political exit is a kind of vindication for Trump

Austerity Is Over, Britain Says, Despite Brexit Uncertainty

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Mouzaki, Greece

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Xichang, China

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 31,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 12,000ft

Veniaminof volcano in Alaska erupts to 12,000ft

At least 7 are dead and dozens are trapped as a strong typhoon batters the Philippines

Krakatoa puts on incredible display of volcanic lightning

Italy storms kill 11 and floods inundate St Mark’s Basilica, Venice

Venice Is Flooding Because of Climate Change, But Corruption Is Keeping It Under Water

Two generations of humans have killed off more than half the world’s wildlife populations, report finds

German nurse admits murdering 100 patients by giving them drug-induced heart attacks so he could show off to colleagues


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

In Today’s Edition

  • The Constitution and its amendments mean what its authors said.
  • Trump warns migrant caravan, “You will not enter.”
  • Deranged by their hatred of Trump, leftists refuse to hear the president’s words.
  • The SPLC has some new hateful rules for social media.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.

Who Decides What the 14th Amendment Means?

The Constitution and its amendments mean what its authors said, not what modern politicos wish.

Trump Warns Migrant Caravan, ‘You Will Not Enter’

The group looks more like an invading force as it approaches the southern U.S. border.

Leftist Lie: Trump Is Responsible for Anti-Semitism

Deranged by their hatred of Trump, leftists refuse to hear the president’s words.

The SPLC’s Hateful ‘Hate Speech’ Rules for Social Media

Leftist indoctrination, not combating “hate,” is the real goal behind this new push.

Video: Anchor Baby Citizenship Is Insane, Says … Harry Reid

He had the correct opinion about birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens … back in 1993.

Video: Trey Gowdy on Overcoming the Political Divide

The South Carolina Republican weighs in on the decline of political discourse in America.

Video: Pittsburgh Rabbi Rejects CNN ‘Blame Trump’ Bait

“CNN’s Alisyn Camerota tried to cajole Rabbi Jeffrey Myers into blaming President Donald Trump for the shooting.”

Wednesday Short Cuts

Hyper hypocrisy: “Eliminating #birthrightcitizenship would be incredibly harmful.” —Planned Parenthood Action

Wednesday Top Headlines

Consumer confidence up, Graham’s citizenship bill, discrediting Mueller, Bergdahl, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Hans von Spakovsky
Birthright Citizenship: A Fundamental Misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment
Ken Blackwell
How Border Security Can Help End the Opioid Crisis
Marc A. Thiessen
Our Descent Into Vitriol Began Long Before Trump — and Democrats Are Culpable Too
Michelle Malkin
Yes, Unvetted Illegal Caravans Threaten Public Health
Walter E. Williams
Democratic-Controlled House

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


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Seven Issues to Consider as You’re Thinking about Halloween

For many, YouTube is the first place to turn when a question arises. It’s not surprising, then, that huge numbers of people are going to this video-sharing website for answers to their theological questions.

One YouTuber who is consistently providing relevant content is Mike Winger—the Bible Thinker. Through his channel, Mike provides clear-thinking Christianity to tens of thousands of people per day.

Last week, Mike posted some biblically-informed thoughts on Halloween. Since many sincere Christians are wondering about the appropriate level of involvement, if any, in Halloween, I thought I would share his video.

In the video, Mike lays out seven important things to consider in order to make an informed judgment about Halloween.

Enjoy!

Source: Seven Issues to Consider as You’re Thinking about Halloween

Over 120 civilians killed by US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria in 1 month – Russian military

Scores of civilians have been killed in the past month as a result of indiscriminate US-led coalition strikes in eastern Syria, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Source: Over 120 civilians killed by US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria in 1 month – Russian military

White Helmets Hiring Locals for Staged Chemical Attacks, Paying in Food – MoD

According to intelligence information available to the Russian defense ministry, Daesh (ISIS)* has committed some 57 terrorist attacks and members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces since September 1.

Source: White Helmets Hiring Locals for Staged Chemical Attacks, Paying in Food – MoD